bless the jews
hidden camera of GOD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5159 Feb 16, 2013
Unholy Motives

Why do non-Christians restrain themselves from committing certain sins? It is because they fear adverse consequences. This principle has been proven repeatedly throughout human history during times when the usual moral restraints, such as governmental law or public opinion, have been removed. When brutality becomes acceptable, brutality prevails. The piles of human skulls in Cambodian killing fields and crumbling incinerators of Nazi concentration camps stand as mute testimony to the true nature of unregenerate human nature. What happens when murder is legalized, when the law of the State or public opinion says it’s OK to exterminate Jews or rip the unborn to pieces in their mothers’ wombs? No one has to speculate on the answer to that question.

How many professing Christians are motivated, in their limited morality and holiness, not by love for God and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, but by ever-changing public sentiment, the continually-revised law of the land, or peer-pressure of their fellow church members? Only God knows for certain. But through honest self-examination, each one of us can determine what truly motivates us. If every professing Christian would do that, many would be shocked to discover that all their goodness is really wickedness, motivated by nothing higher than self-interest.

Is it really possible to do good things, yet be motivated by pure selfishness? Absolutely. As I’ve already pointed out, most of the “virtuous” deeds done by non-Christians spring from selfish motivations. Consider the words of Paul in this regard:

If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing (1 Cor. 13:3).
hidden camera of GOD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5160 Feb 16, 2013
Jesus, Exposer of Hypocrites

Most modern, professing Christians are opposed to pornography. But vocalizing disapproval of that evil is not the litmus test of authentic Christian conversion. If a person is motivated by love for God and fellow man in his opposition to this evil, his actions, thoughts and words will be consistent in that regard; he will practice in his own life an opposition to these sins and those sins which are closely related. Again, if the second man in the previous example had truly been opposed to pornography based upon his concern for the victims of pornography or love of God’s law, he wouldn’t be regularly watching sexually-explicit videos. His attitude toward all immorality would be consistent.

Jesus exposed similar hypocrisy among religious people of His day, revealing a timeless principle applicable to everyone who thinks he’s on the way to heaven. Let’s consider again His words that are found in a sermon about salvation, commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. See if you can find the significance in His teaching for modern professing Christians who are vocally opposed to pornography, but who indulge in other forms of sexual immorality:

You have heard that it was said,“You shall not commit adultery”; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell (Matt. 5:27-30).

First, note that Jesus is warning certain people about hell. Contextually, they are people who are not physically committing adultery. They are, however, mentally committing adultery, and Jesus said that unless they repent, they are heading for hell.
hidden camera of GOD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5161 Feb 16, 2013
The Letter and Spirit of the Law

Was Jesus adding extra requirements to the Seventh Commandment? No, He was closing a loophole that existed only in people’s minds and revealed the full implication of what God meant from the time He first gave the Ten Commandments. Contained within the commandment that forbade adultery was also a prohibition against lust. Obviously, if having a sexual relationship with your neighbor’s wife is a sin, then mentally undressing your neighbor’s wife is also a sin. Any honest, thinking person would have to admit that.[2] But Christ’s audience was like so many today—they keep the letter of the Law but ignore the spirit of it. They are vocally opposed to specific sins of which they aren’t guilty, yet practice the same sins in other forms. God’s will for our sexual purity far exceeds just abstinence from adultery, fornication and homosexuality. He expects that we be sexually pure in our minds, as Jesus made so clear, as well as in our mouths. For example, Paul wrote,

But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks (Eph. 5:3-4).

The New Living Translation clarifies the sins of filthiness, silly talk and coarse jesting as “obscene stories, foolish talk and coarse jokes.” Obscene stories and coarse jokes are obviously speech that convey sexually-immoral ideas in a positive or humorous way, and “foolish talk” may well describe the sexually-perverted conversations of people whom the Bible characterizes as fools. Paul’s point is that no follower of Christ should be involved in sexual immorality, any impurity, or anything even related to those sins, impure conversation included. What do you suppose Paul would say to Christians who entertain themselves by viewing today’s sexually-suggestive television sitcoms? What would he have to say about most PG-13 and even many PG movies being produced today?
Modern False Teaching

Sadly, some (so-called) Bible teachers use the above-quoted verse from Ephesians to counteract the “guilt-inducing” and “unbalanced” teaching that is being broadcast by teachers such as myself. Their logic goes like this:“It’s obviously possible for true Christians to commit sins of immorality and impurity, otherwise Paul wouldn’t have addressed the issue.”

I’m not saying that it is impossible for a Christian to commit adultery or fornication. Of course it is possible, because Christians are still free moral agents. A true Christian could fall into immorality. Paul’s purpose, however, in writing the above-quoted words was not to assure people who were committing sins of immorality and impurity that they were truly saved in spite of their lifestyles. Rather, he was writing to warn Christians to steer as far away as possible from any shadow of such sins, because they are sins that characterize hell-bound people. As Paul went on to say in the next two verses,

For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Eph. 5:5-6).

Yes, a Christian could yield to the temptation of immorality. But those who do so with any regularity mark themselves as being immoral and impure, and thus expose themselves as being counterfeit Christians. Because of the addictive nature of sin, particularly of sexual lust, the wise follower of Christ will avoid and resist any thought, word or deed related to sexual immorality. A very young Christian, perhaps, may not know God’s standards of sexual purity, but as soon as he reads Ephesians 5:3-5, his excuse of ignorance is no longer valid. That is precisely why Paul wrote what he did.
hidden camera of GOD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5162 Feb 16, 2013
Other Cloudy Questions
To further cloud the issue and make meaningless the clear warnings of Scripture, some people ask,“What constitutes the practice of a sin? If I committed adultery once this year and once three years ago, does that make me a practicing adulterer who is thus proved to be a phony Christian? Or did I just stumble twice?”
The first question to ask is,“Did you repent and ask God’s forgiveness after you sinned?” There is a vast difference between the person who does and the person who does not. If a true Christian yielded to temptation and committed adultery, he would feel extremely guilty and should cry out for God’s forgiveness. If he does, God will forgive him.
Was his salvation in jeopardy before he asked for God’s forgiveness? What if he had not asked for God’s forgiveness and repeated his sinful act? How many times must he commit adultery before he is considered to be “practicing” adultery? The answers to these questions have been hotly debated. I don’t pretend to have the sure answer.[3] But any person who wants to know how many times he can commit adultery without repenting and still go to heaven should question his salvation. Those who have been truly born again desire to be holy—body, soul and spirit. They are striving to be completely pure, in thought, word and deed.
Others object, again, in an attempt to make the clear warnings of Scripture meaningless, by saying,“I want to be free from the practice of immorality, but I can’t. I love the Lord, and I truly and sincerely want to be free, but I’m not.” They are hoping that the determining factor is not what they do but what they say they desire.
They are, in an indirect way, saying that sin’s grip on them is more powerful than God, and that His salvation provides forgiveness but not transformation. The New Testament repeatedly affirms, however, that believers in Christ have been set free from sin’s power (see Rom. 6:6-7, 17-18, 22). Scripture also testifies of the complete deliverance from certain grievous sins and the dramatic behavioral differences experienced by true believers (see 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 John 3:7-10).
hidden camera of GOD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5163 Feb 16, 2013
Moreover, God has promised us that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist, and will always provide a way of escape (see 1 Cor. 10:13). In light of such clear and abundant truth, one’s excuse that he wants to stop sinning but can’t rings hollow. I’ve often found that those who claim they want freedom from sexual immorality or impurity are unwilling to remove from their lives what causes them to repeatedly stumble, whether it be discarding their TV, canceling a magazine subscription, avoiding certain places of business, breaking off wrong relationships, or disconnecting from the internet. Paul wrote that we should “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts”(Rom. 13:14), and Jesus said that we should cut off what often causes us to stumble. Those who refuse to obey Jesus’ clear command reveal that He is really not their Lord at all. They have no intention of obeying Him.
Sin loses its grip when we repent, because that is when God forgives and delivers us. But repentance involves a turning away from all known sin. It is an attitude of our heart and an act of our will. People who truly repent demonstrate their repentance by their actions (see Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20).
If you’re convinced that you are a born-again person who can’t break free of the practice of immorality or some other sin, perhaps a simple question will help you understand your self-deception: Would you stop your sinful practice if someone offered you ten million dollars to stop? If you would, that proves you could; and if you could, you can; and if you can, you should! The problem is not that you can’t stop, but that you won’t stop. Why would you do for money what you will not do for love of Christ?
Of course, there is no way to avoid all temptation, and no Christian should think he’s abnormal because he’s tempted, struggles against sin, or has a healthy sex drive. As has been so well said:“You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” It is when we yield to what we know is wrong that we should be concerned.
Every Christian should strive for perfect sexual purity, in body, mouth and mind. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography of any degree (including advertisements and short bedroom scenes in “good” movies),“dirty” jokes, immoral fantasies, and reading about or listening to something sexually immoral for the purpose of entertainment are all wrong in God’s eyes. If we claim that we are continually stumbling but don’t remove the stumbling block as Jesus commanded, we are fooling ourselves.
give GOD the GLORY

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5164 Feb 16, 2013
.....Here’s what I can’t deny: the pain immediately left and I have not had a migraine since.

At that time I was taking Zomig (Zolmitriptan was about $10 a pill at that time) and I was getting free samples from a doctor who attended our church. About two months later, the doctor asked me why I had not come in for more Zomig samples. I looked both ways and then whispered to him,“Doc, I don’t want to jinx anything but I think I’ve been healed.”

Later that day I felt a very strong impression (that I attribute to God) that if I didn’t start giving Him glory for healing me of migraines, I’d get the migraines back. Since that day, I’ve been sharing that testimony of God healing me of migraines. Also since that day, God seems to have given me a grace to successfully pray for and minister to others who suffer from migraines.

In the last 12 years since that all happened, I’ve learned a few things about migraines and how to minister to people with migraines....
give GOD the GLORY

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5165 Feb 16, 2013
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greed not

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5166 Feb 16, 2013
Paul’s Teaching Against Greed

Paul also warned against greed using the strongest terms. He equated it to idolatry (see Eph. 5:3-5 and Col. 3:5), and emphatically declared that greedy people would not enter God’s kingdom:
But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints....For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous [greedy][1] man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Eph. 5:3, 5-6, emphasis added; see also 1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9-11).
What is greed? It is a selfish desire for possessions and wealth. It is possible to have an unselfish desire for material wealth when one’s ultimate motive is to share what one acquires. In fact, one can’t materially bless others unless he is first blessed himself. However, when a person lives to acquire and accumulate material possessions for personal pleasure—when that pursuit becomes his highest priority—he is guilty of greed.

The Selfish Acquiring of Money

Greed is an attitude of the heart, but one that cannot remain hidden. It always manifests itself by what people do to acquire money and material things and by what they do with their money and material things once they are acquired. Let’s first consider the acquiring side of greed. When the acquiring of material things is one’s chief aim in life, rich or poor, that person is sinning. Jesus warned even poor believers against this sin, people who were tempted to worry about basic necessities:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
greed not

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5167 Feb 16, 2013
Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span? And why are you anxious about clothing?

Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying,“What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “With what shall we clothe ourselves?” For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6:24-33).

Notice that Jesus began this portion of His Sermon on the Mount by warning about the impossibility of serving God and money. He equated greed with making money our god, that is, allowing money to direct our lives rather than God. Jesus warned His audience against making the pursuit of even basic necessities their consuming desire. How much truer are His words when applied to the pursuit of non-essential material things? The primary pursuit of Christ’s true followers should be “His kingdom and His righteousness”(Matt. 6:33). Of course, Christians can and must have other pursuits. Jesus didn’t say,“seek only,” but “seek first.”

Hard work in itself is not an outward manifestation of greed, but it can be. When a person works long hours in order to attain a certain standard of living, and his devotion to Christ is negatively affected, he has made money his god. The ancient proverb admonishes those who fall into this category:“Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens”(Prov. 23:4-5).

Making money dishonestly or unethically is always wrong and is another manifestation of greed. The Word of God states,“He who increases his wealth by interest and usury, gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor”(Prov. 28:8).[2]

Scripture commends the one who increases his wealth by honest means and who gives away a portion of his earnings (see Prov. 13:11; 22:9). Likewise, Scripture condemns slothfulness and laziness for several reasons, one being that the person who has no earnings subsequently has nothing to share with those who are needy (see Eph. 4:28). When the goal of making money is to have money to share, making money is virtuous.
greed not

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5168 Feb 16, 2013
The Selfish Use of Money

Now let’s consider how greed is manifested once money has been acquired. In this regard, greed is the selfish use of money. What is it that could make it morally wrong to spend all the money that you’ve legitimately earned on yourself? Does it have something to do with the fact that others, including many of God’s own children, who work just as hard if not harder (or who are unable to work), struggle just to survive, lacking basic necessities such as sufficient food? Is it morally right that one person lives in luxury while others fall asleep hungry each night through no fault of their own?

There are, of course, a myriad of excuses for doing nothing to assist desperately poor believers and non-believers, but well-fed Christians will find no solace from the Bible. Although no one can rightfully set up arbitrary rules concerning how much should be given and how much should be kept, the consensus of Scripture is clear: Christians who are able to give to the poor are expected by God to give, especially to impoverished fellow believers (see Gal. 6:10). Professing Christians who demonstrate no such concern are very likely counterfeit Christians, and this obviously includes many among modern Christendom who have bought into the modern lie of a customized Christianity of selfish convenience.

According to a Gallup pole, only 25% of evangelical Christians tithe. Forty percent claim that God is the most important thing in their lives, yet those who make between $50-75,000 per year give an average of 1.5 percent of their incomes to charity, including religious charity. Meanwhile, they spend an average of 12% of their incomes on leisure pursuits.[3]

Greed is not only expressed by what we do with our money, but also by what we do with our time. If all our time is spent on selfish pursuits or pleasures, we are being greedy. The time God has given to us on this earth is a sacred trust. We should spend as much of our time as we can in serving. All of us, not just pastors, can obey Jesus’ command to visit fellow believers who are sick or imprisoned.
prophets prayers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5169 Feb 16, 2013
HE IS A PROPHET,HE WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND YOU SHALL LIVE

God appoints His ministers to stand at the breach for His people. Likewise, Aaron stood at the breach. Aaron took the censer (filled with incense) as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; the plague had already begun among the people. So he put in the incense and making atonement for the people, stood in the midst of the dead and the living (Num 16:46-47).
In the same manner, God chooses a few among the people to be His representatives, ministers and leaders over them to intercede with God on behalf of the people, to teach them about God and guide them and contend with people for God. God readily hears and accepts the prayers of those who are appointed by Him in this manner and grants their supplication. "He is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live'(Gen 20:7)(NKJV). This is an important ordinance found in the scriptures, though not properly understood or realized by many people of God.
Since a few ministers who were not appointed by God have fallen from faith, some people disregard the position and value of the status of the true ministers of God and count themselves equal with them. Their general argument is that all believers are equal and there is none great or small; none should be called a pastor and need not be honored as such; anybody can do anything; anyone can conduct service, lay hands on the head and pray, baptize and administer Lord's supper. This is the pathetic state of the fallen church. A person pastoring his congregation has to be called a pastor. An apostle has to be called an apostle; a prophet has to be called a prophet; the one who teaches has to be called a teacher and the one who evangelizes has to be called an evangelist. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers" (Eph 4:11)(NKJV).
When people committed sins intolerable to God and God told Moses that He was going to destroy them. Moses pleaded with God for the people. Then God relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people. Another time, the Israelites rebelled against God and God wanted to kill them all. Even at that time, Moses, the chosen man of God, interceded with God on their behalf praying God ," Pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your mercy; just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now". Then the Lord said : "I have pardoned, according to your word" (Num 14:19-20)(NKJV).
prophets prayers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5170 Feb 16, 2013
The prophet Samuel called unto the Lord to make the Israelites realize their error in demanding a king against God's will. Lord sent thunder and rain the same day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel (I Sam 12:18). When the people ate the Passover without sanctification, King Hezekiah prayed and beseeched God to forgive them saying " May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers , though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary". And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people (2 Chron. 30:18-20).
God took exception to the words of Job's friends who thought they were speaking for God. God told Eliphaz "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therfore , take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly" (Job 42:7-8)(NKJV). Yes, He told them that His servant Job shall pray for their good. When God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He listened to Abraham's intercession and spared Lot and Lot's family from destruction (Gen 18-19). "Abraham prayed to God; and God healed
Abimelech, his wife, and his maidservants. Then they bore children" (Gen 20:17). Likewise God listened to the prayers of prophets, priests, kings and leaders. God works miracles, wonders, divine healings and grants blessings by hearing the prayers of His representatives and leaders appointed by Himself and not according to the prayers of the people. In the New Testament, the apostles come in the line of priests. Though all New Testament believers can pray to God, the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, elders and ministers are especially designated for this purpose. Their prayers are of utmost importance . God said " He is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live " (Gen 20:7). The twelve apostles gathered all the disciples together and said "... we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word "(Acts 6:2-4). Yes. "Epaphras, who is one of you , greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (Col 4:12)(NKJV)
prophets prayers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5171 Feb 16, 2013
In several places of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit writes of the ministers of God: "And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake" (I Thes 5:12-13)(NKJV). "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you" (Heb 13:17)(NKJV). "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Heb 13:7)(NKJV).

"Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders" (I Pet 5:5)(NKJV). Also the Holy Spirit writes of the true ministers of God thus "...take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you" (Phil 3:17)(NIV).

The ministers of God stand on one side and the people stand on the other. There is no use in people praying against the ministers of God, for God shall listen to the prayers of His ministers alone. People, though godly, are likely to turn back and deny their faith. They don't have godly zeal. The prophets of God, on the other hand, with zeal for God, serve God in the face of opposition, trials, travails, sorrow and loss and struggle for God till their death. They stand on the side of God and not on the side of the people.

Therefore the people of God should be in communion with ministers of God, ministers with apostles, apostles with the chief apostle, the chief apostle with Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ with God the father. God revealed that this is the golden rule to be followed.
prophets prayers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5172 Feb 16, 2013
Praise be to God for the ordinance that He has written in the Bible. The likes of Korah and his company may rise against this saying "... Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?" (Num 16:13)(KJV). And the likes of the proud Miriam and Aarons may talk against this and say " Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also ?" (Num 12:12). We declare to you only what has been revealed and declared to us by God. New Jerusalem Church has been entrusted with the task of revealing hidden doctrines, setting right the fallen church and building it again to its perfection. Praise be to the holy name of God. Alleluia !

"And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not" (I Sam 12:19)(KJV).
godly zeal

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5173 Feb 16, 2013
~~~~~~ People, though godly, are likely to turn back and deny their faith. They don't have godly zeal. The prophets of God, on the other hand, with zeal for God, serve God in the face of opposition, trials, travails, sorrow and loss and struggle for God till their death. They stand on the side of God and not on the side of the people ~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~Therefore the people of God should be in communion with ministers of God, ministers with apostles, apostles with the chief apostle, the chief apostle with Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ with God the father. God revealed that this is the golden rule to be followed~~~~~~~~
godly zeal of a prophet

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#5174 Feb 16, 2013
The prophets of God, on the other hand, with zeal for God, serve God in the face of opposition, trials, travails, sorrow and loss and struggle for God till their death. They stand on the side of God and not on the side of the people!!!!!!!!!
prophets profitable

Malaysia

#5175 Feb 16, 2013
The Prophets are Profitable

I assure you, studying the prophets is not only profitable, it is interesting. Let me suggest some of the ways a study of the prophets can be both fascinating and fruitful:

Many of our heroes—the great men and women of the Bible—were prophets or prophetesses. Years ago, John F. Kennedy wrote a book entitled, Profiles in Courage. It was about courageous people, whose character and conduct entitled them to a place of honor in history. The Old Testament prophets were also people of courage. Many of them died for their calling, and most of them suffered greatly for speaking the truth. As Stephen put it,

51 “You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did! 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 53 You received the law by decrees given by angels, but you did not keep it”(Acts 7:51-53).2

When we study the prophets, we are studying those who paid a high price for fulfilling their calling. They were—in the main—the heroes of the Old Testament times. Among these “great men and women of the Bible” are Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Samuel, Elijah and Elisha, and Daniel. Many of these heroes are named or alluded to in the “hall of faith”—Hebrews 11.

The Old Testament prophets help us understand the Old Testament better. When I was writing my master’s thesis, I lost sight of my task for a while, but a short talk with Dr. Bruce Waltke put me back on course. All too often we lose sight of the “big picture” of the Bible. We tend to get lost in the details, missing the main message. Jesus put it this way to the legalistic Pharisees of His day:

23 “Woe to you experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness! You needed to do these without neglecting the other. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!”(Matthew 23:23-24).

The prophets reminded the Israelites of their day—as they continue to remind us—of the difference between “gnats” and “camels.” They help us keep the details in perspective, in the light of the bigger picture of God’s plans and purposes and guiding principles for His people.
prophets profitable

Malaysia

#5176 Feb 16, 2013
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?(Micah 6:8).
The prophets are to the Old Testament law what the Supreme Court is supposed to be to the laws of our land. The Supreme Court should interpret and apply the laws of our land in accordance with the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States. The Old Testament prophets’ task was to help God’s people interpret and apply the Old Testament law in the light of God’s purposes for giving it.
The Old Testament prophets instruct men how to live godly lives, and thus to live well. The prophets do not allow men the luxury of limiting biblical faith to abstract principles or even to impersonal rules. The prophets help show God’s people where “the rubber of divine revelation meets the road.” We can see this exemplified by the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist. In Luke 3:7-14, John called the nation Israel to repentance, in preparation for the coming of Messiah. His condemnation of sin and his declaration of the requirements of righteousness were very specific. The Pharisees were rebuked for supposing that their ancestry would get them into heaven. Those who had been blessed with an abundance of worldly possessions were reminded of their obligation to share with those in need. Tax collectors were told not to abuse their positions of responsibility by over-charging. And soldiers were admonished not to abuse their power by extorting money from those they were duty-bound to protect.
prophets profitable

Malaysia

#5177 Feb 16, 2013
By heeding the instruction of the prophets, people are blessed. This is even true in the case of pagans.3 Take Pharaoh, for example. I am assuming that Joseph ministered to his own family, the cupbearer, the baker, and even Pharaoh as a prophet, when he interpreted and/or applied dreams relating to each of them. Because of Joseph, Pharaoh ended up even more prosperous after the famine than he was before this national calamity. By heeding the counsel of Joseph, Pharaoh not only minimized the impact of the famine, he ended up possessing the land and the cattle of the people of Egypt (except for the priests—see Genesis 47:13-26). Joseph’s prophetic ministry profited Pharaoh, enabling him to live well because he took heed to his prophecy.
Usually, the same will be true for us. To resist and reject the will and the Word of God spoken through the prophets (Old Testament and New) will be to our peril. To heed the message of the prophets will not only mean that we live godly lives, but that we live well, experiencing the fullness of God’s promised blessings. Many are those who seek divine guidance from other sources. They consult astrology or psychics concerning choices and decisions. They do so to their own destruction. Heeding the prophets is to our eternal benefit.
The Old Testament prophets help God’s people to better understand the world in which they live. The prophets were not only students of God’s Word, they were students of the culture of their day. While John the Baptist was raised and lived in seclusion, he had an amazing grasp of the sins of the culture of his day. We, too, have the inspired Word of God—the “prophetic word”—which enlightens us about the world in which we live:
16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory:“This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: no prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:16-21).
prophets profitable

Malaysia

#5178 Feb 16, 2013
Let me attempt to illustrate how the “prophetic word” enlightens us in relation to contemporary events. In the last few weeks, a horrible drama unfolded in the hallways of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Two very angry young men stormed their school, armed with guns and homemade bombs. Their intent was to kill as many people as possible. To some degree, they succeeded, though fewer than they had hoped died. Around the world, and especially in this country, people have been wringing their hands, wondering how such a thing could happen, as though such deeds are completely unexpected and unpredictable. Are they? Does such violence shock God? Is this far beyond what we may expect from men? It shouldn’t be. In fact, this violent conduct falls completely within what we should expect from fallen sinners:
10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say,“Co me with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; 13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; 14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—15 My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; 16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners (Proverbs 1:10-19). 9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:“There is no one righteous, not even one, 11 there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,16 ruin and misery are in their paths,17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes”(Romans 3:9-18).
Our culture wrongly assumes that children are born innocent, and that it is our institutions which corrupt them. The experts tell us that if we teach these kids to love themselves and to have self-esteem, they will turn out right. The educational system has usurped the task of guiding our children to define their own values. And so in Littleton, Colorado, even when it was obvious that these young men were determined to make trouble, no one made any serious attempt to stop them. And now we act as though this situation was totally unexpected, unpredictable. Worse yet, many are already advocating even heavier doses of the “solutions” they assured us would work, but which have failed miserably. I would suggest to you that if you were to ask one of the Old Testament prophets about the problem we face with our youth, they would turn you back to the Old Testament Scriptures. They would tell you that parents are to teach their children about God, and His Word:
5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “ And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”(Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
What if the child refuses to hear and to heed the word of his parents? The Old Testament prophets would once again point you to the Word of God:

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