IF THE GOD YOU WORSHIP ‘REPENTS, REGRETS AND HAS REMORSE’ OVER HIS ACTIONS OR PLANS, YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER GOD OTHER THAN THE SOVEREIGN GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES

IF THE GOD YOU WORSHIP ‘REPENTS, REGRETS AND HAS REMORSE’ OVER HIS ACTIONS OR PLANS, YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER GOD OTHER THAN THE SOVEREIGN GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES

A man recently wrote us stating, “Why did God wish he had never made man at the time of Noah? (Gen 6) Couldn’t he see out into the future and decide to not make man and save the regret? God decided to destroy his people and Moses pleaded with him and God repented or changed his mind. How can God change his mind if he knew he was going to? I conclude he didn’t know.” etc

“Why does Genesis 6:6 say ‘it repented the LORD that he had made man’ if he knew in advance how sinful man would get?” etc

Let us take an honest look at these verses and rightly divide the Word of truth –

You may be thinking that the word “repent” there means God REGRETTED He made man, and my dictionary says “regret” can mean “a looking back with dissatisfaction.” This cannot be the meaning here, however, for it is not possible that God would be dissatisfied with anything He has done.

Like all words, REPENT can have different meanings. My dictionary defines it as “to feel pain, sorrow, or regret for something one has done.” The word “or” here suggests that God didn’t REGRET making man, He rather felt pain and sorrow for having done so. The way the verse is worded makes this clear. It doesn’t say THE LORD REPENTED making man, as it would if He regretted it. It says IT REPENTED THE LORD, it pained Him, for their sin caused Him sorrow. The rest of the verse verifies this interpretation when it explains, “and it grieved Him at His heart.”

Sin STILL grieves the Lord, even after we are saved, so “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).

Some texts in the Bible, if isolated from the rest of Scripture, challenge us. To overcome problems in our understanding we need to know a few things:

1. What did the original words mean to those to whom they originally were written?
– basic grammatical meaning
– literary use of the expressions common to the original readers
– historical references meaningful at the time of the writing

2. What is the whole context of the portion in question?
– local context: the flow of thought in the rest of the book in which it is found
– theological context: what God has revealed in the other inspired books
– historical context: how much God had revealed about his redemptive plan at that time.

IN ABOUT 30 PLACES IN THE BIBLE GOD IS SAID TO “REPENT”.

Genesis 6:6-7 is a prime example, “And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.”

Did God regret something he had done? Did he really repent as if he had made a mistake? Did God have to change his plan from what he had formerly wanted it to be? If so, then he is not the God we read about in the rest of the Bible. A careful study of these passages removes the apparent conflict.

First we need to take a look at the larger context. What do clear Bible passages teach about God’s nature?

GOD’S NATURE IS “IMMUTABLE” (HE DOES NOT CHANGE).

The answer to Westminster Shorter Catechism question 4 “What is God?” is, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”

If this is true, God can never regret, make errors, or change his plans. He answers to nothing greater than himself, therefore he is perfect and needs no improvement. God’s knowledge is perfect. It includes all things that ever will happen, there can be no reason to ever change or modify his plans.

James makes a direct statement in his epistle in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is NO VARIATION OR SHADOW OF TURNING.”

With God the Father there is “no variableness” (parallagae, παραλλαγη). This is an astronomical term. From it we get the word “parallax,” a term still used in astronomy. Even in those ancient times they could see that constellations appeared in different places as the seasons changed. Some dots of light move from constellation to constellation, we now know these “wandering stars” as planets. Some objects in the night sky change their brightness regularly. However, there is no such change with God. There is no variableness like that which we see in the night sky.

With God there is “no shadow of turning” (tropaes aposkiasma, τροπης αποσκιασμα). This is another astronomical term, It has to do with changes in shadows cast by the sun and moon. As the sun and moon change their positions in the sky during the day or night, there is an observable change in the length and direction of the shadows they cast. This word was also used in reference to the eclipses of the sun and moon where darkness took over parts of them. With God the Father there is no such change. He is a steady and reliable light.

There is a direct statement in Psalm 102:26-27, “They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.” This reminds us that though the earth and heavens perish and wear with time. God does not change.

There are many texts where God’s inability to change is made clear. For example, Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, NOR A SON OF MAN, THAT HE SHOULD REPENT. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” And Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

God has all things under his sovereign control as it says in Psalm 135:6, “Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places.”

Ephesians 1:11-12 says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”

God even controls the directions of the plans of humans. Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. .” and Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD . . .  that shall stand.”

Open Theism teaches that God is open to change and adjusts his plans to new circumstances. Those promoting this view reject the classic attributes of God (immutable, omnipotent, omniscient …). They say there are philosophical contradictions in the belief systems that accept the infinite and unchangeable understanding of God. However, their claims of contradictions are based upon total misstatements and misunderstandings of the actual historical and biblical doctrines. They often quote the verses about God repenting as if he adjusts to things outside of himself.

SO THEN, HOW DOES AN UNCHANGEABLE GOD REPENT?

The word here for “repent” is nakham (נחם). It is translated many ways in the Bible depending upon the context. Most often it is translated either “to repent” or “to comfort”, two seemingly very different words. The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon (BDB) defines it this way: “to be sorry, to be consoled, to be moved to pity, to have compassion, to be comforted, to be relieved.”

A study of the primary uses of this Hebrew word show that it describes the reaction of a person to some sorrowful event, and the person either finds comfort from the sorrow, or grieves over the tragedy of the event. The focus of the word is upon the impact some disturbing thing has upon him. The word does not fit with our English words “repent” or “regret” as we commonly use those words today.

When WE repent over our sins, our response is grief over the offense they cause to God. When GOD repents, he has nothing to regret in himself. He has nothing for which to be sorry. God answers to no one but himself and to his own perfect and eternal plan. However, the sins of mankind offend him deeply. He has decreed that they would occur for his own good reasons. They are used to display his justice in his judgments, and his mercy in redemption. These sorrowful occurrences are used by God as means to accomplish all the things he has purposed to happen. When God observes these tragic outworkings of evil, he is morally offended. The word nakham (נחם) beautifully conveys this response.

To communicate to us the offense toward God which is produced by the sins of his creatures, the Bible uses a human response we all understand. We often experience grief, sorrow, and a need for consolation. When a human emotion is used to explain how God responds to something, we call it an “anthropopathism.”

We are probably more familiar with the term, “anthropomorphism.” That is when some physical part of man is used to represent something about God. The Eternal God has no physical body. He is revealed as spirit. However, the Bible speaks of God’s hands, eyes, feet, wings, feathers, … etc. These communicate to us that he controls, sees, comforts, etc.

In an “anthropopathism” some emotion or feeling of man is used to explain something about God. God’s spirit nature is very different in comparison with our human soul. Yet to know how much God is offended by sin and rebellion, these human terms are used to approximate his response in the best way possible for us.

Changes in how God treats people are based upon changes in them, not upon changes in God. It shows how God reveals his unfolding decrees to us in time. For example, in Eden before the fall, God is seen blessing man in his innocence. Then he casts man out for his sin and deep offense. In the time of Noah, he warned that the whole human race deserved destruction. By grace he chose Noah and preserved the human race beyond the flood.

All of these events of history were carried out according to God’s decree. The plan included allowing man to sin. God’s judgments show no change neither in God’s mind, nor in his plan. His repentance shows us the affront of sin to his holiness.

The changes in the relationships of persons with God reflect the Creator’s eternal and immutable decree as it unfolds. His plan takes into account human rebellions which accomplish his goal, even though that means enduring great offense from men’s sins.

NOW WE APPLY THIS TO THE TEXT IN GENESIS 6:6-7

Genesis 6:6-8, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

REGRET HAS NO PLACE HERE AT ALL. It could not be the meaning intended, since God cannot regret or make mistakes. Even the grief of God in verse 6 is not the same as human grief. God’s eternal blessedness is never interrupted even though in time God permitted sin. In Romans 1:25 God is said to be “blessed forever.” Dr. Charnock points out that grief as we know it is inconsistent with undefiled blessedness. His blessedness cannot be impaired or interrupted.

This language is an accommodation to our “limited creaturely capacity” to understand. God’s intentions are always perfect and infinite, ours are not.

Genesis 6:6 reflects a change in God’s treatment of mankind. It fulfills his unchanging promise and resolution to punish justly, and it shows how he detests sin. The need in God is not for external comfort, but to satisfy his own justice as his decree unfolds. If he regretted, or admitted that his plan did not turn out as he intended, it would be contrary to direct statements where God tells us that he is totally Sovereign, and that he has foreseen all that will come to pass.

Other similar passages are handled in the same way.


1. Consider what God has directly stated elsewhere. This rules out what the passages cannot mean. Since God is perfect and his plan is unchangeable, NO PASSAGE OF THE BIBLE CAN TEACH THAT GOD REGRETS OR REPENTS AS WE DO.

2. Discover what the original words mean, and how they were commonly used. The word translated as “repent” is not equivalent to our word “regret”. It includes mainly the discomfort that is connected with sorrowful things.

3. Consider the attitude of God described in these passages. In an anthropopathism we need to understand what the human emotion might represent in an infinite and unchangeable being of God. God is offended by sin. It appalls him, and causes what was created in a blessed state to be treated at a later time with judgment and contempt.

GOD’S IMMUTABILITY IS BOTH A SOBER WARNING,
AND A COMFORTING ASSURANCE.

God’s true nature is an uncomfortable fact for those who remain unredeemed by Christ. For those brought into the family of God by grace, it is a wonderful truth. God cannot go back on his promises, nor can his plan fail in any way. His blessings and judgments are sure.

“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for He is not a man, that He should repent.”  [1Sam 15:29]

[Post compiled from ‘Geneva Institute for Reformed Studies’ by Bob Burridge, and other sources by Michael Jeshurun]

GO FORWARD! A MESSAGE FOR THE NEW YEAR 2023

GO FORWARD! A MESSAGE FOR THE NEW YEAR 2023

by A.W. Pink [January, 1947]

Though the writer has passed the sixtieth milestone of life and completed a quarter of a century’s hard but happy work on this magazine—yet he feels that “GO FORWARD!” [Exodus 14:15] is the Lord’s pressing word unto him at this time. If he should have acquired any laurels, he certainly does not wish to rest upon them; nor does he—while health and strength are granted—intend to moderate his own studies or relax in his efforts.

It has long been his desire to WEAR out—rather than RUST out; or, to express it in Scripture language, to “very gladly spend and be spent” [2 Corinthians 12:15] in endeavoring to serve the Lord and minister to His beloved people. Nor could he warrantably look for any measure of realizing that desire, if he slackened; rather should he seek to “Go forward” with increased earnestness and diligence, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” [Ephesians 5:16]. The more evil the days—the grander the opportunity for proving the sufficiency of God’s grace, and the greater the privilege in serving His children.

GO FORWARD!” Is not this a TIMELY WORD for each of us as we enter a new year? Is not this a suitable motto for us to keep in mind as we journey through [if God permits] 1947? We need to clearly realize there is no such thing as remaining STATIONARY in the spiritual life: if we do not progress—we inevitably retrograde. How that solemn fact should search our hearts! Christian friend, your history this year will be either one of going forward—or backsliding. This New Year will mark either an increased fruitfulness in your soul and life—to the glory of Him whose name you bear; or increased leanness and barrenness—to His reproach! It will witness either a growing in grace—or a decline in your spirituality. It will record either an increased love for the Word, use of the Throne of Grace, strictness of walk and closer communion with Christ—or a growing coldness and a following of Him afar off.

O Christian reader, before reading any further, will you not now close your eyes and lift up your heart in earnest prayer for yourself and for all your brethren and sisters in Christ?

GO FORWARD!” The HISTORIC OCCASION on which those words were uttered is noteworthy, and a brief consideration of the same the better enables us to make application of them unto ourselves. The situation confronting Israel was a hopeless one, so far as they were concerned; and had not the Lord intervened, they had undoubtedly perished. After their exodus from Egypt, Pharaoh at the head of a great military force pursued and overtook them. With impassable obstacles on either side, the Red Sea in front, and the enemy in the rear—that company of ex-slaves with their wives and children were in a truly desperate plight, and death was all they expected [Exodus 14:10, 12]. Then it was that Moses said, “Do not be afraid. Stand still—and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today—you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” [Exodus 14:13-14].

Those words, “stand still—and you will see the deliverance of the Lord,” have been grossly carnalized and grievously wrested by those who foster a FATALISTIC INERTIA. “Stand still” obviously has the force here of “be not dismayed, do not panic, keep calm,” as the “you need only to be still” shows. Then followed, “and you will see the deliverance of the Lord,” which signified, Lift up your hearts and eyes in the exercise of faith. But faith must have a foundation to rest upon, even the Word of Him who cannot lie; and hence, the sure promise was given, “which the LORD will bring you today…The Lord shall fight for you.” Previously, they had “lifted up their eyes” and beheld Egyptians [Exodus 14:10]; and in consequence, were sore afraid. But there was something else and some One else for faith to “see”—namely, the promised salvation or deliverance of Jehovah, which was not yet visible to outward sight! If their faith were steadfastly occupied with that, their trembling hearts would be stilled, and strength obtained for the performance of duty or the discharge of their responsibility.

Then came the Divine order to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they GO FORWARD” [Exodus 14:15]. That was a challenge to faith. To carnal reason, compliance appeared suicidal. To “Go forward” meant walking into the Red Sea—which, at that time, presented an unbroken mass of water. Ah—but they had been promised Divine deliverance. Yes—but God required them to lay hold of that promise and act on it. And they did: “By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land” [Hebrews 11:29]. If “by faith,” then certainly not “by sight”—the two things being opposed the one to the other [2 Corinthians 5:7]. Not until they stepped out with confidence in God’s Word—did He appear for them and begin to open the waters; and as they continued onward—He continued to open a way for them. It is in response to the actings of faith, that God works, for He never sets a premium on unbelief. Here—then, is the first signification of this word for us: “Go forward” with your heart resting on the sure promises of God—and with the eyes of faith steadfastly fixed upon Him.

“Go forward!” Second, this was a call to obedience—namely, the obedience of “faith” [Romans 1:5].

There was a COMMAND annexed to the promise—to prove them and show whether or not they had received the promise sincerely. There are certain grand benefits which God gives to His people without imposing any condition—such as the providing of a Redeemer who took our nature, fulfilled the Law, satisfied God’s provoked justice on our behalf, and merited grace sufficient for our salvation. But having laid this glorious foundation, God treats with us as MORAL AGENTS, propounds to us a covenant which requires our cordial consent or agreement. Repentance and faith are required of us—in order to the forgiveness of our sins. All through the Christian life, our concurrence is necessary. God requires from us FAITH in each of His promises—and OBEDIENCE to the commands annexed to them. Obedience is the path He has appointed, and in which His blessing is to be found. We must follow the course He has prescribed, if we would have Him show Himself strong on our behalf. If we honor His precepts, He will honor us. “Go forward,” then, in complete subjection to His revealed will, and walking according to His Word.

“Go forward!” Third, this was a command to advance. It was so to Israel; it is so unto us. Onward Christian soldiers! Steadfastly persevere along the path of duty, walking in that narrow way which the Divine precepts have marked out for us. No matter what is your condition and circumstances, what obstacles may confront you, what RED SEA OF DIFFICULTY OR DANGER is before you, “Go forward” is your marching orders.

Raise no objections. “The slothful man says: There is a lion outside, I shall be slain in the streets!” [Proverbs 22:13], let no such idle excuse issue from your lips. Rather say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Philippians 4:13]. When your heart fails, when your soul is well-near overwhelmed by the problem or task facing you, do not panic, but lift up the EYES OF FAITH unto the Lord, realize He it is who bids you advance. Go forward depending on His promise—and you will not be confounded.

Christ’s oft-repeated “follow me” is but another form of “Go forward.” So too is every exhortation for us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord” [2 Peter 3:18]. We are ever in need of such a word of exhortation, for we are prone to relax and take things easy—the more so as old age creeps upon us. Rest not satisfied with your present knowledge and apprehension of the Truth—but seek for a deeper and fuller one. Be not content with your present spiritual attainments, for “there remains yet very much land to be possessed!” [Joshua 13:1].

The manna you gathered yesterday—will not suffice for today. “Be not weary in well doing” [2 Thessalonians 3:13]. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back—is fit for the kingdom of God” [Luke 9:62]. Let the prayerful resolve of each of us be: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!” [Philippians 3:13-14]. Beg God to write this word in your heart!

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEW YEAR?

ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEW YEAR?

J. C. Ryle

I ASK you a plain question at the beginning of a New Year: ARE YOU READY?

It is a solemn thing to part company with the old year. It is a still more solemn thing to begin a new one. It is like entering a dark passage: we know not what we may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain: we know not what a day may bring forth, much less what may happen in a year. Reader, ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for SICKNESS? You cannot expect to be always well. You have a body fearfully and wonderfully made: it is awful to think how many diseases may assail it.

“Strange that a harp of thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long!”

Pain and weakness are a hard trial. They can bow down the strong man and make him like a child. They can weary the temper and exhaust the patience, and make men cry in the morning, “Would God it were evening,” and in the evening, “Would God it were morning.” All this may come to pass this very year. Your reason may be shattered, your senses may be weakened, your nerves may be unstrung: the very grasshopper may become a burden. Reader, if sickness comes upon you, ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for AFFLICTION? “Man,” says the Scripture, “is born to sorrow.” This witness is true. Your property may be taken from you, your riches may make themselves wings and flee away, your friends may fail you, your children may disappoint you, your servants may deceive you; your character may be assailed, your conduct may be misrepresented: troubles, annoyances, vexations, anxieties, may surround you on every side, like a host of armed men; wave upon wave may burst over your head; you may feel worn and worried, and crushed to the dust. Reader, if affliction comes upon you, ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for BEREAVEMENTS? No doubt there are those in the world that you love. There are those whose names are graven on your heart, and round whom your affections are entwined: there are those who are the light of your eyes, and the very sunshine of your existence. But they are all mortal: any one of them may die this year. Before the daisies blossom again, any one of them may be lying in the tomb. Your Rachel may be buried, your Joseph may be taken from you, your dearest idol may be broken: bitter tears and deep mourning may be your portion. Before December you may feel terribly alone. Reader, if bereavement comes upon you, ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for DEATH? It must come some day: it may come this year. You cannot live always. This very year may be your last. You have no freehold in this world, you have not so much as a lease: you are nothing better than a tenant at God’s will. Your last sickness may come upon you, and give you notice to quit, the doctor may visit you, and exhaust his skill over your case, your friends may sit by your bedside, and look graver and graver every day: you may feel your own strength gradually wasting, and find something saying within, “I shall not come down from this bed, but die.” You may see the world slipping from beneath your feet, and all your schemes and plans suddenly stopped short. You may feel yourself drawing near to the coffin, and the grave, and the worm, and an unseen world, and eternity, and God. Reader, if death should come upon you, ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, 1800 years ago, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints, who have believed in Him and confessed Him upon earth. He will come to punish all His enemies, the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving. He will come very suddenly, at an hour when no man thinketh: as a thief in the night. He will come in terrible majesty, in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels. A flaming fire shall go before Him. The dead shall be raised, the judgment shall be set, the books shall be opened! Some shall be exalted into heaven: many, very many, shall be cast down to hell. The time for repentance shall be past. Many shall cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us!” but find the door of mercy closed forever. After this there will be no change. Reader, if Christ should come the second time this year, ARE YOU READY?

O reader, these are solemn questions! They ought to make you examine yourself. They ought to make you think. It would be a terrible thing to be taken by surprise. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But shall I leave you here? I will not do so. Shall I raise searchings of heart, and not set before you the way of life? I will not do so. Hear me for a few moments, while I try to show you the man that is ready.

He that is ready has A READY SAVIOUR. He has Jesus ever ready to help him. He lives the life of faith in the Son of God. He has found out his own sinfulness, and fled to Christ for peace. He has committed his soul and all its concerns to Christ’s keeping. If he has bitter cups of affliction to drink, he knows they are mixed by the hand that was nailed to the cross for his sins. If he is called to die, he knows that the grave is the place where the Lord lay. If those whom he loves are taken away, he remembers that Jesus is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and a husband who never dies. If the Lord should come again, he knows that he has nothing to fear. The Judge of all will be that very Jesus who has washed his sins away. Happy is that man who can say, with Hezekiah, “The Lord was ready to save me” (Isa 38: 20).

He that is ready has A READY HEART. He has been born again, and renewed in the spirit of his mind. The Holy Ghost has shown him the true value of all here below, and taught him to set his affections on things above. The Holy Ghost has shown him his own deserts, and made him feel that he ought to be thankful for everything; and satisfied with any condition. If affliction comes upon him, his heart whispers, “There must be a needs be. I deserve correction. It is meant to teach me some useful lesson.” If bereavement comes upon him, his heart reminds him that the Lord gave and the Lord must take away, whenever He sees fit. If death draws near, his heart says, “My times are in Thy hand: as Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, and where Thou wilt.” If the Lord should come, his heart would cry, “This is the day I have long prayed for: the kingdom of God is come at last.” Blessed is he who has a ready heart.

He that is ready has a HOME READY FOR HIM IN HEAVEN. The Lord Jesus Christ has told him that He is gone “to prepare a place” for him. A house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, awaits him. He is not yet come to his full inheritance: his best things are yet to come. He can bear sickness, for yet a little time he shall have a glorious body. He can bear losses and crosses, for his choicest treasures are far beyond the reach of harm. He can bear disappointments, for the springs of his greatest happiness can never be made dry. He can think calmly of death: it will open a door for him from the lower house to the upper chamber, even the presence of the King. He is immortal till his work is done. He can look forward to the coming of the Lord without alarm. He knows that they who are ready will enter in with Him to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Happy is that man whose lodging is prepared for him in the kingdom of Christ.

Reader, do you know anything of the things I have just spoken of? Do you know anything of a ready Saviour, a ready heart, and a ready home in heaven? Examine yourself honestly. How does the matter stand?

Oh, be merciful to your own soul! Have compassion on that immortal part of you. Do not neglect its interest, for the sake of mere worldly objects. Business, pleasure, money, politics, will soon be done with forever. Do not refuse to consider the question I ask you, ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY?

Reader, if you are not ready, I beseech you to MAKE READY WITHOUT DELAY. I tell you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all things are ready on God’s part for your salvation. The Father is ready to receive you, the Lord Jesus is ready to wash your sins away, the Spirit is ready to renew and sanctify you, angels are ready to rejoice over you, saints are ready to hold out the right hand to you. Oh, why not make ready this very year?

Reader, if you have reason to hope you are ready, I advise you TO MAKE SURE. Walk more closely with God, get nearer to Christ, seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more closely and distinctly every year. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets you. Press towards the mark more earnestly. Fight a better fight, and war a better warfare every year you live. Pray more, read more, mortify self more, love the brethren more. Oh that you may endeavour so to grow in grace every year, that your last things may be far more than your first, and the end of your Christian course far better than the beginning!

AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD NOW COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT OF OBSERVING PAGAN HOLIDAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND EASTER

AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD NOW COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT OF OBSERVING PAGAN HOLIDAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND EASTER

That’s right! It’s that awkward time of the year that I almost wish didn’t come around. The time to tell Christians that the Christmas they’ve been celebrating all along has nothing to do with either the Jesus they worship or the Bible they claim to follow. It’s that time when nominal colors really begin to show, when compromising Christian folk will use all kinds of arguments and sickening excuses to justify their little Christmas idol. But as an iconoclast I have to smash it . . . . even at the cost of losing some ‘friends’ and family! So help me God!

THIS is what sets me apart from your average run of the mill preacher, beloved! I am not here to ‘win friends and influence people’ . . . I tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may! – Michael Jeshurun

“For what peace in the Church without Truth? All conformity to anything else is but the agreement of Herod and Pilate to destroy Christ and His Kingdom”. And again, “An agreement without truth is no peace, but a covenant with death, a league with hell, a conspiracy against the Kingdom of Christ and a stout rebellion against the God of Heaven”. [John Owen]

God does not want His church to take pagan days, and those pagan and popish rites and paraphernalia that go with them and adapt them to Christian use. He simply commands us to abolish them altogether from the face of the earth forever. YOU may not be offended by the Easter eggs and the Easter bunnies and the selection of a pagan day to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, but GOD is offended! God commands us to get rid of the monuments and paraphernalia of paganism!

If your wife was promiscuous before you married her would you be offended if she had pictures of her old boyfriends on her dresser? Would it bother you if she celebrated the various anniversaries relating to her past relationships? Would you be offended if she kept and cherished the various rings, jewelry and mementos given to her by her old boyfriends? Of course you would be offended! The Lord God is infinitely more zealous of His honor than you are; He is a jealous God. Could Israel take festival days to Baal, Ashteroth, Dagon and Molech and alter them to make them pleasing to God? Of course not! The Bible makes very clear which kings of Judah pleased God the most. God is pleased when idols, their temples, their religious dress, earrings, sacred houses, sacred trees, poles, ornaments, rites, names and days are utterly cut off from the earth, never again to be restored.

God wants His bride to eliminate forever the monuments, the days, the paraphernalia and the mementos of idolatry. “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). “Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods” (Deut. 12:31).

Christians must not only put away the monuments of past idolatry but also everything associated with present idolatry. Easter like Christmas is one of the most important holy day in Roman Catholicism. The term ‘Easter’ is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch [Passover and the Feast of Unleavens] was a continuation of the Jewish [that is, God’s] feast….from this Pasch the pagan festival of ‘Easter’ was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.” (W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, article: Easter, p.192)

The Roman Catholic Church hates the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Roman church uses human inventions, such as Christmas and Easter, to keep millions of people in darkness. The fact that millions of Bible-believing Protestants are observing a Roman Catholic holy day which has not been commanded anywhere in God’s Word reveals the sad state of modern Evangelicalism.

“We cannot conform, communicate, and symbolize with the idolatrous Papists, in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation.” Our attitude should be that of the Protestant Reformer Bucer who said, “I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.”

The common objection against the argument that pagan monuments must be abolished is that these things occurred so long ago as to be harmless to us. But this is totally untrue. Not only do we have the present idolatry of Romanism, but there is a revival going on at this very moment in Europe and North America of the old pagan European religions. The radical feminist movement is presently reviving the fertility goddesses and gods of the ancient Near East. God’s law-Word says to get rid of the monuments to idolatry. God’s law is not rendered null and void with the passage of time.

The ONLY day that God has authorized as a holy day is the Lord’s day. If the church wants to please Jesus Christ and honor Him, then it should do so by keeping His day and by setting an example to the outside world. When Christians make Easter or Christmas more special than the Lord’s Day, they disobey the teachings of Christ and dishonor His day!

[copied from sources on the web]

ARE SOME OF OUR ‘PASTORS’ DUMB DOGS THAT CANNOT BARK?!

ARE SOME OF OUR ‘PASTORS’ DUMB DOGS THAT CANNOT BARK?!

Michael Jeshurun

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, THEY ARE ALL DUMB DOGS, THEY CANNOT BARK; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. they are GREEDY DOGS which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” [Isaiah 56:10,11]

The dog is a faithful animal which is known and valued to guard that which is entrusted to it and warn the shepherd of the prowling wolves! Likewise God expects and has commissioned His ministers to not only feed His flock but to guard them as well. And those who fail to do so he chides them as being ‘Dumb Dogs’! [Isaiah 56:9-11]

Here is what Daniel E. Parks had to say. In fact he said this back in 2004 but they reprinted it in one of his current Newsletters –

MY THOUGHTS REGARDING CHRISTMAS

I am not overly fond of the manner in which the world has traditionally celebrated Christmas. I certainly do not recognize it as the birth date of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nor do I find in Holy Scriptures any exhortation to celebrate His birth, nor any intimation that it occurred on the date men have appointed for it. I recognize that much associated with Christmas has no real connection to Jesus Christ, and that much that is presently associated with it arose out of paganism.

But neither am I a Scrooge regarding Christmas. I delight in having the holiday so that I may spend time with my loved ones. I delight in the feasts and fellowship we enjoy during that season. I delight in giving and receiving gifts, and in seeing the wide eyes of children as they open theirs. I delight in the sales merchants provide during that season. I delight in the spirit of good cheer so prevalent in our society during that season – but wish it prevailed also during the rest of the year. I delight in knowing that many people who very rarely attend a worship service will indeed be present on the Sunday of that season. I delight in that rare opportunity to present the gospel of Christ to them, and hope for another such opportunity before Easter.

I am amused at the paranoia regarding Christmas presently and increasingly exhibited in certain “politically correct” sections of our society. Cities and towns are forbidding from their parades floats displaying a Christian theme. Schools are forbidding students to utter the name of Christ in their programs. Some retail stores have begun forbidding the Salvation Army to collect money for the needy in its Christmas pots – and I am boycotting such stores. Christmas itself is being excluded in an attempt to make the holiday inclusive.

I refuse to exclude Christ from the Christmas season. However, I will not make more of Him during this season than I would at any other time.

I therefore will celebrate during this season not only the birth of Jesus Christ, but also His death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation to glory. And I will exhort people to believe and obey the truth regarding Christ’s first coming, for He will at His second coming judge them according to whether or not they have done so (Acts 10:34-43).
– Daniel E. Parks, (December 7, 2004)

Another compromiser Charles Woodruff says –

“There is a lot about Christmas activity for the true Christian not to like. Much that we cannot partake of, in good conscience. Remember, the Puritans did not celebrate Christmas, as well as many other Christians of the past, and the situation was not as extreme as it is now. Be that as it may, I am not writing this to condemn Christmas. It likely would do no good; it is here to stay. But if we are going to observe any of it, we should know what it purports to represent. I hope to stir your conscience to put Christ first”.

This is nothing but the old excuse of the compromising lukewarm ‘Pastor’ exhorting his flock to ‘put Christ back into Christmas’! A repetition of the history of Saul justifying his sin! When Samuel asked Saul- “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? Saul justified his sin saying – “They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God”! [1Samuel 15]

Let’s put Christ back into Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season! etc

Hogwash! Plain rubbish! The stench of a dead lion in God’s nostrils! “For a living dog is better than a dead lion”. [Ecc 9:4]. But these are all dumb dogs, that cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. [Isa 56:10].

What? Put the Holy Lord Christ back into a satanic, pagan, Babylonian Christ-MASS?! ‘What communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial’? [2Cor 6:14,15]. And don’t tell me that these ‘Pastors’ are ignorant of the origins of Christ-MASS! It is their bounden duty to try the spirits, test all things and expose that which is an abomination to God! [1Thes 5:21]

As Woodruff above admits –“the Puritans did not celebrate Christmas, as well as many other Christians of the past! Be that as it may, I am not writing this to condemn Christmas. It likely would do no good; it is here to stay”.

Yea while you’re at it why not put Christ into sodomy, abortion and Rock music also?! Because it would do no good condemning them either! They are here to stay too!

“Dumb dogs” is the blunt term Isaiah used to describe those of his day who failed in their duty of guarding the flock of God—”dumb dogs, they cannot bark.” (Isa. 56:9-11) In this scene Isaiah pictures the helplessness of the flock when they, because of the failure of the guarding dogs, are exposed to the wild beasts of forest and field. The dog is a faithful animal which guards that which is entrusted to its care! But a dumb dog is a false sentinel, an ally of the Wolf!

A consideration of the present Christ-MASS justification in the Church brings Isaiah’s scathing rebuke to mind. For it is very apparent that the church is seriously threatened and is in real danger because of the silence of many of her preachers. Too many preachers in the pulpits are “dumb dogs”, ignoring the ominous threat of error and evil; too many in the pew are praising these “dumb dogs” for their very silence and are heaping contempt upon those who raise the alarm.

Our “adversary, the devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour.” Sobriety and vigilance are required of every Christian. Let no one be deceived; the enemy will avail himself of every opportunity afforded by the silence of the watchman. To fail to give warning when danger appears is simply criminal.

The barking of the faithful watch dog will be annoying, not only to the one who desires to devour in peace, but also to the complacent and blind shepherds who are “dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.” The enemies of the flock are just as ravenous today as ever. Their tactics are to lull with a smile, or to cow with a sneer of arrogance. They get by the “dumb dogs” with the smooth and fair speech of the of the modernist.

Blindness

The failure of the dumb dogs to sound the warning is ascribed by Isaiah to several causes. One of them is blindness. “His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge.” They may have the “wisdom of the world” but they do not have the wisdom that enables them to discern the approach of evil. And there is no excuse for their blindness, for they could have that knowledge. It is accessible to them.

We need not think it strange to discover learned men who are mute when they should be raising their voices in warning. Paul speaks of those who were “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (II Tim. 3:7) Care must be exercised always to avoid such blindness; discernment must be developed.

Complacency

Another factor contributing to the dumbness of the watch dogs was complacency. Their complacency is pictured by the prophet in these words, “dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.” Complacency and laziness go hand in hand. Dreaming, indifference, and spiritual lethargy on the part of the watchers provide the devourer with his best opportunity for wreaking havoc with the flock. Certainly it is not easy to jeopardize one’s position, especially when that position is one of ease and “all men speak well of you.” It is so much easier to murmur, “peace, peace,” and to doze off again than it is to come out with a roaring bark, disturbing the whole neighborhood, antagonizing many, and disturbing one’s own dreamy nap.

Greedy Dogs

If this combination of words, “greedy dogs” hurts some oversensitive ears, the best we can suggest for you is an examination of your hearing apparatus. You may find that the cause of your super sensitivity is a bad case of the itch—”itching ears.” it was God’s prophet Isaiah, who wrote, “Yea, the dogs are greedy, they a never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand they have all turned to their own way—each to his own gain.”

If some should count such language unrefined as offensive, yet even they must admit that it fitly describes the one who would withhold warnings of danger for fear of losing some temporal advantage. Any man who “turns to (his) own way—each to his own gain” automatically disqualified as a watchman. He, like greedy dog, will take a bribe from the devil. In Isaiah’s figurative presentation he charges that the silence of the dogs was due in part to their greediness. Greedy dogs like greedy preachers, are dumb when their silence is calculated to bring them some selfish gain. Surely, this Great Shepherd of the sheep has no place in his service for the “dumb dogs” who are motivated by such base desires.

“I am not writing this to condemn Christmas. It likely would do no good; it is here to stay”. [Charles Woodruff]

One thing for sure! It would surely do no good to your profession as a preacher! Now that you have gathered a large flock of ‘Calvinist goats’ who have no regard for the whole counsel of God, you might as well continue to amuse them lest they cast you out of their synagogue as Jesus said they would! [see John 16:2]. Surely you cannot afford to wind up as men like A.W. Pink without a ‘Ministry’! If you made it your aim to only feed the sheep and expose the wolves, where would your ‘Ministry’ be?! You would wind up like your Master, ‘a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’!

“I delight in knowing that many people who very rarely attend a worship service will indeed be present on the Sunday of that season. I delight in that rare opportunity to present the gospel of Christ to them, and hope for another such opportunity before Easter”. [Daniel E. Parks]

Why wait for Christ-MASS till they come to ‘Church’? Why not go and knock on their doors with the gospel before that? Maybe if you knocked on their doors long before Christmas and told them why you refuse to join the compromised Christians in celebrating this Pagan festival, they might perk up and listen. Then while you’re at it you could not only present Christ, but the whole truth about true and false Christianity!

Much more could be said concerning these dumb dogs (as the prophet terms them) and their silence! But suffice it to say, if you are still a part of a Church that is either celebrating this Pagan Romish festival or is silent about it with its ‘in the sand’, then confront your pastor about it! If he heeds your word and repents, you have won a brother, but if he justifies it and wants to continue in it; then GET OUT OF THAT CHURCH ASAP!

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities”! [Rev 18:4,5]

THE CUP OF WRATH

THE CUP OF WRATH

Andrew Bonar (1810-1892)

“For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” [Psalm 75:8]

It is of this CUP, that we this day wish to speak to you. It gives an alarming, awakening view of our God and Savior. It is not “God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,” but God the JUDGE, Christ the Judge. It is not the King with the golden scepter, inviting all to draw near — it is the KING RISEN UP IN WRATH, in the evening of the day of grace, to “judge all the wicked of the earth.”

Oh, there is a Hell, an endless Hell, awaiting the ungodly! The Judge warns us of it — in order that none of us may be cast into that tremendous woe! Say not in your hearts, “God is too LOVING and MERCIFUL ever to condemn a soul to such woe.” If you continue in sin, you shall know too late that the Judge does condemn; not because He is not infinitely loving, but because your sin compels Him so to do. Listen to what is written, and you will every unbeliever shall drink of this wine of God’s indignation.

God’s wrath shall be given forth in a MEASURED PORTION, deliberately and fairly considered. There shall be nothing of caprice, nothing arbitrary, in God’s judgment on sin; all shall be fairly adjusted. Here are the SINS — there is the CUP, of a size proportioned to the sin, and FULL. God’s perfections direct and dictate the filling of it. It is “a cup of red wine.” He elsewhere calls it “The wine of my fury;” and Revelation 16:19, it is “Wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” In the East, red wine was usually the strongest; but besides, the fiery nature of the contents is indicated by the color.

This “red wine” is pressed out of the grapes by the divine attributes. It must be the CONCENTRATED ESSENCE OF WRATH; no weak potion, but one like that in Jeremiah 25:16, where they “drink, and are moved, and are mad;” or that in Ezekiel 23:32, 33, “A cup deep and large; it contains much; a cup of astonishment and desolation, filled with drunkenness and sorrow.”

It is “mixed with spices.” This signifies that the wine’s natural quality has been strengthened; its force has been INTENSIFIED by various ingredients cast into it. Such is the sense of “mingled wine” in Isaiah 5:22, and in Proverbs 9:5, “Come… drink of the wine which I have mingled.” We must distinguish this from the expression “without mixture,” in Revelation 14:10, where the speaker means to say, that there is no infusion of water to weaken the strength of the wine.

Here in Psalm 95, there is everything that may enhance the bitterness of the cup; and let us ask, WHAT may be these various ingredients? From every side of the lost sinner’s nature, forms of misery shall arise. The BODY, as well as the SOUL, shall be steeped in never-ending anguish, amid the unceasing wretchedness of eternal exile and lonely imprisonment. Further, each attribute of Godhead casts something into the cup!

RIGHTEOUSNESS is there, so that the rich man in Hell (Luke 16) dare not hint that his torment is too great. MERCY AND LOVE stand by and cast on it their ingredients, testifying that the sinner was dealt with in longsuffering, and salvation placed within his reach. O the aggravation which this thought will lend to misery. OMNIPOTENCE contributes to it; the lost man in the hands of the Almighty is utterly helpless, as weak as a worm! ETERNITY is an ingredient, telling that this wrath endures as long as God lives. And TRUTH is there, declaring that all this is what God spoke, and so cannot be altered without overturning His throne.

Yet more! While shame and contempt, and the consciousness of being disowned by every holy being, fiercely sting the soul — there are ingredients cast in by the SINNER HIMSELF. His CONSCIENCE asserts and attests that this woe is all deserved, and the man loathes himself. MEMORY recalls past opportunities and times of hope despised. SIN goes on increasing, and passions rage; cravings gnaw the unsatisfied soul with eternal hunger! It may be that EVERY PARTICULAR SIN will contribute to the mixture — a woe for lusts gratified; a woe for every act of drunkenness, and every falsehood and dishonesty; a woe for every rejected invitation, and every threatening disregarded. Who can tell what more may be meant by the words: “mixed with spices?”

It has “dregs” in it. The dregs lie at the bottom, out of sight, but are the BITTEREST. Do these mean HIDDEN WOES not yet conceived of by any? Such as may be hinted at in the words, “Better he had never been born!” Such as Christ’s woes seem to speak of? These shall be the REVERSE of the saved man’s joys, “which never have entered the heart” to imagine!

God “pours out of the same.” “The wicked shall DRINK it down to its very dregs!” They are not meant to be merely shown; this is not a cup whose contents shall only be EXHIBITED and then withdrawn. No, the wicked MUST “drink it” and cannot refuse. “God pours out,” and the guilty soul “shall drink it down to its very dregs!”

We would not leave you merely contemplating the terrors of that wrath. We go on, in connection with it, to speak of one whose history has a strange bearing on our case.

There has been only One who has ever “drunk this cup to its very dregs!”

Cain has been drinking it for 5,000 years and finds his punishment greater than he can bear, but has not come to the DREGS.

Judas had been drinking it for some 2000 years, often crying out with a groan that shakes Hell, “Oh that I had never been born! Oh, that I had never seen or heard of the Lord Jesus Christ!” But he has not reached the dregs.

The FALLEN ANGELS have not come near the dregs: for they have not arrived at the judgment of the Great Day.

The only One who has taken, tasted, drunk, and wrung out the bitterest of the bitter dregs — has been the JUDGE HIMSELF, the Lord Jesus!

You know how often, when on earth, He spoke of it. “Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink of?” (Matthew 20:22). “The CUP which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11). The universe saw Him with it at His lips. It was OUR cup of trembling; the cup in which the wrath due to the “multitude which no man can number” was MIXED. What wrath, what woe! A FEW DROPS made Him cry, “Now is my soul deeply troubled!” In the garden, the SIGHT of it wrung out the strange, mysterious words, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death!” though God-man, He STAGGERED at what He saw, and went on trembling.

The next day, on Calvary, He drank it ALL! I suppose the three hours of darkness may have been the time when He “was drinking down the dregs”; for then arose from His broken heart the wail which so appealed to the heart of the Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” As He ended the LAST DROP, and cried out, “It is finished!” we may believe angels felt an inconceivable relief — and even the Father Himself! So tremendous was the wrath and curse! — the wrath and curse due to OUR SIN!

In all this, there was nothing TOO MUCH. Love would protest against ONE DROP TOO MUCH; and never do you find God exceeding. Did He not hasten to stay Abraham’s hand, when enough had been done on Moriah? and at that same spot again, David’s day, when Justice had sufficiently declared the sharpness of its two-edged sword — did He not again hasten to deliver, crying, “It is enough!” How much more then, when it was His beloved Son!

He sought from Him, all that was needed by JUSTICE. And so we find in this TRANSACTION, what may well be good news to us. For Jesus drank that cup as the substitute for “the great multitude,” His innumerable people, given Him of the Father; and thereby freed THEM from ever tasting even ONE DROP of that fierce wrath, that “cup of red wine, mixed with spices,” with its dregs — its unknown terrors.

Now, this One, this One alone, who so drank the whole — presents to the sinners of our world, the EMPTIED Cup — His own Cup emptied! He sends it round the world, calling on mankind — sinners to take it and offer it to the Father as satisfaction for their sins. Come, O fellow-sinner, grasp it and hold it up to God! Plead it, and you are acquitted!

Yes, if you are anxious at all to be saved and blessed, take up this EMPTIED cup. However cold your heart, however dull your feelings, however slight your sorrow for sin — take this EMPTIED cup. Your appeal to this EMPTIED CUP arrests judgment at once. Do not think you need to endure some anguish of soul, some great sorrow — to take some SIPS of the red wine, far less to taste its DREGS — before you can be accepted. What thoughtless presumption — imitating Christ in His atoning work! If Uzziah, the king, presenting incense when he ought to have let the priest do it for him, was smitten for his presumption — take care lest you be thrust away, if you presume to bring the imagined incense of your sorrow and bitter tears. It is the EMPTIED cup which is offered us, not the cup wet with OUR TEARS, or its purity dimmed by the breath of OUR PRAYERS. Feelings of ours, graces of ours, can do nothing but cast a veil over the PERFECT MERITS of Christ!

Children of God who have used this cup — keep pleading it always. Ever make it the ground of your assurance of acceptance. Examine it often and well — see how God was glorified here, and how plentifully it illustrates and honors the claims of God’s righteousness. Full payment of every claim advanced by Justice is here; and so, you, in using it, give good measure, pressed down and running over! What then remains but that you render thanks and take this salvation, often singing —

“Once it was mine, that cup of wrath,
 And Jesus drank it dry!”

Hallelujah! Praise His Name!

WHAT ‘THANKSGIVING’ MEANS TO ME

WHAT ‘THANKSGIVING’ MEANS TO ME

Many Americans will celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ this month. Some will sincerely thank the Lord for all that He is to them and all that He has done for them, while the majority will only be concerned about the ‘roast Turkey’, the booze and the revelry.

I just wanted to share in a few words what the word ‘Thanksgiving’ itself means to me personally.

The Pharisee in the temple prayed, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers …etc.” Truth is, I too many times pray thus, but not in pride or self-righteousness, but in humility and a deep sense of thankfulness! For by the grace of God I am what I am! And by that same grace I have been taught and established in the doctrine of the ‘Absolute Sovereignty of God’ to realize full well that but for God’s sovereign choice I could have been the Pharaoh, Saul or Judas or any one of the ‘many’ vessels of wrath prepared afore for destruction! And I would have had no say in the matter whatsoever. A contemplation of this truly makes me shudder at who Jehovah really is!

On the other hand I look around me and see people who are so morally good and religiously faithful (unlike me), but notwithstanding are lost; my heart melts with gratitude and thankfulness for the God who CHOSE ME to be His son! As the apostle said- “Behold, WHAT MANNER OF LOVE the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. [1John 3:1] And again, “NOT by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY he saved us! [Titus 3:5].

The objector to God’s Sovereign grace questions God saying “why hast Thou made me thus”? And the Apostle rightly rebukes him for this! But I too often times find myself asking this very question. Not in rebellion or hatred to God’s sovereignty, but in sheer awesomeness and awareness of my own unworthiness! As the Psalmist exclaimed , “Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto”? [2Sam 7;18] Or as Mephibosheth after him, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a DEAD DOG AS I AM”? [2Sam 9:8]

Spurgeon commenting on this verse says –

“If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David’s kindness, what shall WE be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known TO WHAT TO COMPARE THEMSELVES, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says holy Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Except as to open outbreakings, I want nothing of what Judas and Cain had.”

I believe we shall never grasp the awesomeness of what it means to be saved until we grasp the awesomeness of what it means to be LOST FOR ETERNITY. So terrible is this that the Master said, “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] And again – “it had been good for that man if HE HAD NOT BEEN BORN”. [Mat 26:24]. As an ex-Satanist I have had some horrific experiences with demons, and to think that the one who is damned to Hell will spend an eternity with them is more frightening and fearful than tongue can tell! [See Matt 25:41]

And when I begin to understand that I of my own free will would have never chosen the Lord and on the contrary was enmity itself toward Him, it breaks and melts my heart beyond measure so that I realize my unworthiness and exclaim with Peter, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. [Luke 5:8].

Another comforting thought and experience in my Christian walk is that not only has He saved me but KEEPS ME SAVED! Oh how oft have we provoked him and grieved Him with our sins. Both sins of omission and sins of commission. And that in spite of a sound knowledge of the Word! But praise His Name He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities [Psa 103:10]. But as a father pitieth his children he pitieth us remembering that we are dust! As the grand old hymn says –

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again. [Hallelujah!]

Once again I look around and see men schooled in some of the best Universities and Theological Seminaries money can afford, and yet for all that they are as blind as a bat and deaf as an adder concerning the knowledge of God and His ways. And here I am the dumbest in my family and with not so much education as most of them had , and yet the Lord Jesus has come and given me an understanding of who the Mighty Jehovah is and His ways, all because He sovereignly chose to do so!

Even when many Christians who claim to know Him are deluded with the devil’s lies,  speaking of ‘the free will of man’ and ‘creature ability’ – Christ has chosen to teach me the true doctrine of my Total Depravity and His Absolute Sovereignty and what the plan of God is concerning His dealings with men. A knowledge known and understood ONLY by Divine revelation. Oh I am not worthy of this. Thank you Jesus!

Again how thankful should we be for the Holy Spirit who comes to us again and again in our times of discouragement and despair, when we no longer feel the presence of God because of some disobedience. In times like these the Spirit comes to us and assures us that WE ARE STILL GOD’S CHILDREN and brings to mind every verse we know on assurance; assuring us that God will never leave us nor forsake us and that He hath inscribed us on the palms of His hand!

Oh Beloved, He is not called the Comforter without a good reason. Many a time this is the only comfort we ever get! Friends, theologians and well-meaning loved ones most often turn out to be like Job’s comforters! [see Job 16:2]. But our Lord has ALWAYS been our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!

Dearly Beloved, I wrote all this because I just wanted to share with someone what God has done for my soul and how gracious He has been to me in healing my backsliding and loving me freely [Hosea 14:4]. Yes many a time I have become quite bitter and exclaimed with Jeremiah- “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His Name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”. [Jer 20:9] ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy! [Psa 107:2]

Love
Michael Jeshurun

THE LORD – THE SAFETY OF HIS PEOPLE

THE LORD – THE SAFETY OF HIS PEOPLE

C.H. Spurgeon

“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion.” The emphasis lies upon the OBJECT of their trust, namely, Jehovah the Lord. What a privilege to be allowed to repose in God! How condescending is Jehovah to become the confidence of His people! To trust elsewhere is vanity; and the more implicit such misplaced trust becomes the more bitter will be the ensuing disappointment; but to trust in the living God is sanctified common sense which needs no excuse, its result shall be its best vindication. There is no conceivable reason why we should not trust in Jehovah, and there is every possible argument for so doing; but, apart from all argument, the end will prove the wisdom of the confidence.

The result of faith is not occasional and accidental; its blessing comes, not to some who trust, but to ALL who trust in the Lord. Trusters in Jehovah shall be as fixed, firm, and stable as the mount where David dwelt; and where the ark abode. To move mount Zion was impossible, the mere supposition was absurd.

“Which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.” Zion was the image of eternal steadfastness—this hill which, according to the Hebrew, “sits to eternity,” neither bowing down nor moving to and fro. Thus does the trusting worshiper of Jehovah enjoy a restfulness which is the mirror of tranquility; and this not without cause, for his hope is sure, and of his confidence he can never be ashamed.

As the Lord sits King forever, so do His people sit enthroned in perfect peace when their trust in Him is firm. This is, and is to be our portion; we are, we have been, we shall be as steadfast as the hill of God. Zion cannot be removed, and does not remove; so, the people of God can neither be moved passively nor actively, by force from without or fickleness from within. Faith in God is a settling and establishing virtue; He who by His strength sets fast the mountains, by that same power stays the hearts of them that trust in Him. This steadfastness will endure “forever,” and we may be assured therefore that no true believer shall perish either in life or in death, in time or in eternity. We trust in an eternal God, and our safety shall be eternal.

“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from hence forth even forever.” [Ps 125:2] The hill of Zion is the type of the believer’s constancy, and the surrounding mountains are made emblems of the all-surrounding presence of the Lord. The mountains around the holy city, though they do not make a circular wall, are, nevertheless, set like sentinels to guard her gates. God does not enclose His people within ramparts and bulwarks, making their city to be a prison; but yet He so orders the arrangements of His providence that His saints are as safe as if they dwelt behind the strongest fortifications.

What a double security are verses 1-2 of Psalm 125! First, we are ESTABLISHED, and then ENTRENCHED: SETTLED, and then SENTINELED: made like a mount, and then PROTECTED as if by mountains. This is no matter of poetry, it is so in fact; and it is no matter of temporary privilege, but it shall be so FOREVER!

Date when we please, “from henceforth” Jehovah encircles His people: look on us as far as we please, the protection extends “even forever.”

Note, it is not said that Jehovah’s power or wisdom defends believers, but HE HIMSELF is round about them: they have His person for their protection, His Godhead for their guard. We are here taught that the Lord’s people are those who trust Him, for they are thus described in the first verses: the line of faith is the line of grace, those who trust in the Lord are chosen of the Lord. Verses 1-2 together prove the eternal safety of the saints: they must abide where God has placed them, and God must forever protect them from all evil. It would be difficult to imagine greater safety than is here set forth. Amen!

GOD THE GREATEST ARTIST

GOD THE GREATEST ARTIST

Michael Jeshurun

As an art-lover and an artist myself, I am of the firm conviction that God is the greatest Artist of them all. Amen?

Beauty such as this does not ‘evolve’.

It is intentionally designed and particularly made (or created) by an intelligent Being.

“ALL THINGS were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” [John 1:3]

“Hath not My hand made all these things?” [Acts 7:50]

KNOWING CHRIST IN THE HEAD AND KNOWING HIM IN THE HEART – THERE’S A DIFFERENCE

KNOWING CHRIST IN THE HEAD AND KNOWING HIM IN THE HEART – THERE’S A DIFFERENCE

C.H. Spurgeon

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” [Phil 3:8]

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with Him. No, I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge – I must know Him, not as the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him.

I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices – His attributes – His works – His shame – His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”

It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him.

An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning!

Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim – I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more.

To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day. Amen!

MAN’S ABILITY TO CREATE – PROOF THAT HE IS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

MAN’S ABILITY TO CREATE – PROOF THAT HE IS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Michael Jeshurun

The lion in the photo is created from a collection of nothing else but plain driftwood.

In the first book of the Bible we read, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” [Genesis 1:27]

One of the undeniable proofs that man did not ‘evolve’ from an ape but was rather created in the image of God like the Bible says he was, is his creativity or his ability to ‘create’.

Though he can never create something out of nothing like God can, he sure can create some amazing masterpieces using what the great God has already created and that notwithstanding his Fall.

None of the other created beings possess this talent or gift save the one created in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:26; 5:1)

The Psalmist does not say, “I will praise Thee; for I have fearfully and wonderfully evolved!” But rather “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully MADE!” [Psalm 139:14]

i.e. made by YOU O Lord God – Creater of ALL THINGS!

For “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made!” [John 1:3]

And again, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” [Col 1:16,17]

Say, “Praise the Lord!”

WHY READ GOOD DOCTRINAL REFORMED BOOKS?

WHY READ GOOD DOCTRINAL REFORMED BOOKS?

Terpstra Charles J [The Standard Bearer]

Why Read?

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” Mortimer J. Adler

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Mark Twain

“. . . Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”Ecclesiastes 12:12b

“. . . Give attendance to reading. . . .” I Timothy 4:13a

Have you started to read a good Reformed book yet? If not, find one and get started! If you have, keep at it! As we pointed out in our initial article, we want to encourage our Standard Bearer readers to become greater readers, that is, to read more books and to read better books.

In this article encouraging you to read, we want to explore the “WHY” of good reading. That is, why should you as a Reformed Christian want to become a greater reader? Or, to put it another way, what are the reasons for reading solid Reformed/Christian books? We believe there are many reasons that may be given; we will highlight a few of them in this article.

First of all, we begin with the most important reason, the THEOLOGICAL reason (where all good Calvinists should begin!): We should read good books because GOD wants us to! Why do we say this, and how do we know this? We have several points in mind under this reason. First, God wants/expects/calls us to read as His people because He gave us the greatest book to read—His Holy Word, the Scriptures!

When God chose to communicate to us, His covenant friends, He chose to do so in WORDS. It is true that these words were initially given ORALLY (and in some cases VISUALLY—cf. the visions of Ezekiel and John), that is, out of God’s mouth through the mouths of His spokesmen (prophets, apostles, etc.). But in the end God committed these spoken words to writing and had them placed in His Book, the Bible (cf.Ex. 24:7; I Sam. 10:25; Neh. 8; Luke 3:4, 20:42; II Tim. 3:15, 16; II Pet. 1:20, 21; Rev. 1:11), or scripture (Mark 12:10, 24; Rom. 1:2, 15:4).

And therefore, this holy Book God charges His people to READ (cf. Neh. 8; Is. 34:16). That means that we must first and foremost be readers of this Book! Not just any book under the sun, but the Bible must be the first book we turn to! Every Christian must be devoted to reading the word of God, like the Bereans of old searching the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). This is chiefly what Paul meant when he instructed Timothy to “give attendance to reading” (I Tim. 4:13). And what was true for that young pastor is to be true of every member of God’s covenant. God wills that we be readers because He gave us this marvellous Book of His words!

Second, and closely related to this, is the truth that this chief and fundamental book God gave us to read centers in His Son, Jesus Christ. The most important Word God gave us to read was His Son, the living and abiding Word of God (John 1:1, 14; Heb. 1:1, 2; I Pet. 1:23). Everywhere we go in the Scriptures we must read “Jesus Christ” the “Word of God.” That is true not only in the New Testament portion of the Bible, but also in the Old Testament (cf. Ps. 40:7; Luke 24:27; John 5:39). This is why the Scriptures are able to make us “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:15). This is why they are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” so that we may be complete and mature Christians (II Tim. 3:16). But only if this word be read! So read, people of God! Read the Bible chiefly and diligently! Set yourself to do so faithfully in this new year! Let SOLA SCRIPTURA be the motto we live by in 2015! Indeed, God wants us and calls us to be readers, because He gave us this holy Book, centered in His Son, our Savior.

There are more reasons why we should be and become better readers. And we may confidently say that the other reasons we will now list are all rooted in that first one. The fact that God gave us His Book to read is the principle that governs all our other reasons for reading. This will become plain as we proceed.

So then, why should we read? In the second place, because reading is vital to the growth of our faith and walk in godliness. God in His sacred Book calls us to spiritual growth. II Peter 3:18, e.g., states, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (cf. also Eph. 4:15; I Pet. 2:2; Jude 20). Earlier in that same epistle Peter wrote that we should be “giving all diligence” to “add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness” (I Pet. 1:5, 6). And how are we going to do this? By reading! By reading (and hearing!) the Scriptures, of course (cf. I Pet. 2:2). But also by reading other sound Reformed/Christian books that teach us and encourage us to spiritual growth.

So then, are you tired of not being as strong in your faith as you should be and could be? Are you frustrated by the fact that your walk with God is not as close as it ought to be? Do you struggle with being spiritually mature and wise in handling trials and temptations in your life? Then READ. Yes, again, read the BIBLE, so that your faith becomes more grounded in Jesus Christ and your walk is brought closer to the Lord! But also read the books that your fellow believers have written to help you grow in faith and godliness! They stand with you and support you in this calling to grow. They have wisdom and experience to share with you as we walk the common path of the Christian in this world. Our fellow Reformed Christians have written books because of their own struggles and hardships. Let us read them to benefit from them; to enhance our own spiritual life; to become stronger in faith and more holy in life! This too is why we must read!

In the third place, we should read good Reformed/Christian books because it is important to defend our faith and abide in the truth of God’s word. We are talking about the area of APOLOGETICS, the defense of the Reformed-Christian faith and walk. In this present world there are always threats to our faith and life. The devil and his hosts walk about as a roaring lion seeking to devour us with lies and deception (I Pet. 5:8). The world of unbelief with its “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” seeks to lead us astray from the Father (I John 2:16).

False prophets and teachers in the church “bring in damnable heresies” and “pernicious ways,” trying to overthrow “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3; I John 4:1ff.; II Pet. 2:1ff.). And, yes, our own sinful nature is still inclined to and tempted by all these lies and errors and ungodliness. We are Christian soldiers, called to be on the defensive against all these spiritual dangers (Eph. 6:10ff.). We are exhorted to resist doctrinal lies and remain steadfast in the faith (I Pet. 5:9). We are admonished to abide in godliness and stay obedient to our Savior, suffering accordingly (I Pet. 3, 4).

And how shall we be able to do this? By READING! Yes, again, by reading the Scriptures (Eph. 6:17). But also by reading good Reformed books that lead us and help us in the battle for the truth and for godliness! By reading we stay abreast of dangerous trends in the church and in the world. By reading we are informed of and warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing. By reading we are encouraged by the courageous stands of our fellow believers in other times and places. By reading we are urged to be faithful when the majority fall away into error and lawlessness. Yes, we must read for this reason too! Do you see the need for reading, especially now in these last days? Will you become a greater reader with this in mind too? We pray that you will, for the honor of Christ and His word, and for the safety of your own soul.

Finally, we have a very practical reason for reading good Reformed/Christian books. That is that by reading such books we set a good example for our children and young people. This too is so important, especially in the world in which we now find ourselves. As we mentioned in our opening article, we and our children are exposed to so many temptations and hindrances to good reading.

We are in constant competition with TV, video games, the Internet, iPods, etc. But when our children and young people see us as adults taking time to read, to read the Bible and to read books that make us grow in our faith and walk, we provide a great example and encouragement for them to do the same. Then we are better able to gain their respect when we tell them to read good books. And, of course, at the same time, when we have on our shelves and on our tables (and in our hands!) good Reformed/Christian books that we are reading, we provide them with the very materials we want them to read too! And that is a win-win situation!

[Of all the New Year ‘resolutions’ we generally make, let us resolve that by God’s grace and enabling the coming year 2015 would be a year given to much reading and meditation of God’s Holy Word! – M.J.]

GOD DECREES, ORDAINS AND CONTROLS EVERYTHING!

GOD DECREES, ORDAINS AND CONTROLS EVERYTHING!

C.H. Spurgeon

“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.

The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He that believes in a God must believe this truth.”

If God’s eye is on that tiny insect and seemingly insignificant bird, then we know He’s watching over us too. Hallelujah!

O LORD, Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, Thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. . . . . [{Psalm 139:1-10]

ONE OF THE REASONS GOD COMFORTS YOU IS TO MAKE YOU A COMFORTER TO OTHERS

ONE OF THE REASONS GOD COMFORTS YOU IS TO MAKE YOU A COMFORTER TO OTHERS

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the GOD OF ALL COMFORT; Who comforteth us in ALL our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. [2Cor 1:3,4]

“I have long perceived the truth of what the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 1:4 – It is God’s way to take His people, AND ESPECIALLY HIS SERVANTS, through trying and painful experiences, in order that they may USE to His glory the consolation wherewith He has comforted them.

It is those who know most of the plague of their own heart, who are best fitted to speak a word in season to weary souls. It is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and it is he who has passed through the furnace who can best deal with those now in the fire.”

[Quoted from A.W. Pink’s – “Studies in Saving Faith”]

THE GOSPEL – NOT AN OFFER! BUT A PROCLAMATION!

THE GOSPEL – NOT AN OFFER! BUT A PROCLAMATION!

Herman Hoeksema


The glory of the cross is this, He shall save his people. Not, He will TRY to save them. Not: He is willing, if you are willing. Because we do not will until the power of Immanuel has touched us, but He shall save His people because He is a complete Savior; He will save them to the very end. This is a blessed gospel. Believe in that name, and you will never be put to shame.

JESUS according to the Scriptures actually and fully saves. He is Jesus, not because He OFFERS salvation or created a chance of salvation, but because He really accomplishes our salvation. Jesus according to the Scriptures actually SAVES, not all, but His people, the elect given to Him by the Father from before the foundation of the world. This Jesus according to the Scriptures must, indeed, be preached to the ingathering of the elect and the condemnation of the powers of darkness; but He cannot be hawked (OFFERED).

As far as the proclamation of the gospel is concerned, it can never be an offer of salvation. The gospel is the glad news God gives us of His promise. It must therefore be preached, proclaimed. It can never be offered!” – Herman Hoeksema

“What a far-cry is this from the majority of ‘gospels’ preached in the land!

“Jesus wants to save you my friend. . . He is knocking at your heart’s door waiting for you . . . Oh Christ is pleading for you . . . Oh He has done all that He can, if only you will open the door of your heart and let Him in . . . . blah blah blah”

Sorry! Not MY Jesus!

The Jesus of the Bible makes His people willing in the Day of His power! [Psalm 110:3] He draws His sheep with a force that when He does they will run after Him! [Sos 1:4]And that which He began in His Elect He will surely finish! [Phil 1;6] Not ONE single sheep of all that the Father gave Him shall be lost! And on that great Day when He stands before the Father His cry shall be “Behold I and the children which God hath given Me!” [Heb 2:13]

And if you are one of His sheep you shall be in that number praising God!

Say “Hallelujah!”

with Lots of Love
Michael Jeshurun

“YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU”!

“YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU”!

Michael Jeshurun

It is so sad to watch people start their Christian testimony with the words – “I was searching for the truth. I was seeking for God in all the wrong places and then one day . . blah blah.”

Fact is no fallen child of Adam ‘SEEKS FOR GOD OR THE TRUTH”! Period! God is his sworn enemy and the ‘truth’ is something which he was born hating! So why would he seek for either?!

THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD! THEY ARE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY! [Rom 3:11,12]
But here is the amazing thing – “Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSEST to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts”! [Psa 65:4]

Watch carefully, that God not only ‘CHOOSES’ but ‘CAUSES’ the one chosen ‘TO APPROACH’ Him. In other words, or in the words of our Lord “DRAGS HIM’ to Himself!

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me DRAW him”! [John 6:44] The word ‘DRAW’ in the Greek literally means to DRAG! Its first occurrence is here in John 6:44. Here it is the power of God overcoming the enmity of the carnal mind. It occurs again in John 18:10 – “Then Simon Peter having a sword DREW it, and smote the high priest’s servant.” Here the term signifies that Peter laid FIRM HOLD of his sword and PULLED IT OUT of its sheath. It is found again in John 21:6, 11, “Simon Peter went up and DREW the net to land full of great fishes.” Here it signifies the putting forth of strength so as to DRAG AN INANIMATE AND HEAVY OBJECT. It is used (in a slightly different form) in James 2:6, “Do not rich men oppress you and DRAW YOU before the judgment seats?” Here it has reference to the IMPELLING OF UNWILLING subjects.

Hence from its usage in the New Testament we are therefore obliged to understand that fallen man if he is to ‘come to God’ at all, he MUST BE DRAWN OR DRAGGED BY THE POWER OF OMNIPOTENCE! In raising the sinner from spiritual death to eternal life God employs the same power which He put forth in raising Christ from the dead! [Eph 2:4-6]

This is why when the apostles exclaimed – “WHO then can be saved”? The Lord replied – “With MEN IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, but not with God: for WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”! [Mark 10:27] Hallelujah!

But it is a known fact that God the Father does not draw EVERYONE to Christ! WHY?!
BECAUSE HE DOES NOT LOVE EVERYONE!

The love of the father is a DISCRIMINATIVE love! It CHOOSES whom to love and whom to hate. “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated”! [Rom 9:13]

In the same line He chooses on whom He will have mercy and whom He will harden! [Rom 9:18]
If God was dealing with a bunch of ‘INNOCENT’ men and women this would seem unjust! But God is dealing with a fallen bunch of God haters who are His enemies (Rom 5:10), and if there is anything He owes them it is HELL!

So out of this ‘Hell-Deserving’ bunch or ‘lump’ He chooses to display His UNCONDITIONAL MERCY on some and the rest He ordains to eternal damnation which they rightly deserve!

These are the facts! You’ve got to put it in your pipe and smoke it whether you like it or not!

If the Father was choosing everyone and drawing everyone as some suppose, then, scriptures like these make no sense –
“Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts”! [Psa 65:4]
Notice that these few whom the Father loves, He not only ‘CHOOSES’, but ‘CAUSES’ to approach unto Him!

Fallen man is so depraved that just ‘choosing him’ is not going to save him!! God must ‘CAUSE’ him to approach!

In other words, the Father must not only choose or elect those whom He loves, but He must DRAW them to Christ!

And He does not draw ALL, because He has not chosen ALL. And He has not chosen ALL, because He has not loved ALL!

I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, “Wherein hast Thou loved us”? Was not Esau Jacob’s BROTHER? saith the LORD: YET I LOVED JACOB, AND I HATED ESAU, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness”! [Malachi 1:2,3]

HOW do I know that God loves ME and that I am one of His elect?

Why, I look around me and see so many of my own family who are morally better off than me, who are either lost in unbelief or in a false religion, and that God has loved me and DRAWN ME to Himself and taught me truths which ‘angels desire to look into’ [1Pet 1:12], by this I KNOW I am one of His elect!
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: THEREFORE with loving kindness have I DRAWN THEE”! [Jer 31:3] Hallelujah!

CHRIST – MORE TO BE DESIRED THAN GOLD

CHRIST – MORE TO BE DESIRED THAN GOLD

Michael Jeshurun

Here’s an old Christian joke . . . .
A very wealthy man is distressed that he can’t take his wealth to Heaven. So, in his retirement, he spends many years praying to God – beseeching God to make an exception and allow him to take his wealth with him when he dies.

Finally, God responds to the man’s fervent prayers and says. “OK, in your case, I will make an exception – you can bring one bag of wealth with you.”

The man is jubilant and, when he dies, he has a bag full of gold bars placed in his coffin.

When he arrives at the Pearly Gates, he has a bag of gold bars by his side.

St Peter stops him and says “Sorry, but you can’t bring anything from earth into Heaven.”

The man replies. “It’s OK; I’ve got a special exception”. St Peter goes and makes a few phone calls, and comes back to say. “OK, I can see you have an exception, but I still need to check all your hand-luggage.”

St Peter looks in the man’s bag, and says “very good, but why did you bring pavement with you?” (Rev 21:21)

The ‘moral‘ of this old Christian joke is not that Heaven is so glorious that even the streets are paved with gold, but rather that the things men so highly esteem here below are reputed as nothing up above.

And the error in this joke is that the man who is truly Heaven-bound has no regard for silver or gold or the myraids of other earthly treasures. Yes, on and off such an one may (and will) get tripped off and hanker for the husks of the pig pen , but when He cometh to himself he desires but one thing and one thing only – Jesus Christ!

“Evermore the worldling’s cry is, “Who will show us any good?” He seeks satisfaction in earthly comforts, enjoyments, and riches. But the quickened sinner knows of only one good. “O that I knew where I might find HIM!” When he is truly awakened to feel his guilt, if you could pour the gold of India at his feet, he would say, “Take it away: I want to find HIM.”

It is a blessed thing for a man, when he has brought his desires into a focus, so that they all centre in one object. When he has fifty different desires, his heart resembles a pond of stagnant water, spread out into a marsh, breeding miasma and pestilence; but when all his desires are brought into one channel, his heart becomes like a river of pure water, running swiftly to fertilize the fields. Happy is he who hath one desire, if that one desire be set on Christ!” – C.H. Spurgeon

“Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” [Psalm 73:25]

HOW SHALL I PUT THEE AMONG THE CHILDREN?

HOW SHALL I PUT THEE AMONG THE CHILDREN?

Michael Jeshurun


“But I said, HOW SHALL I PUT THEE AMONG THE CHILDREN, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? And I said, Thou shalt call Me, my Father; and shalt not turn away from Me.” [Jer 3:19]

Back in 1985 Michael Jackson and his cohorts got on stage and yelled out a song titled – “We are the World” which was top of the charts for a long time. And part of the lyrics to that song read – “We’re all a part of God’s great big family!”

THAT’S A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!

ALL men and women are NOT a part of God’s great big family! Only those whom He has chosen to be His children comprise this ‘great big family’! Our Lord told the unbelieving Jews of His day plainly that IF they were Abraham’s seed then they would love Him. But now they sought to kill Him, the One who had told them the truth – clearly manifesting that they were NOT the seed of Abraham but THE SEED OF THE SERPENT! Our Lord didn’t mince words either, but put it quite bluntly when He said – “Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him!” [John 8:44]

And whether men will receive it or not, truth is: that the human race is divided into but TWO GROUPS – the Children of God and the Children of the Devil, the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, the Children of the Day and the Children of the Night!

Ain’t no such thing as ‘the brotherhood of man’!

“But Jesus answered and said, WHO is My mother? And WHO are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, BEHOLD My mother and My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother!” [Matt 12:48-50]

“He says, “How shall I put thee among the children and give thee a pleasant land and a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations?” This has been your very enquiry? How should Jehovah put such a vile sinner amongst his children? Why, I should disgrace the whole family, and be only a by-word amongst them. Such are your thoughts, but let us hear what the Father of the family says on the matter; “And I said, thou shalt call Me my Father; and shalt not turn away from Me.”

What, not make me a little better, and more fit for the company of the saints ? No, no! our God will have you just as you are, that He may teach you, and instruct you, and show you what love He has got for His little children, and how He can bear with their manners in the wilderness.” [J.C. Philpot]

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God!” [John 1:12,13]

Hallelujah!

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not!” [1John 3:1]

THE NEED FOR GOD’S APPOINTED TEACHERS

THE NEED FOR GOD’S APPOINTED TEACHERS

Michael Jeshurun

“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and TEACHERS; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”! [Ephesians 4:11-13]

A.W. Pink in writing to his friend the young Rev. R. Harbach, writes –

“I was very glad to hear from you again and quite pleased with your letter as far as it went. May I offer a comment – not in the way of criticism, but of instruction – on your statement: “not that I would esteem the writings of men greater than the Scriptures themselves.” You need to be careful at that point lest you draw a wrong antithesis – the writings of some men might profit you more than your personal reading of the Scriptures!

The Holy Scriptures are indeed in a class all to themselves, and claim a reverence, veneration and submission which no other writings do or can. But “the writings of men” needs defining. The expositions of Scripture by God’s own servants also occupy an unique place – in the realm of human literature – and have a special claim upon our attention! It is God’s method to use human instrumentality, and He has called and equipped a few of His servants to be teachers (not merely “preachers”) – specially gifted by Him to “open” His Word, and they are to be highly esteemed for their work’s sake” [1Thes 5:12,13]

You are likely to get more real help and enlightenment from one hour’s careful perusal of say, Goodwin on Ephesians 1or Manton on Psalm 119 than if you spent ten (10) hours in reading and studying either chapter directly for yourself! And that statement is NOT disparaging to the Scriptures, but simply illustrates the method which God is pleased to employ in the instructing of the rank and file of His people.

True you need to read regularly the Scriptures themselves and thoroughly familiarize yourself with their contents – as you also need to test by Scripture (1Thes 5:21) so far as you are able (and at present that is very little) what each expositor says. Yet I feel strongly that it is also true that you need to spend much more time now and in the near future (D.V.) to study the writings of the true servants of God. Only then will 2Timothy 2:15 become yours.”

[Quoted from “Letters to a Young Pastor” – by A.W. Pink]

But “Oh” says someone, “does not the Scripture say, ‘the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things . . .” [1Jn 2:27]

Is there a discrepancy here? Between the verses which inform us that God has appointed teachers in His Church [Eph 4;11-13], and admonishes us to teach others [2Tim 2:2], and chides some saying, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat”?! [Heb 5:12]

NOT AT ALL!

John’s letter is aimed at the false teaching that would come to be known as the gnostic error. The context of the passage containing 1Jn 2:27 is the false teaching coming from those who were spreading this heresy.

In leading up to his comment about not needing anyone to teach us, John warned us to “see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.” (1 John 2:24) He was talking about God’s Word. He continued on saying that if we hold true to it then by the anointing we have received we won’t need anyone to teach us whether something we hear is true or false because we’ll be able to compare it with the source of Truth, the Bible.

So John wasn’t saying we didn’t need teachers, because that would conflict with the portions of Scripture which speak of the necessity of teachers, and would contradict what John himself was doing right then – teaching! He was saying that we don’t need teachers to tell us whether something is right or wrong because we can test all teaching against the Word of God. This is exactly what Paul said in Acts 17:11.

‘Teaching’ then is an integral part of the ministry of the Church! It is GOD who has appointed these teachers. For there is much in Scripture which is ‘hard to be understood’ (2Pet 3:16) and which unless opened to us by an anointed teacher who can give us the ‘sense of it’, we could wrest it to our own destruction!

“ . . . and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law . . . So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and GAVE THE SENSE, AND CAUSED THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE READING”. [Nehemiah 8:7,8]

I have been a student of the Word of God and an ardent reader of Theology for a good twenty nine years now, and yet there are times when I run into portions of Scripture which baffle me; and I have to ask myself – “Understandest thou what thou readest”?! [Acts 8:30]

And the only answer is – “How can I, except some man should guide me”? [Acts 8:31]

ADORING OUR GREAT LORD GOD

ADORING OUR GREAT LORD GOD

Preacher Ken Wimer

“The LORD is in His holy temple: Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” [Habakkuk 2:20]

THE TEMPLE OF OLD WAS AN EMINENT TYPE OF THE BODY OF THE LORD JESUS. Solomon had built a temple to the Lord – a prototype and an image of the future Church, the Lord’s body, which is why the Gospel says-“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up,” John 2:19. The Solomon of history had built that temple, our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Solomon, built a temple for himself. The name ‘Solomon’ means ‘Bringer of Peace’, and our Lord, the true Solomon, is the true bringer of peace, which is why the Apostle says “He is our peace, who has made both into one,” Ephesians 2:14. He is the true bringer of peace, who has taken two walls coming from different directions and joined them through himself, becoming the cornerstone that unites them: the believers who come from the people of the circumcision and the believers who come from the uncircumcised. He has made one Church from the two peoples, and has become their cornerstone and their peacemaker.

IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE (CHRIST) THE LORD GOD HAS MADE HIS PRESENCE KNOWN. The mercy-seat of old was set up for poor sinners to approach in their High Priest. The Lord Jesus is the sinner’s High Priest, Sacrifice and Mercy Seat, Hebrews 9:5, Romans 3:25. The point conveyed by this imagery is that it is only through Christ’s shed blood that the condemnation of the law has been abated, and all its violations answered. In the Greek Testament, the original word for “mercy-seat” in Hebrews 9:5 denotes “that which makes expiation,” or “propitiation.” In the animal sacrifices there was but a temporary covering for sin, but in Christ their complete removal. Here Jehovah was consulted. Our justification was complete only upon completion of Christ’s obedience unto death.

Therefore, let all sinners throughout the world, for whom Christ has paid the debt; be silent before the LORD in peace and quiet. We have nothing to answer to the law, sin, Satan, or the world, Romans 5:1, 8:1. Christ has answered God’s just demand of every precept and penalty, and therefore in silence we bow and worship the Lamb who was slain. HE has silenced every guilty stain and fear. So, God is in His holy temple (Christ) and has once for all reconciled sinners throughout the world unto Himself by His death, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. Our mouths are stopped in quiet adoration, peace, and rest because of HIM!

LEARN TO BE CONTENT

LEARN TO BE CONTENT

 Michael Jeshurun

 The Apostle said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. [Phil 4:11].
Notice, he did not say that it was something which he was born with, but something which he had learned. Contentment is something which we all need to LEARN.

The only thing promised to the Christian in the New Testament as far as temporal things are concerned are Food and Clothing! [see Mat 6:25-33, 1Tim 6:8]]. Everything else is a BONUS!

Yes that’s right! The roof over your head, that vehicle you go around in, and even that wristwatch on your hand is all a bonus. Scripture says that, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord”.  And again the servant is not greater than his Master! If you remember well, the Master said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head”.

But thanks be to God, that He has given us so much more than what He Himself had on earth. In fact Scripture says that “His divine power hath given unto us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE and godliness”. [2pet 1:3] And the ALL THINGS include the roof over your head, the job that you hold, your vehicle, your wristwatch etc.

Now these things along with the blessing of the Lord should keep us content. But sadly there is within the best of us a covetous spirit. The old nature does not vanish once you become a born-again Christian. David the man after God’s own heart prayed – “Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and NOT TO COVETOUSNESS”.[Psa 119:36].

Covetousness is nothing but a strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good. This strong or inordinate desire is what I term as a ‘MUST-HAVE’ MENTALITY.

From time to time we Christians fall prey to this ‘must-have’ mentality even without consciously knowing it. In order for us to be happy or be fulfilled we feel we ‘must have’ a certain thing. It could be something as obvious as the shining ‘new car’ parked in your neighbour’s yard or something as harmless as the new leather bound Scofield Reference Bible your pastor was using in Church this Sunday. It matters little that you already have a car (though an old dinky one) and you have a Gideon’s Bible in almost every room!
The Spirit of God is faithful to remind you that you can’t afford that new shiny car and there is no need for the Scofield Bible! But then you have already been enticed and the lust hath conceived! YOU MUST HAVE IT!  You know that as a Christian you cannot rob! So what’s the answer?

When we reject God’s warning and decide to follow the lusts of our heart the devil ALWAYS HAS AN ANSWER FOR US. “You can still buy that car, dude” he whispers. But how, you ask? ……. “Buy it on CREDIT! Buy now and pay tomorrow”!

So the covetous Christian unwittingly buys the ‘shiny new car’ which he CANNOT AFFORD and BINDS HIMSELF TO THE LENDER! He is not the ‘free man’ that Christ wants him to be! Scripture says, “THE BORROWER IS SERVANT TO THE LENDER”. [Prov 22:7] God never intended His Children to borrow! He says , “thou shalt LEND unto many nations, but THOU SHALT NOT BORROW’. [see Duet 15:6 & 28:12].
And sadly his covetousness does not end with the shiny new car. He realizes that he is still living in a RENTED HOUSE while his unsaved brother-in-law has just bought his own mansion in Beverly Hills! “No problemo” says the devil. “Your credit score is good and the banker likes you”. So he buys that house too on credit and spends the rest of his life slogging to pay off his debts.

So you see, how refusing to be content and living within our income leads to unwanted sorrow. [I personally worked for a Collection Agency as a collector for four years and I know what I am talking about]. I guess ‘peer-pressure’ has a lot to contribute to it. “Oh what will my neighbours think of me if they see me going around in this old dinky car”?

We must determine to be like the Master who cared little about what men around Him thought, but was always concerned about pleasing His Father![see Mat 22:16]. And the Apostle said, “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for IF I YET PLEASED MEN, I SHOULD NOT BE THE SERVANT OF CHRIST”. [Gal 1:10]

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. [Heb 13;5] is more than just good advice. It is a rule to live by for the Christian, if he is to be sober and vigilant and steer clear of the devils jaws [1Pet 5:8].
If there is one lesson that life has taught me and in many ways I am still learning, in my twenty seven years as a Christian, it is this – “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”. [Lk 12:15]

Think about it – Even if I had a room full of mattresses, I can only lie down on only one!

NOT A SINGLE ELECT SOUL WHOM THE FATHER ENTRUSTED TO THE SON SHALL BE LOST

NOT A SINGLE ELECT SOUL WHOM THE FATHER ENTRUSTED TO THE SON SHALL BE LOST

C.H. Spurgeon

Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweller one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people!

However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” [Amos 9:9]

Every sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask leave before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for the text says, “I will sift the house of Israel.” Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive. Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord’s floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth both flail and sieve to his own glory, and to thine eternal profit.

The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid corn will remain.

Observe the complete safety of the Lord’s wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God himself sifts, and therefore it is stern and terrible work; he sifts them in all places, “among all nations”; he sifts them in the most effectual manner, “like as corn is sifted in a sieve”; and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shrivelled grain, is permitted to fall to the ground.

“That the saying might be fulfilled, which He spake, Of them which Thou gavest me have I lost none.” [Jn 18:9]

Praise the LORD!

A SCARY FUNERAL EXPERIENCE

A SCARY FUNERAL EXPERIENCE

When l was about nine years old, my father forced me to go with him to the funeral of a friend of his, that I didn’t know. When we got there, I stayed in a corner waiting for time to pass by.

Then a man approached me and said, “Enjoy life boy, be happy because time flies. Look at me now…. l didn’t enjoy it.” He then passed his hand over my head and left.

My father, before leaving, forced me to say goodbye to the dead person. When I looked in the coffin, l was startled that the man who was talking to me when l was in the corner was the same man in the
coffin!

For several years later, I was not able to sleep properly. With repeated nightmares and psychological disorder, l was terrified of being alone. l visited many psychologists. I didn’t turn off the light at night and several other turmoil that l had to endure throughout my adolescent years.

Years later I discovered something incredible that changed my life. . . . .

That dead idiot had a twin brother!

Moral: Not all supernatural encounters and spiritual experiences are genuine. Some have a down-to-earth explanation.

At the same time not all supernatural encounters and miraculous interventions are fake either, for there are those who have shown hospitality to strangers, who have later discovered to have entertained angels unawares.” [Heb 13:2]

Will be sharing some posts on Angels and demons soon.
Have a blessed weekend and a fruitful week ahead.

Love ❤️
Brother Mike

THE WORDS – “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH” ARE NOT IDLE WORDS, BUT WORDS THAT ARE AS FIRMLY AND FOREVER SETTLED AS THE THRONE OF GOD!

THE WORDS – “I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH” ARE NOT IDLE WORDS, BUT WORDS THAT ARE AS FIRMLY AND FOREVER SETTLED AS THE THRONE OF GOD!

Lorraine Boettner

Jesus declared, “I give unto them (the true followers, or ‘sheep’) eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand,” John 10:28. Here we find that our security and God’s omnipotence are equal; for the former is founded on the latter. God is mightier than the whole world, and neither men nor Devil can rob Him of one of His precious jewels. It would be as easy to pluck a star out of the heavens as to pluck a saint out of the Father’s hand. Their salvation stands in His invincible might and they are placed beyond the peril of destruction.

We have Christ’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church; yet if the Devil could snatch one here and another there and large numbers in some congregations, the gates of hell would to a great extent prevail against it. In principle, if one could be lost, all might be lost, and thus Christ’s assurance would be reduced to idle words.

When we are told that “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, who shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, If possible, even the elect,” Matt. 24:24, the unprejudiced believing mind readily understands that it is impossible to lead astray the elect.

The mystic union which exists between Christ and believers is a guarantee that they shall continue steadfast. “Because I live, ye shall live also,” John 14:19. The effect of this union is that believers participate in His life. Christ is in us, Romans 8:10. It is not we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, Gal. 2:20. Christ and the believers have a common life such as that which exists in the vine and the branches. The Holy Spirit so dwells in the redeemed that every Christian is supplied with an inexhaustible reservoir of strength.

Paul warned the Ephesians, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption,” Eph. 4:30. He had no fear of apostasy for he could confidently say, “Thanks be to God who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ,” II Cor. 2:14. The Lord, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,” 31:3, — one of the best proofs that God’s love shall have no end is that it has no beginning, but is eternal. In the parable of the two houses, the very point stressed was that the house which was founded on the rock (Christ) did not fall when the storms of life came. Arminianism sets up another system in which some of those who are founded on the rock do fall. In the twenty-third Psalm we read, “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The true Christian is no temporary visitor, but a permanent dweller in the house of the Lord. How those rob this psalm of its deeper and richer meaning who teach that the grace of God is a temporary thing!

Christ makes intercession for His people (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), and we are told that the Father hears Him always (John 11:42). Hence the Arminian, holding that Christians may fall away, must deny either the passages which declare that Christ does make intercession for His people, or he must deny those which declare that His prayers are always heard. Let us consider here how well protected we are: Christ is at the right hand of God pleading for us, and in addition to that, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Rom. 8:26.

In the wonderful promise of Jer. 32:40, God has promised to preserve believers from their own backslidings:

“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, AND I WILL NOT TURN AWAY FROM FOLLOWING THEM, TO DO THEM GOOD; and I will put my fear in their hearts, that THEY MAY NOT DEPART FROM ME.” And in Ezek. 11:19, 20,

He promises to take from them the “stony heart,” and to give them a “heart of flesh,” so that they shall walk in his statutes and keep his ordinances, and so that they shall be His people and He their God. Peter tells us that Christians cannot fall away, for they “by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed at the last time,” I Peter 1:5. Paul says, “God is able to make all grace to abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work,” II Cor. 9:8. He declares that the Lord’s servant “shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand,” Rom. 14:4.

And Christians have the further promise, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it,” I Cor. 10:13. Their removal from certain temptations which would be too strong for them is an absolute and free gift from God, since it is entirely an arrangement of His providence as to what temptations they encounter in the course of their lives, and what ones they escape. “The Lord is faithful and will establish you and guard you from the evil one,” II Thess. 3:3. And again, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them,” Ps. 34:7. Amid all his trials and hardships Paul could say, ‘We are pressed on every side, yet not straightened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; . . . knowing that He that raised up the Lord Jesus Christ shall raise us also with Jesus,” II Cor. 4:8,9,14.

The saints, even in this world, are compared to a tree that does not wither, Ps. 1:3; to the cedars which flourish on Mount Lebanon, Ps. 92:12; to Mount Zion which cannot be moved, but which abideth forever, Ps. 125:1; and to a house built on a rock. Matt. 7:24. The Lord is with them in their old age, Is. 46:4, and is their guide even unto death, Ps 48:14, so that they cannot be totally and finally lost.

Another strong argument is to be noticed concerning the Lamb’s book of life. The disciples were told to rejoice, not so much over the fact that the demons were subject to them, but that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. This book is a catalogue of the elect, determined by the unalterable counsel of God, and can neither be increased nor diminished. The names of the righteous are found there; but the names of those who perish have never been written there from the foundation of the world.

God does not make the mistake of writing in the book of life a name which He will later have to blot out. Hence none of the Lord’s own ever perish. Jesus told His disciples to find their chief joy in the fact that their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20; yet there would have been small grounds for joy in this respect if their names written in heaven one day could have been blotted out the next. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Our citizenship is in heaven,” 3:20; and to Timothy he wrote, “The Lord knoweth them that are His,” II Tim. 2:19. For the Scripture teaching concerning the book of life, see Luke 10:20; Phil 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27.

Here, then, are very simple and plain statements that the Christian shall continue in grace, the reason being that the Lord takes it upon Himself to preserve him in that state. In these promises the elect are secured on both sides. Not only will God not depart from them, but He will so put His fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from him. Surely no Spirit-taught Christian can doubt that this doctrine is taught in the Bible. It seems that man, poor, wretched and impotent as he is, would welcome a doctrine which secures for him the possessions of eternal happiness despite all attacks from without and all evil tendencies from within. But it is not so. He refuses it, and argues against it. And the causes are not far to seek.

In the first place he has more confidence in himself than he has any right to have. Secondly, the scheme is so contrary to what he is used to in the natural world that he persuades himself that it cannot be true. Thirdly, he perceives that if this doctrine be admitted, the other doctrines of free grace will logically follow. Hence he twists and explains away the Scripture passages which teach it, and clings to some which appear on the surface to favor his preconceived views. In fact, a system of salvation by grace is so utterly at variance with his everyday experience, in which he sees every thing and person treated according to works and merits, that he has great difficulty in bringing himself to believe that it can be true. He wishes to earn his own salvation, though certainly he expects very high wages for very sorry work.

DON’T MISTAKE A ‘SUNDAY-SCHOOLED’ CHILD FOR A ‘BORN-AGAIN’ ONE!

DON’T MISTAKE A ‘SUNDAY-SCHOOLED’ CHILD FOR A ‘BORN-AGAIN’ ONE!

A Sister recently wrote me –
“Brother Mike, I know of a large family of nineteen. They are all Arminian Baptists who are all actively involved in evangelistic outreach. They go to youth centers or prisons they tell the listeners that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives and they need to accept him etc. They have many examples of answered prayers and God’s guidance: But my reformed understanding is they are not saved and they are not offering a gospel to others that will save. So should I assume that the bottom line is that they are deceived?”

Dear Sister K,
My personal experience in this regard has taught me that our judgment whether someone really knows the Lord or not is usually right! And THAT is because all of God’s elect have an unction from the Holy one (1Jn 2:20) and have been regenerated with the ‘selfsame Spirit’ (1Cor 12:11) and they can spot it in someone else who has it. The apostles were pretty ‘cocksure’ as to WHO was chosen amongst them and who wasn’t!

Let me pause here to say that not all Arminians are necessarily ‘lost’ dear Sister, for there be some who have not yet been exposed to the teachings of Sovereign Grace and others for whom the right time to receive this truth may not yet have come. Augustus Toplady author of “Rock of ages” initially fought the doctrines of grace vehemently before the time came for God to graciously open his eyes to the truth. But such cases are rare exceptions! As a general rule the Doctrines of Grace divide between the sheep and the goats!

Now concerning this Christian missionary family or any such similar family where all are saved and are zealous for Christ; please know that people can be very zealously turned on for Christ and yet be preaching a false Christ! Let alone Arminian Baptists, but I know of sincere loving families who have embraced the “Word Faith Heresy” who all have a “testimony” of sorts and are very zealously involved in ‘personal soul winning’. Yes, these will visit hospitals, prisons and rehabs and sincerely preach ‘Christ’ with a motive to win the ‘lost’, and yet they themselves are for the most part strangers to the Sovereign discriminating God of the scriptures! And there are times when even God’s true Elect immediately following their salvation may be involved in such ministries, but if they are saved at all God WILL bring them out of it sooner or later! God’s Elect can never remain deceived for long, for the promise is that when He – “the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into ALL TRUTH and the “path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect Day!” [John 16:13; Prov 4:18]

Sister K, in my thirty two years as a preacher the Lord has patiently taught me that there IS such a thing as a ‘fake salvation experience’! A.W. Pink once said, “IT IS EXCEEDINGLY SOLEMN TO DISCOVER THAT THERE IS A “BELIEVING” IN CHRIST BY THE NATURAL MAN, WHICH IS NOT A BELIEVING UNTO SALVATION. Just as the Buddists believe in Budda, so in Christendom there are multitudes who believe in Christ. And this “believing” is something more than an intellectual one. OFTEN THERE IS MUCH FEELING CONNECTED WITH IT – THE EMOTIONS MAY BE DEEPLY STIRRED. Christ taught in the Parable of the Sower that there is a class of people who hear the Word and with joy receive it, yet have they no root in themselves (Matthew 13:20, 21). This is fearfully solemn, for IT IS STILL OCCURRING DAILY.”

One of the sure marks of a truly regenerated soul is not the glorious testimony of HOW they ‘accepted Christ’ as their ‘personal saviour’ or other miraculous testimonies of God’s providence in their lives (for even the heathen have many such ‘testimonies’) but their grief and everyday battle with indwelling sin! THIS is where the truly born-again child of God and Reformed experimental preaching in general differs from the rest!

How often do you hear of these so called ‘born-again’ believers speaking of their Total depravity and their oft struggles with indwelling sin?! David wrote much about his being plagued with sin and we hear the apostle lament in Romans 7 of his inability to do good and John the beloved speaking to believers said that if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us! [1Jn 1:8]

A.W. Pink once said – “The very fact that you are conscious of these sins and are so much concerned over your failure to overcome them, is a HEALTHY SIGN. It is the blind who cannot see; it is the dead who feel not – true alike naturally and spiritually. Only they who have been quickened into newness of life are capable OF REAL SORROW FOR SIN. “ And Brother J.C. Philpot wrote – “It is one thing to read of disease in books and another to be sick oneself, one thing to walk through the wards of a hospital and another to lie there a dying patient; so it is one thing TO KNOW THE FALL BY THEORY AND ANOTHER TO FEEL IT BY EXPERIENCE! This miserable state, brought upon us and into us by the fall, ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD MUST IN SOME MEASURE FEEL! It is of no use mincing the matter and saying that a person can be saved by the grace of God and the blood of Christ, without knowing anything of the depth of misery and wretchedness into which he is sunk as the fallen child of a fallen sire.”

If a man be sick or is tormented by a pain whether a toothache or a stomach-ache he can’t help but complain about it, even so those who are grieved by the plague of sin will cry out against it every once in a while whether they be preachers or those who occupy the pew!

And is there not a large class of PROFESSORS, who are as DEAD IN FORMALITY as the others in transgression, though they may have a name to live? But what is the grand distinguishing mark of both? Is it not that they are “WHOLE?” (And the whole need no Physician only those that are sick!) They have never felt any inward sickness or running sore; they have never been wounded by the arrows of God shot into their conscience; they have never had the ill-conditioned ulcers and deep abscesses of human nature laid open by the keen dissecting knife of the great Anatomist; nor have they ever been brought down to sigh and groan under a body of sin and death. “Their strength is firm.” Their “face is covered with fatness, and the bundles of fat are on their flanks;” their “breasts are full of milk, and their bones are moistened with marrow.” (Psalm 73:4; Job 15:27; Job 21:24) In a word they have “not known the plague of their own heart!” [1Kings 8:38]

A whole family of nineteen all saved and involved in ‘missionary and outreach’ should immediately tell you (i.e. if you are acquainted with the scriptures) which Jesus it is they believe in what ‘gospel’ it is they are preaching!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ divides families! No honest Christian or student of the Bible will deny this. One of the very first acts of God recorded in the Scriptures is – “And God DIVIDED the light from the darkness”! [Gen 1:4]. The Master Himself affirmed on many occasions, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather DIVISION”! [Lk 12:51]. Again, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, but a SWORD”!

And WHERE does Jesus word bring division? The very next verse tells us “For from henceforth there shall be five in ONE HOUSE divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law [Lk 12:51-53]. Note the words ‘FROM HENCEFORTH’ which means from the time the Lord began His ministry even until He comes again, the preaching of the truth WILL continue to divide families!

The Lord said emphatically that this was one of the reasons why He came. When He sent out His twelve apostles to preach, He cautioned them beforehand saying the same words: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I CAME not to send peace, but a sword. For I AM COME TO set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” [Mt. 10:34-37].

“The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great ‘brotherhood’ “[A.W. Pink].

The Lord said, He came to seek and to save His lost sheep, and His sheep are scattered in ‘families’ both Christian and non-Christian. So when the Lord calls out His sheep out of these families the division is INEVITABLE. Remember? “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household” [Matt. 10:36]. The ‘MAN’ in this passage is the LORD’S SHEEP whom He has chosen to save as opposed to the rest of his family whom he hath chosen not to save. He says “five in one house shall be divided, three against two, and two against three.” At times the Lord may choose to save two or even three in a family of five, but nowhere in the Scripture does the Lord promise to save the whole family!

Was it not so from the beginning? Adam had two sons – Cain and Abel. God loved Abel, but Cain was of the wicked one [1John 3:12]. Noah found grace in God’s eyes and was therefore saved. But were all of Noah’s family ‘children of God’? No! Ham the younger son of Noah proved to be wicked! [Gen 9:22-24]. The same with the sons of Issac, one was loved of God the other was hated. “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau’! [Mal 1:2,3]

The point being this: God has no grandchildren! Only Children! Preachers who Baptize their children assuming that they too are chosen to be saved have not fully understood and grasped the Sovereignty of God in Salvation! Flesh and blood do not inherit the Kingdom of God! A.W. Pink rightly affirms –“the taking place of the new birth is “not of blood,” that is to say, it is not a MATTER OF HEREDITY, for REGENERATION DOES NOT RUN IN THE VEINS”!

But in your Christian walk you will run into many such families where they have dutifully catechized or ‘Sunday-schooled’ their kids from the cradle and in due time ‘led them to the Lord’ by a sinner’s prayer and count them ‘saved’! And many such ‘Christianized’ kids will have a couple of emotional testimonies of the miraculous to share with you. But the Day will declare how many of them truly knew the Lord or were known of Him! [Gal 4:9]

Let me close now by a word from Philpot’s biography penned by his own son . . . “There was nothing my father mistrusted more than ‘childhood piety.’ He insisted that children should never be taught or allowed to use the language of ‘personal possession’ in reference to God. To sing, for instance, “Rock of Ages, cleft for ME” or, “MY Jesus.” Herein he was most logical. For by early influence and example you can train up a child to be a little patriot—a little Catholic—a little Calvinist—or a little Bolshevist.

BUT NO POWER ON EARTH CAN MAKE HIM A CHILD OF GOD. He took great care that we, his children, attended the means of grace, and never missed chapel or family prayers. But he never expected us to be anything but little heathen. We had, it is true, to be well behaved little heathen. If not, we got “the stick,” or its equivalent.”

About all we can say concerning such missionary families and Arminian evangelism is what the Apostle himself said –
“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will . . . What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice!” [Phil 1:15-18] Amen

Love
Michael Jeshurun

THE CHRISTIAN DELIVERED

THE CHRISTIAN DELIVERED

C.H. Spurgeon


“Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.” [Psalm 91:3]

God delivers His people from the snare of the fowler in two senses. FROM, and OUT OF. First, He delivers them FROM the snare—does not let them enter it; and secondly, if they should be caught therein, He delivers them OUT OF it. The first promise is the most precious to some; the second is the best to others.

“He shall deliver thee FROM the snare.” How? Trouble is often the means whereby God delivers us. God knows that our backsliding will soon end in our destruction, and He in mercy sends the rod. We say, “Lord, why is this?” not knowing that our trouble has been the means of delivering us from far greater evil. Many have been thus saved from ruin by their sorrows and their crosses; these have frightened the birds from the net. At other times, God keeps His people FROM the snare of the fowler by giving them great spiritual strength, so that when they are tempted to do evil they say, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” But what a blessed thing it is that if the believer shall, in an evil hour, come into the net, yet God will bring him out of it!

O backslider, be cast down, but do not despair. Wanderer though thou hast been, hear what thy Redeemer saith—”Return, O backsliding children; I will have mercy upon you.” But you say you cannot return, for you are a captive. Then listen to the promise—”Surely He shall deliver thee out of the snare of the fowler.” Thou shalt yet be brought out of all evil into which thou hast fallen, and though thou shalt never cease to repent of thy ways, yet He that hath loved thee will not cast thee away; He will receive thee, and give thee joy and gladness, that the bones which He has broken may rejoice.

No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s net.

Hallelujah!

CAN WE ‘CLAIM’ SOULS FOR CHRIST?!

CAN WE ‘CLAIM’ SOULS FOR CHRIST?!

Michael Jeshurun

It is not uncommon to hear Arminians say, that in their prayers they are ‘claiming’ the whole neighborhood for Christ or praying for all the members of a certain family to come to Christ, etc! And I have personally witnessed Pentecostal ‘Prayer Warriors’ walking around a stadium or field where a ‘healing festival’ is hosted by Benny Hinn or Reinhard Bonnke – binding the ‘powers of darkness’ and claiming the souls of all those who attend!

The question must be asked – “How Scriptural is all this”?

Sadly it is not just the Pentecostals who hold and teach this error. Many who claim to be ‘Reformed’ do the same! Let us consider what the highly esteemed John F MacArthur, Jr., teaches on this.

The apostle Paul warned of those who corrupt the Word of God and handle it deceitfully [2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2]. In his series on ‘evangelistic praying’ MacArthur is guilty of doing just this. Instead of setting forth the truth plainly, he has CORRUPTED it to cater to the traditions and pet notions of the people. There has been a TRADITION in the Church to pray for the salvation of the lost, a practice which neither the Lord nor the Apostles were engaged in or exhorted their disciples to do.

The words of A.W. Pink are worth quoting here. In his treatise on the prayers of the apostle Paul, under the subheading “A STRIKING OMISSION” he says –

“Finally, let us point out a striking omission. If all the apostles prayers be read attentively it will be found that in none of them is any place given to that which occupies such prominence in those of Arminians. Not ONCE do we find God asked to save the world or pour out His Spirit on all flesh. The apostles did not so much pray for the conversion of the city in which a particular Christian church was located. In this they confirmed again to the example set them by Christ, “I pray NOT FOR THE WORLD” said He “but for them which thou hast given Me” [Jn. 17:9]. Should it be objected that the Lord Jesus was there praying only for His immediate apostles or disciples, the answer is that when He extended His prayer beyond them, it was not for the WORLD, but ONLY for His believing people unto the end of time [see v. 20 – 21]. True, the apostle exhorts that prayers “be made for all [classes of] men; for kings, and for that are in authority” [1 Tim 2:1,2] – in which duty many are woefully remiss – yet it is NOT FOR THEIR SALVATION but “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” [2b]. We may learn much from the prayers of the apostles.”

In the light of the above paragraph consider the comments of MacArthur taken from his sermons on 1 Tim 2: 1 – 7. “The text basically calls to pray for the lost. Since Christ gave His life a ransom for ALL men, and God wants ALL men saved, we need to pray for ALL men. We pray for the salvation of people, you say, “Does God answer that?”. Could it be that Stephen prayed for the salvation of those who stoned him? And the salvation of one standing there – Saul, was a result of his prayer? Could it be that Paul and Silas prayed for the salvation of the jailer and his family and as a result they are saved? In Acts 26 we see that Paul was before Agrippa, he was praying for the salvation of all of them and this is probably an insight into what he was doing in his heart every time he preached to anybody”. [ Tape GC 54 – 11].

The above is an illustration of MacArthur’s boasted commitment to faithfulness to the text of Scriptures and therefore to its historical and grammatical contexts. It also helps us better understand what the publishers of the MacArthur Study Bible mean, when they say—”And unlike past “classics” burdened by outdated theological systems, the MacArthur Study Bible strives to let the systems go and allow the Word of God to speak. So day after day, year after year, you can always count on hearing something new”.
Sure, we are hearing something ‘NEW’ alright, problem is, it’s just NOT SCRIPTURAL. What’s worse, it’s a downright LIE!

The BIBLE does not suggest that Stephen prayed for the salvation of his persecutors, or that Paul and Silas prayed for the salvation of the Jailer and his family. Nor does it imply that Paul prayed for the salvation of Agrippa or those that he preached to.

MacArthur’s words above illustrate what is now being taught on the subject of prayer, and the deplorable thing is that scarcely a voice is lifted in protest. To say that “HUMAN DESTINIES MAY BE CHANGED and molded by the will of man” is RANK INFIDELITY—that is the only proper term for it. Should anyone challenge this classification, we ask them whether they can find an infidel anywhere who would dissent from such a statement, and we are confident that such an one could not be found. To say that “God has ORDAINEDthat human destinies may be changed and molded by the will of man”, is ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE.

“Human destiny” is settled NOT by “the will of man,” but by the will of God. That which determines human destinies is whether or not a man has been born again, for it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. And as to WHOSE will, whether God’s or man’s, is responsible for the new birth is settled, unequivocally, by Jn. 1:13—”Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, but OF GOD”. To say that “human destiny” may be CHANGED by the will of man, is to make the creature’s will SUPREME, and that is, virtually, to DETHRONEGODBut what saith the Scriptures? Let the Book answer: “The Lord killeth and maketh alive: HE bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: HE bringeth low and lifteth up. HE raiseth up the poor out of the dust and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” [I Sam. 2:6-8].

THERE ARE MANY THINGS THE SCRIPTURE EXHORTS US TO PRAY FOR, BUT TO PRAY FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LOST IS DEFINITELY NOT ONE OF THEM.

Neither the Lord nor His apostle’s exhorted us to pray for the lost, the scripture will be searched in vain to support such an exhortation. The reason behind this false teaching of MacArthur is his erroneous view of the eternal plan of God in salvation and a FEAR TO TRANSGRESS THE TRADITION RECEIVED FROM THE FATHER’S. Consider again the words of MacArthur “God wants ALL men saved!” He repeats this Arminian heresy all through the series, to show his understanding of election. Now is it true that God wants ALL MEN saved?

We must understand that it was not general and indiscriminate love of which all men are equally the objects, but a peculiar, mysterious infinite love for His elect which caused God to send His Son into the world to suffer and die. Any theory which denies this great and precious truth, and which would explain away this love as merely indiscriminate benevolence or philanthropy which had all men for its objects, many of whom are allowed to perish, MUSTbe un-Scriptural. Christ DIED not for an unorderly mass but FOR HIS PEOPLE, HIS BRIDE, HIS CHURCH.

A farmer prizes his field. But no one supposes that he cares equally for every plant that grows there, for the “tares” as well as the “wheat.” God’s field is the world, Matt. 13:38, and He loves it with an EXCLUSIVE EYE to its “good seed,” the children of the kingdom, and not the children of the wicked one. It is not the whole of mankind that is equally loved of God and promiscuously redeemed by Christ. God is not necessarily communicative of His goodness, as the sun of its light, or a tree of its cooling shade, which does not choose objects, but serves all indifferently without variation or distinction. This would be to make God of no more understanding than the sun, which shines not where it pleases, but where it must. He is an understanding person, and has a sovereign right to choose His own objects.

In Genesis we read that God “put enmity” between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Now who were meant by the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent? On the first thought, we might suppose that the seed of the woman meant the entire human race descended from Eve. But in Gal. 3:16 Paul uses this term “seed,” and applies it to Christ as an individual. “He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” On further investigation we also find that the seed of the serpent means not literal descendants of the Devil, but those non-elect members of the human race, who partake of his sinful nature. Jesus said of His enemies, “Ye are of your father, the Devil; and the lusts of your father ye will to do,” John 8:44. Paul denounced Elymas the sorcerer as a son of the Devil and an enemy of all righteousness. Judas is even called a devil, John 6:70. So the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent are each a part of the human race. In other parts of the Scriptures we find that Christ and His people are “one,” that He dwells in them and is united with them as the vine and the branches are united. AND SINCE AT THE VERY BEGINNING GOD “PUT ENMITY” BETWEEN THESE TWO GROUPS, IT IS PLAIN THAT HE NEVER LOVED ALL ALIKE, NOR INTENDED TO REDEEM ALL ALIKE. UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION AND GOD’S SENTENCE ON THE SERPENT CAN NEVER GO TOGETHER!

To support his errors, MacArthur falsely teaches that Jesus indirectly prayed for the salvation of the whole world, [ Tape GC 1566] directly contradicting Jesus’ words who said “I pray NOT FOR THE WORLD but for those whom thou hast given Me, for they are thine” [Jn. 17:9]. In this same High Priestly prayer the Lord prays “that they all may be one; as Thou Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me” [Jn. 17:21]. MacArthur deliberately misinterprets this verse to try and prove that Jesus here was praying for the salvation of the unsaved [ Tape GC 1566]. This is a gross error, for the Lord would never contradict Himself by praying for the world, seeing that He had already said “I pray not for the world. What then did He mean when He said “that they all may be one, that the world may believe”? We cannot do better than quote the interpretation of John Owen on this verse—

“By ‘believing’ is not meant believing in the strict sense, or a saving comprehension and receiving of Jesus Christ, and so becoming the Sons of God,—which neither EVER WAS, nor EVER WILL BE, fulfilled in every man in the world, nor was ever prayed for,—but a conviction and acknowledgement that the Lord Christ is not, what before they had taken Him to be, a seducer and a false prophet, But indeed what He said, One that came out from God, able to protect and do good for and to His own: which kind of conviction and acknowledgement that it is often termed believing in the Scripture is more evident than it should need to be proved.” [John Owen]

Now the Scriptures teach that the prayers of the Lord Jesus are always answered, for He is the “One in whom God is well pleased” [Matt 3:17]. In Psalm 91, which is necessarily a Messianic Psalm, God says “He shall call upon me and I will answer Him” [Psalm 91:15]. The Lord Jesus Himself prayed at the tomb of Lazarus saying “Father I knew that Thou hearest Me always” [John 11:42a]. Calvin comments on these words saying, “By this Christ means that they are in such close agreement that the Father denies Him nothing”. If the Lord Jesus intercedes for a man, HE WILL CERTAINLY BE SAVED! And the Lord said “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I    have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when (NOT IF) thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” [Lk. 22:31,32]. Whereas the Lord never prayed for Judas or pleaded with him to forsake his sin, but said “That thou doest do quickly” [Jn. 13:27b]

If Jesus truly prayed for the whole world and the fact remains that the majority die unsaved then we are left with only two options: Either the Lord Jesus is a sinner, or that Hell is empty. For the teaching that Jesus prayed for the whole world indirectly implies that He was a sinner, for had He been a righteous man His prayers should have been heard and the whole world should have been saved. It is only the sinner’s prayers that go unanswered. The Bible says “Now we know that God heareth not sinners but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth.” [Jn. 9:31]. Now seeing that God has not heard Jesus’ prayers and saved the whole world, is not MacArthur implying that Jesus was a sinner? On the other hand if the Lord is who the Bible says He is “the Holy One and the Just” [Acts 3:14] then all His prayers MUST be heard and answered. And if He truly prayed for the salvation of the whole world as is alleged, then the inevitable conclusion must be that HELL IS EMPTY!

But did not Moses pray for the rebellious Israelites, who came out of Egypt with him? Did not the prophet Samuel pray for Saul saying “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” [I Sam. 12:23]. It must be remembered that the prayers of all the prophets of the old testaments for the nation Israel was not in regard to their eternal salvation, but to stay the impending judgment of God while on earth.

THE WILL OF GOD IS IMMUTABLEIN REGARDS TO SALVATION AND CANNOT BE ALTERED BY OUR CRYINGS!

When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good it CANNOT be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” [Jer. 15:1]. For all his fervent praying, Moses could not save the unbelieving Israelites for they all perished in the wilderness with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. [Num. 14:30]. And for all his fervent prayers for Saul, Samuel’s prayers were not answered for Saul committed suicide. [I Sam. 31:4]

Did Jesus pray for the salvation of those who crucified Him? And did Stephen pray for the salvation of those who stoned him as MacArthur alleges? To be sure, both the Lord Jesus and Stephen prayed for those who persecuted them, but they SURELY DID NOT PRAY FOR THEIR SALVATION. The Bible teaches that on the Judgment day every man will be judged according to his deeds and will answer for every sin he ever committed. We read in Matt. 12:36,37 “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” There is no implication that the only sin they will have to answer for at the Judgment Day is the sin of rejecting Christ.

When Christ said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they DO,” [Lk. 23:34]. He was not praying for the Jews who knew full well who He was, but for the Roman soldiers who had put Him to death ignorantly not knowing that they had put to death an innocent man. He was not praying that ALL their sins should be forgiven them, but that they be forgiven for the sin of ignorantly putting Him to death. Likewise, when Stephen prayed for his persecutors he was not praying that all their sins be forgiven them but “Lord, lay not THIS sin to their charge.” [Acts 7:60]. So, when those who killed the Lord Jesus and Stephen stand before the judgment they will not answer for the sin of killing the Lord and Stephen, but surely they shall give an account for every other sin they committed and if their names are not found in the Book of Life they shall be cast into the Lake of Fire. [Rev. 20:15]

Let us close by repeating what we said above –
THERE ARE MANY THINGS THE SCRIPTURE EXHORTS US TO PRAY FOR, BUT TO PRAY FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LOST IS DEFINITELY NOT ONE OF THEM.

THE WILL OF GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN REGARDS TO SALVATION AND CANNOT BE ALTERED BY OUR CRYINGS!

FALLEN MAN NEITHER SEEKS NOR ACCEPTS CHRIST

FALLEN MAN NEITHER SEEKS NOR ACCEPTS CHRIST

Michael Jeshurun

“Ye have not chosen (ACCEPTED) Me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16).

“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent me DRAW HIM: and I will raise him up at the last day. ” (John 6:44).

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD (ACCEPTS HIM). They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
“Herein is love, not that we loved (ACCEPTED) God, but that He loved [accepted] us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (YOU didn’t accept Him; HE gave you the gift of faith to believe on Him)” (Ephesians 2:4-8).
“Accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior” is unscriptural! It is not GOD that needs acceptance from us; WE need acceptance from Him:

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I WILL RECEIVE YOU, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
“Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, WE MAY BE ACCEPTED OF HIM” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be ACCEPTED?” (Genesis 4:7).
“But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is ACCEPTED WITH HIM.” (Acts 10:35).

“For he that in these things serveth Christ is ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, and approved of men” (Romans 14:18).

WHO DOES THE CHOOSING?

Here are some Bible verses that are very clear about this matter of God choosing us – without any approval from us ahead of time:

John 15:16 – “Ye have not chosen me, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit”

John 15:19 – “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13 – “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God HATH FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”

Matthew 22:14 – “For many are called, but few are CHOSEN.”

John 6:44 – “No man can come to me, EXCEPT THE FATHER which hath sent me DRAW HIM: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Psalm 65:4 – “Blessed is the man whom thou CHOOSESTAND CAUSEST to approach unto thee”

Acts 13:48 – “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.”

James 1:18 – “Of HIS OWN WILL BEGAT HE US with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

WHO SEEKS WHOM?

Romans 3:11 – “There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that SEEKETH after God.”

Romans 10:20 – “But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that SOUGHT ME NOT; I was made manifest unto them that ASKED NOT AFTER ME.

Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of man is come to SEEK AND TO SAVE that which was lost.”

Note that JESUS SEEKS US – WE DON’T SEEK HIM, because when we are unsaved we don’t even know that we are lost (see Romans 3:11 and 10:20 above). Once God shows us that we are hopelessly lost Hell-deserving sinners, we can cry out to Him to have mercy on our lost soul and to save us from the wrath of God. It is this recognition of one’s sinnership and God’s holiness that occurs at salvation, when God opens our spiritual eyes as He did with Isaiah:

Isaiah 6:5 – “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
The only way that Isaiah could see the Lord’s holiness and his own sinfulness was if God reached out and gave him the ability to see:

Romans 11:7-8 – “7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; BUT THE ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, AND THE REST WERE BLINDED (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.”

John 9:39 – “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, THAT THEY WHICH SEE NOT MIGHT SEE; AND THAT THEY WHICH SEE MIGHT BE MADE BLIND.”

We cannot manipulate God and make Him save us just because we say a sinner’s prayer in which we ‘ACCEPT’ Christ as our Saviour. As spiritually blind sinners, we are ENTIRELY AT THE MERCY OF GOD TO SEEK US OUT AND TO HEAL US OF OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS!

NO MIXED GARMENT

NO MIXED GARMENT

Robert Hawker


“Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together” [Duet 22:11]

Who should have thought that such a precept as this of Moses had a gospel signification!

And yet as Christ was preached under types and figures though the whole law, we may reasonably suppose that not a single command was then given but what had an eye to Him and His great salvation.

If we find the Lord so strict respecting the outward dress of the body, what may we conclude the Lord would enjoin respecting the inward clothing of the soul?

If woolen and linen were offensive to be worn together, surely, we cannot appear before God in motley dress of Jesus’ righteousness and our own. The fine linen, scripture saith, is the righteousness of saints. With this, which Jesus put on His people, nothing our own woolen garments must be worn. The righteousness of a creature, had we any, which in fact we have none, cannot be suited to mix with the righteousness of the Creator. And no man that is wise for salvation would put the old piece of our corrupt and worn out nature upon the new garment of the renewed nature in Christ Jesus.

When therefore the Lord saith, “THOU THAT SHALT NOT WEAR A GARMENT OF DIVERS SORTS;” my heart replies, ‘No, Lord! Let me be clothed with the robe of righteousness, and the garment of THY salvation; then shall I be found suited for the marriage supper, when the King comes in to see His guests at His table.’

BE YE THANKFUL (Col 3:15)

BE YE THANKFUL (Col 3:15)

“According as His divine power hath given unto us (or provided for us) all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” [2 Peter 1:3]

A bathroom with running water may not seem much to you, but if you are from a ‘third world country’ where many are deprived of this luxury, then maybe you’ll thank the Lord even for the toilet and bathing privacy He has provided for you!

An old song says: “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

It’s easy to lose perspective. We all face challenges and difficulties in life. And if we are not on guard, they can divert our attention from all the Lord has done for us.

Yes, you may face obstacles, but you need to remember the man who complained that he had no shoes till he saw a man who had no feet.

We may not have everything we would like, but we all have something to be thankful for.

Your children may be a challenge, but at least you have children.

Your spouse may tempt you to pull your hair out, but there are millions who would gladly trade places with you.

Your boss may be ruthless, but there are many in the world who would literally give anything to have any job so they could feed their family.

Your attitude is determined by your focus. When you focus on the negative — you turn negative, making your life, and those around you, miserable.

It is amazing how different you feel after taking just a few minutes to truly thank God for what you have.

I can read! I can see! I can smell! I can hear! I can talk! I can think! God loves me! Jesus died for me! I have a home in Heaven!

Say from your heart: “Thank you Lord for every blessing You have provided for me!”

Love ❤️
Brother Mike

THE BIG BANG!

THE BIG BANG!

First there was a ‘Big Bang!’ and then a nebulous cloud of gases, and then gradually by a process of evolution the universe blinked violently into existence 13.77 billion years ago. . . . and after a few more millions of years had gone by, from a tiny tadpole evolved this masterpiece of beauty. . . The European Bee-eater.

that’s what the Fool said . . . .
See Psalm 14:1

But anyone with two brain cells rubbing together KNOWS that such stricking colours, such symmetry, uniformity, harmony, rhythm and balance not to mention the breathtaking beauty doesnt just ‘evolve’ . . . . . rather are they the ‘work of the hands of a cunning Workman!” [SoS 7:1]

“Hath not My hand made all these things?!” [Acts 7:40]

BEST QUOTES ON IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

BEST QUOTES ON IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

Seriously, here are some fantastic quotes on Irresistible Grace by Spurgeon and others –

I take it that the highest proof of Christ’s power is not that He offers salvation, not that He bids you take it if you will, but that when you reject it, when you hate it, when you despise it, He has a power whereby he can change your mind, make you think differently from your former thoughts, and turn you from the error of your ways. – C.H. Spurgeon

I believe, that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious ad irresistible grace of God. C.H. Spurgeon

We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ. – C.H. Spurgeon

In addition to the outward general call to salvation, which is made to everyone who hears the Gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call (which is made to all without distinction) can be, and often is, rejected; whereas the internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation to man’s will, nor is He dependent on man’s cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God’s grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended. – H. Wayne House

The gospel to me is simply irresistible. – Blaise Pascal

No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing. – Blaise Pascal

God works with power, and can make the unwilling willing; if He undertake the conversion of a soul, it will be converted. All the pious workings of our heart towards God are the fruit and consequence of the powerful working of His grace in us. – Thomas Goodwin

You called, You cried, You shattered my deafness, You sparkled, You blazed, You drove away my blindness, You shed Your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for You. – Augustine

When the voice of Christ speaks through the Word, then you will arise, and leave all, and follow Him. – Robert Murray McCheyne

The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willing goes. – Martin Luther

A seeker becomes a true Christian because God does something, creating desire for Him and distaste for sin. If God is at work, you cannot help rejecting your independence and coming to Him. You will place your trust in Him because there is nothing else left to trust. You will love Him because He is irresistible to you. – Jim Elliff

THE GENTLENESS OF GOD

THE GENTLENESS OF GOD

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.

GOD’S TESTIMONIES AND HIS COVENANT – THE HERITAGE OF HIS SAINTS

GOD’S TESTIMONIES AND HIS COVENANT – THE HERITAGE OF HIS SAINTS

C.H. Spurgeon

“THY testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart!” [Psalm 119:111]

WHEN David wrote those words, he was not in a condition of ease and luxury. He was not even in a position of assured safety, for he says in the 109th verse, “My soul is continually in my hand.” You know what we mean when we say that a man carries his life in his hand; that is to say, he expects death, he is in imminent peril, and may at any moment be cut off from his fellows. It was when David was in such a condition as that, hunted, as he tells us in another place, like a partridge upon the mountains, that he could say, “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever.” He was rich in his poverty, he was enthroned in his exile, he was happy in his sorrow; and they who have enjoyed a like experience in their times of distress know how this can be.

“Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever!”

THERE was David’s heritage, that portion of goods that fell to him, that piece of goodly land that was his lot: “THY testimonies.” Ah, brethren, I cannot draw a complete map of this estate, it is so large, so wonderful; but, thank God, you can go and see it for yourselves! Walk over its broad acres, lie down in its green pastures, rest beside its still waters. It is indeed a wealthy country that is described in those two words, “Thy testimonies.”

But what does the psalmist mean by this declaration? He means, first, that he had a heritage of truth in the testimonies of God. A man’s mind is rich very much in proportion to the truth he knows. He who knows the Word of God is mentally rich, he has a large heritage. And I am sure that many of you will say with me, “these speeches of God, these revealings of God which I find in these two books of the Old and the New Testaments, are MY heritage. I rejoice to accept them as the estate of MY mind, the treasure of MY thought, the mint of the heavenly realm, the mine from which I can explore fresh veins of thought as long as I live, claiming all as MY HERITAGE for ever”.

I have been preaching the Word of God these six-and-twenty years in this one place to very much the same congregation all the while; and if I had been obliged to preach from any other book, I should have worn it threadbare by this time; but the Bible is as fresh to me to-day as when first I began to speak from it as a boy, and preached to you from it as a youth. It is an inexhaustible heritage of mental wealth to the man who will accept it, and give his mind to the study of it. Look at the doctrines, the precepts, the promises, the prophecies, the histories, the experiences,— it is no use for me to try to map out this estate, it is so large. As a great heritage of mental wealth, it makes every man who receives it, however illiterate he may be upon other subjects, a wealthy man spiritually, while they who discard it become poverty-stricken in mind, whatever else of mental attainments they may possess.

THAT is the first meaning of our text, God’s testimonies are a heritage of truth to the man who receives them. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” [Jer 15:16]

The next meaning is that GOD’S COVENANT IS OUR HERITAGE. The word “testimonies” may be understood to mean, and it does mean, God’s covenant. When the Lord Jehovah entered into covenant with men, He made a testimony to them that He would do this and that; His testimony made the covenant, and the covenant was His testimony to men. Now, I can say, and many of you can say with me, I have taken God’s covenant to be my heritage for ever. And what a heritage that covenant is, dear friends! This is one of its clauses, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

THIS is another clause in the covenant, “I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against Me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned and whereby they have transgressed against Me. And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”

Again we read, “THIS is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” “I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me.” “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” “I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will oven betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.”

If I took the whole range of the covenant, one entire night would not be sufficient time in which to explain it; I should want seven weeks full of seven sermons a day, before I could even go round the fringe of the covenant. Therefore, well might David say that within the compass of that covenant he found a heritage, which he had taken to himself to be his for ever, to be the rejoicing of his heart.

Have YOU taken the Covenant to be YOUR heritage and the rejoicing of YOUR heart?

Notice finally, David does not merely say, “they make my heart rejoice,” but he says, “they ARE the rejoicing of my heart.” He does not merely say, “they give me joy, but THEY ARE MY JOY, they are essentially and really the delight of my spirit.” Oh, what a difference it makes, when the man has truly taken Christ as his Saviour, in the way in which he looks at his religion! Until you have taken the covenant, the testimonies, and the Christ of God to be YOUR inheritance, you may be, after a fashion, deeply pious, and yet sadly miserable over your piety.

May the Lord give us the grace to say from the heart with David, “THY testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for THEY are the rejoicing of my heart!” [Psalm 119:111]

Praise ye the LORD!

‘THE BLIND’ WHOM THE LORD LEADS ARE NONE OTHER THAN HIS OWN ELECT

‘THE BLIND’ WHOM THE LORD LEADS ARE NONE OTHER THAN HIS OWN ELECT

Robert Hawker (1753-1827)

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” [Isaiah 42:16; also see – Isaiah 42:19]

Never, surely, was there a promise of a covenant God in Christ more strikingly fulfilled as to what is said in the former portion of this verse, than in thine instance, my soul. By nature and by practice, thou wert so totally blind to any apprehension of divine things, that not a right thought hadst thou ever conceived of God and Christ, when the Lord first manifested his grace to thy heart! No being in the universe was so near to me as God, but none so little known or understood. No heart was nearer to me than my own, but to all its errors and deceitfulness I remained the most perfect stranger!

In the works of providence, as well as of grace, I had no consciousness whatever of any guide, nor even of needing a guide. Self-willed, wayward, and full of confidence, I was hastening on with the multitude, intent but upon one thing, “in making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” [Rom 13:14]

Pause, my soul, and look back! When I take a review of what is past, and trace the hand of the Lord, all the way leading me as have come on, I am lost in astonishment in the contemplation of His mercies, and my undeservings. What a huge volume might be written of both, and in the margin to note down how they have kept pace together. My soul! If thou wert to read them by chapters only, what endless ones would they form under the several sections of the Lord’s love, His care, His wisdom, His methods, and His grace, in the freeness and distinguishing nature of that grace; and as I read the Lord’s mercies, to note, at the same time, my rebellions! Oh! What a subject would the whole form, in proof of this gracious promise, in facing the wisdom, power, and love of God, in awakening, regenerating, converting, and confirming grace!

Surely, Lord, thou hast indeed brought a poor blind creature, such as I am, in a way that I knew not, and led me in paths that never should have known; and still, Lord, Thou art graciously performing the same, in making darkness light, and crooked things straight. And shall I not, from the latter part of this sweet promise, derive a strength of faith, from all that is past, to trust thee for all that is to come? Hath the Lord been gracious when in a state of total blindness, to bring me by a way I knew not; and now, when He hath mercifully opened mine eyes to see His glory, and to love His name, will He not lead me still?

Had He mercy upon me, when I asked it not and neither knew that I needed it: and will He refuse me that mercy NOW, when I so earnestly seek it, and know that without His grace and mercy in Jesus, I shall perish for ever? Precious Lord! Give me faith to believe, to trust, and to depend! Thou, who hast done such great things for me already, whereof I rejoice, wilt NEVER leave me, nor forsake me, O Lord God of my salvation!

Hallelujah! 

GOD’S WORD A LOOKING GLASS

GOD’S WORD A LOOKING GLASS

C.H. Spurgeon

“For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” [James 23-25]

Still, the use of the mirror must be ranked among the trifles of life; I see that you are half-smiling at the playfulness which glitters around a glass. Is not this a hint at the light in which many regard the hearing of the gospel? They crowd to hear a preacher if he has some sort of name, not that they desire to get a blessing thereby, but merely that they may say that they have heard him, or that they may gratify their curiosity by seeing what he is like. Truly the burden of our lives is a pastime to some of you. Sirs, this reminds me of the fable of the frogs. When the boys stoned them, the poor creatures said, “It may be sport to you, but it is death to us.” You may hear me this day with the idlest curiosity, and judge my message with the coldest criticism, but if you do not receive the blessings of the gospel, it strikes a chill at my heart. Your unspiritual hearing is sport to you, but it is death to me. A deadly shadow as of a hell-mist hovers over my spirit while I suppose it possible that I am, with all my earnestness, ministering to your condemnation.

To every hearer the true Word of God is as a mirror. Certain preachers dream that it is their business to paint pretty pictures, but it is not so. We are not to design and sketch, but simply to give the reflection of the truth. We are to hold up the mirror to nature in a moral and spiritual sense, and let men see themselves therein. We have not even to make the mirror, but only to hold it up. The thoughts of God, and not our own thoughts, are to be set before our hearers’ minds, and these discover a man to himself. The Word of the Lord is a revealer of secrets; it shows a man his life, his thoughts, his heart, his inmost self.

The Scripture gives a truthful reflection of man’s nature, it lets the man see himself, not as others see him, for others make mistakes, nor as he would see himself, for he is very apt to be partial to his own soul, but the Scripture makes him see himself as God sees him. Look at the Scriptural portrait of a sinner. That is you, O man! Look at the depraved heart, the rebellious will, the darkened understanding, that heart, will, and understanding are yours, O my brother! What a sight it is which meets the sinner’s eyes when he is hearing the faithful Word! “I thought,” he says, as he looks into the Word, “that I was much more comely than this. I had never dreamed of these freckles and spots. I was not aware that I suffered from such a twist of features, such an exaggeration of one and such a deficiency in another.”

The holy Book does not flatter human nature, neither does the true preacher attempt so base a work, but in plain and downright honesty of truth the witness is given, “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.” When conscience is awakened, and the man sees himself as the revelation of God declares him to be, he can hardly think that this can be the same self with which he was upon such excellent terms. If God blesses the sight, he is led to abhor himself, and to seek for cleansing and renewal, but if not, the man has at least seen himself, and has had the opportunity of knowing his true state.

The glass of the Word is not like our ordinary looking glass, which merely shows us our external features, but, according to the Greek of our text, the man sees in it “the face of his birth,” that is, the face of his nature. He that reads and hears the Word may see not only his actions there, but his motives, his desires, his inward condition. As the butcher cuts down the carcass, and reveals all the innards, which never could have been seen but for his knife, so is the Word of God “quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The secrets of the man are opened up to himself, and he is astonished to see his inward depravity, his carnal tendencies, and his corrupt inclinations. As a man sees his outward self in the looking glass, so may he see his inward self in the Word, but if this is all, to what purpose is it?

A man, who has once looked in the glass, and afterwards has not washed, is very apt to go and look in the glass again, and continue in his filthiness. He who thinks his conscience has cried “wolf” in mere sport, will think the same till he takes no heed when it cries in earnest. When men get to playing with the Word of God they are near to destruction. Beware of hearing the gospel as a pastime; it is the next stage to eternal ruin. When that which God designs to be to our salvation becomes a pastime to us, then all likelihood that it will save us is gone. He who sports with heaven and hell will soon lose all hope of the one, and be hurried down to the other.

The true hearer looks into this perfect law of liberty with all his soul, heart, and understanding, till he knows it, and feels the force of it in his own character. He is the prince of hearers, who delights to know what God’s will is, and finds his joy in acting out the same. He sees the law in its height of purity, breadth of comprehensiveness, and depth of spirituality, and the more he sees the more he admires. He cannot have too much of it, but meditates in it both day and night, and hence he cries, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” His most frequent prayer is that he may be conformed unto that perfect law in all respects, and in proportion as his prayer is heard he enters into perfect rest. I pause and ask you whether you belong to the blessed company, who look into the crystal glass of the law.

As I stand here I look into the mirror of the Word and see myself. But this is not enough for me; I will look till I see more. I continue looking into the mystic glass until, to my great surprise, I see another form appearing. Evidently some mysterious Personage is reflected in this mirror. How beautiful and majestic is the Stranger’s visage! I look till the image of my countenance melts into the reflection of His countenance, and He alone is seen. I only appear in Him. Is He not lovely? Indeed He is the Chief among ten thousand.

NOW I see the meaning of that word, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [2Cor 3:18]

THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE – THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE – THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

By C. H. Spurgeon

“I sat down under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Solomon’s Song 2:3.)

Christ known, should be Christ used. The spouse knew her Beloved to be like a fruit-bearing tree, and at once she sat under His shadow, and fed upon His fruit. It is a pity that we can know so much about Christ, and yet enjoy Him so little. May our experience keep pace with our knowledge, and may that experience be composed of a practical using of our Lord!

Jesus casts a shadow, let us sit under it: Jesus yields fruit, let us taste the sweetness of it. Depend upon it, that the way to learn more, is to use what you know; and, moreover, the way to learn a truth thoroughly is to learn it ‘experimentally’. You know a doctrine beyond all fear of contradiction when you have proved it for yourself by personal test and trial. The bride in the song as good as says, “I am certain that my Beloved casts a shadow, for I have sat under it, and I am persuaded that He bears sweet fruit, for I have tasted of it.”

The best way of demonstrating the power of Christ to save, is to trust in Him and be saved yourself; and of all those who are sure of the divinity of their holy faith, there are none so certain as those who feel its divine power upon themselves. You may perhaps reason yourself into a belief of the gospel, and you may perhaps by further reasoning keep yourself orthodox. But a personal evaluation, and an inward knowing of the truth, are incomparably the best evidences of the reality of divine life in the soul.

If Jesus is as an apple tree among the trees of the woods, do not keep away from Him, but sit under His shadow, and taste His fruit. He is a Saviour- do not believe the fact and yet remain unsaved. As far as Christ is known to you, so far make use of Him. Is not this sound common-sense?

We would further remark that we are at liberty to make every possible use of Christ. Shadow and fruit may both be enjoyed. Christ in His infinite condescension exists for needy souls. Oh, let us say it over again: it is a bold word, but it is true, -our Lord exists for the benefit of His people. A Saviour only exists to save. A physician lives to heal. The Good Shepherd lives, yes, dies, for His sheep. Our Lord Jesus Christ has wrapped us about His heart; we are intimately interwoven with all His offices, with all His honors, with all His traits of character, with all that He has done, and with all that He has yet to do. The ‘sinners’ Friend lives for sinners, and sinners may have Him and use Him to the uttermost. He is as free to us as the air we breathe. What are fountains for, but that the thirsty may drink? What is the harbor for, but that storm-tossed boats may find refuge there?

What is Christ for, but that poor guilty ones like ourselves may come to Him and look and live, and afterwards may have all our spiritual needs supplied out of His fullness?

LET THINE EYES LOOK RIGHT ON

LET THINE EYES LOOK RIGHT ON

C.H. Spurgeon

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” [Prov 4:25]

You need to have a way, and a straight way, and a way whose end you dare contemplate, or else you cannot carry out the advice of Solomon, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”

Every wise man will conclude that the best way for a man is the way which God has made for him. He that made us knows what He made us for, and He knows by what means we may best arrive at that end. According to divine teaching, as gracious as it is certain, we learn that the way of eternal life is Jesus Christ. Christ himself says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; and he that would pursue life after a right fashion must look to Jesus, and must continue looking unto Jesus, not only as the Author, but as the Finisher of his Faith.

It shall be to him a golden rule of life, when he has chosen Christ to be his way, to let his eyes look right on, and his eyelids straight before him. He need not be afraid to contemplate the end of that way, for the end of the way of Christ is life and glory with Christ for ever. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is.”

A friend said to me the other day, “How happy are we to know that whatever happens to us in this life it is well!” “Yes,” I added, “and to know that if this life ends it is equally well, or better.” Then we joined hands in common joy to think that we were equally ready for life or death, and did not need five minutes’ anxiety as to whether it should be the one or the other. Brethren,, when you are on the King’s highway, and that way is a perfectly straight one, you may go ahead without fear, and sing on the road.

With all my heart I invite any who have never yet begun to live after a right fashion, to take Christ to be the way of life to them; and then I entreat them to let their eyes look straight on, and their eyelids straight before them, and to follow Jesus without giving a glance either to the right hand or to the left till it shall be said of them, even in glory, “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” [Rev 14:4]

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED WHAT PAUL DISCOVERED?

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED WHAT PAUL DISCOVERED?

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me!” [Romans 7:21]

The apostle proposes the way by which he discovered this law (of sin) in himself: “I find then (or therefore), a law.” He found it. It had been told to him that there was such a law; it had been preached to him. This convinced him that THERE WAS a law of sin. But it is one thing for a man to know in general that there is a law of sin; another thing for a man to EXPERIENCE the power of this law of sin in himself.

It is preached to ALL; all men admit that the Scriptures acknowledge it, that it is declared in them; but there are FEW who know it IN THEMSELVES. We would otherwise have more complaints of it than we have, and more contentions against it, and less fruits of it in the world. But this is what the apostle affirms — not that the doctrine of it had been preached to him, but that he FOUND IT IN HIMSELF BY EXPERIENCE. “I find a law;” — “I have EXPERIENCED its power and efficacy.” For a man to find his sickness, and the danger thus arising from its effects, is different than hearing a discourse about a disease arising from its causes. And this EXPERIENCE is the great preservative of all divine truth in the soul. This is what it means to know a thing indeed, and in reality — to know it for ourselves — when, as we are taught it from the Word, so we find it in ourselves.

Hence we observe further, that believers experience the power and efficacy of indwelling sin. They find it in themselves; they find it as a law. It has a self-evidencing efficacy to those who are alive to discern it.

Those who do not find its power, are under its dominion!

Whoever contends against it, WILL KNOW and find that it is present with them, that it is powerful in them. The one who swims against the current will find the stream is strong; but the one who floats along with it, will be insensible of it.

– John Owen in his classic work – ‘The Remainders of Indwelling Sin in Believers’.

THE REAL ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’ FOR THE CHLD OF GOD IS THE DAY GOD SAVED HIM!

THE REAL ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’ FOR THE CHLD OF GOD IS THE DAY GOD SAVED HIM!

Michael Jeshurun

The Jews said unto Him, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free”?

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”!

Reminds me of those who say, “Hey, I was born a Baptist” or “I was born a Methodist” what do mean I’m not a Christian?

The portion above tells us that though men may not be in bondage to other men, yet the fact that they are “servants of sin” shows that they are not truly ‘free’ or “Independent” as they suppose they are!

But “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free INDEED“! [John 8:36]
I send thee Paul to the Gentiles, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me”! [Acts 26:15-18]

All that to say, if you are a truly born-again Christian, then your real “Independence Day” was the day when you were ‘born-again’ and Christ set you free!

For it was on THAT day that your blind eyes were opened!

It was on that day, you were delivered from the power of Satan to the power of God!

It was on that day that you were delivered from the PENALTY of sin!

And it was on that day, you were delivered from the POWER of sin!

And the Day is soon coming, when you shall be delivered from the very PRESENCE of sin into the glorious presence of the Lamb of God to sing His praises for all eternity!

THAT my dear friend is TRUE freedom and THAT is your real ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY‘!

Hallelujah!

THE MERCIES OF GOD – NEW EVERY MORNING

THE MERCIES OF GOD – NEW EVERY MORNING

C.H. Spurgeon

His mercies are new EVERY MORNING and fresh EVERY EVENING!

WHO can know the number of His benefits, or recount the list of His bounties? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are covered with the silver of His kindness, and with the yellow gold of His affection. The river of time bears from the mountains of eternity the golden sands of His favour. The countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more innumerable host of blessings.

WHO can count the dust of the benefits which He bestows on Jacob, or tell the number of the fourth part of His mercies towards Israel? How shall my soul extol Him who daily loadeth us with benefits, and who crowneth us with loving-kindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless as His bounty! O miserable tongue, how canst thou be silent?! Wake up, I pray thee, lest I call thee no more my glory, but my shame. “Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early.”

A TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF ‘FALLEN MAN’ AND THE SAINT

A TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF ‘FALLEN MAN’ AND THE SAINT

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

Every time we preach about the Sovereignty of God and the total depravity of man, and deny that man has a free-will to come to God, why do men, even ‘Christian’ men quibble and fight against it?

It is because they have not grasped or understood the very basic teaching concerning fallen man! i.e. Man is not just SPIRITUALLY SICK in need of some medicine, but he is SPIRITUALLY DEAD in need of a resurrection!

Concerning the human will Spurgeon said – “We declare on scriptural authority that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful, supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will will ever be constrained toward Christ”.

Consequently, Spurgeon resisted the notion of human free will. He contended that such an idea elevates man to the place reserved for God alone: “Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God. It declares God’s purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man.” Further, Spurgeon affirmed, “If God requires of the sinner, dead in sin, that he should take the first step, then he requires just that which renders salvation as impossible under the gospel as it was under the law, since man is as unable to believe as he is to obey.”

Simply put, Spurgeon believed that no human will is entirely free. It is either a slave of sin or a slave of Christ, but never free.

For Spurgeon, this was where the message of the gospel begins. THE SAVING MESSAGE OF GRACE STARTS WITH TOTAL DEPRAVITY. Man is entirely corrupted by sin. He is spiritually dead and unable to save himself. He could not be more hopeless and helpless.

Along the same lines A.W. Pink wrote – the superficial work of many of the professional evangelists of the last fifty years is largely responsible for the erroneous views now current upon the BONDAGE of the natural man, encouraged by the laziness of those in the pew in their failure to “PROVE (test) all things” 1 Thess. 5:21.

The average evangelical pulpit conveys the impression that it lies wholly in the power of the sinner whether or not he shall be saved. It is said that “God has done his part, now man must do his.” Alas, what can a lifeless man do, and man by nature is “DEAD in trespasses and sins” Eph 2:1! If this were really believed, there would be more dependence upon the Holy Spirit to come in with his miracle working power, and less confidence in OUR attempts to “win men for Christ.”

When addressing the unsaved, preachers often draw an analogy between God’s sending of the Gospel to the sinner, and a SICK MAN IN BED, with some healing medicine on a table by his side: all he needs to do is reach forth his hand and take it.

But in order for this illustration to be in any wise true to the picture which Scripture gives us of the fallen and depraved sinner, the sick man in bed must be described as one who is Eph 4:18 BLIND so that he CANNOT SEE the medicine, his hand PARALYZED Rom. 5:6 so that he is UNABLE TO REACH FORTH FOR IT, and his heart not only devoid of all confidence in the medicine but filled with HATRED AGAINST THE PHYSICIAN HIMSELF John 15:18.

O what superficial views of man’s desperate plight are now entertained! Christ came here not to help those who were ‘WILLING’ to help themselves, but to do for his people what they were INCAPABLE OF DOING FOR THEMSELVES: “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” Isa. 42:7.

WHAT OR WHO ARE ‘SAINTS’ ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?

In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.

The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” “…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13). “Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32). “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …“ (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).

The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints: “that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints …” (Romans 16:2). “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints—and at the same time are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.”

CHRISTIANS ARE SAINTS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR CONNECTION WITH JESUS CHRIST. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints.

THE CONTEMPLATION OF GOD

THE CONTEMPLATION OF GOD

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

If the contemplation of God does not ‘blow your mind’, then he is probably not THE GOD of the Bible you are contemplating. If the God you believe in can be understood and explained to satisfy your peanut brain, he is probably not THE GOD of the Bible! If after you are done with your preaching, the natural unregenerate man does not exclaim- “that is not MY idea of God” or “that is not the God of love I believe in” you probably haven’t preached it right!

As Boettner rightly said- “If the Gospel does not startle and terrify and amaze a man when presented to him, it is not the true Gospel”!

It has been well said that, “Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued, investigation of the great subject of the Deity. The most excellent study for expanding the soul is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.” (C. H. Spurgeon).

Let us quote a little further from this prince of preachers.

The proper study of the Christian is the God-head. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the doings, and the existence of the great God which he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can comprehend and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go on our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought “I am but of yesterday and know nothing.” (Sermon on Mal. 3:6).

Yes, the incomprehensibility of the Divine nature should teach us humility, caution and reverence. After all our searchings and meditations we have to say with Job, “Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him!” (26:14). When Moses besought Jehovah for a sight of His glory, He answered him “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee” (Ex. 33:19), and, as another has said, “the name is the collection of His attributes.”

Rightly did the Puritan John Howe declare:
The notion therefore we can hence form of His glory, is only such as we may have of a large volume by a brief synopsis, or of a spacious country by a little landscape. He hath here given us a true report of Himself, but not a full; such as will secure our apprehensions—being guided thereby—from error, but not from ignorance. We can apply our minds to contemplate the several perfections whereby the blessed God discovers to us His being, and can in our thoughts attribute them all to Him, though we have still but low and defective conceptions of each one. Yet so far as our apprehensions can correspond to the discovery that He affords us of His several excellencies, we have a present view of His glory.

As the difference is indeed great between the knowledge of God which His saints have in this life and that which they shall have in Heaven, yet, as the former should not be undervalued because it is imperfect, so the latter is not to be magnified above its reality. True, the Scripture declares that we shall see “face to face” and “know” even as we are known (1 Cor. 13:12), but to infer from this that we shall then know God as fully as He knows us, is to be misled by the mere sound of words, and to disregard that restriction of the same which the subject necessarily requires. There is a vast difference between the saints being glorified and their being made Divine. In their glorified state, Christians will still be finite creatures, and therefore, never able to fully comprehend the infinite God.

The saints in heaven will see God with the eye of the mind, for He will be always invisible to the bodily eye; and will see Him more clearly than they could see Him by reason and faith, and more extensively than all His works and dispensations had hitherto revealed Him; but their minds will not be so enlarged as to be capable of contemplating at once, or in detail, the whole excellence of His nature. To comprehend infinite perfection, they must become infinite themselves. Even in Heaven, their knowledge will be partial, but at the same time their happiness will be complete, because their knowledge will be perfect in this sense, that it will be adequate to the capacity of the subject, although it will not exhaust the fulness of the object. We believe that it will be progressive, and that as their views expand, their blessedness will increase; but it will never reach a limit beyond which there is nothing to be discovered; and when ages after ages have passed away, He will still be the incomprehensible God. (John Dick, 1840).

GOD’S ELECT – FOOLS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

GOD’S ELECT – FOOLS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

When the Lord called me 36 years ago, I really did forsake all to follow Him! You could say I literally walked out on a limb and sawed it off! I lost many things which were very dear to me – my parents, my girlfriend my best friends and even my job!

Many look at my life and say that I was a fool to have done what I did! To burn all my bridges and follow an unseen God for a ‘pie in the sky’!

But as a good old quote by Jim Elliot says – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

The story is told of a man who was walking down the busy streets of London with a quote written in bold on the front of his tall hat. It read – “I am a fool for Christ’s sake”! Some saw it and snickered. And as he passed by some turned around to take another look at him, and saw he had written on the back of his hat – “whose fool are YOU”?!

Everybody is somebody’s fool! I was chosen to be a fool for Christ’s sake as all true Christians are! [1Cor 4:10]

WHOSE FOOL ARE YOU?!

Michael Jeshurun

THE VANITY OF RICHES AND A WORD ON CONTENTMENT

THE VANITY OF RICHES AND A WORD ON CONTENTMENT

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” [Prov 13:7]

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” [1Tim 6:8-11]

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it!” [Matt 10:39]

IF YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S ELECT, CHRIST HAD YOU IN MIND WHEN HE WENT TO THE CROSS

IF YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S ELECT, CHRIST HAD YOU IN MIND WHEN HE WENT TO THE CROSS

Have you noticed how unpopular it’s become to suggest that human beings might have any limits?

I don’t know about you, but I’m regularly informed by TV, music, movies, and ad campaigns – that there are literally NO limits to what I can achieve. If I can dream it, then I can BE it. Which is great news, because since watching a recent documentary about Michael Jordan, I’ve decided I want to be the MVP of the Chicago Bulls. So what if I’m a 48-year-old with a dodgy knee who consistently struggles to throw balled-up paper into a trash can three feet away? Stop limiting me with your words and your facts.

I suspect this “limitophobia” partly explains why some of us react against the theological concept of “limited atonement.” How could the perfect atonement won for us by the eternal Son of God be in any sense “limited”? Mindful of this unhelpful implication, some theologians have wisely taken to calling it “definite atonement” instead.

But, whichever term you use, what it means is simply this: Jesus died to fully secure the salvation of His people, not just to make the offer.

Limited or definite atonement is rooted in biblical texts such as Mark chapter 10, verse 45, which says, “The Son of Man came . . . to give his life AS A RANSOM FOR MANY.” That is, Christ didn’t die merely to make a ransom OFFER; His death actually WAS the ransom, and it was completely effective for the many to whom it applies.

That truth is reinforced by Revelation chapter 5, verse 9, where the worshipers in heaven sing to Jesus, “Worthy are you . . . for you were slain, and BY YOUR BLOOD YOU RANSOMED PEOPLE FOR GOD from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Or think about Ephesians chapter 5, verse 25: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up FOR HER.” Again, though Christ freely OFFERS salvation to all, His death actually ACHIEVED salvation specifically for His bride, “the church.”

Or consider John chapter 10, verse 11, where Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life FOR THE SHEEP.” The sheep here are those who hear Christ’s voice and follow Him. So, again, Christ doesn’t give His life for all people indiscriminately in the hope that some might decide to follow Him. The Good Shepherd lays down His life specifically for all those who actually follow Him.

John chapter 11, verse 52, says that Jesus died “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” His death wasn’t simply to enable the POSSIBILITY that God’s children MIGHT BE gathered into one; the gathering was actually ACCOMPLISHED by Christ’s death.

At stake, then, is the effectiveness of Christ’s death. Did Jesus only succeed in making an OFFER of salvation which might be freely accepted or freely rejected? Or did He succeed not only in making an offer but also in actually securing salvation for His people?

Limited atonement—or definite atonement—says that yes, Christ’s OFFER of salvation really IS held out to ALL people, for ALL time, and just because some reject that offer does not mean that His death was weak or ineffectual. On the contrary, His blood, shed on the cross, really DID succeed in saving, ransoming, and gathering the people He intended to redeem. It was not shed in vain.

So is the term LIMITED ATONEMENT unhelpful? Yes, if you think of LIMITED as meaning “small” or “miserly.” But that is not what LIMITED means here. Christ’s atonement is limited only in the way that a devoted husband’s marital love is limited to his bride.

What difference does this make? An awful lot, especially if you’re the bride.

God the Father didn’t send God the Son to give His life in the hope that a vague and hypothetical group of people MIGHT accept His offer of salvation at some point in the future, but then again might not.

He didn’t die as a potential substitute but as an actual one: YOUR sin was paid for at the cross if you’re a follower of Jesus. He actually died specifically FOR YOU. He had YOU in mind in eternity before history began, He had YOU in mind as He went to the Cross, and He has YOU in mind now as He sits at the Father’s right hand making intercession.

Just as God’s word never returns to Him empty, but always achieves precisely what He has sent it to do, so too does the blood of Christ: poured out to save HIS sheep, HIS people, HIS children, HIS bride.

[Transcribed from a podcast by Barry Cooper]

GOD’S ELECT CALLED OUT OF EGYPT

GOD’S ELECT CALLED OUT OF EGYPT

C.H. Spurgeon


“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.” [Hosea 11:1]

Again, “Out of Egypt have I called My son!” [Matt 2:15]

“Out of Egypt have I called My son,” is a text worthy to be made a proverb, for it is true all through the history of the chosen seed. They are called out from amongst the surrounding race of rebels, and when the call comes none can hold them back. It were easier to restrain the sun from rising than to hold the redeemed of the Lord in perpetual servitude.

“The Breaker has gone up before them, and their King at the head of them”: who shall block up their road? God is still calling them out, and until the very last of His elect shall be ingathered it shall still stand true, “Out of Egypt”— and out of anywhere else that is like to Egypt, out of the worst and vilest places, out of the places where they are held fast in bitter bondage, out of these— “have I called My son.”

Note that it was while IN EGYPT, and at the worst time of their bondage in Egypt, that they received the first notification that the nation was to be called the son of God. Israel is not called a son until Moses comes to Pharaoh and says, “Israel is My son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me!”

God had been with Abraham, and called him His friend, but I do not perceive that He called him His son, or that Abraham addressed the Lord as “Our Father which art in heaven.” Neither do I find similar sweet words flowing from the lips of Isaac or of Jacob; but when Israel was in bondage, THEN it was that the Lord revealed Israel’s adoption, and openly declared, “Israel is My son, even My firstborn!”

Now, brethren, Satan soon knows the man that God has owned to be His son, and he seeks to slay him even as Herod sought to kill Jesus. When the man-child was born, the Dragon knew who that man-child was, and sought to destroy Him, and vomited forth floods to sweep Him away, until we read that the earth helped the woman, and there were given to her wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished from the face of the serpent.

No sooner is the child of God really acknowledged to be such, than at once the seed of the serpent will hiss about him, and if they can will cast their venom upon him: at any rate, they will bite at his heel, till God has taught him in the name of Jesus to break the serpent’s head. Rest assured that this is another mark of the election of grace. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution! [2Tim 3:12] In Ishmael’s case it was seen that he that is born after the flesh persecuteth him that is born after the Spirit, and so it is NOW! [Gal 4:29]

You cannot expect to pass through this Vanity Fair without exciting the jeers and sneers of the ungodly; for the Lord’s inheritance is unto Him as a speckled bird: the birds round about her are against her. [Jer 12:9] Every David has his Saul, every Nehemiah his Sanballat, and every Mordecai his Haman.

But now comes the crown of the text, that is, “I have called My son out of Egypt,” and out of Egypt Israel MUST COME! For Egypt was not Israel’s portion: it was “a land that was not theirs.” My brethren, we are not citizens of “the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified”; and the best thing in this present evil world is not your portion nor mine. Friendly Egypt, sheltering Egypt, was not Israel’s inheritance. He gave them no portion even in the land of Goshen by a covenant of salt. They might tarry there for awhile, but out of it they must come, as it is written “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt.” [Ps 80:8]

The best side of the world when it seems warmest and tenderest to us is not the place whereon we may lie down with comfort. The bosom of our God— THAT is the true shelter of His people, and THERE we must find rest. If we are dwelling in the world, and are tempted to be of the world, and to take up with the riches of Egypt, we must by grace be taught to cast all this behind our back, for we have not our portion in this life, neither can we have our inheritance until we enter upon the life that is to come. Jacob said on his death-bed, “Bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt,” and Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones that they should not remain in Pharaoh’s land. Even so the saints of God are weary of the world’s dominions; they tremble like a bird out of Egypt. [Hosea 11:11]

Not in Egypt would God reveal Himself to His people. What saith He? “Come ye out from among them: be ye separate, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters!” [2Cor 6:17,18] When He called Israel His son it is in connection WITH THIS COMING OUT. “Out of Egypt have I called My son.” And you and I must be fetched out from the world and all its associations, and truly severed from it, if we are ever to come to know the Lord our God. In Egypt God was not known, but “in JUDAH is God known: His name is great in Israel.” [Ps 76:1] His people must not permanently reside in a strange country. The land of tombs was no fit home for a living people whose God was the living God: therefore it is written, “Out of Egypt have I called My son”; and the heathen knew it, for they said one to another, “Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt.” [Num 23:11]

The spiritual meaning of all this is, that from under the power of Sin, Satan, and of the world God WILL certainly call His own redeemed. They shall not abide in the land of Egypt; sin shall not be pleasant to them; they shall not continue under Satan’s power, but they shall break his yoke from off their neck. The Lord will help them, and strengthen them, so that they shall clean escape from their former slavery.

With a high hand and an outstretched arm brought He up Israel out of the land of Egypt, and with that same high hand and outstretched arm will He save His own elect, whom He has loved from before the foundations of the world, and whom He has purchased with His most precious blood. They, too, shall sing as Israel did, “Sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously!,” in the day when God shall deliver them.

Praise ye the LORD!

GOD’S GOLDEN CHAIN

GOD’S GOLDEN CHAIN

Benjamin Warfield

Read Rom 8:29,30, and see “The Golden Chain” which, as a fine old divine, John Arrowsmith, puts it, “God lets down from Heaven that by it He may draw up His elect thither.” “For whom He foreknew” — that is election, the setting upon His people with distinguishing pre-occupation and love, according to the pregnant use of “know” in such a passage say, as Amos 3:2, “You only have I known out of all the families of the earth”

— “for whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son” — this is the high destiny prepared for us! — “that He might be the firstborn among many brethren: and whom He foreordained, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Count these five golden links, all acts of God’s own, working our salvation, and note how they 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.”

That fine old divine to whom we have just referred tells us further that “election, having once pitched upon a man, will find him out and call him home, wherever he be. Zacchaeus out of cursed Jericho; Abraham out of idolatrous Ur of the Chaldeans; Nicodemus and Paul out of the college of the Pharisees, Christ’s sworn enemies; Dionysius and Damaris, out of superstitious Athens. In whatever dunghill God’s jewels be hid, election will both find them out there and fetch them out from thence.” “Rejoice,” our Savior cried (Luke 10:20), “rejoice in this — that your names are written in heaven,” in, that is, the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 21:27), which the same fine old divine counsels us always to remember, is “a book of love — the writing of our names in which is the firstborn of all God’s favors.”

That God has set upon just US in this his electing grace, must ever be to us a matter of adoring wonder. Certain it is, that there was nothing in us, whether quality or deed, which could attract His favorable notice, much less make Him partial to us, and, moreover, there is no respect of persons with God. We were dead, dead in trespasses and sins, even as others, and therefore the children of wrath even as they (Eph 2:1-3). “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18); and surely there has been enough ungodliness and unrighteousness in us.

That God has chosen just us from among our fellows to be saved from this wrath, 1 Thess 5:9, finds no explanation in us. We can only say, “Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in Thy sight” (Matt. 11:26). It has all hung upon His mere good pleasure, and He has given us this unspeakable blessing for no other reason than that he has chosen to give it to us in the unsearchable counsels of His own gracious will. For, as our fine old divine reminds us, we are “predestinated after the counsel of HIS own will, not after the good inclinations of OURS.” We had no good inclinations of will; men dead in trespasses and sins have no good inclinations.

All that is good in us, in the inclinations of our wills as in the conduct of our lives, is from Him, the product of His electing grace, and cannot be its cause. It is only because God has set upon us in His inexplicable love, and has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son, that, through His calling, and justifying, and sanctifying grace — all in execution of His gracious election — any good is formed in us. It is not “of works,” says Paul (Eph. 2:9,10), that we are saved but “for good works”; and he adds that, in order that we may do these good works, we have needed to be made over, and that by so profoundly revolutionary a change that we can be looked upon as nothing less than a new creation — “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,” the good works which God has afore prepared that we should walk in them.

The very good works which we do, then, have been prepared for us by God in His electing grace, that we should walk in them. We are not chosen because we are good; we are chosen that we may be good. That is precisely what we are elected to — goodness, holiness. We were dead, dead in trespasses and sins, even as others, and therefore the children of wrath even as they (Eph 2:1-3). “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18); and surely there has been enough ungodliness and unrighteousness in us. That God has chosen just us from among our fellows to be saved from this wrath, 1 Thess 5: 9, finds no explanation in us. We can only say, “Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in Thy sight” (Matt 11: 26). It has all hung upon His mere good pleasure, and He has given us this unspeakable blessing for no other reason than that He has chosen to give it to us in the unsearchable counsels of His own gracious will. For, as our fine old divine reminds us, we are “predestinated after the counsel of His own will, not after the good inclinations of ours.”

And that again is what is meant by the declaration that we have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of God’s Son: we can become like him only as we become holy. Accordingly we are told with the richest fullness of expression (Eph. 1:3,4), that God chose us “in Christ . . . before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him. . . having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” It is all here — the rooting of all our goodness in the elective decree of God, and the rooting of that decree in God’s mere good pleasure. Everything else hangs on election, election itself on God alone. But what is especially emphasized is that what God has chosen us to, in this electing decree, is that we should be holy.

EZEKIEL’S SERMON TO DEAD BONES [Ezekiel 37:1-14]

EZEKIEL’S SERMON TO DEAD BONES [Ezekiel 37:1-14]

by Henry Mahan

The message that God gave Ezekiel to preach rang of free and Sovereign Grace!

The message was NOT AN APPEAL TO THE BONES TO DO SOMETHING FOR GOD, BUT IT WAS A PROCLAMATION OF WHAT GOD WAS PLEASED TO DO FOR THEM. ‘I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live.’ ‘I will lay sinews, flesh, and skin upon you.’ ‘You shall know that I am the Lord’ (Ezk 37:6).

THE WORD IS NOT ‘I WILL IF YOU WILL;’ BUT RATHER GOD, SAYS, ‘I WILL AND YOU SHALL!’

GOD’S WILL AND PURPOSE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO MAN’S DEPRAVED WILL.

He works all things after the counsel of his will and makes us willing (Eph. 1:11).

Through the years preachers have been exhorted not to preach God’s sovereignty, covenant mercies, elective grace, and effectual, particular redemption to sinners; but these are the very truths God instructed the prophet to preach to these dead bones. Tell them who God is, what they are, and what God is pleased to do for them in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:3-14).

Verses 7-10. ‘So I preached as I was commanded.’ Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all preachers would forget the programs, the entertainment, the methods, the eloquence and preach the word of God as they are commanded!

‘There was a noise’ or a stir! If the true word of God is preached in the power of God’s Spirit, there will be a stir–the stir of interest, of life, of joy, of faith. But there will also be the stir of opposition, persecution, and trouble.

‘O breath, come and breathe upon these slain that they may live.’ Ezekiel did more than just preach; he prayed to the Spirit of the Lord to give life (John 3:5-8). Doctrines and facts (as true as they are) do not save nor give life. Christ is our life and he must give life! He said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!’ (John 11:25).

“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee Live! Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread My skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest Mine!” [Ezk 16:5-8]

Hallelujah!!!

EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD TRANSPIRES WITH AN EYE ON GOD’S ELECT

EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD TRANSPIRES WITH AN EYE ON GOD’S ELECT

Michael Jeshurun

“According as His divine power hath GIVEN UNTO US ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue!” [2Peter 1:3]

That’s right, even a thing as common as a printing press to print a Bible or the spectacles through which to read it or a shortwave radio with which we listen to sermons were all foreordained by God with an eye on His Elect! In fact all the inventions, discoveries, advances in science and practically EVERYTHING that is transpiring under the sun is unfolding with an eye on God’s only begotten Son as the Head and His body the Church! ALL THINGS whatsoever they may be are working together for the GOOD of them that love God, and those who are the called according to His purpose!” [Rom 8:28]

Spurgeon said in one of his sermons – “Long before He had made the world in which men should dwell, He had ordained a place for His people and the arrangements of Providence were made WITH AN EYE TO THEM, for Moses says, “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. For the Lord’s portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.” [Duet 32:8,9]

And A.W. Pink said – “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.”

WHATEVER comes to pass is God’s will and by God’s sovereign rule! God is doing it to glorify Christ and with an eye on His Elect, His chosen, His sheep! God is sovereign in His purpose, over sin and in the salvation of his Elect. God’s purpose shall not fail!

Most importantly God’s purpose for YOU shall not fail beloved, and that in-spite of yourself – your sins, your shortcomings and your oft failures! The God who purposed to save you is One who speaks in righteousness – ‘Mighty to save!’ [Isa 63:1] And He is not only ABLE to save you to the uttermost but He WILL save you to the uttermost!

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD SHALL RETURN, AND COME with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head.” [Isaiah 51:11]

The Lord God says that His redeemed SHALL COME and that settles the matter!

Say “Praise the Lord!”