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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Matthew 12:39-40, "But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after
a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

This morning, men continue to look for ways to discount the wonderful works of God. When catastrophes happen that should claim more lives than they do, luck is garnered with laud and praise. When mortal diseases are cured beyond the doctor's ability to comprehend, the workings of good fortune (karma) is attributed as the factor. The Lord is not required to bless us one iota in this life, but He has promised mercy unto us and not left us without indicators that He continues to move among us and bless us. However, the ways in which He moves are not seen by the masses, nor is the communication understood by many. To the world, preaching is foolishness and vain jangling.

But, to the household of faith, the preaching of the gospel is the power of God, with the manifest heart-felt presence of the Lord. These indicators (to us) show that the Lord has not left us nor forsaken us, and when we feel absented from Him, He is still not far from every one of us, but we must feel after Him. (Acts 17:27-28)

In the passage above, the Lord directly condemns people for seeking a sign. The language "evil and adulterous generation" is one that I am sure nonewould like to be labeled with. Yet, even still, many  are seeking the very same thing today as the Pharisees of old did. Many times in conversations with people, I encounter the mentality, "Well, if God moved today like He did in the Old Testament, then I would have no problem believing in Him." To this I query, "Then, why did those in the Old Testament that saw these things not believe?" There were many Israelites that did not enter into rest in Canaan's Land due to disbelieving disobedience. They saw the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh's host, the pouring out of manna from heaven, giving of quails in abundance, and many more. They saw judgments from God (like the fiery serpents) when they murmured and complained. Yet, they were still prone to doubt and disbelief about the power and promises of God unto them.

Are we any different today? If we were, then Paul would not have specifically stated that those saints were our examples that we should not do as they did when they lusted in their temptations. (I Corinthians 10) So, many today continue to seek after signs and wonders to believe rather than walk by faith. The truth be told, the generation that Christ spoke to saw wonder after wonder, sign after sign, and still they did not believe. Some of them believed not, because they were not of His sheep. Others did not believe as they were afraid of losing their seat of position and authority. Yet others did not believe what Christ uttered, as they deemed it, "A hard saying, who can hear it?" But, any observant person could have seen the abundant manifestation of signs that Jesus is indeed the Christ and Son of God.

Even at the very end when Christ hung upon the cross of Calvary, they taunt Him one last time to show them
a sign. If He would just come down off His cross, they claimed that they would believe Him. It is my humble opinion that had that happened, they would have attributed the sign to Beelzebub or some other form of demonic spirit as they had accused Him of that in His ministry. So, a million signs could have been given,
but if they did not believe the ones they had, a few more would not have made any difference. Today, our
minds, and more especially, our memory banks are so short-sighted that we seem to more easily forget past
blessings unto us. As soon as the blessing comes, we seem to use it up, neglect to be thankful for it, and soon moan and complain about our situation. May we recall to mind and have hope that the Lord's mercies are new every morning and recall with fond remembrance how the Lord has been so good to us all down through
our lives.

But, Christ promised one sign that would be given, and I believe the language will bear out that this sign would not be the only one to occur, but the only one that continues on generation after generation.  For example, the raising of Lazarus from the grave was truly a sign that Jesus is the Son of God. But, what happens when Lazarus dies again? When his body is laid to rest in the tomb once more, where is the sign of that miracle? Indeed, we have it penned down for us, but Lazarus is no longer a living proof (here on this earth) that the Lord raised him from the dead. 

What about all those that were cleansed of leprosy, or made to see that once were blind, or caused to hear
that once were deaf? All these signs from the Lord and Saviour are no longer with us (except on the page), but there is one sign that is still lasting and promised to be so. Every generation has this sign to take strength and comfort in.

As Jonah was in the whale's belly for three days and three nights, so also was Christ in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. What was significant about Jonah's stay there? After that time, he came out. What is significant about Christ's stay there? He is there no longer! What a glorious sign this is for us today that supersedes all the  religions of the world. While their leader has a grave somewhere, ours has an empty tomb as a continuing sign and proof that He has power over death, hell, and the grave! But what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief overthrow the work of Christ and disprove the certifiable proof that continues with us? God forbid!

While many try to find His body, they would have to go to heaven to accomplish the task. He is not here beloved, "Come see the place where the Lord lay."  Come and see that He has done what He said He would
do. Now, the question today is, "Is this good enough for some?" The answer is that this sign is as good enough for some as the mighty miracles of the Old Testament were for some of them. Abraham told the rich man in hell that if his brethren would not hear Moses and the prophets, they would not hear Lazarus even if he came back from the dead. (Luke 16) Ironically, One did come back from the dead, and they do not hear Him either. May we cling to this most blessed truth that our Lord has lain in the tomb, but He is there no longer. May we hold to the sacred trust (by faith) that one day we will see Him in complete righteousness: body, soul, and spirit. While our mortal bodies may be laid to rest should we pass from this life prior to His return, we can do so with the sweet peace and consolation that our sign of an empty tomb continues on.

In Hope,

Bro Philip