A world renowned historian says that an attack on Iran is not a deterr

A world renowned historian says that an attack on Iran is not a deterrent but an inducement

December 30, 2014

The Jerusalem Conference, a gathering of politicos, military leaders, media people and members of academia heard the world renowned historian Bernard Lewis, who delivered the closing lecture at the conference, tell the attendees that Iran, Israel’s number one threat, would not consider a preemptive attack or even the threat of mutually assured destruction as a deterrent factor, but rather an inducement to attack the Jewish state.

Iran’s leadership comprises a group of extreme fanatical Moslems who believe that their Messianic times have arrived and that Iran, which is not an Arab country but a Moslem nation, is ruled today by a Moslem theocracy which calculates its policies not by Iran’s national interest but by what is good for Islam. Lewis said that even though Iran is actively pursuing a Nuclear Weapon of Mass Destruction (NWMD), a non-nuclear Iran is dangerous for Israel and it must be carefully watched.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The statement by Bernard Lewis, the world renowned historian, that Iran with or without a NWMD is still a threat to Israel, is a page out of Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

The Jerusalem Conference gathers members of academia, politicos, military leaders and media people to Jerusalem on a yearly basis to mainly discuss the Jewish state of Israel’s place in the Middle East and in fact, the world. The conference speakers also addressed the major threats to Israel and how they believe these threats can best be handled. Bernard Lewis, the world renown historian who addressed the Jerusalem Conference, gave his evaluation of the term that he coined the “Clash of Civilizations” with an analysis of the threat to Israel in today’s world with Iran at the top of the list, which is a glimpse into the End Times scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy.

A number of Arab and Moslem nations today are preparing to deal with the nation they consider a cancer to the Middle East, the Jewish state of Israel. Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel and to some extent every ancient Jewish prophet, wrote about this Alignment of Nations that will try to destroy Israel in the Last Days, Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, Joel 2 and Psalm 83.

As Bernard Lewis reveals, Iran is the major threat to Israel, but only one of the threats.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/

A world renowned historian says that an attack on Iran is not a deterr

A world renowned historian says that an attack on Iran is not a deterrent but an inducement

December 30, 2014

The Jerusalem Conference, a gathering of politicos, military leaders, media people and members of academia heard the world renowned historian Bernard Lewis, who delivered the closing lecture at the conference, tell the attendees that Iran, Israel’s number one threat, would not consider a preemptive attack or even the threat of mutually assured destruction as a deterrent factor, but rather an inducement to attack the Jewish state.

Iran’s leadership comprises a group of extreme fanatical Moslems who believe that their Messianic times have arrived and that Iran, which is not an Arab country but a Moslem nation, is ruled today by a Moslem theocracy which calculates its policies not by Iran’s national interest but by what is good for Islam. Lewis said that even though Iran is actively pursuing a Nuclear Weapon of Mass Destruction (NWMD), a non-nuclear Iran is dangerous for Israel and it must be carefully watched.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The statement by Bernard Lewis, the world renowned historian, that Iran with or without a NWMD is still a threat to Israel, is a page out of Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

The Jerusalem Conference gathers members of academia, politicos, military leaders and media people to Jerusalem on a yearly basis to mainly discuss the Jewish state of Israel’s place in the Middle East and in fact, the world. The conference speakers also addressed the major threats to Israel and how they believe these threats can best be handled. Bernard Lewis, the world renown historian who addressed the Jerusalem Conference, gave his evaluation of the term that he coined the “Clash of Civilizations” with an analysis of the threat to Israel in today’s world with Iran at the top of the list, which is a glimpse into the End Times scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy.

A number of Arab and Moslem nations today are preparing to deal with the nation they consider a cancer to the Middle East, the Jewish state of Israel. Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel and to some extent every ancient Jewish prophet, wrote about this Alignment of Nations that will try to destroy Israel in the Last Days, Ezekiel 38, Daniel 11, Joel 2 and Psalm 83.

As Bernard Lewis reveals, Iran is the major threat to Israel, but only one of the threats.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/

Test every spirit

Test every spirit

Posted on December 30, 2014

by Mike Ratliff

16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NASB)

CSM is an acronym for “Contemplative Spiritual Meditation.” It is a perverse melding of Christian prayer with Eastern mysticism. Bottom line, those who are behind this are deceived. They have been taken in by deceptive spirits because they have not “tested” every spirit, but have, instead, eagerly sought spiritual influences from outside the Church. The Word of God expressly warns believers against this sort of thing. In this post I would like to unpack 1 John 4:1-6 which does indeed address this.

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NASB)

1 Ἀγαπητοί, μὴ παντὶ πνεύματι πιστεύετε ἀλλὰ δοκιμάζετε τὰ πνεύματα εἰ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, ὅτι πολλοὶ ψευδοπροφῆται ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον. (1 John 4:1 NA28)

The prophets of God (preachers and teachers of His Word) are led by the Holy Spirit and so they speak and teach the truth, but there are ψευδοπροφῆται, false prophets, who ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, have gone out into the world. These ψευδοπροφῆται are perverse. They are so because they propagate false doctrine and error and so are simply spreading the doctrines of demons. This is why we are commanded here to μὴ παντὶ πνεύματι πιστεύετε ἀλλὰ δοκιμάζετε τὰ πνεύματα εἰ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. This command would not be given to us if we did not have a way to do this.

Before we look at the method of obeying this command, let us be upfront in this. Whenever we hear a preacher or read something that professes to be for the Church, we are to place the spirit behind these things under this test. That would include what you read here αγαπητοί (beloved). That would include what you hear from the pulpit in your own church every Sunday as well and definitely on podcasts, radio, and TV. In vv2-3, we have the first test.

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3 NASB)

The Greek word translated here as “confesses,” ομολογει, is in present tense, indicative mood, and active voice. This asserts something that is occurring while this is being spoken or written. This means that one very clear test of verity for prophet, preacher, or teacher is whether their ministry professes or confesses that Christ came in the flesh to earth. This is a statement about the full humanity and full deity of Jesus Christ. A ministry that does not equally maintain these two truths must be considered disingenuous. Think of those whose teachings limit the deity, foreknowledge, or sovereignty of our Lord in any way. These are examples of ψευδοπροφῆται who ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον. These are of the spirit of the antichrist for they distort Jesus Christ’s true nature, perverting the gospel.

4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:4-6 NASB)

Believers must learn to be aware and alert to false teaching, but not afraid. Why? The genuine believer is a new creation and has the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is a built-in check against false teachings (1 John 2:20, 27). Never forget αγαπητοι the Holy Spirit leads genuine Christians into sound doctrine (Romans 8:17), and this is evidence that their salvation is genuine. The Holy Spirit is greater than our enemy so we really should have no fear of being taken out of the Lord’s hand. Our part is to seek to discern the soundness of the doctrines given to us. When we diligently do this, there is a godly protection against error and a promised victory over it as we adhere to the sound doctrine and submit ourselves as living sacrifices. As we do this, the Holy Spirit works in us to transform us because our minds are being renewed as we submit ourselves to God’s Sacred Scripture.

On the other hand, false prophets are from the world and they may indeed have a great following, but these will be of the world, not of God. God’s prophets, preachers, and teachers speak God’s Word, following apostolic doctrine.

6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 NASB)

6 ἡμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐσμεν, ὁ γινώσκων τὸν θεὸν ἀκούει ἡμῶν, ὃς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἀκούει ἡμῶν. ἐκ τούτου γινώσκομεν τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πλάνης. (1 John 4:6 NA28)

As we said above, God’s true prophets, preachers, and teachers speak God’s Word, following apostolic doctrine. What is the sole standard by which all teaching is to be tested? It is the Old and New Testaments. That is it. Human concepts of fairness or man-made doctrines are not acceptable, but that is what you will find is the basis of most of what is being promulgated on the visible church in our time. These are demonically inspired teachers. They are so because they reject the teaching of God’s Word or add to it or come up with their own standards (2 Corinthians 4:2; Revelation 22:18, 19). The Greek word translated as “error” in the NASB, πλάνης, means, “a straying from orthodoxy” in a spirit designed to deceive or delude. I cannot think of better explanation of things such as the melding of Christian prayer with Eastern mysticism or that Spiritual Formation inspired devotional series by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. This would also include the entire CSM, Emergent, Seeker-Sensitive paradigms. All of it is based within το πνευμα της πλανης, the spirit of deceit. These deceivers are deceiving who knows how many people with their man-made doctrines in their transitioning of biblical churches into their seeker-sensitive storefronts to be church for the unchurched.

The reason this has become so prevalent is that the leadership in these churches did not test the spirits. They were deceived and now they are in darkness and the sheep within are either scattered or are being underfed and not cared for by a proper shepherd. Instead, they are bullied and forced to conform to an unbiblical, pragmatic standard not based in solid biblical doctrines.

Soli Deo Gloria!

http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/test-every-spirit/

Test every spirit

Test every spirit

Posted on December 30, 2014

by Mike Ratliff

16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NASB)

CSM is an acronym for “Contemplative Spiritual Meditation.” It is a perverse melding of Christian prayer with Eastern mysticism. Bottom line, those who are behind this are deceived. They have been taken in by deceptive spirits because they have not “tested” every spirit, but have, instead, eagerly sought spiritual influences from outside the Church. The Word of God expressly warns believers against this sort of thing. In this post I would like to unpack 1 John 4:1-6 which does indeed address this.

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NASB)

1 Ἀγαπητοί, μὴ παντὶ πνεύματι πιστεύετε ἀλλὰ δοκιμάζετε τὰ πνεύματα εἰ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, ὅτι πολλοὶ ψευδοπροφῆται ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον. (1 John 4:1 NA28)

The prophets of God (preachers and teachers of His Word) are led by the Holy Spirit and so they speak and teach the truth, but there are ψευδοπροφῆται, false prophets, who ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, have gone out into the world. These ψευδοπροφῆται are perverse. They are so because they propagate false doctrine and error and so are simply spreading the doctrines of demons. This is why we are commanded here to μὴ παντὶ πνεύματι πιστεύετε ἀλλὰ δοκιμάζετε τὰ πνεύματα εἰ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. This command would not be given to us if we did not have a way to do this.

Before we look at the method of obeying this command, let us be upfront in this. Whenever we hear a preacher or read something that professes to be for the Church, we are to place the spirit behind these things under this test. That would include what you read here αγαπητοί (beloved). That would include what you hear from the pulpit in your own church every Sunday as well and definitely on podcasts, radio, and TV. In vv2-3, we have the first test.

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3 NASB)

The Greek word translated here as “confesses,” ομολογει, is in present tense, indicative mood, and active voice. This asserts something that is occurring while this is being spoken or written. This means that one very clear test of verity for prophet, preacher, or teacher is whether their ministry professes or confesses that Christ came in the flesh to earth. This is a statement about the full humanity and full deity of Jesus Christ. A ministry that does not equally maintain these two truths must be considered disingenuous. Think of those whose teachings limit the deity, foreknowledge, or sovereignty of our Lord in any way. These are examples of ψευδοπροφῆται who ἐξεληλύθασιν εἰς τὸν κόσμον. These are of the spirit of the antichrist for they distort Jesus Christ’s true nature, perverting the gospel.

4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:4-6 NASB)

Believers must learn to be aware and alert to false teaching, but not afraid. Why? The genuine believer is a new creation and has the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is a built-in check against false teachings (1 John 2:20, 27). Never forget αγαπητοι the Holy Spirit leads genuine Christians into sound doctrine (Romans 8:17), and this is evidence that their salvation is genuine. The Holy Spirit is greater than our enemy so we really should have no fear of being taken out of the Lord’s hand. Our part is to seek to discern the soundness of the doctrines given to us. When we diligently do this, there is a godly protection against error and a promised victory over it as we adhere to the sound doctrine and submit ourselves as living sacrifices. As we do this, the Holy Spirit works in us to transform us because our minds are being renewed as we submit ourselves to God’s Sacred Scripture.

On the other hand, false prophets are from the world and they may indeed have a great following, but these will be of the world, not of God. God’s prophets, preachers, and teachers speak God’s Word, following apostolic doctrine.

6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 NASB)

6 ἡμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐσμεν, ὁ γινώσκων τὸν θεὸν ἀκούει ἡμῶν, ὃς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἀκούει ἡμῶν. ἐκ τούτου γινώσκομεν τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πλάνης. (1 John 4:6 NA28)

As we said above, God’s true prophets, preachers, and teachers speak God’s Word, following apostolic doctrine. What is the sole standard by which all teaching is to be tested? It is the Old and New Testaments. That is it. Human concepts of fairness or man-made doctrines are not acceptable, but that is what you will find is the basis of most of what is being promulgated on the visible church in our time. These are demonically inspired teachers. They are so because they reject the teaching of God’s Word or add to it or come up with their own standards (2 Corinthians 4:2; Revelation 22:18, 19). The Greek word translated as “error” in the NASB, πλάνης, means, “a straying from orthodoxy” in a spirit designed to deceive or delude. I cannot think of better explanation of things such as the melding of Christian prayer with Eastern mysticism or that Spiritual Formation inspired devotional series by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. This would also include the entire CSM, Emergent, Seeker-Sensitive paradigms. All of it is based within το πνευμα της πλανης, the spirit of deceit. These deceivers are deceiving who knows how many people with their man-made doctrines in their transitioning of biblical churches into their seeker-sensitive storefronts to be church for the unchurched.

The reason this has become so prevalent is that the leadership in these churches did not test the spirits. They were deceived and now they are in darkness and the sheep within are either scattered or are being underfed and not cared for by a proper shepherd. Instead, they are bullied and forced to conform to an unbiblical, pragmatic standard not based in solid biblical doctrines.

Soli Deo Gloria!

http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/test-every-spirit/

December 31, 2014 Bible Reading

December 31

Reading for Today:

Malachi 1:1–4:6

Psalm 150:1-6

Proverbs 30:10-31

Revelation 21:1–22:21

Notes:

Malachi 3:1- My messenger. It was a custom of the Near Eastern kings to send messengers before them to remove obstacles to their visit. Employing a wordplay on the name of Malachi, “the LORD’s messenger”, the Lord Himself announced He was sending one who would “prepare the way before Me.” This is “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (Is. 40:3) and the Elijah of 4:5 who comes before the Lord. The New Testament clearly identifies him as John the Baptist (Matt. 3:3; 11:10, 14; 17:12ff.; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:17; 7:26, 27; John 1:23).

Malachi 4:2- Sun of Righteousness. While the wicked will be devoured by the heat of the Lord’s wrath, those who fear Him will feel His warmth with healing in His “rays” or “beams” (Is. 30:26; 60:1, 3). The reference is to the Messiah; He is “the Lord our Righteousness” (Ps. 84:11; Jer. 23:5, 6; 1 Cor. 1:30). healing. The reference should not be limited to the physical recovery from the harm done by the wicked (3:5). This sickness is inextricably linked with sin, with healing coming only through the suffering of the Servant (Ps. 103:3; Is. 53:5; 57:18, 19; 1 Pet. 2:24).

Proverbs 31:10–31- This poem offers a beautiful description of the excellent wife as defined by a wife and mother (v. 1). Spiritual and practical wisdom plus moral virtues mark the character of this woman in contrast to the immoral women of v. 3. While the scene here is of a wealthy home and the customs of the ancient Near East, the principles apply to every family. They are set forth as the prayer of every mother for the future wife of her son, and literarily arranged with each of the 22 verses beginning with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in consecutive order.

Revelation 21:2- New Jerusalem. This is the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness. It is seen “coming down out of heaven,” indicating it already existed; but it descends into the new heavens and new earth from its place on high. This is the city where the saints will live (John 14:1–3). bride. An important New Testament metaphor for the church (Matt. 25:1–13; Eph. 5:25–27). John’s imagery here extends from the third part of the Jewish wedding, the ceremony. Believers (the bride) in the New Jerusalem come to meet Christ (the bridegroom) in the final ceremony of redemptive history (19:7). The whole city, occupied by all the saints, is called the bride, so that all saints must be finally included in the bride imagery and bridal blessing. God has brought home a bride for His beloved Son. All the saints live with Christ in the Father’s house (a promise made before the church began; John 14:2).

DAY 31: What is the Book of Malachi about?

Only 50,000 exiles had returned to Judah from Babylon (538–536 B.C.). The temple had been rebuilt under the leadership of Zerubbabel (516 B.C.) and the sacrificial system renewed. Ezra had returned in 458 B.C., followed by Nehemiah in 445 B.C. After being back in the land of Palestine for only a century, the ritual of the Jews’ religious routine led to hard-heartedness toward God’s great love for them and to widespread departure from His law by both people and priest. Malachi rebuked and condemned these abuses, forcefully indicting the people and calling them to repentance. When Nehemiah returned from Persia the second time (ca. 424 B.C.), he vigorously rebuked them for these abuses in the temple and priesthood, for the violation of the Sabbath rest, and for the unlawful divorce of their Jewish wives so they could marry Gentile women (Neh. 13).

As over two millennia of Old Testament history since Abraham concluded, none of the glorious promises of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants had been fulfilled in their ultimate sense. Although there had been a few high points in Israel’s history, e.g., Joshua, David, and Josiah, the Jews had seemingly lost all opportunity to receive God’s favor. Less than 100 years after returning from captivity, they had already sunk to a depth of sin that exceeded the former iniquities which brought on the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations. Beyond this, the long-anticipated Messiah had not arrived and did not seem to be in sight.

So, Malachi wrote the capstone prophecy of the Old Testament in which he delivered God’s message of judgment on Israel for their continuing sin and God’s promise that one day in the future, when the Jews would repent, the Messiah would be revealed and God’s covenant promises would be fulfilled. There were over 400 years of divine silence, with only Malachi’s words ringing condemnation in their ears, before another prophet arrived with a message from God. That was John the Baptist preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). Messiah had come.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

December 31, 2014 Bible Reading

December 31

Reading for Today:

Malachi 1:1–4:6

Psalm 150:1-6

Proverbs 30:10-31

Revelation 21:1–22:21

Notes:

Malachi 3:1- My messenger. It was a custom of the Near Eastern kings to send messengers before them to remove obstacles to their visit. Employing a wordplay on the name of Malachi, “the LORD’s messenger”, the Lord Himself announced He was sending one who would “prepare the way before Me.” This is “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (Is. 40:3) and the Elijah of 4:5 who comes before the Lord. The New Testament clearly identifies him as John the Baptist (Matt. 3:3; 11:10, 14; 17:12ff.; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:17; 7:26, 27; John 1:23).

Malachi 4:2- Sun of Righteousness. While the wicked will be devoured by the heat of the Lord’s wrath, those who fear Him will feel His warmth with healing in His “rays” or “beams” (Is. 30:26; 60:1, 3). The reference is to the Messiah; He is “the Lord our Righteousness” (Ps. 84:11; Jer. 23:5, 6; 1 Cor. 1:30). healing. The reference should not be limited to the physical recovery from the harm done by the wicked (3:5). This sickness is inextricably linked with sin, with healing coming only through the suffering of the Servant (Ps. 103:3; Is. 53:5; 57:18, 19; 1 Pet. 2:24).

Proverbs 31:10–31- This poem offers a beautiful description of the excellent wife as defined by a wife and mother (v. 1). Spiritual and practical wisdom plus moral virtues mark the character of this woman in contrast to the immoral women of v. 3. While the scene here is of a wealthy home and the customs of the ancient Near East, the principles apply to every family. They are set forth as the prayer of every mother for the future wife of her son, and literarily arranged with each of the 22 verses beginning with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in consecutive order.

Revelation 21:2- New Jerusalem. This is the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness. It is seen “coming down out of heaven,” indicating it already existed; but it descends into the new heavens and new earth from its place on high. This is the city where the saints will live (John 14:1–3). bride. An important New Testament metaphor for the church (Matt. 25:1–13; Eph. 5:25–27). John’s imagery here extends from the third part of the Jewish wedding, the ceremony. Believers (the bride) in the New Jerusalem come to meet Christ (the bridegroom) in the final ceremony of redemptive history (19:7). The whole city, occupied by all the saints, is called the bride, so that all saints must be finally included in the bride imagery and bridal blessing. God has brought home a bride for His beloved Son. All the saints live with Christ in the Father’s house (a promise made before the church began; John 14:2).

DAY 31: What is the Book of Malachi about?

Only 50,000 exiles had returned to Judah from Babylon (538–536 B.C.). The temple had been rebuilt under the leadership of Zerubbabel (516 B.C.) and the sacrificial system renewed. Ezra had returned in 458 B.C., followed by Nehemiah in 445 B.C. After being back in the land of Palestine for only a century, the ritual of the Jews’ religious routine led to hard-heartedness toward God’s great love for them and to widespread departure from His law by both people and priest. Malachi rebuked and condemned these abuses, forcefully indicting the people and calling them to repentance. When Nehemiah returned from Persia the second time (ca. 424 B.C.), he vigorously rebuked them for these abuses in the temple and priesthood, for the violation of the Sabbath rest, and for the unlawful divorce of their Jewish wives so they could marry Gentile women (Neh. 13).

As over two millennia of Old Testament history since Abraham concluded, none of the glorious promises of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants had been fulfilled in their ultimate sense. Although there had been a few high points in Israel’s history, e.g., Joshua, David, and Josiah, the Jews had seemingly lost all opportunity to receive God’s favor. Less than 100 years after returning from captivity, they had already sunk to a depth of sin that exceeded the former iniquities which brought on the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations. Beyond this, the long-anticipated Messiah had not arrived and did not seem to be in sight.

So, Malachi wrote the capstone prophecy of the Old Testament in which he delivered God’s message of judgment on Israel for their continuing sin and God’s promise that one day in the future, when the Jews would repent, the Messiah would be revealed and God’s covenant promises would be fulfilled. There were over 400 years of divine silence, with only Malachi’s words ringing condemnation in their ears, before another prophet arrived with a message from God. That was John the Baptist preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). Messiah had come.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Our Sympathetic High Priest

Our Sympathetic High Priest

[COLOR=Red]”Assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:16-18).

Jesus came to sympathize with us, so He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest.

In his letters to Timothy, Paul counseled and encouraged his young associate about many things—his health, his critics, his moral and spiritual warfare. His counsel is well summed up in these words: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David” (2 Tim. 2:8).

Like Timothy, we need to be reminded of Christ’s humanity, especially when life becomes particularly tough. Then we can pray, “Lord, You know what You endured while You were here. I’m going through it now.” We can be sure He knows and will encourage us.

Jesus came not only to save us but also to sympathize with us. He experienced what we experience so He could be a “merciful and faithful high priest.” After all, “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Jesus felt everything we will ever feel—and more. Most of us will never know the full degree of any given temptation because we usually succumb long before we reach it. But since Jesus never sinned, He took the full measure of every temptation.

Ours is not a cosmic God, powerful and holy, but indifferent. He knows when we hurt, where we are weak, and how we are tempted. Jesus is not just our Savior, but our loving Lord who sympathizes with us. Rejoice in the greatness of His love for us.

Suggestion for Prayer

Ask God to remind you of your need of Him at all times, not just when times are tough.

For Future Study

Memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13 for quick recall whenever you are faced with any trial.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals#.TqYCaZxU3cR

Our Sympathetic High Priest

Our Sympathetic High Priest

[COLOR=Red]”Assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:16-18).

Jesus came to sympathize with us, so He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest.

In his letters to Timothy, Paul counseled and encouraged his young associate about many things—his health, his critics, his moral and spiritual warfare. His counsel is well summed up in these words: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David” (2 Tim. 2:8).

Like Timothy, we need to be reminded of Christ’s humanity, especially when life becomes particularly tough. Then we can pray, “Lord, You know what You endured while You were here. I’m going through it now.” We can be sure He knows and will encourage us.

Jesus came not only to save us but also to sympathize with us. He experienced what we experience so He could be a “merciful and faithful high priest.” After all, “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Jesus felt everything we will ever feel—and more. Most of us will never know the full degree of any given temptation because we usually succumb long before we reach it. But since Jesus never sinned, He took the full measure of every temptation.

Ours is not a cosmic God, powerful and holy, but indifferent. He knows when we hurt, where we are weak, and how we are tempted. Jesus is not just our Savior, but our loving Lord who sympathizes with us. Rejoice in the greatness of His love for us.

Suggestion for Prayer

Ask God to remind you of your need of Him at all times, not just when times are tough.

For Future Study

Memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13 for quick recall whenever you are faced with any trial.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals#.TqYCaZxU3cR