Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Gospel Paul preached

The Gospel Paul Preached {starting on page 4}

It’s not difficult to find a passage in the Bible where Paul summarizes the Gospel he preached. Notice 1 Corinthians 15:1–8. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of about five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
 There is the Gospel, in at least a summary form. Notice that it is an objective message about historical events in the life of Jesus Christ. It is not a personal, subjective account about what God had done in Paul’s life. Those who witness to others about what God has done in their lives are not preaching the Gospel; they are not preaching a message that is the power of God unto salvation; their messages— although they can sometimes be helpful and encouraging— can save no one.
 You can also see that the Gospel is not about expecting a miracle today, thinking positively, feeling good, raising your self-esteem, being healed of diseases, becoming prosperous, having encounters with “angels,” “after death experiences,” or “visions” of heaven or hell. Additionally, unlike the “gospel” preached by some, the Gospel preached by Paul is not a news announcement of Jesus establishing a one-thousand-year reign over the earth. Nor is it a command to enthrone Jesus in our lives, take dominion over the earth, draw near to God, decide for Christ, or be good. The Gospel is the message that Jesus Christ died for our sins (as elaborated in the Scriptures), that He was buried and rose the third day (as elaborated in the Scriptures), and that the resurrected Christ was seen by many. Of course, to understand the implications of this message, we must understand from the Scriptures who Jesus Christ was, why He had to die for our sins (and who “our” refers to), why He rose from the dead, and how this comes to benefit us personally. We’ll take these one at a time...


read more at https://www.wordofhisgrace.org/gospelfp.pdf

What will your song be?

What do you think your song will be when you come to heaven? Blessed be God, that he gave me free-will; and blessed be my own dear self, that I made a good use of it? O no, no! Such a song as that never was heard in heaven yet, nor ever will, while God is God, and heaven is heaven. Look into the Book of Revelation, and there you will find the employ of the blessed, and the strains which they sing. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Thou art worthy, for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 4:10). There is discriminating grace for you! “Thou has redeemed us out of every kindred,” that is, from the rest of mankind. Is not this particular election and limited redemption? “ 

Augustus Toplady

Monday, August 13, 2018

more teaching on biblical separation by John Thackway

"For sin shall not have dominion over you..."

Of the many---infinite---spiritual blessings believers have been blessed with is this glorious fact that sin no longer dominates our heart, mind, life, and breath (Eph. 1:3). At the moment of regeneration we are set free from sin and the death that accompanies it. Indeed, He truly did set us free by the revelation of His Truth to us; we were dead in sins, He died and rose again to free us from the certainty of eternal death (John 8:32). No more are we caught in the inescapable death spiral that was our former life; no more do the lusts of the flesh have complete control over our thoughts and actions; gone are the days where the fulfillment of pleasure was our only concern; gone is the frustration of never being satisfied. Now we gratefully and willingly bow before the King of kings and Lord of lords in humble appreciation of His intervention in our life, to deliver us from ourselves, our sins and the eternal death we so richly deserved. He has made us kings and priests before Him and for Him. He has taken the creature that we were and made us a New Creation in Christ, forever to be before Him in pure praise and adoration (2 Cor. 5:17). He was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

So why does the war rage within us all too often? Our flesh was not annihilated upon our regeneration, but it was put in a place of subservience. This is evidenced by Paul in Romans seven. He freely admitted to the battle on a daily, hourly, moment to moment basis. Perhaps instead of complaining about the battle we could find time to thank Him for the many times (every time) He has delivered us from temptation, the struggle, the pain, the heart ache. The Psalms have a common thread to them (especially the ones written by David) which is every time any one was in trouble he didn't get relief or deliverance until he called out to the Lord. When the call for help went out it was answered in the affirmative every time, no exceptions, for God's chosen ones. Why we don't avail ourselves of His help sooner rather than later is any one's guess; eventually we all end up at His feet seeking His help.

Persecution of the believer is to be expected and that on every front. The physical aspect is for the most part dormant now in the West, but not totally. The mental aspect has been around from the beginning all the way back to Pentecost and before. The tactics and techniques of the wicked one have been well honed and yet so many seem to be ignorant of his devices. The personal, daily battle with sin is not going to get better by wishful thinking or some memorized platitude, but by the Word of God and the instructions found therein. 2 Cor. chapter ten is key to this. The main verses being 4-6 without neglecting the whole chapter will give great insight into the battle and our response. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations (KJV) and ever high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing ever thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled." Today's war is in and for the mind, when the mind is captured, the war is over for there is no reason to fight when consensus has been reached. After the great wave of "discernment ministries" reached it's pinnacle recently the next big thing seems to be that everyone has become their own authority on all things spiritual. The underlying danger being that of an attitude that 'no one is worthy to teach me' and therefore throw all under the bus. This is more akin to huge amounts of arrogance rather than good sense. EVERY believer makes a contribution to his fellows. Things are only going to get worse as evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, so it is imperative to recognize and deal with the mind attacks that are so successful and prevalent today. How will anyone know to cast down an imagination if he doesn't know that it is his imagination speaking to him rather than the Spirit of God via the Word of God? How many today claim to be "self-taught" with little to no regard for the Scriptures? Too many. A good test of this would be to be willing to discard your 'portfolio of accumulated knowledge' when it does not meet the requirements of Scripture,  but how many "double down" with more useless words to prove themselves right? Too many.

What do you do when obviously sinful thoughts enter your mind? Ignore them? Entertain them? What? We are supposed to cast them down. Do you bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ? Do you cry out for the Lord's help? Why not? He is there to help---ALWAYS. May the Lord put it into our hearts the many prayers of David found throughout the Psalms where he asked the Lord to search his heart (Psa. 51; 19:12-14; 139:23 &24; 32:1-5). These are prayers that never go unanswered, as He only wants what is best for us, the cleansing of sin and a clean heart before Him.

1 John 1:7 & 8. may the Lord richly bless each of His children.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Come Holy Spirit, come

Many of us are vexed over the state of our nation and our society today. Sometimes we might feel like echoing the cry of Jeremiah: ‘Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people’. (Jer 9:1). What can we do to stem the tide of evil sweeping the land? ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ (Psa 11:3). We know that the Lord is upon His throne, and He is in control of history, but the same Lord has been pleased in the past, at his ‘set time’, to revive His cause and to stem the tide of evil. 
 WHEN THE LORD WORKS 
What is the means through which the Lord will do his work of reformation and renewal? He will use human instruments as He did on the Day of Pentecost, at the Protestant Reformation, and during the Great Awakening. But it is not left merely to human instruments. There are many in the Churches today who are trying to bring improvement in society, and who are reaching out with the Gospel but to little effect. Where are the conversions to Christ, a heightened spirituality in our churches, an effect upon our society? In our eagerness to see a change, have we forgotten something? 
 The Rev. Dr. Samuel Davies, regarded by some as the greatest preacher that America has produced, in commenting on John 16:8-11, declared: 
 The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world. If he is absent, legislators may make laws against crime, philosophers may reason against vice, ministers may preach against sin, conscience may remonstrate against evil, the divine law may prescribe and threaten hell, the Gospel may invite and allure to heaven, but all will be in vain.The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears, all will have no effect, all will not effectually claim one sinner or gain one sincere convert to righteousness. 
 WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES 
Much as the disciples would miss the presence of their Master, He assured them in the ‘Farewell Discourse’ (John 14-17) that He would send ‘another Comforter’. In fact, He would return to them in the Holy Spirit: ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you’. (John 14:18). His main ministry would be to believers, but He also has a work to do on ‘the world’, which would change it radically. The great mission of the Holy Spirit to the men and women of the world is that He will act as a prosecuting attorney to confront them with their guilt and bring them to see the folly of their ways, and to repent. Without this work all the activity of man is in vain. Besides, this is the only work that will ensure a radical change in the sinner and bear lasting fruit in his life.
 ‘When he is come he will reprove the world of sin’: The word translated ‘reprove’ in the AV has generated a lot of debate as there is no exact synonym in English. ‘Convict’ comes nearest to the meaning. It is to ‘convince by proof of a fault or error.’ The world is at fault regarding sin righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit is going to act like a prosecutor and secure a conviction; He is going to bring the facts to light, make a case for a guilty verdict. The sinner will be exposed and constrained to plead guilty about these three things: 
 1. About Sin: The world has a wrong idea about sin because it has a false idea of God. Men will acknowledge certain evil acts as sin, but as far they themselves are concerned, they are liable to speak only of ‘my failings’, or ‘my shortcomings’. We must let God define sin. It is measured by the enormity of the offence against the majesty and glory of God. Sin is an infinite evil because it is against an infinitely good God. It strikes at the very being of God , it is deicide. But the particular sin the world must be convicted of by the Holy Spirit is the sin of unbelief: ‘because they believe not on me’. The people who constitute the world do not believe in Jesus. If they did believe in Jesus they would believe His statements about their guilt. The Cross of Christ proves, among other things, the dreadful nature of sin. But they refuse to acknowledge that and they reject the only remedy there is from the consequences of their sin. This is the sin that will ultimately destroy the sinner. ‘How shall we escape if they neglect so great salvation?’ (Heb 2:3). He needs to see this. 
 2. About Righteousness: The world has its own concept of righteousness. This was supremely manifested in the treatment meted out to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jewish leaders, who were of the world, regarded themselves as righteous and Christ as the sinner. ‘This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them’ (Luke 15:2). He healed on the Sabbath day and as a result they sent officers to take Him. Then they took counsel together to put Him to death. Peter, later addressing the Jews, could declare: ‘But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just, and desired a murder to be granted unto you. And killed the Prince of life’ (Acts 3:14).
 Why does He say ‘of righteousness, because I go to the Father and you see me no more’? In a short time He was to be resurrected from the dead, ascend to heaven, and be seated at the right hand of the Father. This would mean His vindication and acceptance with heaven and it would then be seen who was ‘the righteous One’. This would show up the pretentious claims of the ‘righteous’ Pharisees; there would be a great reversal. When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost he said: ‘Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). We are told that ‘when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart’ (Acts 2:37). The Holy Spirit secured a conviction as far as they were concerned. The only acceptable righteousness to be found before God is that which Christ wrought out on behalf of His people. 
 3. About Judgment: ‘Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged’. All of the lies, falsehood, rebellion, and evil in the world originate in the devil. He deceived our first parents and held sway over mankind as a result. Christ referred to him as ‘the prince of this world’ (John 12:31; 14:30). Paul calls him ‘the god of this world’ (2 Cor 4:4). Sinners are enslaved by him. He directed his venom on the Son of Man, and sought to destroy Him. The devil appeared to triumph in the crucifixion of Christ, but what was apparent victory turned into ignominious defeat. His head was bruised (Gen 3:15) and as was foretold by the Saviour: ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.’ (John 12:31). God works by contraries. Manifest weakness was used to make the great reversal of the Cross: ‘Having spoiled principalities and power, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it’ (Col 2:15). The world is now on the losing side and all who maintain their alliance with Satan will be cast out with him. The sinner needs to see this. 
 APPLICATION 
Firstly, this is the serious nature of the work of salvation. It is a mighty deliverance from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God. There has to be a convicting work of the Spirit to bring the sinner to despair of his ‘refuge of lies’, and flee to Christ alone for salvation. A radical change has to take place in repentance and contrition. This is what seems most lacking in evangelicalism today. 
 Secondly, the calling of the preacher is not to set the sinner at ease and make him happy, his task is to strip him of his self-righteousness and go for a guilty verdict, before applying the balm of the gospel. 
 Lastly, the work of salvation from first to last is of the triune Jehovah. The Father purposed and planned, the Son executed, and the Holy Spirit applies. Paul may plant and Apollos may water, but God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6). All the schemes that we can devise are ineffective without the sovereign work of God. How we need to bend the knee and cry: ‘Come Holy Spirit, Come’.
John J Murray

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Goats

A.W. Pink


A few months ago we published some notes upon goats sent us by a Brother in Australia. Several have written to say they were helped by the same. Not long since we wrote to Bro. Klooster, who is engaged in Gospel work in Holland, a land where goats are quite common among the poorer people. In the course of our letter to him, we mentioned that it was our growing conviction “the goats” of Matthew 25:33 etc. are professing Christians who are devoid of the life of God in their souls. His reply has still further strengthened our conviction, and from it we here extract some thoughts concerning these animals, as being an adumbration of those bearing the name of Christ who are strangers to His salvation.

Read Matthew 25:31-33. “It is plain from Scripture that the ‘sheep’ mentioned here are God’s chosen people, who are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and have followed the great Shepherd (John 10:26-29). It is equally plain from the Scripture that the ‘goats’ are not atheists and others who repudiate the existence of the eternal God, but are those having ‘a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof,’ people ever learning and ‘never able to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (2 Tim. 3:5-7). Looking now at Matthew 25:44 we read that the goats shall answer Christ ‘saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered?’ Only those spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:5; Jude 11 etc. will (even as the sheep, God’s children) address Him as ‘Lord.’ Hereby they show their ‘form of godliness’ or outward resemblance to God’s children, as at a distance goats resemble sheep in appearance and in the sound of their bleating. In Matthew 7:21-23 we read of this same religious people, with their ‘form of godliness.’

 “In Scripture the ‘right hand’ is always used as a symbol for the place of might, power, honor, protection and fellowship: read carefully Psalm 16:8, 9, 11; Mark 15:27; Galatians 2:9; Exodus 15:6. But the ‘left hand’ is a symbol of the place of inferiority, dishonour, folly. ‘A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left’ (Eccl. 10:2). Ehud (Judg. 3:15-22) was left-handed, and a sneaking assassin. The seven hundred men spoken of in Judges 20:16 were all left handed, and brought certain destruction when used in fighting. In Ezekiel 16:46 we read of religious by apostate Samaria dwelling at Jerusalem’s left hand—Sodom as her ‘right hand’ is to be exalted above her: Matthew 11:20-24.

“In connection with Matthew 25:33 we read in Ezekiel 34:17, ‘Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle,’ that is, between sheep and goats, for the very next sentence adds ‘between the rams and the he-goats.’ Reading the whole chapter carefully through, there is no doubt that the ‘rams’ speak of the teachers, leaders, pastors of the sheep; while the ‘he-goats’ are the false prophets (2 Peter 2:1-3), the ‘hirelings’ (John 10:12, 13) who catch and scatter the sheep.

 “A ram has the same nature and taste as the sheep, only he is stronger, and their natural protector. A ram will never attack a man or animal, except he, or his sheep, are attacked. So the true undershepherd only attacks when the honour of his great Shepherd and His sheep are assailed: then, like the ram, he will fight even unto death. The he-goat has the same nature as the goats, only he is more fierce and destructive, and will attack without any provocation or need: so the false shepherds are constantly making onslaughts on the Truth, on Christ, and on His people.

“‘Therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle’ (Ezek. 34:22). ‘He shall separate them one from another, as a  shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats . . . and those (the goats) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous (the sheep) into life eternal’ (Matt. 25:32, 46)”!!