“And unto Adam he said…cursed is the ground for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17). “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse” (Galatians 3:10). “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).
The Old Testament law could only condemn and show how far short the human race came in measuring up to God’s standard of holiness. The last word of the Old Testament is “curse” (Malachi 4:6).
Notwithstanding, Christ, on the cross bore the curse of sin so that we would never have to bear it. “Who His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Now, instead of a curse, we have the blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Thus the New Testament ends with “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Revelation 22:21).
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (March 9th 1749—April 2nd 1791) was a leader of the early stages of the French revolution. He was probably the greatest political mind and orator of the time.
Here is how an eyewitness described his deathbed scene:
“He urged ‘Crown me with flowers, intoxicate me with perfume, let me die with the sound of delicious music.’ When death came nearer he said, ‘My sufferings are intolerable: I have in me a hundred years of life, but not a moment’s courage.’ He then demanded and received a draught of opium under which influence he died.”
We may have wealth, fame, and great natural abilities in this life, but when it comes to facing eternity all those things mean nothing if we do not know Christ as our Saviour, and enjoy the assurance of sins forgiven. The Apostle Paul, as a young man, had everything going for him in this world, but when he got saved he said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:7). Whatever we have in this life apart from Christ, will do us no good when we leave this world for the next life. To know Christ as Saviour is everything!
It is Christ that gives purpose and meaning to life. Here are some examples and exhortation from the Bible on this subject:
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).
“Barnabas…Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:22-23).
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Does your life have real meaning and purpose. If you are seeking to live for the Lord, reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, serving others, and spreading the gospel, then your life will have purpose, substance, and eternal value. You will be like Paul, who could say to Timothy at the end of his life, “Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience” (2 Timothy 3:10).
At this point in the book of Revelation the angel has delivered his message, and now the Lord Jesus, the theme and center of all prophecy, Himself speaks. The solemn scenes of judgment, the coming glories of the heavenly city, the blessedness of the millennial reign, the perfect bliss of the new heaven and the new earth, have all passed before us, but at last we are left alone with the One upon whom it all depends—we are alone with JESUS. The One who can say, “I Jesus” has the last word. Angels have spoken, elders have spoken, trumpets have sounded, the voice of great multitudes have been heard and the sound of mighty thunderings, but at length all give place to the One who is above all—the voice of Jesus is heard.
We can hear His voice speaking to us today as well. Through all the din and activity of everyday life—He speaks; through the noise and confusion of the world around us—He speaks; amidst the distractions that our enemy Satan seeks to put in our path—He speaks. He speaks, and we need, like the boy Samuel, to respond, “Speak; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:10).
Some time ago there appeared in a newspaper a cartoon showing two fields divided by a fence. Both fields were about the same size and each had plenty of the same kind of lush green grass.
In each field there was a mule, and each mule had his head through the fence eating grass from the other mule’s pasture. All around each mule, in his own field was plenty of grass, yet the grass on the other side of the fence seemed greener or fresher, although it was harder to get. Furthermore, in the process the mules were caught in the fence wires and were unable to disentangle themselves. The cartoonist put just one word at the bottom of the picture—“DISCONTENT!”
Does this describe you? The Bible tells us, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
The key to contentment is really to be enjoying the company of the Lord Jesus each day. So we read, “Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Is He enough to satisfy no matter what our circumstances? Indeed He is!
In the Bible “watching” is often connected with prayer. In the following verse we are to first “watch” in order to keep out of our lives those things that would hinder an effective prayer life. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). David realized this when he penned the words, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). We need to always be on our guard that we do not allow sin, or worldliness to dull our affections, chill our souls, or lull us into spiritual complacency. These things will hinder “effectual fervent prayer” (James 5:16).
However in the following verses you will notice that the order is reversed. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). This is the thought of persevering. Persevering in prayer would imply, not only turning to God in some special need, but the habitual attitude of dependence upon God. “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray” (Psalm 55:17). However prolonged the trial, though the answer may be delayed, we are to “persevere in prayer,” and then to give thanks for whatever the answers are.
There is a strong tendency among Christians to allow human reasoning to replace Scriptural principles, thus making ourselves wiser than God. The secret of Daniel’s life was that he took his instruction from the Living God. He could say, “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His…He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Daniel 2:20-21). The real challenge is that our reliance on human wisdom is difficult to detect and we often don’t even realize we are doing it. But clear divine instructions set aside in favour of the reasoning of men will always leave us cold and disappointed. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain” (2 Corinthians 1:19-20). Take your wisdom from the Lord through His Word the Bible, and you will have good instruction in your path of faith for the Lord this coming week.
“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided Him” (Luke 23:35). “And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads” (Matthew 27:39). “And sitting down they watched Him there” (Matthew 27:36).
There at Calvary there were many who passed hurriedly by, others who stood and lingered, and some who even sat down and watched the Lord suffer on the cross. While there were some observers who truly loved Him, such as Mary His mother, the Apostle John, Mary Magdalene, and others, yet for the most part the crowd was composed of scoffers, and those who hated Him “without a cause” (Psalm 69:4).
Today we look back to Calvary and remember the sufferings of Christ and the great sacrifice of Himself.
With adoration, worship, praise, we look to Calvary,
And see the One who gave Himself,
From sin to set us free.
We also look up, by faith, and “see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour” (Hebrews 2:9).
These are sayings you will hear from many people today. They sound nice, and help to make people feel good, since their own beliefs are said to be as valid as those of anyone else. “After all,” some say, “can you really know anything for sure?” People who claim to have “the truth” are looked down upon as being arrogant and intolerant. For some reason, people can accept the idea that any religion is valid as long as it doesn’t claim to be the only true religion! Do you know why? It’s Satan’s way of getting people to believe anything but the one thing that will remove his grip on their souls. It is not true that all religious beliefs are of equal value. It is not true that “Whatever you believe is alright.” The very fact that “Everybody has their own beliefs” shows what God says is man’s biggest problem—we’ve exchanged His truth for our beliefs, and as a result, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).
Q. Could you explain the significance of the colors of the four horses in Revelation chapter six? (Part 2).
A. “A white horse” (verse 2). The white horse symbolizes a judgment involving conquering and victory for the rider. Later in Revelation when the Lord comes to reign, we read, “Behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11).
“Another horse that was red” (verse 4). With the coming of this horse, peace is take from the earth, there is killing, and there is war. The red horse, no doubt speaks of bloodshed, this being the result of the white horse and its rider.
“And lo a black horse” (verse 5). This horse figures mourning, consternation, and famine. As a result of conquest and bloodshed, there will be scarcity and want, and the masses will be deprived of the necessities of life.
“Behold a pale horse” (verse 8). The pale horse has the name of Death stamped upon the rider. It signifies that pestilence will follow famine. Hell (Hades) follows as it swallows up its victims. What awful judgments are coming on this world!