I received the following question:

Do you believe the prophets spoken of in ephesians are with us today?

eph4:11

In Ephesians 4:3-6, Paul sets forth our unity today: the unity of the Spirit. This unity consists of seven great truths which he lists in verses 4-6.

Yet I think God figures here in verse 7 that a great question will arise for His readers. Though we have a unity that God gives us, why cannot we have unity among all believers? Isn’t this what Christ asked for in John 17:21? Did not all believers live in unity in early Acts? (Acts 2:44-47, 4:32-35) Why cannot we see unity among all believers today? Paul explains that in Acts, to every one of them (though NOT to us) grace was given, not according to some superior faith they had, but according to the measure of the gift of Christ. The gift was according to Him, not them! In Greek, the word is “WAS,” not “IS,” as the King James Version. Paul is talking about something that is in the past, in the Acts period. Read the rest of this entry »

arrow02I received the following question:

See what I got this morning as reaction to our resent effort to spread the Word of God. A Pastor whose name is Sam, came to my House this very Morning to tell me that he heard a voice that mandated him to tell me to pray against the arrow of death. Adding that he heard this voice while passing by our house where we reside. He further asked me to fast some number of days and do some vigils all together so as to appease God to remove the death arrow which is looming. Isn’t it laughable? Or maybe something to be desired? However, I did took him through some evidential miracle of the period covered by the Acts of the apostles and the divine intention of God for those signs and wonders, yet he did not believe the scriptural evidence, but was ironically surprised at the findings we got from the scriptures we shared which also touches on spiritual gift. What is your thought on this, Sir? Is this a mark of spirituality OR Deception on the side of this zealous pastor? Your comment will be welcomed so as to guide me properly on the truth given for our obedience in the dispensation of the grace of God.

I believe you were right in setting forth to this pastor that what he was trying to do was in line with the time of the Acts period, when the Lord was working openly, manifestly, and evidentially, but is not in line with how the Lord is working now in this time of His silence. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 55 Continued

12. For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;

David is even more vexed because of who it is who is the terrible enemy who is doing all this to him. It was not one he had thought of as an enemy at all who reproached him.

Then I could bear it.

David testifies that he could bear it if it was an enemy who had done all this to him.

Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;

Nor is it one who in the past has hated David who has exalted himself against him. Of course, we cannot say that he does not hate David now, for his actions show that he does. Yet what David means is in the past. This one had not been a hater of David at all before this current, sad situation arose.

Then I could hide from him.

If it was one who was a known hater and enemy of David, then David could hide from him. It would be much easier to deal with such an enemy, if he was one who had always been David’s enemy. People would have expected this one to be against David, and he would have been able to hide from him and keep him at a distance. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 55

A Contemplation of David.

This is another psalm of David, Israel’s great songwriter, shepherd, and king. This is not a “Contemplation,” but the Hebrew word Maschil refers to “Instruction.” The occasion of the Psalm seems to be the great treachery and rebellion of David’s respected counselor and friend Ahithophel and his own son Absalom. We can read of this sad event in II Samuel 15.

1. After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2. Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would say, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.” 3. Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you.” 4. Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.” 5. And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. 6. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 54

A Contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?”

As in Psalm 53, here we have another Psalm that is called “A Contemplation of David.” The word the New King James Version has translated “Contemplation” is the Hebrew maskiyl, which The Companion Bible suggests means “Instruction.” This psalm is for public instruction regarding the LORD’s faithfulness to rescue His people from the hand of their oppressors.

David wrote this Psalm after learning that the Ziphites had gone to tell Saul that David was hiding among them. I Samuel 23 tells us the story. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 53

A Contemplation of David.

The word the New King James Version has translated “Contemplation” is the Hebrew maskiyl, which The Companion Bible suggests means “Instruction.” This psalm is for public instruction regarding the wicked, for the people of Israel to learn of them and to learn to avoid their ways.

This psalm is very similar to Psalm 14. Why this near repetition, we might ask? First of all, note the superscription and the subscription. Psalm 14 has only a superscription, proclaiming it a “Psalm of David.” Psalm 53 is called “Instruction,” and is dedicated in the subscription “To the Chief Musician.” These two facts mark this psalm out for public performance and instruction. Psalm 14, however, appears to be David’s own private version of the psalm, intended more for David’s own private use rather than for public performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 52

A Contemplation of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”

This Psalm is called “A Contemplation” in the New King James Version. The old King James had a transliteration of the Hebrew as “Maschil,” although a better transliteration might be maskiyl. The Companion Bible suggests that this Hebrew word means “Instruction.” In this Psalm, we are going to be instructed about the destructive man and his end. Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 51 Continued

9. Hide Your face from my sins,

He calls upon God once again, as he has been doing repeatedly in these verses. This time, his appeal to god is to hide His face from his sins. Of course, if His face was hidden from them, He would not be looking on them and remembering them, which is what David is asking Him to do.

And blot out all my iniquities.

Again this is a repetition of the same thought as in the previous line. He does not just want God to hide His face from his sins, but also to blot out his iniquities. If God blots them out, he is sure they will be blotted out and gone from then on. Read the rest of this entry »

confess02Psalm 51

A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Here we have another Psalm by David, the great king and psalmist of Israel. This psalm was written at a most critical moment in David’s life: when, after his terrible sin of adultery with Bathsheba and his equally terrible murder to cover up her subsequent pregnancy, Nathan the prophet went to David to convict him of his sin. In II Samuel 12, we read of this.

1. Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. 3. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. .4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
5. So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! 6. And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”
7. Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 50

A Psalm of Asaph.

Psalm 50 is the first of twelve psalms credited to the man Asaph.

1. The Mighty One, God the LORD,

In Hebrew, this Psalm is introduced by three names of God: El, Elohim, and Jehovah. El is the singular name of God, and it emphasizes His might and strength, as the New King James has rendered it “The Mighty One.” Elohim is the plural name of God, as we would make it “Gods,” and yet it always takes a singular verb, as “Gods is.” There is always an ongoing argument as to whether this is merely the “plural of majesty,” as when kings speak using the royal “we,” or whether it is an indication of plurality within the Godhead. The plural name Elohim is particularly used of God as Creator, and yet the One Who created us is also the One Who has the right to judge us, so it speaks of God as Judge as well. Jehovah (or Yahweh) is used of God in relationship with His people. It is used when the relationship has developed, so that it is more than the relationship between the Creator and His creature, but between two, a person and God, who have established a closer relationship on another footing (as by a covenant, or by some other means). Read the rest of this entry »

music02Psalm 50 is the first of the Psalms credited to the man Asaph, and is the only Psalm so credited in the second, Exodus book of Psalms. The remaining Asaph Psalms are all found in the third book of Psalms. There are in total twelve psalms credited to Asaph.

The name “Asaph” means “Gatherer” or “Collector.” He is first introduced to us among the musicians who served in the house of the LORD in I Chronicles 6.

31. Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark came to rest. 32. They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they served in their office according to their order.
33. And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following comments from a reader of this blog:

Brittany: Nathan, I am concerned that you are online writing in depth about scripture, yet you are not a part of a bible teaching church? where are your elders, your men around you to sharpen and rebuke you? It is easy to find people to agree with you on the internet, it is entirely different to “do life” with other families that are a part of the church to help keep ourselves in check. It is one thing to do a scholarly study of the word, yet you do not serve in Christs church? The church is the bride of Christ, and we all have a place in it.

Precepts: Brittany,

My comments, both given above and in the “About” section of my website, have to do with the affiliation of my website and of the studies posted on the website. I did not intend my comments to say anything about whether or not I attend a church or fellowship with other believers. My point was only that this website is not affiliated with any group or organization, even one that I myself might be affiliated with. The articles posted on this website are my own, and are the results of my own, personal studies in the Word of God. They are, indeed, not passed by anyone else for approval but myself before they are posted. Thus, they are my own responsibility and, as I said, the result of my own studies and my own conclusions entirely. Read the rest of this entry »