WHETHER PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL FOOD ‘THE POWER TO EAT THEREOF’ IS FROM THE LORD

WHETHER PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL FOOD ‘THE POWER TO EAT THEREOF’ IS FROM THE LORD

Michael Jeshurun

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God!” [Ecc 5:19]

That’s right! Whether it be your physical food or your spiritual food, unless the Lord gives you ‘the power to eat thereof’ you just will not have the hunger for it! How many rich people there are who have fully loaded pantries and jumbo refrigerators packed with all kinds of delicacies but have not the power or hunger to eat it for one reason or another; and how many Christians there are in our day who have access to the best theology and sound doctrinal books and have a Bible in almost every room and even on their smart-phones but alas there is no hunger for the Word of God! Or as the wise man said, “GOD GIVETH THEM NOT POWER TO EAT THEREOF, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease!” [Ecc 6:2]

If the above is a description of YOUR spiritual state then please read on . . . for it is a solemn truth that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!” [Matt 4:4]

Let us first prayerfully read and consider the following Psalm –

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in Thy way.

Stablish t\Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness.” – [Psalm 119:33-40]

As you know, this is a psalm all about God’s Word, with each verse referring to the Bible by one of many synonyms or titles (commandments, statutes, precepts, ways, ordinances, law, etc.). In verse 40, the “behold” draws attention to the statement “I LONG for Thy precepts.” THIS IS A PSALM OF LOVING AND LONGING FOR SCRIPTURE!

Maybe you’ve heard it said that God doesn’t make us do things, won’t cause us to love Him or follow Him or walk after Him, but He wants us to do that of our own volition and will, so that our love will be spontaneous and self-caused and therefore genuine. But the writer of this psalm trusted in God, not his own heart. If God didn’t cause these, they wouldn’t happen. The problem with “free will” of humans is that men freely and willfully choose sin by nature and are not inclined to good unless God’s will and God’s free grace first rescues us from ourselves.

Fallen humans are not as naturally free as they think they are, according to Jesus in John 8; all who sin are slaves to sin, and they’re not truly free, they need the truth to SET THEM FREE, i.e. the Son to set them free to be truly free.

This writer wasn’t concerned with his free will being off limits to God’s intervention — He knew divine intervention was his only hope. If God didn’t make him walk in the right way (v. 35) his tendency would be to go his own way. Does God’s causative grace mean we’re robots? No, it recognizes we’re  REBELLIOUS at heart in need of changed hearts to be made willing to believe and read the Word. If God didn’t cause his heart to be inclined, it never would be (v. 36). If God didn’t open his eyes, they would still be closed (v. 18).

Even as believers we need to pray like this psalm if want to be like this psalmist and be growing in our desires for God’s Word.

I think it’s appropriate to quote the words of Martin Luther the Reformer, as his theology and attitude was very similar to this psalm: ‘your first duty is to begin to pray, and to pray to this effect that if it please God to accomplish something for His glory—not for yours or any other person’s—He may very graciously grant you a true understanding of His words. For no master of the divine words exists except the Author of these words, as He says: “They shall be all taught of God” (John 6:45). You must, therefore, completely despair of your own industry and ability and rely solely on the [illuminating Holy] Spirit.’[3] And he pointed to Psalm 119:34-37

  1. Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law …
  2. Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments …
  3. Incline my heart to Thy testimonies …
  4. Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me …

Luther: ‘completely despair of your own [faculties], for by these you will not attain the goal … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God, through His dear Son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding.’

As one biographer summarized Luther’s view: ‘All our study is futile without the work of God overcoming our blindness and hard-heartedness. Luther and Augustine were one on this central issue of the Reformation. At the heart of Luther’s theology was a total dependence on the freedom of God’s [all-powerful] grace rescuing powerless man from the bondage of the will. Concerning free will Luther said, “Man has in his own power a freedom of the will to do or not to do external works, regulated by law and punishment [genuine choices made within his nature, but he cannot just change his nature by mere willpower] … On the other hand, man cannot by his own power purify his heart and bring forth godly gifts, such as true repentance of sins, a true, as over against an artificial, fear of God, true faith, sincere love, chastity.…”

In other words, the will is “free” to move our action, but beneath the will there is a bondage that can only be overcome by the free grace of God. Luther saw this bondage of the will as the root issue in the fight with Rome and regarded this one book of his—The Bondage of the Will— as his “best theological book, and the only one in that class worthy of publication.” … the powerlessness of man before God, not the indulgence controversy or purgatory, was the central question of the Christian faith. Man is powerless to justify himself, powerless to sanctify himself, powerless to study as he ought …

“My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto Thy judgments (Thy Word) at all times!” [Psalm 119:20]

“I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for Thy commandments (Thy Word)!” [Psalm 119:131]

“I have longed for Thy salvation (Thy Word), O LORD; and Thy Law is my delight!” [Psalm 119:174]

Praying in utter dependence is not trusting by being passive and inactive; true faith and prayer mobilizes action. We trust and obey. It’s not enough to be readers of the Word, or as James says, hearers of the Word only, we must be doers of the Word. Praying is essential and recognizes God’s sovereignty, but our responsibility is equally balanced in this passage.

It’s like Philippians 2:12-13 which commands our responsibility to “Work … For it is God which worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure.

In Galatians 2:20 Paul says “The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God” but in the same verse he says “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” Which is it? The answer is yes/both

His philosophy wasn’t “let go and let God” – a better slogan is “get going and trust God”

If you do already love the Lord and His Word, but need revival and rekindled longings for Him and His Word, plead with God for it. It’s only natural for a baby to cry out for the only thing that will satisfy them. Peter says in the same way babies desire milk, you must desire the Word.” Right while I was writing this part of my notes this week Jaime handed me a visual illustration of this as I got to feed our newborn son. We’re supposed to continually long for the Word with the same intensity that a baby longs for his milk.

 You’re supposed to go to the Bible like a baby goes to the bottle.  The verb “long for” is a powerful desire, the strongest possible craving.  In the Greek OT that Peter and his readers would have used, this is the same word translated in Ps 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God!”  This is a breathless, panting, a passionate earnest hunger and desire. We need to read, heed (obey), and plead for more longing for God and His Word.

“My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering. In Jesus’ name Amen!”

[The above is a condensation from a sermon by brother Philip G. Layton titled – “Increasing Your Hunger and Longing for God’s Word”]  

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REFORMED THEOLOGY GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY (2018)

REFORMED THEOLOGY GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY (2018)

Compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“Have you ever had a shopping cart with a broken wheel? You push it around and all it wants to do is run into the sides of the aisle. If you were to let the cart go on its own, it would immediately turn and smash into that case of pickles up ahead! You are like that shopping cart! The bad wheel is your heart. It’s always veering off, leading you away from what you were created to be. You were created for God’s love and glory, but instead, your heart pulls you away from Jesus and into something much worse than a case of pickles.

Being a rebel at heart means that you do not have the ability to choose God or even to respond to God on your own because you are spiritually dead; we all are.

REFORMED THEOLOGY teaches that, because we are more sinful than we could ever imagine, it can only be God who takes that broken shopping cart wheel (our sinful heart) and replaces it with one that has both the ability and the desire to seek him and to follow him. By faith in Christ, you are no longer set to smash into the aisles of sinful destruction. No, he promises to carry us in his grip of grace.”
[Brian Cosby]

“Whatsoever doctrine both depress and humble man and advance the glory of God, is true. It answers the design of the Gospel, which all centers in this: that man is to be laid low, and God to be exalted as the chief cause. It pulls man down from his own bottom, and transfers all the glory man would challenge into the hands of God: it lays man in the dust at God’s footstool. That doctrine which crosses the main design of the Gospel, and encourages pride in man, is not a spark from heaven. No flesh must glory in God’s presence (1 Corinthians 1:29).

The doctrine of justification by works is thrown down by the apostle with this very argument as a thunderbolt: ‘Where is boasting then? It is excluded…by the law of faith’ (Romans 3:27), that is by the doctrine of the Gospel. Boasting would be introduced by ascribing regeneration to nature, as much as it is excluded by denying justification by works. The doctrine of the Gospel would contradict itself to usher in boasting with one hand whilst it thrust it out with the other. Our Saviour gave this rule long ago, that the glorifying of God is the evidence of truth in persons: ‘he that seeketh His glory that sent him, the same is true’ (John 7:18). By the same reason also in things and doctrines” [Charnock, 1660].

Reformed theology gives God His rightful place as sovereign ruler and disposer of all things, who hath mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will and places man in the dust where he belongs!

And remember whatever gives GOD ALL the glory THAT is what is right!

“He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that SEEKETH HIS GLORY THAT SENT HIM, THE SAME IS TRUE, and no unrighteousness is in him.” [John 7:18]

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” [Rom 9:16]

“The Reformed Faith, then, offers us a great God who is really the sovereign Ruler of the Universe. “Its grand principle,” says Bayne, “is the contemplation of the universe of God revealed in Christ. In all places, in all times, from eternity to eternity, Calvinism sees God.” Our age, with its emphasis on democracy, doesn’t like this view, and perhaps no other age liked it less. The tendency today is to exalt man and to give God only a very limited part in the affairs of the world.” [Loraine Boettner]

“ . . thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes!” [Psalm 50:21]

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” [Daniel 4:35]

NOT ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION, BUT ALL WITHOUT DISTINCTION!

NOT ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION, BUT ALL WITHOUT DISTINCTION!

 Michael Jeshurun

 Most who call themselves ‘Christians’ in our day neither know nor worship the Sovereign Almighty God of the Scriptures! What they do worship and contend for is a miserable IDOL!

“An anxious and pleading God, whose power is limited, and whose hands may be tied by the proud and stubborn sinner, who is less than dust of the balance, is no God, but a miserable idol!”  (Herman Hoeksema; 1886-1965)

The God of the Scriptures is a Sovereign discriminating God, who is likened unto a ‘potter’ who has power over the clay to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor! A Sovereign who is answerable to NONE but Himself! A God who doeth according to HIS WILL in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and NONE can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest THOU? [Dan 4:35]A Sovereign who hath mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will! [Rom 9:18] A Sovereign who knows the end from the beginning, and calleth those things that are not as though they were and makes His people willing in the day of His power! A Sovereign who hath created ALL THINGS for Himself, yea even the wicked for the day of evil, and causes the wrath of man to praise Him! [Prov 16:4; Psalm 76:10]

Few who claim to be Christians know THIS God! The God THEY believe in is a frustrated idol who keeps hoping and wishing and wringing his hands helplessly as MAN AND DEVIL RULE BY THEIR ‘FREE WILL’.

 Now this God has told us plainly in His book that He hath mercy on whom He will and whom He will He hardeneth! [Rom 9:18] From amongst the children of Adam, He hath unconditionally chosen SOME to be saved from the wrath to come! [1Thes 1:10] And in order that He might be just and the justifier of these chosen ones (Rom 3:26), He sent His Son to atone on the Cross for their sins, and in time He doth irresistibly draw each and everyone for whom His Son atoned, making them ‘willing’ in the day of His power and saving them with an everlasting salvation! [Psalm 110:3]

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

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

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

A mere mention of this God and His sovereign discriminating ways to those who are unsaved or nominally ‘Christian’ is like waving the proverbial ‘red-flag’ in the face of a mad bull!

They immediately retort with the few scriptures which they have failed to ‘rightly divide’ and which to their darkened minds make this Sovereign God of the Bible appear nothing short of a Monster!

They retort – “Oh but does not the Bible say – “God desires ALL MEN to be saved”? [1Tim 2:4] and did not Christ Himself say, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL MEN unto Me”?! [John 12:32]

Come now, if by “ALL MEN” is meant every single member of the human race; we have no option but to embrace the heresy of Universalism which teaches that by and by either in this life or in the life to come GOD WILL SAVE ALL MEN!

But we know that the Bible plainly teaches that there is no salvation beyond the grave! “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this THE JUDGMENT”! [Heb 9:27]

Whoever Christ ‘draws’ to Himself, He does so NOW! In time! And those who reject Him and go into a Christ-less grave . . . go to an eternal Hell!

“If by “ALL MEN” is meant ‘the entire human race’ including all mankind from Adam till the close of earth’s history: it reaches backward as well as forward! Consider, then, the history of mankind before Christ was born. Unnumbered millions lived and died before the Savior came to the earth, lived here ‘having no hope and without God in the world,’ and therefore passed out into an eternity of woe. If God ‘loved’ them, and ‘desired’ to save them, then where is the slightest proof thereof?

Scripture declares ‘Who (God) in times past (from the tower of Babel till after Pentecost) suffered all nations to walk in their own ways’ (Acts 14:16). Scripture again declares that ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient’ (Rom. 1:28). To Israel God said, ‘You ONLY have I known of all the families of the earth’ (Amos 3:2). In view of these plain passages who will be so foolish as to insist that God in the past loved all mankind and desired ALL MEN to be saved! The same applies with equal force to the future . . .” [A.W. Pink]

Look around your own little circle – your family, your friends, or even your work-place. If you’ve lived long enough, you would have surely witnessed many who have died without Christ and some who have even died with a oath on their lips! Are you still going to contend that the “ALL MEN” whom Christ said He would draw, are ALL without EXCEPTION?!

To say that Christ wanted to draw them but they would not let Him is ‘begging the question’! To say that Christ was all along ‘knocking’ on the door of their hearts, pleading to be let in, but they would not, is to show your ignorance and greatly err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God! (Matt 22:29) For even if the human heart HAD such a ‘door’ which needs to be ‘opened’ to let Christ in, the Bible leaves us with no doubts as to WHO it is that opens that door!

Speaking of Lydia the seller of purple who responded to Paul’s preaching and was saved, it is written, “THE LORD OPENED her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” [Acts 16:14].

“Hence by ALL MEN, whom God would have saved, cannot be meant EVERY INDIVIDUAL of mankind, since it is not His will that all men, in this large sense, should be saved, unless there are two contrary wills in God; for there are some who were before ordained by him unto condemnation, and are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; and it is His will concerning some, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned; nor is it fact that all are saved, as they would be, if it was His will they should; for who hath resisted His will? But there is a world of ungodly men that will be condemned, and who will go into everlasting punishment: rather therefore ALL SORTS OF MEN, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1Ti_2:1 are here intended,  – kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; and therefore all are to be prayed for, even all sorts of men, because God will have all men, or all sorts of men, saved”. [John Gill]

God wills that sinners from all walks of life and every part of the globe be saved [not every person who ever lived] – this is the ‘all men’ Paul was referring to in the text.

Not ALL without EXCEPTION, but ALL without DISTINCTION!

THE SUM AND SUBSTANCE OF ALL THEOLOGY (2018)

THE SUM AND SUBSTANCE OF ALL THEOLOGY (2018)

 by C.H. SPURGEON

 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”—John 6:37.

Look at the text before us. Here we have, in two small sentences, the sum and substance of all theology. The great questions which have divided the Church in all ages, the apparently contradictory doctrines which have set one minister of Christ against his fellow, are here revealed so simply and plainly, “that he may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

Even a child may understand the Words of Christ, though perhaps the loftiest human intellect cannot fathom the mystery hidden therein.

Take the first sentence of my text: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” What a weighty sentence! Here we have taught us what is called, in the present day, “High Calvinistic doctrine”—the purpose of God; the certainty that God’s purpose will stand; the invincibility of God’s will; and the absolute assurance that Christ “shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.”

Look at the second sentence of my text: “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Here we have the richness, the fullness, the unlimited extent of the power of Christ to save those who put their trust in Him. Here is a text upon which one might preach a thousand sermons. We might take these two sentences as a life-long text, and never exhaust the theme.

It rests, you perceive, not on something which man does, but on something which God the Father does. The Father gives certain persons to His Son, and the Son says, “All that the Father giveth Me Shall come to Me.” I take it that the meaning of the text is this,—that, if any do come to Jesus Christ, it is those whom the Father gave to Christ. And the reason why they come,—if we search to the very bottom of things,—is, that the Father puts it into their hearts to come.

The reason why one man is saved, and another man is lost, is to be found in God; not in anything which the saved man did, or did not do; not in anything which he felt, or did not feel; but in something altogether irrespective of himself, even in the sovereign grace of God. In the day of God’s power, the saved are made willing to give their souls to Jesus.

Miss Much-afraid, and Mrs. Despondency, and Mr. Feeble-mind, shall as certainly come to the arms of Christ, as Mr. Great-heart, and Mr. Faithful, and Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. If one jewel were lost from Christ’s crown, then Christ’s crown would not be all-glorious. If one member of the body of Christ were to perish, Christ’s body would not be complete. If one of those who are one with Christ should miss his way to eternal life, Christ would not be a perfect Christ.

OBJECTION:

But suppose it should be one of those who are living in the interior of Africa, and he does not hear the gospel; what then?” He shall hear the gospel; either he shall come to the gospel, or the gospel shall go to him. Even if no minister should go to such a chosen one, he would have the gospel specially revealed to him rather than that the promise of the Almighty God should be broken.

“But suppose there should be one of God’s chosen who has become so bad that there is no hope for him? He never attends a place of worship; never listens to the gospel; the voice of the preacher never reaches him; he has grown hardened in his sin, like steel that has been seven times annealed in the fire; what then?” That man shall be arrested by God’s grace, and that obdurate, hard-hearted one shall be made to see the mercy of God; the tears shall stream down his cheeks, and he shall be made willing to receive Jesus as Saviour. I think that, as God could bend my will, and bring me to Christ, He can bring anybody.

Why was I made to hear His voice,

And enter while there’s room;

When thousands make a wretched choice,

And rather starve than come?

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast,

That sweetly forced me in;

Else I had still refused to taste,

And perished in my sin.”

 

THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD’S LOVE TOWARD HIS ELECT

THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD’S LOVE TOWARD HIS ELECT

C.H. Spurgeon

“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you.” [John 15:9]

As the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves his people. What is that divine method? He loved him without beginning, and thus Jesus loves his members. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” You can trace the beginning of human affection; you can easily find the beginning of your love to Christ, but his love to us is a stream whose source is hidden in eternity.

God the Father loves Jesus without any change. Christian, take this for your comfort, that there is no change in Jesus Christ’s love to those who rest in him. Yesterday you were on Tabor’s top, and you said, “He loves me:” today you are in the valley of humiliation, but he loves you still the same. On the hill Mizar, and among the Hermons, you heard his voice, which spake so sweetly with the turtle-notes of love; and now on the sea, or even in the sea, when all his waves and billows go over you, his heart is faithful to his ancient choice.

The Father loves the Son without any end, and thus does the Son love his people. Saint, thou needest not fear the loosing of the silver cord, for his love for thee will never cease. Rest confident that even down to the grave Christ will go with you, and that up again from it he will be your guide to the celestial hills. Moreover, the Father loves the Son without any measure, and the same immeasurable love the Son bestows upon his chosen ones. The whole heart of Christ is dedicated to his people. He “loved us and gave himself for us.” His is a love which passeth knowledge.

Ah! we have indeed an immutable Saviour, a precious Saviour, one who loves without measure, without change, without beginning, and without end, even as the Father loves him! There is much food here for those who know how to digest it. May the Holy Ghost lead us into its marrow and fatness!

CHRIST IS ON THE OUTSIDE OF EVERYTHING CORPORATE

CHRIST IS ON THE OUTSIDE OF EVERYTHING CORPORATE

A.W. Pink

“I am thoroughly convinced that one of the chief hindrances today to many of the Lord’s people enjoying their inheritance is that they are in their WRONG PLACE, they are where Christ is not: he is on the outside of EVERYTHING CORPORATE.

To be where he is not is to miss the place of blessing, is to have our peace disturbed, and is to be corrupted by those who are not walking with Him. I am more firmly convinced today than I was 14 months ago that our place is on the ‘outside of the camp’. That is the place of reproach, loneliness, and of testing; but as it is the place where CHRIST is, it is, necessarily, the place of blessing, peace and joy”.
[A.W. Pink in his letter to the Colemans. Quoted from ‘The Life of Arthur W. Pink’ – Iain H. Murray]

“COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, SAITH THE LORD! [2 Corinthians 6:17].

And what will follow when this Divine command is obeyed? Why, then we shall prove the truth of those words of Christ: “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 (John 15:19). WHICH “world” is specifically in view here? Let the previous verse answer: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

WHAT “world” hated Christ and hounded Him to death? The RELIGIOUS world, those who pretended to be most zealous for God’s glory. So it is now. Let the Christian turn his back upon a Christ—dishonoring Christendom, and his fiercest foes and most relentless and unscrupulous enemies will be those who claim to be Christians themselves!

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you… for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad” (Matthew 5:11,12).

Ah, my brother, it is a healthy sign, a sure mark that you are profiting from the Word, when the religious world hates you. BUT IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU STILL HAVE A “GOOD STANDING” IN THE “CHURCHES” OR “ASSEMBLIES” THERE IS GRAVE REASON TO FEAR THAT YOU LOVE THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THAT OF GOD! [Profiting from the Word]

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, AND TOUCH NOT the unclean thing.” [2Cor6:14,17]

O my Christian reader, seek grace to obtain the uncompromising spirit of Moses. When urged to worship God in “Egypt” (i. e. the white-washed “churches” OF THE WORLD), say it is impossible, for “what communion hath light with darkness!” when pressed to leave your children in a worldly Sunday School, to be instructed by those who have not the fear of God upon them, refuse, when invited to at least retain your membership in the HOLY SPIRIT-DESERTED “CHURCHES” and contribute of your means to their upkeep, decline to do so.

That going forth to meet the Lord is to be understood as expressing both external and internal action. Externally, it signifies separation from the world, especially its pleasures, for Christ will not be met with while we waste our time engaging in them. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers… come out from among them” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17) must be heeded if we would “meet the Bridegroom.” More particularly, their going forth denoted a turning of their backs upon the apostate ECCLESIASTICAL SYSTEM: Christ had informed His disciples that he had abandoned a Judaism which had rejected Him (Matthew 23:37, 38), so if they would meet with Him, they too must “go forth unto Him outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:15). THE SAME IS TRUE NOW. [Practical Christianity]

[Writing to Lowell Green, September 2, 1934]
My earnest advice is for you to have little or NOTHING TO DO with the people of the religious world today. They CANNOT help you spiritually, and where they help not they are bound to HINDER! Be much in prayer and on your guard against a holier-than -thou attitude. if we are not very watchful, separation soon leads to self- righteousness. On the other hand, association with empty professors soon corrupts and paralyzes true spirituality.

Prayer, reading and meditation will do far more for your soul – with God’s blessing on the same – than attending meetings and being active in ‘Christian service’

SIN IS FALLING SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD

SIN IS FALLING SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD

Donald Bell

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

(Romans 3:23)

Some may not be as profane as others, but “all have sinned”!

You may be a fine mother, a loving daughter, chaste and very moral, receiving praise from all who know you but…if you have not received Christ by faith, and His righteousness has not been charged to your account you are no better off before God than the vilest harlot there is.

There is no difference, all have sinned and missed the mark and have come short of God’s glory.

There you are O man, sitting easy; you are regarded as honest, having the respect of all who know you. You pay your debts, you love your wife and children, you work hard to provide for their needs, yea even their wants.

But what about your needs, your wants before God?

Do you trust Christ right now?

Is He alone your righteousness before God’s holiness?

If He is not, then you are no better off than the rapist and child abuser in prison.

There is no difference, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”!

“The glory of God” is the standard for human life.

Not what our wives and children, nor what our neighbors or mothers and fathers have set for us!

It is easy to believe that the whore and whoremonger, the liar and murderer come short of the glory of God, but…so are you, there is no difference, all have sinned and are falling short of the glory of God.

 “The righteousness by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all, for there is no difference.”(Romans 3:22)

This is the only remedy for coming short of God’s glory. This righteousness is received by faith in Christ. It is a gift, not an award for your merit or your works.

Remember, “ALL have sinned.”

 “O how sweet to trust in Jesus,

just to take Him at His word.

Just to rest upon His promise,

just to know “Thus saith the Lord.”

Where there is faith in Christ, there is acceptance, reliance, dependence, and confidence, all of which are opposed to self-effort, self-reliance and self-confidence.

TO DESPISE A THING BECAUSE IT IS SMALL IS GREAT FOLLY

TO DESPISE A THING BECAUSE IT IS SMALL IS GREAT FOLLY

Michael Jeshurun

“It is not wise to despise ANYTHING, and TO DESPISE A THING BECAUSE IT IS SMALL IS GREAT FOLLY. A small thing may be greatly good, or terribly evil; and in neither case would it be prudent to despise it. It is usually God’s way to begin his great works with a day of small things – Thus it is seen that there is nothing in the means themselves and thus the divine power is more fully displayed and thus faith is exercised, and made to learn many lessons.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Oh the importance of small things! One does not fall away from the faith all of a sudden. But as the Word of God says, “Yet a LITTLE sleep, a LITTLE slumber, a LITTLE folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. [Prov 6:10,11]

For it is “the LITTLE foxes, that spoil the vines!” [Sos 2:15] and a “A LITTLE leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Gal 5:9]

A ‘little neglecting of the Bible, a little neglecting of prayer and a little neglecting of fellowshipping with the saints . . . . and very soon you would have built another Egypt with innumerable idols which take the place of God!

And neither should we despise the little things in life! “Despise not the day of SMALL things!” [Zech 4:10]

God always takes the ‘SMALL things’ and confounds the large or the mighty! Compared to the vast multitudes of ‘Church-goers’ and nominals who have a name but are dead, God’s true flock is but a LITTLE one! “Fear not, LITTLE flock!” [Luke 12:32] And again – “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” [Matt 7:14]

And while this sorry world appears to continue on year after year in its Sin, Wickedness and Rebellion . . . it is only a LITTLE while before the Trumpet will sound and the show will end!

“For yet a LITTLE while, and HE that shall come will come, and will not tarry! Now the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. [Heb 10:37-39]

Even so,come, Lord Jesus! [Rev 22:20]

 THE FLESH WILL ALWAYS BE FLESH !

 THE FLESH WILL ALWAYS BE FLESH !

J.C. Philpot

There is no promise made that in this life, we shall be set free from the indwelling and the in-working of sin. Many think that their flesh is to become “progressively holier and holier”—that sin after sin is to be removed gradually out of the heart—until at last they are almost made perfect in the flesh. But this is an idle dream, and one which, sooner or later will be crudely and roughly broken to pieces.

The flesh will ever remain the same—and we shall ever find that the flesh will lust against the Spirit. Our fleshly nature is corrupt to the very core. It cannot be mended. It cannot be sanctified. It is the same at the last, as it was at the first—inherently evil, and as such will never cease to be corrupt until we put off mortality—and with it the body of sin and death.

All we can hope for, long after, expect, and pray for—is that this evil fleshly nature may be subdued, kept down, mortified, crucified, and held in subjection under the power of grace. But as to any such change passing upon the flesh—or taking place in the flesh as to make it holy—it is but a pharisaic delusion, which, promising a holiness in the flesh, leaves us still under the power of sin.

The true sanctification of the new man of grace—which is wrought by a divine power—is utterly distinct from any imagined holiness in the flesh—or any vain dream of its progressive sanctification.