Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Four wicked Characteristics

Matthew 26:3-5
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

Notice at least four characteristics of the rulers in Jusaism in regards to Jesus:
People opposed to Christ tend to run in packs. Even if they are aggressive enough to openly oppose Christ alone it is because they assume the majority is on their side.

They looked for a way to take Christ without causing a stir. They were not sure who would be for them in a frontal attack on Christ and they could be sure the Romans would be opposed. Therefore they had to find a way to take him without causing an uproar.

They had no innocent motives concerning Christ. They intended to have Him killed.


All of this was done under the guise of religion and righteousness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

His Throne of Glory

Matthew 25:31-32
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

My study Bible labels this the final judgment but it is not. At the final judgment, the Great White Throne judgment, it is God the Father on the throne. Here it is the Son of Man. This is Jesus as He sets up His millennial kingdom.

Notice the name of His throne. It is the "throne of His glory." Jesus Christ was humiliated and spat upon by the throne of Israel. He was beaten and crucified by the throne of the Gentiles. But there is coming a time when the throne will be His and that throne will bear His own glory.
  • Kings and princes
  • Monarchs and sovereigns
  • Presidents and Prime Ministers
have accepted that they were glorious by virtue of their rule. Many times they have mocked and made fun of Christ. More times than not they have usurped authority that belonged only to God.

It will not always be so. When the Son of Man returns it will be to claim His throne. That throne will cast glory upon only one, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Honoring the Office

Matthew 23:1-3
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Jesus gave three observations and instructions to the multitude that followed Him as well as to His disciples concerning the scribes and the Pharisees:
Honor the office
Whatever I might think of the man in the office, I am obliged to acknowledge that he is in the office. The office is one of dignity and honor and I must always treat it as such.

Obey the authority
Along with the office comes an authority. I am obligated by God's Word to obey the authorities that be. In rare exceptions a Christian is called upon to obey God rather than men, but this exception should be exercised only after much prayer. The price of this rebellion is high. See that it is worth it.

Evaluate your actions

We are to do as they say but we are not to act as they do. Whatever disreputable thing they have done to be placed in a high office gives Christians no right to emulate them in hopes of reaching the same high estate.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tears Wiped Away

Amos 3:14
That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

Barnes writes,
 "Scripture speaks of “visiting offences upon” because, in God’s Providence, the sin returns upon a man’s own head. It is not only the cause of his being punished, but it becomes part of his punishment.
The memory of a man’s sins will be part of his eternal suffering. Even in this life, “remorse,” as distinct from repentance, is the “gnawing” of a man’s own conscience for the folly of his sin. "

I have met a good number of souls whose chief trouble in this world is that they cannot forget what they have done. The sins they have committed visit them and constantly remind them of their wicked deeds. They live in guilt, shame and constant remorse. They have no rest from it. God promises that this will be a part of the judgment of the wicked. The lost soul will find no rest in death. Hell will, instead be a place of torment by the flame and by the smoldering memories of sins committed.

Perhaps the greatest joy in heaven will be that there is no memory of sin there. This is surely part of what it means that God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. Relief from the remorse of sin is found in repentance and reliance (faith) in the redeeming work of Jesus.

Hope, that blessed anticipation of the day when God wipes away our tears, keeps the Christian's head up.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

When We Trip, Turn

Amos 2:14
Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

This passage sounds like the reverse of Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Amos speaks a few short years prior to Isaiah and, though himself from Judah, his ministry was in Bethel, in the Northern Kingdom. While Isaiah gave Jerusalem hope if they would wait upon the Lord, Amos gave no such hope to Northern Israel.
·       They would attempt to strengthen themselves but would fail
·       They would attempt flight but not achieve it
·       They would attempt deliverance but unsuccessfully
In the end the Kingdom of Israel would be destroyed. Judah, however, would not suffer the same fate. The difference was simply that God would not help Israel as they had turned from God. Though Judah had sinned, there remained in Judah, souls faithful to the Lord. Those who waited upon Him would mount up with wings as eagles.

The application and lesson for us is clear; though we have sinned, though we so often tripped in our walk with Christ, we ought to, we must, turn to the Lord.

To turn our hearts away from him spells nothing but destruction.