The Wrong Emphasis

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The Wrong Emphasis!

A.W. Pink

Once a man makes the conversion of sinners his prime design and all-consuming end and NOT THE GLORY OF GOD, he is exceedingly apt to adopt a wrong course.

Instead of striving to preach the Truth in all its purity, he will tone it down so as to make it more palatable to the unregenerate. Impelled by a single force, moving in one fixed direction, his object is to make conversion easy; and therefore, favorite passages (like John 3:16) are dwelt upon incessantly, while others are ignored or pared away.

It inevitably reacts upon his own theology; and various verses in the Word are shunned, if not repudiated.

What place will he give in his thoughts to such declarations as, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23);

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw Him” (John 6:44);

“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:14)?

He will be sorely tempted to modify the truth of God’s sovereign election, of Christ’s particular redemption, of the imperative necessity for the super-natural operations of the Holy Spirit.

God reserves the right

God does not ‘will’ a thing because it is just, but a thing is just because God wills it.

 A.W. Pink

 What is justice? It is treating each person equitably and fairly, giving to him his due. Divine justice is simply doing that which is right. But this raises the question, What is due unto the creature? what is it that God ought to bestow upon him? Ah, my friend, every sober-minded person will at once object to the introduction of the word “ought” in such a connection. And rightly so.

The Creator is under no obligation whatever unto the works of His own hands. He alone has the right to decide whether such and such a creature should exist at all. He alone has the prerogative to determine the nature, status, and destiny of that creature; whether it shall be an animal, a man, or an angel; whether it shall be endowed with a soul and subsist forever, or be without a soul and endure only for a brief time; whether it shall be a vessel unto honor and taken into communion with Himself, or a vessel unto dishonor which is rejected by Him.

As the great Creator possessed perfect freedom to create or not create, to bring into existence whatever creatures He pleased (and a visit to the zoo will show He has created some which strike the beholder as exceedingly queer ones); and therefore He has the unquestionable right to decree concerning them as He pleases. The justice of God in election and preterition, then, is grounded upon His high sovereignty. The dependence of all creatures upon Him is entire. His proprietorship of all creatures is indisputable. His dominion over all creatures is absolute.

Let these facts be established from Scripture— and their complete demonstration therefrom is a very simple matter— and where is the creature who can with the slightest propriety say unto the Lord most high “What doest Thou?” Instead of the Creator being under any obligation to His creature, it is the creature who is under binding obligations to the One who gave it existence and now sustains its very life.

God has the absolute right to do as He pleases with the creatures of His own hand: “Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?” (Rom. 9:2 1) is His own assertion. Therefore He may give to one and withhold from another, bestow five talents on one and only a single talent on another, without any imputation of injustice. If He may give grace and glory to whom He will without such a charge, then He may also decree to do so without any such charge. Are men chargeable with injustice when they choose their own favorites, friends, companions, and confidants? Then obviously there is no injustice in God’s choosing whom He will to bestow His special favors upon, to indulge with communion with Himself now and to dwell with Him for all eternity.

Is a man free to make selection of the woman which he desires for his wife? and does he in anywise wrong the other women whom he passes by? Then is the great God less free to make selection of those who constitute the spouse of His Son? Shame, shame, upon those who would ascribe less freedom to the Creator than to the creature.

Upon a little reflection it should be evident to all right-minded people that there is no parity between human and divine justice: human justice requires that we should give each of our fellows his due, whereas no creature is due anything from God, not even what He is pleased to sovereignly give him.

In his most reverent discussion of the nature of God’s attributes W. Twisse (moderator of the Westminster Assembly) pointed out that if human justice be of the same nature with divine justice then it necessarily follows: first, that which is just in man is just with God. Second, that it must be after the same manner just: as human justice consists in subjection and obedience to God’s law, so God Himself must be under obligation to His own Law. Third, as a man is under obligation to be just, so God is under obligation to be just, and therefore as Saul sinned and acted unjustly in slaying the priests, so had God been unjust in doing the like.

Unless the perversity of their hearts blinded their judgment men would readily perceive that divine justice must necessarily be of quite another order and character than human, yea, as different from and superior to it as divine love is from human. All are agreed that a man acts unjustly, that he sins, if he suffers his brother to transgress when it lies in his power to keep him from so doing. Then if divine justice were the same in kind, though superior in degree, it would necessarily follow that God sins every time He allows one of His creatures to transgress, for most certainly He has the power to prevent it; yea, and can exercise that power without destroying the liberty of the creature: “I also withheld thee from sinning against Me; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her” (Gen. 20:6). Cease, then, ye rebels from arraigning the Most High, and attempting to measure His justice by your petty tape-lines—as well seek to fathom His wisdom or define His power, as comprehend His inscrutable justice. “Clouds and darkness are round about him,” and this be it noted, is expressly said in connection with: “righteousness [justice] and judgment are the habitation of His throne” (Ps. 97:2).

Lest some of our readers demur at our quoting from such a high Calvinist as Mr. Twisse, we append the following from the milder James Ussher. “What is the divine justice? It is an essential property of God, whereby He is infinitely just in himself, of himself, for, from, and by Himself, and none other: ‘For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness’ (Ps. 11:7).

What is the rule of His justice? Answer: His own free will, and nothing else: for WHATSOEVER HE WILLETH IS JUST, AND BECAUSE HE WILLETH IT THEREFORE IT IS JUST; NOT BECAUSE IT IS JUST, THEREFORE HE WILLETH IT (Eph. 1:11; Ps. 115:3).” Such men as these were conscious of their ignorance, and therefore they cried unto Heaven for instruction, and God was pleased to grant them clear vision. But the pride-inflated pharisees of our day think they can already see, and therefore feel no need of Divine illumination: consequently they remain blind (John 9:40, 41).

So again that justly renowned teacher W. Perkins: “WE MUST NOT THINK THAT GOD DOETH A THING BECAUSE IT IS GOOD AND RIGHT, BUT RATHER IS THE THING GOOD AND RIGHT BECAUSE GOD WILLETH AND WORKETH IT.

Examples hereof we have in the Word. God commanded Abimelech to deliver Sarah to Abraham, or else He would destroy him and all his household (Gen. 20:7). To man’s reason that might seem unjust, for why should Abimelech’s servants be punished for their master’s fault? So again Achan sinned, and all the house of Israel were penalized for it (Josh. 7). David numbered the people, and the whole nation was smitten by a plague (2 Sam. 24). All these to man’s reason may seem unequal; yet being the works of God we must with all reverence judge them most just and holy.” Alas, how little of this humility and reverence is manifested in the churches today! How ready is the present generation to criticize and condemn whatever of God’s ways and works suit them not!

So far from the truth are most of those who are now looked up to as ‘‘the champions of orthodoxy,’’ that even they are often guilty of turning things upside down, or putting the cart in front of the horse. It is commonly assumed by them that God Himself is under law, that He is under a moral constraint to do what he does, so that He cannot do otherwise. Others wrap this up in more sophisticated terms, insisting that it is His own nature which regulates all His actions. But this is merely an artful subterfuge. Is it by a necessity of His nature or by the free exercise of His sovereignty that He bestows favor upon His creatures? Let Scripture answer: “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18).

Why, my reader, if God’s nature obliged Him to show saving mercy to any, then by parity of reason it would oblige Him to show mercy to all, and thus bring every fallen creature to repentance, faith, and obedience. But enough of this nonsense.

[Quoted from A.W Pink’s ‘The Doctrine of Election’]

 

THE GOSPEL OF SATAN

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THE GOSPEL OF SATAN

A.W. Pink

Satan is the arch-counterfeiter. As we have seen, the Devil is now busy at work in the same field in which the Lord sowed the good seed. He is seeking to prevent the growth of the wheat by another plant, the tares, which closely resembles the wheat in appearance. In a word, by a process of imitation he is aiming to neutralize the Word of Christ. Therefore, as Christ has a Gospel, Satan has a gospel too; the latter being a clever counterfeit of the former. So closely does the gospel of Satan resemble that which it parades, multitudes of the unsaved are deceived by it.


It is to this gospel of Satan the apostle refers when he says to the Galatians “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ” (1:6,7). This false gospel was being heralded even in the days of the apostle, and a most awful curse was called down upon those who preached it. The apostle continues, “But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” By the help of God we shall now endeavor to expound, or rather, expose this false gospel.

The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal, spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great “brotherhood”. It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to “the best that is within us”.

It aims to make this world such a congenial and comfortable habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that BY NATURE MAN IS A FALLEN CREATURE, ALIENATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD, AND DEAD IN TRESPASSES AND SINS, AND THAT HIS ONLY HOPE LIES IN BEING BORN AGAIN.

In contradistinction to the Gospel of Christ, the gospel of Satan teaches salvation BY WORKS. It inculcates justification before God on the ground of human merits. Its sacramental phrase is “Be good and do good”; but it fails to recognize that in the flesh there dwelleth no good thing. It announces salvation by character, which reverses the order of God’s Word—character by, as the fruit of, salvation. Its various ramifications and organizations are manifold.

Temperance, Reform movements, “Christian Socialist Leagues”, ethical culture societies, “Peace Congresses” are all employed (perhaps unconsciously) in proclaiming this gospel of Satan—salvation by works. The pledge-card is substituted for Christ; social purity for individual regeneration, and politics and philosophy for doctrine and godliness. The cultivation of the old man is considered more practical” than the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus; whilst universal peace is looked for apart from the interposition and return of the Prince of Peace.

THE APOSTLES OF SATAN ARE NOT SALOON-KEEPERS AND WHITE SLAVE TRAFFICKERS, BUT ARE OR THE MOST PART ORDAINED MINISTERS.

Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are no longer engaged in presenting the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, but have turned aside from the Truth and have given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance or the absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers to “flee from the wrath to come” they make God a liar by declaring that He is too loving and merciful to send any of His own creatures to eternal torment.

Instead of declaring that “without shedding of blood is no remission”, they merely hold up Christ as the great Exemplar and exhort their followers to “follow in His step”. Of them it must be said, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3). Their message may sound very plausible and their appear very praiseworthy, yet we read of them, “for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves (imitating) into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing (not to be wondered at) if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

In addition to the fact that today hundreds of churches are without a leader who faithfully declares the whole counsel of God and presents His way of salvation, we also have to face the additional fact that the majority of people in these churches are very unlikely to learn the Truth for themselves. The family altar, where a portion of God’s Word was wont to be read daily is now, even in the homes of nominal Christians, largely a thing of the past. The Bible is not expounded in the pulpit and it is not read in the pew. The demands of this rushing age are so numerous that the multitudes have little time and still less inclination to make preparation for their meeting with God. Hence the majority who are too indolent to search for themselves are left at the mercy of those whom they pay to search for them; many of which betray their trust by studying and expounding economic and social problems rather than the Oracles of God . . . .

And now, my reader, where do YOU stand? Are you in the way which “seemeth right”, but which ends in death? Or are you in the Narrow Way which leadeth unto life? Have you truly forsaken the Broad Road that leadeth to death? Has the love of Christ created in your heart a hatred and horror of all that is displeasing to Him? Are, you desirous that He should “reign over” (Luke 19:14) you? Are you relying wholly on His righteousness and blood for your acceptance with God? . . . .

A yet more specious form of Satan’s gospel is to move preachers to present the atoning sacrifice of Christ and then tell their hearers that all God requires from them is to “believe” in His Son. Thereby thousands of impenitent souls are deluded into thinking that they have been saved. But Christ said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). To “repent” is to hate sin, to sorrow over, to turn from it. It is the result of the Spirit’s making the heart contrite before God. None except a broken heart can savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again; thousands are deceived into supposing that they have “accepted Christ” as their “personal Saviour”, who have not first received Him as their LORD.

THE SON OF GOD DID NOT COME HERE TO SAVE PEOPLE IN THEIR SINS, BUT “FROM THEIR SINS” (Matthew 1:21).

To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to “forsake OUR way” (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to GOD’S authority, to yield to HIS dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him.

THE ONE WHO HAS NEVER TAKEN CHRIST’S “YOKE” UPON HIM, WHO IS NOT TRULY AND DILIGENTLY SEEKING TO PLEASE HIM IN ALL THE DETAILS OF HIS LIFE, AND YET SUPPOSES THAT HE IS “RESTING ON THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST” IS DELUDED BY THE DEVIL.

In the seventh chapter of Matthew there are two scriptures which give us approximate results of Christ’s Gospel and Satan’s counterfeit. First, in verses 13 and 14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate. For, wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” Second, in verses 22 and 23, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesized (preached) in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out demons, and in Thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

Yes, my reader, it is possible to work in the name of Christ, and even to preach in His name, and though the world knows us, and the Church knows us, yet to BE UNKNOWN TO THE LORD! How necessary it is then to find out where we really are; to EXAMINE OURSELVES to see whether we be in the faith; to measure ourselves by the Word of God and see if we are being deceived by our subtle Enemy; to find out whether we are building our house upon the sand, or whether it is erected on the Rock which is Christ Jesus. May the Holy Spirit search our hearts, break our wills, slay our enmity against God, work in us a deep and true repentance, and direct our gaze to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

Great-Whore Lent

THE PAGANISM OF LENT AND WEEPING FOR TAMMUZ!

 Michael Jeshurun

 Let me say this right up front that if you already know the origins of ‘Shrove Tuesday’, Ash Wednesday, the Forty days of Lent and Easter Sunday but still stubbornly insist on observing them, then you show yourself to be nothing but a nominal ‘Christian’ like the Roman Catholics, The Church of England or any one of the majority of ‘Baptist’, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches who have a name that they live but are dead! [Rev 3:1] [Note: Not all Baptists observe these Pagan Practices]

For those real Christian Brethren who have just come to know the Lord and are searching their Bibles diligently to find whether these things be so [Act 17:11], I must tell you that you will not find them in the BIBLE. Neither the Apostles nor the Early Church observed these things. So WHERE do they come from?

‘Shrove Tuesday’ or Mardi Gras as it is commonly known literally means “Fat Tuesday” in French [called Pancake Tuesday in England] and is associated with the Roman Catholic custom of Lent. But is it taught in the Bible? Would God want Christians to observe it?

The idea behind Mardi Gras or carnival celebrations is that people overindulge before giving up something for Lent, which begins the following day with Ash Wednesday. [Lent is the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting.]

Lent was a time of penance, of fasting, of abstinence.  Folks abstained from all sorts a good stuff including meat. They also gave up eggs and dairy products. So on Tuesday, the day before the start of the Lenten fast, folks cleared out their cupboards of all the foods they could not have for the next 40 days. They cooked them up and ate like pigs. In essence THEY FEASTED BEFORE THE FAST.

Unlike New Year’s, Christmas, Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and other pagan holidays that are celebrated by the secular, non-religious world, the Lenten season is observed by dedicated religious believers.

From Ash Wednesday to Easter, many solemnly mark their foreheads with ash, “fasting” [or abstaining from certain foods or physical pleasures] for 40 days. This is done to supposedly imitate Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the wilderness [Matt. 4:1-2]. Some give up smoking. Others give up chewing gum. Still others give up over-eating or cursing. People vow to give up anything, as long as it prepares them for Easter.

People who observe Lent may be religious, dedicated and sincere—BUT THEY ARE SINCERELY WRONG!

Let us examine Lent, its practices and customs, its historic and religious origins, and its true meaning from the Bible’s perspective, not from the “traditions of men” [Mark 7:7-9].

The Purpose of Lent

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “the real aim of Lent is, above all else, to prepare men for the celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ…the better the preparation the more effective the celebration will be. One can effectively relive the mystery only with purified mind and heart. The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”

On the surface, this belief sounds sincere. However, IT DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE BIBLE, GOD’S HOLY WORD, the only source of true spiritual knowledge and understanding [John 17:17]. God, through the apostle Paul, commands Christians to “continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” [II Tim. 3:14-17].

First, understand that the “celebration of the death and Resurrection of Christ” to which the preceding quote refers is so-called “Good Friday” and “Easter Sunday”— HOLIDAYS DEEPLY ROOTED IN ANCIENT PAGANISM. They were instituted by mainstream Christianity in order to counterfeit and replace the Passover season.

Second, the Bible says that we are purified—cleansed, set apart and made pure in God’s sight—by the shed blood of Jesus Christ [Heb. 9:11-14, 22; 13:12]. This, along with faith [Acts 15:9] and humbly submitting to and obeying God [James 4:7-10] through His truth and prayer [John 17:17; I Tim. 4:5], makes us clean before God. NO AMOUNT OF FASTING, ABSTAINING FROM PHYSICAL PLEASURES OR ANY OTHER FORM OF SELF-DENIAL CAN PURIFY US!

Pagan Origins of Lent

Lent was never observed by Christ or His apostles. He commanded His disciples to “Go you therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” [Matt. 28:19-20]. And Lent or Easter was not one of them!

Alexander Hislop wrote in his book The Two Babylons: “The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third and fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter…That festival [Passover] was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. Lent was not observed by the first century Church! It was first addressed by the church at Rome during the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, when Emperor Constantine officially recognized that church as the Roman Empire’s state religion. Any other form of Christianity that held to doctrines contrary to the Roman church was considered an enemy of the state.

Today, Lent is used for “fasting from sin and from vice…forsaking sin and sinful ways.” It is a season “for penance, which means sorrow for sin and conversion to God.” This tradition teaches that fasting and employing self-discipline during Lent will give a worshipper the “control over himself that he needs to purify his heart and renew his life.”

However, the Bible clearly shows that self-control—temperance—comes from having God’s Holy Spirit working in the life of a converted mind [Gal. 5:16, 17, 22]. FASTING—OF AND BY ITSELF—CANNOT PRODUCE GODLY SELF-CONTROL.

Paul warned against using self-denial as a tool to rely on your own will. He called it “will worship.” “Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, [touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;] after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh” [Col. 2:20-23].

GOD DID NOT DESIGN FASTING AS A TOOL FOR PENANCE, “BEATING YOURSELF UP” OR DEVELOPING WILL POWER: “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?” [Isa. 58:5-7].

God’s people humble themselves through fasting in order to draw closer to Him—so that they can learn to think and act like Him—so that they can live His way of life in all things. Notice what the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Thus says the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the Lord” [9:23-24]. Fasting [and prayer] helps Christians draw closer to God.

Coming from the Anglo-Saxon Lencten, meaning “spring,” LENT ORIGINATED IN THE ANCIENT BABYLONIAN MYSTERY RELIGION. “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent WAS DIRECTLY BORROWED FROM THE WORSHIPPERS OF THE BABYLONIAN GODDESS…Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz” [The Two Babylons].

Tammuz was the false Messiah of the Babylonians—a SATANIC COUNTERFEIT OF JESUS CHRIST!

The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June [also called the “month of Tammuz”]. Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.” This is why Lent means “spring”; it took place from spring to early summer.

The Bible records ancient Judah worshipping this false Messiah: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” [Ezek. 8:14-15]. THIS WAS A GREAT ABOMINATION IN GOD’S EYES!

But why did the church at Rome institute such a pagan holiday?

“To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skillful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity—now far sunk in idolatry—in this as in so many other things, to shake hands” [The Two Babylons].

The Roman church replaced Passover with Easter, moving the pagan Feast of Tammuz to early spring, “Christianizing” it. Lent moved with it.

“This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent” [The Two Babylons].

Before giving up personal sins and vices during Lent, the pagans held a wild, “anything goes” celebration to make sure that they got in their share of debaucheries and perversities — WHAT THE WORLD CELEBRATES AS MARDI GRAS TODAY.

Pagan Abomination masked as Christianity!

God is not the author of confusion [I Cor. 14:33]. He never instituted Lent, a pagan observance connecting debauchery to the supposed resurrection of a false Messiah.

God commands His people TO FOLLOW HIM—NOT THE TRADITIONS OF MEN. God’s ways are higher, better than man’s [Isa. 55:8-9]. Men cannot determine for themselves right from wrong or how to properly worship God. Why? Because “the heart [mind] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” [Jer. 17:9], and “the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” [10:23]. God designed us and gave us life. He knows how we are supposed to worship Him.

To be a Christian and properly serve God, you must live “by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” [Matt. 4:4], recognizing that His Holy Scriptures “cannot be broken” [John 10:35].

GOD COMMANDS CHRISTIANS TO FLEE FROM THE PAGAN TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS OF THIS WORLD [REV. 18:2-4], CURRENTLY LED AND DECEIVED BY SATAN THE DEVIL [II COR. 4:4; REV. 12:9].

Lent may seem like a sincere, heartfelt religious observance. But it is deeply rooted in pagan ideas that counterfeit God’s plan.

God hates all pagan observances [Jer. 10:2-3; Lev. 18:3, 30; Deut. 7:1-5, 16]. They cannot be “Christianized” or made clean by men. That includes Lent.

If you are a true Christian you would say with David- “Through thy precepts I get understanding: THEREFORE I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY”! [Psalm 119:104]

Accompany salvation

THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION

 “Things that accompany Salvation.” [Hebrews 6:9]

 C.H. Spurgeon

 IN THE MARCHES OF TROOPS AND ARMIES, THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE OUTRIDERS, AND GO FAR AHEAD OF THE OTHER TROOPS. So in the march of Salvation, which have far preceded it to clear the way. I will tell you the names of these stupendous Titans who have gone before. The first is ELECTION, the second is PREDESTINATION, the third is REDEMPTION and the COVENANT is the captain of them all. Before Salvation came into this world, Election marched in the very forefront, and it had for its work the billeting of Salvation. Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race of man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. “He must needs go through Samaria,” said Election; and Salvation must go there.

Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road. In the everlasting decree of the Sovereign God, the footsteps of Mercy were every one of them ordained. As nothing in this world revolves by chance—as even the foreknown station of a rush by the river is as fixed as the station of a king—it was not meet that Salvation should be left to chance; and therefore God has mapped the place where it should pitch its tent, the manner of its footsteps to that tent, and the time when it should arrive there.

Then came Redemption. The way was rough; and though Election had marked the house, and Predestination had mapped the road, the way was so impeded that Salvation could not travel it until it had been cleared. Forth came Redemption, it had but one weapon; that weapon was the all-victorious cross of Christ. There stood the mountains of our sins; Redemption smote them, and they split in halves and left a valley for the Lord’s redeemed to march through. There was the great gulf of God’s offended wrath; Redemption bridged it with the cross, and so left an everlasting passage by which the armies of the Lord may cross. Redemption has tunnelled every mountain; it has dried up every sea, cut down every forest; it has levelled every high hill, and filled up the valleys, so that the road of Salvation is now plain and simple. God can be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.

Now, this sacred advance-guard carry for their banner the Eternal Covenant. Election, Predestination, and Redemption—the things that have gone before, beyond the sight, are all rallied to the battle by this standard—the Covenant, the Everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure. We know and believe that before the morning star startled the shades of darkness, God had covenanted with his Son that he should die and pay a ransom price, and that, on God the Father’s part, he would give to Jesus “a number whom no man could number,” who should be purchased by his blood, and through that blood should be most securely saved. Now, when Election marches forward, it carries the Covenant. These are chosen in the Covenant of grace. When Predestination marcheth, and when it marketh out the way of Salvation, it proclaims the Covenant. “He marked out the places of the people according to the tribes of Israel.” And Redemption also, pointing to the precious blood of Christ, claims Salvation for the blood-bought ones, because the Covenant hath decreed it to be theirs.

Now, my dear hearers, this advance-guard is so far ahead that you and I cannot see them. These are true doctrines, but very mysterious; they are beyond our sight, and if we wish to see Salvation, we must not stop until we see the van-guard, because they are so far off that only the eye of faith can reach them. We must have that sacred glass, that divine telescope of faith, or else we shall never have the evidence of things not seen. Let us rest certain, however, that if we have Salvation we have Election. He that believeth is elected and whoever casts himself on Christ as a guilty sinner, is certainly God’s chosen child. As sure as ever you believe on the Saviour, and go to him, you were predestinated to do so from all eternity, and your faith is the great mark and evidence that you are chosen of God, and precious in his esteem.

Dost thou believe? Then Election is thine. Dost thou believe? Then Predestination is as surely thine as thou art alive. Dost thou trust alone in Jesus? Then fear not, Redemption was meant for thee. So then, we will not be struck with terror at that grand advance-guard that hath already gained the celestial hill, and have prepared the place where the elect shall for ever repose upon the bosom of their God.

But mark, we are about to review THE ARMY THAT IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES SALVATION; and first, in the forefront of these, there marches one whose name we must pronounce with sacred awe. It is God, the Holy Spirit. Before anything can be done in our salvation, there must come that Third Person of the Sacred Trinity. Without him, faith, repentance, humility, love, are things quite impossible. Even the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ cannot save until it has been applied to the heart by God the Holy Spirit. Before we notice the grand army, then, that immediately precedes Salvation, let us be cautious that we do not forget Him who is the leader of them all. The great King, Immortal, invisible, the Divine person, called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit: it is he that quickens the soul, or else it would lie dead for ever; it is he that makes it tender, or else it would never feel, it is he that imparts efficacy to the Word preached, or else it could never reach further than the ear; it is he who breaks the heart, it is he who makes it whole: he, from first to last, is the great worker of Salvation in us just as Jesus Christ was the author of Salvation for us.

O soul, by this mayest thou know whether Salvation has come to thine house—art thou a partaker of the Holy Spirit? Come now, answer thou this question—hath he ever breathed on thee? Hath he ever breathed into thee? Canst thou say that thou hast been the subject of his supernatural influence? For, if not, remember except a man be born of the Spirit from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Thy best exertions will be all unavailing unless the Holy Ghost shall work in thee, to will and to do of God’s good pleasure.

The highest efforts of the flesh can never reach higher than the flesh, just as water of itself will never run higher than its source. You may be moral, you may be strictly upright, you may be much that is commendable, but unless you be partakers of the Holy Spirit, salvation is as impossible to you as it is even to the lost. We must be born again, and born again by that divine influence, or else it is all in vain. Remember, then, that the Spirit of God always accompanies Salvation.

Justice

Angels – The Justice of their Election

A.W. Pink

 How could there possibly be any injustice in God’s electing those whom He did, when had He not done so all had inevitably perished, angels and men alike? This is neither an invention nor an inference of ours, for Scripture itself expressly declares “Except the Lord of Sabbaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom” (Rom. 9:29). Not one of God’s rational creatures, either celestial or earthly, had ever been eternally and effectually saved apart from the grave of divine election. Though both angels and men were created in a state of perfect holiness, yet they were mutable creatures, liable to change and fall. Yea, inasmuch as their continuance in holiness was dependent upon the exercise of their own wills, unless God was pleased to supernaturally preserve them, their fall was certain.

“Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly” (Job 4:18). The angels were perfectly holy, yet if God gave them no other assistance than that with which He had capacitated them at their creation, then no “trust” or reliance was to be placed in them, or their standing. If they were holy today, they were liable to sin tomorrow. If God but sent them on an errand to this world, they might fall before they returned to Heaven. The “folly” which God imputes to them in the above passage is their creature mutability: for them to maintain their holiness unchangeably to eternity, without the danger of losing the same, was utterly beyond their creature endowment. Therefore, for them to be immutably preserved is a grace which issues from another and higher spring than the covenant of works or creation endowment, namely, that of election grace, super-creation grace.

It was meet that God should, from the beginning, make manifest the infinite gulf which divides the creature from the Creator. God alone is immutable, without variableness or shadow of turning. Fitting was it, then, that God should withdraw His preserving hand from those whom He had created upright, so that it might appear that the highest creature of all (Satan, “the anointed cherub” Ezek. 28:14) was mutable, and would inevitably fall into sin when left to the exercise of his own free will. Of God alone can it be predicated that He “cannot be tempted with evil” (James 1:13). The creature, though holy, may be tempted to sin, fall, and be irretrievably lost. The fall of Satan, then, made way for evidencing the more plainly the absolute necessity of electing grace—the imparting to the creature the image of God’s own immutable holiness.

Because of the mutability of the creature-state God foresaw that if all His creatures were left to the conduct of their own wills, they were in a continual hazard of falling. He, therefore, made an election of grace to remove all hazard from the case of His chosen ones. This we know from what is revealed of their history. Jude tells us of “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation” (v. 6), and the remainder of them would, sooner or later, have done so too, if left to the mutability of their own wills. So also it proved with Adam and Eve: both of them evidenced the mutability of their wills by apostatizing. Accordingly, God foreseeing all of this from the beginning, made a “reserve” (Rom. 11:4—explained in v. 5 as “election), determining to have a remnant who should be blessed of Him and who would everlastingly bless Him in return. Election and preserving grace are never to be severed.

We have thus far pointed out, first that divine justice is of an entirely different order and character than human justice; second that divine justice is grounded upon God’s sovereign dominion over all the works of His hands, being the exercise of His own imperial will. Third, that nothing whatever is due the creature from the Creator, not even what He is pleased to give, and that so far from God’s being under any obligation to it, it is under lasting obligations to Him. Fourth, that whatever God wills and works is right and must be reverently submitted to, yea, adored by us. Fifth, that it is impossible to charge God with injustice in His electing certain ones to be the objects of His amazing grace, since that apart from it, all had eternally perished.

Those who fall away

WHO ARE THOSE WHO ‘FALL AWAY’ AND CANNOT BE RENEWED AGAIN TO REPENTANCE?

 or

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CONTROVERSIAL HEBREWS 6

[The following is gleaned and paraphrased from the writings of A.W. Pink, John Owen and John Brown] by Michael Jeshurun

 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”  [Heb 6:4-6]

Any Christian, who requests for an explanation or commentary of Hebrews chapter 6, usually has verses 4-6 in mind. And these verses before us have proved to be one of the fiercest theological battlegrounds of the centuries. It is at THIS POINT that the hottest fights between Calvinists and Arminians have been waged. Those who believe that it is possible for a real Christian to so sin and backslide as to fall from grace and be lost eternally have confidently appealed to these verses for proof of their THEORY; while those who hold to the eternal security and the perseverance of the saints have too easily explained it away as that which describes only empty professors.

The chief problem in trying to give the correct teaching on a portion like this on a ‘Blog’ is the limitation of both time and space. TIME, because MANY who may be desirous to know the meaning thereof have LITTLE TIME to read a LONG post; and as for space, there is only so much which can be posted on a Blog post. But a difficult portion of scripture such as this is not easily dealt with in a few words or even in a few paragraphs. But with God’s enabling let us do our best and pray for God’s enablement, that He may be glorified and the saints may be edified.

In considering the persons spoken of in the above verses, it is of first importance to note that the apostle does not say, “US who were once enlightened”, nor even “YOU“, instead, he says “THOSE“. In sharp contrast from those spoken of in the passage, he says to the Hebrew believers, “Beloved, we are persuaded better things of YOU“.

Afterwards, when the apostle comes to declare his hope and persuasion concerning these Hebrew believers that they were not such as those whom he had before described in 4-6, nor such as would fall away unto perdition, he doth it upon three grounds whereon they were differenced from them as:

 1. That they had such things as did ‘ACCOMPANY SALVATION’; that is, such as salvation is inseparable from.

 2. He describes them by their DUTIES OF OBEDIENCE AND FRUITS OF FAITH. This was their ‘work and labor of love’ towards the name of God, verse 10. And hereby, also, doth he differentiate them from those in the text, concerning whom he supposeth that they may perish eternally, which these fruits of saving faith and sincere love cannot do.

 3. He adds, that, in the preservation of those there mentioned, the FAITHFULNESS OF GOD was concerned: ‘GOD IS NOT UNRIGHTEOUS TO FORGET’. For they were such he intended as were interested in the covenant of grace, with respect whereunto alone there is any engagement on the faithfulness or righteousness of God to preserve men from apostasy and ruin; and there is so with an equal respect unto all who are so taken into the covenant. But of those in the text he supposeth no such thing; and thereupon doth not intimate that either the righteousness or faithfulness of God was anyway engaged for their preservation, but rather the contrary” (Dr. John Owen).

It is scarcely accurate to designate as “mere professors” those described in verses 4,5. They were a class who had enjoyed GREAT PRIVILEGES; beyond any such as now accompany the preaching of the Gospel. Those here portrayed are said to have had FIVE advantages, which is in contrast from the six things enumerated in verses 1, 2, which things belong to man in the flesh, under Judaism. YET WERE THEY NOT TRUE CHRISTIANS. This is evident from WHAT IS NOT SAID. Observe, they were not spoken of as GOD’S ELECT, AS THOSE FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED, AS THOSE WHO WERE BORN OF THE SPIRIT. They are not said to be JUSTIFIED, FORGIVEN, ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. Nor is anything said of their faith, love, or obedience. Yet these are the VERY THINGS WHICH DISTINGUISH A REAL CHILD OF GOD.

FIRST it speaks of them as being ‘enlightened’. The Greek word for “enlightened” here signifies “to give light or knowledge by teaching”. It is so rendered by the Septuagint in Judges 13:8, 2 Kings 12:2, 17:27. The apostle Paul uses it for “to make manifest”, or “bring to light” in 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Timothy 1:10. Satan blinds the minds of those who believe not, lest “the light of the gospel should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4), that is, give the knowledge of it. Thus, “enlightened” here means to be instructed in the doctrine of the gospel, so as to have a CLEAR APPREHENSION OF IT. In the parallel passage in Hebrews 10:26 the same people are said to have “received the knowledge of the truth”, cf. also 2 Peter 2:20, 21. It is, however, ONLY A NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF SPIRITUAL THINGS, SUCH AS IS ACQUIRED BY OUTWARD HEARING OR READING; just as one may be enlightened by taking up the special study of one of the sciences. It falls far short of THAT SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT WHICH TRANSFORMS (see 2 Cor. 3:18). An illustration of an unregenerate person being “enlightened”, as here, is found in the case of Balaam; Numbers 24:4.

SECOND, they had “tasted” of the heavenly gift. To “taste” is to have a personal experience of, in contrast from mere report. “Tasting does not include eating, much less digesting and turning into nourishment what is so tasted; for its nature being only thereby discerned it may be refused, yea, though we like its relish and savor, on some other consideration. The persons here described, then, are those who have to a certain degree understood and relished the revelation of mercy; like the stony-ground hearers they have received the Word with a transient joy” (John Owen). The “tasting” is in contrast from the “eating” of John 6:50-56.

THIRD, they were “made partakers of the Holy Spirit”. First, it should be pointed out that the Greek word for “partakers” here is a different one from that used in Colossians 1:12 and 2 Peter 1:4, where real Christians are in view. The word here simply means “companions”, referring to what is EXTERNAL RATHER THAN INTERNAL. It is to be observed that this item is placed in the center of the five, and this because it describes the animating principle of the other four, which are all effects. THESE APOSTATES HAD NEVER BEEN “BORN OF THE SPIRIT” (JOHN 3:6), STILL LESS WERE THEIR BODIES HIS “TEMPLES” (1 COR. 6:19). NOR DO WE BELIEVE THIS VERSE TEACHES THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD, AT ANY TIME, WROUGHT WITHIN THEM, OTHERWISE PHILIPPIANS 1:6 WOULD BE CONTRAVENED. It means that they had shared in the benefit of His supernatural operations and manifestations: as “The place was shaken” (Acts 4:31) illustrates.

FOURTH, “And have tasted the good Word of God”. “I understand by this expression the PROMISE OF GOD RESPECTING THE MESSIAH, the sum and substance of all. It deserves notice that this promise is by way of eminence termed by Jeremiah ‘that good word’ (Jer. 33:14). To ‘taste’, then, this ‘good Word of God’, is to experience that God has been faithful to His promise—to enjoy, so far as an unconverted man can enjoy the blessings and advantages which flow from that promise being fulfilled. To ‘taste the good Word of God’, seems, just to enjoy the advantages of the new dispensation” (Dr. J. Brown). Further confirmation that the apostle is here referring to that which these apostates had witnessed of the fulfillment of God’s promise is obtained by comparing Jeremiah 29:10, “After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place”.

Observe how studiously the apostle still keeps to the word “TASTE“, the better to enable us to IDENTIFY THEM. They could not say with Jeremiah, “Thy words were found and I did EAT THEM” (Jer. 15:16). “It is as though he said, I speak not of those who have received nourishment; but of such as have so far TASTED it, as that they ought to have desired it as ‘sincere milk’ and grown thereby” (Dr. John Owen). A solemn example of one who merely “tasted” the good Word of God is found in Mark 6:20: “for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, HE DID MANY THINGS, AND HEARD HIM GLADLY“.

FIFTH, “And the powers of the world to come,” or “age to come.” The reference here is to the new dispensation which was to be ushered in by Israel’s Messiah according to Old Testament predictions. It corresponds with “these last days” of Hebrews 1:2, and is in contrast from the “time past” or Mosaic economy. Their Messiah was none other than the “mighty God” (Isa. 9), and wondrous and glorious, stupendous and unique, were His miraculous works. Of these mighty “powers” these apostates had “tasted”, or had an experience of. They had been PERSONAL WITNESSES OF THE MIRACLES OF CHRIST, AND ALSO OF THE WONDERS THAT FOLLOWED HIS ASCENSION, WHEN SUCH GLORIOUS MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT WERE GIVEN. Thus they were “without excuse”. Convincing and conclusive evidence had been set before them, but there had been no answering faith in their hearts. A solemn example of this is found in John 11:47, 48.

“If they shall fall away”. The Greek word here is very strong and emphatic, even stronger than the one used in Matthew 7:27, where it is said of the house built on the sand, “and great was the fall thereof”. It is a COMPLETE FALLING AWAY, A TOTAL ABANDONMENT OF CHRISTIANITY WHICH IS HERE IN VIEW. It is a willful turning of the back on God’s revealed truth, an utter repudiation of the Gospel. It is making “shipwreck of the faith” (1 Tim. 1:19). THIS TERRIBLE SIN IS NOT COMMITTED BY A MERE NOMINAL PROFESSOR, FOR HE HAS NOTHING REALLY TO FALL AWAY FROM, SAVE AN EMPTY NAME. The class here described are such as had had their minds enlightened, their consciences stirred, their affections moved to a considerable degree, and yet who were never brought from death unto life. NOR IS IT BACKSLIDING CHRISTIANS WHO ARE IN VIEW. It is not simply “fall into sin”, this or that sin. The greatest “sin” which a regenerated man can possibly commit is the personal denial of Christ: Peter was guilty of this, yet was he “renewed again unto repentance”. It is the total renunciation of all the distinguishing truths and principles of Christianity, and this not secretly, but openly, which constitutes Apostasy.

“If they shall fall away”. “This is scarcely a fair translation. It has been said that the apostle did not here assert that such persons did or do ‘fall away’; but that if they did—a supposition which, however, could never be realized—then the consequence would be they could not be ‘renewed again unto repentance’. THE WORDS LITERALLY RENDERED ARE, ‘AND HAVE FALLEN AWAY’, OR, ‘YET HAVE FALLEN’. The apostle obviously intimates that such persons might, and that such persons did, ‘fall away’. BY ‘FALLING AWAY’, WE ARE PLAINLY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS COMMONLY CALLED APOSTASY. This does not consist in an occasional falling into actual sin, however gross and aggravated; nor in the renunciation of some of the principles of Christianity, even though those should be of considerable importance; but in an open, total, determined renunciation of all the constituent principles of Christianity, and a return to a false religion, such as that of unbelieving Jews or heathens, or to open infidelity and open godlessness” (Dr. J. Brown).

Now it is impossible to “renew again unto repentance” those who have totally abandoned the Christian revelation. It needs to be carefully observed that in the whole of this passage from Hebrews 5:11 onwards the apostle is speaking of his own ministry. In God’s hands, His servants are instruments by which He works and through whom He accomplishes His evangelical purpose. Thus Paul could properly say “I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15). And again, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). So the servants of God had, through the preaching of the Gospel, “renewed unto repentance” those spoken of in Hebrews 6:4. But they had apostatized; they had totally repudiated the Gospel. It was therefore “impossible” for the servants of God to “renew them again unto repentance”, for the all-sufficient reason that THEY HAD NO OTHER MESSAGE TO PROCLAIM TO THEM. They had no other Gospel in reserve, no further motives to present. Christ crucified had been set before them. Him they now denounced as an Imposter. There was “none other name” whereby they could be saved. THEIR PUBLIC RENUNCIATION OF CHRIST RENDERED THEIR CASE HOPELESS SO FAR AS GOD’S SERVANTS WERE CONCERNED. “LET THEM ALONE” (MATTHEW 15:19) WAS NOW THEIR ORDERS: COMPARE JUDE 22. Whether or not it was possible for God, consistently with His holiness, to shame them, our passage does not decide.

“Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh” (verse 6). This is brought in to show the aggravation of their awful crime and the impossibility of their being renewed again unto repentance. By renouncing their Christian profession they declared Christ to be an Imposter. Thus they were irreclaimable. To attempt any further reasoning with them, would only be casting pearls before swine. With this verse should be carefully compared the parallel passage in Hebrews 10:26-29. These apostates had “received the knowledge of the truth”, though not a saving knowledge of it. Afterward they sinned “willfully”: there was a deliberate and open disavowal of the truth. The nature of their particular sin is termed a “treading under foot the Son of God (SOMETHING WHICH NO REAL CHRISTIAN EVER DOES) and counting (esteeming) the blood of the covenant an unholy thing”, that is, looking upon the One who hung on the Cross as a common malefactor. For such there “remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”. Their case is hopeless so far as man is concerned; and the writer believes, such are abandoned by God also.

“Seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame”. “They thus identify themselves with His crucifiers—they entertained and avowed sentiments which were He on earth and in their power, would induce them to crucify Him. They exposed Him to infamy, made a public example of Him. They did more to dishonor Jesus Christ than His murderers did. They never professed to acknowledge His divine mission; but these apostates had made such a profession—they had made a kind of trial of Christianity, and, after trial, had rejected it” (Dr. J. Brown).

Taking the passage as a whole, it needs to be remembered that ALL WHO HAD PROFESSED TO RECEIVE THE GOSPEL WERE NOT BORN OF GOD: THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER SHOWS THAT. Intelligence might be informed, conscience searched, natural affections stirred, and yet there be “NO ROOT” in them [Job 19:28]. All is not gold that glitters. THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A “MIXT MULTITUDE” (Ex. 12:38) who accompany the people of God. Moreover, there is in the real Christian the old heart, which is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”, and therefore is he in constant need of faithful warning. Such, God has given in every dispensation: Genesis 2:17; Leviticus 26:15, 16; Matthew 3:8; Romans 11:21; 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Finally, let it be said that while Scripture speaks plainly and positively of the perseverance of the saints, yet it is a perseverance of SAINTS, not UNREGENERATE PROFESSORS. Divine preservation is not only in a safe state, but also in a holy course of disposition and conduct. We are “kept by the power of God through faith”. We are kept by the Spirit working in us a spirit of entire dependency, renouncing our own wisdom and strength. THE ONLY PLACE FROM WHICH WE CANNOT FALL IS ONE DOWN IN THE DUST. It is there the Lord brings His own people, weaning them from ALL CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH, and giving them to experience that it is when they are weak they are strong. SUCH, AND SUCH ONLY, ARE SAVED AND SAFE FOREVER.

[The above is gleaned and paraphrased from the writings of A.W. Pink, John Owen and John Brown]

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