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William Andrew Dillard

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah is the author of the book that bears his name as well as the book of Lamentations. He is renown as “The weeping prophet.” Just what did Jeremiah do that was so right? Think with me!
Jeremiah lived about 80 years from about 650 B. C. to around 570 B. C. He was the son of a priest, and was set aside by the Lord for his unique ministry from his birth. His active ministry began around 625 B.C. and spanned the reign of five kings of Judah.
The times of Jeremiah parallel in some ways those of today. The Jewish nation has abandoned the Sabbaths, were in love with materialism, and honored idol gods. But these were the covenant people of God who were to play important roles in the progress toward the Savior coming into the world, and to the future of God’s people in the millennium and new earth. God would deal with them in ways most unpleasant, but sufficient to bring them back to the narrow way of faith. Jeremiah would be the faithful warning of what was to come
Humanly speaking, it is not pleasant to preach, beg, plead with people who consistently reject the message. Moreover, the message would not go unchallenged by the religious panderers seeking popularity and gain from a people committed to their own way. Jeremiah stood firmly against the false prophets, and felt the disdain his countrymen had for him. Still he continued faithfully to warn of the nations impending judgment.
At one point the prophet was cast into a mud pit as a reward for his unbending faithfulness to deliver God’s message. At another point in his ministry, it is recorded, “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” 20:9.
The prophet lived to see the Judgment of God fall on Judah. Nebuchadnezzar sent the forces of Babylon who destroyed Jerusalem, and carried away the young and talented people to serve him in that land. Doubtless Jeremiah’s heart was broken, but he understood the events by the messages God gave to him.
God still wants His people to speak His truth even if it is unpopular. His judgment is pending upon a Christ rejecting world, and we have this wonderful Old Testament prophet as an encouraging example of how our conduct should be in these evil times. Jeremiah was so right, and it is our privilege to be so right, delivering God’s message as he did!

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William Andrew Dillard

Orchard owners look with great expectation to the trees under their care. They nourish, protect, and defend them from pestilence, and anything else that would prevent full fruition. They are happy with the many blossoms, small buds, and developing fruit. Anticipation of Harvest time is truly filled with excitement, and the joy of abundant blessings. But once harvest is over, then what? The tree is still valuable, but it has given all that it can give. There will be no more fruit to glean, and the eye of anticipation no longer sees as it did before. It is a tree, now ordinary and fruitless, having given all. It is interesting to note that this idea is presented in the Word with reference to our Lord and Savior.
In Psalm 22 which is prophetic of the life and sacrifice of Jesus, the word used to describe him in verse six is “reproach.” The verse states, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” The word “worm” here is the “tolah” worm that was crushed to yield the blood used to dye fabrics with the color of royalty. The term “reproach” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Charaph.” which conveys the idea of a picked tree with nothing more to give. That term used here of Jesus describes how many people see Him as He has given all for the harvest of the souls of men. The people expected that the miracles He invoked for others would surely be invoked for Himself thus giving them a super personage in which to glory in the flesh. They were sadly disappointed.
However, while the forces of sin and evil rejoiced at the crucifixion, the crushing of that “tolah” worm, wrought robes of righteousness for the royal children of the King. Moreover, those who avail themselves of the fruit yielded by that tree find eternal, spiritual sustenance, and a white robe of royal righteousness in which to stand before the Creator. To the world, and to most of Jewish rulers, the tree was picked, and not worthy of a second glance, but to those who have tasted the fruit of that tree found life and hope of so much more that is to come.
So, how do you see Him dear reader? Is He a disappointment, or a wellspring of eternal joy? Is He a picked tree to be turned away from, or is He the Living Tree of Life with the fruit of eternal righteousness to all who receive Him in repentance and faith? My prayer is that you see Him as the latter, even the bread of life that one may eat and not hunger again; as the fruit of all righteousness that one may receive and have no sin imputed by the heavenly Father. There He is, the TREE at the crossroads of time and eternity in the life of everyone.

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William Andrew Dillard

Out of the annals of history of ancient Israel comes an interesting, but little noted individual and event. In 2 Samuel 23:11-12 one is introduced to one of thirty top warriors in King David’s army. His name is Shammah. Although his name and claim to fame is little known among nominal Christians, his service to God and to the king was well known in his day, and it placed him into a sort of “hall of fame” for David’s generals.
The 80 years of the combined reign of Saul and David were years of war after war. Perhaps the most notable of the continuous enemies of ancient Israel was the Philistines. When they were strong, they would attack Israel in some of their weaker places and take whatever they wanted including people. It appears that the Philistines wanted a field of lentils that belonged to Israelites, and they were willing to go to war to take it. The Israelites including presumably the ones who owned the field fled from before the Philistine warriors. But, Shammah did not. He stood his ground and God wrought a great victory that day by his hand. Interestingly, it was a bean patch he protected. Of course, a field of beans ready or near ready for harvest represented a valuable asset to the owner, as well and to the population at large in the marketplace. More interesting is the name of the defender.,”Shammah,” This is a Hebrew word that means “There.” Shammah was not flighty or fearful. He was solid—he was there. He could be counted on in any time of crisis. Indeed, the bean patch was important but more-so was the principle of not giving in to those who would plunder and steal. What did he do that was so right? Simply put, he trusted in God to help him, and to give him victory. Notice that the Bible does not say that Shammah won the victory. Rather it pointedly says that God wrought the great victory.
Why is this recorded in the book of God for all generations of the ages? It is not accidental, but with great purpose. It is for us upon whom the ends of the world are come, said the apostle Paul in I Cor. 10:11. True believers must know that God and one still make a majority.
Do you run away in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds or do you trust in God to help you and give you the victory? If your trust is in God and you are depending upon His promises, that is so right! It is following a Bible example of many precedents of which Shammah is one.

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Hello Belshazzar

Parson to Person

William Andrew Dillard

Belshazzar was blessed to be king of the first great beast of empire. In prophecy, his kingdom (Babylon) was likened unto a lion in beast symbolism, and the golden head of the statue of empires seen in a kingly dream and interpreted by the prophet Daniel.
His story is a repetitive one both before and after him. It is the story of sinful, foolish pride being a downfall. A modern rendition of that is herewith given.
“Hello, Belshazzar! You are the son of the first great king, Nebuchadnezzar. Remember? He was the king from whom sanity was withdrawn so that he ran with the beast of the field, ate straw like an ox, and grew long nails as claws until he learned that El Elyon (the Most High God) rules in the governments of men and appoints whom He will over it. I say, remember? because you knew this.
Hello, Belshazzar! You are king, but you have not humbled your heart before God. Instead, you have elected to be exalted and praised by a thousand of your lords, and you have called for the sanctified vessels of the Temple of God in Jerusalem to pollute them as wine glasses in your sinful party.
Hello, Belshazzar! It is you to whom the writing hand has written on the wall in your presence. So, “keep your gifts O, King, and let your rewards go to another,” said God’s man, Daniel. “I will read the writing unto the king and make known to him the interpretation.
This is the writing: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of it. Mene; God has numbered your kingdom, and it is over. Tekel; You are weighed in the balances and have come up short. Peres; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
History reveals that Babylon was thought to be impenetrable. Its walls were some 80 high and wide enough at the top for chariots to pass. It was the ultimate in human security. . . or, was it?
For sometime, unknown to dwellers in Babylon, the Meads and Persians had worked upstream to dam the Euphrates river which ran through Babylon. In the night of Belshazzar’s final ball of self glory, the water had diminished below the bars that extended from the city wall into the river. The Meads and Persians used that entryway in mass, and took over the city state with ease. In that same night Belshazzar was slain and Darius took over the kingdom being about 62 year old.
It is said that those who forget history are doomed to relive it. Common observation of society shows no change for the better over time. Repetitious, prideful and disastrous falling from a myriad of modern Babylons and Belshazzars abound.
So, let the Daniels and their wisdom also abound. Jesus the only triumphant Savior is the singular stone of help. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Friend, what is your preference: Salvation or judgment? Hello . . . .!

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APRIL 18 – Prosperity

APRIL 18 – Prosperity

2Chronicles 26:4  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. 

5  And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. 

How often today we hear of prosperity from the pulpit and the people. It is only natural for the ungodly to seek the money that most people consider prosperity. Some align themselves, in a religious manner, with prosperity being wealth and health. God’s Word addresses prosperity in II Chronicles 26. Here we find the story of Uzziah when he is made king. It is said of Uzziah that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. This is a tremendous commendation for a person to have. “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” Now here is the commendation from God. “… God made him to prosper.”

What does that mean? In what way did God make him prosper? The inspired word says that he “prospered in warriors.’ He prospered in battles. He prospered in building protection for the cities. He invented machines for the protection of the cities. He prospered in digging wells to sustain the people. I do not see anything about health or wealth and prosperity in this chapter. His prosperity was in caring and protecting the people.

Sometimes the benevolence and prosperity that God shows toward His people bring about a change in them. The Scriptures say that when he was strong his heart was lifted up. He had a moral failing called pride. What a terrible thing pride causes us to become. Because of his pride, he intruded in the office of the priests. He, apparently decided that he would burn incense upon the altar. What could possibly be the attitude here? Surely God would not reject my worship. Certainly, God looks upon my heart and sees my intent that I do this to worship Him and He will accept it. The pride fooled the mind of Uzziah and hid his eyes to the truth that God had prescribed a way for the incense to be offered and proscribed any other way.

The high priest and fourscore priests of the Lord withstood him. God punishes those that allow pride to cause them to sin against the plan and instructions of God. The king became a leper and was a leper till he died. Leprosy was a disease that called for a person to be ostracized from others. A Godly man that was made to proper in several areas of life was punished by God with a heinous disease.

God hates pride. God will punish pride. Let us prosper in the Lord, not health, even though we want good health, not in wealth, even though we want to pay our bills, but in obedience to God and helping others.

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William Andrew Dillard

The crown jewels of England are sometimes referenced as the wealth of stability to royalty, and in some measure, to the country itself. I suppose it may be compared to Fort Knox in the U.S. Most have seen pictures of the vast supply of gold bars in the vaults of Ft. Knox, but have never been there to see it in reality. Although the currency of the U.S. is no longer backed by gold, its presence remains a stabilizing factor in the economy.
However, the crown jewels of England, while stored in the Tower of London under heavy guard and extremely thick walls, are treated differently. They are the possession of the state and are loaned to royalty for special events. As a matter of fact, pieces are often carried out for special purposes quite regularly.
It was the privilege of my wife and me to view a large display of those jewels. The occasion did not produce wonder or lust, rather an amazement, and some disappointment. Not being all that familiar with the precious metals and gems, their value could only be appreciated in words of the guide. The five to eight-pound crowns seemed extravagant nonsense, and so highly impractical. That certain crowns had been worn by ancient monarchs put some people in awe; to the rest of us it was “so?” A virtual mountain of silver and gold would not have excited me too much. However, one thing was apparent: the pure content of silver and gold by an occasional film of dross. It was a reminder that, after all, those things are mere elements of this world, and they will pass away.
On the other hand, there is silver and gold that will not pass away. It is the silver and gold of a righteous life. Paul spoke to the church of the Living God at Corinth about this treasure of life in I Corinthians 3:16-19. It is the silver, gold, and precious stones that will survive the judgment fires of God in the day that all of us face: the Judgment Seat of Christ. In that day everything unrighteous will be the victim of Holy Fire as will all else, but what survives the fire is not wood, hay, stubble (unrighteous deeds) but gold, silver and precious stones (righteous acts of life).
In that judgment fire, another great benefit is realized. The gold, silver, and precious stones have all the dross removed: not for a little while to then recollect it, but forever. What a day that will be!
God made a promise to His people through the prophet Isaiah says, “And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away thy tin:” While He spoke of things He would create on the condition of their repentance, He has made much greater and brighter promises to us concerning the day when He will take all our dross away! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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MARCH 17 – Consult with the Lord

MARCH 17 – Consult with the Lord

2 Samuel 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;

2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.

3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.

There are times where we decide compulsively to do something. It sounds great and wonderful and we think surely the Lord will be pleased with what I do for Him. What we need to realize is, God has His plans for us. His plans may not be what we are looking to do for Him.

One of the problems we seem to have is the same problem that David had. He did not consult the Lord about what he wanted to do. I know of a preacher that is pastoring a small struggling church. As I visited with he and his wife, they expressed to me of what their vision encompassed. It was a place of position and notoriety. Instead of slaving away pastoring a small struggling Church a ministry that would be noticed by many people and would be championed by many people. I was perplexed with what they desired to do and wondered if they had consulted with the Lord about their desire. Notice I said their desire. I have no insight about what the Lord wanted them to do. I can see the appeal that their desire had for them.

What is God’s plan for them? This is the question that should be asked. Our friends and loved ones might agree with us but the important agreement is, does the Lord agree with our plans. His thoughts are always higher than our thoughts. His ways are better than our ways. His plans are better than our plans. He can see the end. We sometimes are blind to the will of God because we are blinded by our will.

May we, in our exuberance to serve and minister consult with the Lord what he would have us do and what way He would have us do it.

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FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels

FEBRUARY 25 – Do Not Be Rebels

1Samuel 12:13  Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. 

14  If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 

15  But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. 

We should always be aware of what we have chosen. Sometimes we choose because of pleasure. Other times we choose because of desire. Then there are times we choose because of rebellion.

1Samuel_15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

This is the scripture of what Samuel told Saul. See the extreme wickedness that is applied to rebellion.

Samuel is instructing the nation about their rejection of God and desire for a king. Let me rephrase this for you. “I will give you one more chance. Follow my commands and be obedient and my hand will be with you. If you rebel, my hand will no longer be with you.

Let us apply this to individuals. If you will obey, I will be with you. If you rebel, I will withdraw my hand. This is a great responsibility that is put on an individual. Each individual is responsible to God for their obedience. You can not blame your rebellion on mother, father, Church or pastor. You are totally responsible.

Because an individual is responsible before God, the Church is not off the hook.

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William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
One must simply love the deduction of the King of Nineveh in the days of Jonah. As the prophet cried out in the street of that great city, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the people believed him and brought word to the king. The king then declared a fast and a cry to God, demanding that his people turn from their wicked ways and all violence. He said, “Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?” 3:9.
Indeed, who can tell! How many people have given up on others way too soon? I recall a man whom I shall simply call Edward. He married a faithful deacon’s daughter, was a successful farmer, and always occupied a pew on Sunday and every night during revivals. But Edward was a lost man. I personally witnessed to him in his home; preached to him in several meetings over the years. Finally, I resigned myself that Edward would never be saved. Years went by. Other preachers worked on Edward with no success. Finally, one day a friend said to me, “Have you heard about Edward?” I just knew it was an announcement of his death since he was getting on in years. My friend said, “He trusted Jesus and is saved!” I could hardly believe it. Edward was near 90 years of age when this happened. I stood silently in awe, and in thanksgiving that this man now knew the Lord and I would see him in heaven. Who can tell?!
Now, I have another friend who has been so since teenaged years. He is in his early 80s. I have witnessed to him and prayed for him until I felt it may be no use. Then, I remember Edward, and I turn to prayer again. My friend said of himself that he was a good man, and that he would take his chances. I sought to impress him that without Jesus, he did not have a chance. That it was already settled, hell would be his eternal home. As of this date, he has not received Christ Jesus as his Savior, but neither have I quit praying; for, who can tell! Do you have a friend or loved one such as this? Don’t give up praying and witnessing to him/her, for who can tell!

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Rev. S. M. Lockridge

My King is a seven-way king. He’s a king of the Jews, that’s a racial king. He’s a king of Israel, that’s a national king; He’s a king of righteousness; He’s a king of the ages; He’s a king of heaven; He’s a king of glory; He’s a king of kings; and He’s the Lord of Lords; that’s my King!
Well, I wonder, do you know Him? David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” My King is a sovereign King; no means of measure can define His limitless love; no far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply; no barrier can hinder Him from throwing out His blessings. He’s enduringly strong; He’s entirely sincere; He’s eternally steadfast; He’s immortally graceful; He’s imperially powerful; He’s impartially merciful.

He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world; He’s God’s Son; He’s the sinner’ s Savior; He’s the centerpiece of civilization; He stands in the solitude of Himself; He’s august and He’s unique; He’s unparalleled; He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature; He’s the highest personality in philosophy; He is the supreme problem in higher criticism; He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology; He is the core, the necessity for spiritual religion; He’s the miracle of the age; He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him; He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior!

He supplies strength for the weak; He’s available for the tempted and the tried; He sympathizes and He saves; He strengthens and sustains; He guards and He guides; He heals the sick; He cleansed the lepers; He forgives sinners; He discharges debtors; He delivers the captives; He defends the feeble; He blesses the young; He serves the unfortunate; He regards the aged; He rewards the diligent and He purified the meek.

Well, my King, He is a key to knowledge; He’s a wellspring of wisdom; He’s a doorway of deliverance; He’s a pathway of peace; He’s a roadway of righteousness; He’s a highway of holiness; He’s a gateway of glory.

Well, His office is manifold; His promise is sure; His light is matchless; His goodness is limitless; His mercy is everlasting; His love never changes; His Word is enough; His grace is sufficient; His reign is righteousness and His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you! But He is indescribable! He’s God. He’s incomprehensible; He’s invincible; He’s irresistible; Well, you can’t get Him out of your mind; you can’t get Him off your hand; you can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him; The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him; Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him; the witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree; Herod couldn’t kill Him; death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him!

And thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever (How long is that?) and ever and ever, and when you get through with all the forevers then AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!


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