Our Country

Now consider our country. We, too, are a nation that largely disregards the Lord, one that has turned away from Him and embraced idols. Maybe ours aren’t statues of stone, but we worship money, athletic ability, fame, politics, and reputation. Over time, we’ve removed the Lord from many aspects of public life. What was once a nation founded on godly principles has become a country that tolerates a variety of sins.

When Israel turned its back on the Lord, God’s wrath was inevitable unless the people repented and made Him Lord once again. As believers, we have responsibility to pray that God will draw our heart, and the heart of our country, back to Himself, and that He will help the gospel and truth spread through our land.

The Lord of the Sabbath

Brother Dee Keith

Matthew 12:15

It was the Sabbath day. The day began not unlike most other Sabbath days for Jesus and the disciples who were traveling somewhere through Galilee in the vicinity of Capernaum. But this day would turn eventful and ultimately lead to an event that would help change the course of history for both the Jewish people and the Gentiles. As they walked, the twelve passed through a cornfield and hunger overcame them. The disciples did what most hungry people would do, they plucked ears of corn, shucked them, and ate. This was allowable according to the Mosaic Law. The problem was, today was not just another day; it was the Sabbath. But, according to the strict interpretation of the Pharisees, Jesus and His men were in violation of the law. And because they were sticklers of the law, they quickly brought this error to the attention of the popular Rabbi.

This wasn’t the first run-in between Jesus and the Pharisees. It would be, however, one key event of many that would eventually have the Pharisees collaborate with the Sadducees and Herodians to have Jesus murdered. They feared Him. They feared His popularity among the people. They feared His implausible and inexplicable power to heal the sick, to free the demonized, and to raise the dead. They couldn’t refute His power. He had done it all and a number of the Pharisees had witnessed them. So amazing were these feats that some of their own rank had broken rank and become believers and followers of Him.
They feared Him. They hated Him. This wouldn’t be the last of the run-ins either. Other run-ins would be even stronger and more contentious. Jesus of Nazareth was one of those people that you either loved or hated. If you knew anything about Him, you either loved Him or hated Him, worshiped Him or loathed Him.

There was no neutrality, no middle ground of feelings, no straddling the fence. Sometimes it seemed as if Jesus picked a fight with the Pharisees; but He didn’t. He used occasions like this Sabbath day to expose the errors of Pharisaism, their traditions and rituals, to teach and explain the true spiritual intent of the law and the prophets and God’s given truth. In this instance, it was about the Sabbath day and on it.

In recounting this event, Matthew first showed the great misunderstanding that focused on Him. Some Pharisees were traveling alongside of the Lord and His disciples when they passed through the cornfield and the disciples became hungry and, being hungry, they plucked some ears of corn, pulled off the husks and began to eat. The Pharisees immediately took exception to their action and said to Jesus, “Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day” (2). The misunderstanding wasn’t on the part of the disciples and Jesus, but by the Pharisees who believed they knew the law but did not. The Law of Moses said, “When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor’s standing corn” (Dt. 23:25).

H. A. Ironside wrote in his commentary, “There was absolutely no prohibition in the law of Moses in regard to this, but in the traditions of the elders there were many added laws and regulations that made it at times almost impossible for the ordinary man to know whether he was violating one of them or not. Among these rules was the prohibition to gather fruit or grain of any kind upon the Sabbath day, and even to rub it out in the hand as the disciples were doing seemed to these Pharisees a violation of that which they regarded as sacred.” To demonstrate the flawed teaching and tradition of the Pharisees regarding their interpretation of the Sabbath and the law, the Lord cited an incident from the life of David when he and his men entered the house of God and ate the “shewbread that was not lawful to eat” except for the priests (1 Sa. 21:5-6). David ate even though it was ‘unlawful’ for him to do so, yet the Old Testament did not condemn him for his act.

Therefore, the Pharisees should not condemn Jesus’ disciples for doing something Scripture did not condemn David’s men for doing. Jesus was arguing that His authority should override the Law more than their view of the Sabbath should. Furthermore, if they wanted to be strict interpreters of the law, technically, the priests broke the Sabbath law every week when changing the consecrated bread and offering the burnt offerings the Law specified for the week (5). Were they violating their law? They were not. The Law considered the priests guiltless (innocent) for doing this ‘work’ on the Sabbath. The point in these two illustrations is that “even a divine prohibition, if it relates to mere ceremonial matter, melts, like wax, before even bodily necessities” (Alexander MacLaren). Mark summed up this point with the words of the Lord Jesus, when He said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mk. 2:27-28).

Apparently on the same Sabbath day, maybe just a few hours after the first incident, Jesus and the disciples entered the synagogue where the next confrontation occurred. The Pharisees were waiting and a man with a withered hand was in attendance. It’s within the realm of possibility that this was a staged event by the Pharisees who planted the man and hoped to entrap the Master. Jesus had just declared to these infidels that he was the Lord of the Sabbath, now He would demonstrate it to them in the great mercy that flowed from Him. The Pharisees asked, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him” (10). Answering them, Jesus said, “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?

Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days” (11-12). The malice of the Pharisees was countered with the mercy of the Physician, and Jesus said, “Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.” To these legalists, ritualism was more important than restoration. Ceremony was more important than compassion. Their cause (the law) was of greater importance than a cured man. Their darkened heart revealed their deep hatred of Christ as “the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him” (14). Spiros Zodhiates said on this, “They actually thought that preserving the law of the Sabbath and even killing someone for breaking it was more important than showing mercy to a suffering person. In contrast, Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17).” In seeking to destroy Jesus, however, they damned their own soul.

Knowing the thoughts and intents of the Pharisees, Jesus withdrew Himself and left. When He departed from there, so did many others. Matthew was impressed with the great multitude that followed Him for he said, “great multitudes followed him”. This isn’t just an incidental (secondary) note, nor is it insignificant. The unnumbered many were watched everything Jesus did and listened intently to the exchange that took place between the Pharisees and Him. The significance of this truth is formed in the verb followed. Where His works and words were rejected by Israel’s spiritual leaders, they were received by the ordinary man and woman. Some who followed Him were insincere and uncommitted at this point. Many, many others, however, were now inquisitive and sincere followers. One writer has commented that followed can be interpreted to mean that they had become believers and were now His disciples.

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. The question really is, is He the Lord of you?

The Bible

I ran across this and thought I would share it. It made me think for a long time. Among other things, the Bible is a very honest book. It tells us when our heroes mess up.

The Bible tells us, for example, that after Noah filled an ark with a bunch of stinky animals, bobbed around in the ocean, and came to the new place God created for him, he went out and got drunk.

The Bible also tells us that Abraham, the father of faith, lied on multiple occasions.

David, the man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and then effectively committed murder to hide his adultery.

The mighty Samson, who could do supernatural feats of strength with the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, made many bad decisions and reaped the consequences.

When we come to the New Testament, we read of Simon Peter’s sins and lapses.

Now, if it were up to me, I would have left all those unfavorable details out. But the Bible includes them because they happened.

On the other hand, we read of other men and women of the Bible and don’t find any accounts of them compromising or struggling with any sin. It is not that they didn’t, but the Bible doesn’t mention it.

We don’t know of any sin that Joseph committed, except maybe bragging to his family about his dreams and being a little too proud of his cool coat.

Also, we don’t read of any sin that Daniel or his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego committed.

So, we see that some believers struggled more than others. Here’s what it comes down to: we choose what kind of Christian life we want to live.

If you want to live in constant struggle with sin, you can live that way. Or, you can live in newness of life by the power of the Holy Spirit, which has been provided for you by Jesus Christ through the cross.

Holy Spirit

We ask our Father to fill us with His Holy Spirit. Then we ask Him to reveal to us what our gifts are. This is still a problem today. There’s a lot of ignorance about spiritual gifts.

Whether this is because we neglect our spiritual gifts or don’t understand them, we miss out on them. Maybe one reason is that we’ve seen excess in this area, causing us to recoil.

People sometimes do rather strange things in the name of the Holy Spirit. So we say, “Well, I don’t want that in my life.”

Yet, every believer has been given gifts of the Spirit if he or she is filled with the Spirit.

Jesus said, If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13 )

God goes out of His way to find the most unexpected instruments to use for His glory. That includes you. He has given you spiritual gifts. Maybe you’ve never discovered them, so you need to start praying about what they are.

Make an effort, and see what you can do for God’s glory. Because the church needs you, and you need the church. We’re a family, though not a perfect one.

So, find your place, and when you do you’ll find that church will change radically for you.


The crucifixion of Christ is a central doctrine of our faith, and understanding it correctly is essential for eternal life.

It’s important for us as believers to understand what happened on the cross—then we too can be thoroughly convinced of its supreme significance. It was not simply the execution of a Jewish man. What transpired in that event was the solution to mankind’s biggest problem: sin and our resulting alienation from God.

The crucifixion is the divine transaction that saves us. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to the Father. Although the Jews and the Romans viewed the crucifixion as the execution of a criminal, God saw the death of His Son as the perfect atoning sacrifice, which allowed for the justification of sinful mankind.

Nothing else is required to pay for our salvation. To be saved, all we must do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.


Baptism is a symbol of the end of the old you and the beginning of the new you. It’s an outward showing of an inward doing, because regeneration takes place when we believe in Jesus.

The Bible tells us, Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4 )

By the way, there is God’s part and our part. God sanctifies us. The apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23 )

But then we need to cooperate with God. Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12–1)

Notice that Paul didn’t say, Work for your salvation. That’s impossible, because salvation is a gift of God. Rather, live it out. Experience it. Our salvation should affect us in our day-to-day choices.

Salvation is coming to Christ; sanctification is growing in Christ. Salvation happens in a moment, bringing a sinner from spiritual death to life; sanctification is an ongoing process.

Salvation is being forgiven of the past; sanctification is breaking free from the power of sin. This is something God does in our lives, and it never stops until we get to Heaven.


The current election indicates a division in our country, and we have been hearing that repeatedly through the media – television, and radio, and in print – that our country is greatly divided. We can see how severe the division is because of the closeness of the vote. But the current election, with all of the pundits, and all of the commentators, and all of the words that have been offered toward this particular event is not really properly understood. I haven’t heard anything that really properly grasps what’s going on. And I’m going to tell you what I think is going on from a biblical perspective, and from a Christian perspective, and I’m going to point out what I think is the real division.

This is the division that is so disturbing to Christians, and it’s not about economics, and it’s not about taxes, and it’s not about deficits, and it’s not about surpluses, and it’s not about prescription drugs, and it’s not about entitlements. And the division is really not about anything that is political or that is social. The fact of the matter is both candidates, in this time in American history, are in an environment where socialized economics, reallocation of wealth, big government, excessive taxation are firmly established and can only be slightly altered by either party – if at all.

And frankly, in those areas, it doesn’t matter who is president. There just isn’t that much difference. The division that disturbs us is not about any of that. The division that disturbs us is about the Bible; it’s about morality as defined by the scripture; it’s about Christianity and its place in American society.

To be honest, the current Democratic agenda is pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-feminist, anti-Christian, and exclusive of biblical standards. Essentially, no true Christian can support that agenda.

It’s a new day in America. What we have is a division about the Bible, about morality, about biblical standards. And that is what is so disturbing to us.

When Bill Clinton was elected the first time, back in 1992, most Americans – 63 percent – didn’t want him as president. It was known, at that time, that he was an immoral man; it was later confirmed time and time again. But you could see, during the eight years of his presidency, his popularity grew and his rate of acceptance and satisfaction getting higher and higher. The people, more and more, began to approve of him.

I’m convinced that by our next election, another generation of young people will have entered into voting age, and they will carry the attitudes that are pervasive in the culture today, and what was a 37-percent vote 8 years ago, and is now a 50-percent vote, could well be a 60-percent vote for the non-Christian, non-biblical, non-moral position.

This was confirmed to me in one interview I read, where a television commentator was interviewing Dick Morris, who was the White House secretary with the Clintons for a number of years before he was discredited by his own immorality. And he was asked by the commentator when Hillary Clinton won the state of New York if he could define her in one word. And he, without hesitation, answered, “Amoral.”

What we’re seeing in America is the death of morality. What we’re seeing in America is the death of biblical standards. What we’re seeing is the displacement of Christianity. Morality and biblical commitment are fading in our nation and fading before our very eyes. And Christians, frankly, I think, are disturbed not so much because we want Trump to win, but because we want the Democratic Party to lose. And it isn’t personal. We really would prefer one last hurrah for what is moral, one last hurrah for what is right and righteous and biblical. We would like to believe that we can hold on to a place in our society for God’s Word. But it’s a losing battle. I

I want you to turn to Acts chapter 14 for a moment, and I just want to make a couple of comments about a text there. In Acts 14, we get a perspective that I think is important. The apostle Paul, along with Barnabas, in this case, and anybody else who does what Paul did describes himself as a preacher of the gospel.

Verse 15 of Acts 14, about a third way into the verse, he says, “We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel. We preach the gospel to you in order that you may turn from these vain things” – that is idols, false religion – “to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” Paul says, “We are preachers, and we preach about the one and only God, the true and living God, and we preach to you the good news of that true and living God, that sinners can be reconciled to Him.”

Then in verse 16, he says, “In the generations gone by, He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without a witness.” And that’s the story of human society, folks: all the nations rise and fall; all the nations come and go. And in the midst of all of that, God always has His preachers who are preaching the gospel. He is never without witness, but the cycle is always the same.

Verse 16 says that in the generations gone by – you can look at all of human history – God permits all the nations to go their own way. There is no way to stop the cycle. Someone well said, “If men have learned anything from history, it is that men never learn anything from history.” And so, you have people today working feverishly to save America. To save America. And that’s very normal, and it pains us greatly to see the declining interest in the Bible, the massive effort to get the Bible out of the public discourse, to get the Bible removed as the standard for conduct and behavior and law.

But, folks, this is history, and history inexorably repeats itself. And the cynicism of the preacher in Ecclesiastes is justified when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” And he went on to say that history is an endless cycle of repetition. “That which has been now; that which is to have already been,” he said. And we are now in the cycle.

Men and nations follow the same path from glory to dust, from the heights to the depths, from great achievement to destruction. The beginnings are bright, and the beginnings are hopeful and filled with promise, but there’s always the slide and the drift, the spiritual entropy that takes over in a fallen world and catapults nations downward and downward into destruction. In fact, every baby born is a living illustration of the inevitable course of men and nations. Every baby is a single illustration, beginning in the loveliness of innocence and infancy; and moving through childhood and all of its bright, shining hope; and finally to adulthood and decline through maturity to the sad reality of death.

Our own nation is on that same path. America is caught in the doomsday cycle that has caught every nation and will until the Lord comes and establishes the glory of His own kingdom. We are a dying nation in a world of dying nations, and dying people. And for us, in America, it’s hard to swallow because we had particularly bright infancy. It all began with such a primitive beauty; it all began with people coming here, to this great land, to seek out freedom – freedom to express their love to Christ in a community of people who were devoted to the Word of God.

It was in that context that we established our Constitution. It was in that context that we established our Bill of Rights. It was in that context that we designed our government with all of its wonderful freedoms. It was in that context that we established our churches and our schools and our legal system.

The Bible was held high, and the Bible was the source of all truth and authority for life, both private and public. And God was at the center of our activity, and His name is even on our coinage. Worshiping God was a way of life, and churches were the hub of communities. There were great preachers and wonderful schools for teaching Scripture, and they all had a central place in the life of this nation. There was a standard, and there was a norm, and there was an absolute, and it was the Word of God.

But that was the time of America’s infancy, and as maturity came, we began to drift into degraded adulthood; it was evident. There were some voices that tried to call us back. The Edwards and Whitfield and Moody and others. There were preachers here and there, and churches here and there were crying out to try to stem the tide. But evil has prevailed, and we face the inevitable judgment of God.

It’s like what is going on right now. This so-called Pandemic, it is not any more death threatening than most any other virus. The press and the left have got everyone so suck into their scram that it is getting easier to destroy this country and President Trump. Don’t believe me, look around, check the facts, and if you don’t want to believe me then after you get your shot from the Gates foundation and they put their chip in you, you will be a believer then. Soon you won’t be able to go anywhere till you get your shot. It will be required. Check the track record the Gates foundation has in other countries. The death toll is very sad.

But again I’m just saying what I feel and what I know. Take the way you want it….

Christian's Commentary

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