A PRAYER REQUEST

A PRAYER REQUEST

I am going to be away for awhile because my wife and I are desperately trying to sell her late mother’s house and for some reason it isn’t getting sold. This house is situated in another town and every time a prospective buyer calls up we have to travel all the way there on my bike to show them the house. We’ve been doing this for almost three months and now it’s finally getting to us . . . so many coming by to check out the house and nobody closing the deal.

Please pray that God will send along a buyer who will like the house and buy it .. . . ASAP. Our finances depend on it. Thank you. You are all very dear to my heart.

With lots of Luv 
Your servant for His sake
Mike

 

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ONLY GOD’S ELECT KNOW SOMETHING OF THE POWER OF SIN! DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING OF ITS POWER? 

ONLY GOD’S ELECT KNOW SOMETHING OF THE POWER OF SIN! DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING OF ITS POWER?

The power of Sin is a power unfathomable and indescribable. The great strength of sin consists in this– that it is a subtle and secret influence pervading and permeating every thread and fiber of the human mind, and acting in a way that must be felt to be known.

It is like a river, deep and rapid, such as the Danube (Europe’s second longest river), but flowing along so quietly and noiselessly that, looking down upon it, you could scarcely believe there was any strength in the stream. Try it; get into it. As long as you let yourself float with it you will not perceive its force; but turn and swim or row against it; then you will soon find what strength there is in the stream that seemed to glide so quietly along.

So it is with the power of sin. As long as a man floats down the stream of sin, he is unconscious of the power that it is exercising over him. He gives way to it, and is therefore ignorant of its strength, though it is sweeping him along into an abyss of eternal woe. Let him oppose it. Or let a dam be made across the river that seemed to flow along so placidly. See how the stream begins to rise! See how it begins to rage and roar! And see how soon its violence will sweep over or carry away the barrier that was thrown across it!

So with the strength of sin. Serve sin– obey it– it seems to have no strength. Resist it– then you find its secret power, so that but for the strength of God, you would be utterly carried away by it.

“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins!” [Matt 1:21]

i.e. from the penalty of sin in Redemption, from the power of sin through Sanctification and finally from the very presence of sin in Glorification!

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death (past), and doth deliver (present): in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us (future)!” [2Cor 1:9,10]

Praise the LORD!

(from the writings of J.C. Philpot)

IDENTIFYING GOD’S SHEEP

IDENTIFYING GOD’S SHEEP

Michael Jeshurun

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” [1John 4:6]

This God cannot be known by ‘walking an aisle’, ‘saying a little prayer’, signing a ‘decision card’ or getting baptized when you are old enough, but only by REVELATION!

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast HID THESE THINGS from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED THEM unto babes”. [Matt 11:25]

Again – “Unto YOU (His elect) it is GIVEN to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [why?] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. [Mark 4:11,12]

Now THIS is the God I came to know shortly after my salvation. THIS is the God of the Scriptures! To the unbelieving heart and even the nominal religious Christian THIS God described above is nothing short of a monster!

A.W.Pink once wrote to a brother he was ministering to – “PREACH ELECTION, AND YOU WILL KNOW WHO THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS ARE!” I would say a hearty “Amen!” to that, for I am convinced that the doctrine of divine predestination is not some high doctrine only to be understood by ‘older divines’ and ‘Fathers’ in the lord, but a truth that can be grasped EVEN BY A BABE IN THE LORD.

I have personally labored much to present the truth of divine Predestination in many a pulpit in our land as the Lord gave me the opportunity. But I was to them as one who spoke in a strange tongue. And the reason for this is that very few in Christendom today are REGENERATED CHRISTIANS who ‘know the Lord’ or rather are ‘known of Him’. A great majority (99%) of those who warm the pews are ‘NATURAL MEN’ who worship A GOD OF THEIR OWN MAKING. Only a babe in Christ will desire the ‘sincere milk of the Word’. And believe me, what is preached in the existing ‘pulpits’ of our day is NOT EVEN ‘MILK’ let alone ‘MEAT’. It’s just plain hogwash!

THE CHRIST OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THE SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!

In one of his letters to Erasmus, Luther said, “Your thoughts of God are too human.” Probably that renowned scholar resented such a rebuke, the more so, since it proceeded from a miner’s son. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly deserved. I, too, pose the same charge against the vast majority of the preachers of our day, and against those who, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, lazily accept the teachings of their Seminaries. The most dishonoring conceptions of the rule and reign of the Almighty are now held almost everywhere. To countless thousands, even professing Christians, THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE IS QUITE UNKNOWN.

Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel,
“THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS THYSELF” (Psalm 50:21).

Such must now be His indictment against apostate Christendom. MEN IMAGINE THE MOST HIGH IS MOVED BY SENTIMENT, RATHER THAN BY PRINCIPLE. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to AN OFFER OF THE GOSPEL which sinners may ACCEPT or REJECT as they please.

All that to say, whether it is our salvation, our knowledge of God and His ways or our works for Him, in every thing ALL the glory is due to Him and Him alone. This is one reason why I am convinced that I am one of His elect. For His Spirit has in His grace and mercy revealed to me WHO HE IS!

AND THE DOCTRINE WHICH HE HAS TAUGHT ME GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PUTS MAN WHERE HE BELONGS ….IN THE DUST!

This is how I know that I am one of His elect! And this is how I recognize OTHERS who are elected with me. They have come to believe the GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES!

While for some sheep it may take a while to fully grasp truth of the Sovereignty of God and the impotence of man in regards to salvation, if notwithstanding even after many years of being exposed to the truth of Sovereign Grace they still insist and harp on Creature Ability . . . it is plain that IT IS NOT GIVEN UNTO THEM! [Matt 13:11]

It is best to – LET THEM ALONE! [Matt 15:14]

IF THE LORD IS YOUR SHEPHERD THEN YOU’RE GOOD TO GO

IF THE LORD IS YOUR SHEPHERD THEN YOU’RE GOOD TO GO

From Spurgeon’s Treasury of David

It should be the subject of grateful admiration that the great God allows himself to be compared to anything which will set forth his great love and care for his own people. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd. He compares himself to a creature weak, defenseless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and indeed his everything.

No one has the right to consider himself the Lord’s sheep unless his nature has been renewed, for the scriptural description of the unconverted does not picture them as sheep but as wolves or goats. A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with great price.

It is well to know, as certainly David did, that we belong to the Lord. There is not “if” or “but” or even “I hope so” in this sentence. We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependance on our Heavenly Father. The sweetest word of the whole is MY, He does not say “The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as His flock”. If He is a Shepherd to no one else, He is a Shepherd to ME. The words are in the present tense. Whatever the believer’s position, he is under the pastoral care of Jehovah now.

I SHALL NOT WANT

These positive words are a sort of inference from the first statement. When the lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply my needs, and he is certainly willing to do so, for his heart is full of love. I shall not lack TEMPORAL THINGS: does he not feed the ravens, and cause the lilies to grow? How, then, can he leave his children to starve?

I shall not lack SPIRITUAL THINGS; I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. I may not possess all that I wish for, but I shall not lack. Others may, far wealthier and wiser than I, but I shall not.

“The young lions DO lack, and suffer hunger: but they that see the Lord SHALL NOT WANT any good thing.” It is not only “I do not want,” but “I shall not want.” Come what may, if famine should devastate the land, or calamity destroy the city, “I shall not want”. Old age with its feebleness will not bring me any lack, and even death with its gloom will not find me destitute.

I have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because the Lord is my Shepherd. The wicked will always want, but the righteous never; a sinner’s heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content.

THE NEED FOR SUPERNATURAL REVELATION TO KNOW GOD

THE NEED FOR SUPERNATURAL REVELATION TO KNOW GOD

A.W. Pink

God can only be known by means of a supernatural revelation of Himself. Apart from the Scriptures, even a theoretical acquaintance with Him is impossible. It still holds true that “the world by wisdom knew not God” (1 Cor. 1:21). Where the Scriptures are ignored, God is “the unknown God” (Acts 17:23). But something more than the Scriptures is required before the soul can know God, know him in a real, personal, vital way.

This seems to be recognized by few today. The prevailing practice assumes that a knowledge of God can be obtained through studying the Word, in the same way as a knowledge of chemistry may be secured by mastering its textbooks. An intellectual knowledge of God maybe; not so a spiritual one. A supernatural God can only be known supernaturally (i.e. known in a manner above that which mere nature can acquire), by a supernatural revelation of Himself to the heart. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). The one who has been favoured with this supernatural experience has learned that only “in Thy light shall we see light” (Psa. 36:9).

God can only be known through a supernatural facultyChrist made this clear when He said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The unregenerate have no spiritual knowledge of God. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). Water, of itself, never rises above its own level. So the natural man is incapable of perceiving that which transcends mere nature. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God” (John 17:3). Eternal life must be imparted before the “true God” can be known. Plainly is this affirmed in 1 John 5:20, “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true.” Yes, an “understanding,” a spiritual understanding, by new creation, must be given before God can be known in a spiritual way.

If God has revealed Himself to you dear reader, He has given you a sight of yourself, for in His light we “see light.” A most humbling, painful, and never-to-be-forgotten experience this is. When God was revealed to Abraham, he said, “I am but dust and ashes” (Gen. 18:27). When He was revealed to Isaiah, the prophet said, “Woe is me for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). When God revealed Him-self to Job, he said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6)—note, not merely I abhor my wicked ways, but my vile self. Is this your experience, my reader? Have you discovered your depravity and lost condition? Have you found there is not a single good thing in you? Have you seen yourself to be fit for and deserving only of hell? Have you, truly? Then that is good evidence, yea, it is proof positive that the Lord God has “found” you.

A DESIRE TO BE WITH CHRIST – WHICH IS FAR BETTER [Phil 1:23]

A DESIRE TO BE WITH CHRIST – WHICH IS FAR BETTER [Phil 1:23]

C.H. Spurgeon

We know that death is not the end of our being. By a confident faith we are persuaded that better things await us in another state. We are speeding onwards through our brief life like an arrow shot from a bow, and we feel that we shall not drop down at the end of our flight into the dreariness of annihilation, but we shall find a heavenly target far across the flood of death.

The force which impels us onwards is too mighty to be restrained by death. We have that within us which is not to be accounted for, if there be not a world to come, and especially, as believers, we have hopes, and desires, and aspirations, which cannot be fulfilled, and which must have been given us purposely to make us miserable, and to tantalize us, if there be not a state in which every one of these shall be satisfied and filled to the brim with Joy.

We know, too, that the world into which we shall soon be ushered is one which shall never pass away. We have learned full well by experience that all things here are but for a season. They are things which shall be shaken, and, therefore, will not remain in the day when God shall shake both heaven and earth. But equally certain are we that the inheritance which awaits us in the world to come is eternal and unfailing, that the cycles of ages shall never move it; that the onflowing of eternity itself shall not diminish its duration.

We know that the world to which we go is not to be measured by leagues, nor is the life thereof to be calculated by centuries. Well does it become every one of us, then, professing the Christian name, to be questioning ourselves as to the view which we take of the world to come. lt may be there are some of you now present who call yourselves believers, who look into a future state with shuddering and awe. Possibly there may be but few here who have attained to the position of the apostle, when he could say, that he had a desire to depart and to be with Christ. I take it that our view of our own death is one of the readiest tokens by which we may judge of our own spiritual condition.

When men fear death it is not certain that they are wicked, but it is quite certain that if they have faith it is in a very weak and sickly condition. When men desire death we may not rest assured that they are therefore righteous, for they may desire it for wrong reasons; but if for right reasons they are panting to enter into another state, we may gather from this, not only that their minds are right with God, but that their faith is sanctified and that their love is fervent.

IT IS THY GENTLENESS THAT HATH MADE ME GREAT

IT IS THY GENTLENESS THAT HATH MADE ME GREAT

C.H. Spurgeon

“Thy gentleness hath made me great!” [Psalm 18:35]

The words are capable of being translated, “Thy goodness hath made me great.” David gratefully ascribed all his greatness not to his own goodness, but the goodness of God. “Thy providence,” is another reading; and providence is nothing more than goodness in action. Goodness is the bud of which providence is the flower, or goodness is the seed of which providence is the harvest. Some render it, “Thy help,” which is but another word for providence; providence being the firm ally of the saints, aiding them in the service of their Lord.

Or again, “Thy humility hath made me great.” “Thy condescension” may, perhaps, serve as a comprehensive reading, combining the ideas mentioned, including that of humility. It is God’s making himself little which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little, that if God should manifest His greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under His feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do, turns His eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great.

There are yet other readings, as for instance, the Septuagint, which reads, “Thy discipline”-Thy fatherly correction-“hath made me great;” while the Chaldee paraphrase reads, “Thy word hath increased me.” Still the idea is the same. David ascribes all his own greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven. May this sentiment be echoed in our hearts this evening while we cast our crowns at Jesus’ feet, and cry, Thy gentleness hath made me great.”

How marvellous has been our experience of God’s gentleness! How gentle have been His corrections! How gentle His forbearance! How gentle His teachings! How gentle His drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened ere thou fallest asleep to-night.

PRAY THAT GOD WOULD OPEN THINE EYES TO BEHOLD THE WONDERS IN HIS WORD

PRAY THAT GOD WOULD OPEN THINE EYES TO BEHOLD THE WONDERS IN HIS WORD

C.H. Spurgeon

“Open THOU mine eyes, that l may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” [Psalm 119:18]

Some men can perceive no wonders in the gospel, but David felt sure that there were glorious things in the law: he had not half the Bible, but he prized it more than some men prize the whole. He felt that God had laid up great bounties in his word, and he begs for power to perceive, appreciate, and enjoy the same. We need not so much that God should give us more benefits, as the ability to see what he has given.

The prayer implies a conscious darkness, a dimness of spiritual vision, a powerlessness to remove that defect, and a full assurance that God can remove it. It shows also that the writer knew that there were vast treasures in the word which he had not yet fully seen, marvels which he had not yet beheld, mysteries which he had scarcely believed. The Scriptures teem with marvels; the Bible is wonder land; it not only relates miracles, but it is itself a world of wonders. Yet what are these to closed eyes? And what man can open his own eyes, since he is born blind? God himself must reveal revelation to each heart. Scripture needs opening, but not one half so much as our eyes do: the veil is not on the book, but on our hearts. What perfect precepts, what precious promises, what priceless privileges are neglected by us because we wander among them like blind men among the beauties of nature, and they are to us as a landscape shrouded in darkness!

The Psalmist had a measure of spiritual perception, or he would never have known that there were wondrous things to be seen, nor would he have prayed, “open thou mine eyes”; but what he had seen made him long for a clearer and wider sight. This longing proved the genuineness of what he possessed, for it is a test mark of the true knowledge of God that it causes its possessor to thirst for deeper knowledge.

David’s prayer in this verse is a good sequel to Psalms 119:10, which corresponds to it in position in its octave: there he said, “O let me not wander,” and who so apt to wander as a blind man? and there, too, he declared, “with my whole heart have I sought thee,” and hence the desire to see the object of his search. Very singular are the interlacings of the boughs of the huge tree of this Psalm 119, which has many wonders even within itself if we have opened eyes to mark them.

THAT HORRIBLE DECREE OF REPROBATION

THAT HORRIBLE DECREE OF REPROBATION

Prof. G.Van Baren

There is something concerning God’s eternal decree of predestination, and particularly the decree of reprobation, which seems immediately to arouse the ire of man. Mention election or reprobation, and man closes his ears. Send to him material on such a subject, and he will return it with the acid comment, “I don’t want such stuff in my mailbox.” Even John Calvin, that noted Reformer and champion of the truth of predestination, is reported to have called reprobation “that horrible decree” (a deliberately poor translation of his statements). Why such opposition? Is it possible that the reason is that this scriptural truth particularly exalts God as Sovereign alone and teaches that man is but a mere creature? It puts man in his proper place. Is this why man so strongly objects?

Is there such a thing as reprobation? That usually is denied. But, will you be willing to make a careful study of scriptural passages on this point? The teaching of Scripture must stand—it is the Word of God.

I would define reprobation as that eternal will, good pleasure, or purpose of God according to which He determined that some of His moral-rational creatures would be cast into hell forever on account of their sins, and that this fact would serve the cause of Christ and redound to God’s glory alone.

Now wait a moment before condemning that idea of reprobation out of hand. First, let us view several pertinent scriptural passages which speak of this subject. Possibly the most clear statements concerning reprobation can be found in Romans 9. Before they were ever born or had done any good or evil, God had said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (v. 13). Of Pharaoh, whose heart God had hardened so that he would not let Israel go from Egypt, we read “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout the earth” (v. 17). Romans 9 mentions also that “whom He will, He hardeneth” (v. 18), and it speaks of “vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction” (v. 22). What else can we say of passages such as these but that they plainly teach reprobation of some to hell because of their sin? Other passages are equally lucid. In I Peter 2:8 we read, “… a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” Not only then does Scripture teach that it is God Who determines the end or final destiny of all men, but also that such determination is from all eternity. (Other passages which might profitably be examined are: Dan. 4:34; I Sam. 2:25; Matt. 11:25-27; John 8:43; Rom. 11:7-8; II Sam. 16:10; II Sam. 17:14; John 10:26; Rev. 17:17 and many others.)

Does this mean that the reprobate, no matter what he does, is damned to hell? God forbid that such should be the case, or that we should ever teach that. This question is deliberately deceiving. Consider first that all men in Adam are dead in sin (Rom. 5:12). That plainly means that every man born into this world is wholly incapable of doing any good and is inclined to all the evil (see also Romans 3). There is not even the remotest possibility that good works, well-pleasing to our God, could ever proceed from the dead sinner. Can a physically dead person eat or drink? Far less could the dead sinner ever perform good deeds. Let none dare charge us, or any true Calvinist, with teaching the lie that a reprobate could love and serve God faithfully all he would—but will nevertheless be cast into hell. Such never happens. Be not deceived! God’s grace is not given to the reprobate; they are not in Jesus Christ; and therefore they can do nothing pleasing to God.

Secondly, I would call to your attention that the reprobate are always damned to eternal hell because of their own sin. It is true that God determined what their final end would be—and He did so before they were ever born (again I ask you: in what other way could one possibly interpret the passages quoted above without denying the plain meaning contained in those texts?). But the wicked are definitely cast into the torments of eternal hell for their own evil acts. Never can they point the finger at God, declaring, “Thou hast forced me to do that which was contrary to Thy will; therefore I am not worthy of any punishment.” The reprobate, the wicked, consciously and willingly sin, and for that sin they shall surely be cast into eternal desolation. One of the many scriptural passages which shows this is Luke 11:49-51: “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the alter and the temple: verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.”

But is not God then unjust? Is it not terribly unfair on God’s part to determine that any should perish? What kind of God is he? Stop with those charges, brother. Who do you think that God is? Thinkest thou that He must conform to your puny reasoning? Since when does the Almighty God owe to any man life? Why should the Sovereign of heaven and earth be required to bestow His grace upon all? Must He bring every moral-rational creature into heaven? Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God? (Rom.9:20). The potter has power over the clay to make of the same lump one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour (Rom. 9:21). Is God unjust when He does with His own as He sees fit? I confess that I can not penetrate into the depths of the wisdom of God and explain why such a one would be reprobated, and another elected. All we can say, with Scripture, is that God does all things to His own good pleasure to the glory of His own Name.

But, you ask, why (if God determines all this) should there even be reprobate wicked? Why should God, from before the foundations of the world, also determine that some should be cast into hell because of the sins they perform? If God truly directs all things, could not He indeed have prevented sin, and rather determined that all men should enjoy the blessings of eternal life? I will try to posit several reasons for this act of God. I do not pretend to be able to search out the eternal counsel of God, but, on the basis of Scripture, several reasons can definitely be given.

1. The decree of reprobation must serve the glory of God. God directs all things that His glory might the more fully be revealed. Do not the twenty-four elders of Revelation 4 cry out, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive all honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (v. 11)? But how, you ask, can reprobation serve to reveal the glory of God in the best possible way? Through the decree of reprobation God reveals His eternal hatred and wrath against sin and the sinner. His own purity becomes manifest in His utter condemnation and punishment of the workers of iniquity. Apart from God’s decree of reprobation this would never have been so clearly revealed. Do you object? Does not the Potter have power over the clay also to fashion vessels of dishonour to serve His own pleasure and to reveal His own glory and goodness?

2. But there is more. In Holy Scripture it becomes very evident that the heart or centre of all of the counsel or plan of God is Christ—and in Christ, the church. God would reveal Himself in the highest possible way by gathering a particular people in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. Is it not this truth of which we read in Ephesians 1:4-6, “According as He hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world … having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace …”

The wonder of God is revealed in this that the gathering of this Church in Christ is served by all things which take place (Rom. 8:28). The same is true concerning those whom God has reprobated, and who shall be cast into hell because of their sins. These too must serve the purpose of God in gathering and defending the church of Christ. And the evil deeds, in which these wicked ones seek to oppose God and destroy His church, can and do work rather to the benefit of the Church. The wicked, according to God’s determination (Acts 4:27-28), crucified the Christ—which was the only way of redemption for the church. The wicked may seek to oppress the church and try to cause that church to defect, but this only drives the child of God deeper into the arms of the Comforting Rock. Thus God uses these very reprobate to prepare and equip His people for their future abode in glory.

We see then that reprobation is not a “horrible” decree on an equal par with the wonder of election. God did not arbitrarily declare: “I want to cast some people in hell, and I want to bring some to heaven.” God forbid! But God worked all things (creation and also this decree of reprobation) to serve election (so that in time on this earth all God’s people are gathered and finally brought to glory through the work of Christ on the cross). Again I confess that I can not penetrate into all of the wonder and wisdom of God which is here revealed. But this I must say, and you must confess, that God has revealed Himself in Scripture. Also this truth of reprobation then must be for my comfort and assurance in the midst of this world.

Can or must this decree of reprobation be preached by the ministers of the Word? Would not such a truth serve rather to discourage the church and turn away those outside of the church? How can one go forth in missionary labours—and teach such a decree of reprobation? Granted that this decree is true, would it not be the part of wisdom to be silent about it?

1. Of course, there would be something wrong if every minister every Sunday would preach sermons on reprobation. Christ, His cross, and His church are the centre of all the Word. And these truths must be clearly taught by the minister of the Word. He may not simply emphasize one point to the exclusion of others. But neither can the true minister of Christ’s Word avoid teaching the truth of reprobation. God’s Word does not ignore it—how then can the preacher of the Word ignore this truth? It is a truth which may not be hid.

2. In preaching, the minister of the Word is called to preach the whole Word of God. And when he preaches, he addresses particularly the church of Christ (notice that the epistles are also addressed in this way). No minister can properly preach first for the elect; then include a word for the reprobate; but always he addresses the Church of Christ. The minister is not called to distinguish and point out which individuals are elect and which are reprobate. God determines that—not man. And it is God, through the Holy Spirit, Who so applies the preaching of the Word that it finds a ready entrance into the heart of the elect and bears fruit, but in the heart of the reprobate that same preached Word arouses greater and greater opposition and hatred.

3. Certainly this truth of God’s decree of reprobation is meant to strike terror into the hearts of the wicked. When this truth is properly preached, the wicked have the sure testimony of God that he will reward them according to their works.

4. Finally, does this truth not discourage the church? Would not a Christian begin to think, “Maybe, after all, I’m a reprobate”? God forbid. One who is truly concerned with his own spiritual welfare, who sees and acknowledges sincerely before God the greatness of his sin; such a one sees in himself not the fruits of reprobation, but of election. Then the Christian is not frightened by reprobation as far as his own person is concerned. Rather, this doctrine gives him unspeakable comfort and assurance. Despite all that the wicked seek to do to God’s church, the Christian knows that God has still absolute government and control. That government is also over all the wicked. They too can only serve His eternal purpose. And the final end of the wicked God has determined for the vindication of His own Name. Should not the church constantly be assured of this glorious fact in the preaching of the Word?

Oh, wonder of the greatness of our glorious God! Unspeakable are His ways, and His judgments past finding out! May He also grant that we may never be ashamed to maintain this His Word even as He has revealed it to us!

KNOW YOUR BIBLE, CHRISTIAN!

KNOW YOUR BIBLE, CHRISTIAN!

Michael Jeshurun

“Alexander Scourby was an accomplished Broadway actor, radio personality, narrator of many television documentaries, and a highly paid voice over talent for some of the largest United States corporations. His expressive way of narrating the Bible is more than just a narration, it was a performance of a lifetime. His narration of the Bible has been the most widely listened to narration of the Bible in the world and is still the most sought after narration on the market today.” – Ryan Mcguire

As far as diction, fluency, enunciation and feeling goes there is no comparison to Scourby’s reading of the KJV. It is the best there is! I have been listening to him almost every time I am cooking or doing dishes in the kitchen for the last 29 years. Sadly it is not without error. And some errors can doctrinally lead you astray, such as when he reads Psalm 58:3 as “The wicked are estranged from the TOMB!” or when he narrates 1John 2:18 as “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard AN that antichrist shall come . .” the KJV does not say “AN Antichrist” but just “as ye have heard that antichrist shall come”. There are many more. Just Google – “Does Alexander Scourby Read the King James Version Accurately?”

Maybe this was not done deliberately, but then maybe it was! You never know. Men just cannot stomach how an ‘innocent’ looking baby can go astray ‘from the womb’. But hey, if God said it . . . IT IS SO! As A.W. Pink said long ago – “Our business is not to REASON about it, but to BOW to Holy Scripture. Our first duty is not to UNDERSTAND, but to BELIEVE what God has said.” One preacher when asked if he truly believed that a whale swallowed Jonah, retorted – “I could care less whether the whale swallowed Jonah or Jonah swallowed the whale, if my Bible says it is so . . . IT IS SO!” Amen! For with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! [Mark 10:27]

WHAT is the ‘moral’ behind all this? THIS – be familiar with the Word of God, so that no preacher or teacher deceives you or beguiles you with vain words. [Eph 5:6]. Read the naked Word of God everyday regularly and familiarize yourselves with the Scriptures. As the Spirit says – “Keep My commandments, and live; and My law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, WRITE THEM UPON THE TABLE OF THINE HEART.” [Prov 7:2,3] That means ‘MEMORIZE’ Scripture as much as you can. Remember, the Holy Spirit can only bring to mind the Scripture YOU already know. He doesn’t bring to your mind verses out of ‘thin air’!

Because there are a lot of people out there misquoting Scripture. Some like Scourby may be doing it ignorantly, while other enemies of the Truth do it DELIBERATELY!

Consider for instance Dave Hunt – he reads [Acts 13:48] as “and as many as were DISPOSED to eternal life believed” not “and as many as were ORDAINED to eternal life believed.” and WHY would he do that? Because he is an enemy of Sovereign Grace! And if while listening to such heretics you are not familiar with the Scriptures you could be taken for a chump!

Don’t let it happen to YOU. Strive to be as Apollos – ‘mighty in the Scriptures’! [Acts 18:24] The Word! The Word! The Word beloved! It’s all in the Word! It’s the secret of victory, success, blessing and fruitfulness! It all depends on what place you give the Word of God in your life! May it be the FIRST! For “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God!” [John 1:1] Praise His Name!