19 November 2009

Siloam – 11.19.09

John 9 records the account of a man that was blind from his birth – not for his sin or the sin of his parents, but "that the works of God should be made manifest in him" (v. 3). The method used by the Lord in this particular miracle is interesting (vv. 6-7). Jesus approached the man, spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, anointed the blind man's eyes, and sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam. Verse 7 says, "He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."

I've read this passage multiple times, but what I had never noticed or thought about was the significance of the pool of Siloam. There's an important parenthesis in verse 7 that points out the meaning of the name of the pool – it means SENT.

According to John 9, why was the blind man healed? To manifest the works of God (v. 3). And what did the blind man do as soon as he was healed? Testified to his neighbors (vv. 8-12) and the Pharisees (vv. 13-34) of the power of Jesus Christ, then worshipped the Lord (vv. 35-38).

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like!

I was once lost but now am found;

Was blind but now I see.

Question: Have you been SAVED? Have your BLIND eyes been opened by Jesus Christ? Are you WASHED in the blood of the Lamb? Then you've also been SENT. You've been SENT to manifest the works of God by testifying to your friends, your neighbors, your family, your community, and all the world of WHO IT WAS that turned you from darkness to light (Acts 26:18).

  • The Father SENT the Son to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:9, 10, 14; John 3:17; Acts 3:26).
  • The Spirit is SENT to comfort and empower the believer (John 14:26; Luke 24:49).
  • And the believer is SENT to tell the world that JESUS SAVES…

John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

If you're SAVED, then you've been SENT!

15 November 2009

Orphans & Widows

Passing this note along (with permission) from Kristin Steele, a former BBC teen now at Foothills Christian Bible College:

I was sitting in class listening to what Dale Elwell was saying about Evangelism and Spiritual Formation and he said something that I had never noticed before about the orphans and widows of the world.

In James 1:27 the Bible says "Pure religon and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Once someone has accepted Christ as his/her Savior they are called a child of God. (Gal. 3:26) A "child" is a person between birth and full growth, a son or daughter, boy or girl, with parents. We, as children of God, have a Heavenly Father. Thus, making all unbelievers "orphans" because of the absence of the Father in their lives.

The body of Christ, the Church, is also commonly refferred to as the bride of Christ, for which He, the Bridegroom, will one day return for. There cannot be a bride without a bridegroom, therefore making any non-believer a widow.

So if all unbelievers are, in a way, orphans and widows they are without a doubt "in their affliction" on their way to hell. It is therefore our job, as people who possess that "Pure religon", to visit them and share with them the wonderful news of Jesus. In doing so, we are required to be IN the world, however not OF the world; thus keeping ourselves "unspotted from the world."

I realize this verse (James 1:27) has another more simple meaning, refferring to Christians helping with and taking care of the physically orphaned children and/or a wife whose husband has died or husband whose wife has died; thus making them a widow. This is how I have always taken it, especially because I believe God wants me to invest my life in the orphans of Africa; but I thought it was a very neat and interesting "interpretation" of the verse, and really shows how important it is to witness to people around you as well as people in foreign countries. Just thought i'd share this with yall. Let me know your thoughts on it.

10 November 2009

Is It Easy? – 11.10.09

QUESTION – Is it simple to serve God and obey His word? Is it easy to live for the Lord? Just something to consider…

ANSWER # 1 – YES. It's simple in that it's straightforward and uncomplicated. All I have to do is deny myself (Luke 9:23) and yield to the control (Romans 6:11-14) of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:20-21). I don't even have to depend on my own faith but rather place what little faith I have in One whose faith is perfect (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

ANSWER # 2 – NO. It's not difficult to understand what serving God is all about, it's just that the whole self-denial thing doesn't come naturally. It's not easy to say no to this flesh. It takes some discipline (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). It takes some spiritual exercise (1 Timothy 4:8). It takes some drive and determination (Philippians 3:13-14). It takes some endurance (2 Timothy 2:3).

ANSWER # 3 – YES. Denying self and obeying the scripture is a matter of my love for God (James 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:14), and it's easier to lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us when we set our eyes on the Son of God (Hebrews 12:2) and consider how He first loved us (1 John 4:19; 1 John 3:1-2).

ANSWER # 4 – YES and NO. Throughout the scripture, God promises abundant blessing and rich reward to the obedient. Intellectually we know that God will make our service to Him every bit worth it, and there are times when we're able to get past the present distress by focusing our attention on the prize that is set before us (Philippians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 11:1). But the problem is that this flesh is just so short-sighted. It just can't see past the here and now.

Romans 7:21-25 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

06 November 2009

Isaiah 35 – 11.6.09

Isaiah 35 is one of if not my #1 favorite chapter in this great book of Bible prophecy. That probably has something to do with the fact that the Lord blessed me with its truth and prophetic significance as I was reading through my Bible not long after I had gotten serious about studying and preaching God's word.

The chapter gives us a glimpse at some of the blessings of the kingdom that Jesus Christ will establish when He returns to this earth in a future day. Read through these 10 verses, then we'll note 4 of the blessings of the millennial kingdom.

Isaiah 35:1-10 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


The chapter says that the deserts will blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The parched ground will become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. Lebanon (inland mountains, forests), Carmel (hills, seacoast), and Sharon (plains, seacoast) will become even more glorious and excellent.

I don't know about you, but I've often been amazed at the glory and beauty and grandeur of God's creation – on this earth that is under a curse! On this earth that Romans 8 says groans and travails in pain waiting for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can't imagine how beautiful and how perfect this place will be when that curse is lifted and creation is restored to Eden-like conditions.

Ezekiel 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.


Weak hands will be strengthened; feeble knees confirmed; blind eyes opened; deaf ears unstopped; lame legs made to leap; the tongue of the dumb made to sing. Again, the Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), but what a day that will be when we exchange this vile body for one made like to the glorious resurrection body of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20-21)! What a day that will be when this corruptible puts on incorruption and this mortal puts on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)!

In Christ's millennial kingdom, we'll have no need for walking canes, reading glasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, hospital beds, medicine cabinets, vitamin supplements, or doctor's offices. We'll have been made whole by the Great Physician.


As Christians, there are 3 great enemies with whom we do battle on a daily basis: the world, the flesh, and the devil. According to Isaiah 35, all 3 will be eliminated and excluded from Christ's millennial kingdom.

Verse 9 says no lion (1 Peter 5:8) shall be there. Revelation 20 says that Satan will be bound for the duration of the 1,000 years. Praise the Lord! Then verse 8 speaks of a way of holiness, and it says the unclean shall not pass over it (the world). But in addition to that, the wayfaring men (you and me), though fools, SHALL NOT ERR THEREIN.

Today, I am a child of God. My soul is saved, but my flesh is not. No matter how hard I try, I constantly err (Romans 7:18-23). But when Jesus Christ returns my son-ship will be made manifest (Romans 8:19; 1 John 3:1-2) and I will receive the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:13-14). Jesus Christ will deliver me from the body of this death (Romans 7:24-25) and walking on the way of holiness in Christ's millennial kingdom I couldn't sin if I tried!


Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

The wonders of the kingdom that Jesus Christ will return and establish: a new geography, a new body, a way of holiness, everlasting joy, world-wide peace – and more! But Isaiah 35:9-10 says it's only for the ransomed and redeemed. The glories of this kingdom are reserved only for those who have submitted to the righteousness of Jesus Christ and been saved from sin by His marvelous grace.

If you're part of that company, then REJOICE (1 Peter 1:3-6) and busy yourself in the service of THE KING (Revelation 19:11-16).

03 November 2009

World Peace – 11.3.09

If the Bible is true (and it is), then there is a coming day in which the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth. Upon His return, He will destroy His enemies; He will establish His kingdom; He will sit on the throne of His father David at Jerusalem; He will right all that is wrong; and He will accomplish what no man has ever been able to accomplish (or ever will) – He will bring WORLDWIDE PEACE! And we will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years.

Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

That's why it's important for us to place our hope and your faith not in political figures but in the Son of God. Recently, our president was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. It was openly acknowledged, even by our liberal news media, that the prize was not given as a reward for anything Mr. Obama has done but rather in hopes that the award will help him to accomplish something that would one day make him deserving of it. So they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing "hope to the international community," but the fact of the matter is that he doesn't have anything else to bring. Men can soothe their hearts with cries of peace (Jeremiah 6:14) as long as they want, but until this world repents of its wickedness (Isaiah 57:21) and gives glory to God in the highest (Luke 2:14) there will not be peace on earth.

Isaiah 2:1-4 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

That last bit about beating swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks is the theme of a statue at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City – and we all know what a wonderful job that organization has done at achieving that goal since its formation in 1945. Not surprisingly, they have lost the truth of the passage by lifting it out of its context (which is what always happens when you do so). The fact of the matter is that no one will start making farming equipment out of their weapons until the Lord comes to judge the nations; the mountain of God's house is exalted and established; and all people flow unto Jerusalem so that Jesus Christ can teach us of His ways.

Now, worldwide peace is not the only characteristic of this 1,000 year kingdom that is to come. Isaiah 35 gives us a one chapter summary of the glories of that kingdom. We'll take a look at that next time.