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Showing posts from September, 2012

In Living Communion with God - Part 2

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"15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”" ~ Genesis 2:15-16

Our first parents' living communion with God has entailed a divine call (v.15). But that living communion has also involved a sovereign command (vv.16-17). And that's what we're going to talk about here.

A Sovereign Command (vv. 16-17)

In verse 15 we are told of the divine purpose for man. In verse 16-17 we can see that this relationship also involves a sovereign command. It reads, “And the LORD commanded man….” Adam’s relationship with God does not only state a comprehensive purpose of work and worship that he has to seek to fulfill. It also specifies a definite command to first, enjoy God’s provisions from the garden (v.16), and second, to k…

The Ultimate Triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over His Enemies

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In my study of the final battle in Revelation 19:11-21, I was led to its Old Testament background of Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38-39, on the judgment of the wicked nation, Gog, for her role in attacking God's people. The parallel is that, just as God has judged Gog for her wickedness in going against His old covenant people, Israel, so also Christ will judge the wicked beast and the false prophet together with the kings and rulers and peoples of the nations whom they've gathered to battle against Him and His new covenant people.

Then I came across this beautiful concluding comment on Ezekiel 38 by Dr. Peter C. Craigie,

Thus Ezekiel's portrayal of a final and great battle is a projection onto an apocalyptic screen of the battle that has always existed in our world between good and evil. His picture is extracted, as it were, from the framework of all human history and painted now on this single canvas. And the prophet's portrayal of events in these gloomy chapt…

Useful Directions For Reading and Searching the Scriptures

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by Thomas Boston (1676-1732)

(These directions are also available at http://www.puritansermons.com/boston/bost3.htm)

1. Follow a regular plan in reading of them, that you may be acquainted with the whole; and make this reading a part of your private devotions. Not that you should confine yourselves only to a set plan, so as never to read by choice, but ordinarily this tends most to edification. Some parts of the Bible are more difficult, some may seem very barren for an ordinary reader; but if you would look on it all as God's word, not to be scorned, and read it with faith and reverence, no doubt you would find advantage.

2. Set a special mark, however you find convenient, on those passages you read, which you find most suitable to your case, condition, or temptations; or such as you have found to move your hearts more than other passages. And it will be profitable often to review these.

3. Compare one Scripture with another, the more obscure with that which is more plain, 2 Pet…

How will Christ be seen by all in His second coming

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I had the privilege of sharing a message of comfort to my wife's relatives on the occasion of her uncle's death. I shared from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that talks about the future of those who have died in Christ and the comfort it gives to the grieving loved ones. Although some would focus on the 'rapture' in this passage, that is not the message of the text. The point of the passage is that God will not forget those who have died in their faith in Christ but He "will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him" (v.14).

In His return, Christ will bring with Him those believers who have gone ahead of us in glory. We who are alive at the time of His return, however, will be changed as the apostle Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and…