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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Our Time Is Limited By God…. Use It Wisely!

Job 7:1 (KJV)  [Is there] not an appointed time to man upon earth? [are not] his days also like the days of an hireling?

Join Us Tomorrow Morning For Our New 30-part Thanksgiving Series….

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (9)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

For this series we will use this very simple outline:

1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

In our final installment of this series we need to turn our attention to verse 50 of our text… 50) Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

In the previous verse (vs 49), we saw that salt was a picture of preservation… For those who are yet in their sins they are salted “with fire”, meaning they are preserved to face the eternal judgment of Almighty God.  For those who are salted “with salt” we find that those who have come to a saving faith in Christ are now preserved to spend an eternity in the very presence of God.

In verse 50, we find another use of salt, as a flavoring agent that enhances the taste of many foods.  We are told that salt is only good as a flavoring agent when it retains the characteristic flavor of salt.  If it were possible for salt to loose its flavor, it would taste no better than sand and would be used by no one.  This illustrates a believer’s need to be “salt” in the midst of a sin darkened world, if we are to make a useful contribution to those around us…

Matt 5:13 (KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

If, by God’s grace, we are no longer salted “with fire” but are now salted “with salt”, we have a very great responsibility before us.  We are to live as a “salted” one showing forth the love, grace and kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ to all around us.  Why is this so important?  Not only is it a testimony of the Lord and His work in our lives, but it also opens the opportunity for the enhancement of the quality of life of all those around us.

In this series, we have looked at “evidences of genuine salvation”, “the importance of genuine salvation” and  “absolute necessity of genuine salvation”.  These verses have emphasized our need to make certain that we have been saved from the wrath to come.  1Thess 1:9-10 (KJV)  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;   And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Once we have made certain of our salvation, let us all be active in showing Christ to others and, in doing so, attempting to enhance the lives of all who come into contact with us. John 10:9-10 (KJV) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

To What Do We Give Our Attention ?

1Tim 1:4 (KJV)  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [so do].

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (8)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  49) For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.   50) Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

For this series we will use this very simple outline:

1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

In our text for this morning, we see that, if there was ever a need for each one of our lives, it is the need for spiritual quickening and forgiveness from our Almighty God.  As we can see from a quick review of our text, the symbolism of salt is used very liberally.  Remember, throughout the Bible salt is used as a preserving agent.  In those days, there was no such thing as refrigeration. Many times, to preserve meats and other food stuffs, salt was used.

In the first instance (verse 49), we have a comparison of those who are salted “with fire” and those who are salted “with salt”.  Who are the ones salted “with fire”?  EVERY ONE of us, as fallen mankind, are sinful human beings who are headed for eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire…

Rom 3:9-19  9)What then? are we better [than they]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 

To be salted “with fire” is teaching us that all who are yet in their sins is being preserved TO eternal, deserved judgment for their sins at the hand of Almighty God.

Who are the ones salted “with salt”?  We have a hint in the context that helps us understand… it is ones described as “every sacrifice”.  This refers to those who have trusted in Christ who have become “living sacrifices” in His service…

Rom 12:1 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 

To be salted “with salt” is teaching us that we are preserved, safe and secure FROM His judgment based upon His work on the cross.

How sobering it is to understand that, due to our sin, we are all preserved by God while awaiting His judgment.  How wonderful it is to come to realize that we can escape His judgment and find security, peace and safety in Christ and His work…

Col 1:21-22 (KJV)  21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled  22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Won’t you acknowledge your sinful condition, and turn from your sins and trust in Christ so that you might receive His righteousness and salvation from the wrath of God?

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

God’s Greatness… Our Weakness

Isa 40:22 (KJV)  [It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (7)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  43) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 

For this series we will use this very simple outline:
1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

Our text uses the eternal wrath of God as a motivating force to drive each of us to make sure we have been saved.  But there are many who question the existence of the Lake of Fire.  When the literal existence of the Lake of Fire is disputed, it becomes an issue of believing God’s Word.  The place of eternal torment of the lost is described many different times in the Bible in many varying ways.  Here is a small sampling….

1.  A place of fire and worms – Mark 9:43-48
The garbage dumps outside Jerusalem had fires burning and worms feeding on the garbage.  This is used as a picture for the Lake of Fire where the fire (punishment) and the worms (corruption and decay) exist forever.

2. A place of torment and fire – Luke 16:23-24
This is mentioned in the account of the rich man and Lazarus.  The eternal dwelling of the rich man was in fire and torments, motivating him to beg for the gospel to be taken to members of his family still living on earth.
See also Lake Of Fire – Rev 19:-20: …. The Burning Flame – Dan 7:11 …. Furnace Of Fire – Matt 13:42 …. Everlasting Fire – Matt 25:41

3. A place prepared for devil and fallen angels (demons) – Matt 25:41
Sinful beings will be judged eternally in the Lake of Fire, this includes lost mankind and the other sinful spiritual beings of this world.

4. Hell from beneath – Isa 14:9
The Lake of Fire is located beneath the earth’s crust.
See also Lowest Hell – Deut 32:22…. Place “under the earth” – Rev 5:13

5. A prison – 1 Peter 3:19, Rev 20:1-3
It is designed to hold lost mankind and Satan and demons.  It imprisons them so that they can no longer affect God’s creation.
See also The Pit – Rev 9:2

According to scholars, there are 162 references to the Lake of Fire found in the NT alone.  For someone to claim that the Lake of Fire does not exist, they must deny the clear multiple declarations of the Scriptures.

Let us take the truth of the existence of the Lake of Fire seriously.  It should be a great  motivation to tell those around us of the great, loving Lord.  It is this Lord who has given Himself as a way to escape the eternal punishment for their sins that are awaiting them.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Only Taste That Satisfies…

1Pet 2:3 (KJV)  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.

The Blessing of Judah: The Promise Of Christ (2)

Gen 49:8-12 (KJV)

8) Judah, thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
9) Judah [is] a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12) His eyes [shall be] red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

 In our previous study we saw the the beginning portion of this blessing was a combination prophecy of events that would take place in the tribe of Judah that was culminate in the first coming of Christ.  In that study we saw that there would be several reasons why the Tribe of Judah would receive the praise of Jews, as well as Gentiles throughout history.

Here is a quick review of those reasons:

1. The great victories had by Judah and his descendants are one reason why Judah would be praised far above all other of his brethren….
2. The gradual increase of Judah’s strength, boldness, wisdom and victories is the second reason why they would be praised above all others….
3. The third reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be the line of kings that would descend from this tribe… 

Please note that all three of these reasons are a combination of accomplishments of Judah both before, and including, Christ and His work on our behalf.  In the last part of this 2 part series we will be looking at the concluding portion of Judah’s blessing which will involve an exclusive look at Christ and His many accomplishments on our behalf….

THE SCRIPTURES: 

Genesis 49:8-12

THE STUDY:

4. The fourth reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be due to the coming of Shiloh, the final King in the line of Judah.  In the following verses we read of His person, work and His relationship with His people…

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; In other words, the last King that would come from the line of Judah would be Christ Himself.  How do we know Christ is what “Shiloh” is referring to?

The Hebrew word translated Shiloh carries with it the ideas of:

1. safety
2. tranquility
3. blessed or prosperous
The meaning of the word, as it applies to Christ, teaches us that He is our peace and the place of our eternal safety and refuge, and the source of all blessings from God. (Jere 23:6, 1 Thess 5:23, Psa 94:22,  Eph 1:3).

If we take our study of “Shiloh” one step farther we find that, throughout the OT, we find that a city in Canaan also is given the name “Shiloh”. Here are some of the contexts where this place is mentioned:

1. Josh 18:1-10, 1 Sam 3:21, 1 Sam 4:3-12, etc – associated with the presence of God and holding place of ark of the covenant.  This pictures for us Christ is the very essence of God meeting with man at the first coming. (John 10:30, 1 Tim 3:16, 1 John 5:20 etc)
2. Josh 22:9-12 – place of gathering before going to war – this helps us to understand that at His second coming, we are clearly told that we will be gathered together with Christ only to return to earth and observe His battle with the powers of this world. (Rev 19:11-16)
3. Judges 18:31, 21:19 etc – long-term place of worship of Jehovah – this is a picture of our worship of God that is to be centered upon the person and work of Jesus Christ.  It is through the worship of Christ that we exercise the true worship with God. (John 5:23, Eph 3:21)
4. Psa 78:60-61,  Jer 7:12, Jer 26:6 – once ark was removed, Shiloh became desolate and a picture of something cursed by God – Christ, the sinless Son of God, became a curse for us, suffering for our sins and being separated from the Father due to those sins… (Gal 3:13, Mark 15:34)

(It is because of all the above, and the verses that will follow, that I am confident that “Shiloh” is referring to our Lord Jesus Christ.  Although most of the older Bible scholars are in agreement with this teaching, I realize there are many modern students of the Word that do not agree with this. They believe that Shiloh only refers to a city in Canaan and all that is to follow is only referring to the Tribe of Judah. None of these are symbols of Christ.  I strongly disagree. I will let is up to each one of you to study these things and allow the Lord to lead you to the proper conclusion.  For the rest of this study I wlll be approaching the remaining verses from the viewpoint of Christ being described as “Shiloh”…

and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
1.  We are clearly told throughout the Scriptures that, at the second coming of our Lord we will be gathered together to meet Him in the air and begin our eternity dwelling in His presence.  (1 Thess 4:13-16,  1 Cor 15:51-57,
2.  At our salvation, we are gathered by the Spirit of God to Himself, making us members of His family and His Spiritual nation. (John 6:44, John 12:32, Haggai 2:7, Gal 6:14-18)
3.  But also another type of gathering of God’s people will also take place before His second coming.  That is the gathering of His people into various local church bodies (Acts 14:27, 1 Cor 5:4) Once again, this type of gathering together is unto Christ as well.  As we gather together to worship God, that worship is to be centered upon Christ, His Word and His Work… (Eph 3:20-21, Roms 16:27)

Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine;
1.  In Zech 9:9, we have a prophecy of Christ riding upon the foal of an ass.  This prophecy was fulfilled in Matt 21:2, where we find Christ riding into Jerusalem on the first “Palm Sunday” using an ass and her colt. This trip to Jerusalem would involve His arrest, trial and crucifixion.
2.  Based on the above we can see, in a symbolic sense, the ass and colt are pictures of Christ’s entrance into this world to die on the cross for our sins.  The vine and choice vine and the fruit that they bear are symbolic references to His death and shed blood.  These vines, which are a picture of His death and shed blood, are described in greater detail in the next verse.
3.  The ass and colt being tied to the vine and choice vine are displaying for us the inseparable nature of His death with His coming to the earth.   He came to die for us… He must die for us or else His coming to the earth would be in vain. (1 John 4:14, John 3:16-17, John 1:29)  This is why the donkey and colt (His entrance into this world to die) are “tied” inseparably to the vines (His death and shed blood).

he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
Christ’s shed blood is symbolized for us by “fruit of the vine” in the observance of “Communion” or “the Lord’s supper”.  (Luke 22:17-20)

1.  His garments being drenched in wine and the blood of grapes shows that His great sacrifice that was made on our behalf. He is drenched in His own blood. (Rev 19:11-13, Heb 9:22-28)
2.  His blood is shown to have cleansing power “washed in”.  This can refer to His shed blood being accepted by God resulting in the cleansing of His people from their sins which He had borne upon Himself.  (Isa 63:1, Rev 1:5)

His eyes [shall be] red with wine,
1. The result of the shedding of His blood, pictured by the wine, is that His eyes became the color red (The word translated red is the Heb word for “brightness” “flickering” or “flashing” and is used only once in the OT)….
2. This same picture of Christ from this Gen 49: text is presented to us again in Rev 19:11-16.  In this context, the brightness and flickering of His eyes are described as being “like a flame of fire”.  It is a picture of His wrath and anger against those who abuse His people. This event is speaking of Christ’s second coming when He comes to the earth to destroy the world powers of darkness.  It was His shed blood on the cross that secured His victory over these powers of darkness and has secured the punishment of the abusers of His people.  (Rev 6:9-17)

and his teeth white with milk
This phrase refers us to the Word of Christ, the perfect, complete, Word that has proceeded out of His mouth.  It is His Word that is described as milk teaching us that His Word is an absolute necessity for our spiritual growth and well-being (1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 Cor 3:2, Heb 5:12-13) .  As the “milk” proceeds from His mouth it makes His teeth look white due to its purity and perfection.

Folks, after looking at verses 10-12 in detail, it is such a blessing to realize that our Lord, the Shiloh of Gen 49:, as a wonderful, powerful Lord as we have seen.  Let’s review quickly what we have learned about Christ:

In part #1 of our study we learned that Christ:

1. is the One who has gotten us the victory over sin and death;
2. is the One who gained a spiritual eternal victory that far transcends any earthly human victory
3. is the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
4. is the One to whom we owe our total allegiance.

In part #2 of our study we learned that Christ:
5. is our peace and the place of our eternal safety and refuge, and the source of all blessings from God
6.  is the very person of God meeting with man at the first coming
7.  at His second coming, we are clearly told that we will be gathered together with Christ only to return to earth and observe His battle with the powers of this world
8.  should be the center of our worship of God
9.  the sinless Son of God, became a curse for us, suffering for our sins and being separated from the Father due to those sins
10.  at His second coming we will be gathered together to meet Him in the air and begin our eternity dwelling in His presence
11.  gathers us to Himself at our salvation resulting in us becoming His family members and members of His spiritual nation.
12.  gathers us into His local church to worship God by worshipping Him.
13.  came to die for us… He must die for us or else His coming to the earth would be in vain.
14.  made a great sacrifice that was made on our behalf. He is drenched in His own blood.  It is through this blood that we can find cleansing form our sins.
15.  send His wrath and anger against those who abuse His people. This event is speaking of Christ’s second coming when He comes to the earth to destroy the world powers of darkness.  It was His shed blood on the cross that secured His victory over these powers of darkness and has secured the punishment of the abusers of His people
16.  speaks His perfect, complete, Word that proceeds out of His mouth.  It is His Word that is described as milk, teaching us that His Word is an absolute necessity for our spiritual growth and well-being

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

In this passage, we have seen at least 16 different truths about Christ and His work on our behalf…. Let us all praise and honor Him who has done so much for us and who has graciously revealed His work to us through His Word.

May the Lord bless His Word and develop a greater appreciation in our hearts for all He has done for us.

If you have any questions about Christ’s saving work on our behalf, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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.”

A Lie Of Satan…

Ps 30:6 (KJV)  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

The Blessing of Judah: The Promise Of Christ (1)

Gen 49:8-12 (KJV)
8) Judah, thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
9) Judah [is] a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12) His eyes [shall be] red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

As we can see in our text, Judah received the preeminent blessing of the family bestowed upon him by his father Jacob.  Normally, the distinguished blessing was reserved for the first born son of each family, however, just as with His ancestors Isaac (2nd born) and Jacob (2nd born), Judah (4th born) was given the privilege of the receipt of the dominate blessing among his other siblings. This was done under the total control of the Lord, who as Sovereign, is able to choose to whom He desires blessings to flow without any earthly limitations of traditions or of desires of the human will. (Rom 9:7-17)

In this blessing we find a prophecy of the events and status of the descendants of Judah, but more importantly, we find a wonderful prophecy of the coming Messiah, who is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah”, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Let’s take a look at this blessing and what it teaches us about our Lord.

THE SCRIPTURES: 

Genesis 49:8-12

THE STUDY:

Judah,
The title Judah means “praise” or “honor” .  In Genesis 29:35 we are told that this title was given in an effort to praise Jehovah for allowing Leah to conceive.

thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise: 
As a part of God’s sovereign plan, his name would have another meaning as well.  He was given the title of “praise” because his brothers and their descendants would praise him for a variety of reasons. What follows is a listing of all the many reasons why Judah and his descendants would be praised throughout the ages:

1. The great victories of war had by Judah and his descendants are one reason why Judah would be praised far above all other of his brethren….

thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Throughout history Judah was known for its many military victories.  This is pictured by the conquering warrior finding absolute control in his defeated foe’s neck.  The victor would place his hand on the neck of the conquered foe, making him defenseless and entirely under his control.  Normally this was done in public, symbolically declaring to all who could see that the foe was totally defeated.  The victories wrought within the nation of Judah are many….

1.  It begins with Judah, the man himself, and his personal victories over his enemies (Judges 1: & 3).
2.  But even more so with his descendant, King David, who had victory over Israel’s enemies.  This resulted in a time of peace for King Solomon allowing him to build the temple of God in Jerusalem (1 Chron 28:3, 1 Chron 22:9).  This secured for the Jews a permanent place of worship for Jehovah.
3.  These victories continued sporadically throughout the Southern Kingdom’s history under the reign of several Godly kings.
4. But the most important “victor” to come from Judah’s line was the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who has given us the victory over sin and death. (1 Cor 15:55-57)

2. The gradual increase of Judah’s strength, boldness, wisdom and victories is the second reason why they would be praised above all others….

Judah [is] a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
Here we find Judah’s beginnings pictured as a lion’s whelp and gradually increasing in power, cunningness, and ability just as a lion matures to adulthood. This adult lion is so strong and dangerous no one is willing to awaken him.

The tribe of Judah displayed an amazing increase of strength and boldness from the days of the original blessing to the times of David and then finally Christ.  Through the Lord’s intervention, the strength of their tribe increased, as well as the boldness, as they led the Jews and fought many victorious battles against far more powerful enemies.

Of course, the ultimate supreme display of power, ability, wisdom and boldness was given by Christ who secured the eternal victory for all of His people through His shed blood on the cross.  As He defeated Satan Himself and all the powers of darkness.

3. The third reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be the line of kings that would descend from this tribe… 

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
The scepter was a rod that a king held symbolizing his authority over his nation.  When we see a lawgiver spoken of here, it is clearly referring to a king.  From the forming of Israel into a nation, they only had two different types of political rulers… judges and kings.  The main difference between a judge and a king was that a judge only had authority to upohold the laws that God had given to the nation.  A King had authority to uphold God’s laws AND WRITE LAWS OF THEIR OWN.  Hence the title for a king was “a lawgiver”.

(Please note: This explains why the Lord was so displeased with Israel when they were dissatisfied with the rule of the judges and demanded that the Lord place a king over them (1 Sam 8:4-8).  What they were saying was…. “Lord, your laws are not good enough for us.  We want a King who can write other laws on our behalf”.  What a sad situation when we reject the commands for the Lord and substitute them with the commands of men.)

There were 22 Kings that reigned for 400+ years that came from the line of Judah extending from King David (1000 BC) to Zedekiah (586 BC).   The next longest dynasty of any nation in this same time frame was a 250 year dynasty in Egypt (18th dynasty which included King Tut).  Clearly the 400 year Judah dynasty brought them a tremendous amount of praise and honor.

However, the coming of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was certainly a much greater event and deserving of far more praise than their previous record-length dynasty.  In the coming of Christ we have the coming of our Creator, the Sovereign of the Universe, humbling himself in submission to His Father’s commands, motivated by love for His people.  He came, He suffered and He died on the cross so that He might pay the price of the sins of His people and live together with Him for all eternity.  (Phils 2:1-14)

In this first part of our study we have seen three reasons why Judah would be the recipient of praise from his brethren and all nations throughout history….

1. The great victories had by Judah and his descendants are one reason why Judah would be praised far above all other of his brethren….
2. The gradual increase of Judah’s strength, boldness, wisdom and victories is the second reason why they would be praised above all others….
3. The third reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be the line of kings that would descend from this tribe… 

Please note that all three of these reasons are a combination of accomplishments of Judah both before, and including, Christ and His work on our behalf.  In the last part of this 2 part series we will be looking at the concluding portion of Judah’s blessing which will involve an exclusive look at Christ and His many accomplishments on our behalf….

until Shiloh come;
and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine;
he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
His eyes [shall be] red with wine,
 and his teeth white with milk

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

As we study the history of the tribe of Judah let’s always remember that Judah was a very special tribe, because through it, came the Messiah; the One who has gotten us the victory over sin and death; the One who gained a spiritual eternal victory that far transcends any earthly human victory; the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One to whom we owe our total allegiance.

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…
Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com
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.”

How Much Do We Endure?

2Tim 2:10 (KJV)  Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (6)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  43) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

For this series we will use this very simple outline:
1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

The eternal wrath of God is emphasized in our devotional text.  The basic principle of our text is very easy for us to grasp… We are to do whatever is necessary to avoid facing the wrath of God which is meted out as an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  This text uses the loss of an hand, leg or eye to illustrate the great lengths to which we should be willing to go to escape the horrible punishment of God.

But what does the Bible teach us about this eternal wrath of God?  There are many who deny the literal existence of the Lake Of Fire.  In our text we find seeming contradictions…. How can worms exist in the presence of fire?  How can fire burn eternally?  How can a lost person in their physical bodies exist eternally in flames?  The questions seem endless.

The answer to many of these questions can be found in one basic principle…Jer 32:17 (KJV)  Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee:.    Folks, our Lord is so great He can make worms that can exist eternally in flames, or He can make flames that will not consume what they touch.  He can change a lost person’s body to enable it to exist in flames eternally… etc etc.  Many of the questions about the Lake of Fire can be answered by a simple understanding of the greatness of our God.

But when the literal existence of the Lake of Fire is disputed, it becomes an issue of believing God’s Word.  The place of eternal torment of the lost is described many different times in the Bible in many varying ways to deny the existence of hell is to deny the clear, repeated teachings of Scripture.  In our next devotion we will look at a few of the many times the Lake of Fire is spoken of in the Holy Scriptures.

Let us all be on guard against Satan working in our minds, placing questions about the existence of the Lake of Fire and, by implication, minimizing the great need to tell others of Christ and His gracious salvation.

2Cor 5:11 (KJV)  11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Are We Ready?

1Pet 3:14-15 (KJV) But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (5)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  43) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  44) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  45) And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  46) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  47) And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  48) Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

For this series we will use this very simple outline:

1.  vs 41-42 – Evidences of genuine salvation
2.  vs 43-48 – Importance of genuine salvation
3.  vs 49-50 – Absolute necessity of genuine salvation

In the devotion for today we will be looking at the second division of our text which helps us to understand the importance of possessing God-given faith in Christ…

Col 1:12-15 (KJV)  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

It is only through a God-given faith in Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven of our sins, have our sins paid for through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and therefore, can be saved from the eternal wrath of God.

It is this eternal wrath of God that is emphasized in our text for this devotion.  The basic principle of our text is very easy for us to grasp… We are to do whatever is necessary to avoid facing the wrath of God which is meted out as an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  This text uses the loss of an hand, leg or eye to illustrate the great lengths to which we should be willing to go to escape the horrible punishment of God.

Keeping in mind the great importance of escaping the eternal judgment of God, let’s think on two questions to close our devotion for today…

1.  Do we take the need for a God-given faith seriously?  If so, we will go to great lengths to make certain that the Lord has intervened in our lives and made us a new creature in Him…
2Pet 1:10-11 (KJV) – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2.  If we have made our salvation sure, doesn’t our understanding of God’s wrath compel us to take the gospel to those around us?  Whether by our voice or actions we must be presenting Christ to others on a daily basis.
2Cor 5:11 (KJV) -Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (4)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.  42) And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea…

For this morning, let’s look at verse 42.  This verse is a part of a two verse section of our text that describes for us two evidences of genuine salvation…

In vs 41 – we find evidence of a person who is the recipient of God’s gracious salvation.
In vs 42 – we find evidence of a person who has never been saved by God’s grace.

When we look at verse 42 – Please notice what this verse is teaching us….

And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me

The general theme is how we treat those who are the most helpless and impressionable among us…   In this verse they are described as “little ones” and especially refers to those who are young of age.  But this principle can also apply to the elderly, the poor, those who are handicapped, anyone who cannot defend nor care for themselves.  These are the people who, many times are overlooked by those in power.  For God’s people, who are called to love all others and care for others in need, these are the prime candidates for our aid and nurturing.  This is described as “pure religion and undefiled before God” … Jas 1:27 (KJV)Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  

But please notice that especially those who are vulnerable among God’s people are in view… “little ones that believe in him”.  Folks, not only are we told that we are to take care of those who are defenseless around us but, here, we are told to take a special type of care to the vulnerable among God’s people. In this way God’s people should be clearly sat apart from the people of the world.  It is by our love for our family in Christ that we known as Christians. John 13:34-35 (KJV)  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 

it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Our Lord is said to be the Defender of those who are the most susceptible (Psa 82:3) and, throughout the Scriptures, our Lord is also described as the Defender of His people. (Psa 5:11)  In our text this principle is clearly shown to us.  What will be the result of the abuse of those who are defenseless?  As this world phrases it, it will be “a fate worse than death”.  When the Lord avenges the young and at risk of His people, death will pale in comparison to the horrors that the offenders will have to face.

How much of our time, effort and assets do we commit to helping the young and exposed around us?  The youth of our world need someone who cares and is willing to invest their time teaching them the things of God and setting a Godly example for them to follow.  There are so many others who are vulnerable in our society who need our loving care to meet their physical, mental and most importantly spiritual needs.

Are we showing others we are Christians by our love and concern for these most precious of God’s people? If not, could it be that we do not have the love of Christ in our hearts?

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Great Task At Hand…

1Thess 2:4 (KJV)  But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

The Word of OUR King….

Eccl 8:4 (KJV)  Where the word of a king [is, there is] power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (3)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.  And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

To begin our devotional for this morning, let’s look at verse 41.  This verse is a part of a two verse section of our text that describes for us two evidences of genuine salvation…

In vs 41 – we find evidence of a person who is the recipient of God’s gracious salvation.
In vs 42 – we find evidence of a person who has never been saved by God’s grace.

When we look at verse 41 – Please notice what this verse is teaching us….

1. “because ye belong to Christ”. A person who has had a genuine salvation experience will recognize that Christ owns them…  He owns us because He physically created us  (Roms 9:20-21) and He purchased us on the cross (1 Cor 6:19-20).

2.  “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink “ Based upon His ownership a genuine believer will then willingly seek to help others who are in need. This help will involve self-sacrifice on the part of the Christian, as he gives of himself to meet the needs of others.

Keep in mind, this help can be in the form of physical or spiritual help.  Not only is Christ teaching us that we should meet the physical needs of others by giving them physical water to quench their thirst; but also the Bible makes it clear that water can represent the truth of His Word that can bring salvation to those who see their need. (John 4:5-15)

3.  “in my name”  – A truly saved individual will desire for his Lord to be glorified in this act of self-sacrifice.  He will give credit and honor to Christ, as his Redeemer and his Enabler, as he helps this needy individual.

4.  “verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward” – the Christian who submits to Christ, and glorifies Him through the helping others in need, will be greatly blessed.  That blessing involves the receipt of eternal rewards that cannot be corrupted nor taken from them. (Matt 6:19-21)  It is these same rewards that will enable the true saint of God to glorify Him throughout eternity by laying these rewards back at His feet. (Rev 4:10-11)

As we look to our lives to recognize proofs of a God-given salvation we need to ask ourselves these questions.  By God’s grace we will be able to answer all of them with an unhesitating “YES”!

1. Do we acknowledge, joyfully, that we are a possession of Christ and therefore, responsible to allow Him to use us any way He desires?
2.  Are we willing to give of ourselves for others in need?  Are we willing to give of both our physical possessions and our spiritual riches to meet their needs and glorify our God?
3.  When we serve the Lord, do we make sure that we give him the credit for our service?  When we are “patted on the back” do we redirect that praise to Him ?  Do we remind those around us it is only because of Him that we are able to accomplish the task at hand?
4.  Do we allow His promises of future rewards motivate, strengthen and inspire us as we grow weary in our service for Him?  Do we highly value His rewards realizing we will use them to glorify Him throughout eternity?

By God’s grace, may He allow us to recognize all of these proofs of salvation as we examine our service to Him.

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Mark 9:41-50 (2)

Mark 9:41-50 (KJV)  41) For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42) And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea…

To begin our detailed look at these verses, let’s begin looking at vs 41-42.  In these verses, we find two evidences of genuine salvation…

1. vs 41 –  a POSITIVE evidence of salvation: helping others in need, motivated by the love of Christ, a desire to please Christ and a love for those around us… “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

2. vs 42 –  we find outward evidence that implies that a person has never received the saving grace of God. We’ll call this a NEGATIVE evidence of salvation: physically or spiritually harming those who are defenseless, naïve and/or young in age or spirituality… “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea

Folks, in our Christian life we are to be naturally exhibiting many evidences that will help prove to others, and ourselves, that we have been touched by the saving grace of the Lord.  These evidences not only include doing that which is pleasing to our Lord, but also include abstinence from those sinful things that brings sorrow to the heart of our Savior.

We live in a day where we find many professing Christians living a schizophrenic lifestyle.  While they are going through the motions of obedience to Christ (the positive proofs), they seem unconcerned about partaking of sin and acts which offend and grieves their Lord and Savior (the negative evidence).  They attend church, give to charities, and ritualistically observe the commands of the Lord, and yet they feel comfortable living a double life that includes gladly following their fleshly desires leading them to drunkenness, fornication, deceit, pride and selfishness…the list is endless.

These things should not be…

Jas 4:4 (KJV)Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”     

Eph 4:20-24 (KJV) “But ye have not so learned Christ;If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

In our text for this morning, we can easily see the principle of holiness presented to us.  A true Christian will exhibit in their lives a heart of love for their Lord causing them to naturally please their Lord through outward acts of obedience, while exhibiting a new nature which leads them to instinctively refrain from the sinful practices of this world.

Are we living a consistent life of righteousness that reveals a changed heart and a new nature wrought by the grace of God? Or, are we simply living as if we were actors on a stage, appearing to be “religious” while retaining a close relationship with the sinful attitudes, motives and actions of this fallen world?

May the Lord bless us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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