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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

An hour with George Muller

This is a small excerpt from the life of this man God used so mightily, with such great faith did he do that work God assigned for him. As I read this, I was so very blessed. I will include the link to the entire writing after this short quote, which I find so relevant and important for the true Christian...


“Seek to depend entirely on God for everything,” he answered. “Put yourself and your work into His hands. When thinking of any new undertaking, ask, Is this agreeable to the mind of God? Is it for His glory? If it is not for His glory, it is not for your good, and you must have nothing to do with it. Mind that! Having settled that a certain course is for the glory of God, begin it in His name and continue in it to the end. Undertake it in prayer and faith, and never give up! “And do not regard iniquity in your heart. If you do, the Lord will not hear you. Keep that before you always. Then trust in God. Depend only on Him. Wait on Him. Believe on Him. Expect great things from Him. Faint not if the blessing tarries. And above all, rely only on the merits of our adorable Lord and Saviour, so that according to them and to nothing of your own, the prayers you offer and the work you do be accepted.”  George Muller

from http://www.georgemuller.org/uploads/4/8/6/5/48652749/an_hour_with_george_muller.pdf

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The heart of the saint

Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952)


 In Christendom today There are thousands of professing Christians against whom little or nothing in the way of fault could be found so far as their outward lives are concerned. They live moral, clean, upright, honest lives, while at the same time the state of their hearts is totally neglected. It is not sufficient to bring our outward deportment into harmony with the revealed will of God. He holds us accountable for what goes on inside, and requires us to keep check on the springs of our actions, the motives which inspire, and the principles which regulate us. God requires “truth in the inward parts” (Psa 51:6). Christ has enjoined us to “take heed” to ourselves “lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (Luk 21:34). If I do not look within, how then shall I be able to ascertain whether I possess that poverty of spirit, mourning for unholiness, meekness, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and purity of heart upon which the Saviour pronounces His benediction (Mat 5:1-8)? We must remember that salvation itself is both subjective and objective, for it consists not only of what Christ did for His people, but also what He by the Holy Spirit did in them. I have no evidence whatever of my justification apart from my regeneration and sanctification. The one who can say “I am crucified with Christ” (judicially) can also add “Christ liveth in me” (experientially), and living by faith in Him is proof that He “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). 

The heart is the center of man's moral nature, of the personality; it equals the whole inner man, it is the fount out of which everything else comes, and is the seat of his thoughts and of his affections and of his will (Gen 6:5). To guard the heart means that we should live to the glory of God in every respect; that that should be the supreme desire of our life, that we desire to know Him, love Him, and serve Him.

 If we are to be approved of God, it is by no means sufficient that we make clean the outside of the cup and platter—yet many suppose that that is all that matters. “Cleanse first that which is within” (Mat 23:26) is our Lord’s command. This is rarely given any attention these days, or none at all. It is the devil who seeks to persuade people that they are not responsible for the state of their hearts, that it is impossible for them to change them. Such is most agreeable unto those who think to be “carried to heaven on flowery beds of ease.” But no regenerate soul, with God's Word before him, will credit such falsehood. The divine command is plain: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro 4:23). This is the principal task set before us, for it is at the heart God ever looks, and there can be no pleasing Him while it is unattended to; yea, woe be unto those who disregard it. He who makes no honest endeavor to cast out sinful thoughts and evil imaginations, and who does not mourn over their presence, is a moral leper. He who makes no conscience of the workings of unbelief, the cooling of his affections, the surgings of pride, is a stranger to any work of grace in his soul. 

Not only does God bid thee to “keep thy heart,” but He requires that you do it “with all diligence”; that is, that you make it your main concern and constant care. The Hebrew word of “keep” signifies to “guard,” to watch over this heart (that is, the soul or inward man) as a precious treasure of which thieves are ever ready to rob thee. The devotions of your lips and the labors of your hands are unacceptable to the Lord if your heart is not right in His sight. What husband would appreciate the domestic attentions of his wife if he had good reasons to believe that her affections were alienated from him? 

God takes note not only of the matter of our actions, but the springs from which they are done and the design of the same. If we become slack and careless in any of these respects, it shows that our love is cooled and that we have become weary of God. The Lord God is He that “pondereth the heart” (Pro 24:12), observing all its motions. He knows whether your alms-deeds are done in order to be seen of men and admired by them, or whether they issue from disinterested benevolence. He knows whether your expressions of good will and love to your brethren are feigned or genuine! 

The Bible lays open, as no other book, the turpitude (shameful depravity) and horrid nature of sin as that “abominable thing” which God “hates” (Jer 44:4), and which we are to detest and shun. It never gives the least indulgence or disposition to sin, nor do any of its teachings lead to licentiousness. It sternly condemns sin in all its forms, and makes known the awful curse and wrath of God which are its due. It not only reproves sin in the outward lives of men, but discovers the secret faults of the heart, which is its chief seat. It warns against the first motions, and legislates for the regulating of our spirits, requiring us to keep clean the fountain from which are “the issues of life.” Its promises are made unto holiness, and its blessings bestowed upon “the pure in heart.” The ineffable (that which cannot be expressed) and exalted holiness of the Bible is its chief and peculiar excellence, as it is also the principal reason why it is disliked by the majority of the unregenerate. 

The Bible forbids all impure desires and unjust thoughts as well as deeds. It prohibits envy (Pro 23:17), and all forms of selfishness (Rom 15:1). It requires us to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2Co 7:1), and bids us to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Th 5:22). Heavenly doctrine is to be matched with heavenly character and conduct. Its requirements penetrate into the innermost recesses of the soul, exposing and censuring all the corruptions found there. The law of man goes no farther than “Thou shall not steal,” but that of God “Thou shalt not covet.” The law of man prohibits the act of adultery, but the Law of God reprehends (finds fault with, censures, blames) the looking upon a woman “to lust after her” (Mat 5:28). The law of man says, “Thou shalt not murder,” that of God forbids all ill-will, malice, or hatred (1Jo 3:15). It strikes directly at that which fallen nature most cherishes and craves. “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you” (Luk 6:26). It prohibits the spirit of revenge, enjoins the forgiveness of injuries, and, contrary to the self-righteousness of our hearts, inculcates humility. 

Such a task calls for divine aid, hence help and grace need to be earnestly and definitely sought of the Holy Spirit each day. Alas, so many today are just playing with the solemn realities of God, never embracing and making them their own. How about you, reader? Is this true of you? Selah. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Precious Blood of Christ

In 1 Peter 1:18 & 19 Peter reminds us that we "...were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Never forget, nor be persuaded otherwise, that it was and is the precious and literal blood of Christ that washes away our sins---1 John1:7. Heb.9:22 tells us: "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission." Heb. 10:4 says "For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." So whose blood is it that remits our sins? Only the Blood of Jesus Christ, God in human flesh could ever suffice. Genuine believers know this, they cherish the fact of the ability of Christ's blood to wash away their sins. It is foundational to the Gospel to the point that without His shed blood there would be no Gospel, no "Good News", and no salvation for the lost. If Christ had died in any manner other than the Cross with all it's interconnected events (most especially the shedding of His blood) there would be no Gospel, no victory over His enemies, and certainly no salvation for man. There was no "Plan B." The Lamb of God was "slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8) and that in the specific manner in which He died and was raised again.

Yet we have within Christendom today men who go to great lengths to discount the shed blood of Christ as a "common thing." Some of these men are well respected, highly sought after, highly paid, internationally known, and above suspicion or reproach. Men like R B Thieme Jr. who took up his deceased father's mantle to spread his teachings; Wade Burleson of Istoria Ministries; and the champion of this teaching: John MacArthur. JM clearly and repeatedly refers to the blood of Christ as nothing more than a euphemism for His death and by doing so blatantly ignores specific Scriptures and the teaching of them. He makes statements like 'there is no saving efficacy in the fluid that came out of His body' and 'it's not His bleeding, but His dying.' And on the nausea goes. Listen to his own words from his own mouth at https://www.youtube.com'watch?v=TvRv7iShIZ4 and judge for yourself.

For a man of such supposed education, his supposed study of the Word of God, and all his "years of service" (the question is "who is JM serving?") and yet can so flagrantly ignore Scripture to come up with yet another heresy to his credit no doubt staggers the mind of some. JM has also stated in no uncertain terms that the blood of Jesus soaked into the ground, was not "collected in a vessel" and that His blood is forever lost---in the ground at Calvary. There are many other inane and biblically unsupportable statements that JM makes concerning the blood of Jesus. It makes one wonder if he has considered the ramifications of his careless words, because they are dire, damning, and eternal.

Let the Word of God speak and see for yourself who is right; JM or the Holy Spirit. Heb. 9 contains everything needed to destroy this nonsense of MacArthur and others, but they will not even consider these verses, much less the error and evil of their words. Consider the inspired text and decide for yourself who speaks God's Words and who lies. Heb. 9:11-14: "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is not of this creation. Not with blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." If Christ's blood was not 'collected' but forever soaked into the ground, how could He have carried His own blood into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle not made with hands? Continuing: "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

Now to the dangerous and lethal ramifications of this teaching. The key phrase of the last quote is "who through the eternal Spirit" Never does a Member of the Trinity do anything alone, but always in complete agreement with each other, they act together. Think about the Creation, the Father created everything through the Son, as the Spirit brooded over the deep. So it is with the crucifixion. For those who wish to downplay the blood of Christ in any manner there are eternally damning consequences. Heb. 10:28 & 29 says "Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common ('unholy' KJV) thing and insulted the Spirit of grace?" Since Christ offered Himself (and His blood) through the eternal Spirit, it is blaspheme against the Holy Spirit to disparage the Savior's blood as MacArthur and others do even today. These men are not born again, there is no hope for them to ever become born again, so making a plea for repentance will fall upon deaf ears. Titus 1:10 &11 gives us instruction for prayer in this matter: that the mouths of these men may be stopped. This is not an 'accusation' but a simple statement of fact, they have already accused themselves of this blaspheme by their own words and all who adhere to this lie will give an account to the Judge in the Last Day at the Great White Throne Judgment. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, that all these men have done, all the supposed 'good teaching' they put forth, everything, all their books, CDs, whatever, belongs in the trash heap---forever.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Idols

Throughout history man has had the urge, the need to worship something or someone all in an effort to relieve the guilt of his sin. It didn't matter who or what the object of his worship was, just so long as it was not the God that created him. Adam worshipped himself, his pleasure, his lust, as he received and ate the forbidden fruit in order to remain with Eve (1 Tim. 2:14). And so the pattern was set and it continues unabated and enhanced to this day. There are so many idols in the world today it is impossible to list them all. The common thread of all idols is "anything/anyone but Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The human imagination inflamed by the lies of the wicked one have produced many an enticing figure, most, if not all, of these remain as objects of worship today.

Bringing this to the current day condition of what is claimed to be the "evangelical church" we find little to no worship of Christ in the Spirit. What we do find are untold numbers of false prophets, defended to the hilt by their 'faithful subjects' who, by the words of their own mouth, exhibit no love of the truth and certainly no love for the Lord Jesus Christ; their only real allegiance is for their idolized preacher. This can be seen by their ever escalating defense, adulation, and stubborn unwillingness to recognize their own error, thus perpetuating and increasing the stature of their idol in their own mind and the minds of their captive audience. It quickly becomes a "snowball rolling downhill" thing. Sadly, some genuine believers may be caught up in this evil, BUT when their heart is opened to the truth they will and do repent (Phil. 2:12 & 13). If simple defense of their idol does not silence the whistleblower, they soon resort to "character assassination" and if real stones where available they would 'dispatch' their opponent just like their counterparts did to Stephen, Paul, and untold others. So adamant is their defense of these idolized charlatans that they have become twofold more a child of hell than the man/woman who birthed them into this evil (Matt. 23:15).

The alarm that is sounded here includes EVERY national recognized, praised, and sought after preacher/preacherette of all the flavors of Christianity that the world is subjected to today. This is not a glib statement or one made in haste, but one borne of 'due diligence'. This conclusion was reached by listening to and reading the words of these false prophets that emanated from their own mouth, 'sermons' and books. Men John MacArthur whose litany of aberrant doctrine and outright heresy seems to only get larger. Most notable of which is his notion that a man can receive the mark of the beast and later be "saved" and his belief that the Blood of Jesus Christ is not an integral part of the Gospel, but some sort of side note. [More on than soon.] He is a double minded man as seen in his own words concerning the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of man. His idea of "Lordship Salvation" is nothing more than salvation by works carefully disguised as "truth." There is more, but the point is made. Most recently is James White who gladly welcomes an antichrist to spew his poison to the (supposed?) people of God. 'Supposed' because not only did White allow for his opponent's lies to go unchallenged, but the audience did as well. All of this was done in the 'name of evangelism' as Christ was 'left out in the cold.' So plug in any popular evangelical type and check them out for yourselves---you must go beyond the public persona and the hype given for the world and the 'church' to drool over. Dig beneath the surface and you will find that all possess huge egos that never get enough praise who invariably treat us to their own brand of false humility. All are bent toward ecumenicalism, some outright and some hide in the closet. All will leave the 'flock' (true believers) to the will of wolves, they, themselves being the chief wolf. They will trumpet themselves as the 'guardians and purveyors of the truth' all the while lacing what little 'truth' they may employ to deceive the masses. They will use flattery to disarm the rightful defenses of the wary. [Check out 'flattery' in a concordance and see how God hates it.] Even their attempt to "preach the Gospel" or give the illusion that they love the Lord Jesus is filled with double talk, ambiguity, and leaves the hearer more baffled than settled. Despite all their smooth words for public consumption their end game is deceit. Their refusal to hold their peers accountable for their errors is the same thing as denying the Lord Jesus. And so it is for the pew sitter. Though they claim to "preach Christ" the reality is that they deny Him by their complicity to error, their refusal to sound the alarm no matter who it is (especially when it's a 'friend'), and their hatred for those who dare to expose them. In all of this they exhibit one thing to the astute believer: their greed. Greed for praise from their peers and mostly from their underlings; the next book deal or conference invitation; but mostly for $$$. This pleases Christ, how? Rather than repent when exposed they will bend over backwards in their never ending quest to prove all their words are 'right.' By doing this they mock the Goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). Further, by doing this they not only mock His Goodness, but they deny Lord Jesus Christ Himself. "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." [No finer recent example of a man denying Christ can be found as was seen in the silence of James White as an antichrist tried to mutilate the Gospel and the integrity of Jesus Christ.] Matt. 10:32 & 33. "For whosoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38. The problem with false prophets is bad enough, but it would soon disappear if those who coddle them and give them money and support them in any way would wake up and stop. It is the wickedness and blindness of these 'supporters' that perpetuates the heretics.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Have you made provision for death?



A friend of my sister recently passed away; a couple of days before she died her brother had gone to see her. He said she raised up in bed, was screaming and flinging her arms wildly. This is what the unrepentant sinner does when they are about to step into a Christ-less eternity. This woman died without Christ, she was never born again by God.  Right before my dad died, he did the exact same thing, he too was an unbeliever.
 Now they drug those who are nearing the end with morphine, so no one really sees the horrors of death without Christ. The family assumes their departed loved one 'died peacefully', when, in fact, they were drugged. I think even though the body is immobile due to the drugs, the mind surely must be screaming silently as they near their time of departure. Death for the unbeliever is horrifying.

Feminism and the Abortion Holocaust

yasir-qadhis-blasphemy-and-james-whites-silence

Go to this link to listen to this radio program - http://megiddoradio.com/2017/06/26/264-yasir-qadhis-blasphemy-and-james-whites-silence/


“A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”―John Calvin

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"For His Name's Sake"

Sometimes when we read the Word a word, or a phrase, or a concept seems to jump off the page and it sticks with us for a time and we begin to see the same thing in multiple places. I suspect this is another teaching tool used by the Lord to bring us to further knowledge of Himself (Eph. 1:17-19). Such is the case with "for His name's sake" as it is found several times directly stated and by implication in other places. The account given in Exodus of Moses and Pharaoh is a prime example. The judgment of Egypt and Pharaoh via Moses is declared in Ex.9:16, "But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." Compare this with Ex. 10:1. Even the ever increasing hardening of Pharaoh's heart was for his judgment and the glory of the Lord. Ex. 14:4 "...I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army." The primary reason for the parting of the Red Sea was in order that the Lord would "gain honor" over Pharaoh and his army, Ex. 14:17 & 18. The Israelites benefited from this in more than one way. Not only were their physical lives spared, but they found a new 'fear of the Lord' and they "believed the Lord and His servant Moses" Ex. 14:31. See the honor brought to the name of the Lord as they sung the new song of Lord's exploits and His greatness---Ex. 15:1-18.

 In Ezek. 20:1-44 we have a running account of the judgments of Israel that were not carried out by the Lord because to wipe out Israel would bring a reproach on the name of the Lord in the eyes of the Gentiles who would say that He was not able to bring them into the promised land (vs. 8 & 9; 13 & 14; 21 & 22). Verse 41: "I will be hallowed in you [Israel] before the Gentiles." There is a thread that runs throughout the Scriptures concerning the elect of God and it is found in James 2:13, "Mercy rejoices [triumphs] over judgment." The display of this principle is seen in Ezek. 20. Perhaps a more glaring example of this can be seen in Jer. 33 where the Lord sends His people into the captivity of Babylon and yet even here we find that His mercy reigns over the righteous judgment He brought upon Israel (see vs. 37-41). The judgments of the Lord upon the lost are eternal, without mercy, irrevocable, and without appeal---all for His name's sake. The 'judgments' upon the elect (Hebrews calls it 'chastening') are for our good and ALWAYS end in mercy---all for His name's sake. The pleading and begging of Daniel for the Lord to show mercy on the captive Israelites ends with these words: "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name." [Perhaps this is one reason why it was said of Daniel "O man greatly beloved" Dan. 10:11 & 19.] "FOR YOU OWN SAKE" show mercy! We deserve all Your wrath, and are not worthy of mercy! Yet, for His name's sake, He gives abundant and eternal mercy to His chosen ones!

It may be objected that He does show mercy for our sakes as well, after all isn't that why He loves us? Such is the narrow, even narcissistic view of modern day Christendom whose error is plainly seen in Ezek. 36:16-32. It begins by recounting the rebellion and idolatry of Israel (who can lay claim to innocence today?) and the corresponding righteous judgment of the Lord. And yet for all of His wrath mercy shines forth, but not for the reason too many have concluded. V. 21: "But I had concern for My holy name which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went." V. 22: "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went." V.23 goes on to say: "And I will sanctify My great name...and the nations shall know that I am the Lord...when I am hallowed in you before their eyes." The next few verses tells us what the Lord will [for His name's sake] do: "I will take you from the nations"..."I will sprinkle clean water on you"..."I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols"..."I will give you a new heart and a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh"..."I will put My Spirit within you [that's the 'new birth' or being 'born again'] and cause you to walk in My statutes and you will keep My judgments and do them"  and on He speaks and in V. 31 says: "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations." [Ever wonder why that from time to time the past seems to be remembered all too vividly? Read V. 31 again and know that after the memories subside, He is waiting to remind us of the mercy shown to us (for His name's sake) in delivering us from the power of all our sins (Rom. 6:14 & Col. 1:13 & others).] Then we have V. 32, perhaps the 'coup de grace' to the notion that we deserve His mercy: "Not for your sake do I do this, says the Lord, let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel."

The Psalms offer many a reference to this also. 143:11, 'Revive me for Your name's sake'; 109:21 'Deal with me for Your name's sake'; 106:8 He saved Israel for His name's sake; 23:3 He leads me for His name's sake; 31:3 for Your name's sake, lead me and guide me; 25:11, for Your name's sake pardon my sins. Then we have Psa. 69:7-9 where David pours out his heart before the Lord. "Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers and an alien to my mother's children; because zeal for you house has eaten me up and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me." Sound familiar? It should because this is not just David's complaint, but also a prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus (Rom. 15:3; Isa. 53:3; John 2:17 & 7:3-5). "Because for You sake I have borne reproach" speaks directly to the suffering and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus from His betrayal to His death on the cross. He did all that He did for "His name's sake" and we are the beneficiaries of His sufferings. Make no mistake about it, everything that God has done has been "for His name's sake" from the creation (Col 1:16-18), all of history ( as briefly shown above), all future events and even the return of our Lord to this earth will be primarily for His glory in the eyes of his creatures and all of creation.

The New Testament is filled with this over-arching principle that all our Lord does is for His name's sake. 1 John 2:12 "I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name's sake." What other reason could ever be tendered for the mercy of the Lord to His children that would not end in the puffing up of man and the lessening of the glory of God for the work of His Son? Is not 'for His name sake' more than sufficient for the humbled soul who has received His great salvation? What need is there to look any farther? 2 Tim. 1:9, "who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." ["before time began" an interesting phrase also found elsewhere in the NT, but for another day.] Again, we have absolutely nothing to do with whether we are saved or not, but the salvation we have been given was granted according to His own purpose and nothing else. This is made more clear in Eph. 1:1-14 where there is more to be learned than our brains can hold while here on earth. But He does open our hearts a little at a time. Here, we find a different phrase employed to get to same meaning as "for His name's sake" and that is "to the praise of the glory of His grace" (vs. 6, 12, 14). The words may be different, but the end result is the same, only our Lord is worthy to receive all glory. Some may object and say, 'but God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...' Yes, He did, but that shows no indication that He ever intended to 'save' every human being that ever lived, does it? Nor does it show simple pity as any sort of motivation which some may think it does. Pity is not an attribute of our Lord, but judgment, mercy and love are. As is shown time and again throughout the OT judgment comes first, followed by mercy (but only for God's children). Further, we have seen that all of His judgments against Israel were followed by mercy (the exception being AD 70 with the following mercy has been delayed for centuries). What a grand picture of the Lord Jesus Christ! He took the judgment for our sins and we are blessed with His mercy! We suffered nothing and yet we reap the eternal benefits of His Mercy and Love! There was never a "plan B" for Christ or our salvation. He was the One slain from before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). What finer way to showcase the Attributes of our God than through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Our sin was judged (final and for all time), His enemies death and the wicked one will be vanquished at their appointed time, man's unrepentant rebellion was dealt a lasting blow and the principalities and powers of this world were made a public spectacle (Col. 2:1 & 15). Then we come to Rom. 2:8, "But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." There is no better way for the Love of God (for He IS Love) to be seen by the redeemed, the lost, or hell's minions than for Christ to have given His life as the ransom for the elect. It will be an eternal reminder of the cost of their rebellion. And it will be an eternal reminder of the praise and adoration due His name as we humbly bow before Him.

"But God, who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"When you can't trace His hand--trust His heart!"

(Thomas Brooks)

"Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy!" Micah 7:18

God takes delight in showing of mercy. He takes no pleasure in giving His people up to adversity. Mercy and kindness flow from Him freely and naturally. He is never severe, never harsh. He never stings us--but when He is sadly provoked by us.

God's hand sometimes may lie very hard upon His people--when His heart, His affections at those very times may be yearning towards them. "Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him--declares the LORD." Jeremiah 31:20

No man can tell the heart of God--by His hand.
God's hand of mercy may be open to those against whom His heart is set--as you see in the rich fool and Dives.
And His hand of severity may lie hard upon those on whom He has set His heart--as you may see in Job and Lazarus.
"When you can't trace His hand--trust His heart!"

Sunday, July 9, 2017

We need stirring up


Francis Bourdillon, 1864

2 PETER 1:12-15.
"Therefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me. Moreover I will endeavor that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance."


In spiritual things we need putting in mind — even of that which we know well. For spiritual things are not like common things. Though we may know them well — yet we are apt to lose the impression of them on our hearts, to leave off feeling them, to grow cold and careless about them. We need putting in mind and stirring up. We need to hear the same things again and again, "line upon line — line upon line."
There is something very solemn in the way in which Peter writes here. He was now an old man and expected soon to die. "Knowing," he says, "that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me." He was at present in a tabernacle or tent only, meaning his mortal body; but he was soon going to put off the tabernacle and to leave the world. As long as he stayed, he would remind them of the truth and press it home to their hearts and consciences. Moreover, he would do his best that even when he was gone, they should still remember what he had taught them; and, with that view, as well as for their instruction at the time, he wrote these letters to them. God has preserved these writings for us to this very day.

For eighteen hundred years they have helped to bring men to the knowledge of the truth, and to put them in mind of it. Perhaps the apostle himself little thought how long his words would last, and how many millions would read them and hear them and receive good from them.

We shall all put off our tabernacle in a short time. How important is it that we should not let the things we have heard slip — that we should be giving diligence to make our calling and election sure — that we should not be negligent, careless, forgetful, or slothful!
The words of the aged apostle, so near his end, must have come to the early Christians with a solemn force. Let us also take them, not only as a portion of the inspired Word — but also as the parting charge of the dying servant of God. When eternity is near — solemn things seem yet more solemn. It was in this frame of mind that Peter wrote. In the same spirit let us receive his words.
We need stirring up — not so much to be taught something new, as to be stirred up as to what we have learned already.
Most of us have long ago been taught the facts and doctrines of the gospel. Probably we know them well. Perhaps we are even firmly "established in the present truth." We have learned of Heaven and Hell and eternity. We have been taught our lost estate as sinners, and that Jesus died for sinners — that His precious blood has atoned for sin, that He has opened the way for us to the throne of grace and to acceptance with God. We have heard of death and of judgment — and of the uncertainty of life and the shortness of time. We have been told . . .
of Satan's devices,
of the value of prayer,
of the mercy and love of God in Christ,
and of the work of the Spirit.
What is our spiritual state, after so much teaching? Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love! How little we have of deep sorrow for sin — and how little sincere faith in Jesus! Where are the fruits of the Spirit in us? Where is . . .
that deep concern,
that earnest desire,
that prayerfulness,
that watchfulness,
that warmth of feeling,
that pressing toward the mark —
which might be expected in those who have learned such things?
We need stirring up!
The prophet Isaiah speaks of stirring up oneself: "There is none who calls upon Your Name — none who stirs up himself to take hold of You." We should stir ourselves up thus. We should think of the great concerns of our souls. We should wake up from sleep. We should rouse ourselves to lay hold by faith afresh and more earnestly, on Christ our Savior.

We should stir ourselves up also by the Word of God.
Let us apply it to ourselves and take it as if addressed to us.
Let us not listen to it or read it carelessly.
Let us not be hearers only — but doers of the Word . . .
  receiving it as God's message,
  pondering it in our minds,
  applying it to ourselves,
  believing it, and
  striving to live by it!
Peter wrote as an aged servant of God, soon about to depart, but he wrote also as an inspired apostle — his words therefore are to be taken as the message of God to us.
Once more, let us pray for the quickening influence of God's Holy Spirit. This alone can really stir the depths of our hearts and rouse us from spiritual sloth and give us new earnestness and zeal.
Will He not hear our prayer for the quickening influence of His Spirit? Let us not doubt that He will. In all the coldness and deadness of our hearts, let us pray to Him for this; not waiting until we feel a glow of warmth and earnestness, but asking for that very thing. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said of the promised Comforter, "He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatever I have said unto you."
O God, our Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, send the quickening influence of Your Holy Spirit into our hearts. Leave us not in coldness and carelessness. Leave us not in the mere profession of faith. Preserve us from being barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Teach us to feel more deeply our need of Him; teach us to believe in Him more simply and fully; stir us up to lay hold on Him by faith, and help us to find peace in Him. Renew in us past impressions and convictions of Your Word — renew and strengthen and deepen. Help us to have these things always in remembrance. Revive Your work within us. Thus, even while in this tabernacle, may grace and peace be multiplied unto us; and hereafter may an entrance be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lord, hear us for His sake. Amen.

Lovest thou me?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grace

The widely accepted definition of grace is: "unmerited favor." But is there more to it than that? Surely! There are a few Scriptures that will hopefully disperse the cob webs and get the wheels churning in our minds. Luke 2:40 "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Plug in today's take on grace here and we come up far short of the truth. If grace were nothing more than unmerited favor that would mean that Jesus did not merit His Father's grace, but was given grace despite His "unworthiness." Why was grace given to Christ in the first place? We shall see.

 Heb. 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower then the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." Here, again, unmerited favor falls far short of truth and reality. The Son of God was given grace for the express purpose of suffering the death of the cross. If there were something in Him that was not worthy of all of His Father's graces, would that not indicate that He would be less than the perfect sacrifice required by the Scriptures? Indeed such would be the case. Thankfully, Christ is eternally worthy in every respect. So 'unmerited favor' doesn't work here either.

John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Today we might read this differently: 'full of unmerited favor and truth.' That doesn't quite work well when it concerns the Son of God. But too many have accepted today's rendition as "gospel truth" much like we do the definition of sin to be "missing the mark" while Scripture goes much farther and calls it "lawlessness" (but that's for another day).

1 Tim. 1:12 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry." At first this seems that it would not belong in this discussion of grace, but it may be the most revealing of all. Coupled with 1Cor.15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I , but the grace of God that was with me." A more complete, accurate, and all-encompassing definition of grace would be "enabling power." Such a definition totally clears away any doubt of the worthiness of Christ which the old definition leaves to linger in the back of one's mind, even though it was never spoken. It is also in perfect agreement with the fact that no one member of the Trinity acts of His own accord, but always in concert with each other (John16:30). The grace given to Christ as depicted in the above verses was because He was in human flesh, with a human (unfallen) nature, and because Christ stated that He never did anything of His own accord (John 5:30).

There is a highly narcissistic flare to the current definition in that it gets the mind to focus on it's own unworthiness to the point that is very unhealthy and even debilitating. No one is ever worthy of anything received from God; grace, salvation, forgiveness, son-ship, eternity with Him, etc. The negative tone (unmerited) lends itself to focusing on us, whereas "enabling power" immediately directs our attention toward God. There is nothing wrong with occasionally remembering our former state as we had pleasure in sin, but the focus is never to linger there for long that it doesn't turn to fact that God---by His enabling power---has delivered us from our sins, then and now. Such reminders are not to beat us down (as Satan so enjoys to do) but to lift us up in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus for delivering us in the first place. He gets the praise due His Name and our joy overflows yet again----------------------even so, Come Lord Jesus!!!!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Perhaps the most neglected and even maligned doctrine of recent years is the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can anyone remember a clear, cogent, and powerful message on this doctrine? Having tasted many of the 'flavors' of Christianity offered in His Name today it is safe to say that never once did anyone give more than a passing mention of His resurrection. Even the fabled "Easter" sermons could hardly be given more than a D- (most a clear F) because they reduced this greatest of events in earth's history to a 'ho-hum' necessity of the day, rather than present it as it truly is: the very power of God, the defeat of all His enemies, and especially the demise of death itself. Much ado is made of the crucifixion and rightfully so, but to exclude the resurrection (whether through ignorance or on purpose) is eternally dangerous. Any presentation of the Gospel that fails to trumpet the resurrection is at best incomplete, and boils down to 'another gospel' that was not birthed in the mind and heart of God. Romans 10:8-10 speaks plainly enough of the requirement of the belief that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead in order for salvation to be authentic, but how will anyone know this if he has not been told (Rom. 10:14)?

There are many things that set the Gospel far and above all of man's idolatrous religions. The Virgin birth, the fact that God (Jesus Christ) took on human flesh, the miracles, the unassailable wisdom of Christ, the sinless life of the Savior, and on it goes. But the one thing that sets Jesus Christ far above all of His would-be imitators is the fact of His resurrection. Many may have died for their 'cause' but none claim, nor could they show any proof, that they were raised from the dead---but Christ did, Acts 1:3; John 20 &21. The resurrection is essential because without it there is no Gospel. His death by crucifixion, the shedding of His precious blood, even His burial would become meaningless if He did not triumph over these events by His resurrection. Paul makes this crystal clear in 1 Cor. 15:12-17. Everything, no, EVERYTHING hinges upon the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. 13:8 states that the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. Before creation, in the mind and heart of the Trinity, the Lamb of God would die and be raised again for the salvation of His people (see also 1 Peter 1:20). [One of the finest examples of predestination to be found in Scripture.] Rom. 1:4 says that Christ "was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Acts 2: 23 & 24 tells us of the death of Christ that He was "...delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up having loosed the pains of death, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE SHOULD BE HELD BY IT." 2 Cor. 13:4 "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God." The resurrection, the power of God, definitely synonyms, one does exist without the other, and both are indispensable to the Gospel.

So who raised Christ from the dead? The Father (Acts 2:24, 1 Peter 1:21, Rom. 8:11, 1Cor. 6:14 and many others); the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18) and by the Lord Jesus Himself (John 10:18, & 2:19). Nothing is ever done by just one person of the Trinity. They always work in total concert with each other, always in agreement, never is there a change of plan.

Also, of the many times that Jesus told His disciples of His impending death He always told them that He would be raised from the dead, too. Although they never understood what He was saying, they did remember later of His promise to be raised from the dead. In the Book of Acts all the 'sermons' where the crucifixion is mentioned, the resurrection follows quickly, mostly in the same sentence. Why we have allowed this doctrine to slip away from us and not make it the focal point of our speech is beyond comprehension. The resurrection IS the power of God and without it all else is meaningless. May the Lord direct our mind, heart and pen to please Him in all matters.

One more thing not to be neglected: Col. 2:11-15 speaks of our newly found life in Christ that He accomplished by His death and resurrection. These verses also speak of the 'disarming' of the principalities and powers (Satan, the wick one) in which Christ made a "public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it." This He did when He rose from the dead, not while on the cross. On the Cross the Lord Jesus was somewhat the public spectacle, but for all eternity the resurrection will remind the enemies of God and His Christ that they are doomed.

The resurrection of Christ was a source of great joy to His disciples, I wonder how much joy it brings to our hearts today

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Our national moral degeneracy

In this sermon, Albert Martin deals with the shedding of innocent blood and its cry against the murderers who go unpunished by our laws.