“For Ezra had directed his heart to seek the law of Jehovah and to do it, and to teach in Israel the statutes and the ordinances.” Ezra 7:10
Here we have a wonderful and blessed example of a man of God, who not only was a scribe, but he was a ‘ready scribe in the law of Moses’. He delighted in the word of God. I believe, for us, following the example of the verse we have before us, that there are three steps when it comes to reading the word of God.
“And he shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.” Leviticus 1:4
“And the priest shall make atonement for them; and it shall be forgiven them.”
“And the priest shall make atonement for him to cleanse him from his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.” Leviticus 4:26
The book of Leviticus is so often skipped among Christians today. They ask, “Why should I read it? It was for Israel back then under the law, but I am under grace. Why is it important to me?” We need to know that ‘every scripture is divinely inspired and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (2 Tim 3:16) and ‘all things were written for our learning.’
It is remarkable that the Word of God makes mention of the fact that God called the name of a person two times in a row, and the more remarkable fact is that there are seven people who are called by name twice in a row. Have you ever considered that God may be calling you twice in a row? Maybe there is an urgent message, or a gentle rebuke from Him that He will call you by name two times.
It is with the view to encourage, and to examine the message in the cases of these seven people that God mentions twice in a row.
The gospel of John is a very peculiar gospel in the fact that John does not copy from the three Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The other striking thing is that John makes no mention of his own name as one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. His aim is to have the reader to focus only on Christ as the Son of God, and at the same time, God the Son. It is clear that his aim of writing is in chapter 20:30-31, that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, and in believing, have life in His name.
In chapter 1 we see there are at least seven titles given to the Lord Jesus Christ, mentioned by various people.
Have you ever wondered about the similar patterns and phrases that exist in the Gospel and Epistles of John? No matter how many times we may have read John’s inspired writings, there is always refreshment and there are new things to learn. To make it very simple, John wrote about 600 different words in his books which are very simple for even a child to read and understand. The three words beginning with the letter ‘L’ ‘life,’ ‘light,’ ‘love,’ are very frequent in the gospels and epistles of John.
“And having called to [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power over unclean spirits, so that they should cast them out, and heal every disease and every bodily weakness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the [son] of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, who was surnamed Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas the Iscariote, who also delivered him up”. Matthew 10:1-4
It is remarkable when we think that the Lord, in His grace, chose twelve men to be with Him during His ministry while on earth. What is more amazing is that these men were of different backgrounds, different employment, and different characters, although they were Jewish people. It is intended to provide some thoughts on the various contributions of the disciples and the Lord’s gracious response.
There is a lot of confusion concerning a number of future events, including the rapture and the day of the Lord. There is a gap of seven years between these two events, and the rapture of all true believers, whether they have passed away or form the assembly on earth at the time, comes first. The object of this article is not to explain them and how they relate to each other but to compare the two epistles to the Thessalonians, which both speak of the day of the Lord. However, to make it easier for the reader who may not be sure about the truth of the rapture, I will explain that though the word does not occur in the Bible as such, it does convey the meaning of the words ‘caught up’ in 1 Thess 4:17. Yes, the rapture is when the Lord Jesus comes for His saints (all who accept Christ as Saviour are called saints – see Rom 1:7) to take them up to be with Him. The day of the Lord, on the other hand, is when He appears to the world and comes with His saints to reign on the earth. I will dwell a little more on the rapture, as this is vital, and then compare the bearing of the two epistles on the day of the Lord.
This is only a suggested outline of the wonderful epistle to the Romans, with the view that each reader will be encouraged to open the Bible, read and carefully study the epistle, and be strengthened in the faith and Christian walk. If you are not yet saved, it is an encouragement and an appeal for you to approach Christ, confess your sins and guilt before God, and accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you, and others will see the progressive change in your life.
Romans and Hebrews, we can say are doctrinal epistles.
Romans was written to Gentile Christians and Hebrews was written to Hebrew Christians, who converted from Judaism.
In 2 Timothy 3:16 we see the character of the Word of God for doctrine (Romans and Hebrews), reproof (Philippians and 1&2 Corinthians), correction (Galatians and Colossians) and instruction in righteousness (Romans, Ephesians and 1&2 Thessalonians).
This gospel tract is taken from an appendix of a book on the life and times of John Nelson Darby. The tract is published by Bible Truth Publishers.
On entering the miserable hovel in a wild district of Ireland, I looked around me and at first found no sign of any inhabitant, except an old woman who sat crouching over the embers of a fire. She rose as I entered and offered me her stool. I thanked her, and passing on, discovered in one corner of the hut a heap of straw, on which lay a poor sufferer. I approached and saw a young lad about seventeen years old, evidently in a state of extreme suffering and exhaustion and, it was to be feared, in the last stage of his life.
His eyes were closed, but he opened them on my approach and stared at me with a kind of wild wonder, like a frightened animal. I told him as quietly as possible who I was and the reason I had come, and I asked him a few of the simplest questions about his hope of salvation. He didn’t answer; he appeared totally unconscious of my meaning. On speaking to him kindly and affectionately, he looked up, and I learned from the few words he uttered that he had heard something of a God and future judgment, but he had never been taught to read. The Holy Scriptures were a sealed book to him and he was altogether ignorant of the way of salvation as revealed to us in the gospel. His mind on this subject was an utter blank.
This article is based on some thoughts from a young people’s bible study at Balwyn, Melbourne Australia on Friday 7 February 2020 with the exception of the last paragraph.
The gospel of John, as is the common thought, presents to us Christ as the Son of God, and God the Son. John uses simpler words like ‘life’, ‘love’, but are more difficult to understand than any of the other gospels. John does not copy from Matthew, Mark or Luke, who happen to record similar events, but from different perspectives. For example, the miracles that the Lord Jesus performed in the gospels are called miracles, but John refers to them as ‘signs’, and there are specific signs written for the object that the readers may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. After believing, the result is eternal life (Jn 20:30-31), or life in His name. Eternal life in itself is a subject that is large, but it is not the intention to take up in this brief article.