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First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @ firstpresjoliet.org

Author

karldarley

At the Portico

Acts 3:12-26

Acts 3:12-26 is an amazing section of the scriptures in it’s unfolding of the history of the Church, the history of those who believe in the salvation that is offered to all who will put their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Peter and John have just entered the Temple Court at the ninth hour, which is about three in the afternoon, for the second daily Atonement sacrifice, the first being in the morning. It is also known as the hour of prayer, where at a certain moment in the ceremony those gathered may make public their prayers to Jehovah. As they enter the temple, it is then that a lame man is healed, his leg is completely restored, by Jesus through the hands of Peter and John. Peter says then “Men of Israel why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our power or piety we made him walk?” He goes on to give a brief account of recent happenings in Jerusalem, first extolling the positions and titles held by Jesus as: Jehovahs Servant, the Holy and Righteous One, the Prince of Life, Jehovah’s Messiah, and the Prophet. The men of Israel know these titles from scripture but have yet to understand them in relationship to this man Jesus.

Peter then goes on the explain Israel’s complicity in the plan of salvation by rejecting the very one they were to put their faith and hope in. Israel was hoping for the Messiah, to deliver them from bondage to Rome, the very presence of oppression, what they received from the promised Savior was instead, salvation from their bondage to sin. Peter also declared the unique concept that the Messiah would have to suffer, Isaiah 52 and 53, a thought that was never easily accepted by Israel.

Peter’s message was for spiritual awareness, for spiritual accountability, for spiritual repentance. The old covenant of the Law required physical adherence, and compliance to it’s requirements. The New Covenant of Jesus christ requires a Spiritual understanding, repentance, and compliance. It’s the soul, the spirit of a man that is born again, not the physical, for out of the heart we are known.

Many people can act very well, and pretend piety, but true righteousness comes from a broken and contrite heart, and regeneration from Jesus Christ. Salvation was presented first in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then to the Gentiles in the uttermost parts of the earth. Jehovahs plan is unfolding in these chapters.

Karl

The Ascension, No Turning Back

Acts 1:8-9

The remaining eleven apostles are still together after the resurrection of the Messiah, and Jesus, who in a resurrection body, according to Acts 10:40-41, “becomes visible, not to all people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand, by Jehovah,” appears to them.

While on earth teaching His apostles Jesus told them in John 14: 26 that, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom my Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 16:8 Jesus expands on the coming Holy Spirit, “it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (Note that the Holy Spirit is referred to in translation as the Helper, the Comforter, and the Advocate.)

Back to Acts 1:8-9, Jesus has His Apostles gathered at Mt. Olivet, verse 12. ‘a Sabbath days journey from Jerusalem,’ about one half mile away. It is there that He tells them, “you will receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” After He said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

The Resurrection of Jesus occurred on the day of First Fruits, a Feast for Israel commanded by Jehovah, and the event described above, the Ascension, was 40 days after the Resurrection. The Holy Spirit would come on Pentecost, 50 days after the Resurrection. In Israel’s history the 40 day mark would be the crossing of the Red Sea after their release from bondage to Egypt. Pentecost was the receiving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sanai. The historical significance of the crossing of the Red Sea is a complete separation from the past life of slavery to Egypt. There was no going back, as the waters of the Sea closed in behind them, only a new life was in store for them, they could not return. In like manner for the Apostles at this meeting with Jesus, at His Ascension, is the symbolic crossing over into new life in Christ. There is no going back into the slavery of sin.

Once a person is’ born again’ in Christ, he is a new creature, he is on the path to a changed life, and like Israel, who was set free from slavery, so is the one who is in Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Torah, (the Law), as Israel acted out and prophesied the coming Savior, from Moses, to the conquering of the god’s of Egypt, to the crossing of the Red Sea, to the manna, to the giving of the Law, to the water of life that poured out of the rock, to the entering of the Promised Land. Jesus satisfied the Torah by reenacting all the events of Israel in His life, bringing new life to all who believe, and we also receive the same promised Holy Spirit who indwells us, and strengthens us for ministry.

Karl

‘Tis Mystery All

Psalm 110:1-5

Job 19: 23-27

1 Timothy 3:14-16

Psalm 110: 1-5 This Psalm of David, in our English translations, is more confusing to us than the Hebrew texts were to the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day, and yet even they were completely stumped as to it’s meaning. Matthew 22: 41-46, Mark 12: 35-37, and Luke 20: 41-44 all describe the same event that happened in the life of Jesus, concerning this Psalm. (According to BHS Westminster morphology, and Ginsburg edition of Masorah, pp.105-15 there are two words of similarity concerning Diety, which are Adoni and Adonay, the first being a ‘master’, or ‘Lord’ in King James English terms, the latter being substituted for YHVH, or ‘LORD’ in KJV English terms.) The psalm states in verse 1, “YHVH says to my Adoni, (master) “Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet.” This is a reference to the Messiah. Then in verse 4 the text reads, “YHVH has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.'” verse 5., “Adonay is at YHVH’s right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. He will judge among the nations, ….” The point being, the Scribes of Jesus day could not understand, nor could it enter their minds, that the Messiah could be mortal man, and God also. David, wrote this Psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and revealed that Messiah, (Jesus) would actually be both God and Man, not just a Prophet, or an anointed one, or a deliverer like Moses, but YHVH Himself, in the form of a Son. It is from passages like this that we formulate the concepts of a Triune God, God in three different persons, the Trinity, yet still one God. Jesus posed this passage to the sages of His day, who if under the leading of the Holy Spirit could understand, a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit, but if not Spirit lead, they could not understand. Jesus is both Adoni and Adonay, both master and God, both God and Man.

Job 19: 23-27 A testimony of Job, who writes, “I want my words written down, Oh that they were written in a book, or engraved on stone forever! “As for me, ‘I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.’ Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold,” not my descendants, not my ancestors, not symbolically, nor figuratively, “Whom my eyes will see, not another, The thought of this makes me faint.” Job knew in his heart of hearts that God was his Redeemer, His Advocate, His Judge who was Just, and the Justifier of all who believe. He could not possibly tell anyone how it would work, but he knew that He would rise, and stand someday, to see His Savior.

1 Timothy 3: 14-16 To Timothy from Paul, “I may not make it in person to see you, so read this. There is a proper way to conduct yourself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the very pillar and the ground of the truth. By common confession, all agree, great is the Mystery of Godliness: “He who was revealed in the flesh: Was vindicated in the Spirit: Seen by Angels: Proclaimed among the nations: Believed on in the world: Taken up in Glory!”

Israel just could not understand that their coming Messiah, the conquering King, would show up on earth as a baby. They could not believe that this conquerer would be a suffering servant. They would not believe that the victory would be over sin, not nations. They could not understand that salvation was not for Israel alone, but for Gentiles also. Who could explain such a strange design as this salvation? How does the immortal, take on mortality? How does the Creator, become the creation? Only God!

As Job stated “I know that my Redeemer lives.” And that’s enough!

Karl

Life After Death?

Psalms 102:12-28

2 Kings 4:8-17

Acts 4: 1-7

What is your view and understanding of Jehovah? What is your view and understanding of the resurrection of the dead? What is your view and understanding of everlasting life? These questions are the theme of todays readings.

Abraham was called by Elohim/God from the land of Haran. He heeded the call and received a promise/covenant from Elohim/God to possess a land unknown by him and for his descendants to inhabit the land, but he never knew the name of this Elohim/God. Elohim’s name was not revealed to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, his eleven brothers, and descendants until Moses. Even until the encounter Moses had with the burning bush, the name YHVH (Jehovah in English) was a mystery. So were the concepts of eternity and everlasting life, or life after death.

Psalms 102:12-18 This passage starts with the statement that Jehovah abides forever, that somehow He lives on endlessly, but maybe that is expected of gods. Jehovah’ name also will endure for generations to come. The servants of Jehovah find pleasure in the smallest detail of His creation, and His favor shown to Israel. He hears the slightest prayer, and answers those prayers, all the nations know of His glory. A people yet to be created will sing His praise, He will endure and the children and descendants of Israel will continue.

A general concept here is stated that through our children we endure forever. Is this then an ancient/early concept of everlasting life?

2 Kings 4: 8-17 Elisha was approached by a widow from the wives of the sons of the prophets, who had two sons, had substantial debt that was due now with no means to pay, and a famine was on the land. Elisha asked her what her possessions were, was there anything of value in her house. She replied that she had a vial of oil. Elisha then told her to go beg, and borrow from her neighbors anything that would hold liquid, from vases, to urns, to buckets, get them all. Then go into your house, close the door and start pouring from your vial of oil into all the vessels you have borrowed. When all are filled, sell the oil, use the proceeds to retire your debt, and use the rest to live on. This then is a story of the workings of a prophet to relieve the distress of a family with nowhere to turn, Jehovah is mentioned as one whom the widow’s husband feared. Her debts and troubles are temporarily taken care of, yet there is no sense of perpetuity.

Acts 4: 1-7 Peter and John, filled with the Spirit of God, have just healed a lame man by fixing their gaze upon him and declaring, “though they have no earthly means to help him, no silver or gold, no temporal solution for his malady, yet what they do posses they offer, and say, ‘in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.'” That possession they have is Spiritual Power. As Peter and John continued speaking to the crowds, as you can imagine they had created quite a stir, the Sadducees, priests, and temple police, being greatly disturbed, came to them because they were proclaiming in Jesus, the resurrection from the dead. The Sadducees, descendants of Zadok, a chief priest from the days of King David, were a sect similar to the Pharisees, yet not as powerful, and did not believe in resurrection from the dead, but only in this physical life. They then had Peter and John jailed overnight. The next day the Pharisees and High Priests joined the first group and began questioning Peter and John by what power or in what name they had performed this miracle of healing.

The answer to their question is given later in the text, beyond our reading for today, but what we are to understand from these combined passages, is the full development of the revelation from Jehovah to man concerning Spiritual life, Resurrection from the dead, and Everlasting life. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:16-19, “For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” verse 21: “For since by one man, (the first Adam), came death, by a man, (the second Adam), also came the resurrection of the dead.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Friends, through time, the Scriptures, our Bible, true Spiritual life has been revealed, Forgiveness of sins has been revealed, and Everlasting life has been revealed, all in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but through me.” Peter said of Jesus, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven, that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” There is life beyond this physical, temporal realm, there is life in the eternal realm, there is value way beyond the “wealth of this domain.” What is your hope in? What is your faith in? What are your desires for the future? They should have nothing to do with this world, this government, or any possessions.

Karl

Stay True to Jehovah

Psalms 111

Deuteronomy 12: 28-32

Revelation 2:12-17

Revelation 2: 12-17 “To the church at Pergamum write: “I know where you dwell, where ha-satan’s throne is, and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where ha-satan dwells.” This was the praise given to this church, by Jesus the Christ, that they did not fall apart when one of their members was martyred in their midst. “But I have a few things against you, because you have there among you some who hold the teaching of Balaam, (the prophet,) who taught Balak, (the Moabite king,) to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.” It appears from the story in Numbers 25, that Balaam, a prophet of Jehovah, who was asked by the King of Moab, to curse Israel and bless Moab, for a hefty reward, could not proclaim anything but what the LORD told him to say, even though Balaam’s desire was for the riches promised to him. So Balaam tried to entice the Sons of Israel to engage in the Moab worship centers, and festivals, the Banquet of Peor for one, which included eating sacrificial meat offered to idols, banned by God, and to engage with the temple Prostitutes, also prohibited. The goal being, if Israel did this violation, then God would be angry with Israel and therefore allow Balaam to curse Israel, and bless Moab, and then get paid handsomely for it. The book of Jude v.11 warns of this mindset, as does 2 Peter 2:15, which is an indication of the severity of Balaam’s actions. To lead others astray deliberately, or seeking money above all else, or using Christianity for your own personal gain, is the error of Balaam. According to Numbers 25 Balaam was so obsessed with reward, so intent on manipulating God’s people for his gain, he didn’t see the Angel sent to destroy him, and God had to make his donkey speak, in order to get his attention.

Deuteronomy 12: 28-32 A warning for Israel to be obedient to Jehovah, to listen to all the words commanded by Him. In other words to ‘put you ear under My mouth.’ After they conquer the land, they were to “Beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not enquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?” “You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their son’s and daughters in the fire for their god’s. Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do, you shall not add to it or take away from it.” By the time Jesus came upon the scene, years later, the Pharisees of Israel had added much to the commandments of Jehovah, Matthew 23:2, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses,” a statement meaning they had authorized themselves to add to the Word of God. Thus Jesus railed against their audacity, to think they knew better than Jehovah Himself. Christianity has done many similar acts over the years, ‘just improving’ the commands of Christ. ‘Establishing the traditions of man’, for the better worship of Christ. How noble of us!

Psalm 111 This is truth! “Praise Jehovah! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart.” 2. “Great are the works of Jehovah.” 3.”Splendid and majestic is His work,” 4. “He has made His wonders to be remembered;” 5 “He has given food to those that fear Him,” 6. “He has made known to His people the power of His works,” 7. “The works of His hands are truth and justice,” 8. “His precepts are upheld forever and ever,” 9. “He has sent redemption to His people,” 10. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all those who do His Commandments.”

Friends, the love of this world is riches, and power over other men. Pergamum, is the only city where it is said in the Bible that ha-satan, (the adversary,) dwells. It was not said of Sodom and Gomorrah, or of Nineveh, or any other location. Yet the church of Jesus Christ was able to survive there, though not without some problems. The culture of this world always influences the behavior of Believers. We always seem to fall prey to our societies norms. We dress like the world, often behave like the world, like what the world likes, we in essence fit in, which on the surface is not awful, but we need to be careful that we do not lose our first love, which is Jesus Christ. When acting like a Christian, (the flesh,) becomes more important than being a Christian, (the Spirit,) we have gone awry. When we care more about what people think about us, than what we think about them we have gone astray. Jesus taught that we should love, not look to be loved. Jesus taught that we should give, not take. Jesus taught that we should center our attention on others, not be the center of attention.

Paul stated in his letter to the Romans, “that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Yet in 2 Corinthians 3:18 he states as believers, “But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the Glory of the Lord are being transformed into that same image from Glory to Glory.” The very Glory that we fell short of, is now ours as we are being metamorphosed into it. So why on earth would we care about the riches of this earth, when compared with the Glory of Jehovah?

Karl

Salvation or Destruction

Revelation 18:11-20

Psalm 62: 5-12

Jeremiah 19: 1-15

Revelation 18:11-20 “Wherever there is idolatry, prostitution, self-glorification, self-sufficiency, pride, complacency, reliance upon luxury and wealth, avoidance of suffering, and violence against life, there is Babylon.” (Expositors Bible Commentary) These verses in Revelation refer to Babylon’s destruction, and many interpretations of Revelation, try to identify the imagery of the ‘city’ as an actual location, ranging from Rome, to Nineveh, to Jerusalem, to Babylon, and many more. The bigger picture is to understand that whatever location, if it is, it will be typified by the above description. The world, in contrast to Christianity, is ready to embrace, and longs for, any political system, or leadership that can give them luxury, no suffering, and leisure. It’s origin, the cost, it’s ultimate results are of no consequence to those that follow this leadership. But when destruction comes, for it’s basic economic model cannot sustain itself, the destruction will be exceedingly swift, and all who embraced it will be mourning, weeping, and devastated by the loss. John has already warned the churches to beware of this deceit and the snares of this system. In todays current condition in America, the vast majority of citizens don’t care where our so-called stimulus money comes from, how it will be paid back, or for that matter, how much is wasted or misdirected as long as they get their share. And it is a world wide condition. The real hope is for ‘someone’ to make my life better, richer, easier, like in the movies.

Psalm 62:5-12

A psalm of David where he starts writing about his pattern of life focused on Jehovah. Verses 1-2 “My soul waits in silence for Elohim only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my my Rock and my salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be moved.” Verse 5 picks up the same theme but now it is a prayer and a desire to continue, “My soul, wait in silence for God only, my hope is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my Glory rest; The Rock of my Strength, my Refuge is in God.” David moves on then to give warning and instruction to his readers, “Trust in Jehovah at all times. Pour out your heart before Him; He is a Refuge for us.”

Continuing in verse 9. “Men of low degree brag without cause, men of rank are prideful without acknowledging God, both have no standing with God, on God’s scale they don’t even begin to move the balance. They are not a part of God’s economy. They both oppress people, and they lie for their own gain, but real Power belongs to Jehovah; and also lovingkindness, O God, You alone repay according to Your economy, which is heavenly, and not of this world.”

Jeremiah 19: 1-15

Jeremiah was ordered by Jehovah to take a clay pot with him and to call some of the Elders and senior Priests together at the Potsherd Gate of the city. He then is to give them stern warning that the path they have chosen is destruction. They have a pattern established in worship of Jehovah as in form only, like a superstition, because they also offer incense, burn offerings, and pour out drink offerings to all the heavenly host, on the rooftops of their own homes. The very first commandment of Jehovah is, “Thou shalt have no other god’s before Me.” How do they think that Jehovah doesn’t see their hypocrisy. Then Jeremiah is to break the clay pot in front of them as a symbol of how Jehovah will break them, and they will be buried in the deserted places, in the waste land like Topheth.

Remember friends, that the economy of this world is temporary at best, Jesus said many times to use the world’s money to bless others, and to never see it as something to be held onto. If you trust government, or money, or yourself, or others to save you, you are mistaken. Jehovah alone is our salvation, through His Son Jesus the Christ, who alone is our true Refuge, and Redeemer. As the Psalmist said,” He alone is my Rock, and my salvation,” and in Psalm 1:3 “Like a tree that is planted by the waters, I shall not be moved.”

Karl

In this Psalm David makes a statement of a past tense behavior of his own saying, “My soul waits in silence for Elohim (God) only; from Him is my salvation. He alone is my Rock, (Psalm 61.3 ‘a tower of strength against my enemies,’ my sure foundation, my house that is built upon the rock) and my Salvation, (Psalm 25:5 ‘For You {Jehovah}, are the God of my salvation,’ the one in whom I trust for eternity.) My stronghold, my tower and my fort that can withstand any siege); I cannot be shaken, ( Psalm 1:3 Like a tree that is planted by the water, I shall not be moved.)

Redemption Draweth Nigh

Psalm 69: 1-5, 30-36

Isaiah 41: 14-20

John 1: 29-34

Psalm 69: 1-5, 30-36 In this psalm of David, he cries out to Jehovah because of injustice. His adversaries hate him, not because so much of anything he has done, but because he appears holy and he is chosen by God. The courts won’t hear his case but rubber stamps all accusations against him. David is a type of Christ in this first passage. He then continues with songs of praise for what he expects Jehovah to do, and what he knows of the character of God. Jehovah is our Redeemer, and is going to send One who will actually redeem, that is pay the price, for the sins of the world.

Isaiah 41: 14-20 Isaiah writes before Assyria and Babylon takes Israel and Judah captive, removing them physically from their land. Isaiah prophesies these events, and reveals that it is Jehovah who causes nations to prosper and conquer for His purposes, and that Israel should not fear, for redemption will come.

John 1:29-34 Redemption is on the horizon, as promised by these prophets. This passage is the introduction of the New Covenant as prophesied specifically in Jeremiah 31.31, where Israel is being told of a Spiritual relationship to be brought to them through the Works of God alone, the letter of the law being superseded by the work of the Spirit, and fulfilled by the coming Messiah, who will redeem Israel and the world also. John was baptizing with water in relation to repentance of sins, Luke 1:17, “so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” When Jesus appeared in the crowd, John saw Him and declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world !” John then admits that he did not recognize Jesus physically, or as KJV states “he knew Him not,” meaning there were no distinguishing physical attributes to attract anyones attention to Him. Jesus had done nothing, no healing, no teaching, no ministry at this time to attract notice to Himself. Moreover, though John and Jesus were related by blood, they had not lived in close proximity to each other and not really met each other until this very day. It was, in fact, the Holy Spirit who revealed to John alone, that Jesus was “the Lamb of God,” and not merely a lamb of God but the “Passover Lamb of God.”

The Holy Spirit told John, vs. 33. “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” John then says emphatically, “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” No one else in the crowd there, saw the dove descending and resting upon Jesus, only John to whom it was revealed.

These writings and testimonies, from the prophets, to John, to us, are of spiritual value only, they mean nothing to the world in the flesh. The unbelievers mock the idea of religion, it is just superstition and nonsense to them, for they cannot see spiritual reality. As Jesus himself told the Samaritan woman at the well, those who seek to worship Jehovah must worship in Spirit and in Truth. The prophets of old spoke by utterance of the Holy Spirit, they were understood by the few who were living by faith in the Spirit realm, and all who believe today, believe by faith, understanding the truth Spiritually. That is why Paul could say things like Galatians 2.20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

As we live in todays world, with deception and untruth all around us, it is only by faith in the Son of God that we can Spiritually understand any truth. Nations rise to power by the hand of God alone. People rise to positions of power, and prominence by the hand of God alone, who also causes their descent when His purposes are accomplished. We as believers follow Jesus, not politicians, as we are born of the Spirit, and He loves us very much, they don’t.

Karl

Spiritual Understanding

Psalm 110

Proverbs 22:1-9

Luke 6: 27-31

Psalm 110 As we look at this psalm of David in our English translations it is more unclear than the Hebrew texts, which were somewhat unclear themselves, thus confusing even the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day. Matthew 22:41-46, Mark 12:35-37, and Luke 41-44 all describe an event Jesus had with the scribes concerning this Psalm. (According to BHS Westminster Hebrew morphology, and Ginsburg edition of Masorah, pp.105-15 There are two words of similarity concerning Deity which are Adoni and Adonay, the former being a ‘master’ or ‘Lord’ in KJV English terms, the latter being substituted for YHVH, or LORD in KJV English terms.) The Psalm of David states in verse 1, “YHVH says to my Adoni, (a master) “Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Thus a reference to Messiah, then in verse 4 the text says, “YHVH has sworn and will not change His Mind, ‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”‘ 5. “Adonay is at YVHV’s right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. He will judge among the nations,…” The point here being the scribes could not understand that Messiah could be a mortal man, and God also. David in this psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reveals that Messiah, (Jesus) would be both God and Man, not just a Prophet, or an Anointed One, or a Deliverer like Moses, but YHVH Himself, in the form of a Son. It is passages like this from which we understand God in three persons, the Trinity. Jesus posed this passage to the sages of His day, who if under the leading of the Holy Spirit could understand, a Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but if not, they could not. Jesus is both Adoni and Adonay, both master and of the Godhead, both man and God.

Proverbs 22:1-9 A proverb about good and profitable conduct, or living. At the end of life do you want to be remembered for your good name, or your wealth? It is good to be wise and prudent, and there is nothing wrong about wealth. Some are wealthy and know how to make money, others don’t, but in all cases, both rich and poor, we are to be humble and generous. When you raise your children, they will understand your values, whether merely spoken or actually lived, they will know your real values, and will copy them, to your pride or shame. How do you want to be remembered?

Luke 6:27-31 In the sermon on the plain, the teaching of Jesus replicates here the sermon on the mount, recorded in Matthew. Verse 27 is the key to most of Jesus teaching, “let he who has ears hear,” in other words understand what I say as Spiritual teaching. The New Covenant that Jesus is introducing was prophesied by Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and many others, and in a nutshell is, the Spirit of God is coming to indwell all who believe. We must be born again, we must be born of the Spirit. When that happens it’s easy to understand spiritual matters. Jesus taught, in part, “Do not regard wealth as something to be held onto,” ” pray for those that mistreat you,” ” give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours do not demand it back.” “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

The simplicity and the complexity of the Word of God depends whether you are understanding Spiritually or earthly. The Law of Moses was understood by Israel as with an earthly mind, or as Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 15:45 “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life giving spirit.” 46. “However the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual.” 47. “The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.” Therefore, Paul explains in Romans 8:3 “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, Jehovah did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” If we walk according to the Spirit we cannot be victimized, no one can defraud us, or cheat us, or take anything away from us, for we have already given it away. The Lord gave all possessions to us and they are on loan until He decides to move it on to someone else. When that happens we merely wait patiently until blessing from God comes our way again. Desire not earthly things, but eagerly seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and He will take complete care of you. You are born of the Spirit, therefore walk in the Spirit, trust in the One who loves you, and be not conformed to this world and it’s economy.

Karl

Out Of Egypt

Psalm 148

Jeremiah 31:15-18

Matthew 2: 13-18

Matthew 2:13-18 Continuing with the birth and childhood of Jesus, the Son of God, and the miraculous fulfillment of prophecies concerning Him. When King Herod, who had inquired of the visiting Babylonian Maji as to where this prophesied King of Israel was to be born, found out that the Maji had taken another way home, he became enraged. It’s comical when an accomplished liar finds out not everyone believes them and they become angry at the person who disbelieves. King Herod then demands that all male youth under the age of two, in and around Bethlehem are destroyed, for he wants no competition to his throne. This act then has been revealed to Joseph, by an angel of the LORD, prior to any action by the soldiers sent to destroy, to move his new family to Egypt for safety, until Herod dies. This also fulfills a prophecy, Hosea 11:1, describing both Israel as the beloved son of Jehovah, and the Greater Son, Jesus the Savior of Israel and mankind, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” A near and far fulfillment of the prophecy.

Another prophecy is then described in verse 18 as being fulfilled, Jeremiah 31:15-18, “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.” This is again a prophecy describing the agony that the women of Bethlehem incurred because of the actions taken by the demonic King Herod.

But again, as so many prophecies reveal, there is more than one fulfillment to them. Jeremiah said these were things to come, yet until this time there were no mass killings in the city of Ramah. Ramah is a city in Ephraim, to the north of Jerusalem, and of the southern kingdom, Judah. In the now divided kingdom, there are two southern tribes, Benjamin and Judah. The northern ten tribes, that broke away under the reign of Rehoboam, are known as Ephraim, it has been this way for centuries. Jeremiah in his prophecy in chapter 31, is unknowingly describing a prophecy of the Christ, yet also symbolically describing in near times, the breaking apart of Gods chosen people, and ultimately their restoration. Rachel being the wife of Jacob, is known as the mother of Israel, the entire nation, and there is great lamentations over the divided kingdom. Yet Jeremiah continues in verse 17, “there is hope for your future, and our children will return to their own territory. I have heard Ephraim grieving, You have chastised me, and I have been chastised, like an untrained calf….” A near and far fulfillment of the prophecy.

Psalm 148 “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, Praise him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His Hosts!” The psalmist calls for all creation to Praise Jehovah, everything that He created, everything that He established, everything that has breath and those things that don’t. “His Glory is above earth and Heaven. He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise formal His Godly ones, even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD.”

We can be sure of this, that Jehovah fulfills His word, His prophecies. In all times, in all circumstances, in all current events, in all the world, God is sovereign, nothing escapes His notice. He works all thing to the good, for the complete salvation of this who love Him and are called according to His Purpose. Rest assured that as prophecies have near and far fulfillments, all bring Praise to the Father, and instill hope in we who believe and love Him.

Karl

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