THE CHRISTIAN IS KNOWN BY HIS FRUITS

THE CHRISTIAN IS KNOWN BY HIS FRUITS

 A.W. Pink

 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” [Matthew 7:15-20].

No idle or needless warning was this, but one which should be seriously taken to heart by all who have any concern for the glory of God or value their eternal interests. Our danger is real and pressing, for “false prophets” are not few in number but “many” (1 John 4:1), and instead of being found only in the notoriously heretical sects, have “crept in” among saints until they now dominate nearly all the centers of orthodoxy. If we are deceived by them and imbibe their lies the result is almost certain to be fatal, for error acts upon the soul as deadly poison does on the body. The very fact that these impostors assume “sheep’s clothing” and pose as the servants of Christ greatly increases the peril of the unwary and unsuspicious. For these reasons it is imperative that we should be on our guard. But to be properly on our guard requires that we should be informed, that we should know how to recognize these deceivers. Nor has our Lord left us unfurnished at this vital point, as the succeeding verses show.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” False prophets are to be identified by what they produce. By their “fruits” we understand, principally, their creed, their character, and their converts. Is it not by these three things that we recognize the true prophets? The genuine servants of God give evidence of their Divine commission by THE DOCTRINE they proclaim: their preaching is in full accord with the Word of Truth. The general tenor of their lives is in harmony therewith, so that their daily walk is an example of practical godliness. Those whom the Spirit quickens and edifies under their preaching bear the features of their ministerial fathers and follow the lead of their shepherds. Conversely, the ministers of Satan, though feigning to be the champions of the Truth, oppose and corrupt it: some by denying its Divine authority, some by mingling human tradition with it, others by wresting it or by withholding vital, portions thereof. Though their outward conduct is often beyond reproach, yet their inward character, the spirit which actuates them, is that of the WOLF-SLY, cruel, fierce. And their converts or disciples are like unto them.

The true prophet accords GOD HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE.

He is owned as the King of kings and Lord of lords, as the One who “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” He is acknowledged to be the sovereign Ruler of heaven and earth, at whose disposal are all creatures and all events, for whose pleasure they are created (Rev. 4:11), whose will is invincible and whose power is irresistible. He is declared to be God in fact as well as in name: One whose claims upon us are paramount and incontestable, One who is to be held in the utmost reverence and awe, One who is to be served with fear and rejoiced in with trembling (Ps. 2:11). Such a God the false prophets neither believe in nor preach. On the contrary, they prate about a God who wants to do this and who would like to do that, but cannot because His creatures will not permit it. Having endowed man with a free will, he must neither be compelled nor coerced, and while Deity is filled with amiable intentions He is unable to carry them out. Man is the architect of his fortunes and the decider of his own destiny, and God a mere Spectator.

The true prophet gives CHRIST HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE, which is very much more than to be sound concerning His person.

Romanists are more orthodox about the deity and humanity of Christ than are multitudes of Protestants, yet the former as much as the latter are grossly heterodox upon His official status. The true prophet proclaims the Lord Jesus as THE COVENANT HEAD of His people, who was set up before the foundation of the world to fulfil all the terms of the covenant of grace on their behalf and to secure for them all its blessings. He sets forth Christ as the “Surety” and “Mediator” of the covenant (Heb. 7:22; 8:6), as the One who came here to fulfil His covenant engagements: “Lo, I come, to do Thy will, O God”-it was a voluntary act, yet in discharge of a sacred agreement. All that Christ did here upon earth and that which He is now doing in heaven was and is the working out of an eternal compact. Every. thing relating to the Church’s salvation was planned and settled by covenant stipulation between the Eternal Three. Nothing was left to chance, nothing remained uncertain, nothing was rendered contingent upon anything the creature must do. About this glorious and fundamental truth the false prophets are completely SILENT.

It was to fit Him for His covenant engagements that the Surety became incarnate. It was to redeem His people from the curse of the Law that Christ was made under it, fulfilled its terms, endured its penalty in the room and stead of His covenant people. It was for THEM, and NO OTHERS, that He shed His precious blood. Because He faithfully and perfectly discharged His covenant obligations, the Father has sworn with an oath that all for whom He acted shall be eternally saved, that not one of these shall perish, solemnly declaring that “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isa. 53:11). God has made with Christ, and His people in Hint, “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure (2 Sam. 23:5). But the false prophets REVERSE ALL THIS. They misrepresent the redemptive work of Christ as being a VAGUE, INDEFINITE, GENERAL, PROMISCUOUS THING, RENDERING NOTHING SURE. They believe Christ shed His blood for Judas equally with Peter, and for Pilate as truly as Paul. They preach a salvation which is uncertain and contingent, as though it were for anybody or nobody as the caprice of men shall decide: Christ provided it and if we accept of it well and good; if not, He will be disappointed.

The true prophet PUTS MAN IN HIS PROPER PLACE.

He declares that man is a depraved, ruined and lost creature, dead in trespasses and sins. He points out that man is alienated from God, that his mind is enmity against Him, that he is an inveterate rebel against Him. He shows this to be true not only of those in heathendom, but equally so of those born in Christendom: that “There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10, 11). He makes it clear that man is a total wreck, that no part of his being has escaped the fearful consequences of his original revolt from his Maker: that his understanding is darkened, his affections corrupted, his will enslaved. Because of what transpired in Eden man has become the slave of sin and the captive of the Devil. He has no love for the true and living God, but instead a heart that is filled with hatred against Him; so far from desiring or seeking after Him, he endeavors by every imaginable means to banish Him from his thoughts. He is blind to His excellency, deaf to His voice, defiant of His authority and unconcerned for His glory.

The true prophet goes still farther. He not only portrays the sinner as he actually is, but HE ANNOUNCES THAT MAN IS UTTERLY UNABLE TO CHANGE HIMSELF OR BETTER HIS CONDITION ONE IOTA. He solemnly announces man to be “without strength,” that he CANNOT bring himself into subjection to the Divine Law or perform a single action pleasing to God (Rom. 8:7, 8). He insists that the Ethiopian can change his skin or the leopard his spots more readily than they who are accustomed to do evil can perform that which is good (Jer. 13:1, 23). In short, he declares that man is hopelessly and irremediably lost unless a sovereign God is pleased to perform a miracle of grace upon him. But it is the very opposite with the false prophets. They speak “smooth things” and flatter their hearers, persuading them that their case is very far from being as desperate as it really is. If they do not expressly repudiate the Fall, or term it (as the Evolutionists) a “fall upward,” they greatly minimize it, making it appear to be only a slight accident which may be repaired by our own exertions, that man is little affected by it, THAT HE STILL HAS “THE POWER TO ACCEPT CHRIST.”

According as the fall of man be viewed and preached so will be the conceptions of men concerning the need and nature of redemption. Almost every Gospel truth will necessarily be colored by the light in which we view the extent of the fall. Take the truth of ELECTION: which is the deciding factor-God’s will or mine? Why, if I be in possession of freedom of will and am now on probation, everything must turn on the use I make of this all-important endowment. But can this be made to square with the Scriptures? Yes, by a little wresting of them. It is true that false prophets hate the very word “election,” but if they are pressed into a corner they will try and wriggle out of it by saying that those whom God elected unto salvation are the ones whom He foreknew would be willing to accept Christ, and that explanation satisfies ninety-nine per cent of their hearers. The truth is God foreknew that if He left men to their pleasure NONE would ever accept Christ (Rom. 9:29), and therefore He made sovereign and unconditional selection from among them. HAD NOT GOD ETERNALLY CHOSEN ME, I CERTAINLY HAD NEVER CHOSEN HIM.

The same holds true of REGENERATION.

If the sinner be spiritually impotent and his case hopeless so far as all self-effort and help are concerned, then he can no more quicken himself than can a rotten corpse in the tomb. A dead man is powerless, and that is precisely the natural condition of every member of the human race, religious and irreligious alike: “dead in trespasses and sins.” The individual concerned in it contributes no more to his new birth than he did to his first. This was expressly insisted upon by Christ when He declared: “which were born not of blood [by descent from godly parents], nor of the will of the flesh [by their own volition], nor of the will of man [by a persuasive preacher], but of God” (John 1:13). There must be an act of Divine creation before anyone is made a new creature in Christ. But the false prophets represent man to be merely “bruised” or at most crippled by the fall, and insist that he may be born again simply by accepting Christ as his personal Saviour-a thing which none can do until he is brought from death unto life.

The genuine prophet trumpets forth with no uncertain sound the grand truth of JUSTIFICATION.

Rightly did Luther declare that “Justification by faith is the doctrine of a standing or falling church,” for those who pervert it corrupt the Gospel at its very heart. In view of man’s fallen and depraved condition, in view of his being a transgressor of the Divine Law, lying beneath its awful condemnation, the question was asked of old, “How then can man be justified with God?” (Job 25:4). To be “justified” is very much more than being pardoned: it is the declaration by the Divine Judge that the believer is RIGHTEOUS, and therefore entitled to the reward of the Law, but how is this possible when man has no righteousness of his own and is totally unable to produce any? The answer is that Christ not only bore in His own body the sins of God’s elect, but He rendered to the Law a perfect obedience in their stead, and the moment they believe in Him His obedience is reckoned to their account, so that each can say, “in the Lord have I righteousness and strength” (Isa. 45:24). BUT THE FALSE PROPHETS DENY AND RIDICULE THIS BASIC TRUTH OF THE IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST.

The true prophet gives the HOLY SPIRIT HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE, not only in the Godhead, as co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son, but in connection with salvation.

Salvation is the gift of the Triune God: the Father planned it, the Son purchased it, the Spirit communicates it. The genuine servant of God is very explicit in declaring that the work of the Holy Spirit is as indispensable as the work of Christ: the One serving for His people, the Other acting in them. It is the distinctive office of the Spirit to illumine the understanding of God’s elect, to search their conscience and convict of their ruined and guilty condition. It is His office to work repentance in them, to communicate faith unto them, to draw out their hearts unto Christ. The soundest and most faithful preaching in the world will avail nothing else unless the Holy Spirit applies it in quickening power; the most winsome offers and persuasive appeals will be useless until the Spirit bestows the hearing ear. The true prophet knows this, and therefore has he no confidence in his own abilities, but humbly seeks and earnestly prays for the power of the Spirit to rest upon him. But how different is it with deceivers of souls!

The genuine servant of God not only realizes the truth of that word, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6) in connection with the fruitage of his labours, but he is also deeply conscious of his own need of being personally taught by the Spirit. He has been made to feel his utter insufficiency to handle sacred things, and to realize that if he is to enter into the SPIRITUAL meaning of the Word he must be Divinely taught in his own soul. A mere intellectual study of the letter of Scripture cannot satisfy one who longs for a deeper experimental knowledge of the Truth, nor will he be contented with simply informing the minds of his hearers. As it is a tender conscience and a fuller heart-acquaintance with God and His Christ that he covets for himself, so it is to the conscience and heart of his hearers that he addresses himself. IT IS THE OPPOSITE WITH THE FALSE PROPHETS: THEY ARE OCCUPIED SOLELY WITH THE LETTER OF SCRIPTURE, WITH OUTWARD PROFESSION: THERE IS NO DEEP PROBING, NOTHING SEARCHING IN THEIR MESSAGES, NOTHING TO DISTURB THE RELIGIOUS WORLDLING.

Another mark by which many of the false prophets may be recognized is the disproportionate place they give to PROPHECY in their preaching and teaching.

This has ever been a favorite device of religious charlatans, as those versed in ecclesiastical history are well aware. Nor should any observer of human nature be surprised at this. God has placed an impenetrable veil upon the future, so that none can know “what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). But man is intensely curious about coming events and gives a ready ear to any who pretend to be able to enlighten him. If on the one hand the irreligious will flock to palmists, astrologers and other fortune-tellers, the religious will crowd around anyone who claims to be able to explain the mysterious contents of the Apocalypse. IN TIMES OF WAR AND NATIONAL CALAMITY THE CURIOUS ARE EASILY BEGUILED BY MEN WITH CHARTS ON THE BOOK OF DANIEL. The express prohibition of our Lord, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons” (Acts 1:7), should deter His people from giving ear to those who claim to have “light” thereon.

In this chapter we have not dealt with false prophets generally, but have confined ourselves to THOSE WHO WEAR “SHEEP’S CLOTHING,” whose attacks are made upon the flock of Christ! These are men who boast of their soundness in the Faith, and obtain a hearing among those who regard themselves as the cream of orthodoxy. Thus far we have dwelt upon their creed, on what they believe and teach: in our next we shall describe some of the distinguishing traits of their characters, and then point out that the type of converts they make also serves to identify them by the “fruit” they produce. Our design in entering into such detail is that young Christians may be furnished with a full-length photo of these deceivers, and to make it clear that we are not condemning such because they differ from us on one or two minor matters, but because they are thoroughly corrupt in doctrine. Furthermore, in all that has been before us it should be clear that we should labour diligently to become thoroughly acquainted with God’s Word for ourselves-or how shall we be fitted to detect these seducers of souls? Ponder Acts 17:11.

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’]

Paul Washer’s Recent Heart Attack

Paul Washer’s Recent Heart Attack

by James Jennings on March 22, 2017

No doubt most have heard by now that on Monday night brother Paul Washer suffered a heart attack and was in critical condition. It was very sobering news to hear. I heard the news via a text message from a friend. At the time I was in my backyard assembling a play set for my children. At that moment what I was engaged in felt so mundane in view of the reality of the nearness of death. I then looked down at the grass and thought as 1 Peter 1:24 says, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS.” Paul’s flesh, and all of our flesh, it is like grass and can so quickly be scorched, whither up and be wasted away.

Some may remember what Paul had shared about his father in a testimony he had given:

My father and I began to have a really…a better relationship…. And one day we were working on the ranch. I just turned 17 and we were running barb wire… And we were talking as we were walking along, we were even laughing, we were having a good time, and all of a sudden he screamed. And when he screamed I caught him and we both fell to the ground and when I rolled him over he was dead. He had died of a massive heart attack.

Here his own father had died of a heart attack. Yet we can praise the Lord that Paul is currently in “stable condition”. We can pray for him with anticipation that he has not yet fully “served the purpose of God in his own generation” (Acts 13:36) and will yet have more time to labor for the Lord Jesus.

HeartCry is giving updates on Paul’s situation via his twitter account and their facebook page. I have embedded some of those below.

“Last night, Bro. Paul suffered a heart attack. He is in critical condition, though currently stable. More updates to follow here and on his Twitter account. Please pray for him and for his family!”   – Heartcry Missionary Society

“Paul is continuing to improve. We’re encouraged to see the progress, though slow. Continue praying!”

“Very happy to report Paul is much improved today! Still hurting and weary from the ordeal, but much improved. Prayers availing”

Notable quote from Paul: “If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t go to the third heaven.” “There won’t be any books.” 😉

Lots of good news re: tests, scans, and x-rays from yesterday. Everything looks good! He’s looking forward to being home in a few days.

MAN’S UNIVERSAL EPITAPH: “AND HE DIED!”

MAN’S UNIVERSAL EPITAPH: “AND HE DIED!”

William Bacon Stevens

“And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years — AND HE DIED.” Genesis 5:27

The book of GENESIS is the only one that takes us back to the morning of the world’s creation. Others begin with the origin of various tribes and kingdoms; this, alone, traces the lineage of humanity to the first man, Adam, as he stood forth fresh from the molding hand of God.

This is, indeed, a point of vast importance; but it is not on this alone that the value of this book depends. The single chapter from which our text is borrowed, though its few short verses are taken up by mere genealogical records, is yet of more worth, in a moral view, than the teeming folios of a hundred historians, aiming only to emblazon the deeds of a nation, or set off the glory of some mighty king. This single chapter is the headstone at the GRAVE OF THE WORLD before the flood, and its verses are but the epitaphs of departed generations.

The verse of my text, forming only two lines, is the record of nearly a thousand years of the world’s history; and what then better fitted to teach us . . .
the transitoriness of earthly scenes;
the vanity of life;
the certainty of death —
than a passage which, in so few words, SUMS up the life of the oldest man that ever lived; but only recounts his age to tell us at his end, “HE DIED!”

To get a proper idea of the life which Methuselah lived, let us imagine that he had just died, and been gathered only this year to his patriarchal fathers; and, going back to his childhood, observe the space of time which it would cover.

He would then have been . . .
over one hundred years old when PAPER was first introduced into Europe;
over four hundred years old when the MARINER’S COMPASS was invented;
four hundred and fifty years old when the ENGLISH LANGUAGE began to be spoken in England;
over five hundred years old when PRINTING was invented;
over six hundred years old when AMERICA was discovered by Columbus;
nearly seven hundred years old when the REFORMATION of Luther began, and
seven hundred and twenty when the first English colony was planted in Virginia.

These facts are mentioned merely to give you some idea of the compass of a life which, like that of Methuselah, spanned nearly a millennium; and yet that life, the sacred historian CONDENSES INTO A SINGLE SENTENCE. Nay, more, the whole record of antediluvian history, embracing a period of over sixteen hundred years, from Adam to the Deluge, contains but twenty-seven names, twenty-three males and four females; and of one-half of these nothing is recorded but their names and the names of their first born.

How humbling is this view of HUMAN LITTLENESS! Swarming millions reduced to a few units, and the history of fifty generations condensed into six pages!

Now, though we may not live the twentieth part of the days of Methuselah — yet our stay on earth is sufficiently long to teach us something of the TRANSIENT, FLEETING, CHANGEFUL STATE OF BEING in which we exist. We may not see the mountains depart, nor nations fade away, nor cities crumble into ruins — but we see DEATH ever in our midst; CHANGE ever active in the pursuits around us. Nothing today, is as it was yesterday, or as it will be tomorrow; and yet the very FREQUENCY of these changes, is one great reason why we so little note them. Nor are we able to FEEL HOW TRANSITORY EVERYTHING IS, until we take two different points of observation, separated by an interval of years. Look upon the sun as long as you may, and you cannot see it move; and yet between the time you saw it in the morning, and the hour you beheld it in the evening — it has run nearly the circuit of the heavens!

Just so with life! Look back upon the CHANGES of the last ten years. Changes in yourselves, your fortunes, your position, your friends, your family. Changes in your town, your state, your country. Changes in the political, and moral, and religious aspect of things. Changes in business, in offices. In summary — changes everywhere; causing you to feel, in very truth, the VANITY OF EVERYTHING WITHIN AND AROUND YOU! For “the things which are SEEN are temporal,” and “the fashion of this world passes away.”

But my text also illustrates the VANITY OF LIFE. Life is not vain when viewed in its proper aspect — as the period of the soul’s discipline and probation — prior to an eternal state beyond the grave. But life is vain when regarded only in its TEMPORAL aspect. When life is looked upon as a STAGE, and its men and women as so many actors and players. When it is regarded as an ARENA where the contests of mental and physical strength are to be displayed. When conceived of in the light of an Epicurean philosopher, which says, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” — then life is vanity, and then does my text most forcibly illustrate it by showing that though that life is prolonged hundreds of years — yet the end is, “AND HE DIED!”

Now let us suppose that Methuselah, throughout his long life, had every joy and pleasure which his heart could desire; that he sought for all the delights of sense — and found them; that he courted FAME — and it came to his embrace; that he desired KNOWLEDGE — and obtained it; coveted GLORY — and it crowned his brow; asked for WEALTH — and it filled his coffers. Let us suppose that the glory, and wisdom, and riches of Solomon — were Methuselah’s all his days; but that his heart, absorbed in these things, never prepared itself for the hour of death, and then, at last, after the slow rolling by of nine hundred and sixty-nine years — death put his cold hand upon his heart, and laid him in the tomb.

Would you not, do you not say, that such a life is vanity? What are nine hundred and sixty-nine years of unalloyed joy — compared to the mighty roll of COUNTLESS AGES IN THE ETERNITY TO COME? What are nine hundred and sixty-nine years — to the mind of him who has declared that with him “a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years?” What are nine hundred and sixty-nine years of joy — when it is passed as “a watch of the night,” or as a DREAM from which the soul wakes — to a doleful eternity?

Those two words, “HE DIED,” at the end of all these records of longevity, tell, in startling language, that life, at the best, at the longest, is vanity!

But, coming down from these antediluvian days to the present time, let your attention rest for a little while on a few pertinent examples of this solemn, but little considered truth.

Take the HERO. The man who has made his name lustrous with deeds of fearless valor; who has seen the grim and deadly front of war; who has borne off victory from his every battle-field; who has won applause from kings and senates and nations; whose name is synonymous with all that is great or glorious in the annals of military renown. Surely, the heart beats with increased pulsation as you look upon such a man. You gaze with admiration upon his person. You recount his martial prowess and his hundred conquests — and you lift up your voice with the voice of your fellows in paeans of praise to the heroic chieftain.

Is his life vanity? Yes! Why? Because it is written at the end of his life, “AND HE DIED!” — and his honors were all left on this side the grave! There are no martial glories or crowns of laurel, in the eternal world to which he goes.

Take the man who devotes his life to the pursuit of LEARNING. He obtains it. UNIVERSITIES strive to do him honor; the WISE acknowledge him as their leader; science presents to him her goodliest offerings; LITERATURE lays many a costly treasure at his feet, and WISDOM puts her hands upon his head to bless her favored child.

And is his life vanity? Yes! for “AND HE DIED!” is soon written upon his grave-stone — and “there is no knowledge, nor wisdom, nor device, in the grave where he goes.”

Look at the RICH man. His aim when he began life was to get wealth — and he has succeeded. His COFFERS are flowing over, his BARNS are filled with plenty, desire is satiated, and he says to himself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy — eat, drink and be merry!”

He gathers an unbroken family around his fireside; death seems to have been bribed off from visiting his domestic circle; his CHILDREN grow up beside him “like almug trees,” making the air redolent with the spicery of their flowering virtues. FRIENDS cluster around him; his name is as a charm in the marts of commerce, and he is hailed as lord of the exchange.

Is his life vanity? Yes! It is all summed up by the three words, “AND HE DIED!” — and the riches of earth are not counted RICHES in the world to come.

It matters not how you are regarded in your day and generation . . .
what HONORS are heaped upon you;
what PRAISES are awarded;
what EMINENCE you gain;
what WEALTH you possess!

Your life is vanity — if it has passed without seeking the salvation of your soul. It is the SOUL that alone gives life a value above that of the beasts which perish; and just in proportion as the soul is neglected — is life to no purpose — except to increase your condemnation when the words, “AND HE DIED!” shall be spoken over your coffin!

Give me a hope of acceptance by Christ, and, though you take from me everything else — life is not vain, but is full of glory! Take that hope from me, and give me everything else that the mind can conceive, or the heart desire — and life is vanity — of no purpose but to sink me deeper in eternal woe, by so much the more as I am elevated on earth. I would not barter a well-founded hope of pardon through the blood of Christ — for all the wealth that can be coined from every gold mine of the earth!

For all the HONORS which can cluster around the BROW OF FAME;
for all the LEARNING that can be stored up in the MIND OF WISDOM;
for all the GLORY that could flash from the concentrated crowns of a thousand Solomons
— one little hope, linking the soul to Christ by the GOLDEN THREAD OF FAITH — is richer, more glorious, more honorable than all.

There is no vanity in life — when devoted to God.
Life is all vanity — when not devoted to God.

And while to the WORLDLING the words “AND HE DIED,” close to him the door of joy, and open upon the portal of everlasting woe — to the believer in Jesus, those little words shut behind him the cares and trouble of this mortal life, and throw wide open before him those gates of pearl through which the Christian pilgrim enters into the golden streets of the Celestial City!

Praise the Lord!

THE CHISEL OF AFFLICTION!

THE CHISEL OF AFFLICTION!

Charles Naylor

[Editor’s note: Naylor is peculiarly qualified to write on affliction by his training in the SCHOOL OF SUFFERING. As a young evangelist, Naylor was severely injured in an accident. For forty-one years as an invalid, he lay day and night on a bed of pain as a constant sufferer.]

“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His HOLINESS. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE for those who have been trained by it!” Hebrews 12:10-11

One thing very difficult for many Christians to learn, is that the CHASTENING ROD of God is applied in love, not in anger. We are told that God “scourges every son whom He receives,” and that that scourging is the proof of our sonship. So often people are inclined to take God’s chastisement as an evidence that they are no longer His sons. They look upon it as a mark of God’s disapproval–or even of His anger. But Scripture tells us that His chastening is for our profit. He does it not for His own pleasure–but that we may be made HOLIER by it. It is a mark of His love. He says, “As many as I LOVE–I rebuke and chasten!” Revelation 3:19

Note carefully God’s attitude in His chastening in Hebrews 12. We are all ready to admit the truth of the eleventh verse, “No chastening for the present seems to be joyous–but grievous.” None of us like to be chastened–but yet it is necessary; out of chastening come the fruits of righteousness. When the Lord chastens us, therefore, let us bear it with meekness. Let us profit by it. Let us neither be grieved nor discouraged.

GOLD is purified in the furnace. It is not destroyed–it is made the better by the flames.

In the same way, every believer must pass through the furnace. The purpose of the furnace is . . .
that we may be purged from our dross,
that our graces may be refined,
that we may be rid of worldliness,
that we may be made more holy.

If you and I have to pass through THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION or sorrow, of losses or failures–then let us submit ourselves to the hand of God. Let us not question either His mercy or His goodness.

We must often endure the chisel of affliction, as God carves us into His image. We desire to be in His image. We desire to be godlike in character. Remember that God only afflicts for our good. Like the surgeon, God does not hurt willingly–but only of necessity.

In our times of trouble, He would have us run into His arms and tell Him all our troubles, our questionings, our heartaches!

THE TIDINGS OF DEATH ALWAYS MAKE ME PAUSE AND DO SOME SOUL SEARCHING

THE TIDINGS OF DEATH ALWAYS MAKE ME PAUSE AND DO SOME SOUL SEARCHING

Michael Jeshurun

The legendary Blues Rock artist Chuck Berry is dead! And as a Christian the first thought that crosses my mind when I hear of the death of someone is – “WHERE is he NOW?!” [Job 14:10]

Here’s what some famous personalities said of Chuck Berry –

“If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” — John Lennon
“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll. His name is Chuck Berry.” — Stevie Wonder
“Of all the early breakthrough rock and roll artists, none is more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He is its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of its greatest guitarists, and one of its greatest performers.” — Cub Koda

These are some of the praises that famous men of the world heaped upon the said legendary guitarist and Blues singer. But as a Christian I cannot help but think of what THE LORD will say to Chuck when he meets Him! For “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this THE JUDGMENT!” [Heb 9:27]

The apostle said, “For all flesh is as grass, and ALL THE GLORY OF MAN as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away!” [1Peter 1:24]

That’s right beloved, it matters little how famous, rich or popular one may become in this world, if he is not rich toward GOD (Luke 12:21) then it is all in vain! “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain THE WHOLE WORLD, and lose his OWN SOUL? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:36,37]

Note that the Master esteemed the worth of your soul more than the WHOLE WORLD! And His million dollar rhetorical question is – WHAT can you give in exchange for your soul?!

GAINING THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSING YOUR OWN SOUL!
A.W. Pink

The world appeals to every instinct of fallen man. It contains a thousand objects to charm him: they attract his attention, the attention creates a desire for and love of them, and insensibly yet surely they make deeper and deeper impressions on his heart. It has the same fatal influence on all classes. But attractive and appealing as its varied objects may be, all the pursuits and pleasures of the world are designed and adapted to promote the happiness of THIS LIFE ONLY therefore, “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the WHOLE WORLD, and lose his OWN SOUL?

The Christian is taught by the Spirit, and through His presenting of Christ to the soul his thoughts are diverted from the world. Just as a little child will readily drop a dirty object when something more pleasing is offered to it, so the heart which is in communion with God will say, “I count ALL THINGS but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord… and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8).

We profit from the Word when we walk in separation from the world. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Such a verse as this ought to search every one of us through and through, and make us tremble. How can I fraternize with or seek my pleasure in that which condemned the Son of God? If I do, that at once identifies me with His enemies.

Oh, my reader, MAKE NO MISTAKE UPON THIS POINT. It is written, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

Of old it was said of the people of God that they “shall dwell ALONE, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Num. 23:9). Surely the disparity of character and conduct, the desires and pursuits, which distinguish the regenerate from the unregenerate must separate the one from the other. We who profess to have our citizenship in another world, to be guided by another Spirit, to be directed by another rule, and to be journeying to another country, CANNOT go arm in arm with those who despise all such things! Then let everything in and about us exhibit the character of Christian pilgrims. May we indeed be “men wondered at” (Zech. 3:8) because “not conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2).

We profit from the Word when we are elevated above the world.
First, above its customs and fashions. The worldling is a slave to the prevailing habits and styles of the day. Not so the one who is walking with God: his chief concern is to be “conformed to the image of his Son.”

Second, above its cares and sorrows: of old it was said of the saints that they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had “in heaven a better and an enduring substance” (Heb. 10:34).
Third, above its temptations: what attraction has the glare and glitter of the world for those who are “delighting themselves in the Lord?” NONE whatever!

Fourth, above its opinions and approvals. Have you learned to be independent of and defy the world? If your whole heart is set upon pleasing God, you will be quite UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE FROWNS OF THE GODLESS.

Now, my reader, do you really wish to measure yourself by the contents written above? Then seek honest answers to the following questions.

First, WHAT are the objects before your mind in times of recreation? What do your thoughts most run upon? Second, what are the objects of your choice? When you have to decide how to spend an evening or the Sabbath afternoon, what do you select? Third, which occasions you the most sorrow, the loss of earthly things, or lack of communion with God? Which causes greater grief (or chagrin), the spoiling of your plans, or the coldness of your heart to Christ? Fourth, what is your favorite topic of conversation? Do you hanker after the news of the day, or to meet with those who talk of the “altogether lovely” One? Fifth, do your “good intentions” materialize, or are they nothing but empty dreams? Are you spending more or less time than formerly on your knees? Is the Word sweeter to your taste, or has your soul lost its relish for it?

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s ‘Profiting from the Word’]

DAVE HUNT’S SCRIPTURE TWISTING

DAVE HUNT’S SCRIPTURE TWISTING

“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” [Acts 13:48 – KJV]

Even one of the most bastardized and adulterated versions, the NIV, does better than Hunt in translating this verse. The NIV renders the word “ordained” as “appointed”, which still delineates clearly who is the actor and who is the one acted upon in the sentence. But it seems that even the NIV isn’t liberal enough for Dave Hunt. He would take this verse even farther into the pit. The DHV (Dave Hunt Version) would have Acts 13:48 say this: “As many as ‘disposed themselves’ to eternal life believed.” Dave Hunt inverts the worker and the workmanship. The Bible declares that God is the worker, and we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), but Dave Hunt would call God a liar, declaring that we are both the worker AND the workmanship – and that fallen man, totally dead in sins and trespasses, must “dispose” himself to eternal life in order to be saved.

Dave Hunt’s scriptural gymnastics are parroted by those in the “Christian” media. Marty Stacy of KCRO in Omaha, Nebraska parrots the Dave Hunt mistranslation of this verse (a verse which they MUST attempt to destroy, because in it the Gospel of Grace is plainly declared). Stacy writes: “Many are unaware of the Greek in the verse which might be alternatively translated: ‘and as many as were putting themselves in a position for eternal life, believed’ or ‘and as many as were lining themselves up in a position for eternal life, believed’.

Dave Hunt admits that the Greek word that is translated here is the word TASSO (5021).

I invite everyone here to go to STRONG’s and we will examine the Greek definition of this word.:
(5021) TASSO – a prolonged form of a primary verb (which latter appears only in certain tenses); to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. ASSIGN OR DISPOSE (to a certain position or lot):–addict, appoint, determine, ordain, set.

In no way can this verse be twisted in the manner in which Dave Hunt and Marty Stacy have twisted it! The respected Matthew Henry wrote it thusly: “Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, (Rom.8:30). As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, IN WHOM GOD HAS TREASURED UP THAT LIFE, AND WHO IS THE ONLY WAY TO IT; AND IT WAS THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WROUGHT IT IN THEM.

So the declaration is plainly made in this scripture that it is the Father who called these to eternal life, and the Holy Spirit who wrought this work in them. What blasphemy to defile and despise the gift of God and place its origin in man.

Dave Hunt begins his attack with a scurrilous and baseless attack on every God-breathed English Version up to and including the King James Version. Then, as if he has proved some point merely by causing questions and doubts in the mind of Bible students, he still arrives at the same Greek word as the “original” text from which we are to start. But, according to Hunt, we should not heed those mighty men of God, like William Tyndale, who were burned to death for daring to challenge the CATHOLIC interpretation of these scriptures. Hunt cannot have us heed Tyndale (90% of the KJV is derived from Tyndale’s New Testament) because if you believe the Bible, you must declare Dave Hunt a liar. You cannot have it both ways. Either the Bible lies, or Dave Hunt does. Either William Tyndale is a liar, or Dave Hunt is.

A HORRENDOUS ASSAULT ON THE TRUTH

To defend his position on Acts 13:48, Dave Hunt quotes from the noted Greek expert A.T. Robertson: “There is no evidence that Luke had in mind an absolutum decretum of personal salvation…” (Quoted in “What Love is This? By Dave Hunt, page 211). Dave Hunt finishes Robertson’s quote there, and would have us believe that Robertson agrees with his perverted translation of the word. For the record, Hunt is quoting from Robertson in his The Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament. But unfortunately for Hunt, Robertson continues, and in so doing proves that he absolutely DOES NOT agree with Dave Hunt’s proposition:

“It was saving faith that was exercised only by those who were appointed unto eternal life, who were ranged on the side of eternal life, who were thus revealed as the subjects of God’s grace by the stand that they took on this day for the Lord. It was a great day for the kingdom of God.” (emphasis added) – The Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament – Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

Why would Dave Hunt lie about what A.T. Robertson believes about Acts 13:48? What was his motive?

…Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer… among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits…

On the back cover, in the “exceptional endorsements” of Hunt’s new book – there is this quote from Hunt’s buddy Tim LaHaye:

“Calvinism… comes perilously close to blasphemy. And that is why I congratulate Dave Hunt for writing this excellent clarification of the doctrine…”

That Dave Hunt chose this quote for the back cover of his book shows that he clearly agrees with Tim LaHaye. So Dave Hunt believes that “Calvinism” (a term concocted by Arminians) is perilously close to blasphemy? Strangely enough, in his last newsletter, Dave Hunt and his partner T.A. McMahon chose to utilize a quote from Charles Spurgeon, a man that, by Hunt’s own judgment, must be a blasphemer. Spurgeon said this about the “nickname” Calvinism:

“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the Sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints “fall away” after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus-such a gospel I abhor.”

In his Berean Call newsletter, Hunt includes a quote from the great preacher Charles Spurgeon in order to emphasize a point in his continued but feigned attack on the Catholic Church. But let’s examine what Spurgeon has to say about Dave Hunt:

“Men hate election just as thieves hate Chubb’s patent locks; because they cannot get at the treasure themselves, they therefore hate the guard which protects it. Now election shuts up the precious treasury of God’s covenant blessings for his children-for penitents, for seeking sinners. These men will not repent, will not believe; they will not go God’s way, and then they grumble and growl, and fret, and fume, because God has locked the treasure up against them. Let a man once believe that all the treasure within is his, and then the stouter the bolt, and the surer the lock, the better for him. Oh, how sweet it is to believe our names were on Jehovah’s heart, and graven on Jesus’ hands before the universe had a being! May not this electrify a man of joy, and make him dance for very mirth? Chosen of God ere time began. Come on, slanderers! rail on as pleases you. Come on thou world in arms! Cataracts of trouble descend if you will, and you, ye floods of affliction, roll if so it be ordained, for God has written my name in the book of life. Firm as this rock I stand, though nature reels and all things pass away. What consolation then to be called: for if I am called, then I am predestinated.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Predestination and Calling

Interestingly enough, we are not the only ones to call Dave Hunt to task for his prevarications, scriptural gymnastics and overt rascalism. The Arminians are just as mad! In his defense of Jacobus Arminius, Hunt attempts to prove that Arminius actually believed in the security of the believer, the one “Calvinist” viewpoint with which Dave Hunt agrees. The admitted Arminian Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach recently wrote an open letter concerning Dave Hunt entitled: Dave Hunt’s Dangerous Misrepresentation Of Arminius.

Corner writes:
“Hunt’s dangerous misrepresentation of Arminius is stated on pp. 76, 77: He [Arminius] also, with these words, defended himself against the false charge that he taught the doctrine of falling away: “At no period have I asserted ‘that believers do finally decline or fall away from faith or salvation.'”

It seems that Hunt… actually misread what Arminius wrote, has lifted this statement entirely out of its context, just like he (does) to try to make the Scriptures teach eternal security. The entire context of what Hunt quotes… from Arminius is cited below:

From: Jacobus Arminius, The Works of James Arminius, trans. James and William Nichols [Baker Book House, 1986], Vol. 1, pp. 741, 742. II. With regard to the Second Article, I say, that a distinction ought to be made between power and action. For it is one thing to declare, that “it is possible for the faithful to fall away from faith and salvation,” and it is another to say, that “they do actually fall away”… I subjoin, that there is a vast difference between the enunciation of these two sentences: (1.) “It is possible for believers to decline from the FAITH;” and (2.) “It is possible for believers to decline from SALVATION.” For the latter, when rigidly and accurately examined, can scarcely be admitted;-it being impossible for believers, as long as they remain believers, to decline from salvation. Because, were this possible, that power of God would be conquered which he has determined to employ in saving believers. On the other hand, if believers fall away from the faith and become unbelievers, it is impossible for them to do otherwise than decline from salvation,-that is, provided they still continue unbelievers.”

It is evident to any fair observer that Arminius believed that believers could lose their salvation. So Hunt has a terrible problem in that he is now being shown to be a concocter and a liar from both the proponents of Arminianism and by the proponents of God’s doctrines of Grace.

What could possibly be his motive? A quick check of Hunt’s “exceptional endorsements” shows a veritable “who’s who” of hyper-dispensationalist preachers. Almost all are, strangely enough, Arminian teachers who have somehow stubbornly held on to the doctrine of eternal security for the sake of maintaining their Protestant credentials.

Look where Hunt preaches. He is a regular at Chuch Smith’s Calvary Chapel, and he is embraced by Chuck Missler, Tim LaHaye, Joseph Chambers and Bob Wilkin.

To fully embrace Arminianism would cost Hunt dearly. Remember that one of the goals of the Jesuits is “obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits”.

I stand as a witness to you today that boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of Grace will get you banned from the pulpits of America.

DENYING THE FALL

On page 96 of “What Love is This?” Dave Hunt writes: “Never, however, does the Bible suggest that because of Adam’s original sin all of his descendants lack the ability to turn to God…”

Really? Let’s examine scripture:
“the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5).
“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (John 1:10).
“As it is written There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD.” (Romans 3:10-12)

That there are none that seek after God is biblical fact. Spurgeon said this, “As for seeking after God, and delighting himself in the Almighty, the sinner knows nothing thereof; his sin has killed him towards all desire for God, or love to him, or delight in him. He is to God dead while he liveth.”

Just as Lazarus lay in the tomb as a corpse, dead to God and altogether unable to raise himself, rather he stunk and decayed and the worms ate at his cadaver – so the dead man, totally dead in sins and trespasses is unable and unwilling to come unto God. It is a requirement that for Lazarus to come forth there must be an effectual and irresistable call from God who quickens whom He wills.

The scripture says, “But 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) But Dave Hunt absurdly claims, “this cannot be speaking of the gospel”! Not speaking of the Gospel? It says plainly in the same verses “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” The reason that Dave Hunt gives for claiming that this verse is NOT speaking of the Gospel is because, “In scores of places the gospel is plainly offered to the whole world”, but no one has claimed that the Gospel has not been offered to the whole world! What adherents to the doctrines of God’s Grace believe is that, as Jesus clearly says, we can only HEAR (or receive) the Gospel if we are His sheep.

John said that Jesus came into the world as the light but the darkness comprehended Him not. Were you in darkness? If you comprehended Him, if you sought after Him of your own accord, if you believed on Him without the effectual call of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit – you should know that you make God a liar! But God will not be a liar, though every man be one.

You did not seek after God! But, if you are His, then He most assuredly sought after you. Only the willfully ignorant and prideful would deny that. Though you may rise up your flesh in pride, railing against God’s throne – even so He will not share His glory with another.

Dave Hunt and the Pop-prophecy clan are ever ready to push evangelism as our “Last Days” mission, but what they do not want you to know, is that their Gospel is NOT the Gospel of the Bible. That is why they viciously attack the scriptures for their own purposes.

DOCTRINE DOES MATTER!

Arminianism degrades sin – it stubbornly holds on to the lie that we, as descendents of Adam, are not altogether depraved and lost, without hope in the world and in need of salvation, a salvation that we cannot work on ourselves, but that we must receive as naked and poor paupers at the hand of a merciful God.

Arminianism elevates man – while attempting to dethrone God. It purports that God bestows salvation on those who were “good enough” or “smart enough” to figure it out. The Arminian looks down from the high seats on sinners and says “Oh God, I’m glad I figured it out, unlike those poor fellows.” But the truly repentant sinner says, “God have mercy on me, a sinner”.

Our brother, the faithful Apostle Paul rebukes them thusly:
Paul claims that he was “before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”

So you might say, “SEE, Paul received mercy because his sin was done ignorantly”. Yet our ignorance certainly places no lien on the mercy of God, lest it be not mercy, but reckoned of debt. Paul will tell us WHY he received mercy, if you will patiently heed him. Let us read further:

“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with FAITH and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Paul notes that both faith and love are elements of the gift of grace that he received mercifully from Christ Jesus. Rather than continue in his ignorance, he was forced to admit that he was wrong, and move forward having received the GIFTS of faith and love.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

Paul declares that he is not only a sinner, but the chief of sinners – qualifying him for the gifts of faith, love, repentance, belief and obedience to the Gospel. For surely Christ came to save sinners, not those who have “figured it out”, or concocted enough human faith to “believe”. Either it was the work of God in you, or it was the work of your fallen flesh. Well, which was it? NOW, Paul will tell us why he obtained mercy:

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”

Can it be any clearer to those stiffnecked and prideful squanderers? Paul obtained mercy by the longsuffering of Jesus Christ FOR A PATTERN to show the way that YOU received mercy! Those who believe on him to life everlasting are not credited with the BELIEF! This is the WORK OF GOD that you believe!!! (John 6:29). It is the longsuffering and mercy of God, not your flesh that is to be thanked.

The Jesuit plan to abolish the Reformation, and to enthrone that antichrist Pope in the hearts of man can only be fulfilled in those whose rebellion and aversion to all righteousness has remained unrestrained by the merciful hand of God. The great writer John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote this:

“In a word, they that do continue to reject and slight the Word of God, they are such, for the most part, as are ordained to be damned… Further, who are they that are so tossed to and fro, with the several winds of doctrine that have been broached in these days, but such for the most part, as have had a light esteem of the scriptures; for the ground of error, as Christ saith, is because they know not them (Mark 12:24). And indeed, it is just with God to give them over to follow their own dark blinded consciences, to be led into errors, that they might be damned into hell, who did not believe that the things contained in the Scripture were the truth, that they might be saved and go to heaven.”

I am your servant in Christ Jesus,

Michael Bunker

FOR SOUND REFORMED THEOLOGY AND SOVEREIGN GRACE ARTICLES PLEASE VISIT OUR BLOG

FOR SOUND REFORMED THEOLOGY AND SOVEREIGN GRACE ARTICLES PLEASE VISIT OUR BLOG

Dearly Beloved, should Facebook or Twitter close down someday, and you are still interested to read some good Reformed articles which magnify the Sovereign Grace of God and assert the Total Depravity of man, there are many good Reformed and Sovereign grace websites and Blogs on the Net.

 

I personally maintain three such Blogs. Every single post and picture on these Blogs were compiled and designed by GOD’S ENABLING and nothing less!One with gleanings from J.C. Philpot, another with gleanings from A.W. Pink and the last one with precious gems from various Reformed theologians such as Owen, Edwards, Flavel, Dr. Gill, Spurgeon, etc. There is no ‘copyright’ on any of my posts or pictures. . . . You are free to read and share them with or without credit! And to God ALONE shall be ALL the glory!

“Not unto US, O LORD, not unto US, but unto THY NAME give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake!” [Psalm 115:1]

Much Love
Michael Jeshurun

www.jcphilpot.wordpress.com/ (Gleanings from J.C. Philpot)

www.mikejeshurun.wordpress.com/ (Gleanings from A.W. pink)

www.michaeljeshurun.wordpress.com/ (the main blog – with writings from various eminent Reformed theologians)

 

GOD’S GOLDEN CHAIN

GOD’S GOLDEN CHAIN

In Romans 8:29, 30 we read of that Golden Chain of Redemption which stretches from the eternity that is past to the eternity that is to come, — For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”

Foreknown, foreordained, called, justified, glorified, with always the SAME PEOPLE included in each group; and where one of these factors is present, all the others are in principle present with it. Paul has cast the verse in the PAST TENSE because with God the purpose is in principle executed when formed, so CERTAIN IS IT OF FULFILLMENT.

“These five golden links,” says Dr. Warfield, “are welded together in one UNBREAKABLE CHAIN, so that ALL who are set upon in God’s gracious distinguishing view are carried on by His grace, step by step, up to the great consummation of that glorification which realizes the promised conformity to the image of God’s own Son.

It is ‘ELECTION,’ you see, that does all this; for ‘whom He FOREKNEW, them He also GLORIFIED’!

The Scriptures represent election as occurring in past time, irrespective of personal merit, and altogether sovereign, — “The children BEING NOT YET BORN, NEITHER HAVING DONE ANYTHING GOOD OR BAD, THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD ACCORDING TO ELECTION MIGHT STAND, NOT OF WORKS, BUT OF HIM THAT CALLETH, it was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,” [Rom. 9:11, 12]

Now if the doctrine of election is not true, we may safely challenge any man to tell us what the apostle means by such language. “We are pointed illustratively to the sovereign acceptance of Isaac and rejection of Ishmael, and to the choice of Jacob and not of Esau before their birth and therefore before either had done good or bad; we are explicitly told that in the matter of salvation IT IS NOT OF HIM THAT WILLS, OR OF HIM THAT RUNS, BUT OF GOD THAT SHOWS MERCY!

And that He has mercy on WHOM HE WILL, AND WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENS; so we are pointedly directed to behold in God the potter who makes the vessels which proceed from His hand each for an end of His appointment, that He may work out His will upon them.

It is safe to say that language cannot be chosen better adapted to teach Predestination at its height!

[Paraphrased and quoted from Loraine Boettner’s ‘Unconditional Election’]

The Election of Jacob clearly disproves all ‘creature- worthiness’!

The Election of Jacob clearly disproves all ‘creature- worthiness’!

A.W. Pink

Jacob supplies us with the clearest and most unmistakable illustration of GOD’S SOVEREIGN ELECTION to be met with in all the Bible. Whatever quibbles may be raised in reference to God’s choice of ABRAHAM to be the father of the faithful—or of the nation of ISRAEL to be the recipients of His peculiar favors—there is no getting round God’s election of JACOB. The case of Jacob gives the most emphatic refutation to the theory that God’s choice is dependent upon something in the CREATURE—something either actual or foreseen—and shows that the eternal election of certain individuals unto salvation—is due to no worthiness in the subjects—but results solely from God’s sovereign grace.

The case of Jacob proves conclusively that God’s choice is entirely sovereign, wholly gratuitous, and based upon nothing but His own good pleasure. “Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by Him who calls—she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’ ” (Romans 9: 10-13)

The God of Jacob then, is the God who chooses one—and passes by another. He is the One who exercises and exhibits His own sovereign will. He is one who shows Himself to be the Most High God, ruling in heaven and earth and disposing of His creatures according to His own eternal purpose. He is the One who singles out the most unlikely and unworthy objects—to be fashioned into vessels of glory. Yet, He is the One who necessarily always acts in harmony with His own divine perfections.

Election is not as some have supposed—harsh and unjust—but is a most merciful provision on the part of God. Had he not from the beginning chosen SOME to salvation, ALL would have perished! Had he not before the foundation of the world chosen certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son—the death of Christ would have been in vain so far as the human race is concerned!

Reduced to its simplest terms, ELECTION means that God chose me before I chose Him. Said our Lord, “You have not chosen Me—but I have chosen you.” (John 15:16) We love Him—because He first loved us. Election means that before I was born, yes, before the foundation of the world, I was chosen in Christ and predestined unto a place in God’s family. Election means that we believed—because He made us willing in the day of His power.

Election then, strips the creature of all merit, removes all ground of boasting, strikes us helpless in the dust, and ascribes all the glory to God!

 

WHICH WORLD ARE YOU LIVING IN?

WHICH WORLD ARE YOU LIVING IN?

Sister Rose Fenton

Did you know that there are TWO different worlds? You are likely to scoff, or laugh at this.

The truth is that there are TWO worlds. The world of the unbelievers and the world of the true believers in Jesus Christ, the Lord. The first world live in great darkness and hate the light. The second world are in the light and hate the darkness. The two are totally separate, because they cannot walk together, as they are not in agreement.

The first world in darkness have been blinded by satan, who is the god of this world, and the second world have been regenerated and enlighted by the marvellous light of the Living Lord Jesus. These have been placed in the second world by the pure grace of God. These people live, and move and have their being in their wonderful Lord. Nothing has been done by them in their lives to warrant such a miracle. They have not earned their salvation by doing good deeds or doing good! They are all sinners in both worlds, but the second world are saved sinners. Those living in the first world scoff and persecute those living in the second world of believers, because they just cannot see, nor hear, nor understand. They just think to believe in the true and living God is foolishness to them. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Psalm 14 v. 1

There is no half-way house, for no-one can live in BOTH worlds. It must be one or the other. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14 v. 12

Therefore, the question must be asked, how can a person living in the first world of darkness be made to leave that world of sin, and be translated into the world of light and truth?

There is only ONE way, and that is the way which God, in His mercy, has ordained for many. The Bible says clearly in John 3 v 3 “Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Verse 7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.” Therefore, how can a sinner become a saint? Only by the grace (unmerited favour of God) who draws the sinner to Himself by His loving-kindness and opens his heart. It is all work of a merciful God. Salvation is of the Lord. The chosen sinner starts to see his sins, and feels the great burden of them, , and longs to know how to get rid of his awful load. He starts to seek for the Lord, who by the gracious calling of God, makes him willing in the day of His power.

If you are feeling the burden of your sins, then reach for a KJV Bible and start to read it, crying out to God to help you. You will come as a humble sinner before the Lord. If you are a chosen vessel, He will reveal His Word to you and it will be as a shining light in your heart. You will cry out to the Lord in your anguish, and He will hear you.

He is ever listening for the cry of His lost sheep and searches for them. Christ is the good Shepherd and He gave His life for them on Calvary’s cross. He died for them, suffering the wrath of God upon his own body on the tree, bearing all their sins, when He is the Lord of glory and sinless. What a Saviour! He will give the gift of repentance, as they cry out to be forgiven, and also give them the precious gift of faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

They will never be the same again, as this is the greatest miracle of all, to receive life from the Lord of glory. It is called regeneration, meaning that God has changed them and forgiven them all their sins. The precious blood of Christ has cleansed them from all their sins, and thrown their sins into the deepest sea, never to be remembered again. Cleansed and purified, and justified in His sight. Saved for all eternity.

So do you now know which world YOU are living in? We are living in the last of the last days, and there is not much time. Time is short.

Jesus said, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER BUT BY ME.   John 14 v. 6