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

Friday, August 31, 2018

The unwanted preacher

In 1928 Arthur Pink and his wife Vera left Australia, after being rejected because he preached God's sovereignty and election. This is from chapter 8, 'the life of Arthur Pink', a chapter entitled 'an unwanted preacher'.
 Pink and his wife sailed back to London, and he took note that of the five hundred people on board the ship, not one was a Christian. 
Pink was invited to speak at a church in Cheltenham which claimed to be built around the scriptures and wanted a teacher of the word. So Pink accepted the invitation, and at the close of the first week, the committee informed him his services were no longer required. What was the issue? Pink preached on the sovereignty of God, and a handful of the 'brethren' were upset. They threatened there would be a 'big split' in the assembly if Pink were not silenced, and even though the number of congregants who were not opposed to Pink's preaching outweighed those who did oppose, for the sake of 'peace' within that church, they agreed to get rid of Arthur Pink. Pink wrote "Entertaining preaching, bright and cheery evangelistic addresses, are still listened to; but solid teaching is, with very rare exceptions, no longer tolerated". Just imagine what he would say today!!
Another invitation came shortly after, Pink said he responded in a letter and said that God's servants were called upon to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints, and that a very important part of that faith was the grand truth of God's absolute supremacy and His discriminating grace in election; and that another vital part of that faith was the preaching of eternal punishment to the unsaved. In their reply they said, "the call here is for a steady, peaceable, pastoral ministry": note, NOT for a God honoring, Christ exalting faithful one. This was one of several invitations that, after Pink responded, he either heard nothing back or he received a reply like the one above.
Shortly after, the Pinks decided to go back to America, particularly to Vera's hometown in Kentucky. Upon arrival in New York, Pink enjoyed his exchange with the immigration officer who interviewed him: 'he inquired if we intended to pursue our calling as a minister of the gospel. To which we replied, 'yes, by the grace of God'. Then he added, 'you are coming here to mend broken souls?' to which he responded, 'No sir, instead, as an instrument in the Lord's hands, to bring life to those who are dead in sin'. His face lit up and he exclaimed, 'Attaboy! that's the talk!'
Unfortunately, Arthur Pink faced opposition and closed doors in America as well. Pink did not say too much about why they could not re-settle in Kentucky in 1929, however, in recalling the experience in 1946 he wrote 'we found those who had run well twelve years previously did so no longer, and instead of enjoying happy fellowship with them, we were a thorn in their sides'. This seems to be a pattern with A.W. Pink, he preached faithfully the whole counsel of God, yet the 'religious folk' rejected him. Even then, they wanted their ears tickled and their conscience left undisturbed. 
In an article entitled 'sound the alarm' from 1930, Pink wrote this, "in view of the appalling conditions now existing in almost all of the churches what is the duty of the real child of God? Are you willing for Scripture to answer that question my reader? If so, none need remain in any doubt as to the Divine will in the matter. 'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' {Ex. 23:2}. 'Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them' {Eph. 5:11}. 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers' {2 Cor. 6:14}. 
We do not say that it is the duty of every Christian to come out, for we are not personally acquainted with every church. Yet this we do say, if there are any churches which are scriptural in their membership, kn the maintenance of discipline, in their preaching, and in all that concerns their public services, we do not know where to find them. We have traveled completely around the world, and ministered the word in many places but there is no church known to us where we could hold membership. But uf you are a member of a church where Scripture is followed in all its arrangements, and its pastor and officers are God fearing men and honor him by their daily walk, then praise Him with all your heart, and do everything in your power to strengthen their hands. This article is not intended as as attack upon the true servant of God. Nor is it designed as a brief for those knows as the 'Plymouth Brethren'. - A.W. Pink

The life of A.W. Pink was one of rejection and scorn by the 'religious'. This will always be the case with the true elect of God - the outward religious folks will reject God's precious saints. Even though he faced much opposition and rejection, Arthur Pink wrote this in 1934, "I entered the ministry in 1910, and I have never regretted it".  .  .  .    

To God be ALL glory



"WHAT “world” hated Christ and hounded Him to death? The RELIGIOUS world, those who pretended to be most zealous for God’s glory. So it is now. Let the Christian turn his back upon a Christ—dishonoring Christendom, and his fiercest foes and most relentless and unscrupulous enemies will be those who claim to be Christians themselves!"- A.W. Pink, from https://mikejeshurun.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/the-christian-in-the-wrong-place/

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Arthur Pink

I am still making my way through Ian Murray's 'the life of Arthur Pink'. As I read further along, I see why Pink was rejected by many- he preached the TRUTH. He preached the doctrines of grace, the sovereignty of God, and yet churches in his day could not 'endorse' him!!  A.W. Pink caused a stir when he preached on election while in Australia in the mid 1920's. This is not from the book, but the book does mention this...
'In Baptist circles during the late 1920s, Mr. Pink was one of the most controversial figures and his preaching on election and God's Sovereignty caused a stir in the General Baptist churches. As a result he was asked to prepare a paper on "Human Responsibility" which he subsequently read at a monthly meeting of the Baptist Ministers* Fraternal on 5.8.25.A full column in The Australian Baptist of 11.8.25 was devoted to commenting upon this article and the discussion that followed the reading of it. The reviewer stated, "Opportunity was taken at the lunch table to express the thanks of the Fraternity to the visitor for his address, the vote of thanks being very heartily carried on the motion of the Rev. Sharp, seconded by Dr. Waldook. At the close of the meal an adjournment was made to the committee room where for upwards of an hour the Doctor® was submitted to a further series of questions, all of which he answered with unfailing courtesy. It was a fairly searching test and one calculated to reveal any weak spots in his theological armour, sup posing such to have existed; and whether in full agreement with him or otherwise, there was a concensus of opinion that a more profitable and thought-provoking session of the Fraternal had not been held'*. It would appear that the outcome of this questioning was that the Ministers' Fraternal failed to penetrate Mr. Pink's theological armour as he had a Scriptural answer for every question. However it was the beginning of the end as far as his ministry in the Baptist Union of N.S.W. was concerned, for at the next meeting of the Fraternal the following resolution was passed and inserted in The Australian Baptist, 29.9.25.
"Having heard conflicting statements concerning the doctrinal position of Dr. A. W. Pink, at the invitation of the Baptist Ministers' Fraternal of N.S.W. he stated his views in a paper at a meeting held on Tuesday, September 8. As a result of this paper and the questions and discussion that followed, the Ministers* Fraternal unanimously resolved that they could not endorse Dr. Pink. Yours in Christian Service, (signed by Chairman and Hon. Secretary)." Dr. Pink wrote concerning this, "We refrain from any other comment on the above, except to point out what a solemn and vivid illustration it furnishes of that declaration of Holy Writ, "The legs of the lame are not equal" (Prov. 26:7)

So the door was closed to Mr. Pink among the ranks of the Baptist Union churches in N.S.W. A little later on I heard the folk talking about the name "Ichabod" being painted in white paint on the notice board and door of the Ashfield Baptist Tabernacle—evidently someone had deep convictions that "the glory of the Lord had departed".
Mr. Pink was then invited to preach at the Belvoir Street Particular Baptist Church in Sydney where he continued for nearly two years. Owing to certain doctrinal differences concerning the preaching of the Gospel he was forced to resign from that church, being accused of preaching "free will" by some of the deacons who had embraced the more recent "Articles of Faith". Mr. Pink stood for the 1689 London Confession and the Philadelphia Confession (as did the late C. H. Spurgeon). Far from preaching free will, Mr. Pink strongly opposed this false view. However, he did assert strongly the responsibility of man to believe the Gospel, even though faith is outside the power of the natural man.
After Mr. Pink resigned from Belvoir Street many of the congregation who supported him gathered around him and it was decided to form an Independent Church at Summer Hill, an inner suburb of Sydney. On 27.9.27 a meeting was held at the home of Mr. Ted Grice when 26 former members of Belvoir Street met to form a church after the New Testament order with Mr. Pink as pastor. The newly formed church met at the Masonic Hall, Liverpool Road, Summer Hill.
The complete "Minutes Book" I have in my possession and treasure it very much. According to the Minutes of the church meetings it does certainly appear that the blessing of the Lord rested upon the newly formed church as souls were saved, baptized and added to the church. It seems likely that the church membership doubled over this comparatively short period. One of my present friends, who was converted through Mr. Pink's ministry and baptised by him, still talks often of those times of blessing under his ministry.
In Australia Pink was known as Dr. Pink, but at a church meeting dated 12.10.27 he renounced his title of "Doctor" and asked to be referred to in future as "brother Pink" or "the pastor".

My father and our family commenced to attend the church at Summer Hill and it was here that we first came in contact with Mr. Pink who preached twice each Lord's Day, with a Sunday School and Bible Class being held in the afternoon. We would spend the whole day there as it was too far to travel home and back for each service. 
It was during this time that I first came under conviction of sin, and being only a lad in those days, perhaps the only thing I can remember person ally concerning Mr. Pink's ministry is his preaching on the text Rom. 6:23. Through this text in the providence of God, in His time, I was brought to see myself as a sinner deserving eternal death, and in due time was led by God's grace to true Gospel repentance with contrition and tears and to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
 As time went on, according to church records, Mr. Pink became greatly concerned regarding the forming of the new church and the split at Belvoir Street, and on the Lord's Day 25.3.28 he announced that he would make a statement to the assembly at the close of the evening service.
In this statement he confessed that he believed 'the church had been formed in a way that was not glorifying to God, for each member had been asked to give a statement that would establish mutual confidence within the membership. This was as high as their thoughts had reached. Mr. Pink felt that unsaved members had been brought in, despite the fact that requirements for membership included giving testimony to God's dealings with one's soul. 
Mr. Pink confessed that he was as much to blame as anyone. The Lord had shown him that the church had been formed in a way distasteful to Himself and he desired to resign as pastor forthwith, although he would preach if requested to do so. This seemed to be the climax of his oral ministry. On 20.7.28 Mr. and Mrs. Pink sailed for England on the "Ormonde" from Circular Quay, Sydney. From then on Mr. Pink's life was mostly confined to a written ministry. The photo in Reformation Today No. 10 was taken from the quay before the ship sailed. To the sorrowing brethren and sisters, who had gathered to bid him farewell, Mr. Pink called out a parting word from the ship— Acts 20:32, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified". As the ship broke moorings and commenced to glide down the harbor, the little company sang the doxology. We never had the privilege of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Pink again in the flesh, but, praise God, in the Gloryland we shall meet again and we shall know even as we are known, as we gather round the Throne of God and sing the new song "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:5-6). -- from http://www.reformation-today.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/RT_011.pdf




Getting back to the book, Pink told this to the congregation at Ashfield, while in Australia...
"Today it is true almost everywhere that we are far more concerned about the results of the gospel than we are about the purity of it! We are more concerned in the blessing of man than we are about the glory of Christ! Is not that true? Is it not true that the first great question asked everywhere today is 'what are the results'? What is the fruitage? How many people have been saved in your church the last year? I am not saying that the question has no importance, but I do say that, if that is the first question that is asked, it only shows what a low level we are living on! The first question we ought to ask is 'how scripturally is the gospel being preached in your church? Is the preacher magnifying Christ? Is the preacher emphasizing the absolute sufficiency of His finished work? Does the preacher make it plain that God does not ask the sinner to do anything, that Christ had done it all for him? Ah, my friends, when the preachers today are tested by that, there are mighty few of them that will survive the test. How many there are today who tell the poor sinner that he has got to give his heart to God! Well, you say, isn't that right? Isn't that true? Must not the sinner give his heart to the Lord if he is going to be saved? Oh, the tragedy that such a question has to be asked! We talk about progress and advancing; why, we need indoctrinating in the ABC of Christianity, and the ABC of Christianity is the gospel! No, my friends, no sinner was ever saved by giving his heart to God. We are not saved by our giving, we are saved by God's giving...
A whole lot of our so-called Christian work today reminds me of little children when they first witness father or mother doing some gardening. The ground is prepared and then the seed is sown, and every day the child goes into the garden and he looks around to see if the seed is beginning to sprout, and if it doesn't show any signs and he wants to make sure that the seed is beginning to sprout, he just scratches around amongst the soil. He wants to see something. My friends, that is what a lot of us are doing in connection with so-called Christian work today! O we have so little confidence in the power and in the sufficiency of hte Divine 'seed' to bring about the harvest that God has ordained it shall do!" from 'studies, 1926, pp. 111-12

Pink's preaching did have an affect on those who had ears to hear, in the 1980's an elderly lady had, some 60 years earlier, walked miles each evening to sit under the preaching of Arthur Pink. She described him as an excellent teacher, very clear in his exposition of the Scriptures and most convincing. 
Others who remembered Pink's ministry at this period noted how his sermons differed both in delivery and often in substance from those more commonly heard. He employed no gestures and did not shout. He stood before his hearers as a staunch warrior for God. He never deviated from his theme with stories or quip sayings. Everyone present knew that he had no time for levity for he spoke as a man whose one purpose was to honour the Blessed Trinity and to show what the word of God requires of us. - from 'the life of Arthur Pink', pp 88-89

It seems right to say Arthur Pink was more than likely the LAST of the true men of God called to preach. None match him in our day, none come close. At least none I've listened to or read. Arthur Pink was devoted to Christ and His word, he lived for Jesus. We see nothing like this in our day, what a tragedy. It is no wonder darkness engulfs organized religion, today's wolves make merchandise of sinners and they love to have it so. The ear is tickled, and the wolf makes $$ for NOT being offensive. How dreadful will it be for ALL who mishandle God's most precious truth!!

I praise God for A.W. Pink and his wife Vera, sinners like myself, saved by God's amazing grace. One day soon we will all meet.....


Saturday, August 25, 2018

The great change

"During our first pastorate we were much engaged in combating the error of salvation by personal culture and reformation, and therefore we threw our main emphasis on the truth contained in our Lord's words, 'Ye must be born again'....showing that something far more potent and radical than any efforts of our own was required in order to give admission into the kingdom of God: that no education, mortification, or religious adorning of the natural man could possibly fit him to dwell for ever in holy heaven" --  Arthur Pink

A.W. Pink

I recently purchased the book 'the life of Arthur Pink' by Ian Murray. I am not far into it, and already have been intrigued by Pink's life. As a young man, Pink got involved in a cult called theosophy. He climbed quickly to a position  that gave him opportunity to address the society of Theosophists. It was during this time that God converted and saved A.W. Pink, he was 22.
Pink was still living at home with his Christian parents at this time, and one evening in 1908 as he hurried up the stairs to his room his father said to him 'there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death' Prov. 14:12. This text so disturbed Pink that night as he attempted to write his speech he was to give to the society. The Lord would give him no rest that evening, and the text his father gave him continued to plague him until, as he said, he could no longer reject the God of the bible and cried out to the Lord.
He stayed in his room for three days, all the while his parents praying fervently for him. Late in the afternoon on the third day, he made his appearance and his father said, "Praise God, my son has been delivered."
Pink did address the society of Theosophists, but his message was not what they expected. Arthur Pink proclaimed Jesus Christ,  in whom alone is found true salvation for sinners. He then resigned his membership from that society, having his eyes opened to the power of Satan and the true meaning of spiritism.

As I continue to read this book about Pink's life, I will share here what I feel to be worthy. This post about Pink's conversion gives all glory to God, who took a sinner like Pink and brought him out of deep darkness, in this case, a Satanic darkness.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The calling by the Gospel

"But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14
The first work of grace is to kill rather than to make alive; to wound rather than to heal; to bring down rather than to lift up; to reveal the law rather than the gospel. For "balm is useless to the healthy." Salvation with all its super-abounding grace is but an empty sound to those who have never felt themselves cut off from all help or all hope. So, in a sense, there is a calling under and through, if not by the law, in the first teaching and operations of the Spirit of God, bringing the soul under its condemnation as a ministration of death. But when the law has done its office, and the sinner is slain by its killing power, then there comes to his aid and deliverance, what the Apostle speaks of here, the calling by the gospel.
When the gospel utters its melodious voice; when pardon is proclaimed through the sacrifice of Jesus; when peace reaches the heart through atoning blood revealed to the conscience; when the glad tidings of salvation by grace are no longer a mere sound in the letter, but are made the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; when heavenly light shines into the mind; when divine power attends the word to the soul; when faith is raised up, hope casts its anchor within the veil, and the love of God is shed abroad, then and there is the calling of which the Apostle here speaks--a calling by the gospel.
The sound of the gospel trumpet, like the silver trumpet on the great day of jubilee, reaches the ear and heart of the captive exile and he hastens that he may be loosed (Isa. 51:14). The scene now changes; the storms of God's wrath blow over; the day-star appears in the dawning morn of the gospel day, "a morning without clouds" (2 Sam. 23:4), until the Sun of righteousness in due time rises with healing in his wings. As, then, the gospel is thus made the power of God unto salvation, the soul is enabled to listen to, and embrace it as a joyful sound. Now just in proportion as faith receives it, hope anchors in it, and love embraces it, is evidence given of our being from the beginning chosen unto salvation.

J.C. Philpot

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What it costs

This is a re-post. This has been very relevant to me as of late, and a much needed reminder for me. May it bless you as well....

J.C. Ryle


Let there be no mistake about my meaning. I am not examining what it costs to save a Christian’s soul. I know well that it costs nothing less than the blood of the Son of God to provide atonement, and to redeem man from hell. The price paid for our redemption was nothing less than the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary. We “are bought with a price.” “Christ gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Tim. 2:6). But all this is wide of the question. The point I want to consider is another one altogether. It is what a man must be ready to give up if he wishes to be saved. It is the amount of sacrifice a man must submit to if he intends to serve Christ. It is in this sense that I raise the question, “What does it cost?” And I believe firmly that it is a most important one.
I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week, and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion — All this is cheap and easy work: it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity, and will take us to heaven when we die, we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to heaven!”
But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a man in an armchair and taking him easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of “counting the cost.”
Let me try to show precisely and particularly what it costs to be a true Christian. Let us suppose that a man is disposed to take service with Christ, and feels drawn and inclined to follow Him. Let us suppose that some affliction, or some sudden death, or an awakening sermon, has stirred his conscience, and made him feel the value of his soul and desire to be a true Christian. No doubt there is everything to encourage him. His sins may be freely forgiven, however many and great. His heart may be completely changed, however cold and hard. Christ and the Holy Spirit, mercy and grace, are all ready for him. But still he should count the cost. Let us see particularly, one by one, the things that his religion will cost him.
(1) For one thing, it will cost him his self-righteousness. He must cast away all pride and high thoughts, and conceit of his own goodness. He must be content to go to heaven as a poor sinner, saved only by free grace, and owing all to the merit and righteousness of another. He must really feel as well as say the Prayer-book words — that he has “erred and gone astray like a lost sheep,” that he has “left undone the things he ought to have done, and done the things he ought not to have done, and that there is no health in him.” He must be willing to give up all trust in his own morality, respectability, praying, Bible reading, church-going, and sacrament-receiving, and to trust in nothing but Jesus Christ.
Now this sounds hard to some. I do not wonder. “Sir,” said a godly ploughman to the well-known James Hervey, of Weston Favell, it is, harder to deny proud self than sinful self. But it is absolutely necessary.” Let us set down this item first and foremost in our account. To be a true Christian it will cost a man his selfrighteousness.
(2) For another thing, it will cost a man his sins. He must be willing to give up every habit and practice which is wrong in God’s sight. He must set his face against it, quarrel with it, break off from it, fight with it, crucify it, and labour to keep it under, whatever the world around him may say or think. He must do this honestly and fairly. There must be no separate truce with any special sin which he loves. He must count all sins as his deadly enemies, and hate every false way. Whether little or great, whether open or secret, all his sins must be thoroughly renounced. They may struggle hard with him every day, and sometimes almost get the mastery over him. But he must never give way to them. He must keep up a perpetual war with his sins. It is written — “Cast away from you all your transgressions.” — “Break off thy sins and iniquities.” — “Cease to do evil.” (Ezek. 18:31; Daniel 4:27; Isa. 1:16).
This also sounds hard. I do not wonder. Our sins are often as dear to us as our children: we love them, hug them, cleave to them, and delight in them. To part with them is as hard as cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye. But it must be done. The parting must come. “Though wickedness be sweet in the sinner’s mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; though he spare it, and forsake it not,” yet it must be given up, if he wishes to be saved. (Job 20:12, 13.) He and sin must quarrel, if he and God are to be friends. Christ is willing to receive any sinners. But He will not receive them if they will stick to their sins. Let us set down that item second in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man his sins.
(3) For another thing, it will cost a man his love of ease. He must take pains and trouble, if he means to run a successful race towards heaven. He must daily watch and stand on his guard, like a soldier on enemy’s ground. He must take heed to his behaviour every hour of the day, in every company, and in every place, in public as well as in private, among strangers as well as at home. He must be careful over his time, his tongue, his temper, his thoughts, his imagination, his motives, his conduct in every relation of life. He must be diligent about his prayers, his Bible reading, and his use of Sundays, with all their means of grace. In attending to these things he may come far short of perfection; but there is none of them that he can safely neglect. “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” (Prov. 13:4).
This also sounds hard. There is nothing we naturally dislike so much as “trouble” about our religion. We hate trouble. We secretly wish we could have a “vicarious” Christianity, and could be good by proxy, and have everything done for us. Anything that requires exertion and labour is entirely against the grain of our hearts. But the soul can have “no gains without pains.” Let us set down that item third in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man his love of ease.
(4) In the last place, it will cost a man the favour of the world. He must be content to be thought ill of by man if he pleases God. He must count it no strange thing to be mocked, ridiculed, slandered, persecuted, and even hated. He must not be surprised to find his opinions and practices in religion despised and held up to scorn. He must submit to be thought by many a fool, an enthusiast, and a fanatic — to have his words perverted and his actions misrepresented. In fact, he must not marvel if some call him mad. The Master says — “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).
I dare say this also sounds hard. We naturally dislike unjust dealing and false charges, and think it very hard to be accused without cause. We should not be flesh and blood if we did not wish to have the good opinion of our neighbours. It is always unpleasant to be spoken against, and forsaken, and lied about, and to stand alone. But there is no help for it. The cup which our Master drank must be drunk by His disciples. They must be “despised and rejected of men” (Isa. 53:3). Let us set down that item last in our account. To be a Christian it will cost a man the favour of the world.
Such is the account of what it costs to be a true Christian. I grant the list is a heavy one. But where is the item that could be removed? Bold indeed must that man be who would dare to say that we may keep our self-righteousness, our sins, our laziness, and our love of the world, and yet be saved!
I grant it costs much to be a true Christian. But who in his sound senses can doubt that it is worth any cost to have the soul saved? When the ship is in danger of sinking, the crew think nothing of casting overboard the precious cargo. When a limb is mortified, a man will submit to any severe operation, and even to amputation, to save life. Surely a Christian should be willing to give up anything which stands between him and heaven. A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing! A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown.

J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

By these things

"O Lord, by these things men live; and in all these things is the life of my spirit." Isaiah 38:16

When Hezekiah said, "By these things men live," he meant that by these trials and deliverances, by these sinkings and risings, strippings and clothings, emptyings and fillings, "by these things men," that is, spiritual men, "live." It is a mystery, but a great truth, that just in proportion as we die to the world, to self, to sense, to nature, and to false religion, the more the life of God is strengthened in our conscience. The Lord, perhaps, has taught some of you this truth through great afflictions. But when these trials came upon you at the first, it seemed as though they would entirely overwhelm you; they took away your standing, and it appeared as though they had destroyed your faith and hope.
But though these floods of temptation passed over the soul, they swept away nothing but rubbish, which until then was mistaken for the inward teachings of God the Spirit. So far then from these afflictions overwhelming your faith, you found that faith was secretly strengthened by the very flood that threatened at first to drown it. True faith is no more destroyed by sharp trials, than the oak is destroyed by cutting away the ivy, or by a storm blowing down some of its rotten branches. And thus, as the oak, the more the winds blow upon it, takes a firmer root in the soil; so the storms and tempests that blow upon the soul, only cause it to take a firmer hold of the truth, and to strike its fibers more deeply into the Person, love, work, and blood of Jesus. So that, "by these things men live," for through them, the life of God is maintained and kept up in the soul, the Holy Spirit secretly strengthening it by the very things that seemed to threaten it with destruction.
J.C. Philpot

Sunday, August 19, 2018

John MacArthur

The list of JM's ever growing blasphemies and heresies seemingly has no end, should we expect that it would be otherwise with a man so well practiced in the art of double speak? JM lives in a world of fantasy theology, taught by his father, the devil. He is a man unconcerned with the Truth of Scripture and has a 'doctorate' in twist-o-matic which he uses to deceive further those who are blind to the Word. All this for fame and money, what a guy!

Of the many lies he has taught from his meager beginning (https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-33/john-macarthurs-life-testimony) this is the first one recorded where he exempted himself from repentance and "always believe." It begins at about the 15m/m or read the transcript. With little or no rebuttal, he dawned his cape and became an instant 'golden boy' preacher with the neat trait of infallibility from the outset. My, what such a notion can do to an already over inflated ego! (See Isaiah 14).

Of the many heresies JM has taught through the years with their destructive powers unabated, there is one that stands out and above the rest: that the Blood of Jesus has no saving power. These links are crucial for anyone unfamiliar with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwsVW8vz10A ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veCwXWjbzHE; and https://jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/macarthur_words.htm (there are others by David Stewart as well). Note how JM slips by from answering the direct and unmistakable question posed before him concerning the blood. Instead, he floats off into his dream world of how he thinks God should have done things and how we should discard the Biblical Truth presented in the Word for his fantasies.

Hebrews 9:11&12: "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 goats and calves, but WITH HIS OWN BLOOD He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." MacArthur flatly teaches the precise opposite of this when he jokes (mocks) about Christ's Blood not being "collected" into some container, but simply falling on the ground that promptly soaked it up never to be seen again. Still the masses fawn over him like the Catholic's Mary. Back to Hebrews 9:13 & 14: "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a 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?" The seriousness of the error that JM teaches is tied up in the phrase "who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God" as will be shown shortly. Exodus 12:13 provides further insight as to the necessity of the proper application of the blood in their time and that of Christ. But as usual this is conveniently ignored by the 'foremost teacher' of our day along with many other necessary verses.

Hebrews 10:26-29: "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 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 THING and INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE?" MacArthur has repeatedly counted the Blood of Jesus Christ a "common thing" by his multiple statements that directly contradict the Scriptures. His blatant dismissal of Heb. 9:11 & 12 is sufficient unto itself for this to be concluded, yet he boldly adds to his blaspheme by various other statements where he teaches that the Blood of Christ is but a euphemism for His death and that His blood has no "saving power" in and of itself. The blood, especially the Blood of Christ and it's proper application and ultimate resting place (the Most Holy Place in heaven), is key to the sacrificial system inaugurated by God from the beginning in the Garden, yet JM treats His Blood as a "common thing." More to consider is the last phrase of Heb. 10:29: "...and insulted the Spirit of grace." The very definition of blaspheme states that "insult" is a part of it. Strong's #987: "to blaspheme, insult, slander, curse...speak evil, defamed, railed on, reviled, etc." MacArthur's "common thing" designation of the Blood of Christ is blaspheme, and that not just of Christ, but of the Holy Spirit as well because Christ offered Himself through the Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). He may skate by the words of men and absolve himself of guilt in the eyes of his loving, faithful (and duped) hoards, but JM will never skate by the One Who will judge him by his own words.

May the Lord open the eyes of His elect and drag them out of the traps of men and the evil one. May His Son be glorified in all that we do as we wait for His return even now!

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

"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)”!!

Psalm 115:1

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,.... There is no glory due to men; no, not to the best of men, not to be given them on any account whatever; neither on account of things natural, civil, and temporal, nor on account of things spiritual and eternal; but all to be given to the Lord: for, as for their beings and the preservation of them, with all the mercies of life, food, raiment, &c. they are not of themselves, but of the Lord; and so are the salvation of their souls, their election and redemption, their regeneration, conversion, and sanctification, their justification and pardon; whatsoever good thing is in them, or done by them: nor have they anything for the sake of righteousness done by them; nor do they desire to take the glory of past favours to themselves; nor request deliverance from present evils for their own merits, which they disclaim; nor for their own sakes, or that they may be great and glorious; but for the Lord's sake, for his name's sake, that he may be glorified; which is the principal sense of the passage. So the Targum,
"not for our sakes. O Lord, not for our merit, but to thy name give glory.''
Good men desire to glorify God themselves, by ascribing to him the perfections of his nature, and celebrating them; by giving thanks to him for mercies, spiritual and temporal; by exercising faith upon him, as a promising God; and by living to his glory: and they are very desirous that all others would give him the glory due unto his name; and that he would glorify himself, and get himself a glorious and an everlasting name. And indeed the words are addressed to him, and not to others; and particularly that he would glorify, or take the glory of the following perfections:
for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake; so very manifest in the salvation of his people, and in all their deliverances, and therefore ought to have the glory of them. His "mercy", or his "grace" (w), as it may be rendered, is displayed in the salvation of his people by Christ, in their regeneration, justification, pardon, and eternal life: and so is his truth, or faithfulness in all his promises; and particularly in the mission of his Son as a Saviour, so long promised and expected; and who is "truth" himself, the truth of all promises and prophecies; and by whom the truth of the Gospel came, the Word, which God has magnified above every name. - John Gill


"Not unto us, but unto thy name give glory," etc. This is not a doxology, or form of thanksgiving, but a prayer. Not for our safety or welfare, so much as for thy glory, be pleased to deliver us. Not to satisfy our revenge upon our adversaries; not for the establishment of our own interest; but for the glory of thy grace and truth do we seek thine aid, that thou mayest be known to be a God keeping covenant; for mercy and truth are the two pillars of that covenant. It is a great dishonouring of God when anything is sought from him more than himself, or not for himself. Saith Austin, it is but a carnal affection in prayer when men seek self more than God. Self and God are the two things that come in competition. Now there are several sorts of self; there is carnal self, natural self, and glorified self; above all these God must have the pre-eminence. - Thomas Manton.

There are many sweet and precious texts of Scripture which are so endeared, and have become so habituated to us, and we to them, that one cannot but think we must carry them with us to heaven, and that they will form not only the theme of our song, but a portion of our blessedness and joy even in that happy home.... But if there be one text which more especially belongs to all, and which must, I think, break forth from every redeemed one as he enters heaven, and form the unwearying theme of eternity, it is Psalm 115:1. I am sure that not one of the Lord's chosen ones on earth, as he reviews the way by which he has been led, as he sees enemy after enemy prostrate before his utter feebleness, and has such thorough evidence and conviction that his weakness is made perfect in the Lord's strength, but must, from the very ground of his heart, say, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name" be the praise and the glory ascribed. And could we see heaven opened - could we hear its glad and glorious hallelujahs - could we see its innumerable company of angels, and its band of glorified saints, as they east their crowns before the throne, we should hear as the universal chorus from every lip, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake." I know not why this should rot be as gladly and as gratefully the angel's song as the song of the redeemed: they stand not in their own might nor power, - they kept not their first estate through any inherent strength of their own, but, like their feebler brethren of the human race, are equally "kept by the power of God"; and from their ranks, I doubt not, is re-echoed the same glorious strain, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory." Even our blessed Lord, as on that night of sorrow he sung this hymn of praise, could truly say, in that nature which had sinned, and which was to suffer, "Not unto us," - not unto man, be ascribed the glory of this great salvation, which I am now with my own blood to purchase, but unto thy name and thy love be the praise given. - Barton Bouchier.


A return to the old paths

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I never knew you



PDF available here - https://media-proxy-6.sermonaudio.com/text/51306175719.pdf

Life, eternal life



I realize that what I am going to preach tonight and what I preached this morning is in direct conflict on a collision course with 90% of today’s religion.  And that is not an enviable position to be in.  What I am preaching tonight is opposed to all that the natural man and that the religious person believes.  It contradicts what the average person believes about God.  It contradicts what the average person believes about man.  It contradicts what the average person believes about salvation. It will absolutely destroy what we call modern soul winning. But I personally in my heart am fully persuaded beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I am going to preach to you tonight is in keeping with the character of God as it is revealed in the Scripture, that it is keeping with the character of our Lord as he revealed himself on this earth and in the Scriptures.  And what I am going to reach tonight is in keeping with what the Bible teaches about redemption, regeneration, salvation, the atonement, that it is God’s Word.

I believe that I can sincerely, honestly say to the people who make up my audience and congregation that while I delight in your fellowship and in your friendship—I love you. I think I have convinced many of you of that. If I haven’t I would like to be able to.  But I do not conduct my ministry to keep your friendship.  And if I have to preach what I do not believe, if I have to proclaim from this pulpit what God has not shown me to keep your friendship, I say it affectionately, I don’t want your friendship. That is the way I feel about it.

In the pulpit I am God’s servant and I feel that so strongly that when I am here preaching as much as I love my wife she is not my wife when I am in this pulpit and my sons, my daughter, my son-in-law, my grandchildren, my friends.  We preach as those who must give an account. And if the elders of this church do not like my preaching it matters little to me, honestly, very little.  If the deacons of this church do not like what I preach I could care less, honestly.  If they dislike me that bothers me. But what I preach, honestly...and if you are visiting here tonight and you don’t like the message from this Word, I love you. I would like to see you come to know Christ, but not at the expense of the gospel.  And that is how emphatic I am about it. I am not trying to build anything. And I think any preacher that any man who stands in the pulpit who has as his object, as his goal, anything...anything in this world. I care not if it be fellowship, friendship, money, position, recognition, fame, the glad hand.  I don’t care what it is, the approval of his family, he has got any thing in his mind in telling the people what God said he would be better off doing something else.  Now that is so.  We don’t want to be hard.  We want to be tender.  And we want to love people as Christ loved them. But you don’t love a man by lying to him, compromising the gospel. That’s not love.  That’s deception. 

So here it goes.  If it is offensive, so be it.  If it is contrary to what you believe, so be it.  But it is God’s Word.

Our Lord Jesus has an elect people whom he calls his sheep. Now that is so. That is taught throughout this Bible.  He has an elect people. And don’t be troubled about words especially when they are in the Scripture. He has an elect people called his sheep.

He says here...look at verse 14. “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep. I know my sheep.”  He said in verse 16, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.  Them I must bring. I have them. They are mine.”  Our Lord has some sheep. He is not looking for a people.  That is what he said. He is not looking for a people. He is not out here beating the bushes with evangelistic meetings and revival meetings and protracted meetings and missionaries beating the bushes hunting the people. He has got a people. 

Our Lord is not out calling for a people. He is calling out a people. They are his. They belong to him.  Our Lord is not looking for volunteers for the kingdom.  No, sir.  Our Lord is not trying to persuade sheep to join his fold.  He is finding his lost sheep. Now that is so. 

Where did he get these sheep?  Well, he tells us here in this 10th chapter of John verse 29. “My Father which gave them me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”  The Father gave him these sheep.  They are his. He got them from the Father. The Father gave them to him.

If you will turn to John 17 with me and look at verse two. Now here is the prayer of our Lord for his people. Here is what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Here is the holy ground of Scripture.  Here is the Savior, the Redeemer praying for his people and six times in this one prayer he refers to them as those whom thou hast given me.

In verse two he said, “As thou hast given him,” talking about himself, “power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” 

He says in verse six, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. Thine they were. Thou gavest them me.”

Verse nine. “I pray for them.  I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.” 

Verse 11. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world. I come to thee holy Father.  Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me that they may be one as we are.” 

Verse 12.  “While I was with them in the world I kept them in thy name. Those that thou gavest me I have kept and none of them is lost but the son of perdition that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”  That’s Judas.

Verse 24. “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am that they may behold my glory.”

Where did he get them?  The Father gave them to him.  In John six if you will turn back there with me just a moment, looking at verse 39, verse 37 in John six. He said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.   I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day.”

Now your momma don’t believe that and your daddy don’t believe that and your brother don’t believe that and your sister don’t believe that and you preacher friend don’t believe that and the folks you work with don’t believe that and very few people do believe that, but that’s God’s Word whether they believe it or not. 

As I said I realize that 90% of today’s religion is opposed to what I am teaching, but it is so.  It is what God said.  Are we going to go by his Word or are we going to follow tradition blindly, madly, just believe what has been handed down? 

It is in keeping with the character of God who is sovereign. He has a people.  Our God does everything according to purpose, according to plan. And salvation is his greatest work.

Shall our Lord follow a definite plan through creation and a definite plan through providence and then turn the reigns of salvation over to anybody?  Jesus knew from the beginning who would believe and who would not.  Whom he foreknew he predestinated. Whom he predestinated he called.  Whom he called he justified. Whom he justified he glorified. What shall we say to these things? 

Well, there’s a whole lot of folks got a whole lot to say about it. They gnash their teeth. The grit their teeth. They spit, they sputter, they spew. They hate it.  And these folks here hated it, too, for he said in verse 30, “I and my Father are one.”  And they took up stones to stone him. 

And in Luke chapter four when he went down to Nazareth there was that religious crowd gathered before him and he told them how that there were many lepers in Israel in the days of Elijah but God healed none of them but a Gentile, an Assyrian by the name of Naaman.  In the days of Elijah in Israel were many widows, but God fed none of them, but a Gentile.   And they rose up in anger and took him to the brow of the hill and would have cast him off.  Why?  He said salvation was of the Lord. That is what he was teaching.

So I know that. Our Lord has a people.  He has an elect people somewhere all over this world in every tribe, kindred, nation and tongue, people under heaven. He has got a people, his sheep. The Father gave them to him. I don’t know who they are, but I know he has got them.

The second thing I know is this.  Our Lord redeemed those sheep.  In John 10 verse 11 look at verse 11. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” 

Look at verse 15. “As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.”  Our Lord’s death just like his life and just like his mediatorial wor is not an offer.  It is an atonement.

Our Lord’s death, our Lord’s obedience, our Lord’s righteousness, our Lord’s representation, our Lord’s intercession, our Lord’s sacrifice was not an effort. It was an atonement. It was a redemption which he accomplished, which he fulfilled, which he effectually worked out.  By his stripes we are healed. That is what Scripture says. The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanseth us, cleanseth us from all sin. 

And I will be perfectly frank with you.  If I didn’t even believe in the doctrine of election, if I didn’t even believe in the doctrine of what we call invincible grace, if I did not believe in the doctrine of effectual calling, if I did not believe in those doctrines, I would still have to rest in, believe and preach what we call particular redemption. 

Our Lord did not die for people who are in hell. You can’t in any shape, form or fashion or way convince me that his blood was shed in vain. You cannot in any way, shape, form or fashion convince me that almighty justice, almighty God’s justice is satisfied in the death of his Son and he turns around and sends a man to hell for whom Christ died. I don’t believe that.

The Word of God teaches me that the blood of God cleanseth, cleanseth ultimately, effectually, totally, completely cleanseth. Nothing can be taken from it. Nothing needs to be added to it. It is an effectual work.  By his stripes we are healed. He was wounded for my transgression and therefore I won’t be wounded. He was bruised for my iniquity. Therefore I won’t be bruised. The chastisement of our peace, my peace was laid upon him and therefore it will not be laid upon me. And that is the only reason why it won’t it is because he bore it all. I don’t believe he bore all of it, some of it, a little of it.  He paid the full price.  In payment God’s justice cannot twice demand first at my bleeding surety’s hand and then again at mine. Even man’s justice won’t let a man pay twice for the same crime.  And I know God’s justice is more holy than man’s justice.

Turn to John 13.  Let me show you Christ said the same thing in John chapter 13 when he was washing the disciples’ feet.  He said in verse 10, Jesus said to him, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but he is clean every whit. And you are clean. You are clean, but not all of you.”

Now, hold. Don’t look at the next verse.  Do you know what he means by that?  You are clean, but not all of you. Well, read the next verse and see.  “He knew who would betray him therefore he said, ‘You are not all clean.  Judas is not clean.’”

This washing of the disciples’ feet...we are such children. We are such babies. We get a hold of things and we play with them. We make it a church ordinance and we sit around and wash each other’s feet.  We lose the whole significance. Of course, it is to show humility, but Christ is showing them a whole lot more than that.

“The things I do now,” he said, “You don’t understand, but you will someday.”

Well, they understood humility. They could see that he was the master. 

Peter said, “You, the master, wash my feet?  No.”

They saw that. But he was talking about something else. When he died on that cross we were cleansed. We were redeemed. Our sins were washed and put away. We need daily his intercession because walking through this world we get our feet dirty. A man can go in and take a bath, a shower. He is totally clean. But if he wore sandals and walked out on a dusty road what is he going to have to do?  He leaves home. He is going down to your house. He is going right over to see you. And he washes, takes a shower. And he comes over to your house. What’s the first thing when you open the door?  You wash his feet because he got them dirty coming over there. But he doesn’t need to take another shower.  He is clean. His feet need to be washed. And that is what Christ is saying with the disciples here.

“You walk through this world you need daily mediatorial work, a daily intercession. You need Christ daily to atone for you.  You need daily confession and daily forgiveness, but you don’t need but one sacrifice. You don’t need but one Calvary shower.”

And he said, “All of you are clean. Not all of you. One of you is not.”

Look at verse 17. He said, “If you know these things happy are you,” John 13:17, “if you do them. I speak not of you all. I know who I have chosen.  But that the Scripture might be fulfilled he that eateth bread hath lifted up his heel against me.”

Our Lord redeemed his people.  He redeemed them.

The third thing: Our Lord will bring those sheep to himself.  He said in verse 16 of John 10, look at our text again. He said, “The Father gave me some sheep. I know them. I lay down my life for them.”

Look at verse 16.  “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must, I must bring. They shall,” look at it, “they shall hear my voice and they shall be one fold.”

What is he saying?  Out yonder in this world in every nation, tribe under heaven our Lord has a people.  I like to think that he has got a people here in Ashland, tri state area, they were given him by the Father. The gospel is preached in the fire of the Holy Spirit and these sheep are going to hear it.  You are going to hear it. They are going to hear it and Christ said they are going to believe it. And he said, “They are going to bow to me as their shepherd and their Lord and they are going to follow me. Those sheep are going to hear my voice whether it is preached on the television or whether it is preached on the radio or whether it is preached by listening to a tape.”

I had a man write to me from up in West Virginia.  He said, “Every Sunday morning I sat at home and I listen to a certain preacher.” He said, “One Sunday morning at 11 o'clock I got ready to listen to my preacher and lo and behold you came on.” He said, “I had it on the wrong channel.”

And do you think he had it on the wrong channel by accident?  It was an accident to him, but it wasn’t an accident in glory. And he said, “You started preaching.  I want up there to change the channel, you know, to get my favorite preacher.”  He said, “And I started to change the channel and you said something and I backed off.” He said, “I backed off and I sat down.”  He said, “I started listening and I heard the gospel. I heard the gospel for the first time.”

Do you think that is an accident? I don’t.  I think that’s one of God’s sheep, one of God’s sheep, one of God’s sheep. Out yonder, out there he has got a people and he said, “My sheep will here my voice.”

They shall...look back here. He said, “They will not,” verse five. “And a stranger they will not follow.  Believe me, they know...they know not the voice of a stranger. They know my voice and they are going to hear.”

Our Lord said in Matthew 16 to the disciples, “Whom do you say that I am?  Who am I?”

And Peter said, “Thou art the Christ.”  We know who you are. You are the anointed. You are the Christ. You are the Messiah. You are the Son of God.”

He said, “Peter, flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you, but my Father which is in heaven. Blessed are your eyes, they see and your ears that hear.  Oh, blessed are your eyes.”

And Paul said over here in 1 Thessalonians chapter one. This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture.  I guess I quote it or read it more often than any other. But Paul is talking about this congregation to whom he was preaching. He said, “Brethren, I know brethren beloved, your election of God. I know you are one of God’s sheep because,” he said, “our gospel didn’t come to you in word only, but it came to you in power.  It came to you in the Holy Ghost. I came to you in assurance.”

Out yonder is Zacchaeus. Our Lord said of him, “He also is a son of Abraham.”  And Zacchaeus is going to meet the Savior. 

Christ said to you...he said, “I have got a sheep.  My Father gave them to me. I laid down my life for them. I am going to bring them. They shall hear my voice.”

Out yonder is a Saul of Tarsus, deep in religion. Zacchaeus, he wasn’t in religion. He was in politics, the tax collector. He was one of our Lord’s sheep and our Lord found him. 

Out yonder is Saul of Tarsus. He is the big wig in the church. He was religious. He was bound by all the customs and traditions of his forefathers. He was a student of the Scripture, but he didn’t know Christ, but Christ knew him. And one day our Lord found him.

Out there is a jailer.  Out there is a Lydia, a seller of purple. Out yonder is an Ethiopian eunuch. Out yonder is an Onesimus running from his master, running to his master is where he was going, running into the arms of Christ.

“They shall hear my voice. They shall follow me. They shall be one fold. They shall never perish.”

Let me illustrate this. Let’s turn to John four. In John chapter four this is a beautiful picture. I want to show you four things and I will let you go.  When our Lord Jesus Christ left Judea, verse three John four, and departed again into Galilee, he must needs go through Samaria.

Now watch this. Let me tell you the story.  We won’t read it all. When he came to Jacob’s well his disciples were with him.  He sat down on the well in the middle of the day, noon. He said, “You go into town and get something to eat.” And they left him sitting there alone.

After a while a woman came walking up, a woman of Samaria.  Women didn’t draw water at noon. They drew water in the early morning or late evening. Too hot to draw water at noon. This woman was embarrassed to come at noon because she was a notorious sinful woman.  Everybody knew it. She didn’t want to face the other women. They liked to yap about here, you know, so she just came by herself. Nobody was there but the master.

And she came and he said, “Give me a drink.”

And she said, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan. Jews don’t have any thing to do with Samaritans.”

But he said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is talking to you, you would ask me and I would give you living water and you would never thirst again.”

She said, “Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well?  You don’t have anything to draw with.”  He said, “The water that I shall give you is living water.”

She said, “Give me that water.” 

He said, “Go call your husband.”

Well she said, “I don’t have a husband.”

He said, “You have well said you don’t have a husband. You have had five and the man you are living with now is not your husband. In that you spoke the truth.”

She said, “I perceive you are a prophet.”  She said, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain. You Jews say that Jerusalem is the best place to worship.”

Our Lord said, “The day is coming.” He said, “You worship, but you are ignorant. You don’t know who you worship. The day is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship God.  God is a Spirit and they that worship him worship him in Spirit and in truth.”

But she said, “I tell you. One of these days the Messiah is coming.  And when he comes he is going to tell us all we need to know.”

And our Lord looked at her and he said, “I am he. I am he.”

And there are four things that I see in this story. She is one of his sheep. She is one of his sheep. And the first thing that has to happen. Our Lord said, “I have got a sheep. My Father gave them to me. And I came down here to lay down my life for my sheep.  And they will hear my voice and they will follow me and they will be one fold and I will bring them and they shall never perish and no man can pluck them out of my hand. My Father who gave them me is greater than all and no man is going to pluck them out of his hand either.”

All right he first thing, if she is one of his sheep, the first thing: he crossed her path, he crossed her path. In verse four it says he must needs go through Samaria. He must. He must. Why must he?  Because he has got to encounter one of his sheep. In order for his sheep to hear his voice he has got to speak. In order for his sheep to believe on him he has got to reveal himself. In order for his sheep to follow him he has got to make known himself. Paul said, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, but how are they are going to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they going to believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how are they going to hear unless God speaks to them by a preacher?”  Do you see what I am saying?

Oh, you can get the fools of this world who say, “Well, if you believe in election you believe a man is going to be saved whether he ever hears the gospel or not.”

There is one thing a dishonest man will always do when he wants to argue. He will build a straw man and beat the daylights out of him. He will lie on his opponent. He will make him say what he is not saying. An honest man will let him say what he is saying.

I am saying that no man can call on Christ if he hasn’t believed on him. No man can believe on Christ if he hasn’t heard of him. No man can hear Christ until he speaks. Do you see what I am saying? 

Christ said, “My sheep hear my voice.”

His voice has got to be heard.  Paul is one of his sheep, isn’t he?  Christ met him on the road to Damascus and spoke to him.

He said, “Who are you?”

“I am Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Lord, what would you have me do?”

The master met the sheep and the sheep heard his voice.

Bartimaeus met him on the road to Jericho.  Lydia met him down by the river.  The jailor met him in prison.  And I am saying this to you. If you are one of his sheep, if your momma or daddy is one of his sheep, if your brother is one his sheep, if your neighbor is one of his sheep, somewhere, sometime he is going to cross your path. He must, he must in truth in the gospel.

Turn to Acts 18 verse 10. It has to be. That woman, that sinful woman is sheep and sin doesn’t bar you from Christ, self righteousness does.  He died for sinners. He is the friend of sinners. He came to seek and to save sinners, the lost.

Acts 18, Paul, boy he is having a time. They were searching the house. He is trying to kill him and the Lord in Acts chapter 18, verse 19 verse nine, Acts 18:9, “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision and said, ‘Paul, don’t be afraid. Speak. Hold not your peace. I am with you.  And no man shall set on you to hurt you.  I have got much people in this city. I have got some people. Paul, you have got to speak. You have got to speak.  Speak.  Preach.’”

We are ambassadors for Christ. As God did by us, as God did beseech you by us...  Do you see what I am saying?  The sheep will hear him speak through his messenger, through his ministry. 

Turn to 2 Timothy two verse 10, 2 Timothy 2:10. And that is the church at Corinth. Paul stayed down there another year and a half.  Boy, it looked like he wasn’t going to make it through that first week. They were trying to kill him.
And God said, “You just stay there. I have got some people in this city.  And you are going to have to preach to them. They are going to have to encounter Christ, encounter the gospel, encounter the message.”

In order for them to believe it they have got to hear it. In order for them to follow it they have got to hear it.

2 Timothy two verse 10. Listen to this.  In verse nine he said, “I suffer trouble as an evil doer even under bonds. He can put me in jail, but the Word of God is not in jail. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. I have got to preach,” he said. “But that is the only way they are going to hear it.”

We preach the gospel for a threefold purpose. Number one, for the glory of God. Whether the Lord is pleased to call out anybody where we preach, we preach for his glory. Because really we are the savor of life unto life and death unto death.

Secondly, we preach the gospel that the redeemed might be edified and strengthened. There is nothing they love more than to hear the gospel. And then, thirdly, we preach the gospel that the Holy Spirit might call out our Lord’s sheep. 

All right now John four. Let’s go back there briefly again. He crossed her path. This is one of her sheep. And he has got to speak to her.  He has got to cross her path. He did.

Secondly, he created an interest. He talked to her in verse 10 about two things. He said, “If you knew the gift of God you would ask of m and I would give you living water.” The gift of God and living water.

Now preachers today are trying to interest people in one of two things, either getting out of hell or getting into heaven. And our Lord didn’t...he met his sheep, he crossed her path.  And he didn’t talk to her about religion. She had religion.  She had religion. Why she told him, said, “Why, you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan. Our Father Jacob built this well. We worship here. You worship there.”

He didn’t talk to her about religion. She had that. What did he talk to her about?  Life, eternal life. That is the gift of God. The gift of God is what?  Eternal life.  The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. This is the record God hath given us, eternal life.  Christ has brought this one back to life.  He wasn’t talking to her about tradition. She had that.  She said, “Our father Jacob built this well. We go way back to Jacob, Israel.”

He didn’t talk to her about form. She had that.  She said, “We worship on this mountain. We worship this day. You worship that day. We worship this place.  You worship that place. We worship this time. You worship that time. We worship kneeling. You worship standing.”  She had all that. 

But he talked to her about life, about living water, living water. He talked to her about the presence of God. 

Our Lord stood one day and said, “If any man thirst let him come to me and out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,” God dwelling in here, God living in here, the presence of the living God within the heart.

You know, turn to Jeremiah two. Let me show you a Scripture here. In Jeremiah two here is our problem. He said in Jeremiah two verse 13, “My people have committed two evils.  Number one, they have forsaken me the fountain of living water.” He is our peace. He is our joy.  He is our life.  He is the source of all good. “And they hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” 

Religious people today have form, orthodoxy, ceremonialism, legalism, ritualism, all kind of isms. Our Lord is talking to this, this sheep of his about two things: life and living water.  The life of God, the divine life of God and that living water that comes in here when Christ comes, that joy and peace that comes with Christ. He is our joy. He is our peace.  It is not just our names on a church role.  It is not just adopting a doctrine in fundamentalism or orthodoxy. It is not just going to the right church and practicing the right ordinances, it is not just believing the right doctrines, it is walking with a living Lord. 

The joy of Christ, the life of  Christ, the peace of Christ, the knowledge of Christ, the presence of Christ, that’s living water. 

Well John four, she said, “I’ll take some of that. I’ll sure be much obliged if you will give me that.”

That led to the third thing. And this happens with every one of his sheep, every one of them. I don’t care where he finds them. You might find them in religion, politics, business, sports, wherever he finds them. He has got to cross their paths with the true gospel, with Christ. Christ, they have got to encounter Christ.  And Christ is the gospel, right? 

And then, secondly, he creates an interest. They hear something they have never heard before. It ceases to be a heaven hell proposition. It ceases to be a do and don’t proposition. It ceases to be legalism and ritualism and dead orthodoxy and ceremonialism. And there is an interest created in here. I want to know more than just doctrine.  I want to know him whom to know is life eternal.  I want Christ to live in my heart.  I want more than just going down to the church on Sunday and walking right, living right, talking right, looking right. I want Christ in here, his love and his joy and his peace, that living water.  All right?  He posed a problem.  Number three, this problem always comes up. And that is the problem of sin.

He said, “Go call your husband.”

Uh-oh.  Uh-oh.  All of her sin, when he said that all of her sins—past, present and future, her sinful nature, her sinful thoughts, her sinful attitude, her sinful motives—all of them came up right here in front of her. There was that living water. Man, I’d sure like to have that.

We want eternal life, don’t we? We want the life of God in our hearts. We want God to accept us and love us and walk with us.  Boom. Sin.  What I am, what I have done. What I have said. What I know I will do. Boom. Sin. 

God cannot receive us in our sins. Who shall stand in his presence? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.  God must deal with sin. God must punish sin.  God is just.  And that brings us the question.  Well, Lord how can I be...being what I am, have that gift?  How can I?  And this is going to happen...and this is the thing about every true sheep of Christ. You are not going to pacify him by saying just walk the aisle. You are not going to reach his heart by saying just shake my hand. You are not going to read him a few verses of Scripture you memorized in a soul winning course and say to you, “Now, do you believe that?  Do you believe that? Do you believe that?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you’re saved.” 

“I don’t know about that.  Boy, you don’t see in here.”

“Yeah, but look it here.”

“Yeah, but look it here.”

If you don’t see that record. I do.  You don’t see that past. I do.  What am I going to do about that?

Well, that don’t matter about this.

Yes, it does matter about this. Yes, it does.  You are not going to satisfy one of God’s sheep that way. He like Job is going to be sitting around saying, “Well, how can God be just and justify folks like me.” That’s what he wants to answer that. He is going to be saying, “Well, the sun, the moon, the stars are not clean in his sight.  How can I be clean?  How can God walk with me?”

I’m not talking about signing an insurance agreement. I am not talking about signing a security form. I am talking about God living in me. How can that be, being what I am? 

Is there any way that he can be just and justify me? Is there any way that I can have this living water being who I am and what I am? Is there anyone who can bring me to God? 

All right then next, our Lord presented a remedy. Finally the woman said, “Well, I know this. I know this.  I know I am a sinner. You are right. You are a prophet. You told me all that I have ever done. Now you are right and I know I am hopeless and helpless.  I know I am out in the cold.  I know my sins have separated me from God. But when the Messiah comes, oh that will be the day. God is going to send the Messiah. God is going to send the Christ. God is going to send a ransom. God is going to send the Redeemer.  God is going to send one who will reconcile us to him. God is going to send one to take my place and bear my guilt and bear my shame and God is going to send one to give me a righteousness that I need. God is going to send one...”

He looked at her and said, “I am he.  I am he.  I that speak to thee am he.”

There is your remedy. “I am Jehovah. Savior, Savior God.”

This name Jehovah is always used in relation to his redemptive work. And this is what makes the gospel good news?  You see, when God lets one of the sheep hear me preach or one of his own servants preach. I am not talking about these little silly, sentimental, emotional religious sermons: Do good and God will bless you. Give your tithe and God will prosper you. 

God will bargain with God almighty. I go forth and one of his sheep will cross his path. But [?] talking about God in the life and God in the heart and living water and walking with the king and perseverance and security and the sheep fold and the pleasures, the joys and the grace.

And he said, “Boy, I would like to have that, but I am such a wretch.  I am such a miserable, vile creature. In the flesh I can’t please God. When I would do good evil is present with me.  Oh wretched man that I am, I know all that.  But praise God his servant can [?] and tell him the good news. And it is not push down the aisle and shake the preacher’s hand and do this and do that. It’s Christ has come. Christ has come.”

Now there’s seven...I want you to jot these Scriptures down. I don’t have time to turn to all of them and read all of them.  But there’s seven compound names of Jehovah God in the Old Testament.  The fist one is Jehovah-Jireh, Genesis 22:13-14.  You look it up later. Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah. He said over there, “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”

Moses said, “Whom shall I say has sent me?”

“Tell them I am, I am Jehovah. I am what I have always been. I am now what I have always been.  I will always be what I have always been. I am.”

Not I was or I shall be. I am Jehovah.

And he said...he said to Abraham in Genesis 22:13-14, “The Lord will provide himself a sacrifice.” And he called that place Jehovah Jireh. The Lord will provide.  And Christ is that provision. 

He said in John 10, “I lay down my life for the sheep, in the stead of the sheep.”

In Exodus 15:26 the name of Jehovah is Jehovah Rapha, Exodus 15:26.  They stopped there at the rivers of Marah, the bitter water.  And God let Moses put that limb in there and it turned sweet and he said, “I am Jehovah Rapha. I am the Lord that healeth thee.” 

Christ is our healer.  By his stripes we are what?  Healed.  He bore our sins and our sorrows, our sicknesses and our diseases and we are healed.  I am healed.

The third compound name of Jehovah is found in Exodus 17:8-15, Jehovah Nissi.  Israel was fighting. The Midianites was it? And old Moses...God said, “Hold your hands up Moses.” And when he hold up his hands the armies would be victorious. When his arms got tired he dropped them, you know.  And the other team started winning.  And he is raising his hands up and finally two fellows, one sitting on side and one on the other held his hands up and Israel was victorious. And they called that place Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is our victory, the Lord is our banner.

Thanks be unto God who always causes us to what?  Triumph in Christ. He is my victory. 

All right the fourth one is Judges 6:24.  Jehovah Shalom.  Judges 6:24, Jehovah Shalom—S-H-A-L-O-M—the Lord our peace.  He is our peace. Therefore being justified by God we have what?  Peace through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is over. The war is over between the sheep and God. Christ made peace. 

Psalm 23.  The Lord is my what? Shepherd. Jehovah Raah, the Lord is my shepherd.  And Christ said that over and over again in our text.  “I am the good shepherd.”  I am the shepherd of the sheep.”  Anybody else is a stranger, a hireling. But I am the shepherd. They are mine. 

And then in Jeremiah 23:6, Jeremiah 23:6 the Lord is our what?  Jehovah Tsidkenu—T-S-I-D-K-E-N-U—Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness.  How can God do business with me?  Because I am righteous, that’s how. And not in myself, but in Christ. 

When God the Father looks upon me, he looks upon me in his Son who is our righteousness that I may be found in him not having mine own righteousness, but his.

And then the last one over here in Ezekiel 48 it says, “The Lord is present.”  Ezekiel 48:35, the Lord is present. That is Jehovah Shammah—S-H-A-M-M-A-H. You will find it in the marginal reference in your Bible. The Lord is present.

And our Lord Jesus Christ said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and lo I am with you always, always, always, even to the end of the earth.”

Every one of his sheep, he is going to cross their path. There is going to be an encounter.  To the sheep it may be accidental.  He may go there. One man I told you about old...that missionary Williams, John Williams.  George Whitefield was preaching one night and Williams came in to see what time it was.  They didn’t have many clocks in that community back in 1700 and he came in to see what time it was?  And he was looking at the clock and George Whitefield is preaching. And he turned around and started listening to Whitfield and God smote him, brought him to the Savior and made him one of the greatest missionaries that ever preached.

One man came to hear Whitefield one time with his pockets full of rocks. He was going to rock the old man. They hated Whitefield.  He had his pockets full of rocks. And he came sneaking through the crowd to get a little closer so he could throw a rock at Whitefield and he heard the gospel and got saved.

God is going to find his sheep and he is going to create an interest. And you are not going to create an interest by preaching what I had to listen to on television and other places. That wouldn’t interest a puppy dog as far as I am concerned. 


Henry Mahan