This blog is to post articles I have written over the years during my last dozen or more years (out of 42) as a follower of Jesus Christ when I began a home meeting; as well as new ones I might yet write.
Let us return to the truths God gave us through the Prophets and Apostles of Scripture to find rest for our souls. Jeremiah 6:16
This is the post excerpt.
This blog is to post articles I have written over the years during my last dozen or more years (out of 42) as a follower of Jesus Christ when I began a home meeting; as well as new ones I might yet write.
In turning their hearts back to Egypt from where they were freed by the mighty hand of the Lord, they would one day mourn like them over their own Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had put to death.
I will pour on David’s house, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to Me whom they have pierced; What did the Israelites think when they read the prophet speaking of piercing the Lord, Yahweh? How is that possible? He’s not a man is he that he can be harmed. So, did He mean it metaphorically, like how we can wound another with our words? Little did they see that Yahweh would indeed become a Man, fashioned in the likeness of sinful flesh. Sinful flesh is mortal flesh, capable of dying. They would indeed pierce him. With 5 wounds. 5 is the number of Grace. We are saved by his Grace and taught to turn from evil by Grace. We grow in Grace and it’s by his Grace we seek him. When Jesus returns to deliver his people, Israel, they will finally know the One they have rejected and crucified was theirs all along.
and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. They put the Firstborn to death, their own firstborn. The Firstborn of Creation. This mourning puts us in mind of the 10th plague of Egypt:
Exodus 12: 29 At midnight, Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
That Israel should mourn like Egypt, only more grievously, is a fitting recompense for their history-long rejection of the Lord who loved them. In Acts 7:39 Stephen had said how they rejected Moses, who is type of Christ, when he was on the mount, “to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,” In turning their hearts back to Egypt from where they were freed by the mighty hand of the Lord, they would one day mourn like them over their own Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had put to death.
11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of David’s house apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of David is his descendants of whom is Joseph, Jesus’s stepfather. Nathan is the line through which Mary was born. So, both main royal lines are represented through which Messiah had come in his earthly life. Jesus had always been their King. They rejected him in the wilderness with Moses, in the days of Samuel when they demanded an earthly king like the nations that surrounded them. Finally when they put him to death on a cross. Even on there, Pilate had made sure (by God’s hand no doubt) that the world in that time, in their 3 languages, would read that this is “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; Levi and Shimeites represent the priestly lines, the ones who officiated the death of Jesus long ago. It was the priests who were the ones authorized by God to sacrifice the Passover lambs. Therefore they, at the Passover in 29 A.D., would sacrifice the Lamb of God. Their descendants would mourn this most grievous of offices their family was charged with. 14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. The grief will be so intense, so personal, that the closest of Israelites at Jesus’s return, even husbands and wives, will not be able to look at each other in their overwhelming grief. Now they look upon this Jesus. Jesus who had freed them from Egypt; who had died at their hands to set them free of their sins; and who had just come back to destroy Antichrist and his armies who had oppressed them worse than Pharaoh, was their true and only Firstborn King.
This is how the Millennium begins for them, such grief and national self-loathing. It fulfills also what the Lord said to them in Ezekiel 36:24-31: I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
And this other witness from Ezekiel 16: 62-63 I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; 63 that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth [in rebellion] any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Yahweh. [my brackets]
All these millennia, the Lord has been working to bring national Israel to a place when their rebellion was truly and permanently over. With a new heart and an eternally humble attitude toward their God, they will one day forever enjoy the blessings promised to them so long ago through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And as Paul said in Romans 11: 15 For if the rejection of them [that is, their rejection by God because of their rejection of the Gospel] is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead? [my brackets] The world is waiting for the restoration of national Israel. When it happens History changes for good and all the dead come out of the ground. This age of sin, lust and corruption will be forever over.
That miracle of a peaceful sea on which to set sail again led them to worship Yahweh alone. Never again would they look to the ineffectual gods they had called upon during the storm. The Lord had proved to them which deity was the true God.
Their fear was the proper response to the Lord’s supernatural intervention.
“So they called out to the LORD: “Please, LORD, don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t charge us with innocent blood! For you, LORD, have done just as you pleased.” 15 Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 The men were seized by great fear of the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.” Jonah 1:14-16
Note the reaction of the sailors to the great calm after throwing Jonah overboard to a certain death. They were used to experiencing storms at sea, admittedly perhaps not one this bad; but storms at sea were part of the natural world they lived in. However, never was there a sudden calm following one. They received relief more than they could have ever dreamed of, but it produced more fear in them than the violent storm had.
The miracle of a peaceful sea on which to set sail again led them to worship Yahweh alone. Never again would they look to the ineffectual gods they had called upon during the storm. The Lord had proved to them which deity was the true God.
Their fear was the proper response to the Lord’s supernatural intervention.
Tragically, God’s patience and reluctance to punish is too often taken as tolerance or even indifference toward the sins even those that name Christ’s name might practice. However, when it comes to sin, God has no favorites. The apostle Paul warns those in churches against living evil lives, that if they do they will not inherit the kingdom. See 1 Cor. 6:10-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:8 – three witnesses of this. Or a 4th, in Revelation 21:8 at the mouth of the resurrected Jesus. Paul taught in Acts 17 that all men must repent in view of the coming Judgment of Christ at his return. “All men” includes Christians, does it not?
I think it is fitting at the start to speak of the goodness and kindness of God. For it may seem a grievous thing that the severity of God’s judgments fills the Bible so much, but, it is really a good thing. It shows that the Lord is loving enough and patient enough to warn sinners many times before finally acting against them. But God desires that everyone might escape “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”* He had Amos admonish Israel, “Prepare to meet your God.” and had Paul warn his hearers, “But now He commands that all people everywhere should repent, because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world. . .” If God was unkind or as cruel as his vicious critics blasphemously say of him, he would have kept his wrath to come a secret, leaving man unaware and unprepared for eternity of “weeping and gnashing of teeth in everlasting fire where their worm never dies.” Nor would he have sent His Son to redeem man at the cost of his very life if he was unkind or cruel by nature. * Scriptures in this paper are quoted from World English Bible.
No. It is not God, it is man who is cruel or unkind by nature. As it says in Romans 3, “Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit. The poison of vipers is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. The way of peace, they haven’t known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Considering the eternal torments that await the sinner, God’s many warnings and examples of judgment he executed, such as on Sodom and Gomorrah (unbelievers) or on those in the Wilderness He led out of Egypt (his people), shows us how seriously God wants us to fear his judgments for sin. “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” David wrote, “My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments.” (Ps. 119:120) Jesus gave his own disciples reason to fear God by saying to them, “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:4-5).
God has not only warned over and over about it, but He has also made available a way of escape. That’s the Gospel message – Turn back to God from evil and put faith in His Son whom He delivered over to death for the offenses that bring His wrath. It is by this that God most demonstrated his love for us. His resurrection ensures that we might also live again as Jesus does. Continue reading “God’s Judgments, Pt. 3 – Commentary”
What fault could be found in a cheerful giver whose left hand doesn’t know what his right hand did when he gave? Where is the harm in telling the truth in love? Who can lose out who endures temptation and is patient in trial? How can someone who prays for his enemies not be rewarded by the Lord who prayed for his?
In the many passages treating this subject, we’re told God judges two categories of things – works and motives (e.g., Eccl. 12:14). They are both judged against God’s Word. Works are single actions that also comprise one’s ways and words. The kinds of works people do regularly are their ways. Once a way is formed, it will produce more similar works. So, a “way” is someone’s habitual behavior that began with a single action. That single action came from following some impulse or idea, whether it was good or evil. Fruit refers to the effects or results of works. Works, ways, words and fruit determine one’s nature, a nature that remains fixed whether righteous or wicked, unless one turns away from it.
God will also judge the secrets of men’s hearts – the motives behind what they do (Lu. 12:2, 1 Cor. 4:5). Even the motives of the Lord’s people will be examined. They are judged because they determine a deed’s worth. For example, one can distribute all his goods to the poor yet have no love. No doubt the gift blesses the receiver, but it profits the giver nothing (1 Cor. 13:3). However, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Hypocrisy ruins a good work. “Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward.” (Matt. 6:5)
Selfish ambition is another bad motive as some of the preachers in Philippians 1 had who tried to grieve Paul. Some fulfill their ministry without their hearts being fully in it. They’ve become indifferent or despondent. Perhaps like Jeremiah, they have grown weary from not seeing any obvious fruit from their work. Maybe the fervency has been reduced to a smoldering wick. Others have lost their first love and are involved with useless works. Or they’re intimidated by people like Timothy was, who needed to conquer his fears through the Spirit. These are some of the wood, hay and stubble so common to our nature. That’s the thing about those elements, how accessible they are, how easily they can beset us; cheap, useless materials of the soul, unfit to build anything of eternal value upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.
However, good traits and motives are called gold, silver or precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12-13), of which are such things as, holiness, faith that works by love, willingness, cheerfulness, diligence, humility, integrity. These things will survive the fire of divine examination. What fault could be found in a cheerful giver whose left hand doesn’t know what his right hand did when he gave? Where is the harm in telling the truth in love? Who can lose out who endures temptation and is patient in trial? How can someone who prays for his enemies not be rewarded by the Lord who prayed for his? The value of gold, silver and precious stones is obvious and why they stand for good traits and motives. Their rarity, beauty, and permanence are what makes them prized, unlike the common wood, hay and stubble easily
destroyed by fire.
Jesus counseled the self-satisfied Laodiceans to buy from Him gold tried in the fire. As rich as they were materially, their spiritual houses were made of the wood, hay, and stubble of trust and self-satisfaction in their earthly wealth. But that had left them poor, wretched, miserable, blind and naked. They were dead again. They were about to be vomited out of the Lord’s mouth. They needed to become zealous and turn back to the Lord whom they pushed outside their church. Yet, Jesus did not act in kind by shutting them out. He said He loved them. He stood patiently outside out of that love, knocking on the hardened door of their hearts. He further proved it by rebuking and chastening them. He didn’t want them to lose in judgment. Nor does He want anyone of us to. How many of them responded and opened up the door again to him, Scripture does not inform us; but it was necessary for them to open that door to him if they didn’t want Jesus to fulfill his threat of vomiting them out of his mouth.
I’m sure that God’s people have a mingle of both classes of building material in their lives. What we can expect is that God will seek our betterment, or as Jesus put it, “Every branch in me that bears fruit, he [the Father] prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” What is this pruning except God replacing the worthless motives and deeds with the valuable ones? He delights in rewarding us abundantly; that’s what he desires, given his gracious nature. But, given also his impartiality, he renders to each one according to what he actually finds in our deeds and motives.
What is the secret to building with Gold, Silver and Precious Stones and rejecting the Wood, Hay and Stubble? God’s Grace, of course. These valuable building materials come from Heaven, from its Throne of Grace by petition of the saints to the Father of Lights. Our journey is one of Faith, not human effort devoid of God’s working in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. His yoke is easy and his burden light. The life we live we are to live by faith and not to put our trust in the arm of flesh as the self-satisfied Pharisee in the Parable of the Pharisee and Publican in Luke 18:9 ff. Are your motives bad, and your deeds earthy, sensual and devilish? Acknowledge it. Ask for mercy and “buy from Jesus gold tried in the fire” with which to build upon the foundation laid for us by the words of the Apostles. Then, on the day of Judgment, you might receive a wide welcome into the eternal kingdom. Amen.
To find fault with such a God because of the great judgments He has sent upon sinful man like the Flood or the torments to come for the wicked is really a desire to justify our own selves in our sins and to condemn God for his divine justice. It’s an attitude that might even be found in the best of us. God praised Job to Satan, yet finally had to confront Job at the end of his long bitter trials, saying, “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?”
I think it is fitting at the start to speak of the goodness and kindness of God. For it may seem a grievous thing that the severity of God’s judgments fills the Bible so much, but, it is really a good thing. It shows that the Lord is loving enough and patient enough to warn sinners many times before finally acting against them. But God desires that everyone might escape “the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” He had Amos admonish Israel, “Prepare to meet your God.” and had Paul warn his hearers, “But now He commands that all people everywhere should repent, because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world. . .” If God was unkind or as cruel as his vicious critics blasphemously say of him, he would have kept his wrath to come a secret, leaving man unaware and unprepared for eternity of “weeping and gnashing of teeth in everlasting fire where their worm never dies.” Nor would he have sent His Son to redeem man at the cost of his very life if he was unkind or cruel by nature.
No. It is not God but it is man who is cruel or unkind by nature. “Their throat is an open tomb. With their tongues they have used deceit. The poison of vipers is under their lips whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. The way of peace, they haven’t known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”(Romans 3:13-18)
Considering the permanence of the torments that awaits the sinner, God’s many warnings and the examples of judgment He executed, such as on Sodom and Gomorrah (unbelievers) or on those in the Wilderness He led out of Egypt (his people), shows us how seriously God wants us to fear his judgments for sin. “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” David wrote, “My flesh trembles for fear of you. I am afraid of your judgments.” (Ps. 119:120) Jesus gave his own disciples reason to fear God by saying to them, “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:4-5).
God has not only warned over and over about it, but He has also made available a way of escape. That’s the Gospel message – Turn back to God and put faith in His Son, whom He delivered over to death for the offenses that bring His wrath. It is by this that God most demonstrated his love for us. His resurrection ensures that we might also live again as Jesus does.
To find fault with such a God because of the great judgments He has sent upon sinful man like the Flood or the torments to come for the wicked is really a desire to justify our own selves in our sins and to condemn God for his divine justice. It’s an attitude that might even be found in the best of us. God praised Job to Satan, yet finally had to confront Job at the end of his long bitter trials, saying, “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?”
I don’t think Job would have ever believed he was capable of “condemning God that he might be justified” back when he was “the greatest man in the East,” secure within that hedge of blessing God had placed all around him. That came out of him in his trials. It had been sitting there, a hidden thing within Job, unknown and unimaginable by him, for “the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?” But God knew it. It remained buried in the depths of his heart until God put him into the furnace of affliction – a crucible to drive to the surface the worthless ore of his self-justification.
But Job also had gold, bound up with the ore as it might have been, for he testified of himself, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” The passage may have been what Peter had in mind when he wrote, “though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials, that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” James says the same thing in his book. Job’s gold was his faith. It led to his monumental repentance in the last chapter of his book, “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” His desire for self-justification against what he thought was God’s unfair treatment was finally and permanently driven from his soul by the dealings of the God who loved him.
Affliction is deeply connected to our topic of God’s Judgment of our ways. Jesus chastens us that whatever deeds or secret things in us that are displeasing to him might be judged now, in this life, for the purpose of cleansing them away by repentance so there is no spot or wrinkle on us on that Day. John the Baptist called it “his winnowing fan” by which “he will thoroughly cleanse his floor.” Jesus gathers his true people, the wheat, who, “when they are tried come forth as gold” from those who are chaff, workers of iniquity, the tares, among the wheat as members of churches, but not members of the family of God. They do not seek the grace to endure temptation, testings and chastenings that “arise for the Word’s sake” but fall away because of them.
God’s treatment of Job is not unusual for the righteous, except perhaps in its suddenness and severity. Psalm 11 v.5 tells us he tests the righteous. There are many cases recorded: For example, David was persecuted by Saul. Peter was sifted as wheat. God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac; Joseph, about whom Psalm 105 says that he, “was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word [the dream that his family would pay him homage] came: the word of the Lord tested him.” Or Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32, “God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” That’s the point of all testing – to know what’s in our hearts, i.e., by our doing or not doing the deeds that trials and temptations pressure us to do.
Are we being tested? God is examining us. Are we under judgment? God seeks our repentance. Are we being afflicted? God is “perfecting that which concerns us,” in this case, to work patience (or endurance) in us. That’s what Paul says, “tribulation works patience;” and James says “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Jesus says “affliction arises for the Word’s sake.” Hebrews 12 tells us that “For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.”And “if we lack his chastening we don’t belong to him but are illegitimate.” Jesus told the Laodiceans, “Those whom I love I rebuke and chasten.” We often say “Jesus loves you” but do we include his chastenings in that love or do we leave that out even though it’s one of the chief ways He proves it? But, how often anymore is this aspect of God’s love spoken of from the pulpits? Paul boasted in his infirmities but who does that today? Praise God for preachers who declare the whole counsel of God, but we must beware of teachers, no matter how famous, who seem to have little use for the Bible’s “unpleasant” truths.
We need Jesus to love us enough to judge us “so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” A sign that he does not love someone is if he does not chasten them for their sins. It means he has handed them over to their lusts. They might even prosper in them. (See Ps 73.) This is the worst condition possible – happy in one’s sins. Hebrews goes on to tell us the critical reason for his chastening: God wants us to “be partakers of his holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord.” We mustn’t “take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when we are reproved by him” since he does this with our good in mind. We must trust the Lord to do right by us, nor, as 1 Corinthians 10 says, to allow more than we can bear. For this we must be thankful and patient, “for every man shall bear his own burden” that God places on him for as long as necessary. Just ask Paul about that thorn.
Jesus, our beloved, compassionate High Priest “rushes to the aid of the tempted,” having personally experienced them himself. Therefore, he counseled, not only Peter, but us as well, to “pray that you do not enter into trial.” It’s also the closing request in the Our Father he gave us to pray. It’s for our benefit. Hopefully, we’ve been paying enough attention to what’s recorded in the Bible to grasp that counsel with hoops of steel to our hearts. Certainly it’s impossible to have all testing eliminated, for as Peter said, there may be need of them; and God (as we are so fond of quoting) will supply all our needs. But, praying that prayer regularly means that trials and temptations that might otherwise come won’t. No sense of going through more than we have to by neglecting a simple prayer that God is willing to answer. “We have not because we ask not.”
After Job repented God closed the interrogation from the whirlwind. In those trials, God had done what Jesus tells us of, “For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.” The revealing of what is hidden happens either now, as it did with Job, leading to “repentance unto life,” or later, on the day of Judgment, to the wicked leading to their eternal condemnation.
God’s dealings with the righteous are different than with the wicked. The trials may be of the same type (death in the family, loss of job, sudden sickness, etc). These are common to man. Through them the wicked show themselves wicked. They, like those in Revelation 16, blaspheme God who has the power over the afflictions and judgments but don’t repent and give him glory. The righteous however, do repent and give thanks to God for his care though these be grievous things to bear. Remember, God is driving out the worthless from the gold of our faith so that we may have great treasure stored up for eternity. Paul says that “our momentary light afflictions are not to be compared with the glory to come.” If we “set our affections on things above,” we can see this truth with the eyes of faith. Paul certainly did in 2 Cor. 12 where he says when he was weak [from “the thorn in the flesh”], then he was strong. If they’ve served their purpose they can be lifted from us.
Christians must also understand and testify of God that he does not enjoy punishing man. He wants them to have eternal life. ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live (Ez.33:11). Jeremiah tells us, “For he does not afflict nor grieve the sons of men from his heart.” (Lam. 3:33). Paul says that God “desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) Peter says “the Lord is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9b).
The best way to see it is from the beginning. God spent six days preparing a Paradise for man to live in. In it there was no pain or lack. God pronounced it all “very good,” in keeping with his good nature. In it were delights forevermore to be enjoyed by innocent, harmless people made in the image and likeness of God. Man would have never been threatened with a Gehenna prepared for the Devil and his angels had we obeyed. Perhaps we would have never even known of its existence or its eternal prisoners who once were innocent, glorious beings themselves. To what purpose would there be a Day of Judgment for sinless beings? None. If you removed all statements about judgment from the Bible how much of it would be left? Would there be a reason for its writing if man obeyed the Lord?
Of course, all that’s the ideal, the hypothetical; but we’re dealing with the real. Moral creatures have sinned, both angels and men. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. In our case, it’s all mankind; in theirs, it seems that it was a third of them. One of them was denied redemption the other was offered it.
Tragically, His patience and reluctance to punish is too often taken as tolerance or even indifference toward the sins we might practice. However, when it comes to sin, God has no favorites; but before he judges, he strives with man to get them to repent as He did with David or the notoriously wicked king Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:1-18). The two most well-known Apostles knew the depths of their sins: Peter denied the Lord with oaths and curses and Paul once sought the destruction of Jesus’ disciples. The Lord’s dealings with them made them outstanding examples of the mercy He is willing to give through the Gospel. Though each of these 4 men’s evil deeds are eternally recorded in the Word, their repentance and faith ensures they will not be brought up against them on the Day of judgment. That is our hope too and it’s on the same basis of repentance and faith in Jesus.
God not only strives with man through His Word, conviction of the conscience, or if necessary, affliction; he also uses his great kindness to bring people to their senses and turn from evil (Romans 2:4). “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” and in Acts 14 Paul says “he didn’t leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” For these things God expects thanksgiving and obedience. Romans 1 says man is not thankful but became darkened in his heart, worshiping the creation but not its Creator. That’s what leads to his many sins for which he will be judged.
Miracles were God’s goodness even more on display. Like his natural gifts, their purpose was to lead to repentance. Jesus was compelled to condemn the people in various towns in Galilee who did not repent for the miracles done in their midst. Yet, on the Day of Judgment, they will try to use their familiarity with Him as grounds for entrance in the kingdom: “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ He will say, ‘I tell you, I don’t know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ (Luke 13:26-27)
How often have miraculous answers to prayer been taken by professing believers as God ignoring or even approving of them in their sins? What a tragic misreading of those Heaven-sent benefits. What Jesus said to the Galileans apply especially to all who receive such things from the gracious hand of God. May He help us to “see with our eyes, and understand with our hearts” the meaning of His dealings, whether through his Word, by conviction of conscience, affliction or His goodness and by them to live lives fitting for reward on Judgment Day.
To understand the history of Israel after David, we have to know what happened to make two kingdoms out of one kingdom and what happened right after. Otherwise it will be hard to follow what’s going on after 1 Kings chapter 11 and after and 2 Kings; as well as after 2 Chronicles chapter 11.
King Solomon had violated Deuteronomy 17:17 that said Israel’s king should not multiply wives to himself. The purpose of this commandment was so that his wives would not take his heart away from the Lord his God. He had 700 pagan wives. Throughout his 40 year reign he accommodated them by setting up idols in the holy land in honor of their various demonic religions. His heart was turned away from Yahweh just as the commandment in Deuteronomy predicted.
The Lord grew angry with King Solomon and told him in 1 Kings 11:11, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.” God decided to take away 10 tribes from the house of David and give them to a man named Jeroboam, son of Nebat. Jeroboam had been the manager of the northern 10 tribes (called the house of Joseph) workforce during the building of the temple in Jerusalem. He was very courageous, industrious, and smart. He was the kind of man any business would love to have as a foreman or manager. The Lord chose Jeroboam undoubtedly because of his attributes and abilities that he had proved throughout the massive Temple-building project.
So it was the Lord who, because of his anger toward Solomon, split the kingdom which had been united for 120 years under King Saul, King David and King Solomon. They would become two kingdoms after Solomon’s death. Here is what the Lord told Jeroboam through the prophet Ahijah, in 1 Kings 11:37,”Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel [the 10 nothern tribes] to you.”
In 1 Kings 12 we read that when Solomon’s firstborn son Rehoboam took over the throne after his father died, the 10 northern tribes asked him to lighten the heavy load that Solomon had put on them. And that if he did, they would serve him forever. Rehoboam denied their plea. He told them he would make their lives even a lot harder. The 10 northern tribes revolted and made Jeroboam their king. When Rehoboam mustered Judah to fight the 10 northern tribes, the Lord stopped the action; and told them that the split was from him.
So now, there were two Israeli kingdoms under two kings: Jeroboam up north and Rehoboam down south. The northern kingdom was called Israel (or sometimes Ephraim, or Joseph) made up of 10 tribes; and the southern kingdom was called Judah made up of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin (also, they had Levi, the tribe not normally counted since they didn’t get inherited land). There were 2 capitals: Samaria up north, Jerusalem down south. A good way to remember which king is which is to take their initials, J and R, which looks like the abbreviation for “Junior.” Read the letters top to bottom; J up top (Jeroboam up north) and R at the bottom (Rehoboam down south). Hope that helps.
Now that they are split, things take a tragic turn in the 10 northern tribes: their new King Jeroboam feared that if his adult male citizens visited the southern capital, Jerusalem, to go to the Temple that Solomon had built, to appear before the Lord three times a year, Passover, Pentecost and the feast of Tabernacles, as God’s law required, that he would lose their loyalty. He also thought they would assassinate him and return to Rehoboam, and reunite the kingdom. In other words, he believed that he would lose the kingdom that the Lord himself had promised if he let his people obey the Lord. Imagine that kind of thinking. His fear, which was quite practical in one sense, was totally false in reality. Why would he think that the God who had promised him an enduring dynasty on the one hand would have him lose it through letting his people obey Him? Senseless madness from such an intelligent man.
He let his fears lead him into serious sin: He decided that instead of his people going down to Jerusalem 3 times a year that he would give them another religion to follow. He made two calves of gold. He set one in the city of Bethel, and the other one way up north in Dan. He told them that these were their gods that led them out of the land of Egypt. He quoted the high priest Aaron who said the same thing at Sinai when he made a golden calf from the pressure of the impatient Israelites. Jeroboam also kicked the Levites out of their spiritual offices. Jeroboam did all this so that his men would never go down to Jerusalem. He had hoped to secure their loyalty by doing this.
Ironically, the very thing he “greatly feared came upon him” (Job 3:25). Many of his people did leave because of the false religion that he had set up in the kingdom up north. 1 Chronicles 11:13-17a tells us in detail what happened, “The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel (up north) resorted to him (i.e.,to Rehoboam, down south) out of all their border. 14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest’s office to Yahweh; 15 and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. 16 After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong. . . “
If Jeroboam had allowed his people to obey the Lord by letting them go down to the other capital as God required, he would have kept their loyalty. God certainly would not have allowed Jeroboam to lose his citizens if he let them obey the Lord! After all, God wanted them split in two, (for now, that is, until Messiah Jesus restores them as one kingdom under [resurrected] David. See Ez. 37:15-28).
How foolish, tragic, and terrible were the effects of the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat in setting up the false golden calf religion for the 10 northern tribes. As a result, all the godly people up north emigrated south in order to get out of Jeroboam’s ungodly reign. That means that they had to leave their ancient inheritances up north. What a terrible thing for those people. It also meant that the people who were left there were ungodly or apathetic about following Yahweh; or perhaps even preferred the golden calves religion. Israel, the 10 northern tribes, never had one godly king from 930 B.C (the start of Jeroboam’s reign) to the time that they were scattered out of the land 208 years later in 722 B.C., under King Hoshea’s reign, by the Assyrians. During that time, the north had 20 evil kings.
The 10 northern tribes never departed from “the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat” (an expression used very often in later passages). This sin caused them to be removed from the Promised Land to this day. All because the brand-new King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, let fear instead of faith rule him; and led them all into idolatry. What a cautionary account for us all, that unrepentant sin destroys what God promises. See 1 Corinthians 10:6-7a;11-12: “6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Don’t be idolaters, as some of them were. . . 11 Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.
This article is a list of Bible passages that testify of the various things God does. It’s divided into 2 parts. The first is God’s acts concerning inanimate things and non-accountable creatures. Part two is about God’s acts concerning morally-accountable creatures. There are a total of 28 different acts listed. It is not an exhaustive list, but it is fairly comprehensive. (World English Bible is used for quotes)
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Isaiah 48:13 – Yes, my hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spread out the heavens. when I call to them, they stand up together.
Isaiah 65:17a – “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth”
Colossians 1:16-17 – For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
Affects the weather
Exodus 9:23 – Moses stretched out his rod toward the heavens, and Yahweh sent thunder, hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt.
I Samuel 12:18 – So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
1 Kings 19:44a,45a – On the seventh time, he said, “Behold, a small cloud, like a man’s hand, is rising out of the sea.” . . . In a little while, the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.
Job 28:26 – He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder;
Job 37:10-11 – By the breath of God, ice is given, and the width of the waters is frozen. Yes, he loads the thick cloud with moisture. He spreads abroad the cloud of his lightning.
Mark 4: 37-41 a big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled.He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,“Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them,“Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Affects the earth
Judges 5:5 – The mountains quaked Yahweh’s presence, even Sinai at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Psalm 107: 35 – He turns a desert into a pool of water, and a dry land into water springs.
Isaiah 35:1-2a – The wilderness and the dry land will be glad. The desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It will blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing.
Isaiah 35:7 – The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water. Grass with reeds and rushes will be in the habitation of jackals, where they lay.
Matthew 27:51 – Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.
Mark 11:20-21 – As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away.”
Cares for animals
Job 39-41 – Can you hunt the prey for the lioness, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, and lie in wait in the thicket? Who provides for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry to God, and wander for lack of food?
Jonah 4:11 – Shouldn’t I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who can’t discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much livestock?”
Matthew 6:26a – See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them.
Creates, with regard to morally-accountable creatures
Genesis 1:27 – God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 2:7 – Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Nehemiah 9:6a – You are Yahweh, even you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their army
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
2 Corinthians 5:17a Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Isaiah 38:5 Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘Yahweh says, the God of David your father, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.
John 6:40 “This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.
John 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
John 11:10 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.”
Acts 17:25 neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things.
Romans 4:17 As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.
1 John 5:11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Blesses Man – gives good things to make the receiver fruitful and joyful
Genesis 1:28 – God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Psalm 29:11b – Yahweh will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 107:38 – He bless them also, so that they are multiplied greatly. He doesn’t allow their livestock to decrease.
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ;
Appoints – to commission or set in place for a role
Psalm 89:27 – I will also appoint him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
Psalm 104:19 – He appointed the moon for seasons. The sun knows when to set.
Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Acts 17:26 – He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings,
Genesis 2:16-17 – Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
Deuteronomy 6:17 – You shall diligently keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he has commanded you.
Matthew 8:8-9 – The centurion answered, “Lord, I’m not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and tell another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
1 Corinthians 7:19 – Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1 John 3:23 This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded.
Commands angels and devils, with limits on activity
Judges 9:23a – Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem;
2 Samuel 24:16 – When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough. Now withdraw your hand.”
Job 1:12 – Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don’t stretch out your hand.”
Daniel 10:20 – Then he [Gabriel] said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I go out, behold, the prince of Greece shall come. (my brackets)
Fellowships with man
Genesis 28:15 – Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you.”
Mark 3:14a – He appointed twelve, that they might be with him,
Mark 3:35 – For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
John 14:23 – Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.”
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
Genesis 3:9 – Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
Job 1:8a – Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job?. . .”
1 Kings 22:19b-20a – I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. Yahweh said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’
Jonah 4:11 – “Shouldn’t I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who can’t discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much livestock?”
Acts 9:4b – “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Disciplines His people (for a time, and for their good)
Psalm 34:19 – Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but Yahweh delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 119:75 – Yahweh, I know that your judgments are righteous, that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Hebrews 12:6, 11 – For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. (quoted from Proverbs 3:12) . . . All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby.
Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.
Judges creatures (for good or bad, in this life and the next life)
Genesis 3:19 – By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
Judges 9:23-24 – Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
Matthew 25:21 – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
James 1:13 – Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.
Revelation 2:23b – I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
Revelation 20:10 – The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation 20: 12b, 15 – The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. . . If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
Accepts or rejects offerings
Genesis 4:4-5 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh respected Abel and his offering, but he didn’t respect Cain and his offering.
Isaiah 56:7 – I will bring these to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Jeremiah 14:12 – When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
Malachi 1:10 – “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you,” says Yahweh of Armies, “neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Romans 15:16 – that I should be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of the Good News of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 13:15-16 Through him, then, let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which proclaim allegiance to his name. But don’t forget to be doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Peter 2:5 – You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Makes appeals to, and strives with sinners
Genesis 4:6-7 – Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”
Genesis 6:3 – Yahweh said, “My Spirit will not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;
Job 33:16-18a – Then he opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction,That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keeps back his soul from the pit. . .
Hosea 14:1 – Israel, return to Yahweh your God; for you have fallen because of your sin.
Amos 4:9 – “I struck you with blight and mildew many times in your gardens and your vineyards; and your fig trees and your olive trees have the swarming locust devoured: yet you haven’t returned to me,” says Yahweh.
James 4:8 – Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Psalm 50:14-15 – Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Psalm 86:7 – In the day of my trouble I will call on you, for you will answer me.
Psalm 91:15 – He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him, and honor him.
Matthew 6:6b – pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you.
Does Miracles, heals
Genesis 20:17 – Abraham prayed to God. God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children.
Joshua 10:13 – The sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Isn’t this written in the book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and didn’t hurry to go down about a whole day.
Isaiah 38:5-8 – Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘Yahweh says, the God of David your father, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city. This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do this thing that he has spoken. Behold, I will cause the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down on the sundial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the sundial on which it had gone down.”
James 5:14-15a – Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.
Protects, delivers man
Genesis 4:15 – Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.
2 Kings 1:9-10 – Then the king sent a captain of fifty with his fifty to him. He went up to him; and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. He said to him, “Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!’” Elijah answered to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from the sky, and consume you and your fifty!” Then fire came down from the sky, and consumed him and his fifty.
Psalm 3:5 – I laid myself down and slept. I awakened; for Yahweh sustains me.
Ezekiel 9:6a – . . .kill utterly the old man, the young man and the virgin, and little children and women; but don’t come near any man on whom is the mark:
2 Corinthians 1:9-10a – Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver;
Controls nations and their leaders
Job 12:23 – He increases the nations, and he destroys them. He enlarges the nations, and he leads them captive.
Job 12:24-25 – He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. They grope in the dark without light. He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Daniel 2:21b – He changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings, and sets up kings;
Daniel 4:17b – the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.
Psalm 28:7a – Yahweh is my strength and my shield.
Isaiah 40:29 – He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.
Ephesians 3:16 – that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
1 Peter 4:11b – If anyone serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies,
Exodus 34:6-7a – Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, “Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth, keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and disobedience and sin;
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek Yahweh while he may be found. Call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Matthew 18:26-27 – The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
Luke 18:13-14a – But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other;
Acts 13:38 – Be it known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man is proclaimed to you remission of sins.
Saves from sin
Psalm 51:2 – Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity. Cleanse me from my sin.
Matthew 1:21 – She shall give birth to a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.”
Acts 3:26 – God, having raised up his servant Jesus, sent him to you first to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your wickedness.”
1 Timothy 1:15 – The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Psalm 25:9 – He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way.
Psalm 73:24– You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Isaiah 54:13 – All your children will be taught by Yahweh; and your children’s peace will be great.
Jeremiah 32:33 – They have turned to me the back, and not the face: and though taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.
Matthew 7:29 – for he taught them with authority, and not like the scribes.
John 6:45 – It is written in the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me.
Acts 10:28 – He said to them, “You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Jew to join himself or come to one of another nation, but God has shown me that I shouldn’t call any man unholy or unclean.
1 Corinthians 2:13 – Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.
Makes Predictions and fulfills them
Isaiah 46:10 – I declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. I say: My counsel will stand, and I will do all that I please.
Ezekiel 33:33 – When this comes to pass, (behold, it comes), then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.
Matthew 8:17 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.”
Mark 15:28 – The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was numbered with transgressors.”
Luke 24:24 – He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”
Bestows the Spirit
Numbers 11:25 – Yahweh came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put Him on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more.
1 Samuel 16:13 – Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle of his brothers. Then Yahweh’s Spirit came mightily on David from that day forward.
Matthew 3:16 – Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.
Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Romans 5:5 – and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Galatians 4:6 – And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”
Gives spiritual gifts and fruits
Exodus 31:3-5 (About Bezalel, a craftsman) – and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship, to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of workmanship.
1 Corinthians 12:7 – But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all.
Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.
Ephesians 4:8,11 – Therefore he says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”. . . He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers;
1 Peter 4:10 – As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms.
Psalm 107:9 – For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good.
Psalm 146:9 – Yahweh preserves the foreigners. He upholds the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
Matthew 6:30 – But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith?
Colossians 1:17 – He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
Hebrews 1:3a – His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power,
Hebrews 13:5 – Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.”
Puts to death
Deuteronomy 32:39 – See now that I myself am he. There is no god with me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of my hand.
Hosea 6:5a – Therefore I have cut them to pieces with the prophets; I killed them with the words of my mouth.
Luke 12:5b – Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna.
Acts 5:5,10 – Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. . . .She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. (That is, Sapphira, Ananias’ wife)
1 Corinthians 11:30 – For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and some sleep.
Raises the Dead
Isaiah 26:19 – Your dead shall live. My dead body shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the departed spirits.
Matthew 27:52-53 – The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.
John 5:28-29 – Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
1 Corinthians 15: 42-44a – The body is sown perishable; it is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.
God will live on Earth with Man
Job 19:25 – But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives. In the end, He will stand upon the earth.
Ezekiel 43:7a – He said to me, Son of man, this is the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.
Revelation 22:22-24 – I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
(Verses from World English Bible unless otherwise stated)
I. The Gospels: All Gospel verses are statements by the Lord to his own disciples, the Church, except where noted by *.
Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 18:3 and said, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 19:23-24 Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
* Matthew 21:28-32 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind, and went. 30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into God’s Kingdom before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn’t believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn’t even repent afterward, that you might believe him.Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into God’s Kingdom before you. (spoken to outsiders)
* Matthew 23:14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don’t enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter. (spoken to outsiders)
Mark 9:47 If your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into God’s Kingdom with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire,
Mark 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”
Mark 10:23-25 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!” The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into God’s Kingdom! It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
Luke 18:17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”
Luke 18:24-25 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom! For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
John 3:3-5 Jesus answered him, “Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew,[a] he can’t see God’s Kingdom.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into God’s Kingdom!Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into God’s Kingdom!
Acts 14:21-22 When they [Paul and Barnabas] had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into God’s Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 6:9,10 Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can’t inherit God’s Kingdom; neither does the perishable inherit imperishable.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
Ephesians 5:5–7 Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 7 Therefore don’t be partakers with them.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn’t fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
2 Peter 1:5-12 5 Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; 7 and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. 11 For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, Saul was a top student and disciple of the Pharisees. But notice that his zeal was mostly for the “traditions of my fathers.” The Pharisees held tradition equal with Scripture and often honor their tradition over Scripture (see Mark 7:8-13). Even though he was separated from the womb for service like the prophets Jeremiah or John the Baptist, he lived a sinful life up until his conversion.
The following passages in the New Testament tell us of the life of Paul before his conversion and details about his personal life. Most of them are from The book of Acts, the rest are from his letters. (World English Bible translation, words in brackets are mine for clarification, and not part of the Bible text.) My comments in italics.
Acts 7:58 and they cast him [Stephen] out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. Saul would be considered nearly 30 years old even though he’s called young. The reason for this is in Philemon, written about 62 A.D., about 30 years after his conversion, Paul calls himself “aged”so he would’ve been 60 years old or so at the time. That would make his attendance at the stoning of Stephen when he was about the age of 30.
8:1,3 Now Saul was consenting to his death. . .3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Saul had as much hate for Stephen as the Sanhedrin did and heartily joined in the persecution of the church afterward. Continue reading “The Apostle Paul’s Life Before Conversion”
PSALM 58:11 . . . men shall say, “Most certainly there is a reward for the righteous. Most certainly there is a God who judges the earth.”
PSALM 62:12 Also to you, Lord, belongs loving kindness, for you reward every man according to his work.
PSALM 94:2 Rise up, you judge of the earth. Pay back the proud what they deserve.
PROVERBS 11: 18-19, 31 Wicked people earn deceitful wages, but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 19 He who is truly righteous gets life. He who pursues evil gets death. 31 Behold, the righteous shall be repaid in the earth; how much more the wicked and the sinner!
OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES:
(Quoted from the World English Bible translation) [Words in brackets are my clarifications.]
GENESIS 2:17 “but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
GENESIS 3:16-19 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bear children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and ate from the tree, about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ the ground is cursed for your sake. You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life. 18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
GENESIS 19:13 we will destroy this place [Sodom and Gomorrah], because the outcry against them has grown great before Yahweh that Yahweh has sent us to destroy it.
GENESIS 22:15-18 Yahweh’s angel called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, 16 and said, “I have sworn by myself, says Yahweh, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, 7that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your offspring greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the gate of his enemies.8 All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring, because you have obeyed my voice.” Continue reading “God’s Judgments, Pt. 2, The Passages (Given without commentary)”