NEWS: Bulgaria has completed its Burgas investigation and briefed Israel. The conclusions are being kept secret until after the Israeli elections and are to be released; end Jan/beginning Feb.
SPECIAL MUSIC for Sabbath: This psalm is sung by the Sons of Korah, named after the singers of David. Their songs are laid back home-style music. Here is Psalm 91 Psalm 91 is a prophecy of Jesus Christ and those who sincerely follow him. This is a “big picture” psalm and does not mean that Christ and his true disciples will not have trials, but promises that in the end, they shall be granted eternal life by the Father. This psalm is very appropriate in connections with our Job studies.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: The next new moon will begin at sunset ending Feb 11, making the new moon day Feb 12th. This date is firm.
COGWA NEWS: This week’s update includes auto bio presentations by Leon Walker and Larry Salyer which may be of interest. Click on Jim Franks pic to see and hear the presentations.
UCG NEWS: The elders are being reminded to prepare Passover sermons. The wording and focus of this letter is decidedly evangelical: italics mine. Its not so much what he says, as what he does not say. He focuses on the love of Christ, and not a word about repentance and faithful obedience as required for the application of that sacrifice.
From Roy Holladay
Dear beloved ministers and wives, deacons and wives and home office staff,
In a little over nine weeks we will once again be observing the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread festival season. This is a very moving and sober time for all of us as we contemplate what Jesus Christ did for us personally and for all humanity.
The Passover helps us to understand the depth of the love of God and grace that He extends to each one of us. The plan of God was formulated in advance by God and the Word. The creation is a direct result of God’s plan of salvation. The plan included the possibility that the Word would have to die for the sins of the world. Notice 1 Peter 1:19-20 explains that we have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” It is difficult for us to fathom this type of love and sacrifice that has been given to us. God’s ultimate purpose is to share His level of existence with us for all eternity.
We need to personally begin to prepare for this upcoming Passover season by beginning to focus our studies on the meaning of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. It is difficult each year to have a new approach or additional information on a topic that we may have spoken on to our congregation for years. There are methods that we can use to help us. Go back and read the last few chapters of each one of the gospels and do more research on the events. [Admin: why not read through the whole Gospel books to gain a true understanding of Christ and what he TAUGHT (instructed and commanded) as well as what he DID? Why not read through Exodus and the FIRST Passover and the Calling Out of Egypt, and consider the spiritual application? I have been blogging daily, preparing for Passover since the Fall Feast, and still may run out of time to cover it all!] Read them in different translations. There are nuances that may come to light as you meditate and reflect on this section of the Bible. Above all, pray for God’s inspiration and insight. Insight is a clear perception of something and the ability to see clearly into the nature of a complex person, situation, or subject (Encarta Dictionary). In addition, study subjects related to His crucifixion: sacrifices, shedding of blood, savior, plan and purpose of God, etc. Try to dig deeper into the meaning of these topics — our literature dealing with the Holy Days will also be a tremendous aid. Check our website for past articles and sermons given on these topics. The ministerial resource site contains a number of sermons dealing with these holy days. Share ideas with other ministers and pick their minds for concepts.
If we are prepared personally to speak on the topic, then we can inspire and motivate our congregations to be prepared. We certainly need to give a number of sermons helping to focus their minds on this season and enthuse and influence them to a higher level of understanding and devotion. This should be one of the most inspiring festival seasons that we have experienced in United.
Vic Kubik is due back home next Wednesday from his African trip. From every report this has been a highly successful trip and we look forward to hearing a summary from him after he returns.
Thank you, fellow workers, for your commitment, hard work and service to the brethren. God is much aware of your sacrifices.
In Christian love, Roy Holladay
Job 29 Job continues speaking
Job rehearses the story of his life, prosperity and his trials.
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, 29:2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; 29:3 When [God smiled and blessed me] his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; 29:4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle [life]; 29:5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; 29:6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; 29:7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!29:8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves [were humble and respectful before me]: and the aged arose [in respect for me] , and stood up.
Job longed for the day when even the rulers respected him for the wisdom that God’s commandments and teachings gave him.
29:9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. 29:10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
Those who saw and heard Job and his teachings, blessed him for the deliverance that God’s word brings.
29:11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
Those who were delivered by the word of God as taught by Job, blessed him; and the poor and widows rejoiced in his help as he applied God’s word.
29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
God’s commandments are righteousness and love; and Job put them on like a garment
29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
The commandments of God give sight [wisdom] to the [spiritually] blind and strength to the weak.
29:15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
God is a Father to the poor in spirit who exalt him and do his will, and Job by doing the Father’s will was like a father to his people.
Mat 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Job delivered the poor and was like a father to them, searching out the true justice of any cause as a godly judge.
29:16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
The commandments of God are wisdom and deliver men out of the mouth of destruction.
29:17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
Job believed that he would never suffer any ill because he was faithful and righteous before God; not understanding that God also TESTS and purges the faithful so that they may bear even more fruit.
29:18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest [own home surrounded by my children at a old age], and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
Job was rich and full of Godly wisdom because of his faithfulness to all God’s commandments. Wisdom brought him wealth and the respect of all around him.
Job was strong like a well watered tree.
29:19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch. 29:20 My glory was fresh in me, and my bow [strength] was renewed in my hand. 29:21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence [did not interrupt] at my counsel. 29:22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them. 29:23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
Men did not believe that Job would be in error, and men looked up to his appearing.
29:24 If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
Job was a mighty man and leader of the people.
29:25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.
Job’s TEST of suffering.
I ws old and respected for wisdom, now because of my trial the foolish young men despise me.
30:1 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
What profit is there in the physical strength of servants, when I am facing death in this manner?
30:2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
Foolish young men who were in deep poverty because of their foolishness, now condemn Job who was wise for his calamities.
30:3 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. 30:4 Who cut up mallows [swamp greens] by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. 30:5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) 30:6 To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. 30:7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. 30:8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
Job is despised of even these sons of Belial, who now spit in Job’s face and say that he who taught godliness is a hypocrite and sinner.
30:9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. 30:10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Because God has afflicted me and loosed his blessings from Job; the wicked foolish [like his own friends] has loosed off their restraints and controls and poured out abuse towards Job.
30:11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. 30:12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away [seek to cause me to stumble in my loyalty to God] my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
When the faithful are TESTED and suffer, they are mocked by the wicked; who call the zealous fools and say: ”What is the profit in serving God?” The wicked, lax and lukewarm, attack the zealous for God and his commandments when they are in their trials. They are motivated by Satan to add mockery to the pain and so entice people to say “There is no profit in zeal for God” and to turn away from God.
30:13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. 30:14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters [as from a broken dam]: in the desolation [of the righteous, they add to sorrows] they rolled themselves upon me.
Job is afraid for his fears have come upon him.
30:15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. 30:16 And now my soul [my life] is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 30:17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
Job’s body is swollen.
30:18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. 30:19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
Job begs for mercy and it is delayed.
30:20 I cry unto thee [God], and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. 30:21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
30:22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it [be blown about in thoughts] , and dissolvest my substance.
Unto all men death is appointed.
30:23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Job not knowing of the plan of salvation [revealed by Christ] considers this physical life to be all there is.
30:24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
Job had a concern for the afflicted and now seeks God’s concern for his affliction.
30:25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
Job sorrows night and day, and suffered abdominal distress in his agony of spirit.
30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
Job says that he is a wonderer over the land with wild beasts, and has lost his home and wealth.
30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. 30:30 My skin is black [sunburned and dried out] upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
30:31 My harp [songs of joy] also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
A list of sins and there consequences; each of which has its spiritual application.
Job covenanted with a wife and was faithful to her; this is analogous of our marriage covenant with Jesus Christ our espoused Husband.
1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
The end of covenant breakers; who break their marriage covenant with Christ to keep all his commandments and to do all that he requires; is destruction. While the righteous will be lifted up to the the marriage feast and eternal life in unity with Christ and the Father.
31:2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? 31:3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? 31:4Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps? 31:5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; 31:6 Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.
If we depart from God and the enthusiastic keeping of all of his commandments; we are under a curse for spiritual adultery and idolatry, as well as the specific sins involved.
31:7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine [the lust of my] eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; 31:8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
31:9 If mine heart have been deceived by a woman [false teacher, false doctrine; Babylon the great religious whore], or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; 31:10 Then let my wife grind [serve] unto another, and let others bow down [lie] upon her.
Adultery is a great sin; and the spiritual adultery of departing form the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ to follow and obey strange teachings of a strange god IS spiritual adultery.
31:11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. 31:12 For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
If we are not just with others, God will not hold us guiltless; for all persons are equal before him.
31:13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 31:14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 31:15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
31:16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; 31:17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; 31:18 (For from my youth he was brought [my neighbour] up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;)
If the wealthy, or the better off, do not help the needy; it is a great evil. And if the spiritually blessed do not feed the poor in spirit, with the solid meat of God’s word; it is a great sin. You elders must give an account for the spiritual health of God’s flocks entrusted to your care. If they are lacking in spiritual growth, you will be judged for that.
31:19 If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;31:20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; 31:21 If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: 31:22 Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
Fear God and feed his sheep! Do not be like the Laodicean shepherds of Ezek 34 who feed themselves and not the sheep; or who feed the sheep only enough to keep them almost alive, and give them polluted food and water in place of the pure Word of God.
31:23 For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
Never trust in transitory physical riches in place of the riches of the spirit and eternal life! Never say “I am righteous, for I am rich in money and followers”! For that is spiritual idolatry! And compromising with God’s commandments to gain more followers and income is spiritual adultery in lusting after these things instead of obedience to our espoused Husband!
31:24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; 31:25 If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
To read horoscopes and trust in the heavenly bodies, and false unconverted prophets, is also spiritual adultery and idolatry. To follow such false gods and false doctrines is to deny the Eternal!
31:26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 31:27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 31:28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
It is a sin to curse even the wicked; we are to pray for them, that they repent and overcome the evil; not that they prosper in their evil doing.
31:29 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: 31:30 Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
No man could say that Job did not care for them. Job satisfied them all and no man could say otherwise.
31:31 If the men of my tabernacle [tent, household, life] said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.
Job had fed the needy and housed the stranger
31:32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.
Job did not try to hide any transgression as Adam tried to hide.
31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
Job feared God and not what man can do.
31:34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? 31:35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. 31:36 Surely I would take it [the book of accusations] upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. 31:37 I would declare unto him [the accusing adversary] the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
31:38 If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; 31:39 If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money [by stealing] , or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: 31:40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley [in my own fields] .
The words of Job are ended.