God is Still Holy and He wants us to be Holy too

Have you ever read the bible story where King David organises the moving of the ark of the Testimony and a man called Uzza ends up dead?

It’s one of those shocking stories that can leave you feeling particularly puzzled if you don’t read onto the following chapters or have forgotten the bible stories about the transportation of the ark of the covenant (or testimony) from earlier books of the Bible.  I happened to read it recently and want to tell you what I have discovered.

thearkofthecovenantexodus37

The Ark of the Testimony was covered, both inside and out, with pure gold.

This story crops up in two places in the Bible; it can be found in both 2 Samuel 6and also in 1 Chronicles 13.  The story is basically that now Saul is dead, and David has been made the king, David wants to honour God by bringing the ark of the Testimony out of obscurity (where it has been for the past twenty years under Saul’s rule) into a public place, the place where he now was living, in Jerusalem.  This seemed like a good idea.  So he consulted with both the leaders and the people, and they were all happy to go ahead with this plan.

Ooops, the only trouble was that they appeared to have forgotten God’s instructions, or commands, of how He wanted this holy important item to be handled or moved!2samuel6

So they carried the ark of God on a new cart

from the house of Abinadab,

and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.”

1 Chronicles 13:7

OK, so what’s wrong with putting it on a cart, you may wonder?  It was once before moved on a cart by the Philistines when they had captured it but wanted to send it back to its rightful owners, and no Israelites died then, right?

Wrong!  That was a whole different scenario, of God providentially guiding some cows to pull the ark on a cart back from the Philistines (who had been dying of tumours during the seven months they had kept the ark) to the Israelites where it belonged.  Even then, it was Levites who lifted it off the cart.  And in fact, a shocking amount of people died in that story too regarding wrong handling of the ark and disobeying God’s commands regarding not looking at or into this ark.

Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord.”   1 Samuel 16:19

Ordinarily the rules for handling or moving the ark were strictly laid out in the Law as given by God Himself to Moses and written down in the old testament for all to read and heed.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the children of Levi…

And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then

the sons of Kohathshall come to carry them;

but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”

Numbers 4:1 & 15 (also in Deut 10:8)

That seems fairly clear that the Levite tribe of Kohath were to carry but not touch the ark.  It clearly states if the ark is touched they would die.  That is why the ark was made 014-david-arkwith four fixed rings, one on each corner and two poles permanently through them.  The poles were to be used for people to carry the ark.

“The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.”  Exodus 25:15-16

However, it seems that the folks of those times were not quite so awash with Bibles, or copies of the Law, as we are today in the Western world, at least.  It seems that they had forgotten the specific rules of how the Lord God wanted His Holy ark to be handled, Noteswhich sure put a sudden stop to their “Praise party that day”!

“Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.”  1 Chron 13:8

2samuel6

A Fatal Mistake!

“And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor,

Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark,

for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark;

and he died there before God.”  1 Chron 13:9-10

Gosh!  Sudden death during a religious praise march!  What a shock!  What a show stopper!  How can we get our heads around God being the same today, yesterday and forever, when we dip into our Bibles and read such a story?

And then the next sentence tells us that the venerable King David’s response wasn’t one of immediate contrite humility and repentance but one of anger.

And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzza;

therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day.

David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”  1 Chron 13:11-12

Looking Deeper into Strange Death

 

magnifying-glass-1020142_1280I decided to dig deeper into my Bible to investigate this strange cause of death.  I read on a little, then went back into the beginning design of this ark that the Lord gave to Moses and even read a bit from the end of the story in Revelation.  All in all, it has been a great Bible study and one I highly recommend to you.  I have just read the letter of Hebrews today with so much more depth of thankfulness and understanding about the ark, the Holy of Holies, and the Lord Jesus Christ opening the way for us into the presence of God.  Let me tell you more…

How To Pack Up Properly

I found out that Aaron and his sons were consecrated to minister as priests and it was they who were to pack up the ark of the covenant each time the Israelites were required to continue on their travels.  They had to cover the ark with a layer of fine, woven linen cloth (the colourful covering veil) and badger skins and another layer of blue material, so that the rest of the people wouldn’t look at God’s holiness and die.  Then I discovered, as I have already mentioned, that it was the Kohathites, of the tribe of Levi, who were to do the carrying or the ark.  Each tribe had different job roles and if they did as required it all worked out well.

Tabernc1

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:  “Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites;  but do this in regard to them,

that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things:

Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint each of them to his service and his task. But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die.

Number 4:17-20

You may also remember that two of Aaron’s own sons died for their own disobedience in their initial role as priests.

“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lordwhich He had not commanded them.  So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

“By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.”

Leviticus 10:1-3

This appears to be the crux of the matter. God is Holy, and He requires us to likewise be Holy and reverent in all our dealings with Him.  We need to know that though we are not like the Israelites trembling with fear at the foot of the mountain that is on fire and shaking with the power of God we are still to be reverent and obedient servants.  But I jump ahead of myself here, as I would like to tell you a little more about this ark of the covenant now.

The Ark – Inside and Out

39251378-an-engraved-vintage-illustration-image-of-the-ark-of-the-covenant-of-the-old-testament-bible-from-a-

It was a wooden box covered in gold on the inside and outside.  Within it Moses was told to put the two tablets of stone on which God had written the 10 commandments.  Also, he was told to put inside Aaron’s rod that budded and a golden pot of manna. (Hebrews 9:4) The ark was to be kept behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle (and later in the Temple) which was called the Holiest of All It was this place, that only the High Priest could enter once a year and that was with blood shed and applied for the forgiveness of his own and all the people’s sins.

10_Comm

The Law of God was inside the ark

 

So inside the ark was the Law,  Commandments, Testimony or Covenant.

Then on top of the ark was a cover called the Mercy Seat.

Over this mercy seat were two cherubs with wings that covered the whole box.

And God said to Moses that He would meet with him there.

“And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”   Exodus 25:22

Moses was told to keep a copy of the whole book of the laws given to him by God next to the ark also.  (Later Samuel instructs that all Israel’s kings ought to write a copy of the full law, that they would know it to guide them and their people.)

“And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.  You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy.”  Exodus 26:33-34

So, here we have the picture of the Law covered by God’s mercy that was obtained through the shedding of blood.  Mercy was always available to the penitent sinner, both in those days and now.  The ark was God’s design to teach people how sinful people could approach a Holy God.

“…since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “Seethat you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”  Hebrews 8:4-5

So what went wrong for Uzza?

Well obviously, he shouldn’t have touched the ark of the covenant!  But I also think that we can learn more from the later chapter in 1 Chronicles 15:12-13.  This tells us that David called the priests and Levites together and instructs them as follows:

“He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it.  For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”

So, they were perhaps all culpable to a certain extent, in that the leaders ought to have known the correct way to handle the things of God.  Because they did not obey God, a man died that day.  Yes, later they do it correctly and even all the proper musicians are in place and there is joy in bringing the ark of the covenant to its new place in Jerusalem.

Ignorance, Laxity, Presumption or Disobedience?

Matthew Henry says:

” Let the sin of Uzza warn us all to take heed of presumption, rashness and irreverence, in dealing with holy things; and not to think that a good intention deut4_24will justify a bad action.

In our communion with God, we must carefully watch over our own hearts, lest familiarity breed contempt, and we think God is in any way beholden to us…

God is still a Jealous God. … Some people are made examples, that others may be made exemplary and very cautious.”

Ultimately, the deaths of Aaron’s two sons and the death of Uzza, acted as a tremendous motivation towards caution and obedience to following God’s ways and rules.  I feel that this caution is most needful in today’s world where ignorance, laxity, presumption and disobedience to the Bible’s teachings appear to be running rampant within the world of Christianity or Churchianity.

006-gnpi-098-jesus-dies

Temple curtain tore – opens the way for repentant sinners into the holy of holies

I have really enjoyed reading the letter to the Hebrews, as it explains how Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant by His shed blood, which has opened up the way for repentant sinners to draw close to the Lord God Almighty in His holy of holies.  If you remember, at the point of His death on the cross the curtain of the temple tore from the top to the bottom, signifying God opening the way for you and me to come into His very presence through the blood of the Lamb.

Now mercy is freely available via a humble and contrite heart simply asking for forgiveness of sin directly to Jesus Christ, the living God.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veilwhere the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”  Hebrews 6:19-20

I just love that phrase, “an anchor of the soul” – I praise the Lord indeed for this truth.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken,

let us have grace, by which we may

serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

For our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:28-29

To Conclude

I have learnt from this study the following points:-

 

We need to really know what the Bible says – that is read and study it for ourselves.

We need to obey the relevant commands that apply to us with prayerful, humble hearts (using correct, in context exegesis, of course).  Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me”. John 14:21

We need to be aware that we cannot always trust leaders to lead correctly, hence the need to know the Bible more thoroughly for ourselves (remembering wolves in sheep’s clothing as well as possible Biblical illiteracy amongst leaders, as in this story).

We need to be aware that warning and correcting other believers of disobedience to the Bible’s teaching, is in fact, an act of true love and kindness.  It could have saved Uzza’s death.  “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

We need to seek the Lord in prayer to ask how He wants us to worship Him, rather than being presumptuous about this matter.  Ask Him if you are really worshiping in Spirit and Truth or if there is anything He wants you to do differently.  Remember Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

Be thankful for the way that Jesus has made for us to draw near to God under the New and better covenant.  “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Amen and Hallelujah!  What do you say?

God bless,

Helen

I would really welcome your input so if you would like to share any comments please feel free to do so in the section below.  You can find my full Comments Policy here.

by 

https://grainofwheatblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/god-is-still-holy-he-wants-us-to-be-holy-too/

Your Words Matter

hugs
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam.

He called his parents from San Francisco.

“Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve got a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring with me.”

“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”

“There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mined and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.”

“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.”

“Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him.

A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are.

Thankfully, there’s someone who won’t treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.

Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!!

There’s a miracle called -Friendship- that dwells in the heart. You don’t know how it happens or when it gets started. But you know the special lift It always brings and you realize that Friendship Is God’s most precious gift!

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

God Bless you all.

Who is Jesus to You?

How would you answer it? Can you answer it correctly? On the surface, it seems a simple question of identification. But God cares immensely how you answer it because your eternity is at stake.

Who is Jesus? It is a continually recurring question and there are numerous answers to that question. Even during his life on earth, Jesus Christ’s very presence was a point of remarkable debate. Some refereed to Jesus as Emmanuel, from the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל (‘Immanu’el) meaning “God is with us”, others said he was demon possessed. Some said Jesus was a good teacher, and others called him a liar. Some said he was amazing, and others labeled him insane and a false Christ. Jesus was also applauded as a prophet, and others dismissed him as a babbling blasphemer.

Today, not much has changed. Cults, politicians and even ministers and professors in religious schools still deny the deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, the reconciliation of God and man through Christ’s death on the cross for our sins and his physical resurrection from the grave.

But Who Do You Say I Am – Jesus Christ

Jesus asked this question 2,000 years ago. However, today it is the most critical question you will ever answer. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity have concluded that Jesus existed historically and the Bible is filled with many titles used to refer to Jesus, over 700 names to be precise. Here’s just some of those names, titles, and verses:

  1. Almighty One – “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations. 1:8
  2. Alpha and Omega – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelations. 22:13
  3. Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1
  4. Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews. 12:2
  5. Authority – “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew. 28:18
  6. Bread of Life – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35
  7. Beloved Son of God – “And behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew. 3:17
  8. Bridegroom – “And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew. 9:15
  9. Christ – The title Christ used in the English language is from the Greek Χριστός(Khristos), via the Latin Christus. It means “anointed one”.
  10. Chief Cornerstone –  Jesus is the cornerstone of the building which is His church. He cements together Jew and Gentile, male and female, all saints from all ages and places into one structure built on faith in Him which is shared by all. Ephesians 2:20
  11. Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians.1:10
  12. Emmanuel – “They shall call his name Emmanuel” provides the name Emmanuel (meaning God is with us). Emmanuel, which is taken from Isaiah 7:14, where it refers to another child born during the reign of Ahaz, does not appear elsewhere in the New Testament.
  13. Faithful and True – “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Revelations.19:11
  14. Firstborn over all creation – “Not the first thing God created, as some incorrectly claim, because verse 16 says all things were created through and for Christ. Rather, the meaning is that Christ occupies the rank and pre-eminence of the first-born over all things, that He sustains the most exalted rank in the universe; He is pre-eminent above all others; He is at the head of all things.” Colossians 1:15
  15. Good Shepherd – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
  16. Glory of God – In the words of Hebrews 1:3, we are told Jesus is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”
  17. Great High Priest – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews. 4:14
  18. Head of the Church – “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.” Ephesians. 1:22
  19. High Priest  – The Jewish high priest entered the Temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. The Lord Jesus performed that function for His people once for all at the cross. Hebrews 2:17
  20. Holy Servant – “…and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30
  21. I Am – “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58
  22. Indescribable Gift – “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Cor. 9:15
  23. Judge – “…he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” Acts 10:42
  24. King of Kings – “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Revelations. 17:14
  25. Lamb of God  – God’s Law called for the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished Lamb as an atonement for sin. Jesus became that Lamb led meekly to the slaughter, showing His patience in His sufferings and His readiness to die for His own. John 1:29
  26. Light of the World – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
  27. Lion of the Tribe of Judah – “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelations. 5:5
  28. Lord – Early Christians viewed Jesus as “the Lord” and the Greek word Kyrios(κύριος) which may mean God, lord or master appears over 700 times in the New Testament, referring to him.
  29. Lord of All – “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians. 2:9-11
  30. Mediator – A mediator is one who goes between two parties to reconcile them. Christ is the one and only Mediator who reconciles men and God. Praying to Mary or the saints is idolatry because it bypasses this most important role of Christ and ascribes the role of Mediator to another. 1 Timothy 2:5
  31. Messiah – “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41
  32. Mighty One – “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah. 60:16
  33. One Who Sets Free – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36
  34. Our Hope – “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Timothy. 1:1
  35. Peace – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians. 2:14
  36. Prophet – “And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” Mark 6:4
  37. Redeemer – “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25
  38. Resurrection and Life – Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect sinners to eternal life, just as He was resurrected from the grave. Our sin is buried with Him and we are resurrected to walk in newness of life. John 11:25
  39. Risen Lord – “…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians. 15:3-4
  40. Rock  – As life-giving water flowed from the rock Moses struck in the wilderness, Jesus is the Rock from which flow the living waters of eternal life. He is the Rock upon whom we build our spiritual houses, so that no storm can shake them. 1 Corinthians 10:4
  41. Sacrifice for Our Sins – “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
  42. Savior – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
  43. Son of Man – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10. The term Son of man appears many times in all four gospels, e.g. 30 times in Matthew. However, unlike the title Son of God.
  44. Son of the Most High – “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.” Luke 1:32
  45. Supreme Creator Over All – “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…” 1 Corinthians. 1:16-17
  46. Resurrection and the Life – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25
  47. The Door – “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9
  48. The Way – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
  49. The Word – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
  50. True Vine – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1
  51. Truth – “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
  52. Victorious One – “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelations. 3:21
  53. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace –“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah. 9:6
  54. Head of the Church – Jesus Christ is the only supreme, sovereign ruler of the Church—those for whom He died and who have placed their faith in Him alone for salvation. Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23
  55. Holy One –  Christ is holy, both in his divine and human nature, and the fountain of holiness to His people. By His death, we are made holy and pure before God. Acts 3:14; Psalm 16:10
  56. Judge – The Lord Jesus was appointed by God to judge the world and to dispense the rewards of eternity. Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:8
  57. King of kings and Lord of lords –   Jesus has dominion over all authority on the earth, over all kings and rulers, and none can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. He directs them as He pleases. 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16
  58. Light of the World – Jesus came into a world darkened by sin and shed the light of life and truth through His work and His words. Those who trust in Him have their eyes opened by Him and walk in the light. John 8:12
  59. Prince of peace – Jesus came not to bring peace to the world as in the absence of war, but peace between God and man who were separated by sin. He died to reconcile sinners to a holy God. Isaiah 9:6
  60. Savior – He saves His people by dying to redeem them, by giving the Holy Spirit to renew them by His power, by enabling them to overcome their spiritual enemies, by sustaining them in trials and in death, and by raising them up at the last day. Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11
  61. Son of God – Jesus is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Used 42 times in the New Testament, “Son of God” affirms the deity of Christ. Luke 1:35; John 1:49
  62. Son of man: (John 5:27) – The phrase “Son of Man” emphasizes the humanity of Christ which exists alongside His divinity. It is also a messianic title (Daniel 7:13-14; Mark 14:63).
  63. Word – The Word is the second Person of the triune God, who said it and it was done, who spoke all things out of nothing in the first creation, who was in the beginning with God the Father, and was God, and by whom all things were created. John 1:1; 1 John 5:7-8
  64. Word of God – This is the name given to Christ that is unknown to all but Himself. It denotes the mystery of His divine person. Revelation 19:12-13
  65. Word of Life – Jesus not only spoke words that lead to eternal life, but according to this verse He is the very words of life, referring to the eternal life of joy and fulfillment which He provides.
  66. His position in the trinity 1 John 1:1
    Alpha and Omega – Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and end of all things, a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternality could apply only to God. Revelation 1:8; 22:13
  67. Emmanuel – Literally “God with us.” Both Isaiah and Matthew affirm that the Christ who would be born in Bethlehem would be God Himself who came to earth in the form of a man to live among His people. Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:23
  68. I Am  – When Jesus ascribed to Himself this title, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy. They understood that He was declaring Himself to be the eternal God, the unchanging Yahweh of the Old Testament. John 8:58, with Exodus 3:14
  69. Lord of All – Jesus is the sovereign ruler over the whole world and all things in it, of all the nations of the world, and particularly of the people of God’s choosing, Gentiles as well as Jews. Acts 10:36
  70. True God – This is a direct assertion that Jesus, being the true God, is not only divine, but is the Divine. Since the Bible teaches there is only one God, this can only be describing His nature as part of the triune God. 1 John 5:20
  71. True Vine  – The True Vine supplies all that the branches (believers) need to produce the fruit of the Spirit— the living water of salvation and nourishment from the Word. John 15:1
  72. Way, Truth, Life – Jesus is the only path to God, the only Truth in a world of lies, and the only true source of eternal life. He embodies all three in both a temporal and an eternal sense. John 14:6

Who is Jesus to you? How would you answer it? Can you answer it correctly? On the surface, it seems a simple question of identification. But God cares immensely how you answer it because your eternity is at stake. God loved you enough to get Jesus involved. Think about this: All of us would be lost except for the fact that the God of justice is also a God of love. Who is Jesus to you?

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us

Matthew 25:31-46

May our hearts be earnestly attentive while we read our Lord’s own account of the Day of Judgment.

Matthew 25:33

Here we are mixed together, but the keen eye of the Great Shepherd will detect our real characters and place us in one or other of the two flocks into which all mankind will be divided. There will be no middle company, we shall be placed either with saints or sinners in that day. To which do we now belong?

Matthew 25:36

All these are deeds of love; not one of them consists of words, or ceremonial acts. The truest worship of God is charily to the needy: does not the apostle James say, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Matthew 25:39

They were modest, and had never set so high a value upon their own virtues as to have seen that excellence in them which the Judge had long ago discovered, and which he now declares publicly before men and angels. They had only been kind to poor and afflicted men and women, and were surprised to hear that the Lord regarded their actions as rendered to himself.

Matthew 25:40

How this ennobles charity! “He that giveth to the poor lendeth unto the Lord.” Who would not show kindness to his Redeemer?

Matthew 25:41-43

They were not condemned for what they had done amiss, but for what they had not done. Sins of omission are glaring evidences of want of grace, especially the omission of those duties which common humanity requires of us.

Matthew 25:44

They were self-righteous and had no eye to see their faults. Fain would they have justified themselves. Those who deny their sins may be sure that they are of the goats.

Matthew 25:45, 46

There is no temporary punishment any more than temporary reward. As sure as heaven is everlasting, so also is hell. Flee, O flee from the wrath to come.

 

Thou Judge of quick and dead,

Before whose bar severe,

With holy joy or guilty dread,

We all shall soon appear!

 

Our caution’d souls prepare

For that tremendous day;

And fill us now with watchful care,

And stir us up to pray.

 

You Too Timid to Resist ?

Speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

The clever proponents of evil political ideologies are spending millions to make us Americans ashamed to love our country. They use every means possible to persuade our own people that there is little left worth defending and certainly nothing worth dying for.

They are building in the public mind a picture of an American as a generous, tolerant, smiling chap who loves baseball and babies, and who subscribes wholly to the doctrine of the brotherhood of man—so everything is going to be all right!

From our point of view, these concepts are having their effects on the nation’s religious life, especially among Protestants.

Let a man rise to declare the unique Lordship of Jesus Christ and the absolute necessity of obedience to Him, and he is at once branded as a hate-monger and a divider of men.

The devil has brainwashed large numbers of religious leaders so successfully that they are now too timid to resist him! And he, being the kind of devil he is, takes swift advantage of their cowardice, erecting altars to Baal everywhere!

 

Faithful And Useful

“Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me Ps. 101:6

If David spoke thus, we may be sure that the Son of David will be of the same mind. Jesus looks out for faithful men, and He fixes His eyes upon them, to observe them, to bring them forward, to encourage them, and to reward them. Let no true-hearted man think that he is overlooked; the King Himself has His eye upon him.

There are two results of this royal notice. First we read, “that they may dwell with me.” Jesus brings the faithful into His house, He sets them in His palace, He makes them His companions, He delights in their society. We must be true to our Lord, and He will then manifest Himself to us. When our faithfulness costs us most it will be best rewarded; the more furiously men reject, the more joyfully will our Lord receive us.

Next, he says of the sincere man, “he shall serve me.” Jesus will use for His own glory those who scorn the tricks of policy, and are faithful to Himself, His Word, and His Cross. These shall be in His royal retinue, the honored servants of His Majesty. Communion and usefulness are the wages of faithfulness. Lord make me faithful, that I may dwell with thee, and serve thee.