VIDEO The Angel of the Lord

The Angel of the Lord

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. Exodus 3:2

The phrase “the Angel of the Lord” with a capital “A” appears 52 times in the Old Testament but not once in the New Testament. Also, the phrase “an angel of the Lord” appears eleven times in the New Testament but not once in the Old Testament.

What do these fun facts mean? The Angel of the Lord appears numerous times in the Old Testament, then Christ appears on earth, and the Angel of the Lord never appears again. This general observation leads Bible scholars to suggest that the Angel of the Lord was a theophany—a revelation of God Himself as the preincarnate Christ. Since God is Spirit (John 4:24), a visible manifestation of God in the Old Testament would be the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state. After being born physically, He ceases to appear as the Angel of the Lord.

The Angel of the Lord is just another example of God’s continual care and presence as He made ready the revelation of Christ. We are constantly looked after, led and protected, by the God who loves us.

You are never left alone when you are alone with God.   Woodrow Kroll


Moses and the burning bush!

Thanks for Who God Is

Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . for the Lord is the great God. Psalm 95:2–3

Among the thousands of sentiments printed on greeting cards, perhaps one of the most touching is this simple statement: “Thanks for being you.” If you receive that card, you know that someone cares for you not because you did something spectacular for that person but because you’re appreciated for your essence.

I wonder if this kind of sentiment might indicate for us one of the best ways to say “thank you” to God. Sure, there are times when God intervenes in our lives in a tangible way, and we say something like, “Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to get that job.” But most often, we can simply say, “Thank You, God, for being who You are.”

That’s what’s behind verses like 1 Chronicles 16:34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Thank You, God, for who You are—good and loving. And Psalm 7:17: “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness.” Thank You, God, for who You are—the holy One. And “Let us come before him with thanksgiving . . . for the Lord is the great God” (Psalm 95:2–3). Thank You, God, for who You are—the Almighty God of the universe.

Who God is. That’s reason enough for us to stop what we’re doing and praise and thank Him. Thank You, God, for just being You!

Thank You, dear God, for being who You are—the Almighty God who loves us and welcomes our love in return. Thank You for everything that makes You magnificent. We stand in awe of You as we praise You with word and song.

There are countless reasons to thank God, including for who He is!

By Dave Branon 

INSIGHT

In Psalm 95, the psalmist is transfixed by the wonder of the Creator and Redeemer he loves. God is the “Rock of our salvation”; nothing can remove the sure foundation His love has laid out for us (v. 1). Even though the psalmist knows there’s only one God, because of the polytheistic culture in which he lives he exclaims that his God is far above any other objects of worship (v. 3). The wonder of the Creator drives the psalmist to invite all believers to bow down in adoration and to realize that like sheep we are under a loving Shepherd’s care.

How can you praise the Lord for His marvelous creation and infinite love?

Dennis Fisher

This Godless Age

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Scripture tells us that the years leading up to Christ’s return will be difficult. Because of man’s ongoing rebellion against the Lord, ungodliness will continue to increase. Even in our own culture, we can see opposition to Jesus is growing, and various sins that were once condemned are gaining acceptance. Many people have bought into Satan’s lie that we can live without the Lord and still find happiness, prosperity, and peace—the devil tempted Eve to believe she could find satisfaction outside of God’s will, and he does the same with us today.

Today’s passage lists traits that will be common prior to Christ’s return:

Lovers of self. Self-centeredness (placing a priority on what will profit us most) and selfishness (wanting to keep what we have) will be rampant.

Lovers of money. The acquisition of wealth to fuel pleasures, provide security, or gain possessions will be a strong motivator.

Boastful. Pride caused Satan to be cast from heaven, and it prevents people from submitting to Jesus’ authority. Arrogance, which harms relationships and consequently damages many areas of life, will permeate society.

The Bible also describes other characteristics of the age. These will include abusive behaviors, unforgiving attitudes, and a lack of self-control.

It’s easy to see similarities between modern society and Scripture’s description of the years before Christ’s second coming. While discouraging, these prophetic signs are precursors of the day Jesus returns to set things right. Our hope is to rest in His promises, not in the circumstances around us.

Earnestly Contend

“It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

After Jude had responded to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to direct his thoughts away from writing a gospel account, the intensity of the growing battle for “the faith” came into focus. Perhaps Jude was aware of Paul’s observation that we do not “wrestle” against ordinary forces, but our battle deals with the “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The special word chosen by the Holy Spirit to speak to this struggle in Jude’s letter was epagonizomai. The core word (agonizomai) is used in the famous passage “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul also notes what “great conflict” he felt for the church at Colosse (Colossians 2:1) and that Epaphras was “always labouring fervently” for them in his prayers (Colossians 4:12).

The object of this spiritual struggle was “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Two matters are of importance in that little phrase. First, “the faith” is a specific designation used in the New Testament to incorporate the basic doctrines of the New Covenant. It does include, but does not limit itself to, the belief that results in salvation. The early churches were “established in the faith” (Acts 16:5). We are to “stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13) and to come to a “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13).

Second, that body of doctrine was “once delivered to the saints.” Implicit in that comment is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to “guide [the apostles] into all truth” (John 16:13). Both Old and New Testaments insist that we are not to add or subtract from the words of God’s Word. Jude’s epistle emphasizes the awful judgment that comes upon those who would distort or disdain what is “the faith.” HMM III

Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned

2 Timothy 3

2 Timothy 3:1-5

These persons will be in the church, and trouble it exceedingly. Many such are already around us, and they are on the increase: it is little use controverting with them, or seeking to set them right: we had better leave them to their own devices, and as they are in the Lord’s hands he will know how to deal with them.

2 Timothy 3:6, 7

These deceivers acted like Jesuits, spreading their doctrine secretly among the weaker sort. Truth fears not the light, but falsehood is a night bird, and flies abroad by stealth. If any religious teacher asks us to conceal from our friends what he has told us, we may be sure that he is good for nothing.

2 Timothy 3:8

Jannes and Jambres Pharaoh’s magicians

2 Timothy 3:9

Paul laid bare the deceitful workings of the false teachers, boldly exposing them. However gentle we may be, we must not allow falsehood to be secretly spread, but must drag it to the light, and smite it till it dies.

2 Timothy 3:12

Christ’s soldiers must expect hard blows. The cross is always to be borne by those who trust in the Crucified: it is idle and mean to endeavour to escape it.

 

“Must I be carried to the skies

On flowery beds of ease

While others fought to win the prize

And sailed through bloody seas?”

 

2 Timothy 3:13

There is no mending them, they must go on to the bitter end. Terrible will be their doom.

2 Timothy 3:14, 15

Happy Timothy to be thus prepared for the conflict with error! Happier still to be enabled by grace to remain steadfast in that truth which from a child he had been taught. Yet he needed to be exhorted to steadfastness, and so do we. Never, never may any one of us give ear to false doctrine, but may we cling to the gospel with all our might.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17

Never let us forget this. The whole of the Bible is inspired, and is to be devoutly received as the infallible truth of God. Get away from this, and we have nothing left to hold by. Whatever we do, let us never give up the Bible. Those who would weaken our reverence for it are our worst enemies.

 

‘Tis in cleaving to thee only,

That my spirit finds its rest;

‘Tis while gazing on thy beauty,

I am truly, fully blest.

 

Keep me then, Lord Jesus, near thee,

Resting in thy precious love;

Till thine unveiled presence cheer me,

In thine own blest courts above.

 

Have You Heard Authority in Preaching?

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Because we are Christians who believe the inspired Word of God and because we believe that the Holy Spirit is the abiding third person of the Trinity, there should be more divine authority in our preaching ministries.

A preacher of this gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ should have the authority of God upon him, so that he makes the people responsible to listen to him. When they will not listen to him, they are accountable to God for turning away from the divine Word.

A preacher under God’s unction should reign from his pulpit as a king from his throne. He should not reign by law or by regulation or by man’s authority. He ought to reign by moral ascendancy!

The divine authority is missing from many pulpits. We have “tabby cats” with their claws carefully trimmed in the seminary, so they can paw over the congregations and never scratch them at all! The Holy Spirit will sharpen the arrows of the man of God who preaches the whole counsel of God!

 

Weapons Doomed to Fail

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” Isa. 54:17

There is great clatter in the forges and smithies of the enemy. They are making weapons wherewith to smite the saints. They could not even do as much as this if the Lord of saints did not allow them; for He has created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire. But see how busily they labor! How many swords and spears they fashion! It matters nothing, for on the blade of every weapon you may read this inscription: It shall not prosper.

But now listen to another noise: it is the strife of tongues. Tongues are more terrible instruments than can be made with hammers and anvils, and the evil which they inflict cuts deeper and spreads wider. What will become of us now? Slander, falsehood, insinuation, ridicule — these are poisoned arrows; how can we meet them? The Lord God promises us that, if we cannot silence them, we shall, at least, escape from being ruined by them. They condemn us for the moment, but we shall condemn them at last, and for ever. The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped, and their falsehoods shall be turned to the honor of those good men who suffered by them.

 

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