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Showing posts from February 22, 2017

The Seven Trumpets (8:6–11:19)

The Seven Trumpets (8:6–11:19)Revelation 8:6–11:19 Excerpt ‎The seven seals were divided between the four horsemen and the remaining three seals, with a narrative break between the sixth and seventh seals to remind the people of God of the Lord’s promise of final protection and their hope of eternal glory. A similar pattern occurs with the seven trumpets (8:7–11:19). ‎The first four trumpets describe partial judgments (“a third,” 8:7) upon the earth’s vegetation, the oceans, fresh waters, and the heavenly lights. The last three trumpets are grouped together and are also described as three “woes” upon the earth, emphasizing God’s judgment upon humankind. The fifth trumpet (and first woe) releases hellish locusts who will sting those not having the seal of God (9:1–12). The sixth trumpet (and second woe) brings forth a mighty army of infernal horsemen who kill a third of humankind (9:13–19). But all these judgments have no redemptive effect, for the rest of humankind who are not killed by …

Salvation by Faith, Not by the Law

Salvation by Faith, Not by the LawExcerpt The first part of Deuteronomy 30:12 is Who will ascend into heaven? Paul interprets this as to bring Christ down (= “that is, the incarnation”). Paul’s use of that is is similar to Qumran’s pesher interpretation (so Cranfield 1979; Wilckens 1980; Fitzmyer 1993b), in which the Old Testament text is made to fit a contemporary situation. Paul’s is somewhat different in that he does not view this as the actual meaning of theOld Testament text (as Qumran did) but is applying the Deuteronomy quote to Christ and to the issue of justification by faith (so Moo 1996). Ascending into heaven is an impossible quest. Moses meant that one did not have to climb up to heaven or cross the sea to obey the law. Paul is saying that one does not have to go to heaven to bring Christ down to earth so he can provide salvation to humankind. God has already done that for them. The incarnation is God’s grace gift; it can never be the product of human achievement. In the se…

The Sinner’s Surrender to His Preserver

The Sinner’s Surrender to His PreserverExcerpt ‎Job was one of those whom Scripture describes as “perfect,” yet he cried, “I have sinned.” Noah was perfect in his generation, but no drunkard will allow us to forget that he had his fault. Abraham received the command, “Walk before meand be thou perfect,” but he was not absolutely sinless. Zacharias and Elizabeth were blameless, and yet there was enough unbelief in Zacharias to make him dumb for nine months. ‎The doctrine of sinless perfection in the flesh is not of God, and he who makes his boast of possessing such perfection has at once declared his own ignoranceof himself and of the law of the Lord. Nothing discovers an evil heart more surely than a glorying in its own goodness. He who proclaims his own praise reveals his own shame. … More Spurgeon, C. H. “The Sinner’s Surrender to His Preserver.” Sermon Outlines for Evangelistic Services. Ed. Al Bryant. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1992. 14. Print.

The Meaning of “Glory” and “Amen”

The Meaning of “Glory” and “Amen”Galatians 1:5 Excerpt Glory is a word with many meanings, but here it probably is used in the sense of “praise,” and the whole expression may be equivalent to “May God be praised forever and ever.” The word Amen is usually used to end a prayer, and is equivalent to saying “May it be so,” or “May it come true.” More Arichea, Daniel C., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1976. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Connect the Testaments

February 22: The Light of the World Leviticus 12:1–13:59; John 8:12–30; Song of Solomon 6:11–13 “I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). While some of Jesus’“I am” statements confused the Jews, the “following the light” imagery would have been familiar. God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness with a pillar of fire so they could walk at night (Exod 13:21). They couldn’t deflect or misunderstand this claim. Jesus used this imagery to show the Jews that He offers clarity and meaning in a dark world. He offers life, grace, and spiritual awakening to those who are lost in the darkness. But the Pharisees couldn’t comprehend the light; they misinterpreted Jesus’ claims and fumbled around in the darkness and the details (John 8:19, 22, 25, 27). When we’ve elevated ourselves in the darkness, it’s hard to humble ourselves in the light. Even when we have inklings that tell us there is a be…

Morning and Evening

Morning, February 22Go To Evening Reading
“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” —Genesis 49:24
That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true—divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar wayGod gives this strength to Joseph—“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him. He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon …

My Utmost for His Highest

February 22nd The discipline of spiritual tenacity Be still, and know that I am God.Psalm 46:10. Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted. If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dr…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

February 22 After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions Heb. 10:32 Our boldness for God before the world must always be the result of individual dealing with God in secret. Our victories over self, and sin, and the world, are always first fought where no eye sees but God’s.… If we have not these secret conflicts, well may we not have any open ones. The outward absence of conflict betrays the inward sleep of the soul. F. Whitfield

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.