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Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Invitation of the Gospel

SIH STSTA ICONWhen we receive an invitation to some social event, we should appreciate the opportunity that has been set before us.  Think about what an invitation implies.  Someone thought of us, they wanted us to be present for their event and finally, they took the time and effort to send us  their invitation.   We should have taken their invitation as a compliment, someone thinks highly of us. 

 The far greatest invitation that we can receive was extended to us from Almighty God. It is an invitation that tells us that those who are invited are loved by Him, He desires to spend an eternity with them in His presence, and He is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that they can receive this sincere, legitimate invitation.

 Let’s take a look at the invitation that is extended from God to His people…

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

 Isa 55

1) Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2) Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David.

 

THE STUDY:

 1)   Who can take advantage of this invitation?

       a)    Vs 1 – “everyone that thirsteth” – He must see he has a need

                 i)     Mark 2:17 – Christ came for sinners

                 ii)    Roms 3:9-10 – All are lost but blinded

                iii)  John 5:40 – Men are blinded… they will not come.

     b)   Vs 1 – “he that hath no money” – He must see he is undeserving of this great gift

              i)     Jer 10:23 – Not in man to direct his steps

              ii)    Jer 17:9 – heart is deceitful above all things desperately wicked

2)   What is he invited to do?

     a)    Vs 1 – “come” –

            i)     Repentance – turning from sin to God – Acts 26:18

            ii)    Belief – trusting Him alone for salvation – Matt 11:28

     b)   Vs 1 – “buy” – Salvation is a possession we can obtain through grace of God –

            i)     Jhn 1:12 – to them gave He power to become Son of God

            ii)    1 Cr 2:6-11 – wisdom given from God not world

     c)    Vs 1 – “eat” – Personally partake of

            i)     Heb 3:24 – partakers of Christ

            ii)    2 Pet 1:4 – partakers of the divine nature

3)   What is the purpose behind this invitation?

     a)    Vs 1 – to obtain “water” – salvation

            i)     John 4:1-14 – living water

     b)   Vs 1 – to obtain “wine” – blood of Christ

            i)     Gen 35:14 – Blood poured out on rock to sanctify it

            ii)    Luke 10:30-36 – Good Samaritan – Blood in wounds of sin.

     c)    Vs 1 – to obtain “milk” – Word

            i)     1 Cor 3:1-2 – fed with milk not meat

            ii)    1 Ptr 1:22- purify soul through truth

4)   What must be given to obtain this?

     a)    Vs 1 – “without money” – not riches of world

             i)     2 Tim 2:25-26 – Repentance is a gift

            ii)    Eph 2:8 – Belief is a gift

     b)   Vs 1 – “without price” – not in other types of works or good deeds

           i)     Titus 3:5 – Not of our works

           ii)    Isa 64:6 – filthy rags

5)   How can we waste our lives?

     a)    Vs 2- “spend money for that which is not bread” – spend worldly possessions in    pursuit of satisfaction

            i)     Eccl 2:7-9 – wealth and purchases do not satisfy

     b)   Vs 2 – “your labor for that which satisfieth not?” – labor with good deeds to secure satisfaction

            i)     Eccl 2:1-6 – labors for happiness failed

6)   How can we save our lives?

     a)    Vs 2 – “hearken diligently unto me” – listen and obey the Lord’s Word

            i)     Rom 10:12-17 – how shall they hear without a preacher

     b)   Vs 2 – “eat ye that which was good” – partake of that which satisfies (work of Christ)

           i)     John 6:35 – I am the Bread of Life

     c)    Vs 2 – “let your soul delight itself in fatness” – Joy from blessings bestowed

           i)     1 Pet 1:8-9 – Joy unspeakable and full of glory

7)   What must we do to be saved?

     a)    Vs 3 – “Incline your ear” – Hear Him with intent to obey (submission to Lordship)

            i)     Rom 10:3 – submit to His righteousness not works of righteousness

     b)   Vs 3 – “come unto me” – Turn from sin to Lord

            i)     Matt 11:28-30 – Come all that labor…. He gives rest

            ii)    John 6:37 – Come to Him, He will not cast out

     c)    Vs 3 – “hear” – Receive His Word

          i)     1 Thess 2:13 – Word working in those who receive it as God’s Word

8)   What graces do we receive?

     a)    Vs 3 – “your soul shall live” – receipt of everlasting life

           i)     Num 21:7-9 – look (with faith) at serpent on pole and live

           ii)    John 10:25-30 – give eternal life, never perish, not plucked form hand

     b)   Vs 3 – “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” – the promise (contract) that secures His everlasting mercy to us

            i)     Heb 12:22-29 – New covenant with Christ

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

 For those who are saved …

 We need to thank the Lord for extending to us this invitation of the gospel and then giving us the ability to come to Him and receive His grace in our lives.

 For those who have yet to be saved…

 Take the invitation the Lord has extended very seriously.   By recognizing your need of forgiveness turning to Him in faith, and then trusting Him to grant you that forgiveness and the promise of a new life in Him… you will be saved.

 Don’t put off coming to Him.  None of us know what tomorrow may hold for us.

 2Cor 6:2 (KJV)

2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

 

 

 

 

 

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

 

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

 

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

 

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

 

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Christ The Lamb Of The New Testament

SIH STSTA ICONWhen the Word of God calls Christ the Lamb, it is teaching us many different truths about Christ. Let’s take our time and study what the Bible teaches us when it calls Jesus the Lamb.

 THE SCRIPTURE:

 John 1:29 (KJV)

29) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:35-36 (KJV)

35) Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36) And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Acts 8:26-35 (KJV)

26) And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert…

32)  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33) In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34) And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

1Pet 1:13-21 (KJV)

13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;…

18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Rev 5:6-14 (KJV)

6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth…

12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13) And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev 6

1) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

Rev 6:16-17 (KJV)

16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17) For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Rev 7:9-17 (KJV)

9) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…

17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Rev 12:11 (KJV)

11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Rev 13:8 (KJV)

8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev 14

1) And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb…

12) Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev 15:3-4 (KJV)

3) And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.

4) Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Rev 17:14 (KJV)

14) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

Rev 19:7-9 (KJV)

7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Rev 21:9-27 (KJV)

9) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife…

27) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev 22

1) And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

3) And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4) And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

5) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

 THE STUDY:

1.  John 1:35-36 – He is the Lamb of God– He is sent by, and shares Deity with, the Father

    1. Rev 6:1 – In control of future world events
    2. Rev 6:16-17 – Delivers the wrath of God
    3. Rev 14:1-5 – The redeemed are firstfruits dedicated to God and Lamb
    4. Rev 14:6-12 – Lamb oversees judgment of Lost
    5. Rev 15:3-4 – Song of Praise sung to both Father and Lamb
    6. Rev 17:14 – He overcomes wicked because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords
    7. Rev 21:9-26 – He possesses an eternal city where He dwells with His people.
    8. Rev 22:1 – He shares throne with Father
  1. John 1:29 – He is the Lambof God – He takes away the sin of the world through His sacrifice.
    1. Acts 8:26-35 – He gave His life on the cross, willingly, innocently like a Lamb to the slaughter.
    2. 1 Peter 1:13-21 – His blood was shed like a sacrificed Lamb that was without blemish or spot.
    3. Rev 5:6-14 – His shed blood redeemed men from every kindred, tongue, people, nation. Made them Kings and Priests and will reign.
    4. Rev 7:9-17 – His blood saves and secures eternal future with God.
    5. Rev 12:11 – His blood gives victory to followers over world, sin and death
    6. Rev 13:8, 21:27 – Lamb slain basis of spiritual life that is given to those in Book of Life
    7. Rev 19:7-9 – Has an intimate love relation with His people based upon His righteousness given to the saints.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

Christ, the Lamb of God, has sent the perfect example of self-sacrifice for us to follow.  After realizing all He has done for us by giving Himself on the cross to pay for our sins, should we not be willing to sacrifice ourselves for Him.

For those who have yet to be saved…

When we realize what Christ, the Lamb of God, has done to make possible the forgiveness of sin; should we not turn to Him by faith, trusting in His work to save us from our sins and secure our eternity with Him.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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The Sown Seed

SIH STSTA ICONBedtime stories, Aesop’s fables, Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and other types of “moral stories” have been a part our childhood for many generations.  How many of us have not heard the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Jack and the Beanstalk”?  http://crunkish.com/top-ten-childrens-stories/

In spite of the good moral lessons presented in many of these stories, they lack spiritual truth and Godly authorship.   In the Word of God we find a series of lessons presented by Christ in the form of illustrative stories.  These lessons are called “parables”.

What is a parable?  The Greek word for “parable” means “to set alongside for comparison”.  This definition helps us to understand the unique Biblical aspect of the parables of Christ.  A Biblical parable is the comparison of the physical to the spiritual in an effort to reveal the spiritual.   A parable simply uses illustrations from this physical world to help reveal and explain a spiritual truth to whom it was intended.

For today’s blog entry, let’s look at one of the most well-known parables of Christ and the spiritual truth represented in it….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matt 13:1-9

1)  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4) And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matt 13:18-23 (KJV)

18) Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

THE STUDY:

In Matthew chapter 13, we find the parable of the Sower.  In verses 1-9 we find Christ’s presentation of the parable, in verses 18-23 we find the explanation of this parable.

The parable:

1)  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Jesus’ audience for this parable was the multitudes that were following Him.  This multitude were probably following Him for many differing reasons.  Some followed Him trying to personally see the miracles being performed; others hoped to have their physical needs supplied; and some were following out of curiosity.

3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

In this parable, we are told of a man who was sowing seed meant to produce mature seed bearing plants.

The rest of the parable centers on the four areas where the seed falls.  The Lord goes further and explains the effects each area has on the seed’s production.

4) And when he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Area #1 – The Way Side.   As the man sows, some of the feed fell “by the wayside” (the path upon which the sower walked).  The result, the seed is eaten by the birds.  There is no fruit produced.

5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Area #2 – The Stony Places.  Some of the sown seed falls in shallow earth.  The result is that the ground allows the seed to sprout but as the sun beats down upon the plant it withers due to lack of moisture due to an insufficient root system.  No fruit was produced.

7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Area #3 – The Thorny Places.  Other seed feel in among the thorns.  As the seeds began to grow, the thorns crowded them out and they died.  Again, no fruit was produced.

8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Area #4 – The Good Ground.  Here, the seed falls on “good ground”.  This allows the seeds to sprout, grow and mature as they were intended.  This is the only case in which fruit was produced from the seed that was sown.

9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Parables were not only meant to reveal truth to those who are blessed of God but also to hide the truth from those who would misuse it.  (Matt 13:10-16, Matt 7:6)  The Lord was inviting those of the multitude who was given understanding by God to learn and apply this parable to their lives.

The explanation:

18) Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

The Lord now beings to explain the spiritual truths contained within the parable.

19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

The sower represents a person who is taking God’s Word and proclaiming it to others.

The seed represents the Word of God that gives access to God’s Kingdom (salvation).

The fruit produced through the sowing of the seed is spiritual fruit that is produced by all who trust in Christ.

Area #1 – “The Way Side” – In this portion of the parable.  The wayside is a picture of the heart of a lost individual who does not meditate on but ignore or do not take seriously the message of salvation.  The birds represent Satan who keeps his attention off the message.  Satan placing in his thoughts things “more important” than the Word for the lost person.  Because of this, salvation is not received and the fruits of the spirit are not borne by the lost one.  (Luke 9:57-62)

20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Area #2 – The Stony Places.  Here, the word that is received by the lost person is a novelty and for awhile he applies it to his life producing an outward reformation of his actions, not a new life within.  After a while, the novelty wears off and the lost person returns to the same lifestyle that he had departed from.  (2 Pet 2:22)

22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Area #3 – The Thorny Places.  Here we see that when a lost person hears God’s Word, if he allows the desires of his flesh to rule his life, he will nto take heed to the Word but live according to his desires for wealth and the other things this world has to offer.  (Lk 18:18-23)

23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Area #4 – Here we find God’s Word being presented to the heart that has been prepared by God.  The Word is received, understood and acted upon.  This results in spiritual fruits being borne as the Word grows and prospers in the heart.  (John 15:1-8)

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

We need to thank the Lord for preparing our hearts to receive His Word. And then, out of appreciation for what He has done, we should take His Word to others, through our voice and life of displaying the fruits of the Spirit.

For those who have yet to be saved…

Why do some men hear the gospel message and yet do not trust in Christ as their Savior? In our study today, we have seen that:

  1. For some, the Word of God is ignored and not taken seriously.
  2. For others, it is a simply a novelty to be followed for awhile but no real commitment to the message of the Word is ever made.
  3. And for yet others, the true value of the Word is not perceived, therefore they choose to live their life in pursuit of worldly things they believe is of greater value.

The only person that benefited from the preaching of the Word was the person whose heart has been prepared by God to receive the Word, understand the Word, and commit to the Word and its author, Christ.  Following this commitment, the newly saved person begins to bear spiritual fruits.

You, too have this decision before you.  The message of God’s Word centers on His son, Jesus Christ, and the salvation we can receive through Him…

John 3:14-21 (KJV)

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Won’t you take this message seriously, turn form your sin and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross?

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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Nehushtan:The Thing of Brass

SIH STSTA ICONWe all know what it is like to want to receive a good grade in school.  It was so important for us to receive credit for the work we had done.  Many times we would complete “extra-credit” work just to raise our grade?  Many times, acceptance in to a school of higher learning depends upon the grade we received in our previous years of study. The entire education system of our country is based on giving students the appropriate “credit” for the work they have done.

Even during a job search, our grade point average in High School and College can dictate the opportunities that will come open for our consideration.   For many of us, making sure we give and receive the proper credit for our actions has become a way of life.

Sorry to say, we may not be quite as careful about the credit that we give to our Lord for all He has done for us and in us.  How often do we find ourselves taking the credit for what He has done in our lives?  Our gifts, talents, personality, and intelligence come from Him.  How often do we accept praise for what He has given to us?  What about our health, the possessions we have, or the forgiveness of our sins?  How often do we stop and thank Him for all these blessings He has bestowed upon us?

The both Old and New Testament, the Bible records many different times when the Israelites forgot to give their Lord credit for what He had done in their lives.  Let’s look at one of those times, paying special attention to the results of their forgetfulness.

THE SCRIPTURE:

 Num 21:4-9 (KJV)

4) And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

5) And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

6) And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

7) Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

8) And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

9) And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

2 Kgs 18

1) Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

2) Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

3) And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.

4) He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

5) He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him.

John 3:9-16 (KJV)

9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 THE STUDY:

Num 21:4-9 (KJV)

 

4) And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

5) And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

They became discouraged, why?  They no longer appreciated all the Lord had done for them.

  1. He had delivered them from Egypt bondage
  2. He had given them manna
  3. He had given them water from the rock
  4. etc etc etc etc

6) And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

The Lord simply took back one of His blessings (protection) because they were not appreciating them. Remember Job, God had placed a hedge about him and Satan had ot come to God to remove the hedge and work in Job’s lIfe.

7) Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

The people come to realize they committed sin and this sin was an against to the Lord.  They understood their sin had separated them from communion with the Lord and asked that their godly leader would interceded on their behalf.

8) And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

The Lord gave Moses the responsibility to make the brass serpent on a pole.  Then wjen they would look upon the serpent they would live.  The looking would be by faith.  It made no sense to look for healing.  Much like Noah building the ark, when there had been no such thing as rain.

9) And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Moses faithfully made the serpent/pole. And those who believed His message of salvation and acted upon it lived.

Based upon the Lord’s teachings in John 3:9-16, the serpent on the pole represented Christ and His work on the cross:

John 3:9-16 (KJV)

9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Remember, the serpents were the punishment of the people’s sins.  It is the punishment for our sins that Christ has borne when He hung on the cross for us.  That is why the serpent is hanging on the cross.  Christ, as He hung on the cross was putting to death the judgment for our sins. (1 Pet 2:21-24, 3:18, 2 Cor 5:21)

Just as we must look to Christ to receive forgiveness and salvation from sins punishment, so too, the Israelites were to look, by faith, to the coming Messiah who would take their sin upon Himself.

The really sad part of our account is that the Israelites forgot this lesson they had learned.  After all of this, once again they forgot to appreciate what their Lord had done for them…

2 Kgs 18

1) Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

2) Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also [was] Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

3) And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.

800 years has now passed since the Israelites were first confronted with the serpents in the wilderness. Hezekiah, the Godly king over the nation of Judah, sought to follow his ancestor David’s example and obey the Lord with all his heart.  Remember, King David was described by God as a “ man after mine own heart”. (Acts 13:22)

4) He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

One of the idols that the Israelites was worshipping was this brass pole with the serpent upon it.  As Hezekiah destroyed this pole, he called it Nehushtan… the thing of brass.

The Israelites had kept this remnant as a reminder of God’s deliverance from the serpents, as well as, the lesson they had learned about appreciating all that Jehovah had done for them.  It also should have been a reminder of their coming Messiah and what He would do on their behalf.  However, over the last 800 years, they had forgotten the blessings of God and the lesson they had learned.  Once again they no longer appreciated the workings of God but had turned this into an idol for idolatrous worship.

This was an abomination before God.

 

5) He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [any] that were before him.

Hezekiah was willing to do what many of the Kings of Judah were unwilling to do… destroy the false idols of the Israelites.  It was this faith in his Lord that made Hezekiah stand out among all the kings of Judah.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

Let’s not follow the example of the Israelites, who were overlooking the Lord’s blessings upon them.   By “counting our blessings” the Lord will continually be encouraging our hearts as we seek to serve Him.  (Psa 40:5)

For those who have yet to be saved…

The Great Lord of the Israelites is still intervening in the lives of people today.  No matter how we may have failed the Lord in the past, He is always ready to forgive and accept you into His family.  He will love you, care for you, and will guarantee you an eternity with Him.

All He requires is that we be willing to put our sinful walk of life behind us and trust Him with our salvation and our future lives.  Submit to His Lordship, turn from your sins and trust in Him… you will be saved.  “… The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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