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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Christian Nobility….

Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Feeding The 4000

The next miracle in our series is  Feeding The 4000 …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10

In this event, we find the Lord’s concern for the multitude that was following Him… “I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”  It was this concern that motivated Christ to use 7 loaves and a “few little fishes” to feed over 4000 men with their families.

Our Lord then proceeds to perform the miracle… “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.  And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.”

In this miracle we see the Lord’s concern for the PHYSICAL needs of His followers.

The Lord has made it clear that the spiritual needs of an individual will far outweigh their physical needs. The spiritual food that we give someone will benefit them eternally, whereas physical food only benefits an individual for a short time. (John 6:26-27, Matt 6:31-33)  In spite of this, we are told that we should be concerned about supplying the physical needs of others. (Matt 25:34-46, 1 John 3:17, Luke 3:11, 1 Tim 6:17-18)

Why should we supply that which is only temporal to those who are spiritually needy?  There are several reasons for this seeming contradiction:

  1. Through supplying physical needs, we can show the recipient our love, concern and willingness to sacrifice for them.
  2. Many times, through the meeting of physical needs, the recipient’s heart is softened and made more receptive to the Word.
  3. As we meet physical needs it reveals the self-sacrificial love of Christ to others who are watching us.  It enhances our testimony and standing in the eyes of our acquaintances.

Do we ever consider the physical needs of those around us?  If so, what have we done to try to meet their physical needs?

In every case, because we understand the far greater importance of meeting spiritual needs, we should be seeking to share spiritual truth, along with the physical food, that the individual most important needs are met as well.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

He Is With Us All The Way….

Ps 48:14 For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [even] unto death.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing The Multitude

The next miracle in our series is healing the multitude …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 15:29-31

As Christ continues in His ministry, we find a multitude now following Him due to His reputation that had been building throughout the area of Israel.  In this account, we find Christ going up into a mountain and the multitudes followed Him, bringing many who were in need of healing… “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”.   In this case the multitude is described as having a two-fold reaction… “Insomuch that the multitude wondered,… and they glorified the God of Israel. “

In today’s time, as Christians, we should react in the same way to the many miracles He performs on our behalf.  We should be a living a life of amazement at how gracious and powerful are His acts on our behalf. But sad to say, we have a tendency to minimize the wondrous workings of the Lord in our lives.

Think of all the miracles He does for us each and every day…. He gives us our physical life and health, He gives us our physical needs, He gives us an understanding of His Word, He keeps us physically and spiritually safe, He opens to us of service opportunities, He allows us to enjoy the presence of our physical and spiritual family members (and other friends and loved ones). And many, many more… the list goes on without end.  For many of us He blesses us in all these ways, for others He sees fit to bless us in some of these ways.

But for ALL of us, as Christians, He blesses us with the greatest blessing of all, our salvation and all that comes with it, forgiveness of our sins, the HS indwelling, adoption into His family, eternal assurance of His presence… need I say more?

How heartbreaking it is that NONE of us appreciate, nor wonder over, His great and wondrous works as we should.  We take them for granted and focus on this physical world instead of the spiritual blessings that surround us.  We are silent in our praise for these blessings as we forget all that He does on a continual basis.  We should all be ashamed.

What should our reaction to these be?  The exact same as the reaction of the multitudes who, for the first time, witnessed His miracle working power.  We should wonder at His power, His grace, His love and His kindness to us and then we should glorify God for working on our behalf.

As we begin our day, let us remember that we deserve nothing short of eternity in the Lake of Fire, and yet motivated by His love and grace alone, He has chosen to bless each of us beyond measure. Let us take a moment to think of all His blessings, and in awe and amazement dwell on His goodness towards each of us.  And then, as did the Psalmist, acknowledge to Him, and to the world around us, what a gracious God we serve…  Ps 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wondrous works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Our Actions Speak Louder Than Words…

1Pet 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing A Deaf Man With A Speech Impediment

The next miracle in our series is Jesus heals a Deaf Man With A Speech Impediment …This miracle is recorded for us in Mark 7:31-37

As Christ moved through the coasts of Decapolis, the inhabitants approached Him with a man who was both deaf and suffering from a speech impediment. He desired to be healed.  The Lord graciously, fulfilled His desire as follows, “And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.”   

The word of this event spread among the region, resulting in “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”

Christ truly does “all things well”.  The word for “well” carries with three basic ideas: to be morally virtuous, to be valuable and to be beautiful in appearance.  This is how the miracles of Christ were perceived by most of the common people of the day.  They properly recognized His miracles as being desirable and pleasing both to God and man.  However, those in religious and political authority saw Christ as a threat to their positions and perverted His miracles into harmful and morally corrupt acts. (Lk 6:5-11, Mat 12:22-35 etc etc)

The misinterpretation of Christ, His message, and His works, continues on even to this day.  There are those who distort the purpose and actions of Christ as being something that is insignificant, harmful or fictitious.  God’s Word warns Christians of this mockery in the last days.  (Jude 1:18, 2 Pet 3:3 etc) This is emphasized by Christ, Himself, as He gives us a long discourse on how to be prepared for the inevitable persecution and rejection His disciples will face from this fallen world (Matt 10:16-39).

Are you currently facing rejection or persecution because you have taken a stand for Christ?  Are you facing a choice between facing judgment from this world or choosing to compromise your stand for truth?

Let’s make the choice to remain faithful to Him knowing that.. 2 Cor 4:16-18  “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Daniel’s Prophecy of The 70 Weeks

One of the most important prophesies concerning Christ and His work on the cross is found in Daniel 9:20-27.  However, because of its importance, this same prophesy has become a subject of much controversy and misunderstanding.

(Before we start our study, you may find the timeline of our study to be of value.  You can download it for free in any of three formats:  .pdf  .jpeg .pptx)   (Also, please keep in mind the dates used in this study vary from source to source.  I have given only approx. dates to help us understand the meaning of this prophecy. The dates shown do not reflect partial years.)

Let’s take a few short minutes with prayer and an open mind examine this wonderful prophesy that helps us to understand all that our Lord accomplished when He gave Himself for us…

THE SCRIPTURES:

Dan 9:20-27 (KJV)

20) And whiles I [was] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21) Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22) And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23) At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25) Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

THE STUDY:

Dan 9:20-27 (KJV)

20) And whiles I [was] speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Our text begins with Daniel in prayer.  What were the 3 subjects of his prayers?

  1. Daniel tells us that he was confessing his personal sin. Apparently, his heart was being burdened about the need for an unhindered relationship with His Lord.
  2. He also was praying for the sins of his nation.  Israel failed their Lord miserably as the nation of God.  In response, the Lord allowed the Babylonians to overtake their land, overtake their temple and cause the worship of Jehovah to cease.
  3. The temple, the central point of worship was located in Jerusalem. In Daniel 9:16, we find that the “holy mountain of God” is referring to the Jerusalem area. One of Daniel’s greatest requests was for the Lord to restore the land area where His worship used to take place. (Dan 9:16-17)

21) Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22) And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23) At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

The Lord sent the angel Gabriel to answer Daniel’s prayer even while he was praying!  What a gracious Lord that we serve.  Gabriel’s visit blessed Daniel in several ways….

  1.  He informed me – He would instruct and direct Daniel
  2.  He talked with me – He would communicate with Daniel acting as God’s spokesman
  3.  He gave skill – He would make Daniel an expert concerning the message he would give.
  4. He gave understanding –  He would give Daniel discernment of the message

What did the angel’s intervention prove to Daniel?  He was loved greatly!

24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,

Here, we find the beginning of the 70 week prophecy.  Daniel is told that the Lord has decreed a “70 week” period of time to accomplish six Divine acts. What is meant by the 70 week time period? In Hebrew the term for “weeks” refers to groups of seven.  When we do the math we find that this time period will be 490 (70×7) but it could be speaking of 490 days or years. We are not told specifically.  However, in the context of the Bible we have some significant clues….

  1. In a previous message to Daniel, the Lord describes the period of time that Israel would be under Babylonian captivity as 70 units of YEARS (not weeks) in Daniel 9:2. It is safe to assume that Daniel’s mind was running in “the year mode” not “day mode”.
  2. Also, the 7 YEAR cycle was a very familiar cycle of time for Jews. In Lev 25:1-4 the Lord gives the Jews a cycle of 7 years for the Sabbatical rest for the land.
  3. But the proof positive that this prophecy was speaking in years and not days or weeks is found in its fulfillment. As the events of our prophecy unfold, we will see that it will be fulfilled within a 490 year period.

to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Daniel is told that these are the 6 acts that God would be completed in 490 years:

  1. Finish the transgression – “To restrict, limit, or cease” Christ’s death on the cross brought an end to transgression (sin).  His sacrifice resulted in a sinless eternity in His presence for Christians.  This eternity will begin with the resurrection of the believer’s bodies. (Rom 6:22, John 8:34-36) No longer will transgressions be committed.
  2. Make an end of sins – “To complete, fulfill, bring to end” Christ’s death supplied the needed payment to fulfill the sin debt that we owe to the Father.  With His death He brought our spiritual indebtedness to an end. (1 Pet 1:18-20, Matt 26:28)
  3. Make reconciliation for iniquity – “to cover, to pacify” Christ’s death brought peace to sinful man that was a war against God. He accomplished this through the covering of our sins with His blood.  (Roms 5:10, 2 Cor 5:18-20)
  4. Bring in everlasting righteousness – “To cause to enter” Through His death, Christ has supplied everlasting righteousness to those who have sinned against God. (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 3:21-26) This righteousness is eternal in nature.  Christ paid the price for all our sins past present and future, therefore the righteousness He supplies cannot be undone… it is eternal.
  5. Seal up the vision and the prophecy – “Make an end” Christ’s first coming brought to fulfillment the OT prophetic Scriptures.  Jesus was the promised Messiah of the OT (Matt 5:17-18, Heb 10:3-12)  His life and work is the complete purpose and subject of the NT Scriptures.  The OT look ahead to Him.  The NT looks back and records His life.
  6. Anoint the most Holy – Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit at His baptism.  This anointing publically declared that He was the prophet, priest and king that had been sent by God.  He was the true Messiah.  (John 8:28 – Prophet; Heb 6:20 – Priest; Matt 27:11 – King)

25) Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:

Here, Daniel is told that from the command to restore Jerusalem given by Cyrus to the beginning of the Messiah’s ministry would be a total of 69 weeks (groups of 7) years making it a total of 483 years:

  1.  From Cyrus, Medo/Persian ruler decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Isa 44:28) –457 BC
  2.  To Christ’s earthly ministry began at His baptism (Matt 3:13) – 26 AD

3.   Equals  483 Years 

[shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

But please note these 69 weeks is broken up into two groups.  One group of 7 and the pother group of 62.  Why are these years broken up?  There was a major event that took place after the first 7 weeks (groups of 7) years in other words, 49 years.  Cyrus’ decree was fulfilled with the completion of the Jerusalem streets and walls This took place in Nehemiah’s day.

  1. From Cyrus, Medo/Persian ruler decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Isa 44:28) – 457 BC

2.   To The walls finished during Nehemiah’s work (Neh 7:1) – 407 BC

3.   Equals 49 Years

26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

Please notice that after the 62 week time period the Messiah would be “cut off”.  This is speaking of the crucifixion of Christ.  He was crucified not because of his own sins, but for the sins of His people for whom He would die. If we remember, the end of the 62 week time period was 30 AD (the beginning of Christ’s public ministry).  The beginning of the 62 week time period was the completion of the walls of Jerusalem.

  1. From the wall finished during Nehemiah’s work (Neh 7:1) – 407 BC
  2. To the beginning of the Messiah’s ministry (His baptism) (Matt 3:13) – 26 AD
  3. Equals 434 years

This verse tells us that the Messiah’s crucifixion would take place sometime following 26 AD. Christ was crucified in 30 AD which fits perfectly to this prophecy.

and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Here we have the result of the rejection and crucifixion of Christ being described.  The invasion of Israel by the Roman army is being described.  “The prince” is describing their leader Titus.  By the time the invasion would be complete, Titus would have utterly destroyed physical Jerusalem and it would be left physically and spiritually desolate.  This event would take place in 70 AD, 36 years after the completion of this entire prophecy.

Jesus speaks of this same invasion in Luke 19:42-44.  This event is commonly described as “the abomination of desolation” in Matt 24:15 and is described in Luke 21:20 as Jerusalem being “compassed about with armies”.

27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:

Here we find the events of verse 26 being restated and expanded upon in verse 27.

The “He” of verse 27 refers back to “the Messiah” of vs 26. Please notice the two subjects we read about in verse 26 are “the Messiah” and “the people of the prince”.  If the angel was referring to “the people of the prince” he would have used the plural pronoun “they” and not the singular “he”.  However, since the pronoun he uses is singular it must be referring back to a singular subject of the previous verse, in other words…. “the Messiah”.

Also, please note that “he” does not refer back to “the prince”.  Why?  “The prince” is not used as a subject in that verse, it is used as an adjective describing “the people”.  The most logical and clear reference for “He” is clearly “the Messiah”.

In verse 26, the work of the Messiah is described as “being cut off but not for himself” referring to His death on the cross.  In verse 27, we now find Christ’s death elaborated upon.  Through His death, He confirmed the covenant that had been made.  The promise (covenant) to grant new life and the forgiveness of sins was made by God based upon the work of Christ on the cross (Heb 8:6-13, Matt 26:28, Jer 31:31-34, Rom 3:24-26)

and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,

The Messiah’s crucifixion would take place “in the midst of the week”.  In other words, 3 ½ years into the final week of the 70  week prophecy.  Remember, the final week of our prophecy began in 26 AD with the baptism of the Messiah.  He was crucified 3 ½ years later in 30 AD.  This is exactly in the middle of the final 7 year period.

  1. From the beginning of the Messiah’s ministry (His baptism) (Matt 3:13) – 26 AD

2.   To the crucifixion of the Messiah (Mat 27:, Mrk 15:, Lk 23:, Jhn 19:) – 30 AD

3.   Equals 3 1/2 years

At His crucifixion “he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.”  At His death, Christ brought an end to the OT ceremonial activities of worship.   Remember all of these sacrifices (offerings involving shedding of blood) and oblations (bloodless offerings) were being performed to give the Old Testament Israelites a picture of the work of their Messiah that WAS TO COME.   Christ had now come and died on the cross.  They had seen His person and work take place before their eyes.  Now they could look back upon the actual events of His life, they no longer need symbolic pictures of His work displayed before them. (Heb 10:10-18, Matt 5:17-18, Luke 24:44)

and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate,

The angel now turns our attention to more results of the crucifixion of our Lord.  The spiritual desolation of Israel began shortly after the crucifixion of Christ when the gospel message began to be sent out to the Gentile nations (Peter’s visit with Cornelius – Acts 10:).  The physical desolation of Israel was begun with the Romans empire’s occupation of Israel.

even until the consummation,

Both the spiritual and physical desolation of Israel was made complete (the consummation) at the invasion and destruction of the temple and city of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  This was allowed to take place by God, as a judgment upon Israel for crucifying the Messiah.

In that sense, Christ and His rejection by the Jews was the basis of the 70 AD invasion and the desolation of the nation of Israel.  (The Abomination of Desolation of Matt 24:15).

and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The invasion by Titus had been appointed to take place by the Lord long before the event’s occurrence. We see that here in Daniel 9:, as well as Christ, prophesying of it in Matt 24:15 and Luke 21:20.

Additional Note: 

Although not mentioned specifically in Daniel’s prophecy, here are my thoughts about the ending event of the 70 weeks prophecy…..

The beginning of this 490 year timeframe was Cyrus’ decree to rebuild the wall, but what is the ending point? I believe it is probably, the beginning of the spiritual desolation of Israel.  This took place when Peter visited Cornelius’ house and the gospel to the Gentiles was accredited in Acts 10:.  Most Biblical chronologists date this event at 36 -37 AD. This would fit exactly into our 490 year time frame…

1.   From Cyrus, Medo/Persian ruler decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Isa 44:28) – 457 BC

2.   To the visit of Peter to the house of Cornelius, the accrediting of the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:) – 33 AD

3.   Equals 490 years

Again, I am very confident about most of this study because the Bible speaks plainly about these things.  However, the above information about the ending of the 70 week period is my speculation only.  Although I feel comfortable naming Peter’s visit to Cornelius as the end point, since it is not specifically mentioned in this prophecy, my thoughts must be taken “with a grain of salt”.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

This prophecy in Daniel, made 490 years before it’s complete fulfillment proves that Jehovah God is the Almighty, Sovereign God that decrees, foreknows and controls all the events in the history of the world.  This prophecy is just one of hundreds we find in the Bible that have been brought to completion exactly as the Lord said it would.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

The Settled In Heaven Ministries Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Israel of God Part 2

In a previous blog posting (The Israel of God Part 1) we looked at the Kingdom of God and its relationship to the spiritual Nation of Israel.  This blog entry concludes our studies on The Israel of God by examining its formation.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Zech 11:4-14 (KJV)   & Rom 11:7-32

THE STUDY:

As we begin the final leg of our study of  “The Israel of God” let’s take a look at Zechariah 11:4-14.  Here, we find a prophecy that relates to us what takes place during the appearance of God’s spiritual nation of Israel…

This is a prophecy that takes place during the first coming of Christ to the earth.

Zech 11:4-14 (KJV)

4) Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; 5) Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed [be] the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. 6) For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver [them].

The physical nation of Israel, here, is the “flock of the slaughter”.  God the Father is commissioning Christ to come to Israel and feed them the Word of Truth.  When the physical Israelites reject the Messiah and His message, God allows the Romans to slaughter them (this happened in 70 AD at the hands of Roman general Titus).

7) And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. 8) Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

The Lord comes to feed the flock of Israel, especially coming to those who, by faith, accepted Him as their Messiah (“the poor of the flock”).  To minister to Israel, the Lord brought with Him two staffs:

  1. “Beauty” – the Hebrew word here is the word for “Grace” or “Favor” speaking of His grace being shown to Israel as He came to earth as man and died on the cross for the sins of His people.  He came to the earth to show grace to the physical nation of Israel
  2. “Bands” – the Hebrew word here is the word for “Unity” or “Binding Together” speaking of the outward unity that the nation experienced prior to 70 AD.  The nation, although filled with believing and unbelieving Jews was looked upon as one nation in the eyes of the world.

The three shepherds may refer to the three great institutions that opposed Christ at His first coming…

  1. The Jewish Priesthood (High Priest and Other Priests)
  2. The Jewish Magistracy (Sanhedrin, other councils)
  3. The Jewish Scholars (Scribes, Pharisees etc)

All three of these institutions were brought to an end following the devastation of 70 AD.

9) Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10) And I took my staff, [even] Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11) And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD.

As a result of rejecting the teachings of the Messiah, and turning their backs on the grace of God, the Lord removed His grace from the unbelieving Jews.  This was symbolized by Him breaking the staff of “Grace”.

Those who were true believers in Israel recognized that the 70 AD invasion was the result of physical Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. His grace was still shown to this remnant of believers within Israel.  This is proven by them being given spiritual understanding in recognizing God’s wrath and the purpose of the 70 AD invasion.

12) And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver. 13) And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14) Then I cut asunder mine other staff, [even] Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

The betrayal of Judas is a perfect representation of the rejection of the Messiah by the unbelieving Jews of His day.  They desired to put Him to death… in response, the Lord broke His other staff “Unity”.  From this point forward, the unity of physical and spiritual Israel would no longer exist.  Now, the physical nation of Israel would be recognized as rejecting Him and now, His spiritual nation would be made up of the remnant of believing Jews and believing Gentiles.  This spiritual nation would be known as “the Israel of God” compared to the physical nation of Israel which contains (for the most part) unbelievers who reject the Messiah.

Another passage that is closely related to this Zechariah passage is found in Romans 11:1-32…

Rom 11:1-32

(1) I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  (2)  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,  (3)  Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.  (4)  But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.  (5)  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  (6)  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Paul was a physical descendent of the Jewish people, as such, he was in a unique position to teach on God’s relation with his nation.  Paul, here, is affirming that God had not completely cast off the physical nation of Israel.  Much like in Elijah’s day, although a majority of Israelites had rejected the Lord and His Word, there still was a remnant that were followers of Jehovah.  Likewise in Paul’s day (and today) there is a remnant of true believers among the physical nation of Israel.

(7)  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded  (8)  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.  (9)  And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:  (10)  Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Here, we see the Lord taking away His “Grace” from the unbelieving Jews of His day.  This was done as the result of their rejection of Him as the Messiah.

In this case, “Israel” is speaking of the true believers in Israel (ie physical Jews who are members of the “Israel of God”)  True believers within physical Israel, obtained the promises of the covenant, by accepting Christ as their Messiah.

The other members of physical Israel did not receive the promises of His covenant because they did not accept the truth about His Messiahship.  Why did this happen?  Following their rejection of the Messiah, He had taken His grace from them causing fall into deeper spiritual blindness.

(11)  I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.  (12)  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?  (13)  For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:  (14)  If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.  (15)  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?  (16)  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 

Did the Lord desire for the physical Israelites to never return to an understanding of spiritual truth and never be a part of His people again?  Absolutely not! By the taking away of grace to those who are unbelieving the Lord now is turning to Gentiles opening their eyes to the truth.  This in turn, will cause some physical, unbelieving Jews to recognize their loss and turn back to Him.

The Lord desires for the physical Jew to turn back to Him in faith, accepting Him as their Messiah. They can always be accepted back in “The Israel of God” if they turn to Him in repentance and saving faith.

(Note: It is possible, based upon the tone of Romans 11:, that a majority of physical Jews may turn back to Christ before His second coming.  If this takes place it would explain why UNBELIEVING Jews have been allowed to return to their homeland…  It was not it fulfillment of the OT covenant.  It is simply, from a human standpoint, an event God may use to quickly and easily proclaim the gospel to many Jews in a short period of time.

Why is this not probable? If the salvation of a majority of Jews takes place, it would immediately precede His second coming following “the fullness of the Gentiles”.  Keep in mind this idea does hinder the principle that Christ could come back at any time! Until we would see this Jewish “revival” we can rest assured Christ will not come back.)

 (17)  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;  (18)  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.  (19)  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.  (20)  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  (21)  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 

The physical, unbelieving Jews are the branches that He has broken off.  This is a picture of removing them from His spiritual nation of Israel that is made up of all believers of all time.  The wild olive branches are a picture of the believing gentiles being brought into His spiritual nation of Israel.

Gentiles must never boast and think that they can reject Christ and still receive the benefits of the covenant He has made with Israel…. This cannot be, if God removed unbelieving Jews from the promised blessings of His covenant, so too, He will remove unbelieving Gentiles from the covenantal blessings as well.

(22)  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  (23)  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.  (24)  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 

The rejecting or accepting of Christ as the Messiah is the greatest decision that can be made by mankind today.  For those who reject Christ…. severity will fall.  For those who accept Christ, they will experience the goodness of the Lord and citizenship in the Israel of God.

There is hope for unbelieving Jews… if they turn back to Christ, as individuals, they will be grafted back into the spiritual nation of Israel and be the recipients of His covenantal blessings just as their believing forefathers.

(25)  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (Luke 21:24) (26)  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  (27)  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 

Again, we are reminded the reason why some physical Jews have been allowed to reject Christ is so that those Gentiles who are chosen to salvation are brought into the spiritual nation of God.  Although, in general, the physical Israelites have rejected Christ, there is a remnant of believers that still exist to this day.

By God saving His entire number of elect (of both Jew and Gentiles) you will then have all of Spiritual Israel brought to salvation.  As He says; “And so all Israel shall be saved”.  This takes place as the result of Christ coming and saving all those He has chosen to be a part of Spirtual Israel.  This saving of the entire Israel of God will be the fulfillment of the covenant that the Lord has made with His Israel.

(28)  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.  (29)  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  (30)  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:  (31)  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.  (32)  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

At that point in history, the unbelieving Jews were enemies to the gospel message, desiring for Christ, and His followers to be killed.  However, for the physical Jews who have been chosen to salvation by the Lord they are beloved of God and will be recipients of the covenant promises based upon the covenants made with their forefathers.

Once God made the covenant with His spiritual Israelites (spiritual descendants of Abraham) He will keep His promises.  He will nto change His mind nor repent.

The salvation of both Jew and Gentile are acts of divine grace.  Neither group deserves salvation.  He will accept all, by His grace, into the blessings of His covenant relationship as citizens of the Israel of God.

What a blessing it is to know that the Lord has made promises to His nation that He will keep throughout eternity.  These promises apply to anyone who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah, Lord and Savior.

Throughout our study we have been emphasizing the absolute necessity of being a citizen of His spiritual nation.  In doing so we have a wonderful eternity in Our Kings presence awaiting us.

Heb 11:13-16  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  (14)  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  (15)  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  (16)  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

To God Be The Glory!

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

A God That Is Not In Control Of All…. Is No God At All!

Isa 46:9-10 (KJV)  Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like me,  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing A Gentile Demoniac Child

The next miracle in our series is Jesus heals a Gentile demoniac child …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30

In this account of the miracle at hand, we find a Gentile (Syrophenician) woman approaching Christ seeking healing for her demon possessed daughter.  The Lord delays the healing by answering her with silence.  When she approaches his disciples they desire to send her away.  But the Lord speaks to His disciples explaining His delay by telling them “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.  The woman comes to Christ a second time asking for His help.

This is what followed…

Jesus tells her “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.”  She answers him by saying “Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.”  The Lord then responds O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” He also tells her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.”  We are then told that the woman returns to her home and finds out that the demon has been removed from her daughter.

There are several points we must take notice of…

1.  Please note first, the Lord NEVER refuses to help this woman.  He simply keeps silent at her first request.  2.  Later, He explains to her that, as a Gentile, apart from His grace, she should not expect nor feel deserving of this great miracle that was about to take place.  3.  Also, when given a request to send her away by His disciples, He does not give His approval.  He begins to speak of His motives behind the delay.

Based on the above points, I believe He knew that He would fulfill her request all along.

If He was going to heal this young woman why did He delay? He was simply teaching His disciples a very important truth, Gentiles would also be the recipients of God’s grace…

1. Please notice when He spoke to His disciples He made the statement, “Let the children FIRST be filled” in other words, the gospel and His ministry would go out to the Jews first, but eventually it would go out to the Gentiles as well.  They should not misinterpret His ministering to the Jews to mean that Gentiles would NEVER benefit from His works.        2. Also, His eventual healing of the woman’s daughter would be another proof that Gentiles were not totally excluded from receiving blessings and healing through His work.

Finally, the events of this miracle teach us that, when the Lord delays answering our      requests, He has a reason to do so.  One of His reasons for delay can be to teach a lesson to those who are watching.  What better opportunity do we have to show true faith in Christ even in the midst of a time of “silence” He is showing towards us and our request?

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Our God Is So Great… Even Demons Tremble In His Presence!

Jas 2:19 (KJV)  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing Many In Gennesaret

The next miracle in our series is Jesus healing many in Gennesaret …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 14:34-36, Mark 6:53-56.

The news of Christ, and the miracles He had performed, had reached the area of Gennesaret prior to Christ’s arrival there.  When He arrived and began to travel in the region the citizens “ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.  And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him”.  Their faith in Christ was so great that we are told  “that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.”

In this series of miracles we can see that the ones who were instrumental in bringing the diseased to Christ were those that “had knowledge of him” (Matt 14:35).  The word for knowledge here is a Greek word that means to have a complete or a full knowledge.  In other words, the ones who brought others to Christ were those who probably had witnessed some of His miracles personally, or had relatives or friends that had witnessed Christ and then had given them a thorough understanding of Christ and His works.

This principle should be applied to our lives today.  The closer our relationship to Christ becomes the more our desire to bring others to Him.  As we come to a greater understanding of Christ through our life experiences and His Word, the more determined and encouraged we should be to bring others to Him through our living witness of the gospel….

As we experience His blessings, we should want others to be blessed by Him as well…

As we rest in His security, we should want others to be secure in Him like us….

As we joy in the forgiveness that we have been given, we should desire for others to rest in His peace knowing their sins have been forgiven also.

This is what being a witness for Christ is all about… wanting to share Christ with others, out of love of Christ as well as out of love for others.

Let’s follow the example of the inhabitants of Gennesaret and begin today resolving that, as the Lord opens the opportunity, we will share Christ and His salvation with someone today.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

An Open Letter To Any Christian Who Does Not Believe God Controls All Things…

Both you and I share in a desire to proclaim His Word in truth.  I am very concerned about your understanding that God is not in control of all things, because this very important doctrine affects every area of Christian life.

For example, what we believe in this area greatly affects our practice of prayer.  I pray with knowledge that my Lord, because He is in control of all things, is able to intervene in any situation and work according to His good pleasure.  No matter how great the difficulty, I know that, if He wills, He can overcome whatever I may be facing.  If you are consistent in your beliefs that your God is not in control,  you cannot pray with this comfort.  I honestly don’t know why you would even pray at all.  You can have no guarantee He is able work on your behalf.  He would be an impotent God who must submit Himself to the workings of Satan, fate and any other possible causes of your life’s problems.  You cannot be assured He can stop, hinder or in any way limit what may take place in your life.

What about during times of temptation?  If your Lord is not in control, His promise to us that There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]  becomes a worthless promise that your God cannot guarantee to keep. Satan may tempt us with a temptation greater than we can bear and your Lord will be helpless to intervene, after all, according to your beliefs, Satan cannot be controlled nor limited by your God.

Or what about facing the trials in life…. If your Lord is not in control of the difficulties you face He CANNOT give you the promise that “All things work together for good”.  And, yet, because I know my Lord does control these things, I know that what He promises to me is true and can be relied upon. He is able, and will, stop any circumstance that may affect my life if it is not for my good.  I can know this with certainty.  He has promised it, and He can keep the promises He makes.  Your God is unable to keep this promise because, if you are consistent with your beliefs, your Lord is unable to limit what takes place in our lives.  You are facing the circumstances alone, my dear friend.  There is no reason for you to believe He can come to your aid because there is much that is totally out of His control.

How about when we have a lost loved one that we so desperately desire to be saved?  It is my responsibility to take them His Word and then pray for them.  I can trust in my God knowing that even if they reject and despise the gospel that I have given to them, my Lord can always intervene, soften their sin hardened heart and bring them to Himself.   This is why I pray for the lost, I know the Lord can intervene and save them, in spite of their hatred of Him and His Word.  In your beliefs, you cannot have this hope.  You must rely on your own ability to persuade, convict and convince the lost, because your God is powerless to save.   Your prayers for the salvation are wasted breath since your God is not in control of salvation itself.

I am trying to be gracious, but I must stand for the truths of my Lord’s Word and try to lovingly explain to you the implications of the error that you are so desperately trying to spread.

I know that my Lord is a Sovereign, Loving , Caring Lord that controls every aspect of my life… the Bible plainly declares this to be so.  He truly works ALL things after the counsel of His own will. He does control even Satan himself.  He is King of King and Lord of Lords. He truly controls the harmful things that take place in the world.   It is because of this control that He gives us hope of limiting, and by grace, removing these things from our lives.

If He is not in control, then He is not God.

I am praying for you  that the Lord might touch your heart and show you this wonderful truth that will revolutionize your walk with Him.  Thank you for your kindness in giving of your valuable time to read this posting.

Rob Barkman

Ps 115:3 But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

  

 

Below you will find a few of MANY verses that clearly declare His control over all things…

Eph 1:9-11 (KJV)  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Job 1:6-12 (KJV)  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Rev 19:11-16 (KJV)  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on [his] vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Walking On The Water

The next miracle in our series is Jesus walking on the water …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:16-21

Immediately after our Lord fed the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, He sends the twelve into a ship to Bethsaida.  His disciples cast off, leaving Him behind to send away the multitudes and to be alone to pray on the mount.   After His time of prayer, the Lord sees His disciples fighting against the winds and and waves of the storm tossed sea.  He departs from the shore, walking upon the water to meet them on the boat.  When His disciples see Him, we are told that … “they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.”  Jesus responds “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid”.   Peter desires to walk on the water also.  Jesus beckons him to come to Him on the water, but Peter due to the fear of the storm and waves, begins to sink.  Jesus rescues him and then explains that Peter’s failure was a lack of faith in Christ.

Probably the portion of this miracle account that is the most condemning to us all is, at the conclusion, it is said that, “ and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Keep in mind, this miracle of Christ walking on the water had taken place a very short time after Christ had performed the miracle of feeding the 5000.  The disciples’ amazement and fear exhibited that they had forgotten His miraculous power on display as He fed the 5000.  Why did they forget all He had done previously?  “their heart was hardened”.

Normally, the Bible reserved the hardening of one’s heart to the lost that have rejected the truths of God’s Word.  But in this case, we find it is possible for Christians to have a heart hardened as well.  For the Christian, a hardened heart is developed when we no longer recognize and appreciate all that He has done for us.  All of the details involved in having a hardened heart I will leave for another posting; for this posting, I would simply like to remind of us of the need to recognize and appreciate the miraculous works He performs on our behalf.

Let’s be sure we look back and remember all the many times He has worked on our behalf and use these events to build up our faith that He will work on our behalf again. This is exactly what David had done before He faced the mighty Goliath. Let us do the same as we face the Goliaths of our lives…

1 Sam 17:32.. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

What Would We Have Done Without His Longsuffering?

2 Pet 3:15 (KJV)  And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

The War That Is Within Us….

Gal 5:16-17 (KJV) – [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Feeding The 5000

The next miracle in our series is feeding 5000 men and their families …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-14

Before the Lord performed this miracle, He had been approached by the twelve who had said, “, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.”    By saying this, the twelve showed they possessed recognition of the needs of the multitude; but, they also displayed a lack of faith in the ability of the Lord to meet these physical needs.

After this, the multitude was divided into groups of fifty men and their families each.  His disciples collected 5 loaves and 2 fishes from a young lad that was in the midst of the multitude. The Lord miraculously multiplied the loaves and fishes and fed the 5000+ in attendance.  At the completion of this miracle we are told that “Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”

In today’s economy many of us are facing financial shortfalls causing material needs.  Perhaps we do not know how we will be paying this month’s bills.  Maybe, we are facing bankruptcy including the loss of your house.  Let’s not be like His disciples who totally discounted the Lord’s ability to supply the material needs of those who are seeking His face.  Remember the Lord, personally, addressed this issue for us while He was on the earth.  He encouraged us to not allow these material shortfalls to be a worrisome burden upon us.  We are to give these burdens to Him realizing He is our loving Father who cares for us and will do what is for our good in EVERY case… Mat 6:25-32  “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”

He then closes this set of instructions by encouraging us to seek His control of our lives and take things one day at a time …”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Let us all strive to follow His teachings during these difficult times in which we live and trust Him.  As the song says…. “Through it all I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve  learned to trust in God”…

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

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

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

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

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Is Jesus “Much Displeased” With Us?… Minister To The Children

Mark 10:13-16 (KJV)  And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and [his] disciples rebuked those that brought [them]But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  And he took them up in his arms, put [his] hands upon them, and blessed them.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Healing A Sick Man

The next miracle in our series is healing a sick man …This miracle is recorded for us in John 5:5-17

In this miracle, we find the Lord approaching the one who was in need of healing.  This is the conversation that takes place between the Lord and the young man (38 yrs old)… “When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.“  Then, we are told that “immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath”

What follows is a condemnation of this young man by the Jews for carrying his bed on the Sabbath.  The young man justifies himself by explaining that his healer told him to carry his bed.  When asked, the young man could not identify the One that had healed him.  Later, Christ approaches this young man in the temple and instructs him to “sin no more”.  The young man, who now knows the identity of his healer, witnesses to the Jews concerning the great work of Christ in his life.  The Jews then persecute Christ and seek to slay Him because He “did work on the Sabbath day”.  Jesus response to them was very simple, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work”.

I would like us to notice four basic truths about our salvation being put on display in this miracle…

  1. First of all, the inability of this young man to approach Christ is a representation of a      lost person’s inability to come to Christ in repentance and belief. As those who are spiritually blind and spiritually dead, no one apart from the Lord’s gracious intervention in our lives can come to Him. (John 14:6, John 5:39-40, John 6:44-47)
  2. Christ saw this young man’s condition and choose to go to Him and offer to Him salvation from his condition.  This pictures for us the truth that Christ “seeks and saves that which was lost”.  We love Him only because He loved us first. (Luke 19:9-10, 1 John 4:10, 19, John 15:16, John 1:13)
  3. Immediately following his healing this young man now lives a new life obeying the Lord.  This pictures for us the fact that as new creatures in Christ we now live in      submission to His will and ways.  (2 Cor 5:17, Eph 4:22-24)
  4. Finally, this healing of the young man was not accredited to anything the young man had done.  It was totally accredited to the Father and Christ, when Jesus said “My      Father worketh hitherto, and I work”. (Phil 2:12-13, Eph 2:4-9)

As we go about our business today, let us always be thankful for our Lord’s gracious intervention in our lives… loving us, coming to us, giving us an understanding of His truths, granting us repentance and faith, and adopting us into His family.  All of this is done by His grace in submission to His Father’s will. (2 Tim 2:25,   John 6:65, Phils 1:29)

When we come to an understanding of our inability and God’s grace in our salvation, we will find a much greater appreciation of all He has done for us and a greater motivation to become “living sacrifices” for His glory!  After all He has done for us… how can we give any less but our all to Him?

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

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Give Jehovah His Due…. Live Holy Lives Before Him!

Ps 29:2 (KJV)  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.