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Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In

1 Cor 13:8

Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

 

 

 

Lesson:


The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Our text for this lesson is found in 1 Corinthians 13:.

1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4) Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

Here is a short outline of the entire chapter…
1)    The Definition and Indicators Of Biblical Love  vs 1-7
2)    Partial Versus Complete Knowledge   vs 8-10
3)    Illustrations of Partiality versus Completeness   vs 11-12
4)    Superiority Of Biblical Love vs 13

 

 

 

For this part of our study, we will be looking at verses 8-13….

 

8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Here, Paul makes it very plain that love is the only gift of the four divine gifts (love, prophecy, tongues, knowledge) that will exist eternally.   In our previous studies, we explained that knowledge prophecy and tongues were related to the divine inspiration and accreditation of Scripture (along with the accreditation of the local church).

 

(Please note it is crucial to understand the meaning of the phrases “shall fail”, “shall cease”, and “shall vanish away”)…

  1. “shall cease”
  2. is the Greek word – “pauo” – it means “to stop”, “to be made complete” and “to end”.
  3. is in the middle voice, meaning the subject of the verb is acting upon itself.  In other words, tongues would “stop by themselves” or “would be ended in and of themselves”
  4. “shall fail” and “shall vanish away”
  5. Both of these phrases are the same Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
  6. Both of these are in the passive voice meaning the subject of the verb receives the action.  In other words, our verse is saying that “the perfect thing” (vs 10) will cause both knowledge and prophecy to “no longer be exercised”, or “to vanish away”

 

9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Out of the four previously mentioned gifts from God… knowledge and prophecy are set apart by being described as “in part”.  What does “in part” mean?  This phrase is referring to the nature of divinely inspired revelation to man.  Keep in mind, as God handed down His word to mankind, he did it over many years and many different men.  He gave it a part at time, not all at once.   (Isa 28:9-13)

 

The gifts of prophecy and knowledge were “in part” which teaches us that… as each prophecy came from God (as each bit of knowledge came to man) they were “one part” of the whole of divine revelation to man.  Until the final revelation from God was received by John on the Isle of Patmos (the book of Revelation), both knowledge and prophecy received by man was only a piece of His Word.  At the end of the message given to John on Patmos, the word was finally completed.  It was only then that mankind had the prophecy and knowledge God had chosen to give to man was made complete.

 

Love exists eternally, knowledge, prophesying and the gift of tongues will definitely come to an end, making love a much more valuable gift from God.

 

 

10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Paul describes what causes prophecy and knowledge to vanish away.  He describes it as “that which is perfect.  To help us understand what Paul is referring to, we need to recognize a few important points in our study…
a)    Remember, in the previous verse of our study we saw that the gifts that were “in part” were the gifts of prophecy and knowledge.
b)    Also, we saw that the ending of these gifts were described by the Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
c)     Thirdly, we learned that based on the Greek passive voice, something must act upon the knowledge and prophecy “to render it useless” or “to cause it to vanish away.”

 

What has acted on the gift of prophecy and knowledge rendering them worthless and causing them to vanish away?

It is the completed revelation from God… Once God had given to man all of His Word, there was no need for prophecy or knowledge gifts any longer… they were now useless, ineffective and worthless because the Lord was not going to add to the Word He had given to men. In other words, divine inspiration ceased and with it, the gifts linked directly to it…. prophecy and knowledge.

a)    Remember, the Lord has made it plain that the Word He has given to us is now complete. We will be receiving no additional inspired truth from Him.  (Rev 22:18, Heb 1:1-2)
b)    We know it is His Word that is “perfect” based on the Greek word for “perfect”… The word for perfect is “telios” – which means “complete”, “finished”, “brought to completion”.  “Telios” refers to the Word of God in James 1:25.  Contextually, based on the subject matter of prophecy and knowledge and the inspiration of the Word, it makes sense that the Word is what is being described as “perfect”…

 

Please note: Not once in Scripture does the word telios refer to sinlessness. Here is every use of the word “telion” in the Bible. Every time it is used it is linked to the completed Word and Spiritual Maturity.  

  1. The Word Of God
    1. James 1:25 – telion speaks of Bible perfect replacing imperfect.
  2. Spiritual Maturity Brought About Through The Word
    1. Eph 4:11-13 – telion speaks of mature man based upon receipt of knowledge resulting in unity
    2. Hebrews 9:11 – telion is speaking of new tabernacle compared to old. Completed NT revelation revealing Christ as completed Messiah prophecy
    3. Hebrews 8:13 – when the NT was complete the OT was thrown down and perfect (Word revealing Christ) has replaced imperfect
    4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebs 5:12-6:5 – Bible brings men to maturity
  3. Marks Of Spiritual Maturity
    1. Love – matt 5:44-48, Luke 6:36
    2. Dedication to lord – matt 19:21
    3. Spiritual discernment – 1 cor 2:6,14, hebs 5:14
    4. Attitudes – 1 cor 14:20
    5. Truth of gospel salvation, perfect not sinless – phil 3:15
    6. Unity w lord – col 1:28
    7. Faithful to lord – col 4:12
    8. Patience – James 1:4
    9. The gifts of the Lord – James 1:17
    10. Faith/works – James 2:22

(Please note that in Matthew 5:44-48 – “telion” does refer to the Lord. However, in the context, it is not speaking of the Lord’s sinlessness, it is speaking of the spiritual maturity that He displays as He shows unconditional love to those who are around Him. No place in Scripture does the word “telios” mean sinlessly perfect.)

 

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that the term “perfect” does not refer to the completed Word of God. Instead, let’s assume that “perfect” in our text refers to the Lord at His second coming or the eternal sinless state. We have already seen that this “perfect thing” that is coming must act on the gifts of prophecy and knowledge rendering them useless.

If this is so then…
a)    We have to say that the Lord is continually revealing His inspired word to man throughout the ages. In other words, His word is not in completed form, but He is continually adding to His revealed Word to man. This revealing of the Word will only stop at His second coming.
b)    If this is so, we should be continually adding to the Scriptures.  Every new revelation God gives to man should be added to the Scriptures.  This principle does away with the warning given throughout God’s Word to not add to the Scriptures (Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6).
c)    And also the fullness and completeness of God’s Word for us to use is done away with.  Therefore, we cannot count on His Word being the complete set of instructions for us to live by. (2 Tim 3:16-17)  In this hypothetical scenario, we may face situations that the Word cannot equip us to face.  What happens if the part of the Word we need now, will not be revealed to man for another 25 years?  Our entire view of the Scriptures must change if this is the case.

However, the Bible clearly tells us otherwise…
a)    The Word of God has been given to us resulting in us being given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3)
b)    We are told that it is through the Word that we can know fully (Ephesians 3:3-5, Romans 16:25-27). These imply we have no need of other revelation than found in His Word.
c)     In Jude 1:3 we read that the truth was “once” delivered unto the saints. The term “once” is translated from a Greek word that means “once and for all”. In other words, the truth of God was revealed to us through His Word, and at its completion, no other revelation would be needed or given. This is exactly the point of our 1 Corinthians 13 passage.
d)    Also in Ephesians 2:20, we find that the teachings of the Christ, the Apostles, and the Prophets make up the foundation of the Lord’s local churches. This clearly implies the Scriptures would be completed during the founding years of the local assemblies. How can His churches be founded upon something which would not be completed for many years to come? It would be impossible. The very illustration of a foundation teaches us that the Word (just like the foundation) must be completed before the local assembly can be established (like the house that will be framed, roofed and then brought to completion FOLLOWING the completion of its foundation).  A foundation is never completed during or after the completion of the house which stands upon it.

The Word of God is clear that it is a completed document that can be relied upon to meet our every need. Again, keeping all of this in mind helps us to understand that the Word is complete and then it follows that the gifts related to the inspiration of His Word are no longer necessary.

 

11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 

Paul now uses the example of the maturing of the process of understanding is used to picture the process of God’s revealed Word being brought to completion.  Just as Paul’s growth allowed him to come to a more mature and full understanding of life, so too, as God’s Word is brought to completion, it brings to us a fuller understanding of our Lord and our responsibilities as servants.

Based on the Word being brought to completion during the age of the Corinthian church. It was time for them to “grow up” and become mature as well. It would only be at that time that they could use the wonderful blessing of His completed Word to help them to correct the many errors in their assembly.

 

12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul now compares our knowledge of God in our sinful flesh with mankind’s knowledge of God with only a portion of His Word given to them.  In both cases, an incomplete view of God is had by man.

  1. Paul describes a time when God cannot be seen clearly
  2. Paul describes our life in our sinful flesh as seeing our Lord “through a glass darkly”.
  3. Paul then compares this to mankind trying to see a full picture of Christ with only a portion of God’s Word given to man. “now I know in part”.
  4. Paul next describes when we can receive a fuller knowledge of Christ
  5. When we go home to be with the Lord in heaven, it is seeing Him “face to face”, this will result in seeing Him much more clearly than while in our sinful flesh.
  6. Paul then compares this to receiving His completed Word which gives us a much more full revelation of the Lord.  “ then shall I know even as also I am known” .

 

In other words, God bringing His Word to completion gives us a much greater knowledge of who He is and what He has done for us. This is being related to man who while in his fallen, fleshly body is greatly limited in knowledge about Him. But when we receive glorified bodies in our eternal state, we will see Him much more clearly.

 

Also, keep in mind, both of these illustrations are illustrations CONCERNING AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWLEDGE INCREASING to a state of completeness. This is another point that cannot be ignored.

 

To say “that which is perfect” is speaking of spiritual maturity, the second coming of Christ, or the eternal state does not jive with these two illustrations when they are taken together. One illustration could be said to be speaking of spiritual maturity (vs 11) and other one could be said to be about His second coming and the future state (vs 12).

 

However, the only principle that is being brought out in both illustrations is the principle of incomplete knowledge and understanding being brought to a finished or completed state. Again pointing us back directly to His Word being brought from a state of being “in part” to a finished state of completion.

 

 

13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

After telling us about the Word and it’s soon completion, Paul now brings us back to the original thought… love is even greater than our three existing gifts of faith, hope and love.

 

Why didn’t Paul mention prophecy or knowledge as abiding (to continue on for extended period of time, to endure to limit)? We have already seen they would end within a short period of time from the writing of 1 Corinthians when Word was brought to completion (about 20 years).  So he didn’t include these on our list.

 

But why didn’t he include the gift of tongues… when did they cease to exist?  Tongues ceased to exist, around the same time as knowledge and prophecy.  Tongues were one of several “sign gifts” that God gave to mankind. The gift of tongues were handed down through the laying on of the Apostles hands. At the death of the last Apostle, the gift of tongues would no longer be able to be passed down and, therefore, died “in and of themselves” (“they shall cease” – vs 8).

 

Keep in mind, the last Apostle living was the Apostle John. John penned the last book of the Bible (Revelation) in approximately 97 AD and died approximately 100 AD. Following his death tongues could no longer be handed down and went out of existence soon afterward, well within the time frame of this study. We will look at the ending of tongues in great detail in a later portion of this study.

 

Putting all of this together, it is easy to see why only faith, hope and charity are said to “abide” (to stay in place for an extended period of time).  The gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues would go out of existence within a few years after Paul’s ministry would be complete.

 

But not so with faith, hope and love.  They would continue on until the second coming of Christ.  When Christ comes back we will have no need of faith nor hope…. As we begin, our eternity with Him, we will begin the process of receiving all His promises to us.  Faith and hope will no longer be needed, we will be experiencing all He has for us.

 

At that point, faith and hope will no longer be in existence, but only love will continue on to eternity.  Thus making “love” the greatest gift of all that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:.

  • Gifts are temporary but love is eternal
  • Gifts are elementary but love is mature
  • Gifts are partial but love is complete

 

 

Based upon our study, we have seen that the gifts involving the Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth (Knowledge) and the Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth (Prophecy) came to an end with the completion of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, in approximately 97 AD. We also saw that the gifts involving the Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth (Tongues) came to an end within one generation following the death of John in 100 AD.

 

In our next lesson, we will see that the end of the Accrediting gifts can be understood by examining the 70 year time frame that the Lord uses to accredit His Word and the places of worship He has established.

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

 

Isa 28:9-13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
(10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
(11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
(12) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
(13) But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

 

Mat 5:44-48 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
(46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
(47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

 

Rom 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
(26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
(27) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.

 

1Co 2:6-14 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
(7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
(8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
(9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
(12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
(13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

1Co 13:8-13 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
(9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
(10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
(11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
(12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Eph 2:19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
(20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 

Eph 3:3-5 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
(4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
(5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

 

Eph 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

 

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

 

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

 

Heb 5:12-6:5 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
(13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
(14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
(3) And this will we do, if God permit.
(4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

 

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

 

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

Rev 22:18-20 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
(19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:32-33

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Justification Of Evil: Proverbs 30:32-33

32) If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth.

33) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now elaborates on a very basic principle to live by: we are to NEVER attempt to justify sinful thoughts or actions.

 

32) If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth.

1.  If we have committed acts that ignored God’s Word by drawing attention and honor to ourselves.

2.  If we have wicked motives and plans within us

3.  We must force our sinful flesh to be silent (not attempting to explain away or justify our unlawfulness)

Please take special note he speaks of what “thou hast DONE” (our actions) and also what “thou hast THOUGHT” (describing our desires and plots for our actions) both of these, when sinful, are inexcusable.  This principle does away with three different wicked attitudes that we see in the world today:

1.  The teaching that we are not to be held accountable for our actions (we are simply a product of our environment and inherited characteristics). An example of this is that abuse by a parent results in future abusive behavior by the abused child, therefore the child cannot be held accountable for the abuse they commit.

2.  The teaching that “the end justifies the means” which says that the performance of evil can be used if it is done with the motive of reaching an acceptable goal. A very popular example of this is the idea of “white lies” (ie. lies that are told with good intentions).  An example would be telling a child that Santa exists so that they might have a more enjoyable holiday season.

3.  The teaching of “situation ethics” that says the morality of our actions can only be judged in the context of the situation in which they are performed.  In other words, in some situations, sin is no longer sin.  An example of this is when we use a lie in an effort to protect ourselves.  We have all heard people say “under the circumstances, I had no choice but to lie”.

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.”   (Romans 3:19)

 

33) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

1.  Truly, when milk is forcibly stirred and pressed the end result will always be butter.

2.  When the nose is powerfully twisted, it will begin to bleed

3.  in this same way when sin is justified and pressed into society, the end result is always discord and bitterness.

With the justification of sin is an act of opposition to the Word, which clearly tells us that any act of sin is wrong and can never be justified.  This rejection of God’s word only works confusion and discord.  It is tantamount to saying that the Word is untrue, the morals of man trump the morals of the Word, and results in the eventual departure from the Word by that society.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.”   (Job 28:28)

SUMMARY:

Folks, this is EXACTLY what we see in our country today.  Because the morals found in God’s Word are questioned, we can now justify obvious sins and are in the process of rejecting the Word as a society.  May the Lord have mercy upon those who reject His Word and those who do not take a stand for its truthfulness.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:29-31

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Examples For Our Walk Of Life From Creation: Proverbs 30:29-31

29) There be three [things] which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
30) A lion [which is] strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
31) A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom [there is] no rising up.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some wise examples to mimic from God’s creation…

29) There be three [things] which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
1.  There are three things that walk carefully, purposefully, and courageously
2.  There are four things that are beautiful to others as they travel

Agur shares with us different examples from God’s creation that move in a careful and beautiful way.  These will be teaching us how to pattern our walk of life in order to be favorable to God and accepted by men.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”  (Zechariah 2:8)

 

30) A lion [which is] strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
1.  A lion which excels over all with their physical power
2.  He will not run in fear from any, but continues on the path that he has chosen with no thought of departure.

How should we be like the lion in our daily walk of Christ:
1.  Once we have chosen to dedicate our life to Christ (at salvation) we should continue on that path, no matter what obstacles may lie ahead.
2.  We should walk with confidence knowing our Lord is with us, enabling us, and protecting us.  We are to know that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep [forth].  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.”   (Psalms 104:20-21)

 

31) A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom [there is] no rising up.
1. A swift one (A racing dog, or a cheetah, or perhaps an eagle)
2. A butting one (a male goat or ram)
3. A king that has his subjects willfully following His lead.

Our walk for Christ should involve:
1.  Being swift to do His bidding.  The fields are white unto harvest, we are to be about His business quickly
2.  One who takes a steady stand against the enemies of Christ.  Willing to enter into spiritual battle and firmly oppose the wicked one.
3.  Possessing a Godly testimony that is so Christ-like and appealing to others they willfully follow our example as we follow Christ.

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”   (Job 9:10)

SUMMARY:

Oh for us to be more like the lion, greyhound, ram and king.  By doing these things we will become better servants of our Lord Jesus Christ!

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:24-28

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Principles Of Wisdom In Creation: Proverbs 30:24-28

24) There be four [things which are] little upon the earth, but they [are] exceeding wise:
25) The ants [are] a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
26) The conies [are but] a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some wise principles that can be learned through God’s creation…

 

24) There be four [things which are] little upon the earth, but they [are] exceeding wise:
1.  Agur teaches us that his list of four types of wise creatures are typically looked upon as being insignificant
2.  yet they possess an overflowing wisdom that they exhibit in their actions.

Agur is helping us to understand a very important principle. In the eyes of the world, it is normally thought that the wisest among us are the ones with the greatest education, wealth, or position of authority.  However, the possession and exhibition of wisdom is not limited to the great.  Many times those who are insignificant in the eyes of man are the ones who possess the greatest amount of wisdom.

 

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?  In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”   (Job 12:7-10)

 

 

25) The ants [are] a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
Example #1: The ant
1.  The ants are a division of insect that are not physically strong in comparison to other creatures.
2.  However, because they are wise, they make sure they store up food in times of plenty.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome PHYSICAL WEAKNESSES.  Although the ants are weak and cannot survive winter if they had to find daily food, wisdom allows them to lay up for their winter needs.  In doing so, they can overcome their weakness to the cold by never leaving their burrows in search of food during the winter season.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to LOOK AHEAD, PREDICT OUR FUTURE NEEDS AND THEN GRADUALLY WORK TO MEET THOSE COMING NEEDS.

 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.”  (Proverbs 6:6-8)

 

 

26) The conies [are but] a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
Example #2: The rabbit (or an animal similar to a rabbit?) (the Hebrew word is unclear on its identity – for our study we will use a rabbit)
1.  The rabbit is a weaker type of animal with little natural defenses.
2.  The rabbit exhibits wisdom by living in very strong, defensible homes.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome OUR NATURAL DEFICIENCIES.  Although rabbits have weak defenses, they can strengthen their weak defenses by choosing to live in burrows made among rocks.  This makes digging up their burrows much more difficult for their predators.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to HONESTLY EVALUATE OUR SHORTCOMINGS AND DEVELOP WAYS TO FORTIFY THEM.

The high hills [are] a refuge for the wild goats; [and] the rocks for the conies.(Psalms 104:18)

 

 

 

27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
Example #3 – The locust
1.  The locusts do not follow the leadership of a king (unlike bees who follow the queen etc.)
2.  The locusts have the ability to labor together as a unified group.

 

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome OUR LACK OF DIRECTION.  Although locusts have no leader that directs their movements, by wisdom they know the proper role they are to play in a group setting.  By each doing their own part, they can successfully feed themselves and aid, not hinder the efforts of others.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to HONESTLY EVALUATE OUR GIFTS AND ABILITIES.  In doing so, we can better UNDERSTAND OUR ROLE WE ARE EXPECTED TO FULFILL IN OUR SERVICE TO HIM.

 

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.  Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.  For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth [are] the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.  He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast [it] away; the branches thereof are made white.”   (Joel 1:4-7)

 

 

28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.
Example #4 – The spider
1.  The spider grabs and carefully manipulates her web with her hands instead of spreading it at random
2.  The spider inhabits not only nature and the house of poor men, but in places of authority and honor as well.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome THE WEAKNESSES OF OUR FALLEN NATURES. The spider’s web is one of the most fragile, weak and exposed tools that are used by any of God’s creation.  But, in spite of their weaknesses, the spider’s web is an absolute necessity for the spider’s welfare.  By wisdom, the spider spins the vulnerable web very carefully spinning it in the most effective, strong and beautiful way as possible.  This allows the spider’s web to accomplish the task set before it and, due to its incredible beauty, allows it to be an acceptable addition to the most luxurious of homes.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to RECOGNIZE THE RESULTS OF OUR FALLEN NATURE UPON OUR TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST.  By doing this, we can see our need to TAKE GREAT CARE AND DILIGENCE AS WE SEEK TO WEAVE A STRONG, EFFECTIVE AND BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY FOR HIM.

So [are] the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:  Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust [shall be] a spider’s web.  He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.”  (Job 8:13-15)

 

SUMMARY:

We have seen in our study for today that the simple things of nature (ant, rabbit, locust and spider) can teach us much about the importance and nature of Godly wisdom.  By His grace, let us all strive to be like these “weak ones” as we live our lives to display His wisdom to a lost and dying world.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:21-23

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Great Horrors Upon Humanity: Proverbs 30:21-23

21) For three [things] the earth is disquieted, and for four [which] it cannot bear:
22) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
23) For an odious [woman] when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some things that are great, fearful, burdens upon humanity …

21) For three [things] the earth is disquieted, and for four [which] it cannot bear:
1.  There are three things that cause mankind to violently shake in fear
2.  There are four things that cannot be borne by mankind.

In the following listing, we find things that are heavy burdens that bring fear of great harm upon mankind…

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”   (Zechariah 12:2-3)

 

22) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
1. A bondservant given authority to rule over all
2. A person who does not apply the Word to his life and is filled with goods that please his fleshly desires.

Agur understood that:
1.  Rulers who are not prepared to rule
2.  Those who are content rejecting the Word and living to fulfill their fleshly desires…

Both are great dangers to humanity.  In both cases, they work great acts of evil by leading men astray and abusing others for personal satisfaction.

And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them.  And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”   (Isaiah 3:4-5)

For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  For [there are] no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm.  They [are] not in trouble [as other] men; neither are they plagued like [other] men.  Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment.  Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.  They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily.  They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.  Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full [cup] are wrung out to them.”   (Psalms 73:3-10)

23) For an odious [woman] when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
1.  A hateful, argumentative woman when she enters the marital covenant
2.  A  female bondservant who is given the position of her mistress through inheritance or marriage to the husband of her mistress.

Both of these are harmful to society by causing a breakdown in the family unit:
1.  The argumentative married person stirs up, and sustains, turmoil and unrest in the family.  Instead of peace, love and happiness ruling in the family, they only produce discord, animosity and grief to control the day.
2.  The bondservant who replaces those who rule over them will possess pride in their hearts and will cause jealousy, hatred and bitterness among others in the family.

(In many cases, the bondservant was motivated by selfishness and greed. They obtained the inheritance through deception, cunning, and the abuse of those originally meant to receive the inheritance.)

All of this is working to bring great division and antagonism between the family members.

[It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”  (Proverbs 21:19)

He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become [his] son at the length.”   (Proverbs 29:21)

SUMMARY:

When men are abused and mistreated by foolish rulers, they lose the respect and trust of those under their authority.  Instead of working for the good of their subjects leading to peace and satisfaction among the masses, their selfish actions produce only hostility and skepticism.

The family unit is perhaps the most important tool that can be used to glorify the Lord throughout the ongoing generations of humanity.  When the family unit is hindered, the coming generation is robbed of the opportunity to receive the Word of the Lord through the teachings and examples of their parents.  Instead of the family being a refuge of peace and comfort it is made into a place of turmoil and upheaval.

These things are a great danger to society and should be feared and abhorred by all mankind.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:18-20

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Secretive Nature Of Sinful Acts: Proverbs 30:18-20

18) There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
20) Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

 

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us several pictures of things that are conspicuous in God’s creation …

18) There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
Agur begins this section by listing for us several acts of nature that cause wonder on the part of man…
1.  There are three things that are mysterious and undetectable in God’s creation
2.  Four things that leave no evidence for man to examine

Agur will now share with us things of God’s creation that cause man to wander and be amazed.  Why are these such wondrous acts?  It is because they leave behind no evidence for man to examine, they produce no proof of their existence.

Please note:  Normally, the term “wonderful” is used to describe things that are so great that they produce and attitude of awe and amazement.  However, in this verse, “wonderful” is used to describe “that which cannot be known” as in Job 42:3…

Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”   (Job 42:3)

 

19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
1.  The eagle as it soars above the earth
2.  The reptile as it warms itself on the warm rocks
3.  The ship that floats in the middle of the ocean
4.  The man that has intimate relations with a woman

All of these things have one thing in common, secrecy….

1.  The eagle – an eagle leaves no lasting trail in the sky as it soars
2.  The reptile – a reptile leaves no lasting impression on the rocks after it departs
3.  The ship – a ship leaves no lasting trail as the water closes in burying its wake
4.  The man and maid – Their intimacy is performed in secret leaving no lasting public evidence of the encounter.

Please keep in mind, although we cannot prove these things take place due to lack of evidence, the Lord does not need evidence to have knowledge of these things, nor does He forget they have taken place.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.  [So is] this great and wide sea, wherein [are] things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.  There go the ships: [there is] that leviathan, [whom] thou hast made to play therein.  These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give [them] their meat in due season.  [That] thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.  Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”  (Psalms 104:24-30)

The theme of secrecy is then carried through using a sinful example of secrecy…

 

20) Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
1.  This same principle applies to the road taken by the sinful who serve their fleshly lusts…
2.  They consume acts of sin to fulfill the hunger of their flesh
3.  They then attempt to wipe away any evidence of their wrongdoing
4.  They verbally deny any wrongdoing in the hopes it will never be detected.

Just like the eagle, lizard, ship and man, the sinful individual, many times, leaves no perceptible trail of wickedness.  Often they receive no earthly punishment for breaking the laws of God.

However, just like the above four examples from nature, although the wicked may hide their sins from man and  never face human judgment, the Lord knows these sins have taken place and will render His judgment in the last days.

For his eyes [are] upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.  [There is] no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.  For he will not lay upon man more [than right]; that he should enter into judgment with God.”   (Job 34:21-23)

 

SUMMARY:

Many times our human perspective and understanding will fail us and the deceptive nature of the sinful will seem to prevail.  However, the Lord’s perception will always overcome the deceit of lost mankind.  Sinful mankind will never escape the sight nor justice of the Almighty.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:15-17

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: “It Is Not Enough”: Proverbs 30:15-17

15) The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:
16) The grave; and the barren womb; the earth [that] is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough.
17) The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

 

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us several pictures of dissatisfaction and unfulfilled lusts…

15) The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:
1.  The leech which is constantly crying for more blood
2.  has two others that follow its example and shares in its unsatisfied desires…
3.  there are three things that are never filled and content
4.  there are four things that do not utter “I need no more”

In this opening verse of our text, Agur sets the stage for what is about to come.  All of this section will be addressing those who possess selfish desires which are never satiated….

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”  (2 Peter 2:12-17)

 

16) The grave; and the barren womb; the earth [that] is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough.
Four other examples from nature of things which cannot be satisfied are:
1.  The grave – which will always be willing and able to receive more bodies of those who have died.
2.  The barren womb – which is constantly seeking to bear a child, yet will never give birth.
3.  The dry earth – which will always need rain to keep it moist and fruitful.
4.  The fire – needs a constant flow of fuel to extend its life.

These all help us to understand the condition of the sinful heart which is filled with lusts which can never bring true satisfaction and contentment.

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”  (Proverbs 27:20)

 

17) The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
Agur now uses two final examples (ravens and eagles) to complete his theme….
1.  The person who perceives his father as one to be ridiculed and slighted
2.  The person who shows no respect to submission to the loving authority of their mother
3.  The ravens that live in the lush valley shall peck out the eye
4.  The eagles that have youthful strength and ability shall consume it.

Here we are told that the Lord’s judgments upon the haughty and prideful (ravens and eagles) will not be satisfied.  On the contrary, the Lord will continue to bring discipline upon those who are full of disobedience as long as disobedience exists in the world.  He will never grow weary nor lax in His judgment against of sin. His justice will never be satisfied as long as sin is unpunished.

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  (Galatians 3:10)

 

SUMMARY:

Due to the sinful lusts that dwell within all mankind, we find ourselves constantly desiring that which will never satisfy nor bring lasting contentment.  These same desires, when acted upon, bring forth a certainty of judgment from the Lord, for all sin must be judged.  Just as the sinful desires of man are never satisfied, so to the judgment of God upon those sins.  The major question for each of us is this….

Must we stand and face the judgment of God for our sins or has the punishment for our sins been paid thought the death of Christ on the cross?

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”   (Ephesians 5:1-2)

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:11-14

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: There Is A Generation…: Proverbs 30:11-14

11) [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12) [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.
13) [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14) [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now explains some of the distinguishing marks of a generation that is given over to sin…

11) [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
1.  There is an age that disrespects by mocking their father
2.  There is an age that does not submit to, nor wish well to come to, their mother.

There is an age that disrespects those who exercise loving authority over them.

 

12) [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.
1.  There is an age that perceives themselves to be clean and without blemish
2.  and yet they are not cleansed from their own waste

There is an age that does not perceive their sinful condition and their alienation from the Lord

  

13) [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
1. There is an age that possesses eyes that look over others
2. There is an age that show their pride in their looks of disgust and disregard for others.

There is an age that are prideful of heart and mind to the point of contempt of all others

  

14) [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.
1.  There is an age that have sharp teeth like swords of war
2.  There is an age that have incisors like sharp eating utensils
3.  that are used to “chew and swallow up” (like eating a meal)
4.  those who are afflicted, pained and tormented
5.  and those who lack necessities of life

There is an age that will abuse the defenseless, poor and suffering for their own personal gain.

SUMMARY:

Some outstanding marks of a generation that ignore the principles of God’s Words and live lives according to their sinful lusts….

1.  There is an age that disrespects those who exercise loving authority over them.
2.  There is an age that does not perceive their sinful condition and their alienation from the Lord
3.  There is an age that are prideful of heart and mind to the point of contempt of all others
4.  There is an age that will abuse the defenseless, poor and suffering for their own personal gain.

Please keep in mind, these attitudes existed throughout human history.  However it does appear as if these type of attitudes are increasing gradually over time.  These types of prideful, selfish, carnal attitudes are said to take place before the second coming of Christ….

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”   (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

 As we look around us at the world in which we live, may we humbly bow before our Lord and ask Him to intervene and grant salvation and wisdom to the sinful generation in which we are living.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.  So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”   (Hebrews 3:7-12)

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:7-10

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Desires Of Agur: Proverbs 30:7-10

7) Two [things] have I required of thee; deny me [them] not before I die:
8) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9) Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].
10) Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now explains the desires of his heart in an effort to set an example for each one of us…

7) Two [things] have I required of thee; deny me [them] not before I die:
1.  Agur brought before the Lord two requests that could only be fulfilled by the Lord
2.  He then asked the Lord to bestow both of these requests upon him prior to his death.

a.  We can see in this text that Agur understood his great need of the Lord in his life.  Agur recognized that only the Lord could give him what he was requesting, he was unable to supply these things for himself.
b.  Secondly, we can see that he was a patient man who understood the Lord blesses in His timing not ours.  Agur was willing to wait his entire lifetime for the Lord to answer his request.  His only desire was to see the Lord’s blessings come upon him before his passing.

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:27-28)

8) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
The two requests of Agur:
1. drive away from me worthlessness and deceitfulness
2. bestow upon me the proper supplies that will be properly measured to fill my needs (I am not asking to be kept in a condition of want nor am I asking for overflowing wealth )

Agur desired of the Lord both spiritual and physical supplies:

1.  Spiritually, he was asking the Lord to make his life count in his service and allow him to live honestly life.
“Vanity” means worthlessness, waste, or nothingness.  He is saying that he wanted to be kept from wasting his life by chasing after worthless, spiritually valueless pursuits, or creating a worthless testimony through deceitful living.

2.  Physically, he was asking the Lord to meet his material needs (to avoid excessive need or excessive wealth).  Why didn’t Agur desire great wealth?
He knew that great wealth opens up great avenues of temptation, which when submitted to, can lead to a wasted life of carnal living.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”   (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

 

9) Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].
Why didn’t Agur desire great wealth or desire poverty?  He knew that evils would come from either…
1.  If he has an abundance of wealth, he will be perfectly satisfied and deny the role of the Lord in his life.  He will think himself to be self-sufficient with no need of Him.
2.  If he lives in a constant state of need and lack, he will be tempted to take the belongings of others and curse the Lord for not meeting his needs.

We can see, in all of this, that Agur’s true desire was to please the Lord with his life.  He knew a big part of his success would be based on the avoidance of temptations that can lead to sin and a ruined testimony.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”   (Matthew 6:13)

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.”  (Matthew 26:41)

10) Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
As Agur begins to teach, he reminds us of the ill effects of being over-critical of others…
1.  do not slander a bond servant
2.  he may wish evil to come upon you and bring disrespect upon you through his speech and actions
3.  this will cause others to find fault with you as well.
How can we apply to the previous verses in this text?  This is another desire of his heart.  As he taught the Word, he desired for his students to look at their own lives and their need of the truths of God.

Agur knew how easy it is for us to hear God’s Word and then apply the principles, in fleshly way, to find fault in lives of others.  This can make us feel better about our own shortcomings.  But as Agur taught, he desired for his students to hear his words and seek to apply them to their own lives.  He did not want the teachings of the Lord to be used to make carnal, critical, false judgments based upon our own fleshly motivations.  This should always be one of our concerns as we hear the teachings of the Word.

SUMMARY:

May the Lord bless us with the same set of Godly desires as shown to us in the life of Agur.

May we all desire for:
1.  our life to be God honoring
2.  our needs be met
3.  we avoid temptations that can ruin us
4.  His teachings to be used to change our hearts and lives and bring us closer to Him.

 

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:5-6

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Word Is Impeccable: Proverbs 30:5-6

5) Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

As Agur begins to share God’s Word with us, he reminds us of the exclusivity of the Word… it is perfect, all-encompassing and is exclusively backed by Divine authority.  No other teaching whether in written or verbal form can begin to compare to it.  This is why we should listen to his message very carefully…

 EXPOSITION:

5) Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Agur now shares two motivations for us to follow the Word of God that he is revealing to us.
1.  The speech of God is perfectly refined (with no error)
2.  God is a protector of those who put their confidence in him

We are to follow his teachings (and all the Word of God) because:
a.  it is a perfect message that proceeds from the One that deserves all of our worship.  Why do we owe Him our undivided devotion?  Because we owe our physical and spiritual life to Him (He is our Creator and Redeemer).
In other words, we are to follow His Word because WE OWE IT TO HIM.

b.  God is the One that meets our every need as we look to Him in faith.  One of the greatest tools He uses to supply our needs is through the teachings found in His Word.
In other words, we are to follow His Word because IT IS OF GREAT SPIRITUAL BENEFIT TO US.

6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Agur continues to explain the sanctity of the Word.  When this sanctity is violated there are two devastating results.
1.  Do not expand to His Word or attempt to improve it in any way
2.  He will convict, chasten and correct us
3.  We will be revealed as a deceiver

Folks, we should take great heed to this warning from Agur.  There are many dangers that await those who attempt to in any way change or augment the Word of God.  This principle is declared throughout both the Old and New Testament portions of the Word…

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.   (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Moses warned the children of Israel of the need to be certain to not change the Word in any way.  This includes adding to it or diminishing it (taking away from it or changing it).

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.   (Revelation 22:18-19)

As John penned the final book of the Bible, he brought the revelation of God to an end and gives the fateful warning to not add, nor take away from Divine revelation in its entirety.

We should never think that Agur, Moses or John’s warnings only apply to their own individual writings.  This warning is found throughout the Scriptures helping us to understand that the entire, inspired Word is included in this grave warning.

Think of it this way, if we limit this warning to the writings of the individuals who are giving the warning, we are by implication, saying that the others parts of the Bible can be added to, taken away, or changed.  These warnings are not found in every book of the Bible, therefore do we have the right to change those books?  Absolutely not.

And yet there are those who claim that the Word can be added to today. Their reasoning is that the warnings we have looked at only apply to the books of Deuteronomy, Revelation and the Proverb that Agur wrote.  Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for them to add their own “revelation” to the mix.  How sad.

Please do not fall for their message of deceit.  When they say “God has given me a new message” or “God has revealed to me a new truth”, just rack it up to Satan, turn from the messenger of error, and turn back to the Word for Godly instruction.

Why is this warning given, and why is it such a “big deal” if we purposely change His Word?

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

In this text, we are to look to the Word is the God-given tool that would perfectly, thoroughly gives us all we need to serve the Lord in a way pleasing to Him.  From this text we can learn several different truths:

a.  The Word is a completed revelation.
If there were still portions to be revealed to man it could never result in men being described as “perfect (complete)” and “throughly (fully equipped or finished being equipped)”.  If we were waiting for the final pieces of revelation to come to us, it would be as if we are waiting for the last pieces of equipment to be supplied to us as we prepare for spiritual warfare.

(The Word was completed around 100 AD with the writing of the last Biblical book, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ which was given to the Apostle John.  From that point forward we have had the complete revelation of God given to man.  As such, we now have the ability to be throughly furnished for spiritual warfare.

b.  Since the Word is our source of “equipment” for spiritual battle we dare not add to it, take from it, or change it in any way.
If we do, we are making the equipment God has given to us less effective for our spiritual warfare.  After all, there is NO WAY we can be improving what God has given to us, therefore our “changes” must deteriorate its effectiveness.

c.  Finally, by changing His inspired Word we are, by our actions, stating that we know better than the Lord.
If we add to it, we are saying that He didn’t give us all that we need.
If we take away from it, we are saying he gave us what we did not need.
If we change it, we are calling Him a liar and we need to correct Him.

In all three of these changes, we are calling Him imperfect, sinful and beneath us.

SUMMARY:

In these verses, Agur helps us to understand the importance of his teachings (as the very Word of God) and the importance to not change God’s Word in any way. God’s Word is the perfect Word of the Lord given to equip us for spiritual warfare.

If we present untruth under the guise of the Truth, we are hindering His service and blaspheming His person and Word.   Therefore, we all must labor to come to a proper understanding of the Word and then clearly present it to others.  In doing so, we are equipping ourselves and others to be fully equipped to do the work of the Lord.

This is what Agur was doing for his students and for each one of us.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:1-4

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Agur’s Identity and Humility: Proverbs 30:1-4

1) The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, [even] the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
2) Surely I [am] more brutish than [any] man, and have not the understanding of a man.
3) I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
4) Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

However, many sound scholars believe that “Agur” is simply another title for King Solomon….
“Agur the son of Jakeh” is translated from the Hebrew phrase “the one of the harvest who is the son of the obedient one”.

Both parts of this title could easily apply to Solomon:
1.  Solomon was “the one of the harvest” , he is the one that had gathered (or harvested) all of this wisdom throughout his lifetime and then compiled it into this book.
2.  He was clearly the son of “the obedient one”, David, who was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14).

My own personal thoughts are that “Agur” is probably not a title for Solomon.  As we read down through this chapter, we will see the sentence structure seems to be somewhat different…
1.  Solomon was making constant comparisons of opposites by using the form a:b (a compared to its opposite b).  please refer to 29:2-4 for one of MANY examples of this.  This form is not found once in this chapter.
2.  Also, many of the verses in this chapter are much longer in length than the previous chapters we have studied. They do not appear like the writings of Solomon.
3.  Some of the descriptions of himself do not seem to match Solomon.  For example his limited education (vs 1-3) and his mid class lifestyle (vs 7-9) cannot apply to Solomon, one of the most highly educated and rich men who ever lived.

I am the first to admit I have a limited knowledge of the Biblical Hebrew language, so I certainly cannot speak with any certainty on this subject.  But I did want to mention my thoughts on the subject.

 

 EXPOSITION:

In this section of his writings, the author describes himself and gives us a glimpse of his humble spirit…

1) The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, [even] the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
Agur recognized the great importance of his calling….
1.  The advice and counsel of Agur was received as a “burden” (a heavy responsibility).
2.  Agur spoke as an oracle (one who speaks as a representative of God) to Ithiel and Ucal

Agur was a man that was given the responsibility to represent God by teaching wisdom that originates from God.  He took this responsibility very seriously and therefore it “weighed heavy” upon him.  It is with this recognition of the great importance of the teachings of God that he presented his message to his students.

 

2) Surely I [am] more brutish than [any] man, and have not the understanding of a man.  3) I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
Agur understood that, apart from the Lord, he was unable to fulfill the great responsibility given to him….
1.  Truly Agur believed he was ignorant and foolish (like a beast) in comparison to other highly educated men.
2.  He recognized himself as not possessing the human discernment that others exhibited in their lives.
3.  He recognized that he did not attend schools that taught the philosophies and psychologies of men
4.  Nor did he have the same level of knowledge of religious things like other men.

Here, we see that Agur quickly acknowledges his shortcomings in the eyes of other men.  He was not highly educated in religion, philosophy, or psychology of men.   When others looked at him, there was no compelling reason for them to listen to his message.

He recognizes his shortcomings in the eyes of the world.  Yet he knows he must fulfill his calling and reveal the words of God to men.  It would be a matter of faith on his part, knowing that the Lord must enable him to speak the truth and open the hearts of those to whom he would speak.

4) Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
His explanation why others should listen to his message…
1.  Show me the person who has risen to heaven (reached a level equal with God)
2.  Show me the person who has come down from heaven (is God, Himself, come down to man)
3.  Show me the person who has restrained and possessed the winds with his hands (possesses the authority of God)
4.  Show me the person who has captured the fountains in their clothing (possesses the strength of God)
5.  Show me the person who has founded the entire earth (has accomplished works equal to that of God)
6.  Who can show me, specifically, any highly humanly educated fallen man and his son who rise to the level of the Lord in any area of existence?

This is a rhetorical question when the answer is limited to fallen mankind.  NO SINFUL HUMAN can begin to claim equality with God in any area of their life.

However there is one human, the God/Man, Jesus, who can rightfully claim to be equal to God. Therefore, the only father and son who are equal to God are God the Father and Jesus, His son. This is the only possible correct answer to the question posed by Agur.

Agur’s basic argument is this….  Although other men may be more educated with a human education, really what good is it?  Of all these humanly educated men, none can begin to compare to the Lord.  Therefore, if Agur presents the teachings of the Lord (and not his own thoughts and wisdom) men should pay him much more attention than those who are highly educated in the wisdom of sinful fallen men.’

Please take notice… Agur is not finding fault with human education that would equip a person to supply the needs of his family etc.  He is specifically explaining that education in the fields of religion, philosophy and psychology, when based wholly upon the teachings of fallen man, are of no real value.  God alone has insight into the truth for these three areas, this is why the teachings of Agur (and the entire Word of God) are so valuable for each of us. It is through the Word of God that we all can come to an understanding of spiritual, philosophical, and psychological truths from the mind of God.

SUMMARY:

In these opening verses, Agur displays a genuine, humble attitude of one who recognizes his limitations and the need of Godly intervention for him to be faithful to his calling.  But he also understood the grave importance of his ministry.  God’s Word is the only source of truth in this fallen world.

May the Lord impress on all of our hearts, and especially the hearts of those who minister His Word, to recognize their shortcomings and need of His daily gracious intervention in their lives.  In doing so, this will give tremendous motivation to be sure to ONLY speak the truths of God while putting away our own personal thoughts, and the teachings of sinful, fallen mankind.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “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