Monday, December 1, 2014


Jack Davis

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1,2,9-11

Treasures mentioned in Scripture give us precious instruction concerning deposits of wealth. With many examples, we are taught who are the truly wise and the otherwise. An important aspect of being wise, is being wise in time. The Psalmist wrote, “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him – Ps 2:10-12.

In Romans One, especially verses eighteen through twenty-five, we have spelled out very clearly, how humanity has taken the path of the otherwise. With the wise men of our text, our attitude and activity manifested in what we seek, and what we share may determine whether we are wise or otherwise. What do we treasure, what do we do with what we have? Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven…for where your treasure is there will your heart be also” – Mt. 6:20-21. He also said; “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” and all that we have need of would be added unto us – V. 33.

SEEKING: As the wise men then were seeking Jesus, so today, there are those who are not only instructed in the things of God, but keep on seeking more. They come to Him with prepared hearts, receptive, open to divine deposits. They are investing energy, thought, and time wisely. “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her” Proverbs 2:1-5 & 3:13-15.

In Proverbs 8:17-21, where we find Jesus pictured as wisdom personified, we read these wise words, “I love them that love me: and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, that fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”

The apostle Paul, somewhat overwhelmed as he contemplated some of the divine attributes, cried out; “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God!” We also rejoice in the fact, that in Jesus Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and that by God he is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That, according as it is written, “He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.” No wonder our apostle said; “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Oh, the surpassing worth, the priceless privilege of knowing Him intimately! So we today gladly seek Jesus, with the motive of wholehearted worship. Wise men still seek Him.

“We have seen his star…and are come to worship him.” They were divinely guided. We today must enter worship by divine guidance. Those who are wise put God first. His Word has the place of supreme authority in their lives. The Holy Spirit leads trusting hearts into the depths of true spiritual worship by the Word of God. Eph. 5:17-20; I Thess. 5:16-19; John 16:13-15.

Those wise men left the comfort of their homes, came from afar, and as strangers and pilgrims, traveled many weary miles. True seekers today overcome hindrances of the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can’t allow the pleasures, riches, and cares, discouragements or disappointments to keep us from going on. Let not the love of ease, self-indulgence, pride, or satanic accusations hold us back. Their journey was accompanied with joy. Joy is a characteristic of those who value Him most.

SHARING: “They opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts.” Worship of the wise is associated with giving, that is, expressions of our appreciation of His worth. When they saw Him, “they fell down and worshipped him.” Spiritual worship is an outflowing result of divine revelation. Any knowledge or wisdom aside from that comes to naught. When I think of “open Treasures,” I think of the importance of the openness of our lives before the Lord. Jesus said; “Let these sayings of mine sink down into your ears.” Jesus spoke in symbol in Matthew 13: of the Word, as the good seed taking lodging in the heart, and bringing forth fruit.

The apostle said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, Jesus asked, “Have you understood these things?” Then He said, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man…which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Thank God, we can bring forth from the treasure of our hearts and share that which has been newly revealed, made real and living in us, but, also, it is our privilege to share that which is familiar. We need not be afraid, of repeating as the Holy Spirit leads, renewing, reminding, refreshing hearts.

THEY CAME PREPARED: Those men came expecting, but they also came ready to give. Whether we come together to meeting, or are kneeling at home we should give to Him that which we have stored in our hearts of our appreciation of Him. I am sure that when we do, we receive the most. What can we give God? The best we can give Him or others, we must first take form His hand. I Cor. 4:7, “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?” II Cor. 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Oh, what a deposit of wealth God has placed in us! GLORY, GLORY to God forever! Songs of Solomon 7:10-13. “I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages…there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which, I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. We have here spoken in symbol, some treasures of the heart. This has been called the Brides hope chest.

These wise men’s gifts picture for us some good examples of giving.
“GOLD:” They, discerning His worth, expressed appreciation of the fact that He was God, descended from the excellent glory. These gifts are worthy of a king, The KING. He was born king, born to reign. The gift of Gold expresses our appreciation of Jesus’ sovereignty. The gold we may give him is His pre-eminence in our lives.

“FRANKINCENSE:” Here, we may sense our appreciation of Jesus as Saviour. This perfume was the basis of the incense, for the sweet-savour, or burnt offerings. Its fragrance comes forth in contact with fire. Even as a man, Jesus was wholly consumed of the Father’s will. He said; “not My will, but thine.” We acknowledge His deity, but we also appreciate His Holy humanity. It was as a man that Jesus offered Himself without spot to God, as a sweet-smelling savour. God said of Him, “I am well pleased.” Jesus as a man, fully glorified the Father. He could say, ‘I do always the things that please the Father.” He perfectly translated the will of God into terms of everyday living. As we yield our lives to God, letting Jesus have the pre-eminence, our lives also become a sweet-savour of Christ unto our God. Let our appreciation to God for His Son, ascend before the throne on high. Giving Him praise, the fruit of our lips, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

“MYRRH:” As we give Him gold, acknowledging His deity, recognizing His sovereignty, honor His right to reign in us; and frankincense, offering praise in appreciation for the Man that became our Savior, let us also give Him Myrrh. Jesus suffered so immeasurably in becoming the mediator between God and man. Myrrh, one of the chief spices, was an ingredient used in the Holy anointing oil. It was also used for burial. Its sweet fragrance comes forth from its crushing. As our hearts are broken considering the suffering He went through for us, let us give Him Myrrh, presenting our bodies a living sacrifice.


Anita Clark

“The Kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, we give thanks. O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power and hast reigned” Revelation 11:15-17.

For about the last 2,600 plus years “the times of the Gentiles” has been in effect. This God ordained time began when Israel, because of their disobedience, was led away out of their promised land into the captivity of Gentile nations. Ever since, Israel has been trodden under foot, persecuted and hated by nations where they were scattered. Even though they have been tremendously persecuted in the past and in the present, God has declared that they are His people and has decreed His undying love and protection for them. His covenant with Abraham  (Gen. 12:2-3) concerning his progeny is still in effect. God is regathering them to their homeland now, but this process will be greater as time goes on.

When Jesus Christ comes again, in what is called the rapture, to receive His Bride unto Himself, He will take the throne of His Father David as it is prophesied in Scripture. He will reign as a Jew of the linage and offspring of King David (II Sam. 7:11- 14). The Times of the Gentiles will be officially over. Psalms 2:1-3 predicts, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His anointed (Christ), saying Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision (scorn).

Just before the seven years of tribulation that is coming upon the earth, the man who will be the “beast” of Rev. 13 will make a treaty with Israel, no doubt for their protection and acceptance by other nations (Dan. 9:27). But at the middle of the seven years He will break this covenant and turn against Israel and persecute them. This man, known as the Antichrist or “beast” (Rev. 13,17) will unite the nations into one world economy, one world government and one world religion. He will become the ruler of the world and will be in usurpation against the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is true that for there to be a counterfeit on the earth of Christ (the Supreme Ruler), He must be ruling in heaven. Revelation 4:1-3 shows Christ as He begins His reign at the beginning of the seven years of tribulation.

At this very time the nations are trying to unite into “One World Order.” This has been the cry of many world leaders for several years, beginning in 1940. National leaders believe that the only way for peace worldwide is greater unification of all nations. The emphasis is on World Economics, World Government, and World Religion. These are the aims of the nations of this end time fulfilling (Rev. 13-17).

WORLD ECONOMICS – We see this coming about in the push for World Economic Unity. The economic organization known as the G-20 will hold their summit in Brisbane, Australia November 14, 2014 focusing on global economic growth, job creation and shielding nations from financial shocks. Protestors gathered just previous to the meeting of world leaders to try to pressure for tangible results. The goal of the summit is to create a burst of confidence in the G-20 by setting goals to create tens of millions of new jobs. According to reports of the meeting,

“Europe is teetering on the brink of recession, China‘s growth is slowing, while Japan is in a malaise, prompting the G-20 to provide signs of confidence that the countries are cooperating together.” Under the Antichrist the world will be totally united under one economy, as spoken of in Revelation 13:16-17, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads: And that no man might be able to buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” We have seen the progress toward this situation taking place over the years right before our eyes.

WORLD GOVERNMENT – Genesis 11:1-9 records the Satanic influence in back of the first unification of the nations of the world. Verse 4 states their goal, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” This took place about 100 years after the flood of Noah’s time. At that time all the people on earth were of one language and of one speech. Their proclamation showed both their lack of trust in God and their self exaltation. They were saying, “We will do what we think is best for humanity!” They did not consult God in the matter. We see this happening in the world today.

There are many, many groups uniting mankind, on National and on International levels. There is an almost endless list of U.N. worldwide programs and commissions instituted to solve multiple problems such as global famine, exhaustion of nonrenewable resources, skyrocketing pollution, the coming ice age, ozone holes in the atmosphere, and global warming, Ebola and other diseases, and starvation, plus many other concerns of the world community. It sounds reasonable to the human race to unite and seek for answers through their own intellect and research, but sadly without God.

Satan continues his demonic work in the United States and the world, which he has continued since beginning. His dominance and power has increased in the world through-out time, until now in this end time, he will promote a superman, whom he will fill with his satanic power making him to appear to have all the answers to earth’s problems.

We read of this ‘Superman” in several places in the Scripture: Daniel 7:8, 11, He has a voice speaking great things,” Daniel 8:23 “.. A king of fierce countenance, understanding dark sentences (the occult), shall stand up,” Revelation 13:2 “...and the Dragon gave him his power and his throne, and great authority.” Vs. 3, “...wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast,” Vs. 4. “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” “... and power was given him to continue forty-two months,” Vs..7 “... and it was given unto him to make war with the saints [believers], and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Read also II Thess. 2:3-12. You will find there more information about the Antichrist. There he is called (Vs. 8) “that Wicked.” We are so near the tribulation at this time. It could be anytime this evil man will come forth and make a “covenant” with Israel.

WORLD RELIGION – The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ started out founded on the truth of God’s Word, but even in the Apostle’s days, error was creeping in. Finally, great error came in when church and state were joined (300 A.D.) persecution was perpetrated on anyone who did not follow the dogma of the recognized church. Although there has always been a line of true believers down through the ages, the recognized church began to adopt false teaching such as forgiveness for sin by doing penance, confessions to priests, purgatory, worship of idols, formalism in services and many other false doctrines. This is why we call it “The False Church.” Now, after 2,000 plus years of this Church Age, there is all manner of false doctrine. However, there is still true Christianity made up of all believers in Christ, who have experienced a new birth. The false system, Roman Catholicism is still with us, but there are some true believers within that system also.

The Roman Catholic Church has in recent years had meetings trying to gather all religions into the fold in unity, even Wicca, Buddhism, Muslimism, Native American Belief, as well as Charismatic Christians, and Hindus. Although the Roman Catholic Church does not belong to the World Council of Churches, there are some individual Catholic churches in foreign lands that do. However, in reading on the internet the view held by the Roman Catholic Church about the World Council of Churches, we find that they now are accepting the role of this group as being “a way that God is bringing back unity to the church.” During the tribulation when the Second Beast of Revelation 13 comes to the front and unites all religions together into oneness, and promote the Antichrist as the King of the earth and will worship him.

Here in the end time scene, the false church will join with the Antichrist. In Revelation 13:11-17 we read about the False Prophet, the religious leader who will promote the Antichrist, and entreat everyone to worship the Antichrist. One of these days very soon Satan will bring forth this “Man of Sin.”

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of error” (I John 4:4-6).

“Ye are the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others; but let us watch and be sober. But let us who are of the day, be sober; putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation” (I Thess. 5: 5-8). Christ is coming at any time. Be warned and ready!


Do the right thing. That’s just not right. Knowing right from wrong. There is plenty of talk and plenty of opinions about what is right and wrong, but there has to be some standard to measure against or it is only opinion and everyone has a different opinion.

So much today is taught as majority think. If the majority think it is right, then it must be and everyone else should accept it as being right. If it is right for you, then just do it. They don’t want a standard unless they decide it fits their opinion.

In Psalms 119:126-128, we read this: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”  This gives us the basis for everything. God’s Word is the standard to measure against. God’s Word is always right, no matter how much it goes contrary to what any person or group of persons might think. Men may have tried to make it void, but that does not change the fact of the truth of God’s Word.

Psalms 19:8 “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”  When we come to the place that we recognize that God’s Word is right, it rejoices our heart and simplifies our life. We no longer have to rely on ourselves or on society to define for us what is right or wrong.

The world lives in a grey zone for so much of life. Ever hear someone say, “That might be right for some, but not for me”? There seem to be so many “grey” areas today. God deals in right and wrong. Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”  Do we really want to add to God’s Word and be found a liar? Paul said, “let God be true and every man a liar.”

The law given in the Old Testament was intended to demonstrate God’s prefect righteousness, and show us how incapable we are of achieving that. We can either, decide God is wrong and make our own righteousness, or recognize God is right and realize we need Him to make us righteous through Jesus Christ. Only through the life of Christ in us can we do that which is right.

 Psalms 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”  How long do we expect man’s word to last? He changes his mind all the time. Man constantly changes his “truth” to fit his situation at the time. We hear often how the Bible is outdated, and it needs to change for today’s generation. God’s Word is the same forever, just as He is the same forever.

Gordon Crook


Debra Isenbletter

Ruth 2:14 – “And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.”

In this verse we see the wonderful provision of Nourishment for Ruth!  There are three things that Boaz invites Ruth to do that will nourish her at “mealtime.”  It is to Come, to Eat and Dip.  By doing all three, she will be fully satisfied and fully energized!

Come:  “And Boaz said unto her, at mealtime come thou hither.”  First we see the time, it is “at mealtime,” it is time for a meal.  It is time to stop laboring and rest.  Boaz knows that his servants need to eat and he has set aside a time to feed on what he provides.  The early church took time to do this, they did this together.  They did this when they “continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).  They did this by “continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house” (Acts 2:46).  We should remember that there is a spiritual mealtime.  We need this, as individuals and as an assembly.  We do this as  individuals  when we “study to show” ourselves “approved unto God,” we do this as His “workmen,” we do this by “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).  We do this as an assembly when we do not neglect “the assembling of ourselves together” (Heb 10:25).  Ruth came as an individual “workman” or “handmaiden” and she came and sat with all Boaz’s servants.  We see how important mealtime is – this is not just a physical meal but a spiritual meal, not just physical fellowship but spiritual fellowship.

Next we see the invitation:  It is “come thou hither.”  The word “come means “to approach” or “to come near.”  This speaks of fellowship and communion.  This is how we are truly satisfied, we come near to Christ.  His invitation asks us to “draw nigh” and we find as we do that He draws near unto us (James 4:8).  His invitation says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor” and promises us “rest” from those labors (Mt 11:28).  His invitation says “come and rest a while” (Mk 6:31).  How many accept this invitation to come CLOSER, to come and RECEIVE what our Boaz is willing to offer us?

Eat:  “and eat of the bread.”  This is the second part of Boaz’s invitation, to “eat.”  Boaz offers and provides for those that are his servants and for Ruth especially.  He invites her to eat.   What he offers her is bread.  This is a personal invitation to “eat” of what he provides.   This is not just any bread; it is “the” Bread.  It is Christ.  The moment Ruth accepts this bread, it becomes hers, it is a personal appropriation of his provision!  It is a daily feeding on Christ through the Word of God.  It is the Word of God that will strengthen and sustain us, the Word reveals the Lord, gives hope, illuminates and guides us.  Ruth will see in that bread his “merciful kindness” to his “servant” (Ps 119:76).  She will see in it “hope” for the “soul that fainteth” (Ps 119:81).  She will see in it a “lamp” for her “feet” and “a light” for her “path” (Ps 119:105).  She will let it “order” (establish and direct) her “steps” (Ps 119:133).  At the end of the meal she will be changed, she will say with all her heart, “thy servant loveth it” (Ps 119:140) and go forth in boldness to “speak thy word” (Ps 119:172).  When we feed on Christ, with the same hunger and appreciation that we see Ruth accepting that bread from Boaz’s hand, we not only “eat of the bread” but we treasure it, it becomes our “necessary food” (Job 23:12).

Dip:  “and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.”  This is the third part of Boaz’s invitation.  He asks her to do something with the bread he has offered her.  He asks her to “dip” it, which means to “immerse” or “plunge” it.  This is a word of action, a choice she must make.  She can eat it dry or choose to do this.  It is such a little step of obedience but brings forth wonderful satisfaction.  Boaz also reminds Ruth that this is her portion; he says “thy morsel.”  It is a “piece” or a “small portion,” but it is hers.  This is how we appropriate Christ, a portion at a time.  This “morsel” is hers alone, it is a personal appropriation of what he offers her, a personal enjoyment!  Then we see what her morsel is to be dipped in.  It is “the vinegar.”  The word “vinegar” can be translated “sour wine (mixed with oil) (Amplified) or “in the [olive oil and] vinegar” (Jewish Bible).  This morsel is saturated and flavored by the “vinegar.”  This vinegar can speak of the suffering of Christ and the oil mixed in can speak of the Spirit’s anointing and enabling for that suffering.  Boaz offers her this opportunity to take that bread and add to the flavor of it, he offers but she must accept it.  This is a picture of our sharing of the sufferings of Christ and the enabling of the Spirit to endure those sufferings and to appreciate His sufferings.  When we accept there are wonderful results, we become more like Him, we become overcomers!

Next we see what Ruth does to show she is beginning to appropriate these blessings.
She sat:  “And she sat beside the reapers.”  Here is Ruth’s place and Ruth’s rest.  There are times we need to simply sit and rest, and she chooses to sit with those that have harvested the grain.  Ruth does this in the presence of Boaz; we do this in the Presence of Christ.

Boaz provides more:  “and he reached (passed, offered) her parched corn.”  Again, she must accept this from the hand of Boaz, she must accept what he offers her.  This is grace, Boaz “reached” out to her, he “offered” to her.  This is provision, it is “parched corn” (roasted corn).

Ruth ate:  “and she did eat.”  This is satisfaction.  How much more do we find and enjoy when we sit still. Notice that Ruth is not left to fend for herself, Boaz takes time to offer to her something she may have not felt bold enough to take.  In this portion we see two types of food that have been offered to Ruth.  First “the bread,” which pictures Life, bread was called the staff of life, but this is more, it is a picture of Christ for He said He was the “Bread of Life” (John 6:48).  Next is the “parched corn,” which pictures Fruitfulness. Jesus spoke of the earth bringing forth “fruit,” first the “blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mk 4:28).  As we feed on Christ we are able to become fruitful, we bring forth fruit unto Him.

What is the wonderful result of her faith and obedience?  “And was sufficed, and left,” other translations read:  “she had some left over” (NIV, Jewish Bible), and “she had some left [for Naomi].”  It is that she was satisfied, Ruth “was sufficed.”  That word “sufficed” comes from “to fill to satisfaction.”  It means “to have plenty,” to “be satisfied with.”  Not only was she satisfied, but she had some “left,” she would take this back to Naomi.  We see here a picture also of how we can share with others what we receive from Christ. This speaks of a full provision and a full satisfaction.  We see that full provision in the feeding of the 5,000 (Mt 14:20) and the 4,000 (Mk 15:37).  In both instances there was an abundance left over.  Later when Jesus’ disciples were worried that there was only one loaf of bread (Mk 8:14) He reminded them that he had fed multitudes and what was left (Mk 8:19-21). The Lord will fully satisfy our hearts and if we go elsewhere we will feel the lack. Ruth stayed, and she found that she could not take in all that he offered her!  Sister Mary Bodie writes:  “Ruth is comforted and fed, that is, she could not appropriate all he gave her.”  How glorious!


Earlene Davis

Second Dispensation: The Age of Conscience

This age began after the fall and ended with the flood, Gen. 4-7. It is also called Antediluvian, which means, before the flood. Man for the first time became sin conscious, he realized what sin was.  Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with their own efforts, but their fig leaves dried up and crumbled. That is the way with man’s righteousness. But God’s provision for man was by blood sacrifices. Of course they pointed to or represented the One sacrifice of Jesus Christ (the promised deliverer to come, Gen. 3:15) who atoned for man’s sin.

Man’s responsibility was to offer the blood sacrifices. In Gen. 4:1-8 we read of two offerings. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground that he grew and worked hard to get. Able brought a firstling of the flock that God had asked for and instructed that this was the way to come unto Him (Heb. 11:4). Some might say that God was not fair by rejecting Cain’s offering, but God didn’t cut him off. He gave Cain a chance to bring the right offering and to be accepted. God told him he did not do well, that a sin offering is lying at the door. He didn’t have to work for it, just take it and offer it unto God. But Cain didn’t do that. Instead that rebellion grew in his heart against God. He couldn’t kill God, so He killed his brother Able.

There are really only two religions in this world, followers of Cain or followers of Able. Those who follow Able, go the blood way, they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior (whose blood was shed for sin) and become righteous. The others reject that sacrifice and trust in their works which is not acceptable to God. Eph. 2:8-9; II Tim. 1:8-10; Titus 3:4-6.

God tested man as to the blood sacrifices. In Genesis 4 and 5 we read of two lineages, Cain and Seth. After Cain refused to offer the blood sacrifice and deliberately killed Able his brother, we read, “And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD (Gen. 4:6). What a terrible place to be. He started a line of people that were out of God’s fellowship completely. God doesn’t say much about any of his descendents as to how long they lived or when they died. They were a very skilled people. Cain built the first city we read of in Scripture and named it after his son. Of Cain’s descendants we read of a rancher and also one who built musical instruments and played them, another made swords. But they were ungodly.

Adam had another son, Seth. His name means “appointed one.” Eve said, for God hath appointed me another seed for Able whom Cain slew. Seth was a godly man, an appointed man to be a seed for God. These were a different kind of people, that knew God. The fifth chapter traces the genealogy of Seth to ten generations. Adam lived 930 years. He was still alive when Lamech was born. See how it was possible for Moses to have written the first five books of the Bible. Adam could have spoken to Lamech and Lamech to Noah and Noah lived to be 950 years old. In this genealogy is Enoch and it says of him that he walked with God, and he was not; for God took him, Gen. 5:24. Enoch’s son Methuselah ended this dispensation.

Notice the conditions that ended this dispensation, (Ch. 6) every  man was governed according to his conscience. The sons of God were the descendants of Seth and the daughters of men were descendants of Cain. The godly married the ungodly and things went down hill from there. God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually. It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. The Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth - Gen. 6:5-7. Man failed and became so wicked he had to be judged because of God’s holiness. This age ended in the judgment of the flood.

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” – Ch. 6:8. God instructed Noah to build an ark which would save him and his family when the flood came. “Make thee an ark of gopher wood” – V. 14. It is the only tree which grew in the wilderness. It reminds us of Jesus, “a root out of the dry ground” – Isa. 53:2. The tree had to be first cut down. This is wonderfully significant of Christ! He had to be crucified before man could have an Ark of safety from Divine judgment. All that were in the Ark were preserved from judgment, for even the seams were closed. The whole ark was pitched within and without with resin, that which flowed from the tree when it was cut into. Christ death not only saves us, but secures us eternally. No waters of judgment could enter that ark of safety The resin from the tree, is symbolic of Christ’s blood. Not one drop of the water of judgment could even touch them. The wondrous provision of Calvary is figured by the ark which Noah built. John 10:28-30.

Also God’s grace was shown to man in that Noah preached as he built the ark, but the people didn’t believe him. Read Heb. 11:7; I Pet. 3:20; and II Pet. 2:5. God had several stewards during that age.

Next issue: The Age of Human Government

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Joyful Sound

By Jack Davis

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.”
Ps. 89:15-16

The Joyful Sound has been sent to bless mankind. God says we are blessed in knowing. He speaks of that which is realized in the heart. It is sad to say that not all who have opportunity to hear ever come to receive, respond to, and even fewer resound the joyful sound. Most never come to grasp the meaning, nor enjoy the benefits. Let us notice here some aspects of knowing. And some elements of the blessing. May the Holy Spirit make us realize in experience that we indeed have something going for us.

They shall WALK in the light of His countenance, the realm of joyful conduct, far exceeds staggering around in the dark, lost. Thank God, we can know where we are going. In the light of His countenance we enjoy the blessed favor of His presence, when we are aware that He is looking upon us with grace. It is indeed a joy to our Father to watch us progress and grow. This phrase could be translated, “proceeding under your smile,” or “marching firmly along in the radiance of your presence.”

In His name shall they REJOICE. As we walk in His light, it’s in His name that we delight, take pride in, make our boast. His name is our basis for a continual boasting. God’s name is a part of the way He has chosen to reveal His characteristics unto His people. It’s a joy to be called children, saints, sons “of the living God.” We read in Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and the word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, “O Lord God of hosts.”

In thy RIGHTEOUSNESS they shall be exalted. It is only in His righteousness that mankind may come to the celestial heights of eternal glory. Thank God for clothing us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are made the righteousness of God in Him. In Him we are made fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. We who have borne the image of the earthly, shall also bear the image of the heavenly. The exalted place the saints of the most high God will enjoy eternally will always be in His righteousness.

Rev. 19:6-8, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters and…mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” The announcement of the granting of BRIDAL ADORNMENT will be to her a “Joyful Sound,” for she will have been exalted in His Righteousness.

In the New Testament is heard the echo, and re-echoing of the Joyful Sound of the Gospel of our salvation. The message sent down from the throne of God, and the heart of God to save unto the uttermost. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they  have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world” – Rom. 10:13-18. So there is to be a resounding, passing it on.

God spake in time past unto the Fathers by the prophets, But “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son…Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?” –  Heb. 1:1-2 & 2:1-4.

The Joyful Sound began to be spoken by the Lord. Jesus expressed it and sounded it out in word and deed. He said: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” – Jn. 15:11. In John 16:13-22, he was promising the advent of the Holy Spirit, which came with the sound of a rushing, mighty wind. He was also promising Resurrection, which someone has called good news from the grave yard. The announcement of Jesus birth came as “good tidings of great joy.” On the day that is called Palm Sunday, Jesus came into Jerusalem with shouts of hosannas ringing. The city was moved, the children, disciples, the multitude making a joyful sound. The religious leaders were displeased, and urged Jesus to quiet down. Jesus told them, that the stones would cry out if these all would remain still. Many heard these sounds but they didn’t all appreciate, or enjoy them. They didn’t know or understand their meaning. They weren’t tuned in.

Feastal Call: The amplified Bible translates our text thus; “happy, fortunate, to be envied are they who appreciate, and understand the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feast.” Do you know the feastal call? Note how some are knowing and making Joyful Sounds. Paul gave thanks for the Colossians after hearing of their faith, love, and hope laid up for them in Heaven, “whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,” which he said brought forth fruit in them since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.”

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” – Col. 3:16.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (drinking of the new wine) speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” – Eph. 5:18-19.

In our text, it says, “they shall rejoice all the day.” The joyful sound can be a daily thing as the result of staying current with the Word, and responsive to the Holy Spirit. Oh, how blessed we are to be guided by the Holy Spirit, for He uses the Word to talk to us, and cheer our hearts. When I get grouchy or grumpy, I know that I am not listening to the Spirit through the Word.
J. D.

Anita Clark

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." Matthew 24:7

The verse definitely describe conditions in the world today. In the book of Luke chapter 21, as he rehearses what Jesus said at this same time, Luke repeats Jesus’ phrases to comfort our hearts, for instance in verse 9. "But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, [instability and disorder] be not terrified [scared or frightened] for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by." Luke 21:34-36 are especially meaningful in our day. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged [to burden] with surfeiting [drunkenness, glut or debauchery], and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare [a trap, a trick, temptation] shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of man."

EBOLA OUTBREAK - Saints of God, the Lord does not want us to have fear. Fear is not of God. Faith tells us that God is in control of all things. We need to trust God right now more than ever before. Don’t let Satan torment you. Pray for protection over you and your loved ones. Our God is great and mighty. Also, let us pray for people in foreign lands who are living everyday with this threat right in their midst. God’s people need to humble themselves and pray for deliverance for God’s people. This is the end time. These things are predicted in the Word of God. Let us have faith and gain more faith by reading God’s Word (Romans 10:17). You who live in foreign lands and get this magazine, lift up your heads and believe. Jesus Christ is coming so soon. These are signs of the end of this Age. Let us all be ready for the catching away as recorded in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Claim the promises of God.

WARS AND EARTHQUAKES – The USA is involved in another Middle East war. There will always be wars until the Lord terminates them with His power at the end of the tribulation when He comes in power and great glory. We need not worry, but trust in the Lord.. The plan is in the works, just as God has ordained.

According to CBS.COM, "Scientists say that the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded did take place in 2014. There were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979." Tom Parsons, and Eric Geist, USGS researchers, and geophysicists have been studying this increase of large quakes. They were trying to find a link between the quakes to see if one big quake affected others on a global scale, but have come to the conclusion that these earth quakes this year seem to strike at random. They feel that researchers may simply lack the data to understand such global "communication." They are calling these happenings a earthquake storm. We understand that we are experiencing what the Scripture has foretold. God is in control of His creation. All things are being worked out according to His master plan. let not your heart be troubled (John 14:1).

ISRAEL MUST APPEAR IN GENEVA BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS – Israeli officials testified before the U.N. Human Rights Committee on Monday, October 20, 2014 with regard to its military activities in Gaza this summer during Operation Protective Edge. Israel submitted a detailed report concerning many issues such as gender, LGBT, child, and minority rights at his meeting. This committee has censured Israel more than any other country. The group brought up that Israel had killed 2,000 Palestinians during this summer’s Gaza war, which Israeli leaders defended, stating, "Israel had to launch air strikes on Gaza in response to hundreds of rockets fired at Israel by Hamas and to June’s kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers." It is amazing how lopsided the opinions of the world community is against Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports, "This group is headed by Canadian human rights expert William Schabas who already publicly stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be brought before the International Criminal Court." Israel is not cooperating with this probe, whose results will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2015. God is in control and will allow hard times for Israel, and cause them to cry out to the living God for help.

TEL AVIV UNHOLY CITY – Although Israel is the nation that God chose to be especially favored, by giving Abraham a wonderful promise, that through his seed (speaking of Jesus) all the world would be blessed, Israel today is full of sin against God. It is a fact of the Scripture that God made an everlasting covenant with Israel, and will restore them to their place as His people after the tribulation, yet, their sins as a people have been great. They have been judged severely by God in time past, and will be greatly judged in the future. During the tribulation of seven unparaleled years of wrath, two-thirds of them will be slain (Zech 13:8). Right at the present time sex slavery is prominent in Israel, according to Knesset Member Zehava Gaion of Israeli’s Parliamentary Committee. He states that 3,000 to 5,000 young women are smuggled into Israel annually, creating a booming sex trade industry that rakes in more than a billion dollars a year. Most of these women come from the former Soviet Union. According to the article all types of Israelis are customers, including soldiers, and Orthodox Jews who stuff their skull caps into their pockets when they enter these brothels Many of these women were brought to Israel by sex traders of the Israeli-Russian Mafia, who according to this article smuggle hundreds of these women into Israel each month. How grievous this must be to God’s heart. God chose Israel to be a light to the Gentiles, a witness to the other nations of the world.

Israeli government works to turn Tel Aviv into the Gay Capital of the World. According to this article from Maozisrael/NEWS, "Thirty years ago there were so few homosexuals in Tel Aviv that seeing them on the streets was truly am anomaly. But all that has changed drastically, and Tel Aviv is now considered a haven for gays." The statement about Tel Aviv becoming the "Gay World Capital" is according to Israel’s leading newspaper, Yediot Aharonot. Israel’s Hotel Association Director-General El Zvi, has discovered a new market in gays, who as he states, "will travel about anywhere for a good party, even the middle east and, they are loaded with money." It’s all about the Money! The idea is to increase tourism to Israel.

Read Ezekiel 20:33-38. In this passage God declares what He will accomplish for Israel. Verse 33 says, "As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you;" God is fully aware of all that His people do, and He will met out the appropriate judgment in His own time. Verse 34 tells that God will gather Israel back to their land. He has begun to do this, however there are still many Jews who are enjoying life in other nations and have no desire to move to Israel, but they will come eventually.

Ezekiel 38:4 says, “I will...put hooks in thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth.” Ezekiel 20:37-38 states, "And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD." God is in control! He will judge and correct His people, and Israel that is left will see their Redeemer coming in the clouds at the end of the seven years of tribulation, "Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so Amen" (Revelation 1:7). They will believe and accept their King Messiah.

HOW RELIGIOUS ARE ISRAELI JEWS TODAY?– According to a new report from Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, "The overwhelming majority, about 80% are in the secular camp, while 20% are religious. In 1948, when Israel was founded, socialist Zionism was in control and there were many more atheists in the country than there are today." However, to state that there are 20% religious Jews does not mean they are real believers in God. The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reports that there are 158,000 Christians in Israel, which represents 2 % of the total population. Of these 80% are Arabs. According to these statistics, this group is growing at a slower rate than all other sectors. However, we know that the majority of these claiming Christianity are probably not born again individuals, but church goers or on church roles. This is sad to think about. The Scripture says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalms 122:6). This we will continue to do.

It is a very disheartening that sin is rampant in Israel as it is in all the world.. Israel will be judged greatly for her sins, especially, the greatest being the sin of rejecting their Messiah, Jesus Christ. We are living on the edge of the seven years of tribulation in which all the world will experience the wrath of Almighty God, but Israel will experience a time so great and horrible as Jesus spoke of, "For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" Matthew 24:21. This tribulation will come after Israel signs a peace treaty with the nations at the beginning of the seven years soon coming on the earth. It will seem that peace is finally achieved. But, suddenly chaos will break out and "the Man of Sin" who seemed to be the Savior of the World will manifest his true colors. He will exalt himself as ruler of the world, and turn against Israel. Oh, what an awful time is coming upon this earth in the near future. Read: Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24; Luke 21; Revelation 13 & 17. The Word of God is true and will come to pass just as it is prophesied.

"Look up. Your redemption draw nigh." Lay hold upon the words of Jesus. Stand on His promises. We are seeing "the beginning of sorrows" which He spoke about. He will return right on God’s designed time. He is not late. Praise the Lord our God! Don’t allow Satan to make you fearful. He is a liar from the beginning. Soon he will be put forever under Christ’s feet, what a day that will be, what rejoicing in Christ’s presence.


We all have been affected in some way by the terrorism of our time. There is a general feeling of fear and helplessness that overcomes people at times like this. The purpose of terrorism is to generate a spirit of fear in the people. And, just in case terrorism is not enough, we have the Ebola virus to worry about now as well.

Maybe you would like me or someone to assure you that all of this will be just fine and get much better soon. I would be a fool to try to calm someone’s fear in that way. Things in this world are not getting better, but will go from bad to worse. Some may now be considering me a fearmonger. Well, I do have some good news to share.

First of all, we need to know that God is still in control. None of these things have caught Him off guard. As one man commented, “The Holy Trinity never met in emergency session.” God is still on His throne, and is over all. We must simply put our trust in our God. The psalmist says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in Him.” Psalm 56:3.

So, why do these things happen, that brings so much destruction and sadness. Well, at the very heart of all evil, of course, is sin. There will always be sadness and destruction and evil in this world, until Jesus comes to reign and is sovereign in this world. We must always keep God’s Word in view to understand these happenings.

We are told plainly that in the last days would be perilous times. Men would be lovers of their own selves, and without natural affection. 1 Timothy 3:1-5. This is the nature of man without Christ. We must not get caught up in the thinking that man will solve this problem. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the only Prince of Peace.

This is a time to share our hope with others. We can let others know of Jesus, and the peace that He brings to our life. Many are seeking answers in this time, and we have exactly what they need. It is a time for our testimony of God’s grace and peace in our lives to shine forth.

What could God’s people want with this world? We have a heavenly calling. How foolish we are when we cling to things that are temporal instead of seeking eternal riches and blessings.

If you have become concerned about the events of this world, please consider the Word of God. Jesus tells us, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  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 14:1. What a great consolation and hope Jesus gives to us.

Let your light shine to others at this time, and maybe others will come to know Jesus through your testimony.

Gordon Crook

Debra Isenbletter

Ruth 2:13 – “Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.”

In this verse Ruth expresses her gratitude to Boaz for his grace and her desire to continue to please him. She talks about His Favor, His Comfort, His Friendship and finally she compares herself to His Handmaidens.

His Favor: “Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord;” Ruth sees his grace, she has experienced his grace, she has tasted and seen “that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8) but she doesn’t yet realize fully it is hers by right and that there is a continual supply. Ruth tells Boaz that she wants to continue to experience this grace; she wants to continue to enjoy his “favor.” The word for “favor” is the same as the word “grace” in verse 10. She is speaking of his “graciousness” and “kindness” to her. All she sees is his grace! Because of this desire Ruth makes a petition of him, “Let me find favour.” Another translation of this is: “May I continue to find favor in your eyes” (NIV) or “My Lord, I hope I continue pleasing you” (Jewish Bible). The word “find” comes from “to come forth to (enjoy),” it also means “to lay hold on.” Ruth is speaking of what she wants to do and what he will do. She wants to appropriate this grace, lay hold of it. This is her purpose of heart. Only she can “find,” and “come forth (by faith) to enjoy,” only she can lay hold of and use that grace in her daily life. Having experienced his favor she wants to continue to enjoy it, what a precious desire!

She knows that the continuance of his favor is dependent upon her obedience, her faithfulness. She is saying, if I do this, as I do this, let me continue to experience and enjoy your favor. Ruth knows that everything she does will be seen by Boaz, for she says “in thy sight,” this is the one she wants to please and serve. Ruth calls Boaz “my Lord” (my master). She acknowledges she is his handmaiden, she is his servant and he is her master. She begins with this relationship, this submission. This is how we begin our relationship with Jesus, it is through our service and submission to Him that we are able to lay hold of and appreciate His “favor,” and “grace.” Ruth is in a sense saying that she wants Boaz to know that his grace is not bestowed in vain (2 Cor 6:1). She will see his grace “abound” and the result is that she will have “all sufficiency in all things” (2 Cor 9:8). And as she serves Boaz (and as we serve Christ) He is able to “show the exceeding riches of his grace” (Eph 2:7). We have said I want more, show me and He shows us!

His Comfort: “thou hast comforted me,” or “given me comfort”- Boaz Cared! She is acknowledging the comfort he has given her with his promises and his gracious words. The word “comfort” comes from “to sigh,” it can mean “to be sorry for” (in a favorable way), or “to pity.” The comfort given to her is an expression of his compassion for her. Compassion means sympathy, empathy, concern. And this compassion of Boaz is a type of Jesus, who felt compassion for those in need. Over and over it says that Jesus was “moved with compassion” or “had compassion on.” Jesus was “moved with compassion” for the multitudes, for those that “fainted” and “were scattered … as sheep having no shepherd.” (Mt 9:36). When He saw the multitudes that were sick He “was moved with compassion toward them and he healed their sick” (Mt 14:14). When he saw those that were hungry, He said, “I have compassion on the multitude” (Mt 15:32) and He fed them. It wasn’t just multitudes Jesus had compassion for, it was also individuals. When the two blind men came to Jesus, He “had compassion on them” (Mt 20:34) and healed them. When the leper came to Jesus, He was “moved with compassion” (Mk 1:41) and healed him. When He saw the widow who had lost her son, “he had compassion on her” (Lk 7:13) and raised her son. Jesus had compassion, He cared, and every act and every word brought comfort to those He met and were an expression of His grace. Jesus sees the need and meets that need. He CARES! The need draws Jesus to the individual and the individual to Jesus! Do we take time to say to Jesus, as Ruth said to Boaz: “thou hast comforted me?”

His Friendship: “thou hast spoken friendly,” his friendship, is how her relationship begins! The word “friendly” comes from a root meaning “the heart.” It means literally “to the heart of” – “You have spoken to the heart of” (Amplified). It can be translated “kindly, kindness” – “You have spoken kindly to” (NIV) or “You have encouraged me” (Jewish Bible). It can be translated “to take care for” and there his actions match his words. Ruth hears the words of Boaz and two things happen. First: The “heart” of Ruth is moved and affected; it will never be the same! Ruth also sees his “heart,” and the motive for his “kindness” – it is Grace! Second, The “heart” of Boaz is touched by her need and in his “heart” he promises to care for her. It is through his care OF her that he will begin to care FOR her. Everything begins with the heart, our heart influences our actions and our attitude. It is from this foundation that her relationship and love will grow. He will begin first as her “friend” and end as her “beloved.” This is what the Shulamite said of her relationship to Solomon when she described him to others. At the end of her description she said: “This is beloved and this is my friend” (Song 5:16). “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mind” (Song 6:3). Is Jesus both our beloved and our friend? He begins as our friend but wants to be our beloved.

His Handmaidens: “though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.” or “though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls” (NIV). Ruth compares herself to Boaz’s “handmaidens” and sees the difference between them. She says: “though I be not like.” She sees them and herself and wonders why Boaz notices her! She sees only that she is not worthy; she doesn’t see how his grace makes her worthy. She knows these “handmaidens” belong to him, for she says “thine” – but she also belongs to Boaz now. The word “handmaiden(s)” comes from the foot “a class of persons; a family.” It means a “bond handmaiden” or a “female slave” – part of a household. The fact is that through his promises to her, her standing and status has changed. She is no longer a “stranger,” she is his “servant,” his “handmaiden.” She is his responsibility to care for and provide for, she is part of his “family.” Though she is not like them, she is counted as one of them. She sees her difference (not like unto) them as something negative. She doesn’t see her worth, doesn’t feel worthy. She doesn’t see how she can be one of his handmaidens. But Boaz sees her difference (not like unto) them as something positive. He sees her worth, and it her acceptance of his promises that make her worthy, he sees her potential, he sees what she can be! It will be her difference that sets her apart, she is unique. Whether she feels worthy or not, she is one of them, she belongs to him. We can wonder and not see our worth, but it won’t change the fact that we are the Lord’s. Our worth is not dependent upon how we see ourselves, or how others see us (how Boaz’s servants may have seen Ruth). Our worth is dependent only upon how our Lord sees us. We begin as His servants but can end as His Bride!

Earlene Davis

First Dispensation: The Age of Innocence

This age began in the Garden of Eden, and ended with the fall. It is also called Paradise, because that is what the garden of Eden was. During this time God kept Adam and Eve for their faithfulness and obedience to Him.

Gen. 1:26, “…God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” The triune God had a purpose and it went far beyond the garden Eden. We don’t see this at first when we read Genesis, but God purposed a New Creation. He wanted man to have dominion, that still has to come to pass. We read in verses 26 through 28 that God gave man dominion over everything. He was to rule over all God’s creation.

Gen. 2:8-9, “…The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” God placed Adam in the garden to dress it and to keep it (2:15).

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (2:16-17). This was the stewardship of Adam. He had a responsibility to rule over creation, to keep the garden and to obey God. God tested man (the natural man) as to his ability to obey.

God made the woman (2:22). “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (for they were not put to shame – 2:25).” They didn’t even realize they were naked. There was no condition of sin in their life, no guilt. Adam and Eve were created sinless, but not holy. If they had been holy, they couldn’t have sinned. They were innocent, subject to sin. Of course God knew that, but He wanted them to find out. God wanted this on record before ALL humanity. That the natural man, even under the best of circumstances, is not able to obey God. Adam had everything he could want, didn’t have to work, just dress the garden a bit, nothing to worry about. Above all this they were innocent, didn’t know sin. They didn’t know there was good and evil. They were like children in their understanding and dealings with one another. But the serpent came on the scene

The serpent spoke to Eve (not Adam). He simply asked her a question. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (3:1). This is Satan’s way, he asks questions. He gets people to doubt God. He caused Eve to begin to doubt the goodness of God. When Eve answered, she added to what God had said. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” God didn’t say anything about touching it. “And the serpent said unto the woman. Ye shall not surely die” (3:4). The serpent took away from what God said (See Deut. 12:32 & Jn. 8:44). The woman should have referred the serpent to her husband. God really never spoke to Eve concerning the tree, He told Adam (2:16).

I Timothy 2:14 sounds like Adam deliberately took of this fruit, for “Adam was not deceived.” I believe he loved Eve so much and didn’t want to be separated from her. He knew she was going to die, because God said they would if they ate of that tree. This is a beautiful picture of Calvary. This is what Jesus did. He was willing to be separated form His Father and take upon Him our sin, deliberately, to be identified with us. That is what Adam did. Adam lost his stewardship in doing this.

Have you ever wondered how long they were in the garden before they disobeyed? I don’t think it was very long. Through all these dispensations, Satan had his part in trying to defeat God’s purposes. He used to be Lucifer and fell from his place and became an enemy of God. He tries to defeat all of God’s purposes. When God created such a wonderful innocent sinless man, Satan tried to destroy that. Gen. 3:6, they ate of the forbidden tree. What was so bad about that? They disobeyed God. Isn’t that how human nature is, you tell the natural man not to do something and that is exactly what he wants to do. It shows up at a very early age. In every dispensation, it didn’t matter how God dealt with men, they failed God. They were not able to do what God wanted them to do.

When Adam and Eve fell, all the human race fell. Their sin was passed on to the next generation and from there on down. Sinful parents cannot give birth to children without sin. Verses 11 through 13 of Genesis 3 tell of man’s disobedient spirit as the result of the fall. With every failure of man in these dispensations, there came a judgement. God judged the serpent, Eve, and Adam. First He judged the serpent (3:14). This judgement will not be lifted even in the Kingdom Age, the last dispensation (Isa. 65:25). When man sinned and rebelled, all God’s creation rebelled, the animals were no longer tame, but wild. In the Kingdom Age, when righteousness comes to this earth, all other animals will be released, there won’t be any ferocious beasts (Rom. 8:18-23 & Isa. 11:6-9). But the serpents will still be on their belly and eat dust.

The judgement upon the woman was concerning pain in child birth and the man would rule over her (3:16). Compare I Tim. 2:15. The judgment of Adam was concerning food. Because he ate of that tree, the ground would not produce the food it should produce. When man lost dominion, the earth rebelled and brought forth thorns, thistles, and weeds. God told Adam that until he died, he will make his living by the sweat of his face (3:17-19). This will be lifted during the Kingdom Age. Man won’t have to work hard, all the land will be tillable and produce abundantly. In their judgment, Adam and Eve were barred from the garden (3:22-24). This was God’s grace that they would not eat of the tree of life and live forever in sin.

Even today man tries to get away from his failure. He just denies everything God has said by his actions and attitudes. But man was plunged into darkness and with out hope. God was not taken unawares. Man’s need provided the opportunity for God to manifest His grace which He purposed in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1). God purposed a creation which would be holy. God gave Adam and Eve a word of prophecy, a light, a hope, a Deliverer was coming (3:15). God also clothed them with the skins of slain animals. He was teaching them that a blood sacrifice was necessary for their sins to be covered, pointing them to Calvary. God instituted sacrifices, pointing forward to Christ, our Sacrifice. Redemption is the way God has obtained this holy creation. Christ is the head of this new creation and everyone who will believe on Jesus Christ may become a new creation. In each dispensation, God tested humanity and man always failed and must be judged. Only the believers escape judgment, because Jesus bore the judgment for our sins on Calvary (Jn. 5:24).
Next issue: The Age of Conscience
The Messenger

By Rebecca Asbury
One-time first rights
To Glorious Gospel
Copyright 2013

Malachi said Christ would
Come to His dwelling place,
Would suddenly come,
Blest Herald of grace.

So we think of the bleating
And cooing and selling,
Space for dove cages,
Lamb cotes and stalls,

And the clink of coins
Within fair hallowed walls:
Barter and profit
In the courts of the Lord!

We think of the tables
Of rude money changers,
And a foretaste of judgment
In a scourge of small cords.

But Christ came before,
In brave questions to delve,
And sat with the sages
As a grave Lad of twelve,
While others His age
Were so without care!

He came first to His temple,
As an infant of days,
To Simeon and Anna,
Who marveled in praise.

“The One whom you seek
Shall come to His temple”
The new covenant’s Messenger
Was suddenly there.

“…the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:1

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Treasure of excellence

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
2 Cor. 4:7

Oh, what an amazing statement concerning what we have, where it has been placed and why God placed it (Him) there. What a treasure! How wonderful, that God would see fit to place within us such enriching value, far more than that which is deposited in our account. Therein seems a strong indication of divine enlightenment and enablement. When we are saved that Christ life light of the knowledge of the glory of God, has been caused to shine into our hearts and dwell within these earthen vessels.

The reason this heavenly treasure was placed in such weak crumbling dissolvable earthen containers is clearly stated, “That the excellency of the power be of God, and not of us.” To God forever be the glory. That value God has placed in us is real, an everlasting reality to be realized. This treasure is to be treasured and enjoyed. What absolute contrast! That which is to be dissolved or transformed and that which gives substance, purpose, usefulness and the merit determined by the Lord. When we are humbled by our sinful condition to see our great need, we are blessed to take by faith this glorious treasure into our being.

 We are otherwise in a darkened, spiritually ignorant condition, with no other way to escape. Satan blinds the minds of them that believe not (II Cor. 4:4). We read in Romans one, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Vs. 21,22). In Ephesians four we read of those “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them” (V. 18). In 2 Thess. 2:10 & 11, we read of those perishing because they receive not the love of the truth, that they may be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. Let us always be thankful that He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has graciously illuminated our innermost being.

In this fragile vessel the source of our power and enlightenment, is not for the major part very well known. Paul prayed that we be filled with the knowledge of our Lord’s will, and strengthened with all might according to his glorious power (Col. 1:9, 11). See also Eph. 3:16-21 & 1:19-22. Let us consider, digest and rejoice, living by experience in the power of God our Father’s provisions! Most of Christendom is sadly ignorant of our God given resources.

 Thank God for the scriptural illustrations, and spiritual lessons as to where the believer’s glorious virtues abide. Jesus said, “without me ye can do nothing.” Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The only course for us to take to enter into God’s best and greatest for us is covered by absolute dependence on Him.

In Judges 13, God promised that the son of Manoah and his wife would begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. He told them how to raise him and that he would be a Nazarite from birth. He was born and named Samson. He grew and the Lord blessed him, and the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times. Like the time a young lion roared against Samson. Judges 14:5-6, “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand.” V. 19, Again the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he slew thirty Philistines. Another time the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him and he slew a thousand Philistines with a new jawbone of an ass - Judges 15:15.

Afterward, he loved a woman named Delilah of the Philistines. Her people got her to entice him to tell her wherein his great strength lay. She tried time after time to find out so they could bind him and afflict him, for the source of his great strength was not known (16:9). Delilah finally got him to tell her. She got his hair cut off which was part of his Nazarite vowel, and he was weak. The Spirit of the Lord had come upon him again and again and he always overpowered the Philistines, but the last time he didn`t know that the Lord wasn`t with him, and he wasn`t as strong as before. He seemed to be too sure of His own ability and it cost him dearly, and eventually his life. We must learn that when we are weak in ourselves, then are we made strong in the Lord, as we cast ourselves trustingly upon Him. We are taught to be “strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”  

Knowing God: “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear to wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest for her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Pr. 2:1-6). It is interesting to realize that our Father takes pleasure in hiding some of his richest treasures in plain sight, and deepest secrets in the simplest of hearts. How blessed are we to know of God’s willingness to make Himself fully known.

What a value system He has! “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jer. 9:23-24). Oh, how exceedingly blessed we are in knowing wherein our Father delights, especially when we put this knowledge to excellent use. He delights to make Himself fully known unto us through deeper and ever deeper revelations of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a premium privilege.

Hosea 6:3: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord…” Oh, Glory to God! How kindly and gently He leads His people on and into heart and life realities of Himself. Line upon line and precept upon precept. He invites us and urges us on. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD...” (Zec. 4:6).

“Think on these things” – Phil. 4:8: The Apostle’s closing statements to the lovers of the race, emphasizes some very important essentials. These pre-eminent elements most worthy of note, to occupy heart and mind. He urges the closest attention with responsive heart. These things are worthy of praise.

Loves fullest development, in keen insight: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent…” (Phil. 1:9-10). Paul’s concern was that their love would overflow, exceeding all bounds, that they be able to distinguish, discern, sense, appreciate, prize, that which is of greater value and higher degree of importance.

The excellency of the knowledge: Paul suggested experiencing a new and spiritual set of values (Phil. 3:7-10). “…What things were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ.” Saul knew of former selfish gains in human recognition, but now Paul realized and recognized it as one combined loss for Christ’s sake. He had compared it to the possession of the priceless privilege, overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord; progressively becoming more deeply, intimately acquainted with Him. Every thing could be lost in order to be found in Him and know Him in the fellowship of His suffering and the power of His resurrection.

Pr. 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies.” During this Church Age of grace, there has been a marvelous work taking place. A miraculous work indeed in individual believers, being searched out and drawn by the Holy Spirit into deeper love relations, unto the only head of the Church. These have been learning to respect and honor His Lordship, and to lean on Him. They are being prepared to make up a special company of people, from every walk of life, tribe, tongue, people and nation. They are joined only and especially unto Him. Being found in Him from among many daughters whom have done virtuously, will have excelled them all. She has cherished to hear His “well done.”
by J. D.


Anita Clark

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s heart’s failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" Luke 21:25-26.

We are beginning to see more and more phenomena in the sky and earth showing us that time is very short until the coming of the Lord. While the greatest manifestation of these prophesied signs will take place during the tribulation, we see the "beginning of sorrows" at this present time (Mt. 234:8).

THE NEXT BLOOD MOON – In the January 2014 edition of The Glorious Gospel I wrote about NASA‘s announcement that there will be four blood moons (a "tetrad") manifested in 2014 and 2015. These blood moons will take place on the Jewish Passover, April 15th, and the Feast of Sukkoth (Tabernacles) October 8th of 2014, and then again on Passover, April 4, 2015 and Feast of Trumpets September 13, 2015. Not all blood moons appear on Jewish feast days, but when they did in the past, significant happenings sometime happened in connection with Israel.

The Jewish Press, a political and religious publication in the United States founded by Rabbi Sholom Klass, printed an article called "Messianic Blood Moon: Rising on Passover" Seder Night." It quotes Joel 2:30-31, which Peter quoted on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:19-20, which we more often teach is speaking of the last seventy-five days of Tribulation. However there may be truth to be had concerning these blood moons manifesting at this time also.

What is a blood moon? It takes place when there is a partial lunar eclipse, happening when the earth’s shadow covers the moon only partially. The earth’s atmosphere bends light around its edge and scatters out short wavelength light (green through violet), leaving longer-wavelength light (red, orange and yellow) in earth’s shadow.

There have been blood moons "tetrad" that occurred on Jewish feast days with events happening in connection to Israel which we have written about before. Since these happening there has been other "tetrads" of blood moons, but none on Jewish Feast Days. Now, in 2014 & 2015 on Passover and Feast of Tabernacles they are appearing again. The Jewish Talmud (Text of Rabbinic Judaism, expands on the Hebrew Bible, book of tradition/interpretation) says, "When the moon is in eclipse, it’s a bad omen for Israel. If the face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world."

In recent issues of Glorious Gospel, there has been an in-depth study of the Feasts of Israel and their significance to God’s time table of events. Jesus Christ died on the Passover, and fifty days later on the Feast of Pentecost, the church was baptized into one body, and the Holy Spirit began to fill believers. For many long years we have waited for Christ to come back in what is called the Rapture, when He will translate His overcoming Bride to Himself, and then the remaining ranks of the church in their respective times. The Feast of Trumpets corresponds to that time when Christ will blow the trumpet, and the saints will rise up to meet Him. Then will follow the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a time when Israel would make booths out of tree branches and camp outside and have wonderful feasts and worship. This feast speaks to us of the Millennial Reign, or Kingdom Age. Oh, how happy Israel will be, who have accepted the Lord Jesus as He returns in the clouds at the end of the tribulation. They will dwell on the renovated earth in an agricultural society, as the prophets of the Old Testament proclaimed. The other feast of the Fall season which I haven’t mentioned is the Great Day of Atonement, when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holy Place to make the sin offering for himself and then again for the people. Those who endure through the tribulation will see Christ whom they rejected long ago coming in the clouds of glory and will repent and be born again as a nation born in a day (Isa. 66; Mt. 24:27-31; Rev. 1:7; & 19:11-20; Zech. 14). As a nation they will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their King and Savior.

As far as these Blood Moons are concerned, we saw the first one on Passover this year - April 15, 2014. Since that time Hamas continued to send rockets into Israel, tunnels were created by Hamas into Israel in order to kidnap and injure Israelis in terrorist attacks, which brought about the retaliation of Israel in July 2014, sending troops into Gaza to destroy the tunnels. The international results has been a barrage of criticism and blame pointed at Israel. There is a cease fire right now negotiated by Egypt. However, many nations have condemned Israel for its actions, although trying to defend themselves against this aggression. It remains to be seen if this is the situation that the Blood Moons of 2014 is signaling, or if something greater is in the offing.

October 8, 2014 is the Feast of Tabernacles. We watch for significant events to be taking place involving Israel. The Feast of Trumpets is September 25, 2014, which speaks of the possible trumpet sound of Christ calling His beloved ones to Himself from the Church Age. Apostle Paul wrote of the trumpet that will sound in I Thess 4:13-18. We are not setting dates, but we do have a great hope that He will come very soon. This will take place before the tribulation of seven years.

EU/ISRAEL SIGN 2020 SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION AGREEMENT – An article from Israeli website reports that the EU has signed an agreement with Israel, giving Israel the same access to EU research and innovation as that enjoyed by EU members. The article states, "For Israel to have this prestigious recognition is amazing." President Barroso, head of the EU rightly declared, "Israel is a strong player in research and innovation." He was expressing the fact that Europe needs Israeli intelligence and innovation more than Israel needs Europe. Although Israel is not a member of the EU, Israel participates in virtually all major European events, even sports. News From Israel magazine states, "This shows that the Roman Empire is well and alive; just as Israel was part of the Roman Empire during the birth of Christ, we believe that Israel will be part of Europe when Christ returns." From study of the Scripture, we see that in the endtime the Beast (Antichrist), from the revived Roman empire, who will rule the earth. This continued recognition of Israel by the EU, as a non-member state, shows the nearest of the endtime scenario of Antichrist ruling and bringing Israel to believe that there is peace and safety for them by sheltering under the wings of the EU. Already, as a non-member state they can and do attend all the EU meetings on world affairs, but do not have the right to vote. Daniel 9:27 tells of the "covenant" that will be made in the endtime with the Antichrist. This covenant will herald in the seven years of tribulation. Events like the one mentioned here cause us to wonder what is next in this cooperation between Israel and the EU.

US SENATORS QUESTION MILITARY AIDE TO ISRAEL – The debate over the size of military aide given to Israel is on in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. has been giving Israel $3.1 billion a year, not including money for special purposes like iron dome (the electronic defence system to prevent missiles striking Israel). In June senators raised the question for the first time as to whether U.S.A. should continue granting such large amounts to Israel. Israel uses this money to purchase military equipment from the U.S.A. At the present time Israel claims that it is running out of money and has ordered a halt to all air force training flights and cut backs on training for ground forces.

We are reminded again of what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Beware to those who fight against Israel. For even though they are in unbelief, they are still God’s chosen people. People of Israel can believe in the Lord Jesus today and become God’s children, but one day soon He will draw them back to Himself.

MORE SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS AND EARTH – Events in the heaven and earth are signs speaking to us of the coming judgment of God on this world. The world has had several axis shifts since 12-26-2004. You might recognize that date as being the date of the terrible earthquake of 9.3 and tsunami off the coast of Indonesia. The earth shifted on its axis 1 inch with that quake. On 2-27-2010 a earthquake off Chili, the fifth largest ever recorded, measuring 8.8 caused the earth axis to shift 3 inches, and shortened the length of a day by speeding up planetary rotation. On 3-11-2011 the terrible 9.0 earthquake in Japan took place and shifted the earth’s axis 4-10 inches, and also, literally moved Japan eight feet to the east. On August 24,2014 San Francisco, CA experienced a 6.0 quake and the same day Peru experienced a 5.7 and a 6.4, and Chile had two quakes of 5.7 and 6.4. The California quake was the strongest in 25 years. The governor of the state declared a state of emergency, damage could top $1 billion. Scientists say they are expecting three times more mega quakes in the 21st century. They define a "mega quake" as one by which 50,000 or more people are killed.

Jesus predicted that pestilence or disease would be a great concern in the last days. Right now there are several that are considered "mega" around the globe. These are HIV/AIDS, SARS, A(H1N1), Swine Flu, Ebola, West Nile Virus, Mideast Coronavirus. The United States is sending troops to Africa to help set up emergency hospital camps to try to combat the spread of Ebola. This is a very serious time to be alive. Many different ills are showing the time of the seven years of tribulation is at hand. Take heed! We are living in the time of the end. Jesus Christ is coming so very soon. Yield to God now. Be warned that the time is hand. Jesus will soon sound the trumpet to call His beloved ones to His side. Are you ready?
Itching Ears

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Timothy 4:3

The time has already come. This verse, in particular, refers to Christians who have no interest in the correct teaching of God's Word, but would rather hear something that agrees with what they already have chosen. Paul is instructing a young man, Timothy, to not give in to the call for teaching that dilutes the Word of God to make people feel good.

Over the centuries, some churches have continually sought to draw in people by adjusting the teaching to appeal to the current trend or tradition. There is much “feel good” teaching today that draws great crowds. While this is not an indictment of all mega churches, many of them draw crowds with “feel good” messages. The old nature will always want to be told that it is doing better, that it's alright to continue its own path and still find the blessing of the Lord.

Even society at large pushes on the church to teach according to the philosophy and wisdom of the world. They want the church to adapt its teaching to whatever man has decided is acceptable. Because many of God's people do not want to be seen as different from the world, many "church leaders" begin to interpret the Word so as to line up with the accepted value of the day. They will tell us that we have been interpreting wrong all these years. They tell us that things don't mean what we think they mean, or that God has changed His mind on certain topics.

We get marked as intolerant, and closed minded. It seems that the day road would be to just conform to whatever they want. However, we are encouraged to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom. 12:2. God is separating His people from the world. There is supposed to be a difference in God's people.

Even Israel, in the Old Testament, often refused to listen to the words of the prophets when they did not prophesy the things people wanted to hear. They wanted to be like the period around them, but God had called them to be separate into to Him. This is a perpetual condition of man. The unbeliever does not want to hear about the danger of continuing in his way. Some believers do not want to hear about the perfect will of God. They just want to be affirmed in whatever way they are already taking.

The really sad part is that God has something so much better for us than we could ever find on our own path. When we are truly willing to listen to God's Word and accept it as it is, we are truly blessed, and He changes us from glory to glory.

Gordon Crook

Debra Isenbletter

Ruth 2:12 – “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

In this verse we see the wonderful Reward that is promised Ruth, it comes through Boaz. How wonderful a type this is, showing the promise of reward comes from Jesus, He tells us what lies in store for us. Boaz makes three statements about Ruth’s actions, and the decision she has made. He tells her of her Work, her Reward and her Trust. This is a revelation on the part of Boaz, of what she did and what God will do. It points to what Ruth has yet to realize, to what is already hers!

Her Work: “The Lord recompense thy work.” The first thing that Boaz says, it is the “Lord” and not man who will recompense her work. Only the Lord can do this, He can see her heart and her motive. Only the Lord can truly measure her work according to His Word. Jesus said: “…thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (Mt 6:4). There will be an immediate reward, where her needs will be met. Paul experienced this and told the saints at Philippi “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). There will also be an unexpected ongoing reward, that changes her. She will be changed by her labors, by her fellowship, by her submission. She will be changed by the Spirit of the Lord, like those today who serve and submit and are changed as Paul says, “from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18). Ruth may not see it or feel it, but the change takes place, she will “grow up into him” (Eph 4:15) and “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord” (2 Pet 3:18). That is a reward that is ongoing that we don’t often think about. Many are concerned with only how their needs are met, but there is so much more going on in our lives, there is a work being done in us, as we like Ruth, go into the field and labor for the Master!

The word “work” comes from “to do” (habitually) or “to practice.” It speaks of an “act” or a “deed.” This began with her commitment to Naomi and to God and this work continued with her care for Naomi. This is her “work of faith” and “labor of love” (1 Thess 1:3).

The word “recompense” means “to be completed” or to “make perfect.” It also means “(make to be at) peace,” “to restore and reward” and “to pay in full.” Boaz says that it will be the Lord God of Israel that will “recompense” her. Her reward will be her growth because it is through her trial that the Lord is able to “make (her) perfect.” Her reward will be a “peace” both within and without. Her reward will be “paid in full” in an unexpected way – she will be joined to Boaz! This is her greatest reward. It will be through Boaz that God will “restore” and “reward” and fully bless Ruth.

Her Reward: “a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel.” Boaz tells her the extent of this reward, it is “a full reward.” The word “full” is the Hebrew word “shalem” which is similar to “shalom” (peace). It means “quiet” (peaceable), it means “complete” or “just.” Peace is the foundation of her reward, everything rests upon this. Despite her labors and trials, she has already begun to experience this “quiet.” Peace expresses what she feels in her daily life and spiritual life. And along with this “quiet” is a “fullness” or a “completeness.” She is letting the Lord complete her education. She shows she is “just” or righteous and there is a reward promised for the righteous (Ps 58:11; Isa 3:10).

Just as Ruth is in training, the Bride is in training, the Lord is completing her education. She is brought to a place of “completeness” through trials and labors and she is brought to a place of “fullness” of Christ in her (Eph 4:13).

The word “reward” speaks of “wages” earned. This reward is based on God’s grace for Boaz says it is “given thee.” It is “the Lord God of Israel” who gives this reward. In the phrase “Israel” we see she is no longer identified with Moab but with Israel, she is brought into the family of God. It is a “full” reward, a picture of the Bride’s reward. A “full reward” is to be “joint-heirs with Christ” (Ro 8:17); it is seen in the victor’s prize at the end of the race (1 Cor 9;24). It is seen in the “prize of the high calling” (Phil 3:14). It is seen in and culminates in “the marriage of the Lamb” (Rev19). What a glorious full reward is set before us!

Her Trust: “under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Finally we see the trust of Ruth. It is a wonderful visual picture, a picture of young birds fleeing from danger, running to their mother and being covered by her wings. There they find shelter from the elements. It is a place of rest and protection, a place she choose to “come” to. It is the “wings” of the Almighty that she has found shelter. These wings cast a shadow that is a great shadow, it stretches out and encompasses all of God’s people. The shadow of His wings hides us (Ps 17:8), becomes our refuge, a place filled with His mercy and love (Ps 36:7; Ps 57:1). The shadow of His wings are a covert or covering (Ps 61:4; Ps 91:4) that is both strong and tender. It is the place we can run to for help (Ps 63:7) and the place that Jesus used to described the tender love of God for His children (Mt 23:37).

These “wings” speak of God’s Power and Ability to Protect. It can be translated “overspreading” or “spreading over,” speaking of His Covering. It can be translated “an army,” speaking of His Might. It can be translated “a garment,” speaking of His Righteousness.

The final thought about Ruth and this wonderful place of refuge and safety, she chose to come to this place willingly. Boaz said “thou art come,” this is all we need to do, our faith, our trust shows us and draws us to this place and once we see it we run to it! Boaz tells Ruth she knew where to come and when to come to this place of protection. She chose to come and was not ashamed to do so. There is another’s “covering,” another’s “wings” that will “overshadow” her. Later Ruth will come and lay claim to this promise of a “covering” when she comes to Boaz and says “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid” (Ruth 3:9). There we see her laying claim to Boaz and his ultimate protection, marriage. Let us joyfully and willingly and eagerly “come to trust” like Ruth in the “wings” of the Lord and lay claim to the covering of our Boaz, the Lord Jesus Christ!