Daily Archives: April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Vision of the New Temple
40 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that very day, the hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me to the city. 2 In visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. 3 When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. 4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 40:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


1–4 There are four essential elements in the literary setting of an apocalyptic vision: the date, the identity of the vision’s recipient, the location of the vision’s recipient, and noteworthy circumstances under which the vision was received.

The date of this apocalyptic vision has four aspects. First, Ezekiel has dated all the major sections of the book in reference to Jehoiachin’s deportation into Babylonian exile in 597 BC (cf. chronological discussions at 1:1–3). This vision is received in “the twenty-fifth year” of Jehoiachin’s captivity, or in 573 BC.

Second, the vision is received “at the beginning of the year,” or in the first month of the year. Israel had two annual calendars. The civil calendar began in the fall month of Tishri (September/October). The religious calendar began in the spring month of Nisan (March/April). Some expositors prefer the civil calendar, while others accept the religious calendar. Though the text is not explicit in this matter, the religious calendar seems preferable, since Ezekiel is a priest and the concerns of the apocalyptic vision relate to religious matters. According to the religious calendar, the date of the vision is more explicitly March/April 573 BC.

The vision is received on the tenth day of the month. If it is correct to designate the month as Nisan, then this apocalyptic vision is received on the tenth day of Nisan, the very day the people may have begun to prepare for the Passover four days later. Whether or not they actually observed Passover in exile, surely they would be contemplating Israel’s redemption out of Egypt and the creation of their nation. This vision, then, offers an encouragement that the Lord will complete the divine purposes for the nation in the messianic kingdom.

Finally, the vision is received in the fourteenth year after Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, which occurred in 586 BC. This also corroborates the date of 573 BC.

The second major element of the setting of an apocalyptic vision is the identity of the vision’s recipient. Though Ezekiel’s name is not given in these verses, the copious use of the first person pronoun in the context of the entire book argues strongly that the recipient is Ezekiel.

The third aspect of a vision’s setting is the location where it is received. Ezekiel sees this vision from “a very high mountain” in Israel (v. 2). From that mountain he can see a city to the south. Neither the mountain nor the city is identified in the passage, but Ezekiel is taken into the city, where he sees the temple’s construction in detail. The geography of Ezekiel’s day leads one most likely to identify that city as Jerusalem. To identify a high mountain north of Jerusalem, however, was impossible geographically in Ezekiel’s day and in ours. Perhaps it is best to leave the city and the mountain unidentified.

The final aspect of a setting of an apocalyptic vision is the noteworthy circumstances under which the vision is received (vv. 3–4). A divine messenger with the appearance of bronze is present. He is carrying both a measuring rod and a linen measuring cord. He exhorts Ezekiel to pay careful attention to all that he will be shown, because this divine vision is being given to him so that he might tell it in detail to the “house of Israel.”[1]


The Man with the Measuring Rod (40:1–4)

In the opening verses, Ezekiel is given a vision of the city of Jerusalem and the millennial temple. In the fourteenth year after Jerusalem was captured, Ezekiel was taken up in visions and set on a very high mountain. He was shown a vision of the city of Jerusalem and the millennial temple by a man whose appearance was like … bronze. The prophet was commanded to fix his mind on everything he saw and to declare it to the house of Israel. This he does in the ensuing chapters.[2]


40:3–5 The special circumstances of these final visions are noteworthy. Ezekiel saw a messenger with a bronze appearance (1:27, 28) who was equipped with tools for measuring. Ezekiel was commissioned to minister the complete revelation to the house of Israel. A cubit was about 18 inches, or the distance from fingertips to elbow. A handbreadth, the width of the hand across the widest part, was approximately three inches. Both a long cubit (a cubit of around 21 inches) and a short cubit (the standard 18 inches) existed. Based on these measurements, the measuring rod was six long cubits in length, about 126 inches or 10.5 feet, the height and width of the wall around the temple.[3]


40:1–4. The vision of the new temple came to Ezekiel in the 25th year of … exile, at the beginning of the year, on the 10th of the month, in the 14th year after the fall of the city. The date was sometime in 573 b.c. The phrase “the beginning of the year” poses some problems. The Israelite religious new year began in Nisan (April–May) and was established at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 12:1–2). However, in Israel’s later history the seventh month, Tishri (October–November), became established as the first month of Israel’s civil or regnal year. So the date would be either April 28, 573 b.c. or October 22, 573 b.c. The October date was also the Day of Atonement (cf. Lev. 23:27).

On that very day God … took Ezekiel back to Jerusalem in a vision (cf. Ezek. 8:1–3). Jerusalem was then vastly different from what it was before. Ezekiel was led on a “tour” of the future temple which he recorded in remarkable detail (see the sketch “The Millennial Temple,” on the previous page). This tour was given by a man, probably an angel, whose appearance was like bronze.[4]


40:4 Declare … all that you see. Ezekiel 1–24 refers to Israel’s historical removal from her land; chaps. 25–32 to historical judgments against other nations; chap. 33 to a historical call to repentance and the fall of Jerusalem. So in chaps. 34–39, Israel’s literal, future return to the same Land as a reversal of the historical dispersion is the most natural way to interpret the chapters. Ezekiel 38, 39 describe a future, historical invasion of Israel and its aftermath during the time just before Messiah’s return. Therefore, chaps. 40–48 would then be thought to continue the historical, prophetic pattern, describing the millennial conditions after Messiah comes and destroys the ungodly (Rev 19:11ff.), under which Israel will live and worship. Believing Gentiles will also be in the kingdom as sheep of the Great Shepherd (cf. Mt 25:31–46), while all unbelievers are destroyed. Ezekiel is to write down all the details.[5]


40:1–4 The Vision Begins. The date formula corresponds to April 573 b.c. About 12 years have passed since the last dated oracle (32:1). The phrase visions of God links this vision with 1:1 and 8:3. The ruined city is in the prophet’s mind (40:1) as the vision of a new city comes to him (v. 2). His guide, with an appearance like bronze, is reminiscent of the guide of 8:2.[6]


40:1–4 Ezekiel’s detailed description, including precise measurements, suggests that the prophet saw a literal future temple. No such temple has been built—neither the temple of the returned exiles nor the grand edifice erected by Herod the Great followed Ezekiel’s blueprint. Many conservative scholars agree that Ezekiel’s vision was for the latter days of the end time.

This is the last dated prophecy in the book, in the spring of 573 b.c. It was not the last message chronologically, as the vision of 29:17–21 is older. Ezekiel was in the twenty-fifth year of exile. In this vision he was taken to Jerusalem, 14 years after its fall (40:1), and the actual city was still in ruins. The language of this vision suggests Ezekiel believed he was seeing Jerusalem in a Jubilee Year of the latter days, evidence suggesting the advent of the millennial kingdom.[7]


[1] Alexander, R. H. (2010). Ezekiel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Jeremiah–Ezekiel (Revised Edition) (Vol. 7, pp. 878–879). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1066). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 997). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Dyer, C. H. (1985). Ezekiel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1304). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eze 40:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1564). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 1248). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

April 30 The Victory of the Resurrection

“ ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ … but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:54–55, 57

✧✧✧

The Resurrection seals what we could not: victory over death.

Death is the great enemy of mankind. It comes to everyone without exception. It violates our dominion of God’s creation, breaks apart relationships, disrupts families, and causes us to grieve the loss of loved ones. However, Christ’s resurrection has broken the power of death for Christians because “death no longer is master over Him” (Rom. 6:9).

In today’s passage the apostle Paul reminds us of the final victory over death that results once we have been transformed into our resurrection bodies. To make his point, Paul quotes from the Old Testament prophets Isaiah and Hosea. In using Hosea’s sting of death metaphor, Paul implies that death left its sting in Christ, as a bee leaves its stinger in its victim. On the cross Jesus bore all of death’s sting (sin), so we wouldn’t have to bear any of it. When sin’s penalty has been removed, death merely interrupts our earthly life and ushers us into the heavenly realm, where we will worship and praise God forever.

Paul concludes (v. 57) by thanking God, who provided us the triumph over sin and death. We also should be thankful to God who, through Christ’s redeeming work, gave us what we could never have obtained by ourselves. God promises to all believers the heavenly in exchange for the earthly, and the immortal in exchange for the mortal.

With Jesus Christ’s triumph over death, we have no reason to fear what death can do to us. Instead, we should rejoice concerning the Lord’s promise to us about the next life: “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire … and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 20:14; 21:4).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that in His sovereign wisdom and power He has defeated death and removed all reasons for the believer to be afraid of it.

For Further Study: Read 2 Kings 2:9–14 and 4:18–37. What do these passages preview about Jesus’ control over death, His own and ours? ✧ Do they remind you of any particular New Testament stories?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

APRIL 30 AT ONCE FAR OFF AND NEAR

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

—Psalm 139:7-8

Few other truths are taught in the Scriptures with as great clarity as the doctrine of the divine omnipresence. Those passages supporting this truth are so plain that it would take considerable effort to misunderstand them. They declare that God is immanent in His creation, that there is no place in heaven or earth or hell where men may hide from His presence. They teach that God is at once far off and near, and that in Him men move and live and have their being….

This truth is to the convinced Christian a source of deep comfort in sorrow and of steadfast assurance in all the varied experiences of his life. To him “the practice of the presence of God” consists not of projecting an imaginary object from within his own mind and then seeking to realize its presence; it is rather to recognize the real presence of the One whom all sound theology declares to be already there, an objective entity, existing apart from any apprehension of Him on the part of His creatures. The resultant experience is not visionary but real. KOH115, 118

Lord, I want to be cognizant of Your presence throughout the day today. I know the fact; I pray for the realization. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Gov. Mike Huckabee GOES OFF on WHCD After Hired Gun Grossly Attacks His Daughter and Liberals Squealed with Delight — The Gateway Pundit

The White House Correspondents’s Dinner was held last night in Washington DC. President Trump skipped the event again this year and held a rally in Ypsilanti, Michigan instead. The WHCD comedian came with an agenda this year to hurl vile insults at President Trump and his administration. The worst part came when this “comedian” hurled tasteless insults…

via Gov. Mike Huckabee GOES OFF on WHCD After Hired Gun Grossly Attacks His Daughter and Liberals Squealed with Delight — The Gateway Pundit

April 29 Daily Help

DO not be afraid, Christ is your strength and righteousness. A wave comes against the side of the ship, but it does not hurt the ship, it only drives the wedges in tighter. The Master is at the helm—will not that assure your heart? It has floated over so many billows—will not that increase your confidence? It must, indeed, be a strong, billow that will sink it now; there never shall be such an one.

Christ presents the perfect number of all his people to the Father in the last day; not one shall perish. The ark of our salvation shall bring all its living freight into the haven of everlasting rest.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 123). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

April 29, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

Rejecting the Righteous

The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (5:30–32)

Their haughty disdain for the riffraff inside prevented them from attending Matthew’s banquet, but that did not mean that the Pharisees and their scribes (see the exposition of 5:17 in chapter 27 of this volume for background information on the scribes and Pharisees) weren’t aware of what was going on inside. They expressed their disapproval by grumbling (gogguzō; an onomatopoetic word) at Jesus’ disciples. They would not deign to speak to any of the tax collectors and sinners attending the banquet. But they evidently expected the Lord and His disciples to follow the prescriptions of the rabbinic law, hence their anger and resentment toward them.

Their question, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” reflects the scribes’ and Pharisees’ outrage that Jesus and His disciples would associate with those unclean outcasts. Their question was a rhetorical one, intended as a stinging rebuke for what they viewed as outrageous behavior on the part of the Lord and His disciples. The question exposes the scribes and Pharisees as proud, focused on externals, and hypocritical. Imagining themselves to be the religious elite, they were in reality void of grace and strangers to salvation. Jesus turned His back on the outwardly moral, and focused on transforming repentant sinners into a holy people.

Overhearing the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus answered their challenge. His reply consisted of three parts. The Lord first gave an analogy, pointing out the self-evident fact that it is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. The scribes and Pharisees could not dispute that the tax collectors and sinners were spiritually sick; they were the sickest of the sick. How could they argue that the Great Physician should not minister to them? The Lord’s reply was a powerful indictment of their cold hearts, wickedness, and hatred of the very downtrodden sinners they should have sought to help. They saw no sin in themselves and no good or value in others.

Second, Jesus answered them from Scripture. Matthew 9:13 records that He also told the scribes and Pharisees to “go and learn [an expression used by the rabbis to rebuke unwarranted ignorance] what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice.’ ” The quote is from Hosea 6:6, and declares that God does not want external sacrifices but a heart that shows mercy (cf. Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:11–17; Amos 5:21–24; Mic. 6:8). Those who show mercy to others as the Lord commanded (Luke 6:36) will themselves receive mercy from God (Matt. 5:7), but “judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy” (James 2:13). The scribes and Pharisees, who prided themselves on their rigid adherence to the law, had no excuse for failing to show mercy to those who so desperately needed it.

Finally, Jesus answered them from His own personal authority as God incarnate, declaring, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” It is a statement full of irony, even sarcasm (cf. Paul’s sarcastic deflation of the conceited Corinthians in 1 Cor. 4:8). Accepting on the surface the scribes’ and Pharisees’ evaluation of themselves as righteous and hence not in need of a Savior, Jesus judicially left them to their self-righteous folly (cf. Matt. 15:14). Later He would again make this point when He told His hearers that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). God seeks the truly repentant heart, not the hardened, self-righteous one. It was the humble, repentant tax collector, not the self-exalting, self-righteous Pharisee who Jesus said was justified (18:14). It was His classifying of them as sinners in need of repentance that inflamed the Pharisees’ hatred of Jesus.

The truth is that God cannot save those who refuse to see themselves as sinners, who ignore, gloss over, or trivialize their sin. Only those who understand by the grace of God and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that they are the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, headed for a Christless, Godless eternity in hell, and trust in Christ’s work on the cross as payment in full for their sins (Col. 2:13–14) can be saved. As James wrote, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

The scribes and Pharisees had badly misunderstood God’s purpose in giving the law. He did not give the law as a means of achieving self-righteousness, but to provoke self-condemnation, awareness of sin, conviction, repentance, and pleading to God for mercy. The law is “our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). As Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:9–10,

[God’s] law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.

Only those who recognize themselves to be in the latter group can embrace the glorious gospel of forgiveness. Such a one was Paul, the self-proclaimed foremost of all sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), who nevertheless found that “the grace of our Lord was more than abundant” to save even him (v. 14).[1]


5:31–32. In typical Jewish teacher fashion, Jesus cited a proverb to emphasize his message. Wellness did not drive people to the doctor. Illness did. Jesus was the spiritual doctor. He came with a message of repentance. That message seemed misdirected. It did not save Israel and the Middle East, where political confusion reigned. It saved those religious leaders considered unworthy of God’s attention. Power began to reveal true positions in life. Who was sick? The tax collector’s friends, people willing to work for the Roman government and thus against Israel? Or religious leaders who knew more about God than God did? The title Righteous One given them by humans was the only title they would ever receive. Jesus picked out the lowest social positions as the positions through which he would work.[2]


31, 32. Jesus answered them, It is not those who are healthy that need a doctor but those who are ill.

The criticism of the scribes has been duly noted by Jesus. He himself, by means of what may have been a current proverb, flings back a clinching answer. When he associates on intimate terms with people of low reputation he does not do this as a hobnobber, a comrade in evil, “birds of a feather flocking together,” but as a physician, one who, without in any way becoming contaminated with the diseases of his patients, must get very close to them in order that he may heal them! Moreover, it is especially the Pharisees who should be able to understand this. Are not they the very people who regard themselves as being healthy, and all others as being sick? See Luke 18:9. If, then, in the eyes of the Pharisees, publicans and sinners are so very sick, should they not be healed? Is it the business of the healer to heal the healthy or the sick? The sick, of course.

Jesus adds: I have not come to call righteous people to conversion but sinners. Substantially this is the reading also in Matthew and Mark, though in Matthew these words are preceded by a quotation from Hos. 6:6, and prefixed by “for”; while Luke here adds the phrase “to conversion,” where most translators favor “to repentance.”

The passage makes clear that the invitation to salvation, full and free, is extended not to “righteous people,” that is, not to those who consider themselves worthy, but rather to those who are unworthy and in desperate need. It was sinners, the lost, the straying, the beggars, the burdened ones, the hungry and thirsty, whom Jesus came to save. See also Matt. 5:6; 11:28–30; 22:9, 10; Luke 14:21–23; ch. 15; 19:10; John 7:37, 38. This is in line with all of special revelation, both the Old Testament and the New (Isa. 1:18; 45:22; 55:1, 6, 7; Jer. 35:15; Ezek. 18:23; 33:11; Hos. 6:1; 11:8; 2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rev. 3:20; 22:17). It is a message full of comfort and “relevant” to every age!

As reported by Luke, Jesus adds that the call he had come to extend to sinners was “to conversion.” Not only “repentance” or sorrow for sin is needed, but nothing less than complete transformation: change of mind, heart, will, conduct. For more material in defense of the rendering “conversion” instead of merely “repentance” see the note on Luke 5:32 on page 306.

Are we now finished with the explanation of Luke 5:27–32? Not entirely. Something must still be added. Otherwise the reader might conclude that the main purpose of the section is to show what a wonderful man Levi (= Matthew) was. He was, indeed, wonderful. Nothing should ever be said to detract from the value of his complete and immediate surrender to Jesus. However, that is not the legitimate point of emphasis. What is far more important is the fact that Jesus, who even at this early point in Luke’s Gospel had performed so many miracles of mercy, added this to them all, namely, the exhibition of his power to bring about a radical and permanent change in the mind, heart, will, and life of … Matthew. So, whenever we read his beautiful Gospel let us think of the saving power of the Triune God as revealed through his Spirit in Christ.[3]


5:32 The Pharisees considered themselves to be righteous. They had no deep sense of sin or of need. Therefore, they could not benefit from the ministry of the Great Physician. But these tax collectors and sinners realized that they were sinners and that they needed to be saved from their sins. It was for people like them that the Savior came. Actually, the Pharisees were not righteous. They needed to be saved as much as the tax collectors. But they were unwilling to confess their sins and acknowledge their guilt. And so they criticized the Doctor for going to people who were seriously ill.[4]


5:32 Jesus’ mission was to call sinners to repentance. Upon His ascension, Jesus commissioned His disciples to the same task (24:47; see also 3:3, 8; 13:1–5; 15:7–10; 16:30; 17:3, 4; Acts 26:20). In this passage repentance is pictured as a patient who recognizes that illness is present and that only Jesus, the Great Physician, can treat it. A humble approach to God for spiritual healing is the essence of repentance.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2009). Luke 1–5 (pp. 332–334). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Butler, T. C. (2000). Luke (Vol. 3, p. 79). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Vol. 11, pp. 304–305). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1386). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1260). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.