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Days of Praise


phkrause

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January 23, 2023
Loquacity
“He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” (Proverbs 17:27)

The sin of loquacity (that is, talkativeness or chattering) is one of those “little foxes” that can “spoil the vines” of an otherwise godly lifestyle (Song of Solomon 2:15), and the Scriptures frequently caution us against it. For example, Solomon in his God-given wisdom warned as follows: “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). In fact, Solomon frequently returns to this theme. “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

The apostles in the New Testament also stress how important it is for Christians to control their tongues. Too much talk can easily lead to gossiping or criticizing or even coarseness in speech. James reminds us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath,” for he says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity...set on fire of hell” (James 1:19; 3:6).

“Study [that is, diligently strive] to be quiet,” Paul says (1 Thessalonians 4:11), and avoid “foolish talking” (Ephesians 5:4). When we do speak, our words should center on “that which is good to the use of edifying,” “always with grace, seasoned with salt” (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself warned against this sin of talkativeness. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). Such standards may seem impossible to meet, but we should always strive to meet them, for Christ is our example, and “hereunto were ye called...that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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January 24, 2023
The Face of Jesus Christ
“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)

This is the last reference in the Bible to the face of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a glorious promise it is, with its assurance that all His servants will finally see Him face to face! Although they give us no specific description of His physical appearance (the only description of His appearance is in Revelation 1:13-16), the gospel writers do frequently mention His face.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw how “his face did shine as the sun” (Matthew 17:2) as He spoke of His forthcoming death. Shortly after this, “he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51) to meet His death.

A few days after His entrance into Jerusalem, He was delivered into the hands of wicked men who took delight in desecrating that face which, in loving grief, had just wept over the city and its indifference to God. But first, in the garden just before His arrest, He “fell on his face” in agonizing prayer (Matthew 26:39).

Then the Roman soldiers began “to cover his face” (Mark 14:65) and to “spit in his face” (Matthew 26:67), and finally “they struck him on the face” (Luke 22:64). In fact, they abused Him so severely that “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

But when He comes again, the Christ-rejecting world will cry out to the mountains to “fall on us, and hide us from the face...of the Lamb...from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away” (Revelation 6:16; 20:11). All the redeemed, on the other hand, will rejoice forever in “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  January 25, 2023
Power Over Troubled Circumstances
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear.” (Psalm 46:1-2)

Psalm 46 may have been written after Yahweh’s great military victory over Sennacherib in his failed attempt to besiege Jerusalem (Isaiah 37:21-37). Trusting God resonates throughout this psalm, encompassing the physical (Psalm 46:2-3), the political (vv. 4-7), and the international (vv. 8-11).

Verse 1 captures Yahweh’s protective care, harnessing the words refuge, strength, and presence.

Our refuge—a refuge paints imagery of an impenetrable fortress surrounded by fortified walls (vv. 7, 11). “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). When our world goes topsy-turvy, we must trust in His providence (Psalm 62:7).

Our strength—our ever-present weakness is swapped with Yahweh’s power. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). God is exchanging our feeble weakness for His superior strength.

Our presence—Yahweh is always present (Psalm 73:23-24). Yahweh takes us by the right hand and leads us with His precious Word, especially when we find ourselves in places of trouble. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Finally, look at Job when he was faced with hardships. He cried, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When your world is turned upside-down, God is your refuge, strength, and ever-present help. While immersed in a troubling trial, my dear friend boldly claimed, “My adventure buddy, please be still and know that He is still God!” CM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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January 26, 2023
The Summary of Divine Grace
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.” (Micah 7:18-20)

The lengthy passage above is quoted in its entirety because, coming as it does at the end of Micah’s dual prophecy of imminent judgment of the sinful, rebellious nation of Judah and of the coming glorious reign of the Lord, it sums up the work of God’s grace in dealing with iniquity. Each of the three verses quoted describe a part. Such grace:

Pardons iniquity (v. 18). As sinners, we have the assurance of mercy instead of judgment. God pardons our iniquity, passes by our transgressions, and retains not His anger. Why? “Because he delighteth in mercy.”

Subdues iniquity (v. 19). As forgiven sinners who have tasted of His grace and mercy, we have assurance of deliverance in time of temptation. Why? Because “he will have compassion upon us.”

Performs what it promises (v. 20). When circumstances surround and difficulties discourage, we have confidence in the inheritance of covenant promise, just as Jacob and Abraham did. Why? Because “thou hast sworn,” and God’s own reputation is at stake.

Israel refused to respond to the warnings of the prophets to turn from their sinful ways. In doing so, they missed God’s great blessing and reaped His wrath. May God grant us the wisdom and conviction to accept His mercy and compassion and to believe He is still trustworthy regarding His promises. JDM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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January 27, 2023
Who Is Wise?
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 107:1)

Psalm 107 is eminently practical, pointing our hearts to humble instruction. The psalmist writes to the spiritually thirsty so that God’s children will ask the important question “Who is wise?” The answer is the one who pays careful attention to the steadfast love (mentioned six times for emphasis) of Yahweh (v. 43).

The centerpiece of Psalm 107 includes a set of four vignettes describing predicaments and the sure guarantee of divine intervention. The first is travelers thirsty and lost, wandering in a solitary desert (vv. 4-9). Second is prisoners rotting in jail, left to die (vv. 10-16). Third, fools knocking on death’s door because of their sinful lifestyles (vv. 17-22). And fourth, seasoned sailors caught in a storm, at their wits end and nearing shipwreck (vv. 23-32).

Look at this imbedded template (the four p’s: problem, prayer, pardon, praise) as believers are pictured in each of these illustrations. When one has a spiritual problem, he should first cry out to our Creator in prayer. Oftentimes, we instead first reach out to friends, social media, or the “fixers” of this life. We can be so unwise, behaving as practicing atheists. Indeed, the Lord always hears our cry, and He never turns away the spiritually contrite but always pardons the humble. And when our Lord answers, consider the exhortation to praise Yahweh—repeated six times for wisdom’s reminder.

The bottom line is whom do we have in heaven but God? We need to call out to Him in prayer. When we do, He hears us and answers, bringing Himself the ultimate glory. His mercy endures forever. CM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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January 28, 2023
Incorruptible Things
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.” (1 Peter 1:18)

Not all the wealth of the world can redeem a single soul, for gold and silver are merely corruptible elements in a world under “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). Everything in the physical creation is decaying and dying. In fact, one day all these “elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Even the very seeds that transmit life are “corruptible seed” (1 Peter 1:23), and all mankind is “corruptible man” (Romans 1:23). Modern science recognizes this universal principle of decay as one of its most basic laws—the law of increasing entropy.

Even in this corruptible world, however, some things are incorruptible. There is the “incorruptible...word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). Even though “heaven and earth shall pass away,” the words of Christ “shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

We are redeemed, not by silver and gold, but “with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19). God Himself is the “uncorruptible God” (Romans 1:23), and He has “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 1:3-4). We work, not as others “to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

Finally, these dying bodies will themselves be redeemed, “for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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January 29, 2023
Cities of Refuge
“Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.” (Numbers 35:14)

When the Israelites entered the promised land, God told Joshua to provide six “cities of refuge” into which those who had slain someone could flee for refuge until a trial could ascertain the facts and render a proper verdict. As such, these cities are a type of Christ, through whom “we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

The names of the six cities are given in Joshua 20:7-8 as Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan. The meanings of these names seem planned especially to foreshadow this spiritual application.

Kedesh means “holy place,” and Christ in the New Jerusalem is the ultimate refuge, for “the Lamb [is] the temple of it” (Revelation 21:22). Shechem means “strong shoulder,” which answers to the “strong consolation” we have in Christ when we flee to Him for refuge.

Hebron means “fellowship,” and we who have come to Christ have been “called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). Bezer means “strong hiding place.” The Scripture assures the believer that “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Ramoth means “high place,” and when we are hidden in Christ, God also has “made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). Finally, Golan apparently means “enclosure for captives,” and this would speak of our being set free from sin and death to become captive to Christ. “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8). Thus, the cities are appropriately named both for their immediate purpose and as a picture of Christ as the Savior of sinners. HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  January 30, 2023
Jesus and the Flood
“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:38-39)

The Lord Jesus Christ not only believed in the special, recent creation of all things by God (note Mark 10:6-8), but also in the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day, including the special preservation of life on the Ark. The Flood in which He believed was obviously not a “local flood,” for He compared it to the worldwide future impact of His Second Coming.

Neither was it a “tranquil flood,” nor a “selective flood,” for Jesus said, “The flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:27). It is clear that He was referring to—and that He believed—the Genesis record of the great Flood! There it says that the whole earth was “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:13), having first been filled with people, and that the resulting world-cleansing deluge was so cataclysmic that “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth” (Genesis 7:23). Indeed, “the flood came, and took [literally ‘lifted’] them all away.”

This is what Jesus said, and what He believed, and therefore, those who are truly His disciples must also believe this. The destructive effects of the Flood can still be seen today not only in the biblical record, but also in the abundant evidences of cataclysmic destruction in the rocks and fossil graveyards all over the world. To refuse this evidence, as do many modern intellectuals, can only be because they “willingly are ignorant,” as Peter said in referring to this testimony (2 Peter 3:5). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  January 31, 2023
God's Everlasting Covenants
“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Genesis 17:7)

The phrase “everlasting covenant” (or “perpetual covenant”) is used no less than 16 times in the Old Testament, plus once in the New Testament. It always refers to a covenant promise of God to man, made in grace, for only He can make an everlasting promise.

The first everlasting covenant was made with Noah (Genesis 9:16), a promise never to send a worldwide flood again, sealed with the sign of the rainbow.

The second is recorded in today’s verse and was God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants. The promise was to give them “the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8), and the seal was to be the rite of circumcision.

Many of the “everlasting covenant” promises have to do with Israel. Some were stated unconditionally, but others were “broken” because of man’s rebellion against God’s covenant terms. One of the latter was the covenant of the Sabbath. “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath...for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:16-17).

The last reference is the most important of all: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 1, 2023
The Indwelling Christ
“And they glorified God in me.” (Galatians 1:24)

One of the greatest doctrines of the Christian faith is the amazing truth that the Lord Jesus Christ indwells each believer through His Holy Spirit. “Christ liveth in me,” said the apostle Paul (Galatians 2:20), and, since that was true experientially as well as doctrinally, he could invite people to see Christ and hear Christ and follow Christ by seeing and hearing and following him. This might seem incredibly arrogant if it were not real.

He could say, for example, that “it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me” (Galatians 1:15-16). And he could say, as in today’s verse, that those who heard him “glorified God in me.” He also commanded, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

The Lord could say to His disciples, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9), and no one thinks it inappropriate because He fully manifested the heavenly Father in word and deed. Similarly, Paul said that “the truth of Christ is in me” and referred to “Christ speaking in me” (2 Corinthians 11:10; 13:3), noting that Christ was “mighty in me toward the Gentiles” (Galatians 2:8).

This was not boasting, for Paul acknowledged that “in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). Still, he was bold to exhort, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Now the same Spirit of Christ who dwelled in Paul also indwells all true Christians, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). We should be able to say with Paul, in practice as well as theory, that “Christ liveth in me.” HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  February 2, 2023
Holy Conversation
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” (2 Peter 3:11)

The picturesque phrase “holy conversation” occurs only twice in the New Testament, both in Peter’s epistles; one in his very first chapter, 1 Peter 1:15, the other in today’s verse. The other is, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” This distinctive King James rendering does not really mean “clean speech” but assumes the older, more precise meaning of “conversation,” namely “behavior,” especially behavior that involves other people. The Greek word translated “holy” primarily implies “dedicated to God.” Thus, holy conversation simply means living in such a way that our entire manner of life is oriented to honor God and to influence other people to honor Him.

These two exhortations of Peter tell us why we should live this way. The first incentive is simply the holiness of God Himself: “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). We have become children of God through faith in Christ, and we should therefore behave “as obedient children, not fashioning [ourselves] according to the former lusts in [our] ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14).

The second incentive given just before the words of today’s verse is the ever-imminent return of Christ, following which, eventually, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10). Incentives, both past and future, are thus given for holy living in the present!

Eight of the 13 occurrences of “conversation” (Greek anastrophe) are in Peter’s epistles, stressing his vital concern that Christians ought to demonstrate “all holy conversation and godliness” in their lives. HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 3, 2023
God's Great, Unsearchable Deeds
“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:1-3)

Psalm 145 is the only psalm in which “A Song of Praise” appears in its title. This is David’s last of nine acrostic poems, in which the first word in each verse begins with a successive Hebrew letter, with the format conveying both completeness (from A to Z) and the importance of memorization and meditation.

Also note the alternation between exclamations of praise (vv. 1-2, 4-7, 10-12, 21) and descriptions of Yahweh’s greatness, goodness, and steadfast love (vv. 3, 8-9, 13-20). God does “great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number” (Job 5:9). Implied are both the wonder of God’s activity and the inability to plumb the depths of His nature, including His greatness, might (Psalm 145:3), wondrous deeds (vv. 4-6), and saving righteousness (v. 7). David expands this theme, stressing God’s dependability in answered prayer for personal protection (vv. 14-20).

The New Testament echoes this elevation of God’s awesome acts. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). Paul underscores Christ’s fathomless treasures in the preaching of the gospel (Ephesians 3:8).

So, believers, bask not only in the wonder of His redemptive gospel but also in His provision in life’s irregularities. Finally, by praising and speaking the good news to others, we teach all generations about our Lord Jesus Christ’s great works. CM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 4, 2023
Passing Over to the Other Side
“He saith unto them, let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35)

After a long day of ministry, Christ commanded His disciples, “Let us pass over unto the other side,“ knowing full well what would come to pass.

The story after this verse is a lesson we should take to heart. We cannot expect everything to be smooth on the waters of life in our journey to heaven. In other words, sickness, loss, and disappointment afflict all His children in this fallen world. But through affliction, we are taught many important lessons.

As the story continues, “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (vv. 37-38). Indeed, though we might also be in a threatening place, Christ is right there in the boat with us.

In fact, this situation in Mark’s gospel must have been extremely threatening, because at least four of the disciples were experienced fishermen and had known the Sea of Galilee and its storms from their youth. But, “he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (vv. 39-40). By affliction, we are shown our weakness, which we need God to strengthen.

All of our trials wean us from the world, make us long for heaven, and cause us to seek Christ’s help. Psalm 119:71 declares, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” JPT

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  February 5, 2023
From Darkness to Light
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4)

The initial aspect of God’s newly created world was one of darkness in the presence of the all-pervading waters. Since “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), the darkness had to be specially created (Isaiah 45:7) before God could then call for the light to appear in the darkness.

This would later serve as a striking picture of the entrance of light into the darkness of a soul born in sin. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The light enters our soul by His Word. “The entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

This great theme, contrasting the darkness of the soul without Christ to the glorious light He brings when that soul receives Him by faith, is found often in Scripture. “[Christ] hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). “The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1 John 2:8). Jesus even called Himself that true light that divided the light from the darkness. “I am the light of the world,” He claimed. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

And because we have received the true light, we should henceforth live in the light of His truth. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). God’s light is good. In the Holy City, “there shall be no night there” (Revelation 22:5). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  February 6, 2023
Two Days and Two Thousand Years
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9)

There are two measurements of time that are key to understanding the thrust of this passage. The word for day is hemera, meaning a 24-hour day as it is used in this passage, and the word for a thousand is chilioi, which also means 1,000 years.

We mortals experience time one way; we are constricted to a 24-hour day, one evening and one morning. A thousand years’ worth of days (365,000) seems like a lot of time to us, especially when we look at the pre-Flood ages of people, such as Methuselah. He lived an incredible 969 years (Genesis 5:27). But from God’s perspective, his entire earthly stay was like “one day.”

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? From our perspective, it’s been around 2,000 years (730,000 days) since the Great Commission was given to “go ye therefore, and teach all nations….Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). But from our Lord’s perspective, it’s only been two days!

Having a taste of how the eternal God experiences time changes how we live. Are we telling people about the gospel? God is “temporarily” withholding a future fiery cataclysm (2 Peter 3:10) because He is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (v. 9).

Believer, let’s get to doing the work of our Master and Lord! CM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 7, 2023
The Book
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1)

This verse about the book begins the New Testament. This book and Scripture from Genesis to Revelation contain not the words of mere men but of God Himself. Every word was written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It’s appropriate to thank God daily for giving us His Book and the life-encompassing trove of wisdom it contains that we need for salvation and daily living.

The famous 19th-century preacher J. C. Ryle said, “The poorest Englishman who understands his Bible knows more about religion than the wisest philosophers of Greece and Rome.” How we approach this book is no light matter. We must read and study the Scriptures diligently, having a sound determination to believe and practice all we find in them, praying for the instruction and power of the Holy Spirit in all of it.

After this introductory statement to Matthew’s gospel are 16 verses tracing the lineage from Abraham to David to Christ’s family. We shouldn’t think that these verses are useless or less inspired than the others. From these we learn that the sovereign God always keeps His word and promises. The almighty God promised that in Abraham’s seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed and that He would raise up a Savior of the line of David (Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 9:7).

True Christians should acknowledge this lesson and take comfort that their Father in heaven “which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6) and that “God is not a man, that he should lie” (Numbers 23:19). JPT

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 8, 2023
The 'I Wills' of Christ
“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” (Mark 1:41)

When the Lord Jesus makes a promise, that promise is sure to be fulfilled. When He made the above promise to the leper, “immediately the leprosy departed from him” (Mark 1:42). The promise may not always be carried out as rapidly as this, but it will come.

Look at some of the wonderful “I wills” of Christ. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) is His promise to all His true disciples (that is, those who follow Him). But first they must come to Him, and to those who come He promises, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Another gracious promise to all who come: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He also promises special love to those who obey Him. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,...shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

There is a tremendous promise in John 14:13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” He even emphasized it in the next verse: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).

He has also promised to come back again, and we can be certain He will do as He said: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3). But probably the greatest of all His promises was given in His intercessory prayer. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (John 17:24). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 9, 2023
Greetings from Peter
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:1-2)

All too often we skip over the introductory verses of greeting in a Bible book, but many times these verses contain rich information. Such is the case in today’s verse.

We first notice the strange paradox in Peter’s identification of himself. He is both the authoritative “apostle,” the officially commissioned ambassador of Jesus Christ, as well as His “servant,” or bondslave. Historically, we know that Peter was one of the inner circle of disciples in whom Christ placed great responsibility, but he was also the one who denied Christ at His trial. Christ had bought him with His blood as a slave would be bought, forgiven him much, and had sent him out on a lifelong mission.

The letter is written to those “that have obtained like precious faith,” i.e., the same kind of precious faith possessed by the apostles, implying equal standing and privilege before God, obtained through His righteousness.

Peter uses two descriptive names for Christ, calling Him both “God and our Savior,” referring to His dual divine/human nature and role. Peter’s prayer for us (possessors of like precious faith) is moving. He desires the sanctifying and sustaining grace of God for us, the peace of God that brings joy even in the face of adversity, and that both would be multiplied. These traits would come “through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus, our Lord” (today’s verse). Much of the rest of the book deals with false teachers and false knowledge, but Peter would have us grow into “full knowledge” (literal translation; see also vv. 3, 😎 of God through the walk of grace and peace. JDM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 10, 2023
Not Yet
“These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.” (John 8:20)

This is the last of seven times in the gospel of John that the phrase “not yet” is used in reference to the forthcoming death of Christ. Although this was the very reason He came into the world, the event itself could not be hurried.

When His mother wanted Him to provide wine for the wedding, He said, “Mine hour is not yet come” (John 2:4). When His brothers urged Him to show His mighty works in Jerusalem, His answer was “My time is not yet come” (John 7:6, 8). When His enemies tried to take Him at the feast of tabernacles, “no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30). Even when He preached His great promise of living water, John noted parenthetically that “the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).

But His hour did come, and they did lay hands on Him and put Him to death. Then He was glorified, and the Holy Spirit was given. And now we await another great time that has not yet come. John speaks of this also: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but...we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2).

In that great time to come, all things will be made subject to Christ. “But now we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8). These great promises and others associated with them have not yet been accomplished—the world is far from being in subjection to Him, and we are far from being like Him. But the hour will come, just as the first one did, and it will be glorious. For “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 11, 2023
Fruit-Bearing Christians
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2)

As Christ emphasized in His parable of the vine and the branches, it is vitally important for a Christian to bear fruit. There are, in fact, many types of spiritual fruit mentioned in Scripture.

Perhaps the most important fruit, produced in one’s life by the Holy Spirit, is that of a Christlike character. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23). “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9).

Holiness—the seal of a life dedicated to God—is a particular spiritual fruit. “Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness” (Romans 6:22) and are “filled with the fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1:11). This entails also the fruit of good works performed in the name of Christ, “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work” (Colossians 1:10).

The habit of giving thanks and praise rather than complaint and criticism is a valuable Christian fruit. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Generosity is another important fruit. Paul commended the sacrificial giving of the Philippians, “not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Philippians 4:17).

Finally, one vital fruit of a Christian witness is fruit borne in other Christians’ lives. Paul’s great desire was “that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles” (Romans 1:13). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 12, 2023
The Gospel of Prosperity
“Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.” (Romans 1:10)

This mention of the word “prosperous” is the first of the only four occurrences of the Greek word enodoo (meaning literally “good journey” but translated “prosper” or “prosperous”) in the New Testament. Here, it is actually rendered “prosperous journey.”

It is obvious that Paul was not praying for his journey to prosper financially, for the next verse indicates his long desire had been to “impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Romans 1:11).

However, the word has come to include any kind of prospering, as in 1 Corinthians 16:2, when Paul urged Christians to provide financial help for other Christians in need. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him,” he said.

The term can also refer to physical and spiritual health. Its two other occurrences are in 3 John 1:2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” Unfortunately, certain teachers of these latter days have taken the biblical teaching of spiritual prosperity to mean financial prosperity, which they teach is the right of every Christian. But this “prosperity gospel” is so clearly unscriptural that it is merely a testimony to the greed of the Christians who believe it. “They that [desire to] be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts,” warned Paul (1 Timothy 6:9). And to whatever extent God does prosper us financially, it is strictly for the purpose of helping others, not to indulge ourselves. “Charge them that are rich in this world, that...they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute” (1 Timothy 6:17-18). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 13, 2023
Seven Days
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56)

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about “my day”—a day that Abraham had “seen” 2,000 years before. This evidently referred to the time when Christ would be on Earth, which God had enabled Abraham to see in prophecy.

But of all the days when He was on the earth, the most glorious was the great day when He rose from the dead. “He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Acts 13:33).

As a result of His death and resurrection, “behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). The day of salvation is any day in this age of grace when a person believes on Christ for salvation. He then receives “the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). This great future day of redemption evidently is the same as “the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6), when He comes again.

Following this is the fearful day of the Lord, when Christ will punish and judge and reign. “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night...and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). It is also called “the great day of his wrath” (Revelation 6:17).

This day of the Lord will culminate at God’s great white throne. This will be “the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5).

Finally will come the eternal “day of God” when this present earth will be purified with fire and “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). That day will never end, “for there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25). HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  February 14, 2023
Priscilla and Aquila
“And [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:26)

On Valentine’s Day, rather than concentrating on hearts, flowers, and chocolate, it might serve us better to look at the lives of a biblical couple who were themselves, no doubt, very much in love. In so doing we can gain some insight into what married love is all about and what it can do.

This couple were evidently some of Paul’s dearest friends and first met him in Corinth, where they had journeyed following the expulsion of all Jews from Rome in AD 49 (Acts 18:2). The couple had a tentmaking business, the same craft as Paul’s, and they invited him to live with them (v. 3), allowing him freedom to teach and evangelize (v. 4).

Although the exact time is debated, it’s likely that sometime during their stay in Corinth they risked their lives for Paul, for he later wrote, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:3-4).

When the local Jews threatened them, they traveled to Ephesus with Paul. Here they helped the dynamic Apollos to a fuller faith (today’s text) and held church meetings in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19). After further travels (Romans 16:3), they returned to Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:19).

We don’t know all the details, but we do know that they served God effectually together for years. And perhaps this is what a truly loving Christian marriage is all about: Serving, teaching, hosting, evangelizing, discipling, working, sacrificing, praying, suffering, traveling—together, always together—for a lifetime. “If that’s not love, what is?” JDM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 15, 2023
The Lively Oracles
“This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (Acts 7:38)

This pungent expression “lively oracles” is the felicitous King James translation of zao logion, “utterances that are vibrantly alive.” In Stephen’s address, he was referring, of course, to the tables of the law, “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18) and received by Moses on Mount Sinai directly from the Lord.

The Greek word logion is derived from logos (“word”) and occurs just four times. In the other three references, it appears in the phrase “oracles of God” (Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11). These “oracles” are living words precisely because they do come from God. They include not only the Ten Commandments but all the Holy Scriptures.

The word “lively” is the Greek zao, occurring over 140 times and translated variously (depending on context) as “alive,” “live,” “living,” “quick,” etc. It is significant that it occurs, first of all, on the lips of Christ Himself when He said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We are truly alive only through the life-giving words of the living God! “For the word [that is, each individual saying] of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible is not just a book but the Book. Its content is “for ever...settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89), “able to make thee wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15), and is “given by inspiration of God” (“God-breathed”) (2 Timothy 3:16). Its words must guide our very lives! HMM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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February 16, 2023
The Call of the Twelve
“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” (Mark 3:14)

Early in His public ministry, Jesus gathered around Himself those to whom He would eventually entrust the Christian message. Many others had also been attracted to Him and His works, as indicated in the previous verse: “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would [emphasis in the Greek is on “he”; the choice was His alone]: and they came unto him” (v. 13). Of those He invited, He “ordained twelve.”

Such a momentous selection could not be taken lightly, and we should not pass over it either. Luke gives us further information: “He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12) before choosing the twelve. As a sidelight, it bears mentioning that if God the Son so relied on the wisdom from God the Father before making an important decision, how can we neglect prayer as we so often do?

Four purposes are listed for these appointees, but the last three flow from the first: “That they should be with him.” They would see Him in action, learn truth from Him, assist Him in His work; but most importantly they would see His character and habits, and would never be the same.

Part of their training included being sent out to put in practice what they had learned, “that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils” (Mark 3:14-15). He gave them a message to preach and the ability to authenticate that message.

A study of these disciples as revealed in the gospels makes one wonder if Jesus made a proper choice. However, in the book of Acts, once He was gone and the Holy Spirit empowered them, we recognize that their training was complete. We are the result of their effective ministry. JDM

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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