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Thank you all for your prayers

  • It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Rob, the love of my life. But, I also know and take great joy in that he is with our Lord, Jesus Christ and God our Heavenly Father. I cannot put into words how difficult the last several months have been. First, my mom passed in November and then Rob this past month, both from cancer. At least, neither one was in pain, thank you Lord. It is such a blessing to me to have Rob’s legacy, “Settled In Heaven.” I hope that it is a blessing to you, too, and for anyone who reads it in the future. You will still be able to read and study “Settled In Heaven” in all of the same places…SettledInHeaven.org, on WordPress, on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The YouTube is especially dear to me. Thank you for all of your prayers.
  • Psalm 119:89 Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

A Walk Through The Bible – Genesis 10 – Our Testimony

SIHsTOTT ICON AWTTBDevotional Thoughts From Every Chapter of the Bible

Genesis Chapter 10:

 

 

Gen 10:1-32

(1)  Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

(2)  The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

(3)  And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

(4)  And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

(5)  By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

(6)  And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

(7)  And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

(8)  And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

(9)  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

(10)  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

(11)  Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

(12)  And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

(13)  And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

(14)  And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

(15)  And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

(16)  And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

(17)  And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

(18)  And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

(19)  And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

(20)  These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

(21)  Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

(22)  The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

(23)  And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

(24)  And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

(25)  And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

(26)  And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

(27)  And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,

(28)  And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,

(29)  And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.

(30)  And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.

(31)  These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.

(32)  These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

 

 

 

 

Thought For This Chapter…

 

Buried within this genealogical listing of the descendants of Noah, we find an interesting description about Nimrod… “… Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.  He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.”(Vs 8-9).  From this small, yet important testimony we can learn two things…

 

  1. First of all the importance of our testimony comes into clear view.

 

Why was Nimrod’s testimony included in this genealogy?  It was because Moses was moved by the Lord to include a description it. This speaks volumes about the importance of Nimrod’s testimony and, by implication, our public testimonies as well.

 

 

  1. Secondly, the importance of what we do in our public life.

 

Whether we realize it or not, people are watching our actions and are influenced by them.  In Nimrod’s case, because he was a “mighty hunter” he gained much respect and honor from those around him.  Apparently this led to a great following of men which resulted in the beginnings of the kingdom of Babel (vs 10).

 

Not only did was Nimrod famous due to his great abilities, but he also influenced the lives of many people leading them into sin and rebellion against God which is always associated with Babel.

 

  1. Thirdly, the Lord knows our ways.

Moses emphasizes that all this was done “before the Lord”.  In other words, God was present during the rise of Nimrod and establishment of Babel and, by implication, would hold him accountable for what he was doing with his talents and authority that had been given to him.

 

Folks, what will be our testimony after we die?  One of the greatest ways to think about this is to ask “What would my acquaintances put on my tombstone if they were given the choice?”.  By God’s grace, our epitaph would speak of our loving service to Christ and others!

“Past Sorrows, Future Hope”

(A letter to all the followers of Settled In Heaven Ministries)

1Pe 1:3-6 KJV – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

 

This past year has been a difficult one for me.  Beginning in July, the Lord allowed some medical problems to show up in my life that was the direct result of my birth defects that have remained, for the most part, dormant for 50+ years.  Over the past 6 months I have been under 2 doctors’ care for these medical issues and have yet to find a resolution for them.  I am confident that, in the Lord’s time, these things will come to an end and all will be well.  Until then, I recognize the great blessing these medical issues have become in my life.  They have drawn me closer to the Lord and have allowed me to experience the Lord’s great comfort and love in a very special way.  I am blessed indeed.

But, in September, a far greater trial came upon my wife and myself when my mother in law (87 years old) was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away in mid-November.   She had been living in our home for the past 14 years and was a constant source of blessings for us.  We were blessed in being able to care for her in her last days in our home with the help of hospice.  She is greatly missed by us both.  Our lives have been permanently changed in her absence, but the Lord’s grace sustains us.   We are thankful that her life testified of the wondrous saving grace that the Lord has shown to her.  She is in a far better place and her suffering has come to an end.  May we all praise Him for His grace!

I would appreciate your prayers about both of these issues.  Please ask for the Lord’s grace to be shown and that I will remain faithful to Him.  Thank you so much.

 

I do realize that many of you have faced much greater trials in the past year(s).  The loss of a spouse, much more difficult medical issues etc .  May the Lord bless you and keep you in a very special way this year and in the years to come.   May His grace be sufficient for you and meet all your needs.

Also, let me quickly say, I am so thankful for my wife, Eva, seeing how the Lord has worked in her heart to comfort her and strengthen her through both of these issues that we have faced.  In spite of all she has been through, she remains faithful to the Lord and a constant help for me.  I do not know what I would do without her.  May the Lord continue to bless her as she seeks to please Him and care for me.

 

To those who follow my blog on the ChristianBlessings website and the Christian Gazette…

Lord willing, temporarily, I will be suspending my posts on these sites.  As soon as my health improves, I have every intention of beginning my postings once again.  (My thanks to both Evelyn and Patricia for their understanding about this leave of absence).  I will also be putting my video postings on my youtube site on hold as well.

However, I have every intention, as the Lord permits, to continue with my postings on my main Settled In Heaven site…. www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com  For the time being,  please continue to follow my postings there.

 

 

As I look to 2017, I have much to be hopeful for.  Physical healing, continuing growth in grace and strength, the starting of a new series on SIH, and an anticipation of our Lord’s soon return all keep me hopeful and encouraged in Him.

Just think, it is possible that our Lord could come back anytime and take us home to be with Him and, once again, see our loved ones who have passed on before us!  What a day that will be!

No matter what issues we have all faced in this past year(s), may we all keep our eyes on our coming Lord and realize that these trials are only temporal and soon, we will be home with our Lord enjoying eternal fellowship with Him…

 

2Co 4:17-18 KJV – 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.

Have A Blessed Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingPosting

 

Don’t Waste The Blessing Of Youth!

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 11:9-10 – (9)  Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.  (10)  Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/ecclesiastes-chapter-11-verses-9-10

Appreciate The Days Of Gladness

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 11:7-8 –  Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/ecclesiastes-chapter-11-verses-7-8

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 11 Verses 7-8

SIH TOTT ICON What Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 37 )

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 11:7-8 – Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all;

Solomon reminds us to enjoy the “good days” of sunshine, health and blessings that the Lord gives to us. They were given for our benefit and pleasure.  One of the greatest physical blessings from the Lord is to grant us a long life filled with many of these “bright” days.

 

yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many.

Not only are we to enjoy these bright days of life, but then we are to remember the trials we have faced and how bad things could be.  This helps us to appreciate the bright days more which causes us to appreciate and love our Lord filled with a heart of thankfulness.

Solomon gives us a very solemn reminder… no matter how blessed our life may be, no matter how many days of sunshine we may enjoy, we will always have difficulties and struggles in this life.  It is all a part of living our life in a fallen, sinful world.  There is no such thing as a “perfect life”  and anytime we think someone else has the perfect life… we are mistaken!

 

All that cometh is vanity. 

The bottom line is this… no matter how good or bad the days may be, there are all short-lived and meaningless when we enter into eternity.  For the lost man, all their good days on earth will come to an end as he faces eternal punishment for his sins.  For the saved man, all the days of trials and heartaches will pass when he passes into the present of the Lord and enter eternity with Him.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all enjoy the good days of blessings from our Lord.

May we all remember the days of trials and how things could be much, much worse for us.

May we all appreciate the Lord and His exceeding goodness that He has, and will continue to show to us.

May we always be expecting times of trials to enter our lives.  They are a certainty and should be a source of spiritual growth and times of intimacy with the Lord… not a source of discouragement and anxiety.

 

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.
10. 4:4-16 The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly
11. 5:1-7 The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises
12. 5:8-17 The pursuit of worldly riches
13. 5:18-20 A recognition that enjoyment of this earthly life is God’s gracious gift to man
14. 6:1-2 A recognition of man’s inability to enjoy that which God has given to him.
15. 6:3-10 A recognition of man’s sinfulness, mortality and need of humility before God
16. 6:11-12 A recognition of the vanity of all that lies under the sun.
17. 7:1-10 The pursuit of prideful living
18. 7:11-23 A recognition of the value of Godly wisdom
19. 7:24-29 The pursuit of Godly enabling
20. 8:1-5 The pursuit of proper submission to authority  based upon Godly wisdom
21. 8:6-15 A recognition man needs Godly wisdom because he cannot control his own life nor see the eternal benefits of service to the Lord.
22. 8:16-17 A recognition that men cannot fully understand the work of God on earth
23. 9:1-3 A recognition that righteous and wicked share common life events
24. 9:4-12 A recognition that life is better then death
25. 9:13-18 A recognition of the excellence and rejection of Godly wisdom
26. 10:1-15 A recognition of the dangers of foolishness
27. 10:16-17 A recognition of principles for good rulership
28. 10:18 A recognition of the dangers of slothfulness
29. 10:19 A recognition of the value of money
30. 11:1-6 A recognition of the need to sow our seed for the benefit of others.
31. 11:7-8 A recognition of the need to enjoy the days of blessings and expect the troublesome times of life.

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

Giving Now Insures Our Tomorrow

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 11:1-6 – Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.  (2) Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.  (3)  If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.  (4)  He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.  (5)  As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.  (6)  In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/ecclesiastes-chapter-11-verses-1-6

 

 

There Is No Secret In The Eyes Of The Lord

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 10:20 – Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/ecclesiastes-chapter-10-verses-20

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter 10 Verses 20

 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 35) 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question… “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 10:20 – Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

 

Curse not the king, no not in thy thought;

Solomon warns us to be very careful in wishing evil upon those who have been placed in authority over us.   Not only in public, but even in our minds we should guard against standing against the rulers that the Lord has placed over us.

Folks, although we may not agree with a majority of what our leaders say and do, we should always give them our respect and the recognition that they have been placed over us by our Sovereign Lord.

 

curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: 

Solomon even goes further and reminds us to not be envious and resentful of those who possess the riches of this world.  Resentment leads to a desire for harm to fall upon those we resent.  These things should not exist in the lives of Christians.

 

for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. 

The other major point Solomon is addressing in this section of Scripture, is the need to recognize that what we do in secret, immediately, or eventually, will come out in public.  Our sins truly will find us out. Even when we think our sin is being held in our minds and quiet places of solitude, somehow, someway, they will become public knowledge.

One of the most common ways that our “secret sins” are revealed finds its basis in ourselves.  Even when we believe that we are keeping our feelings about others a secret, others can see our true desires in our attitudes and actions towards the resented person.  What we believe is a well kept secret is, in actuality, a part of public knowledge die to our behavior around them.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all take to heart the instructions shared with us by Solomon.  May we learn to respect and honor our God-given authorities, remove all traces of resentment and anger from our lives, and learn that our secret, sinful, attitudes towards others will become public knowledge with the passing of time.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.
10. 4:4-16 The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly
11. 5:1-7 The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises
12. 5:8-17 The pursuit of worldly riches
13. 5:18-20 A recognition that enjoyment of this earthly life is God’s gracious gift to man
14. 6:1-2 A recognition of man’s inability to enjoy that which God has given to him.
15. 6:3-10 A recognition of man’s sinfulness, mortality and need of humility before God
16. 6:11-12 A recognition of the vanity of all that lies under the sun.
17. 7:1-10 The pursuit of prideful living
18. 7:11-23 A recognition of the value of Godly wisdom
19. 7:24-29 The pursuit of Godly enabling
20. 8:1-5 The pursuit of proper submission to authority  based upon Godly wisdom
21. 8:6-15 A recognition man needs Godly wisdom because he cannot control his own life nor see the eternal benefits of service to the Lord.
22. 8:16-17 A recognition that men cannot fully understand the work of God on earth
23. 9:1-3 A recognition that righteous and wicked share common life events
24. 9:4-12 A recognition that life is better then death
25. 9:13-18 A recognition of the excellence and rejection of Godly wisdom
26. 10:1-15 A recognition of the dangers of foolishness
27. 10:16-17 A recognition of principles for good rulership
28. 10:18 A recognition of the dangers of slothfulness
29. 10:19 A recognition of the value of money

 

 

 

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com

When We Search For Life’s Purpose In This World We Are Simply Grasping At The Wind…

SIH HALTAL ICONEccl 1:12-18 –  “I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.  And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.  I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4uN

The Blessings Of God Teach Us About His Identity… He Is The Lord Our God!

SIH HALTAL ICON

 

Leviticus 23:43 (KJV) – “That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.”

 

For the SIH Devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4mP

 

Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land? By John Piper

Rob’s Note: This article gives us all something to consider.  I would appreciate any comments you may have on Bro’ Piper’s article.  Thanks!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

How should Bible-believing Christians align themselves in the Jewish-Palestinian conflict? There are Biblical reasons for treating both sides with compassionate public justice in the same way that disputes should be settled between nations generally. In other words, the Bible does not teach us to be partial to Israel or to the Palestinians because either has a special divine status.

I do not deny that Israel was chosen by God from all the peoples of the world to be the focus of special blessing in the history of redemption which climaxed in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. “The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Nor do I deny that God promised to Israel the presently disputed land from the time of Abraham onward. God said to Moses, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring'” (Deuteronomy 34:4).

But neither of these Biblical facts leads necessarily to the endorsement of present-day Israel as the rightful possessor of all the disputed land. Israel may have such a right. And she may not. But that decision is not based on divine privilege. Why?

First, a non-covenant-keeping people does not have a divine right to hold the land of promise. Both the blessed status of the people and the privileged right to the land are conditional on Israel’s keeping the covenant God made with her. Thus God said to Israel, “If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples” (Exodus 19:5). Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping covenant with God.

More than once Israel was denied the experience of her divine right to the land when she broke covenant with God. For example, when Israel languished in captivity in Babylon, Daniel prayed, “O Lord . . .we have sinned and done wrong . . . To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame . . . to all Israel . . . in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you” (Daniel 9:4-7; see Psalm 78:54-61). Israel has no divine right to be in the land of promise when she is breaking the covenant of promise.

This does not mean that other nations have the right to molest her. She still has human rights among nations when she has no divine right. Nations that gloated over her divine discipline were punished by God (Isaiah 10:5-13).

Secondly, Israel as a whole today rejects her Messiah, Jesus Christ, God’s Son. This is the ultimate act of covenant-breaking with God. God promised that to Israel “a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7). But with tears this Prince of Peace looked out over Jerusalem and said, “Would that you . . . had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. . . . You did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:42-44).

When the builders rejected the beautiful Cornerstone, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits” (Matthew 21:43). He explained, “Many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness” (Matthew 8:11-12)

God has saving purposes for ethnic Israel (Romans 11:25-26). But for now the people are at enmity with God in rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, their Messiah (Romans 11:28). God has expanded his saving work to embrace all peoples (including Palestinians) who will trust his Son and depend on his death and resurrection for salvation. “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Romans 3:29-30).

The Christian plea in the Middle East to Palestinians and Jews is: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). And until that great day when both Jewish and Gentile followers of King Jesus inherit the earth (not just the land), without lifting sword or gun, the rights of nations should be decided by the principles of compassionate and public justice, not claims to national divine right or status.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

 

Christ Is The Source of Our Physical and Spiritual Life!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 3:14 KJV

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

For the SIH devotionals:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3S6

The Roller Coaster Ride Is Over !!!!!!

May we all thank the Lord for His great grace!

Good News, Not So Good News About Caleb

May we all continue in prayer for Caleb and the entire family.

Revelation 2:18-29:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Thyatira”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

The Letter To Thyatira…

Rev 2:18-29 KJV

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
(20)  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
(21)  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
(24)  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
(25)  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.
(29)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

From our previous lesson, we saw a very basic summary of the contents of these letters include:

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.  Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam andNicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead.  Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments.  Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God.  Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service.  Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

Beginning in chapter 2 through chapter 3, John writes personalized messages to the 7 churches.  Each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

The first of these personalized messages is written to the church at Pergamos.
1. Description of Christ (v 18)
2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 19)
3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 23-25)
4. Promise to Overcomers (v 26-29)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 2: – 

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; 

The Lord, through the Apostle John, now addresses the church that was located in Thyatria.  Thyatira was a center for the manufacture of many goods.  Some of the goods manufactured here included wool and linen clothing, dyes, pottery, bronze and leather goods, and baked foods. Because of all this manufacturing activity there was great opportunity for its citizens become financially wealthy and self-reliant.  Due to all of this Thyatira became known as a prosperous city that attracted many individuals in search of the riches of this world.

 

These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

In this description of Christ, we can see a main focus on:

  1. the Son of God – As the Son of God, He possessed great authority to judge others.
  2. His eyes like unto a flame of fire – Christ’s knowledge of all things (omniscience).
  3. his feet like brass – the perfect judgment He executes based upon His comprehensive knowledge.

What a blessing it is for each of us to understand these truths about Christ.  We should never allow concerns about His “fairness” or His “severity in judgment” to concern us.

Christ will, always, treat every human being fairly and justly.  He will always either withhold judgment that is deserved (His mercy and grace based upon His work on the cross) or He will always give that which is deserved (His justice).  He will NEVER judge more harshly than deserved, He will NEVER meet out a punishment more severe than the infraction demands.

He truly judges with His “eyes illuminated” enabling Him to see all the relevant information needed to make a perfect decision on the judgment that is meted out as He tramples upon His enemies.

 

(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Just as in the other letters, Christ now encourages the church by speaking well of them for their service to Him:

  1. works – the effort they took to accomplish the tasks He had given to them.
  2. charity – their self-sacrificial love that motivated their service
  3. service – their effort to minister to others needs as an act of obedience to Christ
  4. faith – their reliance upon Him as they served
  5. patience – their willingness to bear up under the pressures of service, not caving in to the pressures
  6. works – their spiritual growth as they served in greater ways now than when they first began to serve.

 

(20)  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Jesus now begins to explain the areas where they have failed in their service.  They were allowing “that woman Jezebel”, a false prophetess, to spread doctrinal error and lead God’s people into sinful acts.  This was due to either a spirit of compromise (knowing that she was a false teacher and allowed her to continue) or a spirit of gullibility (not understanding that she was teaching falsely but believed she was actually the prophetess of God).

There is much that can be said about the name “Jezebel”:

1.  Some believe that this was her literal name given to her by her parents.

2.  Others suggest that this woman was given this name by Christ to link her to the OT character Jezebel (1 Kings 18:-21:). 1Ki 21:25 reminds us of the work of this wicked woman… “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”    

Just as the NT Jezebel was seducing others to commit idolatry and related sinful acts and turn from the Lord, so too, the OT woman was a horrible influence in the life of her husband, leading him into idolatry and opposition to Jehovah

3.  Others believe that Christ gave her this name to reveal something of her character, apart from the OT woman. There are MANY different ideas as to the meaning of her name. The best I understand, if it has Hebrew origins, it means “to be cast down” or “to be demoted”, or “to not be exalted”.  If this is so, it is teaching us of her end.  Although she claimed to be a prophetess of God, on judgment day she will not be honored by God but disowned, demoted and put to shame.

However, the most interesting view that I read was that there are scholars (cited by John Gill) who believe “Jezebel” comes from an Arabic word “Zebel” which meant dung. This would make perfect sense considering her teachings and works were simply “dung” in the eyes of the Lord and her end would be rejection by God much like a dunghill that laid outside a city.  (An interesting note…. The OT Jezebel’s end was as “dung” (2 Kings 9:37)

My personal belief is that all of these reasons for this woman’s name to be Jezebel could easily be true.  Our Lord, who is sovereign, controlled the name of this NT woman.  Perhaps, He allowed her parents to give her this name to link her to both the OT woman and the meaning of her name.

Her work caused men to fall into the sin of idolatry which included acts of fornication (acts of sexual or spiritual uncleanness) and eating idolatrous meat.

 

(21)  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

The Lord graciously gives time for Jezebel to turn from her wicked ways, but she refused.  Therefore the judgment of the Lord would fall upon her.

The Lord’s judgment would be based upon her wicked acts (symbolized by being judged in the same bed in which she committed the sins).  Their (her and those with her) only hope of escaping judgment was to repent of their sins.  She would be judged by placing her in the midst of overwhelming pressure and those who followed her false teachings and practices would be killed and face eternal death.

The Lord’s judgment would prove to the churches that He is the One that knew all things, even the thoughts and intents of the heart and that He would then “follow up” by dealing with each sin appropriately.

 

(24)  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
(25)  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

The Lord now addresses those who have remained faithful to Him by not following after the teachings of Jezebel.  He describes those who have followed the idolatrous teaching as knowing the “depths of Satan”.  Folks, the worship of other gods is the lowest possible act of blasphemy against the Lord.   For a person to place their allegiance upon other gods, serving them, worshipping them and sacrificing for them is the most horrible of events that find their origin in Satan.

Those who have remained faithful to the Lord in the face of this blasphemous teaching are called upon to not forsake the truths they possess but use all their strength to protect them.

 

(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end,

The Lord now addresses those who will be victorious and faithful to the Lord until the end.

 

to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.

The Lord promises to bless the victorious ones by:

  1. power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. – they will receive authority to rule over the lost.  This authority will involve them judging the lost and taking part in their destruction at His second coming. (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Rev 19:11-21).  This authority will be delegated to the Lord’s people by Christ, who originally was given this authority by the Father.  (Luke 22:29)
  1. And I will give him the morning star. The “morning star” is a title taken by Christ Himself, “I Jesus… am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Rev 22:16)  To give the faithful saints of Thyatira “the bright and morning star” is to say that the saints will be given Christ throughout eternity.

How will this take place?  In at least two ways:  they will enjoy His person being in His presence, they will enjoy learning more about Him as they are taught throughout eternity.  This is how He will give Himself to His chosen people to enjoy throughout eternity.

(29)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Once again, the Lord is stressing that this message was meant only for those who were truly saved members of the church. It was meant for those who had ears that were opened (by the gracious intervention of the Lord) to receive and understand the truths of His Word.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this passage of Scripture we see several truths about Christ presented.  He knows everything there is to know about  us.  Our outward actions and our inward desires and motives.  Based upon His Omniscience, He judges all mankind justly. When we consider Him as the All-knowing Just Judge over all mankind, it helps us to understand that He deserves to be given all of our worship, adoration, and service.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, do we see our need to discern teachers of truth from teachers of error?  Do we see the need to expose and refrain ourselves from anyone who teaches error?  We all understand that our Lord is the Ultimate, Just, Judge that knows all things.  As such, we must make sure we are not partaking in the deeds of those who oppose Christ.  When we, knowingly, receive false teaching into our lives and follow its dictates, we are setting ourselves up to share in the judgment that awaits those who would lead us astray.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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A Huge Praise To God !!!!!!

Here is an update from Brother Levi… please continue to be in prayer…

Please Pray For My Son, Caleb !!!!!!

Please be in care for Levi and his son and family.  May the Lord interven graciously and work a miracle.

Is There Life After Death?

This is a reblog of a posting from 2011. May it be a blessing to all of us!

Settled In Heaven Blog

SIH STSTA ICONThroughout history the subject of life after death has a much debated subject.  It is no different in today’s time.  Views on the existence of life after death vary, based upon the belief set held by the individual.  Some of the most common views include:

  1. Denial – the belief that all aspects of life ceases at physical death.
  2. Reincarnation – is the belief that a soul is reborn in a new body.
  3. Spiritism – in many of its forms, believes that the soul of the dead remain upon the earth in the form of ghosts (or spirits)
  4. Eternalists – teachings include the belief that the souls of the dead continue to exist being separated from this temporal world, and entering into eternal, spiritual habitations.

What we believe about life after death is of extreme significance; what we believe about life after death will dictate how we look at…

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