Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon The Claims Of God On Mankind ]


Psalm 100 says, “Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness. Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name for the LORD is good. His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” What a magnificent tribute to the one true God of heaven and earth, and what a heaven-sent responsibility falls on every nation on earth to recognize and render obedience to one true God of heaven and earth. My first comment is that this psalm was the motivation for two beautiful Christian hymns that have been used in Christian worship services for hundreds of years. One is called, “The Doxology,” and is found in most all Christian hymn books. It says, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him from above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” Thousands of the followers of Christ can sing this hymn from memory. This psalm helps people to do exactly what God said to do in this psalm, and,in addition, it adapts the psalm to Christian worship, by speaking of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Ancient Israel never knew the true nature of the one true God, never knew the Triune nature of the Godhead. The world was not ready for the full revelation of the nature of God until the coming of Christ who first revealed that there are three co-equal divine beings in the Godhead. The other hymn that comes from this psalm is entitled, “All People that on Earth Do Dwell.” Both hymns use the same tune which goes back to the 1500's, but different men wrote the words to the songs. The first verse says, “All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. Him serve with fear; His praise forth tell; Come ye before Him and rejoice.”

Moreover, it is important that we undserstand that this psalm is a part of the inspired word of God, as are all the psalms in this book. The New Testament declares, “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God”(2Timothy 3:16). The words, “inspiration of God” come from one word which literally means, “God-breathed.” The Book of Psalms is scripture, and thus is a part of God's inspired word. The Book of Palms are songs which God gave to His Old Covenant Church and His New Covenant Church, to be used to praise God and glorify His name. Many of our Christian hymns come from these psalms, after they have been adapted for use in the Christian religion. It is my understanding that before 1700 the Protestant dissenters in the Reformation movement used only the Psalms of David in Christian worship. Later, many of them were adapted to Christian worship. Every one of those psalms came from God, and we should look on them as musical gifts from God to all mankind.

My third observation on Psalm 100 pertains to the claims of God
on all nations and races of mankind, without exception. It contains some very important claims the one true God has on the entire human race. The first claim is that Jehovah, the God revealed in the Bible, is the one true God of heaven and earth. Verses 1-3 says, “Make a joyful sound to the LORD all you lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God.” There is no place for ignorance on such a vital subject. Know with certainty that the LORD, He is God. Please notice that the word LORD is in capital lettrs four times in that passage. This word in capital letters refers to the name God gave ancient Israel when they wanted to know who He was. But the word LORD is not the name God gave them. Israel refused to pronounce His original name He gave them. Out of the awe and reverence they had for His name, they had the superstitious belief that the name should never be pronounced. They even went so far as to replace God's name in scripture with a different name. They chose the name LORD in full capital letters, capitalized, to distinguish it from the common, ordinary word Lord given to people of wealth, authority and high standing. In doing this they made certain no one would ever pronounce that exalted name which they considered too sacred to be spoken in utterance. The only letters of God's name they left us are four consonants: J, H, V, H. All vowels were removed, and no one knows to this day what vowels belong among those letters. The learned world has given the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name for God the fancy name of Tetragrammaton This is a Greek word and means four letters. Many think the three vowels may have been E, O, and A. If so the name was Jehovah. However, others think the name may have been Yahveh which in English is Yahweh. This psalm says that Jehovah or Yahweh, He is God. The Hebrew name the Jews gave to God is Adonai in Hebrew, which comes out into English by the word LORD. When you see this word in your Bible, the reference is to the one true God of heaven and earth. Moreover, this teaching in no way contradicts the doctrine of the Trinity in the Christian religion. Before Christ, the world was not ready for the knowledge of the true nature of the Godhead. That was a truth given to the world by Christ, the Messiah of the Jews, and the only begotten Son of God. The Christian hymn Doxology closes with the words: “Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” This is an adaptation of Psalm 100 to the Christian religion.

God's second claim on mankind is that all nations are to serve Him through His divine Son Jesus Christ. God now requires all nations to serve Him in accordance with the Christian religion. The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”(John 3:16). Jesus Christ is the Messiah of the Jews predicted by the prophets of Israel. The word of God says, “God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the worlds( Hebrews 1:1,2). God totally rejects all other world religions except the Christian religion. Jews can no longer be saved by serving God according to the Jewish religion. Jesus blotted that religion out of existence as a saving religion. The only chosen people of the one true God in the world today are Christians. Jesus said, “No one can come to the father except by Me.” The prophet Jeremiah predicted that the day would come when Jehovah would make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and that day came in the first century about 33 A.D(Jeremiah 31:31-33, Acts 2}. The Christian religion is that New Covenant as revealed in the 27 books of the New Testament. Woe be to all Jews and Gentiles who reject the New Covenant that God has made with both Jews and Gentiles. Sadly, the Jews as a nation have rejected the Christian religion, and the most populated nations on earth are atheists. How long will so many nations of earth blindly reject and refuse to serve God and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ?

One Psalm says, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” I didn't say that; God said it. The New Testament makes an argument for the existence of God that Atheists and Agnostics have never been able to answer. It is as follows, “Every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God”(Hebrews 3:4).. Any scientist who rejects this syllogism is a fool. If a beautiful mansion in Beverly Hills could not evolve and accidentally come into existence in millions of years by natural law, by what intelligent reasoning could the marvelous dwelling place of planet earth, man's house, accidentally come into existence? Never will this world be in its proper condition as long as more than half the world refuses to acknowledge the existence and goodness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Psalm 100 must be adapted to the Christian religion, and now its message to all nations is, “Know that I am God. Enter my presence through My Son Jewus Christ with thanksgiving. Come before Me with praise. on your lips.” All people who refuse to do this will be held strictly accountable by Jehovah God, and there will be no exceptions. That is God's second claim on the human race. "I, Jehovah, am God. Know that I am God; therefore serve Me and My Son with gladness, all you nations.

The third claim on mankind is that God created us. Verse 3 says of Jehovah, “It is He that made us and not we ourselves.” Not only is He the one true God, but He is the owner of everyone and everything. Psalm 89:11,12 says, of God, “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fulness. You have founded them.” What the Jews did not know is that the word God in the Old Testament is the family name for the Godhead. The apostles of Ch rist taught the world a wonderful truth in John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word(Christ) was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him(Christ) and without Him nothing was made that was made.” This is one of the greatest revelations God has ever revealed to the world, namely, that there is more than one person in the Godhead. All inspired writers of the New Testament proclaimed this marvelous truth, revealed first by Christ, and more fully by the holy Spirit who guided the apostles into this great truth. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. The fact of the matter is that God the Father appointed God the Son to create the universe. Most of the entire world is totally ignorant of this divinely revealed glorious truth. The theory that we were not made but evolved out of the pre-existing animal world is nothing but pure fiction, and it is unsupported by any factual evidence. There is nothing scientific about it; it is no more than an unsupported man-made opinion. Psalm 100 says God made us, and in the Old Testament the word God is simply the family name for the Godhead. This solid belief is the easiest escape from all man's doubts and difficulties, and besides it is true. We know it is true because God God the Father has said so. Now since the Triune God has made us, they have a right to use us. The property which God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit has in mankind is proved beyond dispute by our being their creatures. One of our hymns says, “Have thine own way, Lord, have thine own way. Thou art the Potter; I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still.” This is God's third claim on the human race. God says that Since I have made you, I have a right to your service.

His fourth claim is that He protects and cares for the human race, like a shepherd takes care of his sheep. Verse 3 says, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” The human race doesn't know it, but they cannot support and protect themselves any better than can sheep. Sheep are among the most helpless of all animals. They are easy prey to all predators. David said it well with these words, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Jesus said that God has two flocks of sheep on earth: one is Jewish Christians and the other is Gentile Christians(John 10:16). One reason the second person of the Godhead visited the earth was to redeem both Jews and Gentiles and make them one fold(church}. Jesus said that He is the good shepherd of all of God's sheep. As the good Shepherd, Jesus laid down His life to save the sheep of God's pasture. Peter said the shepherds(Elders) of God's sheep on earth, “When the Chief Shepherd appears you will receive the crown of glory that shall not fade away”(I Peter 5:4). Peter served as an Elder, an overseer, and a shepherd in the church as well as an Apostle. This statement had reference to all men who serve as Elders in Christ's church. The Elderss(Overseers) are the “under-shepherds” in all Churches of Christ in the world. Each congregation is totally independent under Christ the Chief -Shepherd, and the local Elders who oversee all matters pertaining to the Church. They serve as under-shepherds, deriving their wisdom, power and functioning authority from the Chief Shepherd, Christ. Christ is the only Head of the Church on earth. Peter states when Christ, the Chief Shepherd, appears the Elders of the church, who have served as under-shepherds, will receive a crown of glory. A crown of glory means a glorious crown. This sounds like something special to me. We are not told the exact nature of it, but it appears to designate some honor that will be stowed on these men who served as Elders for their faithfiul and valued service. It is a figure of speech based on the honors bestowed on heroes and conquerors in ancient times, such as the Olympic races and other important events.

We learn in this psalm that God has never left us and gone away. He is watching over us at every hour, even as a shepherd guards his flock. Some thinkers represent God as having made the universe like a watch: He wound it up, and then put it under his pillow and went to sleep. But it is not so. An unbelieving world sees nothing in the administration of the world but “Mother Nature.” But Paul said, “In God we live, move and have our being.” God's finger is on every wheel of the world's machinery. It is God's power that puts force into the laws of nature. If the human race requires shepherding, how much more this complex universe in which we live. If you are roaming religiously about in the world seeking for better associations, why not investigate the Church of Church (Romans 16:16). As high as God is above man, so high is the Church higher than all human institutions. Throughout America today, many are re-examining their religious faith and practice. Many are seeking a more Biblical approach to religion. Many are desiring to be united with all other sincere believers in Christ. If this is your desire, we invite your investigation. You may also like the idea of returning to the original apostolic church of the first century A.D. As in the days of the apostles, the scriptures are our only guide to know God's will. Using God's word as our blueprint, we are endeavoring to restore the church as it existed nearly two thousand years ago. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

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