Nuggets – God’s Son in the Old Testament

God’s Son in the Old Testament
“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psalm 2:7)

There are many today (especially Muslims, Jews, and Christian “liberals”) who are monotheists, believing in one supreme God but rejecting the deity of Christ. They argue that the doctrine that Jesus was the unique Son of God was invented by the early Christians and that the God of the Old Testament had no Son. Orthodox Jews in particular emphasize Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.”

The fact is, however, that there are a number of Old Testament verses that do speak of God’s only begotten Son. Note the following brief summary.

First, there is God’s great promise to David: “I will set up thy seed after thee, . . . I will be his father, and he shall be my son. . . . thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12, 14, 16).

Consider also the rhetorical questions of Agur. “Who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4).

Then there are the two famous prophecies of Isaiah, quoted so frequently at Christmastime. “Behold, a [literally ‘the’] virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [meaning ‘God with us’]” (Isaiah 7:14). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Perhaps the most explicit verse in this connection is our text. “The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son” (Psalm 2:7). Then this marvelous Messianic psalm concludes with this exhortation: “Kiss the Son, . . . Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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All God’s people – The longer I serve Him

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Faith & Suffering

The world is full of injustices. Not the sudo-injustices or faked outrage that you see daily on social media in the United States where people claim to be offended by the most minute and ridiculous things, like banning the use of red ink to grade papers in schools because it’s considered a ‘very negative color’. What I’m talking about are the very real injustices that happen every day outside the relatively safe protections of western law. Homes are destroyed, families torn apart and people, including children, harassed, tortured, thrown in jail or worse without any trial, defense or recourse. This is real injustice of the sort that ought to challenge our perspective and motivate us to put aside our petty differences and take action on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves.

But when we broaden our view to take in the enormity of the problems that exist today and then consider how little the average person can do from far away to salve the cries of the suffering, one could easily be tempted to question God (as some do all the time).

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All God’s people – I trust in God

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Nuggets – The Mystery of Darkness

The Mystery of Darkness
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

The Bible reveals that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), and also that, in the ages to come, there will be no more darkness. God promises twice that there shall be “no night there” (Revelation 21:25; 22:5) in the very last references to night in the Bible.

Why, then, is there darkness, and where did it come from? God gives the answer: “I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness” (Isaiah 45:6-7). Light was always in and with God, but the darkness had to be created! And, it has a purpose, serving as a contrast to the light.

Men and women were created to love and have fellowship with their Creator, not as robots but in freedom. Darkness thus served as the choice that could be made against God and the light, for those so minded. Satan and his hosts of fallen angels and wicked spirits have become “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). The tragedy is that ever since Adam, men have “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19), and so have been practicing “the works of darkness” (Romans 13:12), and deserving nothing but “the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:13).

But our Creator has become our Redeemer. He “hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9), paying the great price for our redemption on the cross. The Father “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13); we are now free to enter into the eternal fellowship with God that He had planned before the world began. We should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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The Change-A Grace

2017-05-15-11-51-51-596010886

There are times in our lives when there is a grace on the things we do.

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Nuggets – The Word of the King

The Word of the King
“Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” (Ecclesiastes 8:4)

Perhaps the archetype of absolute monarchs was Babylonia’s King Nebuchadnezzar, of whom the prophet Daniel could say, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (Daniel 2:37). The word of this and every true king was with power, the king being answerable to no man but himself, for his authority came from God. “For there is no power but of God” (Romans 13:1). Many kings have had to learn this truth the hard way, however, for they have found that God could remove them as quickly as He had ordained them when they abused that power.

But there is one King who will never fall; one “who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings; . . . to whom be honour and power everlasting” (1 Timothy 6:15-16). The Lord Jesus Christ has asserted, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18), and one day all creatures in heaven and Earth will acknowledge: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things” (Revelation 4:11). In that day all “the kingdoms of this world [shall] become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

This one, who is King of all kings, is also the One who is “called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13). The word of this King is of such power that He could speak the mighty cosmos into existence. His word could calm a violent storm and call Lazarus back from death.

“The word of God is quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), and “his word was with power” (Luke 4:32). Therefore, “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – By Any Means

By Any Means
“And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.” (Acts 27:12)

This seemingly insignificant phrase “by any means” (Greek ei pos) is actually used to express the urgency of attaining some object sought, along with the means for its attainment. It occurs just four times in the New Testament, and it is interesting that these four occurrences seem to follow a significant order.

The first of them is in our text above and expresses a search for physical comfort, as the mariners, transporting Paul to Rome, sought by any means to find a convenient place to spend the winter.

The second expresses Paul’s search for spiritual ministry. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, he told them of his constant prayers: “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Romans 1:10-11).

Thirdly, there was his search for conversion of others. “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Romans 11:13-14).

Finally, and most importantly, there was Paul’s (and, Lord willing, may it be ours also!) search for a Christ-centered life. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Statement of Christ’s Purpose

Statement of Christ’s Purpose
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

Schools, businesses, and institutions are all well-advised to develop and live by a “statement of purpose” if they are to be successful, evaluating each activity by its effectiveness in fulfilling that purpose.

As Christians, we should also have a well-defined purpose. Each individual’s specific purpose will vary somewhat, depending on that person’s giftedness, background, and circumstances; but since Christ is our example, each Christian’s statement of purpose should reflect His priorities and values.

In many ways, Mark’s gospel provides the most vivid and explicit insight into the work of Jesus, and in this book we see Jesus often repeating His statement of purpose. “Jesus came . . . preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying . . . repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus Christ had come with the specific purpose of saving the lost, and everything He did pointed to that end. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (2:17).

Christ not only preached to sinners, but He trained and sent out His followers to see that His mission was effectively carried out, even after He was gone. “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth. . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent” (6:7, 12). Regarding His approaching death, He explained: “The Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many” (10:45). As He left them, He commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (16:15).

Our priorities should be the same as His. If everything we do points toward this end, His mission will thereby be accomplished. “Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (8:35). JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – The Terror of the Lord

The Terror of the Lord
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)

The use of the English word “terror” in this verse as a translation of the Greek phobos (from which we get our word “phobia”) indicates that the frequent Old Testament phrase “fear of the LORD” means much more than implied in the modern euphemism “reverential trust.” The only other New Testament use of this phrase is in Acts 9:31: “Then had the churches rest . . . and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”

These two passages seem to be informing us that when a church is “walking in the terror of the Lord,” its members will be seeking every means whereby to “persuade men” to come to Christ, and therefore its numbers will increase.

This impassioned persuasion of the lost is motivated by knowledge that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). That is, we know that the Lord Jesus, who died for lost sinners and has commissioned us to tell them of His great salvation, will be highly displeased if we don’t do so, or if our testimony is compromised by our selfish lives. At His judgment seat, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. . . . If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:13, 15).

The terror of the Lord, when we appear before Him in that day, is not the only motive for witnessing, of course. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” and when our testimony is received (our motives being “manifest unto God” and even to the “consciences” of those to whom we witness), then the glorious result is “a new creature” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:14, 17). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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