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3-8-2017 Misunderstood Cross

“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, ‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him’” (Matthew 27:39-42 NKJV). Jesus had said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19 NKJV), and John explained, “But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:21 NKJV).  To His dying day on the cross, Jews misunderstood, and misrepresented, His actual words.  Since “as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3 NKJV), don’t misunderstand this!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptism, #cross-of-christ, #temple

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4-17-2015 “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41) – No One Spoke Like Him

At age 12, Jesus “in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46-47 NKJV). As an adult, the very first time Jesus taught in His home synagogue, “all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22 NKJV). No religious teacher, preacher, prophet, or leader has ever taught like Jesus did. “Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why have you not brought Him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!'” (John 7:45-46 NKJV). Does your preacher teach, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Why not? Jesus did!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#baptized, #chief-priests, #leader, #pharisees, #preacher, #prophet, #religious-teacher, #synagogue, #temple

Sometimes the Well Runs Dry

                In my devotional reading the other day I was reflecting on the account as given to us in 2 Chronicles 24 and the Temple’s renovation. Judah was on hard times because of their sin and their loyalty. The result of this, among many other things, was the Lord’s temple was in disrepair. Judah’s most recent king, Joash (also spelled Jehoash), set out to repair the Temple; in order to do that he needed contributions from those of a willing heart. In time there was enough money collected and when collected the work was started and finished.

This brings to mind a point worth considering. For some local churches that belong to the Lord, it appears that the well has run dry for them to accomplish some needful things as well as other things that are desired that are not needful. Consequently, elders are reluctant to commit themselves to that for which they are not sure they can attend. This is wise. On the other hand, when there are saints present and there is a need to be met, the saints will “come marching in” and do what they can to supply the necessary need. They do this because of a devotion to the Lord, to serve His cause, and to make a difference where they can.

Sometimes the well runs dry, but sometimes it is only perceived to be so. RT

#church, #jehoash, #money, #temple

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Psalm 134 What Worship Is For

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.”

Verses 1-2 call for worship of the LORD;

Verse 3 gives a blessing of worship.

Verses 1-2: “Behold” is often useful in calling attention to: God’s covenant with earth (Genesis 9:9-11); God’s presence in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-3); God’s sweeping judgment against Egypt (Isaiah 19:1-4); God placing the foundation stone “in Zion” (Isaiah 28:16) which was Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12); and John the Baptist’s identification of Jesus as the Christ (John 1:19-36). (Verse 1) It points to the purpose of worship: to “bless the LORD.” “Then David said to all the assembly, ‘Now bless the LORD your God.’ So all the assembly blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD and the king” (1 Chronicles 29:20). True worship is “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24), offered by “servants of the LORD” who are diligent to see that worship continues even “by night.” (Verse 2) Lifting up our hands before God, whether physically or mentally, signifies our openness of heart for His “glory” (Psalm 28:2; 63:4; 119:48; 134:2; 1 Timothy 2:8). “The sanctuary” was the sacred building used for worshipping God (Tabernacle, Numbers 3:38, then the Temple, 1 Chronicles 22:7-9). Today, it is the church of Christ: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1-2); “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11). A physical building is not a “sanctuary” today, but the sacred assembly is!

Verse 3: “The LORD” (called Jehovah, Exodus 6:1-7) is also the Creator of “heaven and earth” (called Elohim, Genesis 1:1), and was known in Genesis as “Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1-2, El Shaddai; 2 Corinthians 6:18, Kurios Pantokrator), The All-sufficient One, source of all blessings. God blesses “from Zion,” then to the faithful worshippers under Moses, today through Jesus Christ: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #sanctuary, #tabernacle, #temple, #true-tabernacle, #true-worship, #worship

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Psalm 132 The Cure for Restlessness

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm is a prayer for David, possibly spoken by his son, Solomon.

Verse 1-5 open a prayer about David’s concern for God’s temple;

Verses 6-9 show David’s concern for God’s ark;

Verses 10-18 give God’s concern for David’s legacy.

Verses 1-5: The prayer is for God to “remember David,” and all he went through to be faithful to God.

(Verses 2-4) David “swore to the LORD” to remain restless until a place for worshipping God was found. He would not: find comfort in his own house, or his own bed, or sleep soundly, or relax in “slumber,” unless God’s House was in its place (2 Samuel 7:1-3). (Verse 5) David moved the ark into God’s place (1 Chronicles 15:1-3; 16:1), but was not permitted to build the Temple (1 Kings 8:18-19).

Verses 6-9: (Verse 6) “Ephratha” was a region which included Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and may have also included Kirjath Jearim (“city of the woods”), where the ark stayed 20 years (1 Samuel 7:1-3), then moved into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:11-19). (Verse 7) Once the place of worship is known, the exhortation is “Let us go” first “into His tabernacle” (or temporary tent, then Solomon built a Temple, then Jesus Christ build the church of Christ, Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:38, 41, 47; 2 Corinthians 6:16), secondly, “worship at His footstool.” Proper worship may only be done in the tabernacle, or today, the church of Christ. (Verse 8) God will respond to proper worship from the proper place, as His “ark” represents His presence. Jesus Christ is the “propitiation” (mercy seat, or cover of the ark) “for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). (Verse 9) God’s priests were to be properly clothed to perform their duties (Exodus 40:1-16). Today, God’s priests are Christians who were baptized into Jesus Christ to put Him on as their proper garment (1 Peter 2:4-5; Galatians 3:26-29).

Verses 10-18: (Verse 10) God’s promise for his son to build God’s house seemed to point to Solomon (2 Samuel 7:4-14), but David’s throne is now occupied by Jesus Christ (Acts 2:29-32), and Jesus built God’s spiritual house, the church of Christ (Hebrews 3:1-6). (Verses 11-12) Faithfulness was the requirement for David’s “sons” to sit on his throne, which failed with Solomon (1 Kings 11:9-40). (Verses 13-18) Since “the LORD has chosen Zion” for His “resting place forever,” Jerusalem lasted until Jesus Christ came, lived and died on the cross (Romans 9:30-33). After God destroyed Jerusalem in A.D.70, it had been made clear that it is spiritual Israel and spiritual Zion who represent God’s people today (Hebrews 12:22-25; Galatians 6:14-16). Christians are provided blessings (1 Peter 4:12-14), the bread of life (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), priestly garment of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:27), joyful singing because of the Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16).

Thought: The prayer for David has been answered, for his obedience certainly paved the way for Jesus Christ to sit on David’s throne forever.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#ark, #baptism, #bible-study, #christianity, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #davids-throne, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #prayer, #priests, #temple, #zion

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Psalm 122 Jerusalem, the Holy City

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm appears to have been written by David, and sung when Israelites went to Jerusalem 3 times a year (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Verses 1-5 show why Jerusalem is the Royal City;

Verses 6-9 show how Jerusalem is the Holy City.

Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) True worshippers are “glad” to “go into the house of the LORD.” The “house of the LORD” under Moses was the Tabernacle, until Solomon built the Temple where sacrifices were offered to God in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1). Before the Temple was built, David, when his child died, “went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). In the New Testament, the “house of God” is “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “the temple” “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-22). (Verse 2) How privileged worshippers were to be in that city. In the New Testament, how privileged worshippers are to be in “the heavenly Jerusalem.” “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). (Verse 3) Jerusalem was fortified when built (2 Samuel 5:7-9), and walled when rebuilt (Nehemiah 12:27). The church of Christ, as the “new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2), is walled by obedience which keeps the corrupt people out of it until they repent and are baptized into Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:9-27; Acts 2:38).  (Verse 4) Jerusalem was a place for uniting the “tribes” of Israel who obeyed the “Testimony of Israel” and gave “thanks to the name of the LORD.” The people were one as a people, in obedience, at worship. Isaiah prophesied about the church of Christ in Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3). (Verse 5) Jerusalem was the place for “the thrones of the house of David.” Solomon was on that throne (1 Kings 2:24); and other Kings of Judah, until Coniah to whom God promised “none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Jesus Christ was preached on Pentecost, in Jerusalem, by the Apostles: “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:29-31).

Verses 6-9: (Verses 6-7) Jerusalem was to have been ruled by “peace,” they “prayed” for, “prospered” under, and were ruled by in their “walls” and “palaces.” The church of Christ must “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

(Verse 8) The customary greeting from the Jews is “Shalom” (Peace to you). The Apostle Paul in the New Testament repeated this constant desire for brethren (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3). (Verse 9) “Because” God’s House could draw His people together at times, they were able to “seek” each other’s “good.” The church of Christ assembles to “hold fast the confession of our hope,” and “consider one another” (Hebrews 10:23-25). When this is not the case, the Devil has prevailed, just as he did in the Old Testament.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #heavenly-jerusalem, #jesus-christ, #new-jerusalem, #obedience, #peace, #temple, #throne-of-david

The Lost Word

I cannot help but to think about a sad occasion in Scripture. Josiah was king over Judah, Jeremiah was already preaching the Lord’s “old paths,” and the majority of people were not really all that interested in the Lord’s way. It was during the eighteenth year of Josiah as king over Judah that he commissioned the restoration of the Temple complex. During that restoration project, “…Hilkiah the high priest said to Shapan the scribe, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord’” (2 Kings 22:8, NKJV). Each time I read this portion of Scripture I feel it is warranted to write something on it.

The fact the High Priest found the book is remarkable of itself; that it was found in the Temple is doubly remarkable. How could the “Book of the Law” had been lost in the first place, unless respect for it was long gone? When people lose respect for the Lord’s way, then the Lord’s word no longer finds a home in the only place it desires to rest (cf. Colossians 3:16). That the “Book of the Law” was found in the Temple that needed restoration was an indictment no person could fail to miss. Not only did the temple need restoration, but so did the religion of the nation. More than that, however, so did those in religious authority.

In our day, we have something similar when congregations (with the Lord’s name associated with it) have “church” in a bar or when churches who call themselves Christian no longer pay any attention to the Lord’s way, but want to install (and do) females as preachers and/or elders. When members of a congregation insist on doing what they want done, rather than doing what the Lord wants done respect for the Lord and His word is long gone.

Restoration of the Lord’s way is ever an on-going occurrence. RT

 

#book-of-law, #found, #josiah, #temple