November 27 – God’s Promise to Satan

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head,     and you shall bruise his heel.” –  Genesis 3:15.” (ESV)

We spend each day considering verses from God’s Word which contain promises. He keeps all his promises. Today we look at a very important promise God made to the first two humans. Our verse spoken to Satan as a curse contains is the “first gospel” uttered. It came after Satan, inhabiting a serpent, lied to Eve who tripped and fell for the lie along with Adam into the first sin, the original sin. As a result, Adam and Eve have passed on to every human child born in their likeness. All humans are born in the same condition and under the curse of sin. ‘This “first gospel” is prophetic of the struggle and its outcome between “your seed” (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the Devil’s children in Jn 8:44) and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve, and those in Him), which began in the garden. In the midst of the curse passage, a message of hope shone forth—the woman’s offspring called “He” is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only “bruise” Christ’s heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will crush Satan’s head (destroy him with a fatal blow).[1]


[1] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Ge 3:15.

 February 3 – Believe to See

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (ESV)

When hear of a horrible act we might hear some say “I can’t believe what this world is coming to.” We like to remember; we like to think our world was a better world, more fair and more just “back then.” Not so for there have always been those who serve the enemy of Jesus Christ. This verse is the Apostle Paul’s response and defense against the false claims and lies that were stirring up the believers in Corinth. Some self-named super-apostles were nothing but troublemakers working against Paul’s message of the Gospel of Jesus.  By arguing that all people by nature look for the truth and strive to do good, their assertion was if the message is rejected it is because it is not true or not delivered properly by the right messengers. Paul sets the facts out that when the gospel is not believed by those to whom it is preached, the ‘god of this world’ (John 12:31)  had veiled the light of the gospel and it could not be understood. Their unbelief was aided by Satan, the god of this Age (Ephesians. 2:2). Although defeated by Christ (Hebrews. 2:14), the enemy Satan continues his hold over the present world.


May 18 – This is How We Live

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”” – Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)

These are words of testimony from the Apostle Paul in his letter to the believers living in Rome. He wanted to preach and teach in Rome. These two verses form the thesis of the entire letter—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which Paul unfolds and clarifies in the following chapters. The apostle was not reluctant to preach the gospel, for he loved that good news. Our promise is that the righteousness from God is ours and is available to everyone who in faith believe. There is no distinction in God’s family. The push in our world today to identify each other by race or by any other classification is purely a human method of manipulation and it is not of God. We are promised and declared righteous in Christ by believing in His word. That is how we live, believing in why He came to earth. That’s the gospel Paul was not ashamed to preach. He suffered imprisonment, was chased out and had to be smuggled out of cities. He was laughed at, called a fool and even stoned nearly or to death. Because of God’s promise let’s also be eager to proclaim our faith in the Gospel.


February 8 – The Earnest of Heaven

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV)

These days when a house is bought and ownership changes, there is generally first an amount of money put into and account to guarantee the earnestness of the buyer. Remember when we first learned the doctrines of grace? At first we did not know much about saving grace. We did not know whether God had converted us, or we had converted ourselves. As we read and listened to Bible teaching, we began at once to see how God the Father planned, and God the Son carried out the plan, and God the Holy Spirit made the plan effective. We learned truths which we might have believed before, but which we could not clearly and fully understand. The joy of gaining the knowledge of God’s truth was exceeding great. Having got a hold once and for all of the truth of God in that moment His Holy Spirit increased our knowledge, and opened the eyes of our understanding, we had the earnest, the guarantee, that we were promised. One day shall see, not through a glass darkly, but face to face, and then we shall know the whole truth, even as we are known now by God.


Christmas in the book of Isaiah

Doug Clevenger
New Life Church Clarkfield, Minnesota
December 20, 2017

People have always had an vested interest in the future. A prudent farmer cares about the weather forecast more than he cares about current conditions. He has already prepared for today. His work today is about tomorrow.

A good stock broker scrutinizes market forecasts even more than a farmer anticipates weather. He earns the trust of investors by telling them what may happen in the future. Their lives and his livelihood depend on the accuracy of his projections.

The life insurance industry is built on the risk of possible future events. Agents depend on actuarial tables—a prediction of the future— to sell policies.

Futurists work with uncertain knowledge. They examine statistics of the past and patterns of the present to predict the future. High confidence does not come with a guarantee. They may be right about the future or they may be wrong.

Prophets don’t have that luxury. They deal with certainty, not projections. A true prophet is 100% right 100% of the time. And he places his life on the line by making a prophecy. That’s what lifts Isaiah to such high status as a prophet of God.

In The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John Martin listed 22 messianic prophecies in the book of Isaiah. Some of them are about Jesus’ first advent in Bethlehem. Others refer to Christ’s second coming to reign over the earth with power.

We can find the Christmas story in the book of Isaiah with startling clarity. Here’s one prophecy:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Isaiah was speaking about both the near future and the distant future. A young woman would bear a son as a sign of God’s temporal deliverance in the time of Ahaz, King of Judah. Much later a virgin would give birth to a Son as a sign of God’s ultimate deliverance. It’s Christmas in the book of Isaiah.

The sign to Ahaz was fulfilled less than three years later when his two enemies were deposed in 732 B.C. When that happened, Ahaz knew Isaiah had foretold it. Yet God intended more in Isaiah’s words than merely the deliverance of Ahaz. The prophecy also foretold the virgin birth of Jesus.

Matthew 1:22-23 verifies the fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Jesus:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Here’s more of the Christmas story in another prophecy by Isaiah:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

This passage foretold the birth of Jesus 700 years before it happened. It’s Christmas in Isaiah. It tells us all we need to know about the future. God wins!