Thursday, November 26, 2015


The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 3:1-2
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

The Pharisee: today we think of such a term as a derogatory remark towards any one who is hypocritical, legalistic, unmerciful, and more concerned about splitting theological hairs than loving and serving the LORD and His people.
Nearly everywhere in Scripture we see the Pharisee as adversaries of the LORD Jesus Christ; hence the perspective that the Pharisees were 'the bad guys' - and that they were in Jesus day, but they didn't start out that way. From the Bible History website we have the following:

"The sect of Pharisees is thought to have originated in the 3rd century B.C., in days preceding the Maccabean wars, when under Greek domination and the Greek effort to Hellenize the Jews, there was a strong tendency among the Jews to accept Greek culture with its pagan religious customs. The rise of the Pharisees was a reaction and protest against this tendency among their fellow kinsmen. Their aim was to preserve their national integrity and strict conformity to Mosaic law. They later developed into self-righteous and hypocritical formalists. Later they were among those who had condemned Jesus to death. 

"How fearfully the prophecy of destruction that Jesus had foretold was fulfilled! In a few brief years the Roman legions of the Emperor Titus utterly destroyed the city and its glorious Temple. Over a million Jews perished in the siege in a few days, and a hundred thousand more were taken away in captivity. 

"Without its marvelous Temple, the Jewish religion was forced to take on a new character, and after the final Jewish rebellion (132 A.D.) all hope of rebuilding the Temple was lost, and the work of these rabbis took a different direction. 

"The Mishnah, compiled by the Patriarch Judah (200 A.D.), which is the final work of these rabbis, began a final work in the history of Jewish scholarship. It is a monument of Pharisaic scholarship and a testimony to the final triumph of Pharisaism, which now is compiled into the Talmud which has become synonymous with Judaism."

For more about Pharisees and their history, go to the web site quoted above here.

The Pharisees and Sadducees (the conservatives and liberals respectively of Judaism in the days of Jesus) were often at odds with each other, but when Jesus came along, they had a focal point that united them. It was the religious versus the Righteous One. That's how it always was, and is, and will be even in the Last Days when under anti-Christ and his world religion will actually go on the offensive against the returning LORD Jesus (Read PSALM 2; ridiculous!!)!

Yet this was not always the case; in the book of Acts we read about how there were some of the Pharisees that believed in Christ (though, according to this reference (ACTS 15:5) they still had trouble letting go of 'the Law' instead of wholly embracing Christ by faith alone. 
Another that seemed at the least, cautious about opposing Jesus was Gamaliel (ACTS 5:34) who was also a teacher of Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the apostle (ACTS 22:3). While it doesn't specifically state it, Joseph of Arimathaea, was at the least a highly respected leader, one who did not consent to the counsel of the Sanhedrin, and may well could have been a Pharisee - certainly a very religious and pious man to say the least (See JOHN 19:38-42).

In today's text we read about another Pharisee who was seeking truth beyond any that could be possibly found in mere religion:

Why did Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a leader of the Jews, come to Jesus by night? Some suggest it was an act of cowardice or feeling intimidated by his colleagues repudiation of the Righteous Branch (See JER 23:533:15and so he wanted to see Him secretly, so that no one would know. Others think it was a courtesy that Nicodemus was paying to Jesus - knowing that He would be very busy in the day time, he came to Him by night, when He would retire from His labors and be more readily available for inquirers.

Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at all? Could it be perhaps that he saw in Jesus things that his own Jewish religion couldn't provide?

I am often asked, when seen in public reading my Bible, if I am religious; my answer is invariably "no - I'm just a Christian". This often provokes a confused response because most people can't differentiate between religion and biblical Christianity.

Like Judaism before it, Christianity started out with a foundation solidly established by the LORD God; but over the course of time, what was once God-ordained and biblical, became religious: with all sorts of 'add-ons' that incorporates traditions and rules, and extra-biblical, even unbiblical beliefs. 
Judaism, like Christianity experienced an apostasy (falling away from the faith; 1 TIM 4:1); you can read about it throughout the Old Testament prophets who warned of Israel's wayward and hard hearts, as well as in the New Testament by the LORD Jesus Himself (Read MATT 23 chapter as an example). 

Today, Judaism is a morphed version of what God intended - not Mosaic Judaism* but Talmudic - which includes traditional rituals and customs and beliefs that are not only unbiblical in most respects, but sometimes even occultic (as seen in the Kabala).
Christianity today is also not at all for the most part, as the LORD intended. Everywhere the Emergent Church, the New Apostolic Reformation Movement, the Word-Faith Movement and the general ecumenism of denominational Christendom expresses the truth that the church has strayed from her biblical foundation.

* [WIthout a Temple in Jerusalem, Mosaic Judaism is impossible because without a Temple, there can be no priesthood or sacrifices offered by such. In point of fact, even with a rebuilt Temple, the time of Mosaic Judaism has truly passed because the Temple, its priests, sacrifices, feasts and rituals were all foreshadowings of the coming Messiah, and now that He has come as The Highpriest, The Sacrifice, and The Temple - the former foreshadowings are passed away - for a comprehensive understanding of this, a careful study of the book of Hebrews is suggested or a shorter version, the book of Galatians.]

There were those Jews who truly desired God and to please Him; these were lovers of the truth of His Word and so when Jesus came preaching, they heard Him, understood His teachings and became followers. These were those who were "Jews inwardly" (ROM 2:29) and had "ears to hear" as opposed to those other Jews who were spiritually speaking blind and deaf (MATT. 13:15-17). The twelve disciples (excluding Judas Iscariot) were such as these.

The religious will almost always oppose the righteous. The sanctimonious will nearly invariably be at odds with the saints. Ever since the day that Cain slew Abel - because of Cain's jealousy that Abel's sacrifice was acceptable to God and his own was not (this was because Abel was obedient to the LORD by offering an animal sacrifice as He prescribed, not a meal offering (grain) which Cain offered according to his own religious conviction).

There are a few select exceptions however - those who were raised in religion and yet eventually came to understand that religion cannot fill an empty soul (MATT. 11:28-30), it cannot transform the heart (JOHN 3:3,5; 2 COR 5:17), it cannot offer salvation (HEB 2:3,10): these things can ONLY be accomplished by the Spirit of the Living God: Who does not dwell in temples of stone made by humans (ACTS 17:24), much less in religion itself.

I was such a one, being a rather religious Roman Catholic in my youth - but the spiritual hunger and questions I had went unanswered by religion. It wasn't until I began to read the Bible for myself (about a one year journey through the Scriptures) that I came to a saving knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ, and salvation by grace through His redemption which He purchased for us. If you would like to read my testimony, you may do so here.

I have often said, that "religion" is an artificial (man-made) form of (self) righteousness that can only mimic true spirituality found in Christ; that the righteousness that religion offers is wholly unacceptable, even offensive to God!

ISAIAH 64:6-7
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Rather than struggle in the realm of religion, why not rather - like Nicodemus, seek JESUS in the night of your soul, and find Him as you seek wholeheartedly (JER 29:13) and discover new life and spiritual regeneration and transformation! 

TITUS 3:4-6
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

EPH 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The SINNER'S PRAYER: Is It Biblical?

I have been observing comments and remarks with increasing frequency regarding the notion of "the sinner's prayer" and much of them express everything from doubt to disparagement. Is this a biblically sound concept, or a contrivance of popular Western Christianity?

To be fair, we don't see the phraseology of "the sinner's prayer" anywhere in Scripture; then again, what we commonly refer to as "the LORD's Prayer" (MATT. 6:9-13) isn't - it's more a "Disciple's Prayer" than anything else (the petition to "forgive us our trespasses" cannot be applied to the sinless Lamb of God, but certainly to us sinners!). The real "LORD's Prayer could rightly be attributed to JOHN 17 instead. 

Yet the portion of Scripture found in MATT 6 is usually referred to as the LORD's Prayer any way; it's our own way of referring to it with an extra-biblical title. I suppose the same could be said regarding the 'sinner's prayer'.

Many object to the idea of saying a simple prayer, and at it's conclusion the pastor or evangelist would proclaim those who said it as "saved" and they then "welcome [them] to the family of God." I certainly would find issue with that sort of conduct and for very specific reasons.

I would like to quote a typical "sinner's prayer" and go over it, line after line and see if we can find any biblical basis for this concept.
Of course there are many different versions of this prayer, but they all (usually) contain the same elements and ideas. Here is one by way of example:

"LORD I confess that I have sinned and that I am a sinner. I admit that I have lived a life of sin against Your holy will and Your holy law. I understand that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, that He took the punishment that should have been mine, upon Himself. I acknowledge that Jesus rose from the dead, being victorious over sin and death and offers to us eternal life and salvation to all who will believe in Him. Thank You LORD for Your sacrifice. I come to you now, repenting of my sinful life and desire to give my life to you. I receive You Jesus as my personal LORD and Savior - come into my heart and life and save me from sin, death and hell. I commit myself to You LORD and believe the Gospel. I understand that I am no longer my own, but that I and all of my life now belongs to You.
Thank You God as my new heavenly Father for the gift of Your Son, in Jesus Name, amen."

Anyone who hears the Gospel, who is granted understanding by the Holy Spirit and realizes what the cross of Christ is all about, and then expresses genuine faith in Jesus for salvation is saved according to the promise of Scripture. So let's go over each of these lines (7 component parts) in this model sinner's prayer and see if we can distinguish its parts, whether they are biblical or not.

1) LORD I confess that I have sinned and that I am a sinner. I admit that I have lived a life of sin against Your holy will and Your holy law.

We have all read the account that our LORD Himself illustrated for us, that of the Pharisee and the publican as found in LUKE 18:9-14. In this account, it was the publican who humbled himself and confessed that he was a sinner, and besought the mercy of God who went away justified - rather than the Pharisee who trusted in his own (dead) works.

Scripture abundantly declares that we are all sinners (ROM. 3:23; 5:12,19; GAL. 3:22; JER. 17:9; MATT 15:19; EPH 2:3). The Word teaches us that it's the Law of God written in the conscience of humanity, as well as exposure to the truth of the Law that will drive us towards Christ, seeking salvation (GAL. 3:23-24). In the Greek the word used for sin is hamartiah, which means "to miss the mark" as in shooting an arrow at a target. 
This is what we are all guilty of as human beings, missing the mark of God's holy will for us. We have sinned against His holy will. To make an admission of one's own sinfulness is truly humbling and for those who humble themselves before the LORD, what is His promise?

JAMES 4:6-10
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

2) I understand that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, that He took the punishment that should have been mine, upon Himself.

The LORD told us that He came to pay our ransom, something that we could not possibly do for ourselves (MARK 10:46; MATT 5:3; 2 COR. 8:9). He is the sacrifice Lamb that takes away the sin of the entire world (JOHN 1:29,36); His holy and righteous soul, entirely pure of any sin or wrong-doing was burdened with the weight of the sins of the whole of the human race - every one of us! (1 JOHN 2:2; 2 COR. 5:20-21)

3) I acknowledge that Jesus rose from the dead, being victorious over sin and death and offers to us eternal life and salvation to all who will believe in Him.

Scripture declares that any who make such a confession will be saved (ROM 10:8-11), but this must be a confession based on genuine belief from the heart - not merely mouthing words or parroting the pastor's recitation. We believe that because sin brings death, and that Christ bore our sins, He died in our place - but also that He conquered over our sin by rising again from the dead (ROM 6:23; ISAIAH 53:3-6; ACTS 2:22-36; 1 COR 15:20-23,54-57)! He is the author of eternal life and imparts such to all who believe in Him (ROM 6:23; JOHN 3:16).

4) Thank You LORD for Your sacrifice. I come to you now, repenting of my sinful life and desire to give my life to you.

He is the High Priest of our salvation (HEB 9:11-14) and He is also the perfect sacrifice for our sin (HEB 9:25-26). As we realize the vital importance and the incredible grace demonstrated by His sacrifice (EPH 2:8-9; TITUS 3:5-7), we may become convicted by such love for us sinners and this in turn may lead to repentance, as it is the goodness of God that leads us there (ROM 2:4). 
Repentance is something that unfortunately is overlooked in many calls to salvation, but this is essential - not that we have power in ourselves to turn from the sins that we are impelled towards by our sinful nature. For if we could truly and fully turn from sin (as in our nature) of our own accord, what then would be the need for salvation.
But just as the man with the withered hand (MATT 12:10-13) could not possibly extend his paralyzed arm as the LORD commanded him to do, but that he showed a willingness of heart to do so, and the LORD then empowered him; likewise if we with broken heart come before the LORD with a desire to repent and in as much as is in us to do so, demonstrate such - by His Spirit He enables us as we receive God's empowering grace. Repentance is something revealed throughout Scripture - all of the prophets called for it of Israel when the nation had fallen into sin (JER 4:1-2; 35:15; EZEK 14:6; JONAH 3:9-10); John the Baptist preached repentance (MATT 3:1-2), as did Jesus our LORD (MATT 4:17) and the apostles (ACTS 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 17:30).

For more on the issue of repentance, have a look at this article from  www.loveintruth.comTwo Errors Regarding Repentance
Watch this video (under 8 mins) from The BEREAN CALL (Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon) on Must You Repent To Be Saved?

5) I receive You Jesus as my personal LORD and Savior - come into my heart and life and save me from sin, death and hell. 

There are some who disparage this idea of 'receiving Christ' but this is hardly something that is absent in Scripture; further - the notion of 'accepting Christ into the heart' - yet when we are born again of God's Spirit, are we not then indwelt by the very Spirit of Christ (ROM 8:9; EPH 3:17; COL 1:26-27):

JOHN 1:11-13
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

COL 2:6-7
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Jesus is indeed the sovereign LORD whether we receive Him as such or not; and if He is not my Savior personally, He is still the Savior of all who call upon Him in truth. Yet it's when I come to Christ for salvation, and receive such from Him, that He is not then only the LORD in a universal sense, but also in the intimate sense that He is mine, and I am His - it's a position of ownership: He claims me as His son, I claim Him as my LORD. 

6) I commit myself to You LORD and believe the Gospel. I understand that I am no longer my own, but that I and all of my life now belongs to You.

To commit oneself to the LORD and the way of our very lives is the greatest honor we can grant to the Almighty (PSALM 31:5;37:5); for of our own free will, we step forward and offer up our paltry lives, but out of a heart of tenderness and brokenness and a yearning to know Him - this is an honor to the LORD. David had such a yearning and a heart for the LORD, His supreme desire was to dwell in the house of the LORD and to inquire in His temple, to behold His beauty: fellowship (PSALM 27). And for this kind of heart, the LORD referred to David as "a man after My own heart" (ACTS 13:22). 
When we come to the LORD in true repentance, seeking true salvation, we come with an understanding that He has by His blood, purchased redemption for us, and that as the redeemed* - we no longer belong to ourselves but to the LORD (1 COR. 6:19-20): we lose what ever life we may have had on our own - all of our goals, plans, desires, etc. and forsake them and in turn, surrender our lives to live out God's goals, plans and desires which He desires to bless us with.

* A web link to another FMF article on the subject of redemption is found at the end of this article.

The LORD Himself stated clearly:

MATT 10:38-39
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

MATT 16:24-26
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

It must be understood however that we are not forsaking our lives in a vain attempt to somehow be deserving of salvation, or attempting to 'pay God back' for His salvation. If we are genuinely saved, this is the natural response of that blessed regeneration.

Yet it must also be understood that we "count the cost" of what coming to Christ will mean. This is something also terribly lacking in the presentation of the Gospel (LUKE 14:27-29). 
Are we willing to forsake a life of sin - which ultimately will bring bitterness and emptiness, heart ache and misery and ultimately death and hell - for a life after Christ which will bring the peace of God (ROM 5:1-2), blessings and the fruit of His Spirit - love and its accompaniments of joy, peace, patience, (GAL 5:22-24) etc - with trials and persecutions as we intend to live godly for Him (2 TIM 2:12)?

7) Thank You God as my new heavenly Father for the gift of Your Son, in Jesus Name, amen.

Salvation is not about religion; it's about relationship. God is no longer an 'angry old man waiting in heaven to strike us down if we commit the slightest error' - or some remote Creator that is impossible to comprehend or know personally. Through the LORD Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we may call God our Father, or Abba (MATT 6:6,9; JOHN 16:25-27; 20:17). 
We learn about Him through the Word, which His Spirit grants us understanding; through prayer as we seek Him, and through the fellowship of other godly saints. We grow in the grace and knowledge of the truth (2 PET 3:18). 
As in any prayer, when we pray in the Name of Jesus, we pray according to the reputation of His Name, that is, His holiness, His grace, His truth, His tender mercies, His will, power and glory, etc. (JOHN 16:26; 1 JOHN 5:14).

The one issue that I have about a sinner's prayer (as I mentioned at the beginning of this article) is that too often it is used as a kind of magic potion or a 'one-time-deal' event where I say these words, and 'accept Christ' but only then, once said and accepted, go about my merry way in my old life, never heeding the Spirit of God or taking time for the Word or prayer or fellowship - and somehow expect that because 'I said a prayer once and accepted Christ' so therefore I am saved no matter what. And how could a pastor or evaneglist declare any who said that prayer as being saved and secured for heaven?

Would not time prove out whether the words spoken were genuine, that wrought genuine repentance and salvation? Too freely are people declared 'saved' today - when we must leave to God to declare such in His Word and by evidence in our lives by a changed heart.

We are known by our fruit, and every one that does not bear godly fruit (that is, the nature of Christ with His love, truth, righteousness - not perfectly demonstrated, but indeed real and evidential) cannot claim with any certainty that they are saved; (MATT 7:16,20; 2 COR 9:10; EPH 5:9; PHIL 1:11).

The issue of salvation, receiving Christ and obtaining the Spirit begs a very valid question: once gained - can it be lost?? There are many arguments on both sides and this is a controversy that has raged in the church for centuries. I hope to address this question in a related article, but I want to take time and do my due diligence in the research of Scripture. This will in all likelihood be published on the parent web site of The TRUTH Under FIRE.

Until then, may the LORD Bless and Keep you in the NAME of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOR!

Related to this is the following article:

Monday, November 2, 2015


The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

JOHN 2:23-25
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Dan Kimball, sympathizer of The Emergent Church Movement wrote a book entitled:
"They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations"

I wonder if people liked Jesus today as much as they did during the days when He walked the Earth, whether or not they would crucify Him again . . . ?
There are all sorts of brands of Jesus to like today: The enlightened, Hindu-style Jesus and his related cousin, the New Age Jesus; there is the Muslim and Mormon Jesus, the Hebrew-Roots Movement Jesus, the Roman Catholic Jesus, the Theosophical Jesus, the ecological Jesus and of course, the Emergent Church Jesus (among others). Each of these are well liked by their respective followings. 
But now, will the real Jesus please stand up?
We need not worry about mis-identifying Him, He's the One found in the pages of Scripture.

There are many who profess to believe the Scriptures but do they really? The Pharisees and Sadducees (to varying degrees) professed such a belief in the Tanahk (what we call the Old Testament), but what did the LORD Jesus tell them?

JOHN 5:38-40
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

They professed to be disciples of Moses, NOT this Jesus (JOHN 9:29) - but the LORD's comment just a few verses down in JOHN 5 was:

JOHN 5:45-47
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

If they truly believed the Inspired Word of God, then they would have believed the Incarnate Word of God (JOHN 1:1-3); but in truth, they believed neither!

Yet there were many in those days that did profess a belief in Jesus because they saw first hand, the mighty miracles He did! One might suppose that this would have been a great encouragement to our LORD, but He did not "...commit Himself to them..."

That word "commit" in the Greek is pisteuo and it's related to the word pistis, meaning "faith" - pisteuo means to "have faith in, to trust, to credit, to entrust". The LORD knew better than to trust in the whimsical, and flimsy faith of mere human beings.

Of ourselves, our faithfulness, reliability and trustworthiness is terribly inadequate, far deficient for what is required for true faith in Christ. This is why the LORD must grant us faith (ROM. 12:3) and by His indwelling Spirit grow the fruit of the Spirit, which is love and its associative characteristics, such as faithfulness (GAL. 5:22).

This truth puts a coffin nail in the 'positive/possibility' thinking, self-help and self-esteem philosophy and the general belief that "mankind is basically good". The holy, penetrating gaze of our God measures the essence of our inner most being and tests them for what they are worth:

JER. 17:10
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

And what He finds is:

JER. 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Not the least bit flattering is it? Mankind in his blind pride believes himself to be a god, and yet he is an abject, spiritually poverty-stricken sinner whose heart is desperately (read that, "incurable"!) wicked.

I have heard, much to my dismay, Christians say that "Jesus believes in you!"  or even "have faith in yourself!" when our text today, says the very opposite! If there were any basis of confidence in us, the All-knowing and All-seeing God, our Creator would know of it. It is enough that we believe in Jesus, and express confidence in His transformative power to create in us a clean heart, and renew our minds so that we are able by God's grace, to put on the mind of Christ (PSALM 51:10; ROM. 12:1-2; PHIL. 2:5).

This is why we are in need of a new heart, because the old one is so far gone, that even GOD Himself pronounces is incurable! Thankfully the LORD in His grace has provided new hearts to all who desire Him:

Ezekiel 36:26
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Humanity in itself has as much spiritual life as a stone; only the LORD can turn stones into His children (MATT. 3:9). Only He can impart true and eternal life by His Spirit. And it's only those who are born of the Spirit of God that the LORD Jesus can entrust with His Word, with the commission of the Gospel, with His dearest friends . . .

This is why the LORD intended on building His church upon Himself - the Rock of truth, not in a fallible, changeable, flawed people like Peter (or less so, ourselves), who denied Him three times. Certainly by God's grace Peter was restored to his position of ministry as an apostle, and as one of those apostles held a place of foundation (EPH. 2:20). But the very Cornerstone is Christ: the only One trustworthy enough as a proper foundation for His building, the body of Christ - born again saints (1 PET. 2:61 COR. 3:9).

It was a common belief among the Jews that if a person was affluent and rich, that they were blessed of God, Who demonstrated His approval by bestowing such blessings. This is why the disciples were blown away when the LORD said:

MARK 10:23-27
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

In verse 27, where it states that "Jesus looking upon them" a certain word is used that describes how one might closely inspect something; an intentional and perceptive gaze (like one beholding a theater performance).
I can well believe that the LORD beheld the 'theater of the hearts' of those before Him, carefully sizing up their quality and substance - and coming to the decided conclusion that humanity being approved of God by his own merit and works " . . . is impossible".

Elsewhere in Scripture the LORD pronounces the condition of humanity:

PSALM 39:4-6
4 Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.
5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

ISAIAH 64:6-7
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

ROMANS 3:10-12
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

May we declare along with the apostle Paul, and in agreement with the LORD Whose vote of 'No Confidence' in our frail humanity has been rendered in the counsels of Scripture:

PHIL. 3:3, 7-9
3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Sunday, October 25, 2015


The biblical study of salvation is known in seminaries and in the volumes of Systematic Theology as soteriology; within this study is contained all of the many aspects of what salvation is and what it means to the believer of Jesus Christ: atonement, redemption, propitiation, justification and sanctification, and glorification. All of these sub-groups are a part of the over all act of salvation which is provided and purchased by the blood of Christ, the LAMB of GOD Who takes away the sin of the world (JOHN 1:29).

The redemption of sinful man can only be accomplished by a qualified redeemer, and none are qualified except for the LORD Jesus Christ. Why is this? you may ask. In the specifics, we will examine the why's and wherefore's of this doctrine; may it prove to be a blessing to the saints, and increase our understanding and appreciation, love and devotion to our LORD for what He has done, is doing, and will do for us! Amen.

The idea of a kinsman redeemer is throughout the Old Testament; the Hebrew word is go-el, and this refers to "specific situations where a righteous man would do for a near kinsman (a relative) what they could not do for themselves. From the  web site HEBREWS4CHRISTIANS we have the following article for your consideration.


1) May purchase back a piece of property for a relative who sold it out of financial need.

2) Free an Israelite slave who sold his services to a master in times of poverty.

3) Avenge the blood of a murdered relative (the go'el haddam).

One of the first mentions of a kinsman redeemer is in LEVITICUS 25:25-26; the entire chapter is about redeeming land, properties, houses and relatives. Other references include (but not exhaustive to) these: NUMBERS 5:8; 35:19, 21, 24, 27; DEUT. 19:6, 12; JOSH 20:5, 9; RUTH 3:9, 12; 4:14; 2 SAM 14:11; NEH. 5:1-11; and ISAIAH 49:7. The entire book of RUTH is an eloquent example of the kinsman redeemer (Boaz) and how he redeemed land that belonged to his near kinswoman (Naomi) and her daughter-in-law, Ruth.

For an excellent resource that covers the length and breadth on this subject of the Kinsman-Redeemer is on the following web site: You will find charts, diagrams and plentiful Scriptures and explanations that will aid in your understanding of all of this, available to you here.

Note that the redeemer MUST be a relative; not a neighbor or a friend, but one who shares the same blood. What bond is there that is greater than the love of family - sure there may be feuding and quarreling, but the typical family will be there for all of it's members and help out of a heart of love and compassion.

The redeemer MUST be able to pay the debt, no matter how exorbitant it might be, and MUST pay the debt in full. This reveals the comparable wealth of the kinsman who has such powers as to make good on any debt.

The redeemer MUST be willing of their own accord to clear the debt for their relative(s); no coersion is permitted as this a mission of mercy.

The redeemer MUST also be prepared to take on the role as the Avenger of blood (See DEUT. 19:6,12 and JOSH 20:3,5,9 and seek retribution for family slain by an enemy.

The book of Ruth is the quintessential example of the kinsman goel in action, in this case, it's Boaz. Rather than relate the entire story here, let's just look at the essentials so that we may move on in our study. 
We turn to KOINONIA HOUSE and the concise but accurate appraisal of what a kinsman redeemer does, and all of the implications involved that will relate to the remainder of this article (NOTE: This author does not necessarily agree with particular assertions made by Dr. Missler, but in this instance, his exposition is excellent):

To review this article by K-House, go here - A Story of Bethlehem: The Kinsman Redeemer.

JOHN 1:14-15
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

The WORD Who is God and Who is with God (the Father; See JOHN 1:1-2) became flesh; that is, the Son of God became a man - and why? Because He would redeem the world and to do so He must, as a kinsman redeemer, become a human being and therefore be related to us all. Only a near relation could pay the debt of a relative.

We are all of us, indebted to God for transgressing His Law (we sinners, spiritually speaking have a 'debt to His holy society' that must be paid!):

ROMANS 3:19-20
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, . . . for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

ROMANS 6:23a
 For the wages of sin is death . . .

We cannot possibly earn enough righteousness of our own (ISAIAH 64:6) to pay the insurmountable debt of sin we have acquired against the Eternal and Holy God, whose only rendering in justice against such sin must be death itself (not merely physical, but spiritual death! See EZEK. 18:4, 20; REV. 21:8). We cannot pay, because we are spiritually poverty stricken (MATT. 5:3).

Who could possibly accept the full weight of our Holy Almighty God's Eternal righeous judgment and the associated punishment that His justice demands? Only One Who is also Holy - absolutely pure of any sin of their own, Almighty and Eternal. 
If they even had one mark of sin upon their soul, then they would equally be a debtor to God along with the rest of us (JAMES 2:10) and disqualified as a Kinsman Redeemer. That is why no one else could be our Redeemer except for Christ, our Savior Who was able to bear our sin - the sin of the entire human race throughout all time and places in this world - the full weight of God's judgment and wrath!
Take a moment and read all 12 verses of ISAIAH 53; See also GAL. 1:4; HEB. 1:3.

Jesus Who is God has the spiritual wealth that is required to pay this incredible debt in the light of God's Holy Light. He is holy (HEB 7:22-26), spotless (1 PET 1:19), and there is no claim by Satan the accuser or His adversaries had on Him as a sinner (JOHN 8:46; 14:30) that would rightly condemned Him if He were.

Because He is also a Man, He is our near-kinsman and is authorized to choose the option of paying that debt. And He was a willing sacrifice for us:

JOHN 10:17-18
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
See also LUKE 9:56; JOHN 1:29, 36; HEB. 1:3-8.

GOD Himself so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Who Himself took on flesh and as a Human being endured every test and temptation that the enemy could assail upon Him - and not once EVER FAILED! As stated previously, He remained totally pure and righteous, without even the slightest trace of sin any where in His heart, at any time in His Holy Life! And as our kinsman, out of love and compassion willingly took on the debt of sin Himself.
See 1 TIM. 3:16; HEB. 4:14-15.

This is why the fallen angels cannot be saved; because Christ did not take upon Himself the form of an angel and become a kinsman redeemer for them. Tragically, Satan's decision, and those angels who sided with him in the rebellion against God, is a final one and beyond remedy.

Our kinsman Redeemer - both of Jews of Israel and Gentiles of the nations of the world, is Jesus Who is indeed the son of Abraham - the father of Israel (MATT. 1:1) and the son of Adam (through His mother Mary, not Joseph His step-father*) - the father of the human race (LUKE 3:23, 38), has paid the penalty of our debt of sin; He has restored to us far more than we had ever lost:

[* It's important to understand that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, though Mary was His mother. The Father of Jesus is God Almighty - the Father, just as He is the Son. This brings up the valid question: Why Is The Virgin Birth So Important? Read this article from GOT QUESTIONS? at the link provided here.]

Whereas before we had merely the natural life of this world's domain, He has granted to us who have faith in Him, eternal life (JOHN 3:15; 6:68; 17:3; ROM. 5:21; 6:23)! Where we had merely the plans and purposes, temporal blessings and gifts of this life, He has granted eternal plans and purposes, blessings and gifts through His grace (JAMES 1:17; EPH. 1:8-10)! 
Where we might have the blessing of citizenship in a prosperous nation in this world, He has granted us citizenship and nationality of heaven's Kingdom (PHIL. 3:20; note: the word "conversation" in King James in this reference means "citizenship" refer to your Greek Lexicon dictionary for verification. See also REV. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), to all who believe in the LORD Jesus Christ!

He has redeemed us, purchased us by His blood (ACTS 20:12), and so those of us who place our faith in JESUS for salvation now belong to Him and His Kingdom (1 COR. 6:19-20); He has paid the penalty of our sin freely; He has granted to us a glorious inheritance among the saints (EPH. 1:18; COL. 1:12); and yet He has one more function to perform . . .

Among His children, both Jew and Gentile believers: saints of the living God, many have been martyred - murdered in fact by the children of darkness. Throughout history Jews have suffered at the hands of their enemies who have mercilessly killed them. Likewise the church of Jesus Christ has had rivers of blood flow from their slain bodies throughout the centuries.

The Kinsman goel is known also as the Avenger of Blood and His duty will be to find every offender that has murdered His kin, and mete out justice by slaying them - and this is exactly what will happen when in these last days, the nations of the world will gather together against Israel to destroy her as a nation. The LORD Jesus Christ will appear just in time to save Israel and to wreak such havoc in slaying the wicked, according to His justice, that the river of blood of His slain will flow as high as the horses's bridle (about 6-7 feet deep)! See REV. 14:18-20; see also ISAIAH 59:16-21; 63:1-3; REV. 19:11-21.

Upon the Day of Judgment when the heavens and the earth are no more, every unrighteous sinner will likewise be judged by our Holy God according to His Holy Law (REV. 20:10-15); the ONLY way of salvation from that judgment is through Christ and the grace He offers from the cross of Calvary.

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

This concludes this study on the KINSMAN REDEEMER! For more Scripture to consider, here is a compiliation that the reader might review:

To redeem; redeeming

PSALMS 34:22; 44:26; 49:15;  72:14; 103:4; 130:8; ISAIAH 50:2; JER. 15:21; HOS. 13:14; GAL. 4:5; TITUS 2:14. EPH. 5:16; COL. 4:5.


PSALM 49:8; 111:9; 130:7; JER. 32:7-8; LUKE 2:38; 21:28; 8:23; 1 COR. 1:30; EPH. 1:7,14; 4:30; COL. 1:14; HEB. 9:12,15.

The redeemed:

EX. 15:18; 2 SAM. 4:9; PSALMS 106:10; 107:2; ISAIAH 1:27; 35:9; 43:1; 44:22;  51:11; 52:3; LUKE 1:68; 24:21; 1 PET. 1:18; REV. 5:9; 14:4.

The Redeemer:

JOB 19:25; PSALM 19:14; 78:35; PROV. 23:11; ISAIAH 41:14; 43:14; 44:6; 47:4; 49:26; 54:5; 59:20; 60:16; 63:16; JER. 50:34; 

Monday, October 12, 2015


The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

Previously we witnessed the LORD cleansing the Temple of the money changers and their corrupt practices of 'ripping off the people' in God's Name (a talent that today's televangelists have perfected with unparalleled success!). The LORD in perfect temperance, vented His righteous anger and chased away these profiteers.

The religious authorities then challenged the LORD Jesus on His actions:

JOHN 2:18-22

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

As per usual the Jews asked for a sign. There were times when the LORD denied them any such signs (MATT. 12:39; 16:4) and rebuked them for seeking such. Not this time however. This time He tells them point blank the sign that He would show them:

"Destroy this temple and in three days," He said, "I will raise it  up." The Jewish authorities misunderstood, naturally, quite likely because they happened to be standing in the Jewish temple at the time of the LORD's declaration. We have the inspired direction of the Holy Spirit however to set us straight on what the LORD meant (vs. 21).

He was speaking of His own resurrection - certainly ample authority proven for anyone who could perform such a miracle! Interesting how the LORD stated that He would raise Himself up from the dead.

Then in ACTS 5:30 Peter declared that it was the Father that raised Christ up from the dead. And in ROMANS 8:11 it says that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. Here we have the Trinity in cooperation in raising the body of the LORD Jesus up from the dead, with resurrection power and in a glorified state. We can find similar cooperation in the Trinity's work in creation, the inspiration of Scripture, the work of salvation, the indwelling of the believer and other work besides. 

The LORD provided this evidence of authority on the very day of His resurrection; today this evidence is free for any and all to examine. While skeptics have come up with many explanations for this incredible event, other than the supernatural one, none of them adequately explains away the reality of the resurrection
It's a fascinating study to examine all the places in the Scripture where "three days" are mentioned; where you find these references in the Word, consider how many of them in context, are inferences of the coming Messiah's resurrection - on the third day (For starters, here is a hint of one such place in Scripture: HEB. 11:17-19 in comparison with GEN. 22:1-8, esp. vs, 4).

This supremely profound event has cleft time in half between "BC" and "AD" and will be a focal point of judgment against those who refused to believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, just as Peter proved on the day of Pentecost (ACTS 2:22-36). Yet for all of the evidences presented, there would still be those Jews who would never express faith in the LORD though He did rise from the dead because they never expressed true faith in the canon of Scripture (written through Moses and the prophets) that they were in possession of (LUKE 16:31)!

It was a sad state of affairs that even the temple building (whose expansion enterprise under Herod's direction) which took forty-six years to complete, was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews have been without a temple ever since - though they will have one soon enough, but even this will be defiled by the coming anti-Christ (2 THESS. 2:4). 

It is because of the truth of the LORD's resurrection that the Spirit of God is enabled to indwell believers, who themselves become the temple of the Holy Spirit (JOHN 20:22; 1 COR. 6:19). 


19 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;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Everything in the Christian faith hinges upon the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. Had He not risen from the dead, we would still be in our sin! See 1 COR. 15:17. Christianity would have never survived its first week after the LORD was buried in the tomb, if He had made such a proclamation but never made good on it!

Yet such a bold declaration was answered by an equally bold demonstration of power - and because Christ is risen, we are forgiven of our sins; we are indwelt by the Spirit, we have the promise of eternal life and have no need to fear death any longer.

We likewise will receive glorified bodies just as our LORD did, and dwell in the glories of heaven forever and ever: never aging, never getting sick or weak, but endowed with power and glorious abilities!

1 COR 15:42-44

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

May we herald the RISEN CHRIST to this dying world as evidence that the Holy Bible is the truth, that the GOSPEL is valid, that eternal life is free for the taking - to any and all who will repent of their sin, believe in and turn to the LORD for salvation!

May we also, as the saints of the LORD possess our temple in purity and righteousness, obtainable only by the enabling Spirit of Grace!

MAY THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU ALL! Next time we shall examine JOHN 2:23-25 - "A VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE".

Saturday, September 26, 2015


The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

JOHN 2:13-17

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

We as people are known by our families, friends and loved ones by certain defining characteristics; some of us have a very cheerful demeanor, others are of a talkative nature, some are insatiably curious, and there are those of us who are considered loners. There is a wide spectrum of such characteristics, nearly innumerable.

When you think of Jesus Christ, what defining characteristic comes to your mind? His graciousness, His uncompromising dedication to the truth? His holiness? These are easy to attribute to the LORD because "grace and truth come by Jesus Christ" (JOHN 1:17) and He is the Holy One of Israel (ISAIAH 1:4).

We see Him as loving, compassionate, kind and merciful. We don't always see Him angry - and many people find it difficult to imagine, but Scripture records such instances, as we see in our text today, and elsewhere (MARK 3:1-5; in MARK 10:14 He was indignant). What is it that makes Jesus angry? you might ask.

Of course we understand that when the LORD Jesus Christ returns to this world, He will be extraordinarily angry (IS. 63:1-4; REV. 14:19) for all of the injustice, oppression, rebellion and out right sin that has, and will continue to increase, in this fallen world of rebel souls who will refuse to repent (REV. 9:20-21; 16:9-11).

The LORD God is the  HOLY JUDGE and because of this fact, He cannot ignore sin, or overlook it. Any judge who is true to His office must mete out justice no matter what. To do anything less would be objectionable; needless to say to temper judgment with appropriately dispensed mercy is always a good thing - but if justice is served, then "the punishment will fit the crime".

Too often people think of sin as "mistakes" and while they certainly are, they are far, far more than that! I have come to think of sin as treasonous evil against the Holy Throne of the King, the LORD God. In old times, if one committed treason against a monarch, it was punishable by death, no questions asked.

How much more severe would the punishment be for one who has committed unholy treason against the Holy God of all creation? This is why God is angry with sinners every day (PSALM 7:11) - because they continue to rebel against His authority. As well as this, because they refuse to come to the LORD Jesus Christ for salvation, when it was His own precious blood that was spilled on the behalf of sinners; yet they persistently step on that blood (HEB. 10:29)! 

This is the essential reason why the TIME of JACOB's TROUBLE is destined to occur: this seven year period also known as DANIEL's 70th week, or commonly referred to as The TIME of the TRIBULATION  (though technically its the latter three and a half years that is "great tribulation") - because sinful man refuses to repent and by this severity sent by the hand of God, many will turn to Him and receive salvation (REV. 7:9-14) through Jesus Christ!

In our text today, we see Jesus entering into the Temple - and what does He see? Merchandising of the most heinous kind: the Temple priests raised sacrificial animals that were pre-inspected and approved for sacrifice. Animals under Levitical law had to be pure and without blemish (consider for example, NUMBERS 19:2); but what these priests would do is inspect such animals that the people brought until they 'found' some blemish (imaginary or not) and declared such an animal unfit for the ceremony.

Then they would offer one of their own special animals and offer to sell them to the petitioner - for a price! Thus, we see how the religion of the day exploited people "in the name of God", ripping them off by taking advantage of their desire to worship and serve the LORD. Additionally, if the people decided to buy one of these Temple animals, they had to do it with Temple shekels and not foreign currency - and they had money changers on hand that would make the exchange for them - for an additional price!

I shudder to think of all the televangelists today who are in serious danger of judgment, for all the money they have raked in, in the name of God, likewise exploiting people's desire to worship and please the LORD!

The LORD becomes angry, but His anger is tempered - not crazily out of control - we know this because while angry, He made a cord of whips. Shepherds would sometimes fashion such devices while tending sheep, and use these scourges to repel wolves or other predators; they took a while to weave! Here the Good Shepherd of the sheep is about to chase out wolves that desire to devour God's own (MATT. 23:14)!

Notice also that when the LORD is angry, it's never for His own sake. Here He is angry for His Father's sake; in instances cited above, He is angry for the cripple's suffering or for the sake of children who weren't permitted to come to Him. We should take note of this: in the LORD's meekness, He is never angry for personal offenses or wrongs committed against Him - but always for the sake of others.

Here are two videos you may find helpful that pertains to meekness and what biblical meekness is all about:



Let us also consider that while the Temple in Jerusalem was defiled by such corruption, our own temple - our bodies and souls and spirits are the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 COR. 6:19-20). May we ask the LORD to 'enter in' (in fact He already dwells there) and inspect our Temple and chase out anything that offends Him, for He has purchased us with His own blood. We belong to Him: our very being is "under new management" and any temptation Satan may bring our way constitutes a violation of trespass, since he is entering a territory that is now the property of Jesus Christ!

In the exercise of sanctification, let us post some "No Trespassing" signs against any attempt on the enemies part to infiltrate the temple of the Holy Spirit. 

For more on this and related subject matter, consider the following article:

1 THESS 4:3-4

3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2 PET 3:17-18

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.