John, the beloved disciple, was banished on the Isle of Patmos when he wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). The Revelation was given to John on this wonderful occasion. The “Lord’s day” specifically referred to the first day of the week, or Sunday.Read more
(The following account is a narrative of Jesus in Mark 12:41-44 KJV).
Jesus walked into the courtyard of the temple and sat down, observing the people. Truly, it was a mixed multitude. There were men within the court doing business, buying and selling and taking advantage of the people who had to buy animals. Jews from far places, dusty and tired from traveling, prepared to bring their sacrifices to the priests. Pharisees strode proudly through the throng of people, praying in loud voices and extolling their own virtue. Others, humbled to be in the house of God, had a glow of worship as they offered their petitions of prayer and sacrifice to the Lord God.Read more
(The following account is from Galatians 4:21-31 KJV).
Abraham, a patriarch of the Old Testament, had two sons. God had promised Abraham and his barren wife Sarah that He would bless them with a son in their old age. Due to a lack of faith, Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, to whom Ishmael was born. The son, promised by God, was later born to Sarah when she was ninety years old and Abraham was one hundred. Ishmael was born after the flesh to a bondswoman who was not free while Isaac was born to a free woman by the promise of God.Read more
Around the year 759 BC, Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord asking a question: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). Who will take the Word of God and share it with people who so desperately need it? Who will sacrifice their time and talents and forsake the world to devote themselves to the cause and work of God? Who will put their reputation and life on the line to speak uncompromising messages from heaven? Who is willing to endure rejection and be despised for the sake of the gospel? Who will embrace the wonderful truths of holiness and hope? Isaiah heard the call of the Spirit and responded: “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).Read more
Jesus looked on the scribes and Pharisees and admonished them: “Ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. . . . cleanse first that which is within . . . that the outside of them may be clean also. . . . Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity”
(Matthew 23:25-28 KJV).
The Pharisees dressed in such a way that they might look righteous and holy before the people. Jesus knew their hearts and instructed them to “cleanse first” the inward man. Far more important than the type of clothing is the condition of heart before God. Some people today do as the self-righteous Pharisees of yesterday. They not only seek for justification through their good works and modest clothing but they glory in it. Jesus taught that it was not the outward things that defile a man but the things which “come forth from the heart” (Matthew 15:17-20). If the heart is not right with God, all outward standards and works will be in vain. An outward standard to hide unrighteousness in the heart is hypocrisy.Read more