Daily Encouragement

December 10 – Who was Amos?

December 10
Amos 1:1-3:15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 

Amos 1:1 – Who was Amos? A herdsman as opposed to the influential Isaiah who lived at the same time. In Amos 7:14 we’ll see “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.” He was a few miles southeast of Bethlehem.

Tekoa in relation to Bethlehem

We can see, then, that Amos had to travel to his job. He was a migrant worker, if you please. His sheep and his sycamores pushed Amos far out into that desert. He was truly a farmer. He was a country rube. He was a rustic. He was a yokel and a hayseed. He was a country preacher. He was a clumsy bumpkin who was “all thumbs” among the ecumenical preachers up yonder in Bethel. But before you laugh at Amos, may I say this? He was one of God’s greatest men, and he was a remarkable individual.

J Vernon McGee

Amos 2:3 – Judgment on Damascus, Gaza, Ashdod, Tyrus, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and now Judah! Why? “they have despised the law of the LORD and have not kept his commandments”

Amos 2:12 – Nazarites were forbidden from drinking (Numbers 6:3).

Amos 3:15 – What’s a house of ivory? Probably meant that the house was full of ivory artifacts.

Author’s Photo, Oriental Institute, Chicago.

Revelation 2:1 – Jimmy DeYoung has done a documentary on the 7 Churches of Revelation:

Revelation 2:2 – Jesus appreciated the intolerance of the Ephesians!  They recognized the importance of the doctrine (Acts 2:42), but tried them who were false apostles.

Revelation 2:4 –  The Ephesians were good separatists, but they forgot the reason they separated – they loved Jesus more than they loved error! 

Revelation 2:10 – Not exactly your best life now!  But we have a promise – for those faithful unto death, Christ offers us the crown of life! 

Revelation 2:13-14 – These churches have unique problems! Pergamos hadn’t denied Jesus, but they tolerated false teaching. They needed to separate from the false teachers (see Ephesus in Revelation 2:4)!

Psalm 129:4 – What does it mean to say “The LORD is Righteous”? From BlueLetterBible:

God’s righteousness, or justice, is an attribute that leads Him to do only those things that are right. Because God is righteous He must judge evil. God’s justice allows Him to reward those who have been faithful to Him. Someday He will rule in absolute righteousness.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1285.cfm

Proverbs 29:20 – Like James says, “Be swift to hear and slow to speak!”

Daily Encouragement

December 9 – The only book with a blessing for hearers

December 9
Joel 1:1-3:21
Revelation 1:1-20
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 29:18 

Joel 1:4 – This event is the biggest event in 5 generations (Joel 1:2-3), and has 4 layers of destruction (Joel 1:4). 

Joel 1:14 – A solemn assembly. Several groups have put out guidelines for calling a “solemn assembly” including the Southern Baptist Convention, Family Research Council,  and Presbyterian Mission.

Joel 2:10 – These events look like the events of the fifth seal (Revelation 6:12-13), and are reiterated in Joel 2:31).

Joel 2:13 – “Rend your heart, and not your garments.” God wants internal, actual change, not just external conformity.

Notice who God is – “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” That’s almost word for word from Jonah 4:2, which showed that Jonah was familiar with these writings.

Joel 2:25 – How’s this for a promise – in spite of four layers of destruction (Joel 1:4), God is promising to restore the lost years!

Joel 2:28 – This was quoted as a fulfillment in Acts 2:17 in Peter’s Pentecost message.

Joel 2:32 – This is almost an exact quote of Romans 10:13! Those days are now here – the message of salvation is offered universally!

Revelation 1:1

Revelation 1:3 – Revelation can be hard to follow, but it comes with a blessing for those who read and hear this book!

Revelation 1:5 – Yes, Jesus washed us in His blood! 

Revelation 1:11 – Jimmy DeYoung has produced a documentary “Let them Hear” – you can watch it online at ChristianCinema.com.

Psalm 128:1 – Speaking of blessings, let’s be sure to fear the LORD!

Proverbs 29:18 – More blessings for those who keep the law!

Daily Encouragement

December 8 – What on earth is Admah and Zeboim?

December 8
Hosea 10:1-14:9
Jude 1:1-25
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 29:15-17 

Hosea 10:12 – This chapter has been difficult to read, but this verse is clear. “Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD.” A.W. Tozer preached a message on this verse. Also, from Steve Pettit Team:

Hosea 10:1315% of people pray something bad they did will not be discovered.

Hosea 11:1 – Notice as God retells the story of Israel. Ransomed from Egypt thru the Passover. Immediately sacrificing to Baal (Hosea 11:2), bent to backsliding (Hosea 11:7).

Hosea 11:8  –  What on earth is Admah and Zeboim? They are allies of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14:2-3) that were likewise destroyed (Deuteronomy 29:23). Will God destroy Israel like Sodom & Gomorrah? No (Hosea 11:9), He will make them walk after Him (Hosea 11:10).

Hosea 12:6 – In spite of all the judgment God is bringing, He pleads, “turn thou to thy God.”

Hosea 13:4 – Notice the comparison to the First Commandment (Exodus 20:2-3).

Hosea 13:14 – God is more powerful than death and the grave! (1 Corinthians 15:55). 

Hosea 13:16 – How could God be so cruel? GotQuestions compares to Nahum 3:10:

The immediate context speaks of the defeat of the Egyptian city of Thebes by Assyria, of which Nineveh was the capital. When Thebes was defeated by Assyria in 663 B.C., the detestable acts of Nahum 3:10 took place. The Assyrians sold people into captivity and killed infants (cf. Hosea 13:16). The infants were likely killed by the Assyrians as a gratuitous act of cruelty and because the infants could not be easily exiled.

https://www.gotquestions.org/infants-dashed-to-pieces.html

Hosea 14:1 – Calling out again to Israel – “Return unto the LORD thy God.” Aren’t you thankful for His patience with us? How do we return? Repent (Hosea 14:2), and turn (Hosea 14:3), and be healed (Hosea 14:4).

Jude 1 – According to Insight.org and J. Vernon McGee, Jude is the half-brother of Jesus, yet introduces himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ.” McGee makes an interesting point:

Neither James nor Jude believed in the messianic claims of Jesus until after His resurrection. It was the Resurrection that convicted them and confirmed to them that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Up until that time they thought He had just gone “off” on religion, that He was, as the Scripture puts it, beside Himself. But after His resurrection they became believers. You see, it was possible to grow up in a home with Jesus in the days of His flesh and not recognize Him.

https://www.ttb.org/resources/study-guides/jude-study-guide

Jude 4 – Again, heresy in the early church! What does Jude show? Doctrinal error (Jude 4), Promised destruction (Jude 5 – effective destruction, Jude 6 – everlasting chains, Jude 7 – eternal fire.)

Jude 14 – No Jude isn’t endorsing the extrabiblical alleged Book of Enoch.  But He is showing that for hundreds of years before Noah the Preacher of Righteousness(2 Peter 2:5), God did not leave Himself without a remnant prophet.

Jude 17 – 1) The brother of Jesus is submitting to his brother’s disciples.  2) Jude 18 is a good description of today.

Jude 22-23 – Great verses today “Of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22), and “save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” Let’s remember that hell is real, and as someone once said, “The Most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today.

Psalm 127:1 – A great reminder to those of us who like to build projects – ask God what He thinks first!

Proverbs 29:16 – Thankfully the wicked reign is not forever!

Daily Encouragement

December 7 – Sow the wind, Reap the whirlwind.

December 7
Hosea 6:1-9:17
3 John 1:1-14
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14 

Hosea 6:1 – We’ve read so much about judgment in the previous chapters, we have hope in this verse. Return to the LORD and He will heal, He will bind us up.

Hosea 6:2 – While other commentators disagree, Matthew Henry sees this as pointing to the Resurrection!

But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ; and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we are to look for no other.

https://biblehub.com/hosea/6-2.htm

Hosea 6:6 – Notice this continuing theme in the Bible? Jesus used this verse to argue with the Pharisees that the disciples did not violate God’s Sabbath law, only man’s Sabbath extension, and that far from being “less holy” – the Pharisees were hypocrites.

Hosea 7:8 – “a cake not turned” gives us the picture of someone “half-baked.” He is weakened but “he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:9). 

Hosea 7:13 – Notice this imagery: God redeemed them, they lie against Him. God strengthened them, and they plot evil against Him.

Hosea 8:7 – This phrase has gone into popular culture:

The phrase was famously used by Arthur “Bomber” Harris in response to the Blitz of 1940 when he said:

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else, and nobody was going to bomb them.

At RotterdamLondonWarsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naïve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now, they are going to reap the whirlwind.[2]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reap_the_whirlwind_(phrase)

Hosea 9:14-17 – God takes sin seriously.

3 John 2 – Is John creating a universal promise of the “prosperity gospel?” That we should be “healthy, wealthy, and rich?” Or is it just a greeting and expression of concern for his friend Gaius, similar to Paul’s request for the cloak at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13). The key is looking at the verse – Paul says “thou” not “you all” (or y’all as a Southerner might render it). Gaius must have been having health and financial issues, but Paul is encouraging him by recognizing that it’s more important that his soul prospers than his health prospers.

3 John 4 – In case you missed it – Paul is most excited by his children walking in truth, than in financial prosperity.

3 John 9-10 – We’re still in the first century and we have serious problems in the church! Thankfully we’re not alone in the stream of church history with problems!

Psalm 126:5 – Matt Black recorded a song based on this verse. “Someone prayed for me, They saw my agony, And they sowed with tears of sorrow for my soul. God did a work in me, Sin’s record he destroyed, Yes they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Proverbs 29:12 – Interesting – the servants bear the guilt for the decisions of their ruler. Similarly we bear the guilt for Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-14).

Daily Encouragement

December 6 – What’s the difference between a fool and a wise man?

December 6
Hosea 4:1-5:15
2 John 1:1-13
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 29:9-11 

Hosea 4:2 – Note the sins: Swearing (Leviticus 19:12/3rd Commandment), Lying (9th Commandment), Killing (6th Commandment), Stealing (8th Commandment), Adultery (7th Commandment). The LORD is not even pointing out the “minor sins” – the 613 commands of the Torah, but just the “Big Ten!”

Hosea 4:6 – Many people use this phrase – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” but they ignore the context. The knowledge is knowing the Law, and obeying the Law!

Hosea 4:13 – We’re back to the 2nd Commandment – and God ties the 2nd Commandment to the 7th Commandment. The argument being, if you’re not faithful to me, your spouses will not be faithful to you.

Hosea 5:15 – Do we take spiritual adultery as seriously as God takes it? Do we realize that God takes it as seriously as we take physical adultery? Do we know that God will let us suffer the consequences of our sin until we seek His face?

2 John 1:1 – Who is the “elect lady”? GotQuestions notes that she has a sister, and is part of the church, but that is all that is known. Chuck Missler suggests that it might be Mary, the mother of Jesus based on Jesus entrusting Mary to John’s care. Also Mary had a sister (John 19:25).

2 John 1:5 – In this short epistle we have a few commands: “love one another” (2 John 1:5), “walk after his commandments” (2 John 1:6), and “abide in the doctrine” (2 John 1:9). These are similar to the theme of John’s gospel.

  • Love!  (John 15:12) – 57 times in John’s gospel.
  • Obey! (John 14:15) – If Love, then Keep!
  • Believe! (John 20:31) – That’s the point of the writings!
VIEW OF JERUSALEM AND THE SURROUNDING JUDEAN MOUNTAINS PHOTOGRAPHED IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY BY FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER, BONFILS. öéìåí öáò îñåó äîàä ä 19 ùì äöìí äöøôúé áåðôéñ. áöéìåí, ðåó èéôåñé ùì äøé éäåãä åéøåùìéí.
Balage Balogh (www.Archaeologyillustrated.com)/FreeBibleimages.org.

Psalm 125:2 – If you’ve been to Jerusalem, the mountains around the city are incredibly impressive. Deep valleys, tall heights, and sharp cliffs. This Psalm is part of the “Song of Ascents” from Psalm 120-134, songs to sing while climbing the road to Jerusalem.

Proverbs 29:11 – No comment necessary!

Daily Encouragement

December 5 – Hosea, and why does God care about the poor?

December 5
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8 

Hosea 1:1 – Hosea is a unique story. Rich Christiano has produced a great movie on the book of Hosea, Amazing Love:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agtN64fdNF8

Hosea 1:2 – WHOA! Did God really tell Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife? And Hosea did (Hosea 1:3)!

Hosea 1:7 – For context, Hosea is written shortly before the fall of the Northern Kingdom. We’ll read this idea again in Zechariah 4:6, and we’ve read this idea in Psalm 44:3.

Hosea 1:10 – God appeared to disown His people in Hosea 1:9, but now we read that God will regather His people and reclaim them (Hosea 1:11).

Hosea 2:6 – Ever find yourself running into a wall? Sometimes God closes a door to block us from what we want, to drive us back to our God. Sounds a bit like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

Hosea 2:16 – So we have a play on words here.

  • Ishi – My Man / Husband / Love
  • Baali – My Owner / Lord / Master

The LORD/Jehovah is saying that He supported his bride Israel, even while she sought other lovers (Hosea 2:8), now He will chasten her (Hosea 2:11), but then He will woo her (Hosea 2:14). He will change her heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Israel will not be under a circumcision of flesh, but a circumcision of heart.  Now the relationship is not fear (Baali) but Love (Ishi).

Notice the contrast – the LORD/Jehovah is saying I don’t want to hear Baalim (Lord) – because you’re serving Baal instead of me.  Baal is a cruel Baali (Lord) – Baal is using you for what the LORD/Jehovah  has given you. But the LORD/Jehovah will bring you back and will give you even more.

Hosea 2:23 – Lo-ruhamah (no mercy) and Lo-ammi (not mine) will become mercy and mine!

Hosea 3:2 – What a great picture of what Christ did for us – God redeemed us!

Hosea 3:5 – Another reference to “David their King” – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel all prophesied that there would be a King David “in the latter days.”

1 John 5:1 – Do you need assurance of your salvation? This is the book for you!  What do you believe about Jesus? Was He born of the flesh (1 John 4:2-3)? Is He born of God? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God’s people? (1 John 5:1)? Do you love God (1 John 5:2)? Do you keep His commands (1 John 5:3)? These are some of the symptoms – but we’ll get to the key verse in a bit:

1 John 5:13 – How can we know that we can have eternal life? Believing on the name of the son of God! In Hebrew, at five letter intervals, you can see the name of Jesus hidden in the phrase.

1 John 5:15 – Because we believe in Him we can have our prayer answered! 

Psalm 124:8 – Thank God that He is on our side!

Proverbs 29:7 – Why does God care so much about the poor? What is the difference between “middle class” and poor? Possession of money. Can we boast of the money we have? Only if it is truly ours – and we cannot say that – all we have is His. Perhaps it’s another extension of humility (James 4:6) – whether we are proud in our thoughts, or in our wallets, all we have is God’s.

Daily Encouragement

December 4- Petra, the Book of Life, and the 75 Day Gap

December 4
Daniel 11:36-12:13
1 John 4:1-21
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 29:2-4 

Daniel 11:36 – Between yesterday and today, we just leapfrogged the entire Church Age. Yesterday’s reading described events from 2,000 years ago. Today’s reading describes events in the soon future. From John Walvoord:

Beginning with verse 36, a sharp break in the prophecy may be observed, introduced by the expression the time of the end in verse 35. 

https://walvoord.com/article/252

Daniel 11:40 – From Jimmy DeYoung:

Verse 40 in our reading reveals how the alignment of Arab and Islamic nations, led by Russia, will begin to make their way into Israel to destroy the Jewish state. Almost in concert, the two nations, Egypt and Syria, will come “against him”, verse 40. Remember the “him” is the Antichrist.

Why would the text say that Syria and Egypt are going to attack the Antichrist? The answer is that before both Arab nations move against Israel, the Antichrist will have “confirmed” a peace agreement between Israel and her enemies, Daniel 9:27. So, to attack Israel is like attacking the Antichrist who has just guaranteed Israel’s peace.

http://devotional.prophecytoday.com/search/label/Daniel

Daniel 11:41Chuck Missler is one of many who note the connection between “Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (present day Jordan) with Petra, the desert fortress.

Author’s Photo of Petra

Daniel 12:1 – “time of trouble” is also known as the Great Tribulation.

Daniel 12:2 – We read about the special book that Moses talked about (Exodus 32:32-33, Deuteronomy 9:14), and Paul wrote about (Philippians 4:3), that John saw (Revelation 3:5, Revelation 21:27). Is your name written there?

https://youtu.be/XT53VOUG71s?t=148

Daniel 12:8-9 – Daniel could interpret dreams, could counsel Nebuchadnezzar, but he couldn’t understand God’s prophetic timetable. The promise was that at the “time of the end” the words would be unsealed. 

There’s a fascinating history of eschatology (study of the last things) at ChristInProphecy.org but the key point is that eschatology is relatively new in theological studies, especially because of its interconnection with Zionism. 

In 1878, “one of the first [statements of faith] to explicitly proclaim faith in the premillennial return of Jesus Christ to earth” was written at the Niagara Bible Conference.

Since Julian the Apostate’s attempt in 363 to rebuild the Temple that was stopped by “fearful balls of fire,” there had been little movement to return Jews to Eretz Israel until Lord Shaftesbury’s Memorandum calling for “the restoration of the Jews to Palestine” in 1841. The Zionist Congress itself didn’t commit itself to Palestine until 1905 (for fun, read a fictional travel guide to “New Judea, East Africa” – an alternative timeline history), and in 1940 FDR considered moving the Jews to Alaska.

Daniel 12:12 – Apparently there is a 75 day transitional period between the Tribulation and the New Jerusalem (Walvoord).

1 John 4:3 – Speaking of antichrist, denial of the humanity of Jesus is a sign of a false teacher. 

1 John 4:4Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UjU7tJhPh4

1 John 4:9 – Notice the similarity between this verse and John 3:16

1 John 4:16 – You’ve heard that “God is love” and that is found only in 1 John 4. But also remember that the reverse is not true, Love is not God. 

1 John 4:19 – Thank God He loved us first!

Psalm 123:2 – Notice the Psalmist identifies himself as a servant of the Master, the LORD Our God!

Proverbs 29:2 – Yes that means you have to vote for good candidates!

Daily Encouragement

December 3 – What is Daniel 11 all about?

December 3
Daniel 11:2-35
1 John 3:7-24
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 29:1 

Daniel 11:2 – In today’s reading we’ll go from Daniel’s present day (fall of Babylon 539 BC) to the Maccabean Revolt in 164 BC. Matthew Henry and John Walvoord and Enduring Wordcan tell you the “what” is going on, but the bigger question is “why” should we care about the “intertestamental time?” 

First, we need to remember that Scripture was written for the immediate audience first. Daniel is writing to the Jewish people for their immediate edification. If we look at a Bible timeline of chronology, we notice that there was a surge in prophets around the fall of Jerusalem.

Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Joel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah all were writing around the fall of Jerusalem (586 BC). Haggai and Zechariah were writing around the return of Zerubbabel (536 BC), Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Malachi were active around 450 BC for the rebuilding of the walls. And then roughly 450 years of silence.

Today’s reading is a “play by play” of the dream in Daniel 2. Daniel 2 identified the four kingdoms (Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome), but Daniel 11 gives us the actions. It takes us from Daniel’s present day, thru the political events of the last prophet Malachi, unto the return of a Jewish self-governing state. That state (Hasmonean Dynasty) would become the Herodian vassal state of the fourth kingdom (Rome), that the Messiah would be born into. And not without controversy – from John Walvoord:

Probably no other portion of Scripture presents more minute prophecy than Daniel 11:1-35, and this has prompted the sharpest attack of critics seeking to discredit this prophetic portion.

Interestingly enough, it was the eleventh chapter of Daniel with its detailed prophecy of about two hundred years of history that prompted the heathen philosopher Porphyry (third century a.d. ) to attack the book of Daniel as a forgery. In his study, Porphyry established the fact that history corresponded closely to the prophetic revelation of Daniel 11:1-35, and the correspondence was so precise that he was persuaded that no one could have prophesied these events in the future. Accordingly, he solved the problem by taking the position that the book of Daniel was written after the events occurred, that is, it was written in the second century B.C. This attack prompted Jerome to defend the book of Daniel and to issue his own commentary, which for over one thousand years thereafter was considered the standard commentary on the book of Daniel. 

https://walvoord.com/article/252

1 John 3:9 – Can a Christian sin? After reading 1 John 1:8 we know that we have sin. GotQuestions points out that this is not “sinless perfection” but “a decreasing pattern of sin.”

1 John 3:13 – There is a war between the world and Christ. John is reiterating the teaching Jesus made (John 15:18). What’s the difference?

  • Righteousness vs sin (1 John 3:7-8)
  • Father God vs Father Devil (1 John 3:10)
  • Love not vs Love (1 John 3:10-11, 1 John 3:14)
  • Evil works vs Righteous works (1 John 3:12)
  • Love vs Hate (1 John 3:15-16)
  • Giver vs Hoarder (1 John 3:17)

At the end of the day, the symptoms are not absolute, but believing on Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23), and having the Spirit (1 John 3:24).

Psalm 122:1 – Do you look forward to spending time with God’s people?

Psalm 122:6 – Notice the blessing for those who love Jerusalem! What is the peace that will come to Jerusalem? Paul shared his burden in Romans 10:1.

Proverbs 29:1 – Rejecting correction brings destruction!

Daily Encouragement

December 2 – Daniel & the 70 Weeks

December 2
Daniel 9:1-11:1
1 John 2:18-3:6
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 28:27-28 

Daniel 9:2 – Prophecy is easier to be understood at the time when it is being fulfilled, as opposed to when it is given. Notice the interconnection of Scripture – Peter wrote about Paul’s writings (2 Peter 3:15-16), now Daniel writes about Jeremiah’s writings.

Daniel 9:5 – Compare to Nehemiah’s repentance on behalf of his nation (Nehemiah 1:7). 

Daniel 9:11 – Daniel recognizes that Moses’ prophecy is being fulfilled (Deuteronomy 27).

Daniel 9:17-19 – Daniel begs God four times to listen in these 3 verses, not because they deserve it, but “for thy great mercies” (Daniel 9:18).

Daniel 9:24 -What are the Seventy Weeks and how are they counted? From BobShelton.org:

https://bobshelton.org/charts/

Daniel 10:13 – Spiritual warfare is real. We read about it in Jude 1:9, Zechariah 3:2, and Revelation 12:7.

Daniel 10:15 – Daniel spoke much before the vision, and after God revealed His truth to Daniel, Daniel went silent. Job had much to say to God, but when God spoke, Job replied, “I uttered that I understood not.” 

1 John 2:22 – Sadly many people deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Doctrine matters – for if you do not follow the Son, you cannot claim the Father.  

Some think that all religions worship the same God, but as someone shared this explanation, if you were to ask me if I know John Smith, and I say, “Yes, and I know his wife Julie and his son Bob,” and you say “John’s never been married” – we’re probably not talking about the same John Smith. Likewise if your Jesus is not Christ, the living God, then it’s probably another Jesus.

1 John 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U9GJf6B7mc&t=13s

1 John 3:2 – Wow! We shall be like Him? God is good to us!

Psalm 121:4 – Isn’t it great to know that God does not sleep nor does He slumber!

Psalm 28:27 – Doesn’t that seem contradictory? Givers won’t lack, but hoarders will suffer? Jesus followed up on that in Matthew 20:16.

Daily Encouragement

December 1 – Expiation vs Propitiation?

December 1
Daniel 8:1-27
1 John 2:1-17
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:25-26 

Welcome to December! You are in the final month of the year, and it’s been an incredible time of digging into God’s Word!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dan_8_ram_and_he-goat.jpg

Daniel 8:1 – From John Walvoord

Two important factors mark Daniel 8 as the beginning of a new section. First, beginning with this chapter, the language returns to Hebrew instead of the Aramaic used by Daniel from 2:4 through 7:28. Second, the change of language is in keeping with the change in thought introduced by this chapter. From here to the end of Daniel, the prophecy, even though it concerns the Gentiles, is occupied with human history as it relates to Israel.

https://walvoord.com/article/249

Daniel 8:11-14 – What is this 2,300 days about?  The Millerites thought it meant the return of Jesus by October 22, 1844, but the teaching instead brought about the “Great Disappointment.” 

Most scholars believe this refers to Antiochus Epiphanes, the leader of the Syrian kingdom that emerged from Alexander the Great’s empire. The book of 1 Maccabees tells about Antiochus during the intertestamental period.  Walvoord discusses the 2,300 days:

The terminus ad quem of the twenty-three hundred days is taken by most expositors as 164 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes died during a military campaign in Media. This permitted the purging of the sanctuary and the return to Jewish worship. Figuring from this date backward twenty-three hundred days would fix the beginning time at 171 b.c. In that year, Onias III, the legitimate high priest, was murdered and a pseudo line of priests assumed power. This would give adequate fulfillment in time for the twenty-three hundred days to elapse at the time of the death of Antiochus. 

https://walvoord.com/article/249

Daniel 8:16 – I’m glad he asked Gabriel to make Daniel understand. Daniel, one of the wisest men ever, “was astonished” and “was sick certain days” as a result! (Daniel 8:27). 

1 John 2:1 – What does it mean that Jesus is our advocate? My grandfather used to host a television program, Advocates in Adversity, featuring attorneys and judges to talk about legal issues. If you’ve dealt with the legal system, attorneys are expensive. Jesus Christ is my attorney, and though I can’t afford Him, he’s representing me pro bono!

1 John 2:2 – Not just my attorney, but my propitiation! There’s a big debate in theological circles between the words propitiation (satisfying the wrath of God) and expiation (removing the guilt). If we believe God is angry at sin,  then His wrath needs to be placated. From R.C. Sproul:

Therefore, Christ’s supreme achievement on the cross is that He placated the wrath of God, which would burn against us were we not covered by the sacrifice of Christ. So if somebody argues against placation or the idea of Christ satisfying the wrath of God, be alert, because the gospel is at stake. This is about the essence of salvation—that as people who are covered by the atonement, we are redeemed from the supreme danger to which any person is exposed. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of a holy God Who’s wrathful. But there is no wrath for those whose sins have been paid. That is what salvation is all about.

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/two-important-words-good-friday-expiation-and-propitiation/

1 John 2:3 – John goes back to the words of Jesus that he recorded in John 14:15. To love Jesus is to obey Him. If we obey Him then we know Him. 

1 John 2:15 – Another sign of the fake Christian:

  • Not keep his commandments (1 John 2:4)
  • Hate his brother (1 John 2:9)
  • Love the world (1 John 2:15)

Many Christians don’t realize we are in a war. There are only two sides. Either you are on the world’s side, or on Jesus’ side. Before you make your choice as to which side you’re on, remember “the world passeth away… but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:17).

Psalm 120:2 – Notice the Psalmist’s cry for deliverance from those with lying lips and a deceitful tongue. We read in 1 John 2:4 about the liars – those who claim to know God but keep not His commandments. The Psalmist is vexed not just by people who are upfront that they are against God, but those who claim to be followers of the LORD but backstab other followers.

Proverbs 28:24-25 – Contrast the trust in the LORD with trust in your own heart. Disney tells you to “follow your heart,” but God says not to trust your heart (Jeremiah 17:9).