Hebrews 2:14-15 He Is No Fool, Who Prepares for Judgment

Hebrews 2:14-15 (KJV)
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Jesus beat Satan with his own tool.

The devil, the Bible says, had (not has) the power of death. This power he used to keep souls in bondage to him. Death, and the fear of it enslaved men so that Satan could do with them as he pleased.

Jesus’ dying and then rising, took this tool from Satan. Jesus didn’t (yet) destroy death, but him that had the power of death.

I suspect that the reason even many lost and rebellious people have little to no fear of death is because the devil no longer has power over it. The lost often think of faith as a crutch for those who fear death. They frequently believe themselves to be superior to Christians because they do not need the crutch to overcome their own fear. This is no sign of true strength but only a transfer from Satan as god to making themselves god. In either case it is wicked idolatry.

Jesus, in death, destroyed Satan’s power over death. Wisdom recognizes that there is a greater power in God who has said “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this, the judgment.”

He is no fool who prepares for judgment.

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For this and more than 3700 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 2:14-15 He Is No Fool, Who Prepares for Judgment

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Hebrews 13:12-14 A Baptist Focus on the Current Election

Hebrews 13:12-14 (KJV)
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

I am not a very politically motivated believer and I get distressed when I see Christians make politics their trust (security). However I am glad to see and recommend those places the Bible gives application to modern concerns.

The current presidential election, I believe, is evidence of the faulty thinking of too many Christians today and gives credibility to our Anabaptist forefathers who took separation of church and state to such an extreme as to disdain political involvement. Pragmatism and common sense led our more recent[1] forefathers to assume some political involvement. Though their motives were pure and their reasoning was sound I believe their step into the political world has been with much harm and loss.

Currently we are in quagmire of political goop. Our choices for our future president are so poor it would be a helpful step in the right direction if we could just choose between the lesser of two evils. We view our current choices as so far into the darkness that there is no lesser evil. They may not even present a different sort of evil.

And now good men of God are clashing over the issue of choosing the one because he is at least a conservative on paper or not choosing at all. Some I think are blindly supporting a man who is a train wreck. Some are aggressively supporting the concept of writing in a name. Frankly, I cannot say yet what I believe the Spirit of God would have me to do. I know for sure I don’t want to do something because pragmatism, reason or political pull wants me to do it. I know for a fact what our Baptist forefathers prior to the American Revolutionary War would have advised; they would have stayed well away from this fray. They would have let the governments of this world do as they may. They would have instead focused their attention on biblical truth, the souls of men and women, and living without the camp.

[1] The last few hundred years.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 13:12-14 A Baptist Focus on the Current Election

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Hebrews 12:29 It’s Not Up For Debate

Hebrews 12:29 (KJV)
For our God is a consuming fire.

The Word of God declares this to be fact.

  • It is indisputable
  • It is non debatable
  • It is not open for discussion

Our God is a consuming fire. It may not appeal to the senses of fallen man living under the delusion that he is a god in his own right. But it is, so far as the Bible is concerned, truth; pure and simple.

God does as He pleases and sets the standard of righteousness in doing so. He sets up one and pulls down another. He chose Israel as the apple of His eye. He gave the word of God through them. He identified with man as Christ being one of them. He revealed Himself to all mankind in the record of His dealings with them. Then He blinded the eyes of Israel (the nation, not the individual) that His redemption would include all. He cast them away (for a time) to create a new nation of believers banded together in local churches. One day He will call those New Testament believers to heaven and once again graft in Israel as the focus of His plan.

He gets to do all of that because He is God.

  • Men may deny it.
  • Theologians may attempt to excuse it.
  • The proud may reject it.

It makes no matter God is God. “Our God is a consuming fire.”

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 12:29 It’s Not Up For Debate

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Hebrews 11:30 The Ethereal Nature of Faith

Hebrews 11:30 (KJV)
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

Maybe no event mentioned in the Hall of Faith demonstrates the ethereal nature of faith more than does this. The Bible says it was by faith that the walls of Jericho fell down. Mark carefully:

  • It does not say by faith Israel tore them down
  • It does not say it was the faithful marching in cadence[1] that the walls succumbed and fell down

The Bible says it was completely totally and absolutely by faith alone that the walls fell down.

Mark too that this faith alone does not mean Israel was idle. They did not sit at camp and sip tea. Herein lies that struggle that has been at the heart of many a Christian disagreement; is it the activity of man or of God that affects His will? The answer is “Yes”.  It is only the activity of God and He commands our activity.

An application of immediate practicality comes to mind just now. Last night Ted Cruz announced that he will suspend his bid for the presidential election. It places many of us in a quandary because we do not want to vote for either Clinton or Trump but we do not want to throw our vote away either. To not vote for Trump, logic and the pundits tell us, is to vote in defacto for Clinton. Faith, one preacher said today, will lead him to vote for Trump as a moral vote against Hillary. That seems to me like the same reasoning that has to find some physical answer to the walls of Jericho falling down.

There is another way to approach this thing; we could, as believers in Christ, unite to do what can’t be done. We could band together in prayer and action, to write in the presidential ballot a candidate not nominated by the big two parties. We can do the godly thing and not the expedient thing.

Does this guarantee our walls fall down? Of course not. That’s the point of faith, it is acting on what we believe to be right and not we know will work. Does this promise that Hillary isn’t elected? Certainly not. It does however insure that God’s pleasure rests upon us for acting out of faith and not pragmatism.

[1] As I have heard suggested before.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 11:30 The Ethereal Nature of Faith

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Hebrews 10:3 Religion VS Faith

Hebrews 10:3 (KJV)
But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

The book of Hebrews is all about better things. In this case that better thing is about the memory of sin.

Religion, of necessity, keeps dredging up that old sin. It can never allow a man to be free of his sin or else it loses its grip upon that man. The old sin is dug up again and again, beating the man down and whipping him into submission.

New Testament faith in Christ, on the other hand, is all about freedom. God promises him, “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Their sins are forgiven and forgotten. And in that is freedom.

  • The thrust of religion is submission of the old man.
  • The thrust of faith is the elevation of the new man.

Being free the new man is able to grow, to thrive and to benefit from constant access to the throne of grace.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 10:3 Religion VS Faith

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Hebrews 9:24 For Us

Hebrews 9:24 (KJV)
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Not long ago I had a conversation with a Jewish man. (I am not sure he would call it a conversation as he, in the most uncivil terms, accused me of being an uncivil anti-Semitic.) He insisted that Jesus never abandoned the Jewish covenant and that neither did His disciples. He was sure that every time the New Testament speaks of the church, God meant to say synagogue.

This passage is very clear; Jesus has assumed the position of High Priest, but not in the Old Testament sense, He is High Priest in heaven. He has entered into a new and more excellent covenant.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 9:24 For Us

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Hebrews 6:11 Full Assurance of Hope

Hebrews 6:11 (KJV)
And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

There is hope, there is the full assurance of hope and then there is possessing that full assurance unto the end.

The hope of the Christian is eternal life
It is not as the world gives, a vain and empty hope but one based on the promise of God. It is unconditional and once made is certain and sure.

The full assurance of hope is however, conditional.
Though I have a thing doesn’t necessarily mean I am confident in my possession. Confidence of eternal life is developed through obedience to the things of God as given in God’s Word. The more we know God’s Word and have proved it through obedience to it, the more assured we become in its promises.

The full assurance to the end comes only through faithfulness
While eternal life is unconditional and therefore secure, the full assurance of that eternal life can be had and lost. The desire of the Apostle was that these (and we may add, we) would possess the full assurance until that last day we dwell in this mortal life. His desire therefore was for our faithfulness. He desired that not a few but that every one of us diligently continue our ministry unto the end so that we would possess the full assurance of our hope unto the end.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 6:11 Full Assurance of Hope

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Hebrews 5:1-3 The Priestly Role of the Believer

Hebrews 5:1-3 (KJV)
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

These are the qualifications of the Aaronic priesthood in contrast to the priesthood of Christ. If there is a corollary, and I believe there is, it is with the believer and not the preacher. Every believer is a priest today. Thus we might apply these qualities to our own role:

We ought to focus on things pertaining to God
The Christian ought to be such full time. Life for the believer ought to be entirely about things pertaining to God.

We ought to have compassion
The need of man is compassion from God shed through the hearts of the saints.

We ought to remember our own infirmities and not just those of others
No one has arrived to such a place of spiritual maturity that we can afford to forget our own need of growth mercy and forgiveness.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 5:1-3 The Priestly Role of the Believer

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Hebrews 4:14 Something To Really Fear

Hebrews 4:14 (KJV)
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

The phrase “let us” is found four times in this chapter (and a number of other times in the book of Hebrews):

  • Vs 1
  • Let us therefore fear
  • Vs 11
  • Let us labor therefore
  • Vs 14
  • Let us hold fast
  • Vs 16
  • Let us therefore come boldly

The first two of these (and I believe a case can be made the same is true of the other two) are nearly discounted in modern Christianity. My focus is on the first of the four.

Even though the Bible assures us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning both of knowledge and of wisdom, fearing God is far from preached in the average pulpit. Today’s preacher is much more likely to focus on God’s accessibility, His love, His forgiveness. Not many Christians even consider that they might want also to fear Him.

Years ago there was a man in the church I pastored at the time, who could not stand that I am afraid of bees. It’s a pretty irrational fear, I know, but I am afraid of them. I got attacked by a bunch of them when I was a little boy and it isn’t something I want to have happen again. At any rate, he quoted from the book of James how that there is no fear in love and that perfect love casteth out fear. He tried to convince me that I was disobeying the Bible by being afraid of bees and wanted to teach me to love bees so I would no longer be afraid of them. It is this sort of misinterpretation of the Bible that leaves people so very far from God.

The Bible repeatedly and through many different lenses urges us fear the Lord. In this case we are to fear that we have come short of the promise of God.

The example is Old Testament Israel. They all possessed the same opportunity for rest but they did not all receive it. In our day this would translate into that we all have the same opportunity for salvation and peace with God but not everybody who thinks they have it do.

We take faith much too flippantly these days. We are far too casual with the Gospel. We fail to see the throne of grace as a place to find grace and help; we have come to view it as a place to demand our rights.

And in so doing many of us have missed God altogether.

That’s something to really fear.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 4:14 Something To Really Fear

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Hebrews 1:12 Just Like Changing Clothes

Hebrews 1:12 (KJV)
And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

It is the fact that these words are inspired of the Holy Spirit that they are so interesting to me. People are given to hyperbole and exaggeration. Not so the Lord.

Given that, consider the ease, the casual nature of God’s description of that day when God destroys the current heavens and earth and creates them brand new. It will be for Him as uneventful as when we fold up our current garments to change into new.

  • It is effortless
  • It is normal
  • It is standard business

A child can change their own clothes by the time they are just a few years old. This is about the easiest, almost carefree thing a human being ever does.

God changes the heaven and the earth with such ease.

And He loves us.

He promises to save us from eternal hell and forgive us of our sins if only we will turn from those sins to Jesus Christ. He goes with us through our trials. He indwells us by His Spirit. He urges us to come to him in prayer.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hebrews 1:12 Just Like Changing Clothes

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