Memory Verse: “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” —1 Peter 1:24-25
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
Our Heavenly Father sees the end from the beginning and by His power; He foresaw all the deeds of men through the ages to the final scenes of this present age. By His foreknowledge, He viewed man whom He created in His image, fall into the deceptions of the serpent and all the evils of the antediluvians. He saw the apostasy following the flood as the world was repopulated, and therefore chose Abraham as head of a people, for witness of His way of life and His message of righteousness. This people which was later known as Israel, whose failure God saw—failure that came after warning of their coming captivity.
He planned the time when Christ would die to make atonement for sin and foretold how the Jews would reject their King and Redeemer. God saw the apostasy led by the “man of sin” and gave warnings through the apostles. God saw the confused religious conditions that would precede the end of this age and the mad race among nations for preeminence in the armament and space race. He foretold the apathy of nominal Christians amid signs, dangers, and evils of the end times. The Creator envisioned the making and use of deadly weapons of war and He gave His prophets information regarding future events. Such information, with warnings, is recorded in His word for the benefit of all mankind; to keep His “remnant” people from fatal deceptions of the closing scenes of this age.
Carnal minded men have refused to be warned, being wise in their own eyes and rejecting the truths found in the Bible. Lack of belief and faith in God and His word being so prevalent, religious confusion prevails. Many place private interpretations on the written word, and the world has become confused by errors of Christendom. Men say that we should attend the church of our choice, or not at all—a constitutional, religious freedom; a God-given right, man being given the power of choice. Those hearing a portion of Scripture expounded to them contrary to what they have been taught, claim the right to interpret the passage as they please.
While God gave men the power of choice, He also said that men alone are not capable of choosing the right way of thinking (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12). Since they are not, God did not give anyone permission to place a private interpretation on what He said, for each text is interpreted by God’s word—by companion texts. When God created man He gave him instructions as to how to live; but because sin entered, He gave further instructions as to how to overcome sin, all of which are found in His word. The same Spirit that guided the prophets of old in writing God’s word is to be our guide in understanding what that Spirit dictated. But without the aid of the Spirit and knowledge of God’s word, men have fallen into the confusion that exists today regarding spiritual truths. Because men have insisted upon worshiping God in a self-chosen manner rather than in accordance with God’s word, there is confusion. God desires and requires worship in keeping with principles given in His word. He did not leave it to man to decide who God is, how He should be worshiped, or what His word means.
By testimony of Spirit-filled prophets, we know that Christ died and was resurrected by the creative power of God. It is not a cunningly devised fable—not a mental concept of man. It is a mystery that the carnal mind cannot understand, a spiritual truth understood only by the spiritually guided mind.
Covenants that God made with men show His eternal interest in their welfare; reveal His plan for the future until Satan and his rule are completely destroyed, and all creation is restored for the original purpose that God intended from the very beginning.
- How does God view the actions of men? Jeremiah 16:17; Jeremiah 32:30, 32-34; Job 34:21-25.
- How helpless are carnal men in choosing the right way of life? Jeremiah 10:23-24; Proverbs 20:24; Proverbs 14:12.
- How do the thoughts of men compare with God’s thinking? Isaiah 55:8-9. How does God regard mankind? Psalm 103:11, 13-14.
- What did God say would have been the lot of Israel had their prophets always been true teachers of God’s word? Jeremiah 23:13-16, 21-22.
- How should prophecy be regarded? 2 Peter 1:19. What about private interpretation of the Scriptures? 2 Peter 1:20-21.
- What did Christ have to say about teaching “for doctrines the commandments of men?” Mark 7:5-13.
- How sure may we be that God directs the future? Isaiah 55:10-11; Isaiah 46:9-11. How true have been God’s forecasts concerning prominent nations of old, and present conditions? 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Timothy 4:1-4. Note: You may also want to read Daniel 2 and Daniel 7.