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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson

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October 2015

Daily Bible thoughts, Psalm 119: 41:48: Monday October 19th

Psalm 119:41-48: True freedom ( please click here for today’s Bible passage)
‘’Testimony requires the context of an obedient life (44), a life which demonstrates the true freedom which obedience brings (45)’’ J.A. Motyer, ‘The New Bible Commentary’, p.568.
True freedom is not the licence to do anything you want; it is the liberty to become the person God made you to be. It is not about doing what you want to do, but living the way God calls you to (45). People who are committed to knowing and doing the will of God find they have the ‘’freedom’’ to become everything they were meant to be.
The believer is the freest person in the universe. He or she is:
• Free to trust in God’s promises (41b/42b): Sometimes it is hard to live by faith; in fact, it regularly is. But Christians are set free to do this. They carry with them the chequebook of the bank of heaven, and they use it. These cheques do not ‘bounce’!
• Free to answer persecutors (42): They know what to say, when to say it, and they have the courage to do so. There is a time to be silent, but there is very definitely a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7b)
• Free to witness to all kinds of people without embarrassment (46) – even to those in authority: ‘’Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.’’ The Message. (See also Matthew 10:16-26/32,33; Luke 24:12-19).
• Free to love God’s Word (47, 48): ‘’I cherish your commandments – oh, how I love them! – relishing every fragment of your counsel.’’ The Message. Can you say that you love your Bible? Is it your most treasured possession?’’…the mouth that speaks the word (42, 43) and the life that exemplifies it (44-46) must arise from a heart that loves it.’’J.A. Motyer: ‘The New Bible Commentary, p.568.
Here are just one or two aspects of a Christian’s freedom. It is not as the world knows it. In popular understanding, freedom is being able to do just what you want with your life. In truth that is permission to drive your life recklessly down the highway of life at 180 miles per hour and experience the consequences. They will not be pretty, for you or for others!
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the freedom we find in you.

Daily Bible thoughts 991: Friday 16th October 2015: Luke 1:1-25: John, a child prayed for.

 Luke 1:1-25: John, a child prayed for.(please click here for today’s Bible passage)
Luke was a gentile doctor, ‘a man with a scientific turn of mind’ as someone put it, and he wrote a two volume history of the beginnings of Christianity that we know as ‘Luke’ and ‘Acts’. It is interesting that these two books, so full of miraculous occurrences, should be written by a ‘scientist’. This opening chapter of the fourth gospel shows continuity with the Jewish Old Testament; we recognise that we are in an unfolding story. But it also emphasises factuality and reliability. I am stirred to think of the effort Luke put in to communicate the truth of Christianity to, it seems, just one man, ‘’Theophilus’’, who, it is thought, was probably a high ranking Roman official, and a ‘seeker’. Bill Hybels has repeatedly said, ‘’Lost people matter to God.’’ They should also matter to us, and they are worth every effort to reach them. (N.B. At one time, it was fashionable amongst scholars to dismiss the historicity of Luke. Then an archaeologist called William Ramsay came along, and he discovered that on point after point Luke was right!)
This opening story is a very human one, full of pathos. Zechariah and Elizabeth were good and godly people, but there was sadness in their lives. (Somebody said that we should be gentle with everyone we meet because all people have some area of pain somewhere.) Being a believer, and faithful to God, is not an inoculation against trouble. Zechariah and Elizabeth were childless, and barrenness, for a woman, was regarded as a great disgrace in that culture (25). But, as someone pointed out to me, you are never too old to be blessed by God. The Lord doesn’t just use young people.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed about their situation. That much is clear (13). How long had they prayed? How desperately and persistently has they prayed? I don’t know. But this much I can see, through their prayers God did far more than they could ask or imagine. In God’s time, not only did they get a baby boy, but they discovered that he was to be the long promised ‘forerunner’ of the Messiah. Wow! ‘’He will be one of God’s great men.’’ (15) J.B. Phillips. Prayer is one of the major themes in Luke/Acts, and as we work our way through the gospel we are going to encounter the teaching of Jesus about persistence in prayer. Zechariah and Elizabeth show that such prayer is powerful.
But, when Zechariah was told that his prayer was answered, he was an unbelieving believer (18-20). However, I find I cannot point the finger for all too often I am just like this. ‘Peter’ is at the door. I have been praying fervently for ‘Peter’, along with others; praying that somehow he will get out of ‘prison’; praying for a miracle. Then when I find him at the door I can’t believe it (Acts 12:12-16).
When Zechariah heard what great blessing was to come to his door, he didn’t get above himself. He wasn’t puffed up with pride. He just humbly carried on his service (23-25), and went home and played his part in the miracle. It was no less a supernatural work of God, but the Lord looks for men and women who will fully cooperate with Him. And so there was great joy and gladness in this prayer-filled home.
Here is one final thought for today: ‘’The crowded congregation outside was praying at the actual time of the incense-burning.’’ (10). J.B. Phillips. It is important that we pray for ‘ministers’ and services, and it’s great if that praying can happen at the time the ministry is being given. Our God answers prayer. Never doubt it. Be encouraged today. And don’t stop praying for your children, even though they may now be fully grown. Let them always be children prayed for.

Daily Bible thoughts 990: Thursday 15th October 2015: 2 Thessalonians 3: The dignity of work.

 2 Thessalonians 3: The dignity of work.(please click here for todays Bible passage)

There are two outstanding themes in this final chapter of 2 Thessalonians: prayer and work. In truth, these things belong together. Some people are such activists that they have little place for prayer in their frantic schedules; others are great mystics but do little more than contemplate. Remarkable things happen, though, when we wed the two; when we work like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God.

A number of prayers are scattered through the Thessalonian letters. Chapter three opens with a request for prayer from Paul, but moves seamlessly into a prayer from him for his readers. This is such a great prayer request for the triumph of the gospel: ‘’Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you.’’ The Message. The picture painted in (1) is like that of a victorious athlete. Yes, let’s pray indeed for the success of the gospel. At the same time, we understand that the supernatural ‘’love’’ and ‘’perseverance’’ it takes to live the Christian life is given by God alone. We can’t work it up; it comes down as a gift. It must be prayed for (5).

Paul had taught the new Christians in Thessalonica a lot about the second coming of Jesus. Some of them had drawn wrong conclusions from his teaching. They had downed tools, packed their suitcases, and were sat twiddling their thumbs in the departure lounge. But Paul was not having any of that. Such people get into mischief. In Paul’s great words: ‘’They are not busy: they are busybodies’’ (11) For him, idleness was a sin. He and his colleagues had modelled the virtue of labour when they were in Thessalonica. ‘’We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you…We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.’’ The Message. Although they had the right to support, they waived their rights so as to be examples to the new Christians. Paul took a hard line, and said that lazy Christians should be ostracised (14, 15). But this was not cruelty. It was disciplinary action aimed to bring the wayward children to their senses. ‘’…refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we told you. Don’t permit them to freeload on the rest…refuse to subsidise his freeloading…But don’t treat him as an enemy. Sit down and talk about the problem as someone who cares.’’ The Message.

Too many Christians have made the same mistake through the years. There are those who become highly speculative and mystical when they think about the second advent of Christ, and they withdraw from the world. But a proper view of the future will actually help us to live productive lives in this world in the present. We will roll up our sleeves and make a distinctive contribution to society if we believe Jesus is coming back.

May we who believe in Jesus go into the world each day and work prayerfully, seeking to make it a better place now, whilst knowing that its perfection awaits the return of our Lord.

As we come to the end of Thessalonians, this is my prayer for you: ‘’Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.’’ (16)

Daily Bible thoughts 989: Wednesday 14th October 2015: Jeremiah 18: 12-23: The last straw

Jeremiah 18: 12-23: The last straw(please click here for todays Bible passage)

I have to agree with you. This does sound terrible. My wife, Jilly, and I said as much to each other when we read it a night or two back (21-23). Jeremiah seems mean, nasty and vindictive. But you have to put some context around this; take a broader view; get a bigger picture.

The prophet had preached to these people (his people) for years and years. He had poured out his heart to them and poured out his life for them. God had spoken through him and warned those in Judah and Jerusalem repeatedly that if they did not repent, this judgment would come. Because of his God-given insight, Jeremiah had clearly spelled out what would happen. He saw it all vividly. But he did not want it to happen. When you read today’s verses remember this. Jeremiah loved these people; he broke his heart over them; wept ‘buckets’ for them. He had prayed faithfully that they would not have to face judgment (20b), that they would be spared. He had stood ‘in the gap’ for them. He had urged them over and over to turn from their cherished idols and get back to the true God. But they were intransigent, as (12) shows, and it is important to see these words as the precursor to what follows. Such stubbornness before God inevitably leads to a ‘’Therefore…’’ (13). Sin has consequences. If we persist in our own way; insist on getting it, then we will have it, and we won’t like it!

It seems to me that after years and years of loving and praying and preaching, and in a time of personal agony because his ‘congregation’ were out to kill him, Jeremiah came to a point where he saw that enough was enough. He recognised that the content of his preaching had to now be fulfilled in the lives of the Judean people. They would not turn, therefore they would have to be ‘’marred’’ in the Potter’s Hands, and made ‘’into another pot’’. Yes, the process would be brutal, but they would still be in God’s Hands (18:1-4). When Jeremiah prayed his prayer, he knew that the judgment would not be the end of this people, but part of God’s great purpose to reform and reshape them. Nevertheless, it would be dreadful in the short term, and we cannot dilute the concentrated truth about divine judgment.

This passage tells us that real ministry is costly. All shepherding service can be painful. Most leaders don’t suffer like Jeremiah did, but God’s people can be cruel and unkind and vicious with their tongues (18b). They can disappoint you and let you down. Our ‘sheep’ have teeth, and some make use of them! They can turn on you and make it clear they prefer other preachers. In Jeremiah’s case, the people were saying, ‘If we get rid of him we’ll still have other leaders to speak to us. ‘(18a). Those of whom they spoke were the ‘safe’ clergy who told them what they wanted to hear. The truth is that what seems safe and palatable is regularly dangerous. In this case, the people in ‘the church’ wanted to kill Jeremiah, but they could not put his message to the sword. The living Word of God, once spoken, would not return empty; it would come to pass (Isaiah 55:10, 11).

But here is a word to all in Christian leadership. Someone said, ‘’Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing’’, and, ‘’There can be no blessing without bleeding.’’ Remember this, and stay faithful.

John Ortberg wrote in a recent edition of ‘Leadership Journal’, ‘’I don’t want to be the kind of person whose heart depends on getting applause from everybody every week. I want to be the kind of person that lives in freedom.’’

Daily Bible thoughts 988: Tuesday 13th October 2015: Jeremiah 18:5-12: The hinge of repentance.

Jeremiah 18:5-12: The hinge of repentance.(please click here for todays Bible passage)

‘ ‘’…can I not do with you as this potter does?’’ declares the LORD.’ (6).

  • God is in charge. Don’t fight Him or resist Him. Yield to Him. Be soft and malleable in His Hands. Go with Him as He forms and shapes you. Be quick to repent when He shows you the things that are wrong in your life.
  • God looks for change. Repentance is the ‘hinge’ upon which so much turns. The people of Judah deserved God’s judgment for their sins. They had been repeatedly warned to turn from evil and back to the Lord. He did not want to inflict this punishment on them, so again He called them to repent; to change their minds (the literal meaning of ‘repent’) about the way they were living. (Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of behaviour.) The statement in (7, 8) should have encouraged them to ‘turn’ when the call came in (11). But they would not (12). Their heels were well and truly dug in; their attitudes were entrenched. So the people were going to be ‘’marred’’ (4). However, they would still be in the hands of the ‘Potter’ as they were re-shaped in judgement, including deportation to a foreign land (13-17).

 

  • God gives freedom to choose. ‘’The Lord is absolutely sovereign, but He does not act in a mindless or mechanical manner. Both His threats and His promises are conditional; they are carried out in accordance with our response. If we respond rightly; He cancels the threat; if we respond wrongly, He cancels the promise. Thus, within His overall sovereignty, God has granted human beings a certain degree of freedom to choose the right response or the wrong one.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102. ‘’Note carefully the cardinal rule of prophecy which is enunciated here, that both the promises and threats of God are not absolute but conditional. Judah often presumed on the divine promises, viewing them from the point of view of privilege and not of responsibility, in spite of prophetic warnings of the disaster that would overtake such an attitude.’’ E. Cundall.

 

‘’ ‘…Turn back from your doomed way of life. Straighten out your lives.’ ‘’But they’ll just say, ‘Why should we? What’s the point? We’ll live just the way we’ve always lived, doom or no doom.’’’ The Message. Many people still respond in this way today, as the gospel message calls them (and us) to repent of sin and trust in Jesus (Mark 1:4, 14, 15). The call to repentance has never been popular, but repentance is the hinge upon which so much turns.

‘ ‘’…can I not do with you as this potter does?’’ declares the LORD.’ (6).

  • God is in charge. Don’t fight Him or resist Him. Yield to Him. Be soft and malleable in His Hands. Go with Him as He forms and shapes you. Be quick to repent when He shows you the things that are wrong in your life.
  • God looks for change. Repentance is the ‘hinge’ upon which so much turns. The people of Judah deserved God’s judgment for their sins. They had been repeatedly warned to turn from evil and back to the Lord. He did not want to inflict this punishment on them, so again He called them to repent; to change their minds (the literal meaning of ‘repent’) about the way they were living. (Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of behaviour.) The statement in (7, 8) should have encouraged them to ‘turn’ when the call came in (11). But they would not (12). Their heels were well and truly dug in; their attitudes were entrenched. So the people were going to be ‘’marred’’ (4). However, they would still be in the hands of the ‘Potter’ as they were re-shaped in judgement, including deportation to a foreign land (13-17).

 

  • God gives freedom to choose. ‘’The Lord is absolutely sovereign, but He does not act in a mindless or mechanical manner. Both His threats and His promises are conditional; they are carried out in accordance with our response. If we respond rightly; He cancels the threat; if we respond wrongly, He cancels the promise. Thus, within His overall sovereignty, God has granted human beings a certain degree of freedom to choose the right response or the wrong one.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102. ‘’Note carefully the cardinal rule of prophecy which is enunciated here, that both the promises and threats of God are not absolute but conditional. Judah often presumed on the divine promises, viewing them from the point of view of privilege and not of responsibility, in spite of prophetic warnings of the disaster that would overtake such an attitude.’’ E. Cundall.

 

‘’ ‘…Turn back from your doomed way of life. Straighten out your lives.’ ‘’But they’ll just say, ‘Why should we? What’s the point? We’ll live just the way we’ve always lived, doom or no doom.’’’ The Message. Many people still respond in this way today, as the gospel message calls them (and us) to repent of sin and trust in Jesus (Mark 1:4, 14, 15). The call to repentance has never been popular, but repentance is the hinge upon which so much turns.

Daily Bible thoughts 987: Monday 12th October 2015: Jeremiah 18:1-4: Pottery Class!

 Jeremiah 18:1-4: Pottery Class! (please click here for todays Bible passage)

‘’…shaping it as seemed best to him.’’ (4b).

God has lessons for his people in ordinary things, if we will just go and see. Listen for His promptings today. Don’t miss what He might want to show you. In one chapter of his wonderful book, ‘The Sacred Year’, Michael Yankoski writes about lessons he learned whilst looking at an apple. The title of the chapter is: ‘’Single Tasking: The practice of attentiveness.’’ He says that we have so much information coming at us in this technological age that we are in danger of losing the ability to concentrate, to focus. ‘’This apple is beginning to speak, and I don’t want to miss a single word’’, he says. He quotes Thomas Moore: ‘’Spirituality is seeded, germinates, sprouts and blossoms in the mundane.’’

Here are three thoughts from today’s passage (and see also Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Rom.9:20, 21):

GOD IS SOVEREIGN: He has a plan for your life. His plans are good. Furthermore, His plans for you are more important (and better by far!) than your plans for you. He has the right to do with you whatever He pleases. Are you willing to take on His shape? ‘Give up your small ambitions.’ Let go of your perceived rights. ‘’There is simply no limit to the progress and development of the soul which is able to meet God with a never-faltering ‘’Yes’’ ‘’ F.B. Meyer.

IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR LIFE, GOD MAY CHANGE YOUR SHAPE: ‘’Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.’’ The Message. He might give you another role, a different job. You may not always be where you are now, doing what you are currently doing. Are you ready to change direction if your sovereign Lord chooses? He is the ‘God of surprises’. Gordon McDonald is a thoughtful and inspiring writer. One of his books is entitled ‘Mid-course correction.’ It’s well worth a read. In the middle of your life God may change your shape because you have sinned yourself into a bad shape. (The defect was in the clay and not in the Potter after all.) If that is so, it is good to know that no fall need be final. However, God may just decide to do something different with the same piece of clay because He is the Potter and it’s His right!

LIFE IS FRAGILE, BUT WE ARE SAFE IN GOD’S HANDS: When those ‘marring’ experiences come, as come they will, remember where you are and whose you are. You are out of shape, but you are still in the Hands of the Potter. Can you see Him ‘’working at the wheel’’ (3)? It is more important to be able to see God than your maimed life. When everything seems to be going wrong, keep your eyes on Him. Ron Jones was the General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal movement when I was the pastor of a little church in Lancaster. I remember him speaking at our church on this passage and admitting, ‘’It’s this wheel business I don’t like.’’ I want to be formed by God, but I don’t necessarily like what’s involved in the process.

‘’Note that a lump of clay has little value in itself, but when it has been made into something useful by the Master Potter, it has great value.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.1102’

Prayer: Sovereign and loving Lord, shape me as seems best to you.

Daily Bible thoughts 986: Friday 9th October 2015: Proverbs 25:1-10: More pearls of wisdom.

Proverbs 25:1-10: More pearls of wisdom.

‘’God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things.’’ The Message (2). God doesn’t ‘conceal’ from us what we need to know, but it remains the case that his thoughts and ways are too high for anyone to fully grasp (Romans 11:33-36). On the other hand, an earthly king gets ‘’glory’’ when he is given wisdom to ‘’search out a matter’’ (1 Kings 3:9; 4:34).

‘’Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.’’ The Message (3).

In government there may well be some ‘’wicked’’, self-serving people (4, 5). But when they are removed ‘’righteousness’’ can prevail. ‘’Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice; Remove the wicked from leadership and authority will be credible and God-honouring.’’ The Message. (Proverbs 16:12; 20:8, 26).

Someone said, ‘’If the Lord’s going to raise you up let Him raise you up; but whatever you do, don’t raise yourself up!’’ (1 Peter 5:6).People do have a natural tendency to promote themselves; to want the seats of honour. They hunger for position. When they do, they set themselves up for a demotion (Luke 14: 7-11). ‘’Don’t work yourself into the spotlight; don’t push your way into the place of prominence. It’s better to be promoted to a place of honour than face humiliation by being demoted.’’ The Message.

There is a warning in (8) that we should not be hasty in bringing an accusation against someone. It is likely that we do not know all the facts. We may get it all wrong and end up red-faced and embarrassed. People who jump to conclusions tend to hit the ground with a terrible thump! Also, we are better to first go to the person in question and seek to resolve the matter. In the case of a fellow-Christian this process is absolutely required (Matthew 18:15-17). ‘’Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.’’ The Message.

In a dispute with a neighbour, don’t betray a confidence in order to defend yourself (see also 11:13 and 20:19). You will be likely to lose one of life’s most treasured possessions – your reputation (22:1). ‘’In the heat of an argument, don’t betray confidences; Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you.’’ The Message.

Prayer: Lord, once again I confess my lack of wisdom. How I hunger and thirst for yours.

Daily Bible thoughts 985: Thursday 8th October 2015: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17: Thank you and please!

 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17: Thank you and please!

It is good to thank God for each other in the church.

It is right to thank God for each other’s salvation. Our experience of conversion springs from God’s loving choice in eternity (13a), and we came into it, historically, in and through the gospel call (14a). We then believed ‘’in the truth’’ about Jesus (13b) and the Spirit set us apart to belong to God. This is God’s work from start to finish. It is all about His initiative. The ultimate goal of the gospel call is that we ‘’might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.’’ (14b; see 1:12). We are being made like Jesus even now, and ultimately we will be perfectly like Him (1 John 3:2). This process of being made like Christ has already begun, but until that day when we see Him ‘face to face’, our job is to stand fast and hold on to God’s Word. The primary we are changed to be more like Jesus is by reading the Bible and putting it into practice.

This short section, which starts with a ‘thank you’, ends with a ‘please’. Paul slips seamlessly from praise into prayer. The passage ends with a lovely, practical prayer:

‘’May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.’’ The Message.

Our inheritance includes ‘’eternal encouragement’’ (16). There will be no discouragement in heaven. Even now, God wants us to experience our inheritance amidst, often, less than encouraging circumstances. There is obviously a link between encouragement (literally meaning ‘to put courage in’) and strength. Today you can pray for someone’s encouragement, and seek to be the answer to your prayer! There are people around you who need ‘’fresh heart’’ and God can use you to give it to them.

Daily Bible thoughts 984: Wednesday 7th October 2015: 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12: God rules.

 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12: God rules.

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Remember what you know (5): Remember what you believe. It isn’t always at the forefront of your mind is it? If the Thessalonians had simply remembered what they knew, they would not have come to believe that the Second Coming of Jesus had already taken place. You could get the impression from (5) that Paul had repeated some of these truths that were now forgotten. Remember what you know. It is important! Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts.
  • There is a timing in God’s purposes (6,7): Although the spirit of lawlessness is abroad in the world, ‘’the man of lawlessness’’ will not get up to go about his work until God’s alarm clock sounds. ‘’You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose.’’ The Message.
  • Jesus is greater than all evil (8): The most important thing to remember about the antichrist is that he is ‘’the man doomed to destruction’’ (3); the one ‘’the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.’ (8). Yes, he’s going to get into the ring, and will put up a ferocious fight for a time. For a little while it will look like he’s going to wind up heavy weight champion of the world. But we’ve been allowed to read the back pages in advance of their publication! We know he’s going down!! The outcome of the bout is not in question. ‘’But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and – puff! – the Anarchist is out of there.’’ The Message. (Notice that, just like Jesus, the antichrist will have both a ‘’revelation’’ (8; see 3 and 6 also) and a ‘’coming’’ (9). This is the counterfeit ‘Messiah’ who will want the entire world to follow him. ‘Antichrist’ literally means ‘in place of Christ’. This man will want to substitute himself for Jesus.
  • All that glitters is not gold (9,10a): Miracles are not necessarily a sign that people are genuine. You have to check out what they say; observe how they live. Test it all against the Bible. ’Beware ‘’prophets’’ who contradict what God has already said in His Word (v.15). If you stand on the Word, you will not fall for the devil’s lies.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe.
  • Note the order: Verse 10 comes before verse 11! The rejection of the truth comes first! (See Romans 1:18ff.) Again, we see God underlining the choices people have already made. ‘’The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it – gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.’’ The Message.

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