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Wednesday, January 6 2016
Hosea 14: Grace, Faith and The LORD's Forgiveness
"Turn to the LORD: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously ... Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life"
The LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) grants forgiveness to the repentant who produce "good fruit" of themselves (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and Who Can Be Saved?). The LORD's wrath and hell fire are reserved for those who refuse to repent.
"20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12-15 KJV)
Grace is not a license to be lawless (see Grace Into Licentiousness and Jude: Ungodly Men Who Turn Grace Into Lawlessness). Grace is a free gift to those who truly follow and obey the LORD. Hell fire is the reward of the lawless.
"6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Romans 6:1-6 KJV)
True faith is a matter of being faithful. "Works" isn't about observing any man-made rituals - it's about living a life of righteous behavior, as defined by the Law of the LORD, not by any self-righteous human (see Works Means Obedience).
"2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
Iniquity is when evil becomes "normal" and is regarded as right, or even a "right" (see the Fact Finder question below). The kingdoms of the Israelites (see A History Of Israel's United And Divided Kingdoms) destroyed themselves, time after time, by their iniquity - just as are many nations today.
"14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
This Day In History, January 6
871: The Battle of Ashdown between the Danes and the West Saxons under Ethelred and Alfred the Great.
1066: Harold Godwinson, England's last Anglo-Saxon king, was coronated as Harold II. He succeeded his deceased brother-in-law, Edward the Confessor.
1099: Henry V, second son of Henry IV and his first wife Bertha of Turin, was crowned king of Germany.
1169: England and France agreed to peace when Louis VII and Henry II met at Montmirail.
1205: Philip of Swabia, King of the Germans, became "King of the Romans" (Latin: Rex Romanorum; German: Romisch-Deutscher Konig; see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1492: Ferdinand and Isabella, "The Catholic Monarchs" of Spain, entered Granada, completing the Reconquista. Ferdinand and Isabella are most well-known to history as the employers of Christopher Columbus (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy for a map of the four voyages of Columbus - all of which were actually limited to the islands of the Caribbean Sea), as well as for their "Spanish Inquisition" that imprisoned, tortured and murdered non-Catholics all across Europe.
1540: King Henry VIII of England married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
1558: The French seized the British-held port of Calais.
1781: During the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade the island (Jersey is the largest island in the English Channel).
1848: Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical letter "In Suprema Petri Apostoli Sede" ("On The Supreme Throne Of Peter The Apostle"; see also Papal Bull) invited the Orthodox Church to reunite with the Church of Rome.
1884: Austrian monk Gregor Mendel died. He made many scientific discoveries involving genetics.
1912: German geophysicist Alfred Wegener published his (correct) theory of continental drift. Although obvious, such as in how the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America would fit together perfectly (because they were joined long ago), Wegener (and others) was rejected and mocked in his own time for it. It was only in the 1950s that continental drift became accepted by science.
1929: King Alexander of Yugoslavia abolished the constitution, dissolved the government and established a royal dictatorship.
1959: The British jet Lightning P-1 flew twice the speed of sound.
1969: President Charles de Gaulle of France banned French arms sales to Israel.
1989: Emperor Hirohito of Japan died at age 87. He reigned 62 years.
1990: Poland's Communist Party leaders agreed to its dissolution and replacement by a non-Marxist party.
2009: In response to continuous rocket attacks on civilian population centers by Palestinian terrorists, Israel began a counter-attack on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (see also Where Is Palestine? and Gaza In History And Prophecy).