THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!” 

THE ERROR OF TEACHING – “THAT WAS FOR THE JEWS, THIS WAS FOR THE GENTILES AND ONLY THIS SMALL PORTION IS FOR US CHRISTIANS!”

A.W. Pink

Dispensationalism is a modern method of mishandling the Scriptures—for modern it certainly is, being quite unknown to Christendom till little more than a century ago, and only within recent years being adopted by those who are outside the narrow circle where it originated—is based upon 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Very little or nothing at all is said upon the first two clauses of that verse, but on the third one, which is explained as “correctly partitioning the Scriptures unto the different peoples to whom they belong.” These mutilators of the Word tell us that all of the Old Testament from Genesis 12 onwards belongs entirely to Israel after the flesh, and that none of its precepts (as such) are binding upon those who are members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, nor may any of the promises found therein be legitimately appropriated by them. And this, be it duly noted, without a single word to that effect by either the Lord or any of His Apostles, and despite the use which the Holy Spirit makes of the earliest Scriptures in every part of the New Testament.

So far from the Holy Spirit teaching Christians practically to look upon the Old Testament much as they would upon an obsolete almanac, He declares, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the (Old Testament) Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).

Not satisfied with their determined efforts to deprive us of the Old Testament, these would-be super-expositors dogmatically assert that the four Gospels are Jewish, and that the Epistles of James and Peter, John and Jude are designed for a “godly Jewish remnant” in a future “tribulation period,” that nothing but the Pauline Epistles contain “Church truth,” and thousands of gullible souls have accepted their ipse digit—those who decline so doing are regarded as untaught and superficial. Yet God Himself has not uttered a single word to that effect.

Certainly there is nothing whatever in 2 Timothy 2:15, to justify such a revolutionizing method of interpreting the Word: that verse has no more to do with the sectioning of Scripture between different “dispensations” than it has with distinguishing between stars of varying magnitude. If that verse be carefully compared with Matthew 7:6, John 16:12 and 1 Corinthians 3:2, its meaning is clear. The occupant of the pulpit is to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearer “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

To rightly divide the Word of Truth is for him to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

While there be great variety in the teaching of the Word, there is an unmistakable unity underlying the whole. Though He employed many mouthpieces, the Holy Scriptures have but one Author; and while He “at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” and “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1,2), yet He who spoke by them was and is One “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jam. 1:17), who throughout all ages declares: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6).

Throughout there is perfect agreement between every part of the Word: it sets forth one system of doctrine (we never read of “the doctrines of God,” but always “the doctrine”: see Deut 32:2; Prov 4:2; Matt 7:28; John 7:17; Rom. 16:17, and contrast Mark 7:7; Col. 2:22; 1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 13:9) because it is one single and organic whole. That Word presents uniformly one way of salvation, one rule of faith. From Genesis to Revelation there is one immutable Moral Law, one glorious Gospel for perishing sinners. The Old Testament believers were saved with the same salvation, were indebted to the same Redeemer, were renewed by the same Spirit, and were partakers of the same heavenly inheritance as are New Testament believers.

The Bible consists of many parts, exquisitely correlated and vitally interdependent upon each other. God so controlled all the agents which He employed in the writing of it, and so coordinated their efforts, as to produce a single living Book. Within that organic unity there is indeed much variety, but no contrariety. Man’s body is but one, though it be made up of many members, diverse in size, character, and operation. The rainbow is but one, nevertheless it reflects distinctly the seven prismatic rays, yet they are harmoniously blended together.

So it is with the Bible: its unity appears in the perfect consistency throughout of its teachings. The oneness yet triunity of God, the deity and humanity of Christ united in one Person, the everlasting covenant which secures the salvation of all the election of grace, the highway of holiness and the only path which leads to heaven, are plainly revealed in Old and New Testament alike. The teaching of the prophets concerning the glorious character of God, the changeless requirements of His righteousness, the total depravity of human nature, and the way appointed for restoration therefrom, are identical with the Apostles’ teaching.

If the question be raised, Since the sacred Scriptures be a strict unit, then why has God Himself divided them into two Testaments? perhaps it will simplify the matter if we ask why God has appointed two principal bodies to illuminate the earth—the sun and the moon. Why, too, is the human frame duplex, having two legs and arms, two lungs and kidneys, etc.? Is not the answer the same in each case: to augment and supplement each other?

But, more directly, at least four reasons may be suggested.

First, to set forth more distinctly the two covenants which are the basis of God’s dealings with all mankind: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace—shadowed forth by the “old” from Sinai and the “new” or Christian one.

Second, to show more plainly the two separate companies which are united in that one Body which constitutes the Church of which Christ is the Head, namely redeemed Jews and redeemed Gentiles.

Third, to demonstrate more clearly the wondrous providence of God: using the Jews for so many centuries to be the custodians of the Old Testament, which condemns them for their rejection of Christ; and in employing the papists throughout the dark ages to preserve the New Testament, which denounces their idolatrous practices.

Fourth, that one might confirm the other: type by antitype, prophecy by fulfillment.

“The mutual relations of the two Testaments. These two main divisions resemble the dual structure of the human body, where the two eyes and ears, hands and feet, correspond to and complement one another. Not only is there a general, but a special, mutual fitness. They need therefore to be studied together, side by side, to be compared even in lesser details, for in nothing are they independent of each other; and the closer the inspection the minuter appears the adaptation, and the more intimate the association. . . .The two Testaments are like the two cherubim of the mercy seat, facing in opposite directions, yet facing each other and overshadowing with glory one mercy seat; or again, they are like the human body bound together by joints and bands and ligaments, with one brain and heart, one pair of lungs, one system of respiration, circulation, digestion, sensor and motor nerves, where division is destruction” (A. T. Pierson, from Knowing the Scriptures).

So WHAT does it mean to ‘RIGHTLY divide the Word’?

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH is for the occupant of the pulpit to give diligence in becoming equipped to give the different classes of his hearers “their portion of meat in due season” (Luke 12:42).

TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD is for the preacher to minister it suitably unto the several cases and circumstances of his congregation: to sinners and saints, the indifferent and the inquiring, the babes and fathers, the tempted and afflicted, the backslidden and fallen.

A word from C.H. Spurgeon

“No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that ALL may drink. When He openeth a granary- door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but ALL hungry saints may come and feed too.

Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed. There is not a high blessing too lofty for thee, nor a wide mercy too extensive for thee. Lift up now thine eyes to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, for all this is thine. Climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the utmost limit of the divine promise, for the land is all thine own. There is not a brook of living water of which thou mayst not drink. If the land floweth with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for both are thine. Be thou bold to believe, for He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

 

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FORESEEN PREDESTINATION IS NO PREDESTINATION AT ALL!

FORESEEN PREDESTINATION IS NO PREDESTINATION AT ALL!

Michael Jeshurun

“Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son”. [1Peter 1:2; Romans 8:29]

Did God elect men because He foresaw they would repent and believe? The question itself appears dumb or stupid to all those who have truly come to believe in the doctrines of ‘Sovereign Grace’ and an ‘Unconditional Election’, and yet THAT is exactly what MANY who claim to hold the doctrines of election believe!

They cannot out-rightly DENY the doctrine of Election for the Bible is full of it! But they have a totally wrong concept of what this doctrine actually teaches!

There are many who have a totally wrong concept of the term ‘Election’! According to them, God elects only those whom He looked into the future and foresaw would believe of their own ‘free will’!

So ‘election’ according to these Arminians is not ‘UNCONDITIONAL’ as the scripture clearly affirms, but is CONDITIONAL on the merits of the individual elected!

Yes, God foresees ALL THINGS! “Known unto God are ALL His works from the beginning of the world”! [Acts 15:18] And if there was anything God ‘foresaw’ concerning His elect or chosen ones, it is THIS – that if left to themselves they would NEVER EVER ‘choose Him’ but freely choose everything that is contrary to Him and wind up in Hell!

THIS is why in the ‘fullness of time’ or in ‘Day of His power’ He sends forth His Spirit and sovereignly regenerates them and draws them to Himself! “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power”! [Psalm 110:3]

Foreseen faith and good works, then, are never to be looked upon as the CAUSE of the Divine election. They are rather its fruits and proof. They show that the person has been chosen and regenerated. To make them the BASIS of election involves us again in a covenant of WORKS, and places God’s purposes in TIME rather than in ETERNITY. This would not be PREdestination but POSTdestination, an inversion of the Scripture account which makes faith and holiness to be the CONSEQUENTS, and not the ANTECEDENTS, of election (Eph. 1:4; John 15:16; Titus 3:5).

Here are some comments from divines of the past as to what THEY thought of this warped view of predestination –

A.W. PINK (1886-1952): Was it because God foresaw they would believe? No; for how can those who are “dead in trespasses and sins” believe in Christ? How could God foreknow some men as believers when belief was impossible to them? Scripture declares that we “BELIEVED THROUGH GRACE,” Acts 18:27. Faith is God’s gift, and apart from this gift none would believe. The cause of His choice, then, lies within Himself, and not in the objects of His choice. He chose the ones He did, simply because He chose to choose them.

C.H. SPURGEON: Now, God gives faith, therefore He could not have elected them on account of their faith, which He foresaw. There shall be twenty beggars in the street, and I determine to give one of them a shilling; but will any one say that I determined to give that one a shilling—that I ELECTED him to have the shilling—because I foresaw that he would have it? That would be talking nonsense. In like manner, to say that God elected men because He foresaw they would have faith would be too absurd for us to listen to for a moment. Faith is the gift the God. Every virtue come from Him. Therefore it cannot have CAUSED him to elect men, because it is His gift.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): It is absurd to think that anything in us could have the least influence upon our election. Some say that God did foresee that such persons would believe, and therefore did choose them; so they would make the business of salvation to depend upon something in us. Whereas God does not choose us FOR faith, but TO faith. “HE HATH CHOSEN US, THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY,” Ephesians 1:4―not because we would be holy, but that we might be holy. We are elected TO holiness, not FOR it.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Mark―not because He foresaw that they would be of themselves holy, but that they should be holy―this was that God resolved He would make them to be.

AUGUSTINE (354-430): The grace of God does not find men fit to be elected, but makes them so. Here undoubtably falls to the ground the vain reasoning of those who defend the foreknowledge of God in opposition to His grace, and affirm that we were elected before the foundation of the world, because God fore-knew that we would be good, not that He Himself would make us good. This is not the language of Him who says, YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, John 15:16.

JOHN KNOX (1514-1572): Let the whole Scripture be read and diligently marked, and no sentence, rightly understood, shall be found that affirms God to have chosen us in respect of our works, or because He foresaw that we should be faithful, holy and just. But to the contrary, many places shall we find―yea, even so many as treat of the matter―that plainly affirm we are freely chosen, according to the purpose of His good will, and that in Christ Jesus.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD: For my own part, I know of no other doctrine that can truly humble man; either God must choose us, or we must choose God; either God must be the first mover, or man must be the first mover; either God must choose them on account of some goodness, on account of some purity, or acts of piety, or God must choose them merely of His grace, for His own name’s sake, and to let us know that we have not chosen Him, but that He has chosen us.

Whatever men’s reasoning may suggest, if the children of God fairly examine their own experiences—if they do God justice—they must acknowledge that they did not choose God, but that God chose them. And if He chose them at all, it must be from eternity, and that too without anything foreseen in them.

C.H. SPURGEON: I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love. So I am forced to accept that doctrine. I am bound to the doctrine of the depravity of the human heart, because I find myself depraved in heart, and have daily proofs that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing.

A. W. PINK: “In LOVE having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will.” It was “in love” that God the Father predestined His chosen ones unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according—ACCORDING to what? According to some excellency He discovered in them? No. What then? According to what He foresaw they would become? No; mark carefully the inspired answer—According to THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL.

WHY DO I LOVE THE TULIP?

WHY DO I LOVE THE TULIP?

BECAUSE TO ME THE ‘TULIP’ IS AN ACRONYM WHICH SETS FORTH MY POSITION IN SOTERIOLOGY

Michael Jeshurun

But first things first: WHAT in the world is ‘Soteriology’ anyway? Soteriology is the study of the doctrine of salvation. Soteriology sets forth how Christ’s death secures the salvation of those who believe. It helps us to understand the doctrines of Redemption, Justification, Sanctification, Propitiation, the Substitutionary Atonement and most importantly God’s Sovereign Election or Predestination!

The ‘million dollar question’ before us is – Is salvation the work of God alone or is it the work of man cooperating with God? Is salvation bestowed by God’s grace alone or does man merit it? Is man’s will in bondage or does he have a ‘freewill’? Did Christ save His people or only make everyone savable?

Church history is highlighted by confrontations on this doctrine. Those who preach that salvation involves man’s freewill and works have ever opposed those who preach that salvation is by God’s grace alone. This opposition has come from Pharisees and Judaism (1st century), Pelagians (from 4th century), Romanists (from Dark Ages), Arminians (from 17th century), and Wesleyans (from 18th century), and from every other form of Freewillism in every age.

THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE are the best biblical doctrines you will ever come to know or embrace – Jesus Christ’s Gospel is ALL OF GRACE. These doctrines speak of God’s infinite love and mercy to His people. It is here that God alone draws the sinner in, changes their heart, and gives them a new life as a new creature “in the Beloved,” who is Jesus Christ (See the entire book of Ephesians).

There are ONLY TWO VIEWS concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First, there is what the church calls CALVINISM, The Reformed Faith or more precisely speaking, the ‘Doctrines of Grace’. Then, the second, we find varying degrees of unbelief.
The essential doctrines of grace concerning salvation, which the Reformers and Puritans (and all good Christians) cling to, are summed up in the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

What these Five-Points basically teach –

TOTAL DEPRAVITY: Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not – indeed he cannot – choose good over evil in the spiritual realm.

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: God’s choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God’s choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God’s choice of the sinner, not the sinner’s choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.

LIMITED ATONEMENT: Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ’s redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: 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 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 by man’s will, nor is He dependent upon 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.

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.

Now the question we should ask as Christians is, is all this a ‘Calvinist hobby horse’ or are these facts something which Christ Himself taught? The answer might actually surprise some!

Consider the Words of the Master . . . .

TOTAL DEPRAVITY –

“Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of!” [Luke 9:55]
“But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because He knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was IN MAN!” [John 2:14,25]

Men in general have quite a high opinion of themselves and their righteousness. They pacify their consciences with the delusion of the Pharisee who said – “I thank thee Oh God that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers etc” [Luke 18:11]

But as Spurgeon said long ago, “If God were ever to allow the fountains of the great deeps of depravity to break up in the best man that lives, HE WOULD MAKE AS BAD A DEVIL AS THE DEVIL HIMSELF IS. I care nothing for what these boasters say concerning their own perfections; I feel sure that THEY DO NOT KNOW THEMSELVES, OR THEY COULD NOT TALK AS THEY OFTEN DO. There is tinder enough in the saint who is nearest to heaven to kindle another Hell if God should but permit a spark to fall upon it. In the very best of men there is an infernal and well-nigh infinite depth of depravity. Some Christians never seem to find this out. I almost wish that they might not do so, for IT IS A PAINFUL DISCOVERY FOR ANYONE TO MAKE; but it has the beneficial effect of making us cease from trusting in ourselves, and causing us to glory only in the Lord!”

“And He (Jesus) said, That which cometh out of the man, THAT defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man!” [Mark 7:20-23]
Notice that Christ is here not speaking of a ‘certain class of men’ but ALL MEN AND WOMEN IN GENERAL!

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit!” [Matt 7:17]
Incidentally Adam was the first or original ‘corrupt tree’ and all saplings that come forth from him are basically corrupt – i.e. Totally Depraved just like him! For who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one! [Job 14:4]

UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION

“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]
“And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.” [John 6:65]
“And He said unto them (His disciples), Unto YOU it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (outside), all these things are done in parables: 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]
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him!” [Matt 11:27]
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM.” [John 6:37-39]
Think of that my friend! IF you know the Son of God today as your Lord and Saviour it is because HE hath chosen to reveal Himself to you (while passing by others) and not because YOU chose to believe or ‘accept Him’ or any such rubbish!

LIMITED ATONEMENT

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life FOR THE SHEEP!” [John 10:11] (in case you don’t know – there are sheep and there are goats) [see Matt 25:32,33]
And this is in line with what the Father testified concerning Him – “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify MANY (not ALL); for He shall bear THEIR iniquities (not everyone’s)!” [Isaiah 53:11]

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

“And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.” [Matt 4:19,20]
“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him.” [Matt 9:9]
“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]
“And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father!” [John 6:65]
Incidentally there is a ‘general call’ and a ‘particular call’. The ‘general call’ goes to all men alike – “Unto you, O men, I call; and My voice is to the sons of man.” [Prov 8:4] And then there is the particular call – “I have called THEE BY NAME! Thou art Mine!” [Isaiah 43:1] “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house!” [Luke 19:5] And when that ‘particular call’ comes there is no resisting it! “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: THEREFORE with lovingkindness HAVE I DRAWN THEE!” [Jer 31:3]

PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the Last Day.” [John 6:39,40]

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.
My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” [John 10:27-29]

Praise the Lord!

 

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN AND THE SEED OF THE SERPENT

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN AND THE SEED OF THE SERPENT

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

And the Lord said unto the Serpent . . . “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” [Gen 3:15]

This portion of Scripture has been understood and interpreted in many ways since it was first spoken. There are those who have interpreted this portion to mean nothing more than just hostile strife between the human race and serpents. In fact even John Calvin held and taught this view. “I interpret this simply to mean that there should always be the hostile strife between the human race and serpents, which is now apparent; for, by a secret feeling of nature, man abhors them. Etc” [John Calvin on Genesis 3:15]

The Roman Catholics on the other hand ascribe and credit the crushing of the Serpent’s head to Mother Mary and hence we see pictures of Mary standing on the globe with the serpent being crushed under her feet.

And there are others who have used this portion of scripture to articulate a truly mind-blowing doctrine commonly known as the ‘Serpent Seed doctrine’! This heresy (for heresy it is) will stagger the mind! Simply stated, the ‘Serpent Seed doctrine’ teaches that the sin of Eve was not simple disobedience of eating an apple as is commonly supposed, but the actual sexual contact with the serpent, and that Cain was the son of Eve and of the Devil. Cain’s descendants are, according to this idea, the literal ‘seed of the serpent’ i.e. the sons of Satan and among some who hold this view this ‘Serpent’s seed’ are referred to as the Kenites.

The ‘Serpent Seed doctrine’ is a belief based on poor biblical interpretation and superstition. It is a primary doctrinal resource for those who want to use Scriptures to justify racial prejudice. The serpent seed doctrine is also closely related to other erroneous beliefs such as the Christian Identity Movement and the Kenite doctrine. Like many false beliefs, it has a built-in defense mechanism; that is, anyone who disagrees with it is accused of being a son of the serpent. One of the most unfortunate problems with the serpent seed doctrine is that it so heavily relies on prejudice and warped biblical interpretation that it can be very difficult to discuss rationally.

To be fair, while this could be just God stating a simple truth of a hostility and strife between Eve’s offspring and the snake which slithers many good men of God since the early Church have understood this to be a prophecy of the coming Messiah; what is theologically termed as ‘Protoevangelium’ or the first announcement of the Gospel. We must bear in mind that in Scripture the physical is often used to convey a spiritual message. Thus the apostle quoting Moses, “Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.” Goes on to ask – “Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope etc” [1Cor 9:9,10]

But before we try to show what or who is meant by the two seeds, we must debunk the two major errors that have risen out of this verse. First, the delusion that Mother Mary is the one who crushes the Serpent’s head. Without laboring much let us plainly state that all that Mary was is just a chosen vessel, notwithstanding a sinner like you and me but favored by God to bring forth the One who would truly crush the Serpent’s head.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Christ) also Himself likewise took part of the same; that THROUGH DEATH HE MIGHT DESTROY HIM THAT HAD THE POWER OF DEATH, THAT IS, THE DEVIL!” [Heb 2:14] And again, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.” [1John 3:8]

Now let us examine the ‘Serpent seed’ doctrine in the light of Scripture. Notable proponents of the Serpent-Seed doctrine have included Daniel Parker (1781–1844), William M. Branham (1909–1965), and Arnold Murray (1929–2014). This belief is also held by some adherents of the white supremacist theology known as Christian Identity, who claim that the Jews (and Blacks) are descended from the serpent.

What is taught by those who adhere to the Serpent-Seed doctrine is that the seed of the serpent is a LITERAL PHYSICAL SEED. Supposedly, there is a genetic lineage of Cain and all of his lineage are “children of the devil.” If that is indeed so then we have two choices before us. Either the seed spoken of in Genesis is a spiritual metaphor or it is biological and physical. Either being a child of the devil is a matter of the heart, or it is genetic and the serpent is a literal father of a non-human race starting with Cain.

Those are our two choices. We need to test each with the Word of God and determine which is valid. The support for this doctrine, at least on the surface, can appear rather convincing, so let’s review some of the major tenets of this doctrine. Genesis 3:13 is often cited, with the claim that the word translated “beguiled” in the King James Version really meant “seduced.”

At that point, it is concluded that the serpent sexually seduced Eve. Genesis 3:13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, “What is this that thou hast done? “And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Strong’s defines the Hebrew word used here as to be “deceived. There is a Hebrew word that can be and is used in the scriptures to mean seduced in a sexual sense. However, it should be noted that this particular word is not present in Genesis 3:13. There really is not much scholarly support for interpreting Genesis 3:13 to mean that the Serpent sexually seduced Eve. The Hebrew text can be stretched to perhaps loosely imply this, but we will see later how this interpretation does not really make much sense and hold up to the test.

Moving on… Another supposed proof text is used from Proverbs 30:20. This verse metaphorically compares the act of eating with sexual immorality. Proverbs 30:20 – “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” The linkage is necessary because the sin of Adam and Eve is mentioned to include eating, thus there is a need to attempt to prove that when Adam and Eve ate, it meant something sexual instead of something literal.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” [Gen 3:5-7]

The proponents of the ‘Serpent Seed’ doctrine quickly point out that Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, and thus their physical nakedness implies something sexual in nature occurring in context. However, the physical nakedness is here metaphorically used to teach us their current absence of a covering for THEIR SIN. As we said earlier, the physical is often used in scripture to teach us the spiritual. Being in sin makes us naked and exposed to God’s judgment. We need to be covered for that sin to no longer be naked and ashamed.

Nakedness does not always mean something sexual in nature, but a lack of a spiritual covering in intentional sin and lack of faith. “For in this we groan, earnestly DESIRING TO BE CLOTHED upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed WE SHALL NOT BE FOUND NAKED. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” [2Cor 5:2-4]

And again, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, AND NAKED!” [Rev 3:17] Again, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he WALK NAKED, and they see his shame!” [Rev 16:15] So we can see that just because they have realized that they are naked, that it does not mandate that what just transpired is something sexual in nature! It simply means that Adam and Eve were found to be in sin, so that they were SPIRITUALLY NAKED.

They were certainly physically naked as well, but the physical situation teaches the spiritual condition; that is the intended purpose here. Because they were physically naked, and ashamed, they needed a physical covering. On a spiritual level, they were also spiritually naked and ashamed because of their sin…therefore God sacrificed an animal, and covered them in its skin as a spiritual covering…pointing us to what later would be accomplished by our Lord when He was crucified between two thieves.

But to return to Genesis 3: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” [Gen 3:6]

If we attempt to use Proverbs 30:20 to try to prove that the fruit in Genesis 3 is referring to a sexual act between Eve and the Serpent, then we have a few serious things we now need to deal with. We need to consider that it was stated that ADAM WAS WITH EVE (and gave also to her husband with her) when Eve ate the fruit from the serpent. Which means that we would have to believe that Adam sat around and watched the serpent have sex with his wife.

But don’t stop there! Then, after that, Eve decided to give Adam some sexual relations with the serpent: “she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he did eat”. Strange doctrine indeed!

So here is what we have with the “Serpent Seed” doctrine. First, Adam watched his wife have sexual relations with a serpent, then Eve thought that sexual relations with the serpent was great, so she offered the same sexual relations with the serpent to Adam, and then Adam agreed and then proceeded to have homosexual relations with a serpent in front of Eve. Does that even sound right? Is that what we are to believe really happened?

Yes we know we are being rather sarcastic here but as A.W. Pink once said, “Sarcasm is a dangerous weapon to employ, but its use is fully warranted in exposing the ridiculous pretensions of error, and is often quite effective in convincing men of the folly and unreasonableness of their ways”

It now becometh us to ask WHO is this ‘seed of the woman’ who shall crush the head of the Serpent? It is indeed important that we learn as to what or WHO this seed is. The Master in the parable of the sower plainly said, “The seed is the Word of God!” [Luke 8:11] This is the same of which the apostle wrote “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14] And again in Revelation: “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God!” [Rev 19:12,13]

Here is a quote from A.W Pink – “On the day when sin entered the world, Jehovah announced that He would put enmity between the serpent and the woman, and between his seed and her seed (Genesis 3:15). That enmity was manifested when Christ became incarnate, for we are told, “And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:4), and he it was who moved Herod to slay all the young children in Bethlehem. But God interposed and the dragon was foiled. But now God hindered no longer. The hour had arrived when the serpent was to bruise the Savior’s heel, and fully did he now avail himself of his opportunity. Jews and Gentiles alike were “of their father, the devil.” and his lusts (desires) they now carried out with a will.”

God told Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:17-18). First, this seed was designated as the seed of the woman. Second, He was designated as the seed of Abraham. Not the literal physical descendants of Abraham (as the Jews had wrongly concluded) but as the Apostle says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ!” [Gal 3:16]

The ‘seed of the woman’ who shall be at enmity with the ‘seed of the Serpent’ is Christ and all who are in Him, i.e. all whom the Father gave Him having predestinated them unto adoption as sons – i.e. Christ’s ‘seed’ – “He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.” [Isa 53:10] “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE ARE COUNTED FOR THE SEED.” [Rom 9:8]

And just as it is written concerning Christ that He “shall tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt Thou trample under feet.” [Psalm 91:13] . . . the apostle assures those who are in Christ i.e. His Elect that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly!” [Rom 16:20]

And WHO are the ‘seed of the Serpent’? The seed of the Serpent are not any special class of Jews, Blacks or ‘Kenites’ as those who hold the doctrine of the ‘Serpent seed’ teach; but it is anyone and everyone whom the Father has not given to Christ (John 6:37), whose names are not written in the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), simply put – all those who are not “of the Truth”. Our Lord told Pilate “Everyone who is OF THE TRUTH heareth My voice!” (John 18:37) i.e. everyone who BELONGS TO THE TRUTH!

Yes, there are those who ‘belong to the Truth’ whom the Bible designates as God’s Elect, His sheep and His chosen ones to name a few. The Apostle said, “we know that WE ARE OF GOD, and the whole world lieth in wickedness!” That’s right! The ‘whole world’ meaning every single one who is outside of Christ whom the Bible designates as goats as opposed to sheep are ‘of the wicked one’ notwithstanding their religious pretentions, profession or outward morality. (see – Matt 25:32-46)

To be sure there ARE two seeds spiritually speaking! The children of God and the children of the Devil! Even the apostle John wrote concerning them – “In this the CHILDREN OF GOD are manifest, and the CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” [1John 3:10]

A clear mark of the seed of the Serpent is that they do not love Christ! Our Lord said, “IF GOD were your Father, ye would love Me!” [John 8:42] “But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God!” and why is this? . . . (because) Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do! Etc” [John 8:44] Oh yes men may love ‘Another Jesus’ like the Roman Catholic Jesus, the Mormon Jesus or the Arminian Jesus who is knocking on every man’s heart to try and save him! But the Sovereign discriminating Christ who hath mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will, every one of the reprobate non-elect will hate either secretly or openly thus manifesting that they are not of God!

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

[Please note: this is not a debate or discussion. Any comments in defense of the errors debunked here will be promptly deleted. Thank you]

GOD DOES NOT SEEK YOUR ‘CONSENT’ EITHER TO BIRTH YOU OR REBIRTH YOU . . . THAT PREROGATIVE IS WHOLLY HIS!

GOD DOES NOT SEEK YOUR ‘CONSENT’ EITHER TO BIRTH YOU OR REBIRTH YOU . . . THAT PREROGATIVE IS WHOLLY HIS!

Michael Jeshurun

When the Lord intends to save a man, He does not seek his consent or ‘permission’ but irresistibly draws him and sovereignly saves him!

Likening the new-birth to the wind that blows the Master told Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT!” [John 3:8] “The wind bloweth WHERE IT LISTETH!” meaning it is SOVEREIGN in its operation and thus it is with the Spirit of God in work of regeneration in God’s elect. He sovereignly saves them without their say-so at the appointed time!

The words of A.W. Pink are worth quoting here – “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well” (John 4:6). Observe, particularly, that the Lord Jesus was beforehand with this woman. He was at the well FIRST! “I am found of them that sought Me not” (Isaiah 65:1) is the language of the Messiah in the prophetic Word centuries before He made His appearance among men, and this oracle has been frequently verified. His salvation is not only altogether unmerited by those to whom it comes, but at first, IT IS ALWAYS UNSOUGHT (see Romans 3:11), and of everyone who is numbered among His peculiar people it may be as truly said, as of the apostles, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16).

When we were pursuing our mad course of sin, when we were utterly indifferent to the claims and superlative excellency of the Savior, when we had no serious thought at all about our souls, He – to use the apostle’s peculiarly appropriate word —”apprehended” us ( Philippians 3:12). He “laid hold of” us, aroused our attention, illumined our darkened understanding, that we might receive the truth and be saved by it. A beautiful illustration of this is before us here in John 4.

Yes, the Lord was BEFOREHAND with this woman. He was found of one who sought Him not. It was so with the idolatrous Abraham (Joshua 24:3) in the land of Chaldea: the Lord of glory appeared to him while he was yet in Mesopotamia (Acts 7:2). It was so with the worm Jacob, as he fled to escape from his brother’s anger (Genesis 28:10 , 13). It was so with Moses, as he went about his shepherd duties (Exodus 3:1 , 2). In each instance the Lord was found by those who sought Him not. It was so with Zacchaeus, hidden away amid the boughs of the trees “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down,” was the peremptory command, for, saith the Lord, “today, I MUST abide at thy house” ( Luke 19:5). It was so with Saul of Tarsus, as he went on his way to persecute the followers of the Lamb. It was so with Lydia, “whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14). And, let us add, to the praise of the glory of God’s grace, but to our own unutterable shame, it was so with the writer, when Christ “apprehended” him; apprehended him when he was altogether unconscious of his deep need, and had no desire whatever for a Savior. Ah, blessed be His name, “We love Him, because He first loved us!”

When I was a newly regenerated believer who was fairly new to the Faith I had a great zeal for the Lord (I still do) and had a great desire to ‘win’ as many as I could to the Lord. After all does not Scripture teach that “He that winneth souls is wise?” The whole verse reads – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Prov 11:30) It was many years later before the Lord taught me that both the ‘righteous’ and the ‘wise’ in that scripture is none other than the Lord of glory! It is HE who wins the rebellious and God hating soul by His sovereign grace. You and I can no more ‘win a soul’ than we can raise the dead!

But to return, those days I was deluded into thinking that all it took was a ‘decision’ that someone could make to invite Jesus into their heart because THAT is what I was taught. And I had a great burden to win my then Roman Catholic girlfriend of six years to the Lord. And so I would pray for her as though everything depended on prayer and preach to her at every given opportunity to get her to ‘make that decision’ for the Lord.

Little did I know that she was a lover of the writings of one Krishnamurti who is a New-Ager and she had been reading his books. So one day when I was compelling her to make this decision for the Lord and explaining to her how it was all about HER CHOICE etc, she abruptly stopped me and said “Honey, what ‘CHOICE’ are you talking about? We do not even have a choice when it comes to our birth. IF I had had a choice in the matter I would’ve chosen a different set of parents and a different country to be born in. So what ‘choice’ or you talking about? We really do not have a choice!”

Back then as an Arminian, even though I was stumped I tried to reason with her saying that “yes, while we do not have a choice as far as our birth is concerned, we still do have a choice as far as the New-birth is concerned,” etc. But now looking back as someone who is established in the doctrines of Sovereign Grace especially the truth of The Total Depravity of man; I can clearly see how right she was even as an unbeliever and how wrong I was though I knew the Lord!

Concerning our ‘choice’ with regards to our first birth, Loraine Boettner writes – “It is almost universally admitted that God determines when, where, and under what circumstances, each individual of our race shall be born, live, and die, whether it shall be male or female, white or black, wise or foolish. God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. He does what He will with His own. To some He gives riches, to others honor, to others health, to others certain talents for music, oratory, art, finance, statesmanship, etc. Others are poor, unknown, born in dishonor, the victims of disease, and live lives of wretchedness. Some are placed in Christian lands where they receive all the benefits of the Gospel; others live and die in the darkness of heathenism. Some are brought through faith unto salvation; others are left to perish in unbelief. And to a very large extent these external things, which are not the result of individual choice, decide the person’s life course and eternal destiny. Both Scripture and every day experience teach us that God gives to some what He withholds from others. If it be asked why He does this, or why he does not save all, the only available answer is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, “Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight.” – [Boettner in ‘The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination’] 

It was Billy Graham and other Arminians like him, with their prominent emphasis on “decision”, who brought this semi-Pelagian, unwarranted, but highly congenial exaltation of man’s will in salvation to world-wide acceptance. This delusion quickly overtook the “Fundamentalists”, Independent and Southern Baptists, Wesleyans, Pentecostals, Charismatics and virtually all who professed salvation in Christ.

This same ‘Rev’. Billy Graham once wrote a 170 pages book titled – ‘How to be born-again”. He might as well have written a book on how to be born. For in many ways the natural birth is very similar to spiritual birth!

And just as we had no say in the former, neither do we have any say in the latter! And as far as ‘choice’ goes, every man who comes into the world by natural GENERATION ALREADY MADE THAT CHOICE IN ADAM as far his eternal destiny is concerned! “In Adam all die!” (1Cor 15:22) To humbly accept this truth and preach it from the rooftops is to sign your ‘death warrant’ as far as any ‘success’ in the Ministry goes! This truth can only be received by truly regenerated men, the rest of the bench-warmers will trample it under their feet, and turn again and rend you if they could!

In natural birth, we know that the one who is BORN DOES NOT WILL TO BE BORN–in fact, he (as as my old girlfriend reminded me) has NO SAY IN THE MATTER WHATSOEVER! He does not decide the time, place, or circumstances of his birth. He has no power to determine the family into which he will be born etc. The analogy holds true with regard to the spiritual birth. GOD determines the time, place and circumstances. The sinner can no more resist this than can an infant resist and refuse to be born naturally.

This fact is shown so clearly in John 1:13 where speaking of believers it is said, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” i.e. “The new birth is “not of blood (by natural descent), nor of the will of the flesh (his own volition), nor of the will of man (the preacher’s persuasion), but OF GOD” [John 1:13] [A.W. Pink]  This verse kills the doctrine of those who teach that men are saved when they exercise their “free wills” and accept God’s “offer” of salvation.

God Sovereignly saves us in Regeneration and THEN CALLS US OR ILLUMINATES US BY THE GOSPEL. “Who hath SAVED US (regeneration), and CALLED US (by the Gospel) with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace etc”. [2Tim 1:9] As I always say we must beware of putting the proverbial ‘cart before the horse’!

A man does not believe the Gospel and GET SAVED but believes the Gospel BECAUSE HE IS SAVED!

This is the reason the Gospel is referred to in the Scriptures as a MYSTERY! Because only to the regenerate it is the ‘power of God unto salvation’. The rest can only behold it, wonder about it and perish! “BEHOLD, ye despisers, and WONDER, and PERISH: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in NO WISE BELIEVE, though A MAN DECLARE IT UNTO YOU”. [Act 13:41]

Regeneration is a ONETIME sovereign act of God whereas Conversion is always PARTIAL (on this earth) and CONTINUAL, and can be seen in different parts of our lives at different times. A genuine backslider does not need to be regenerated but he needs to be converted. A backslider no matter how far he has strayed is still God’s son and the Lambs bride! “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I AM MARRIED UNTO YOU”! [Jer 3:14] (my eyes well-up as I write this, for I was the greatest backslider of them all) Prior to Peter’s backsliding, the Lord told him – “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 THOU ART CONVERTED, strengthen thy brethren”! [Lk 22:31,32]

And I may finally add that it is in conversion that we unlearn much of the error which we held on to initially after our regeneration. Errors such as ‘Free will’, Universal Atonement, The Pentecostal errors etc.

The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect Day! [Prov 4:18] Hallelujah!

 

BE YE THANKFUL

BE YE THANKFUL

“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
Michael Jeshurun

Jonah’s Doctrate earned in a strange College

Jonah’s Doctrate earned in a strange College

 C.H. SPURGEON

[A must read sermon for all of God’s Elect – M.J.]

 Jonah learned this sentence of good theology in a strange college. He learned it in the whale’s belly, at the bottom of the mountains, with the weeds wrapped about his head, when he supposed that the earth with her bars was about him forever.

Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them. No man is competent to judge in matters of the kingdom, until first he has been tried; since there are many things to be learned in the depths which we can never know in the heights. We discover many secrets in the caverns of the ocean, which, though we had soared to heaven, we never could have known.

He shall best meet the wants of God’s people as a preacher who has had those wants himself; he shall best comfort God’s Israel who has needed comfort; and he shall best preach salvation who has felt his own need of it. Jonah, when he was delivered from his great danger, when, by the command of God the fish had obediently left its great deeps and delivered its cargo upon dry land, was then capable of judging; and this was the result of his experience under his trouble—”Salvation is of the Lord.”

By salvation here we do not merely understand the special salvation which Jonah received from death; for according to Dr. Gill, there is something so special in the original, in the word salvation having one more letter than it usually has, when it only refers to some temporary deliverance, that we can only understand it here as relating to the great work of the salvation of the soul which endureth for ever. That “salvation is of the Lord,”

First, then, to begin by explanation, let us EXPOUND THIS DOCTRINE—the doctrine that salvation is of the Lord, or of Jehovah. We are to understand by this, that the whole of the work whereby men are saved from their natural estate of sin and ruin, and are translated into the kingdom of God and made heirs of eternal happiness, is of God, and of him only. “Salvation is of the Lord.”

To begin, then, at the beginning, THE PLAN OF SALVATION IS ENTIRELY OF GOD. No human intellect and no created intelligence assisted God in the planning of salvation; he contrived the way, even as he himself carried it out. The plan of salvation was devised before the existence of angels. Before the day-star flung its ray across the darkness, when as yet the unnavigated ether had not been fanned by the wing of seraph, and when the solemnity of silence had never been disturbed by the song of angel, God had devised a way whereby he might save man, whom he foresaw would fall. He did not create angels to consult with them; no, of himself he did it. We might truly ask the question, “With whom took he counsel? Who instructed him, when be planned the great architecture of the temple of mercy? With whom took he counsel when he digged the deeps of love, that out of them there might well up springs of salvation? Who aided him?” None.

He himself, alone, did it. In fact, if angels had then been in existence, they could not have assisted God; for I can well suppose that if a solemn conclave of those spirits had been held, if God had put to them this question, “Man will rebel; I declare I will punish; my justice, inflexible and severe, demands that I should do so; but yet I intend to have mercy;” if he had put the question to the celestial squadrons of mighty ones, “How can those things be? How can justice have its demands fulfilled, and how can mercy reign?” the angels would have sat in silence until now; they could not have dictated the plan; it would have surpassed angelic intellect to have conceived the way whereby righteousness and peace should meet together, and judgment and mercy should kiss each other. God devised it, because without God it could not have been devised. It is a plan too splendid to have been the product of any mind except of that mind which afterward carried it out. “Salvation” is older than creation; it is “of the Lord.”

And as it was of the Lord in planning so IT WAS OF THE LORD IN EXECUTION. No one has helped to provide salvation; God has done it all himself. The banquet of mercy is served up by one host; that host is he to whom the cattle on a thousand hills belong. But none have contributed any dainties to that royal banquet; he hath done it all himself. The royal bath of mercy, wherein black souls are washed, was filled from the veins of Jesus; not a drop was contributed by any other being. He died upon the cross, and as an expiator he died alone. No blood of martyrs mingled with that stream; no blood of noble confessors and of heroes of the cross entered into the river of atonement; that is filled from the veins of Christ, and from nowhere else beside. He hath done it wholly!

Atonement is the unaided work of Jesus. On yonder cross I see the man who “trod the winepress alone;” in yonder garden I see the solitary conqueror, who came to the fight single-handed, whose own arm brought salvation, and whose omnipotence sustained him. “Salvation is of the Lord,” as to its provisions; Jehovah—Father, Son, and Spirit—hath provided everything.

So far we are all agreed: but now we shall have to separate a bit. “Salvation is of the Lord” IN THE APPLICATION OF IT. “No,” says the ARMINIAN, “it is not; salvation is of the Lord, inasmuch as he does all for man that he can do; but there is something that man must do, which if he does not do, he must perish.” That is the ARMINIAN way of salvation.

Now last week I thought of this very theory of salvation, when I stood by the side of that window of Carisbrooke castle, out of which King Charles of unhappy and unrighteous memory, attempted to escape. I read in the guide book that everything was provided for his escape; his followers had means at the bottom of the wall to enable him to fly across the country, and on the coast they had their boats lying ready to take him to another land; in fact everything was ready for his escape. But here was the important circumstance: his friends had done all they could; he was to do the rest; but that doing the rest was just the point and brunt of the battle. It was to get out of the window, out of which he was not able to escape by any means, so that all his friends did for him went for nothing, so far as he was concerned. SO WITH THE SINNER.

If God had provided every means of escape, and only required him to get out of his dungeon, he would have remained there to all eternity. Why, is not the sinner by nature dead in sin? And if God requires him to make himself alive, and then afterward he will do the rest for him, then verily, my friends, we are not so much obliged to God as we had thought for; for if he require so much as that of us, and we can do it, we can do the rest without his assistance.

The Romanists have an extraordinary miracle of their own about St. Dennis, of whom they tell the lying legend that after his head was off be took it up in his hands and walked with it two thousand miles; whereupon, said a wit, “So far as the two thousand miles go, it is nothing at all; it is only the first step in which there is any difficulty.” So I believe, if that is taken, all the rest can be easily accomplished. And if God does require of the sinner—dead in sin—that he should take the first step, then he requireth just that which renders salvation as impossible under the gospel as ever it was under the law, seeing man is as unable to believe as he is to obey, and is just as much without power to come to Christ as he is without power to go to heaven without Christ. The power must be given to him of the Spirit. He lieth dead in sin; the Spirit must quicken him. He is bound hand and foot and fettered by transgression; the Spirit must cut his bonds, and then he will leap to liberty. God must come and dash the iron bars out of their sockets, and then he can escape from the window, and make good his escape afterward; but unless the first thing be done for him, he must perish as surely under the gospel as he would have done under the law.

I would cease to preach, if I believed that God, in the matter of salvation, required anything whatever of man which he himself had not also engaged to furnish. For how many have I frequently hanging upon my lips of the worst of characters—men whose lives have become so horribly bad, that the lip of morality would refuse to give a description of their character? When I enter my pulpit am I to believe that these men are to do something before God’s Spirit will operate upon them? If so, I should go there with a faint heart, feeling that I never could induce them to do the first part.

But now I come to my pulpit with a sure confidence—God the Holy Spirit will meet with these men this morning. They are as bad as they can be; he will put a new thought into their hearts; he will give them new wishes; he will give them new wills, and those who hated Christ will desire to love him; those who once loved sin will, by God’s divine Spirit, be made to hate it; and here is my confidence, that what they cannot do, in that they are weak through the flesh, God sending his Spirit into their hearts will do for them, and in them, and so they shall be saved.

Well then, says one, that will make people sit still and fold their arms. Sir, it shall not. But if men did so I could not help it; my business, as I have often said in this place before, is not to prove to you the reasonableness of any truth, nor to defend any truth from its consequences; all I do here, and I mean to keep to it, is just to assert the truth, because it is in the Bible; then, if you do not like it, you must settle the quarrel with my Master, and if you think it unreasonable, you must quarrel with the Bible. Let others defend Scripture and prove it to be true; they can do their work better than I could; mine is just the mere work of proclaiming.

I am the messenger; I tell the Master’s message; if you do not like the message, quarrel with the Bible, not with me; so long as I have Scripture on my side I will dare and defy you to do anything against me. “Salvation is of the Lord.” The Lord has to apply it, to make the unwilling willing, to make the ungodly godly, and bring the vile rebel to the feet of Jesus, or else salvation will never be accomplished. Leave that one thing undone, and you have broken the link of the chain, the very link which was just necessary to its integrity. Take away the fact that God begins the good work, and that he sends us what the old divines call preventing grace—take that away, and you have spoilt the whole of salvation; you have just taken the key-stone out of the arch, and down it tumbles. There is nothing left then.

And now on the next point we shall a little disagree again, “Salvation is of the Lord,” AS TO THE SUSTAINING OF THE WORK IN ANY MAN’S HEART. When a man is made a child of God he does not have a stock of grace given to him with which to go on forever, but he has grace for that day; and he must have grace for the next day, and grace for the next, and grace for the next, until days shall end, or else the beginning shall be of no avail. As a man does not make himself spiritually alive, so neither can he keep himself so. He can feed on spiritual food, and so preserve his spiritual strength; he can walk in the commandments of the Lord, and so enjoy rest and peace, but still the inner life is dependent upon the Spirit as much for its after existence as for its first begetting.

I do verily believe that if it should ever be my lot to put my foot upon the golden threshold of Paradise, and put this thumb upon the pearly latch, I should never cross the threshold unless I had grace given me to take that last step whereby I might enter heaven. No man of himself, even when converted, hath any power, except as that power is daily, constantly, and perpetually infused into him by the Spirit. But Christians often set up for independent gentlemen; they get a little stock of grace in hand, and they say, “My mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved.” But ah! it is not long before the manna begins to be putrid. It was only meant to be the manna for the day, and we have kept it for the morrow, and therefore it fails us. We must have fresh grace.

“For day by day the manna fell;
O to learn that lesson well.”

So look day by day for fresh grace. Frequently too the Christian wants to have grace enough for a month vouchsafed to him in one moment. “O!” he says, “what a host of troubles I have coming—how shall I meet them all? O! that I had grace enough to bear me through them all! “My dear friends, you will have grace enough for your troubles, as they come one by one. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be;” but thy strength shall never be as thy months, or as thy weeks. Thou shalt have thy strength as thou hast thy bread. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Give us this day our daily grace. But why is it you will be troubling yourself about the things of tomorrow?

But, lastly, upon this point. THE ULTIMATE PERFECTION OF SALVATION IS OF THE LORD. Soon, soon, the saints of earth shall be saints in light; their hairs of snowy age shall be crowned with perpetual joy and everlasting youth; their eyes suffused with tears shall be made bright as stars, never to be clouded again by sorrow; their hearts that tremble now are to be made joyous and fast, and set for ever like pillars in the temple of God. Their follies, their burdens, their griefs, their woes, are soon to be over; sin is to be slain, corruption is to be removed, and a heaven of spotless purity and of unmingled peace is to be theirs forever. But it must still be by grace. As was the foundation such must the top-stone be; that which laid on earth the first beginning must lay in heaven the top-most stone. As they were redeemed from their filthy conversation by grace, so they must be redeemed from death and the grave by grace too, and they must enter heaven singing

“Salvation of the Lord alone;
Grace is a shoreless sea.”

THERE MAY BE ARMINIANS HERE, BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ARMINIANS THERE; they may here say, “It is of the will of the flesh,” but in heaven they shall not think so. Here they may ascribe some little to the creature; but there they shall cast their crowns at the Redeemer’s feet, and acknowledge that he did it all. Here they may sometimes look a little at themselves, and boast somewhat of their own strength; but there, “Not unto us, not unto us,” shall be sung with deeper sincerity and with more profound emphasis than they have even sung it here below.

In heaven, when grace shall have done its work, this truth shall stand out in blazing letters of gold, “Salvation is of the Lord.”

Read the full sermon – http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0131.htm

ABORTION IS MURDER

ABORTION IS MURDER

In the beginning, God created mankind, body and soul, male and female, in his image (Gen. 1:26-28; Matt. 10:28). God made mankind for the purpose of mirroring him. In light of creation, the image of God in man is meant to be displayed physically in a physical world.

 Created in the image of God

Body and soul exist in unity and they make up human nature. Natures do not act on their own; rather, persons act through their natures. This is not to say persons can be separated from their natures. They cannot be separated from their natures; persons are the acting subjects. Natures do not subsist in themselves, but in persons.

Human persons act in and through their natures, their souls and bodies, simultaneously to make up a human being in unity. One cannot act through his soul without also acting through his body unless the soul has been separated from the body, meaning that the body is dead. In other words, the soul is the incorporeal substance and the body is the corporeal substance, and these make up a single substance, a capacity known as the human nature. If you have a human nature, you necessarily have a person; if you do not have a human nature, you necessarily do not have a person.

To summarize, the person is the acting subject, and they act in and through their nature. To have a human nature on earth, one needs a human body (regardless of how minimal) and a human soul. If the body is ensouled, the soul is embodied, and a human nature exists.

So, with these truths as a necessary foundation, we ask: Does Scripture teach that human embryos are human natures that subsist in persons? Two important pregnancies in God’s Word build a strong case: Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb and king David in his mother’s womb.

 Jesus Christ, a person from conception

For Christ to represent the human race, he had to come from Adam’s race (Gen. 3:15; John 1:1, 14; Heb. 2:14-17). Mary is treated as Jesus’s mother, not because she was a mere surrogate for the implanted embryo of Christ, but because it was her egg that was fertilized by God miraculously. The same process that you and I went through in embryonic stage onward to birth is the same process Jesus Christ went through. Yet, he was not conceived in iniquity like us because he was conceived sinless by his Father, the first person of the Trinity (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5).

Before Jesus was conceived in Mary, her cousin Elizabeth became pregnant with John the Baptist. John was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15, 41). An angel told Mary she would be pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that Elizabeth, her cousin, was already six months pregnant. Mary then hurried to see Elizabeth. Mary greeted her and John the Baptist jumped in Elizabeth’s womb (Luke 1:26-41).

“And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord’” (Luke 1:42-45).

It had only been a few days or a few weeks since Mary had become pregnant. She was still very early in the first trimester, and it’s even possible that the embryo had not even attached to the uteran wall yet, a process that takes 6-10 days. Based on what Elizabeth said to Mary, Mary was already pregnant when she entered the room. Elizabeth referred to Mary’s embryo as tou kuriou—the Lord.

JOHN THE BAPTIST DID NOT LEAP OVER WHAT MARY’S “FETUS” WOULD BECOME; HE JUMPED FOR JOY OVER WHAT HER EMBRYO ALREADY WAS—GOD THE SON INCARNATE.”

John the Baptist, filled with the Spirit while in the womb, jumped for joy due to his Lord and Savior entering the room as a divine person united with a human embryo (the God-Man). Remember, natures do not subsist in themselves; they subsist in persons. God the Son had already united with his human nature at conception, for Elizabeth called him “the Lord.” God the Son did not unite with a mere “fetus” or a mere “clump of cells.” That would mean there are two incarnations, God the Son Clump of Cells and God the Son Incarnate, which adds a heretical “nature” to Christ in addition to his full humanity and full deity.

Clumps of cells do not need saviors for they do not and cannot sin; only persons are sinners and only persons sin. Therefore, God the Son united with a human nature, embryo (body) and soul, not an inhuman clump of cells. John the Baptist did not leap over what Mary’s “fetus” would become; he jumped for joy over what her embryo already was—God the Son incarnate.

Jesus Christ’s human nature subsisted in his divine Person from conception. David was also a person in his mother’s womb.

 King David, a person from conception

In Psalm 139:13-16, David wrote,

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance (golem); in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

The Hebrew word golem (translated “unformed substance”) used in verse 16 is probably the only direct reference to a human embryo in all of Scripture. Notice that neither God nor David treats David in the womb as a mere fetus—a clump of cells that may become human one day. David refers to himself in the womb as “Me” and “I” in verses 13, 14, and 15. Even as a human embryo being formed by God, David says he was being fearfully and wonderfully made. The fertilized egg (embryo), is being “fearfully and wonderfully made” as much as the full-term baby before birth. In the words of Voddie Baucham, the only differences between a baby in the womb and a baby outside the womb are age and location.

THE ONLY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A BABY IN THE WOMB AND A BABY OUTSIDE THE WOMB ARE AGE AND LOCATION.”

Again, as referenced earlier, one only needs a body and soul on earth in order to be a human nature subsisting in a human person. David possessed a body and soul from conception onward, and he referred to himself as a person—an “I” or “me.” David, an adult human person wrote that passage and referred to himself in the womb as himself, not as something less than himself, as something less than a human person.

Furthermore, consider what David wrote in Psalm 51:3-6:

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”

David was conceived in iniquity. He refers to himself as “me.” Again, the reality is that clumps of cells did not sin, nor are they held accountable for sin. Human persons sin; human persons are sinners and are held accountable for sin. Jesus did not die for clumps of cells; he died for sinners, for human persons.

 Abortion is murder

For the reasons outlined above, we may conclude that human personhood—human life—begins at conception. This means that abortion is the murder of human persons.

Not only must Planned Parenthood be stopped, but all the murder of unborn human persons must also be stopped. Abortion must be abolished, for it is the great sin of the United States. The blood of 55,000,000 aborted/murdered human persons cry out for justice. May we spend our lives giving a voice to the voiceless until this slaughter of the innocent is abolished.

By Jared Moore

 

WHY I DON’T PREACH THE GOSPEL TO SOME OF MY RELATIVES ANYMORE

WHY I DON’T PREACH THE GOSPEL TO SOME OF MY RELATIVES ANYMORE

Michael Jeshurun

I am writing this paper having been a preacher of the Gospel for a good thirty two years of which I was a ‘street preacher’ for six of those years. When I say a ‘street preacher’ I mean someone who used to go out every day, six days a week both morning and evening as a man goes to his office from nine to five for all those six years out on the street and door to door preaching the Gospel to anyone and everyone who would care to listen. During those years I have met and presented the gospel to literally thousands trying to get them to make a ‘decision’ for Christ and follow Him. Those days I had a great zeal but little knowledge of the sovereign discriminating grace of God.

As a newly born regenerated babe in Christ I was under the impression that if I could only quote the right scriptures and debate eloquently I could convince folks that they were sinners and show them the need for Christ and His salvation. It was only much later that God in His mercy patiently taught me the truth that this whole ‘convincing and convicting’ business was completely out of my hands and that it was the ministry and prerogative of the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sins! [John 16:8] You and I can no more convict people that they are sinners before God than we can raise the dead!

There is no mandate in the scriptures to keep preaching the Gospel to those who have rejected it time and again. On the contrary the scriptural admonition concerning those who reject the Gospel is to “shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them” and keep going. [Mark 6:11] The apostle Paul and Barnabas told the unbelieving Jews who rejected the Gospel, “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” [Acts 13:46]

And yet there are some of my relatives and loved ones to whom I have preached time and again hoping that something would trigger and get them to see the light. I have preached to them as though everything depended on preaching and prayed for them as though everything depended on praying and yet for all that I have seen many die in their sins to whom neither my preaching nor praying had any effect.

Now as I am drawing nearer to end of my own pilgrimage I am given to see that ‘MY DESIRE’ to see some of my loved ones saved is not necessarily GOD’S DESIRE! Weigh carefully the case of Eli’s sons who practiced wickedness. No doubt their father desired to see his sons repent and straighten out, and yet they repented not! And the Scripture tells us WHY – “Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, BECAUSE the LORD would slay them”. [1Sam 2:25] In other words Eli’s desire to see them repent and be saved was not necessarily God’s! The God of the Bible is still the Sovereign who hath mercy on WHOM HE WILL and hardens WHOM HE WILL! [Rom 9:18]

Now this is an hard saying especially to those who have been taught that God desires ALL MEN TO BE SAVED. I thank God for showing me that when the Scripture says God desires ‘all men’ to be saved it does not mean every ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ and ‘Jane, Jill and Mary’ but ALL SORTS of men i.e. ALL without DISTINCTION not ALL without EXCEPTION!

Scripture says that God “hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” [Luke 1:53] Truth is, many, in fact MOST of our near and dear ones are ‘FULL’! Take my own loving mother for instance, she is so full of good works and good intentions that she sees no need for either forgiveness or a Saviour!

Only the sovereign work of regeneration can convince a man that he is a sinner and cause him to repent and believe the Gospel! As William Gadsby so beautifully penned it –

Though all are sinners in God’s sight,
There are but few so in their own.
To such as these our Lord was sent;
They’re only sinners who repent.

What comfort can a Saviour bring
To those who never felt their woe?
A sinner is a sacred thing;
The Holy Ghost has made him so.
New life from Him we must receive,
Before for sin we rightly grieve.

True repentance is that which causes a man not only to hate his wickedness but his own “righteousness” as well. True repentance is the evidence of a man being a “sinner”, the likes of which the LORD “came to save”. True repentance is that which causes a man to renounce the very things in which he once trusted even as Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Phil 3:7-9) Only sinners are called to this repentance, the righteous are left in their righteousness where they are quite content.

And beloved, the MAJORITY of our kith and kin, i.e. our near and dear ones are ‘RIGHTEOUS IN THEIR OWN EYES’ and see no need for the Christ you are presenting in the Gospel! As the Wise man said, “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness!” [Prov 30:12] If you haven’t already seen this YOU WILL see it by and by – IF you’re truly saved! To tell our self-content, self-satisfied and prospering friends and relatives that all they need to do is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” that they might be saved is to betray our ignorance as to what Salvation truly is.

None of the above means that I have stopped all preaching to my family members per se`, but what it does mean is that NOW as opposed to before I PRAY for the ‘leading of the Lord’ and the discernment of the Spirit as to WHO I preach to and WHO I don’t!

Let me close this paper with some comments from our beloved brother A.W. Pink

No doubt some readers are ready to object to our “harsh” and “sarcastic” statements above by asking, When the question was put “What must I do to be saved?” did not an inspired apostle expressly say “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved?” Can we err, then, if WE tell sinners the same thing today? Have we not Divine warrant for so doing? True, those words are found in Holy Writ, and because they ARE, many superficial and untrained people conclude they are justified in repeating them to all and sundry. But let it be pointed out that Acts 16:31 was not addressed to a promiscuous multitude, but TO A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL, which at once intimates that it is NOT a message to be indiscriminately sounded forth, but rather a special word, to those WHOSE CHARACTERS CORRESPOND to the one to whom it was first spoken.

Verses of Scripture must not be wrenched from their setting, but weighed, interpreted, and applied IN ACCORD WITH THEIR CONTEXT; and THAT calls for prayerful consideration, careful meditation, and prolonged study; and it is failure at THIS point which accounts for these shoddy and worthless “messages” of this rush-ahead age. Look at the context of Acts 16:31, and what do we find? What was the occasion, and TO WHOM was it that the apostle and his companions said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?” A sevenfold answer is there furnished, which supplies a striking and complete delineation of the character of those to whom we are warranted in giving this truly evangelistic word. As we briefly name these seven details, let the reader carefully PONDER them.

First, the man to whom those words were spoken had just witnessed THE MIRACLE-WORKING POWER OF GOD. “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:26).
Second, in consequence thereof the man was deeply stirred, even to the point of self-despair: “He drew his sword and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled” (v. 27).

Third, he felt THE NEED OF ILLUMINATION: “Then he called for a light” (v. 29). Fourth, his SELF-COMPLACENCY WAS UTTERLY SHATTERED, for he “came trembling” (v. 29). Fifth, he took his proper place (before God)—in THE DUST, for he “fell down before Paul and Silas” (v. 29). Sixth, he showed respect and CONSIDERATION FOR GOD’S SERVANTS, for he “brought them out” (v. 30). Seventh, then, with a DEEP CONCERN FOR HIS SOUL, he asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Here, then, is something definite for our guidance—if we are willing to be guided. It was no giddy, careless, unconcerned person, who was exhorted to “simply” believe; but instead, one who gave clear evidence that a mighty work of God had already been wrought within him. He was AN AWAKENED SOUL (v. 27). In HIS case there was no need to press upon him his lost condition, for obviously he felt it; nor were the apostles required to urge upon him the duty of repentance, for his entire demeanor betokened his contrition. But to apply the words spoken to HIM unto those who are totally blind to their depraved state and completely dead toward God, would be more foolish than placing a bottle of smelling-salts to the nose of one who had just been dragged unconscious out of the water. Let the critic of this article read carefully through the Acts and see if he can find a single instance of the apostles addressing a promiscuous audience or a company of idolatrous heathen and “simply” telling them to believe in Christ.

Just as the world was not ready for the New Testament before it received the Old; just as the Jews were not prepared for the ministry of Christ until John the Baptist had gone before Him with his claimant call to repentance, so the unsaved are in no condition today for the Gospel till THE LAW be applied to their hearts, for “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

It is a waste of time to sow seed on ground which has never been ploughed or spaded! To present the vicarious sacrifice of Christ to those whose dominant passion is to take their fill of sin, is to give that which is holy unto the dogs. What the unconverted need to hear about is the character of Him with whom they have to do, His claims upon them, His righteous demands, and the infinite enormity of disregarding Him and going their own way.

THE NATURE OF Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day “evangelist.” He announces a Saviour from Hell, rather than a Saviour from SIN. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness. The very first thing said of Him in the N.T. is, “thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people (not “from the wrath to come”, but) FROM THEIR SINS” (Matt. 1:21). Christ is a Saviour for those realizing something of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, who feel the awful burden of it on their conscience, who loathe themselves for it, who long to be freed from its terrible dominion; and a Saviour FOR NO OTHERS. Were He to “save from Hell” those who were still in love with sin, He would be the Minister of sin, condoning their wickedness and siding with them against God. What an unspeakably horrible and blasphemous thing with which to charge the Holy One!

Should the reader exclaim, I was not conscious of the heinousness of sin nor bowed down with a sense of my guilt when Christ saved me. Then we unhesitatingly reply, “Either you have never been saved at all, or you were not saved as early as you supposed.” True, as the Christian grows in grace he has a clearer realization of what sin is—rebellion against God—and a deeper hatred and sorrow for it; but to think that one may be saved by Christ whose conscience has never been smitten by the Spirit and whose heart has not been made contrite before God, is to imagine something which has no existence whatever in the realm of fact. “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matt. 9:12): the only ones who really seek relief from the great Physician are they that are SICK OF SIN—who long to be delivered from its God-dishonoring works and its soul-defiling pollutions.”

A BIBLICAL CRITIQUE OF BISHOP MICHAEL CURRY’S SERMON ON ‘LOVE’

A BIBLICAL CRITIQUE OF BISHOP MICHAEL CURRY’S SERMON ON ‘LOVE’

David Robertson

Many have commented that Bishop Michael Curry’s exuberant sermon was such a powerful message and it should get people to reading the bible. Still others that even if it wasn’t spot on we should take the Philippians 1:18 attitude “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached.” – But that is the key question – was Christ preached? Was the love of Christ preached?

IT WASN’T!

1) Firstly if it had been it would have been the first time that the preaching of Christ met with worldwide commendation! Everyone loved it – from the atheist Ed Miliband, to the LGBT activist Vicky Beeching. Liberal and Evangelical alike sang its praises. It was such a post-modern meaningless sermon that anyone could take any meaning they liked. Listen to what Jesus says: “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets!” (Luke 6:26)

2) It was hypocritical. Bishop Curry was at a wedding that upheld the traditional Cranmer prayer book (and biblical) view of marriage as being between a man and a woman – and which expressly said so. Yet he does not believe that – and has been active in getting the reference to procreation and to man and woman removed from the prayer book in his church.

Incidentally his province is meant to be under the discipline of the whole Anglican Church, yet the Archbishop of Canterbury not only invited him but also enthusiastically endorsed him. Biblical Evangelicals within the Church of England have been well and truly shafted! It is important to grasp that Liberals like Curry use words in different ways – we need to ask what does he mean by Jesus, love and the cross. We may be hearing one thing when he is saying another.

3) It was unbiblical – The sermon cited 1 John 4:8 out of context. I know that he did not have time to do all of this, but there is no way that the little he did say is reflective of the letter he took it from. Just to mention a few things.

a) Sin – John sets the whole of the Cross-against the background of sin. Bishop Curry did not mention sin once. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1:8).

b) The Atonement – John tells us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. That forgiveness for sins comes from that. Jesus is the atoning sacrifice (the propitiation, turning aside the just wrath of God against sin) for our sins, and not only ours but the sin of the whole world” (2:2). “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (3:16). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (4:10). When Curry spoke of the cross, it spoke of it as sacrificial, as exemplary, not as THE atoning sacrifice. We too can be sacrificial and it is that sacrificial love that is redemptive and changes the world. Can you see what he is doing? He is turning the cross from being THE redemptive work, to it being an example of redemptive love that we can all show. He is teaching us that we can save ourselves and indeed save the world by just having the kind of love that Christ had and following his example. That is not the Gospel. It is the antithesis of the Gospel.

c) Obedience – Obedience was left out of the marriage vows. It was also left out of the sermon. Which given that it was a sermon about love and love is defined as obedience in his text is a big miss! “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” (2:3). “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” (2:5). But the Bishop said nothing about obeying the commands of God. Imagine if he had said this – “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (5:3). Do you think for a moment he would have had such a positive response?

d) Loving the World was commended, not condemned “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (2:15) “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.” (3:1). Bishop Curry made no distinction at all between Jesus and the world. So the world loved his message. If he had preached Christ, the world would have hated it. As it is the world loved his message, because it pushed all their buttons.

e) Beware False Teachers – Many antichrists have come (2:18) “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (3:7-8). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world!” (1Jn 4:1)

False teaching, false spirits, the devil being at work. Again none of that was mentioned. The whole concept of evil and the devils work was not part of the picture at all. But our battle is not against flesh and blood. Nor against Donald Trump. It is against sin, self and Satan.

f) There is a great division between those who know God and those who don’t. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (4:8). Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (5:1). If you don’t know Jesus you are not born of God. And if you are not born of the God who is love, you cannot love in the way that John is speaking about.

Imagine if Bishop Curry had said to the young couple – “it’s great to see your love, but there is a greater love, and you really need to know that love. You need to know the God who is love. You need to trust and accept his atoning work of sacrifice. You need to show your love by obeying his commands (including being faithful to each other). You need to watch out for the evil in your own heart, and that from the devil. Always look to Christ “ But he didn’t (even though the Cranmer’s Anglican liturgy recognizes all those things); and he couldn’t because he does not believe that. He disobeys Gods word, denies his atoning sacrifice and does not teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So what does the fact that so many good Christians and pastors accepted this as a ‘gospel sermon’ tell us?

It teaches us that the world has had a far deeper impact on our general thinking than we realize. We just seem to accept its premises.

It teaches us that we should not use the world’s methodology. I know that there are some who think that just because Jesus is mentioned and the bible quoted, this is a great thing, and even if he was not especially orthodox, we can use this as a kind of marketing tool. Whilst I agree that we should use every opportunity we can get – we should not justify or accept false teaching, just because it can be turned for good. It is very dangerous to say to our people that a sermon which gave a false view of the cross, a wrong view of salvation and was preached by a man who denies the Bible as the word of God, is somehow to be celebrated as something that points people to Jesus.

Which Jesus?

It teaches us that we need to be on our guard. The false teachers that Peter mentions were not people who were open in their heresy. They “secretly introduce destructive heresies”. Paul warned the Ephesian elders “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:29-31).

The devil is subtle. Most churches gradually decline – they don’t usually make one big jump. We need to walk the straight line – never deviating one iota from the Word of God – whether to legalism on the one hand, or liberalism on the other.
We should not be surprised. Remember what Jesus said: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?(Matthew 7:15-16).

The lesson of the churches in Revelation is that even faithful churches with hard working people can be deceived.
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth!” [Rev 2:12-16]

A teacher who calls sexual immorality ‘love’ is following the teaching of Balaam, not Christ!

I would appeal to my fellow evangelicals, especially those who are in church leadership. Don’t be deceived. I know I can be deceived – I have been in the past and I pray that the Lord would deliver me from that in the future. And don’t let the flock which God has entrusted you with be deceived. Stick to the Word, discern the spirits, and be bold and courageous in standing up against those who come either as roaring lions or as angels of light – and preach to us another Gospel and a different Jesus.

Finally – I don’t believe that 2 billion people heard the Gospel in this sermon. The only people who heard the Gospel in it were Christians who already know the Gospel. Instead of rejoicing in the crumbs we get from heretics, we should be seeking to learn more of Christ ourselves and get out there and tell the world about the real Jesus – one person at a time!

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!