Today's One Year Bible Reading

Ezekiel

Honestly, I don't feel qualified to try to guess when all of this judgment is coming upon the earth of which EZ speaks. Some people think it has already happened. Some say it will happen just before the Tribulation. And of course yesterday we looked at verses that possibly indicate some of it could happen at the end of the MK. And just about the time we think we've got it figured out, we have to remember that prophecy happens in repeat cycles often times! So all I know is that I don't know much. However, I do know one thing, but I'll let God say it for Himself:

39:28-29 I will leave none of my people behind. And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!"

James

2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? I like this James fella. He tells it like it is!

2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. This is probably not a popular teaching in today's Church. But really, there is evidence for this all over the NT! Stephen Jones has a great teaching on this. Our personal Passover is salvation by grace alone, delivering us out of Egypt. Our personal Pentecost would align with what James is saying here. It is the journey of faith and obedience (accompanied by works) necessary on the way to the Promised Land. It is our spiritual sanctification process of living by the Torah (incidentally, given to Israel on the way to the PL). Last is Tabernacles when the Spirit dwells in us in all fullness. For the overcomers, this will happen at the first resurrection.

A lot of people think that James is only speaking to Jews and that the Jews had a different standard than the Gentiles. Many teachers teach that the Gentiles are under a salvation by grace, but the Jews are under a salvation of works. This is because they do not understand the MK and the rewards for obedience. Remember what we have learned. A true Jew is one who has had circumcision of the heart, so this is speaking to us. I just read something tonight by Stephen Jones on this topic too:

The [Hebrew] tribal unit resided in the prince of the tribe, and the tribe could properly be said to be where that person was living. ...Many theologians have assumed that the Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah continued to carry the tribal name of Judah. But Jesus was the Prince of the tribe of Judah, and thus the tribe of Judah itself resided in Him and in those who followed Him. Those who staged a revolt against Him and usurped the throne certainly did take the name of Judah, but it was done so in violation of the law, for by the law (Lev. 17:4) they were cut off from among their people. Hence, non-Christian Jews are not legally of the tribe of Judah -at least not in the sight of God. The only way a Jew can be re-instated into the tribe of Judah is if he quits the revolt and is grafted to Jesus, who is the trunk of the Judah Tree. Those who continue in the revolt are legally defined as God's enemies.

3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. I know so many believers (leaders and teacher even) who have selfish ambition and earthly wisdom on which they rely. Here it is described as "demonic!"

3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. I have so seen this! Even in places where great, sacrificial work is being done in the name of the "gospel," I have seen this selfish ambition, greed, and jealousy creep in. It wreaks a host of ungodly behaviors and "fruit." It is so disheartening! How can we recognize true, godly wisdom? How can we check ourselves for true godly wisdom?

3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Hmmm. Now that sounds like irresistible wisdom to me. I hope I can be like that when I grow up. It would surely be easier to be wise without a tongue!

Psalm

118:17 I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done. In Papa's biography (you can download and read this, email me!), this is a promise God gave him when he was diagnosed with late stages cancer and given practically no chance of survival. Add to that, he discovered that he had AIDS! Well, around that time, an angel visited him in the night and wrote this verse on the wall in the room where he was staying in illuminated letters. At that point, he knew he would recover. Not only did his cancer disappear, but so did the AIDS! He was being treated by US doctors at that time and they were all astounded.