GOD CONTROLS MEN’S HEARTS!

GOD CONTROLS MEN’S HEARTS!

Michael Jeshurun

The wicked are His sword! (Psa 17:13) If men are favourable toward us it is because HE hath given us favour in their eyes; and if men turn against us it is because God hath hardened their hearts toward us.

Take a look at these verses –

“And the LORD GAVE THE PEOPLE FAVOUR in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” [Ex 12:36]

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” [Prov 16:7]

“And the LORD STIRRED UP AN ADVERSARY unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.” [1Kings 11:14]

“Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; FOR THE CAUSE WAS FROM THE LORD . . . “ [1Kings 12:15]

“I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commit iniquity, I WILL CHASTEN HIM WITH THE ROD OF MEN, and with the stripes of the children of men.” [2Sam 12:14]

“The king’s heart is in the HAND OF THE LORD, as the rivers of water: HE TURNETH IT WHITHERSOEVER HE WILL.” [Prov 21:1]

HE TURNED THEIR HEART TO HATE HIS PEOPLE, to deal subtilly with His servants.” [Psa 105:25]

HE MADE THEM ALSO TO BE PITIED of all those that carried them captives.” [Psa 106:46]

Now God does all of this without in anyway infringing on the responsibility of the wicked or being the author of their sin! Come to think of it, a man cannot even sin except the LORD permit it! “for I also withheld thee from sinning against Me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.” [Gen 20:6]

This is the Sovereign Almighty God who hath revealed Himself to us His Elect. THE GOD OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THIS SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hallelujah!

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN GROW IN GRACE?

HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN GROW IN GRACE?

compiled by Michael Jeshurun

“When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted.

Growth in grace is a GROWTH DOWNWARD: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a DEEPENING REALIZATION OF OUR NOTHINGNESS; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are NOT WORTHY of the least of God’s mercies”. [A.W. Pink]

“I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I ABHOR MYSELF, and repent in dust and ashes”! [Job 42:5,6]

“The more true light a man hath, the more cause of self-abasement will he find in himself”. (Thomas Manton)

Consider the Apostle Paul’s progress in humility – Christ increasing and self decreasing.

Writing to the Corinthians in 55AD he said – “For I AM THE LEAST OF THE APOSTLES, who am NOT FIT TO BE CALLED AN APOSTLE, because I persecuted the church of God”. [1Cor 15:9]

Writing to the Ephesians in 61AD he wrote – “Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST OF ALL SAINTS, is this grace given . .” [Eph 3:8]

And toward the end of his life in 66AD, writing to Timothy he said – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I AM (not was) CHIEF”! [1Tim 1:15]

As you consider the above, you see that we come face to face with the phenomenon which is frequently seen in the great leaders and saints of the past. It is that the older they grow, the more acute is their own sense of sin and of weakness in themselves. Or as Spurgeon put it “He whose garments are the whitest will best perceive the spots upon them!” They see that what they once thought to be natural strengths are really weaknesses that emanate from the unredeemed (and unredeemable) FALLEN FLESH.

So if this (an increasing sense of the corruption of your old flesh nature) is beginning to happen to you, you are growing as a Christian. It has been well said that “He who knows himself best esteems himself least.”

Thomas Guthrie perfectly pictured Paul’s progression when he wrote…

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows, the more lowly bends his head.

HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR OR IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!

HE THAT HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR OR
IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!

“If the shoe fits…wear it!”

This proverb has been around for a long time. Originally, it was “if the cap fits”, and probably referred to the fool’s cap or dunce cap. You can probably pick up on the connotation.

Eventually it was changed over to “If the shoe fits” in reference to Cinderella. The moral? If something pertains to you…accept it!

We think this is a fairly modern term, however; it is as old as the book of Revelation. Jesus used it on several different occasions as He taught the people of His day. Howbeit, He did communicate it in a phrase they could better understand like in Mark 4:9 “And He said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!” Jesus made this statement eight times in the book of Revelation. I believe He was trying to get His point across—“If the shoe fits, wear it.”

The apostle Paul wrote seven letters to seven different churches while Jesus had the apostle John write one letter to seven different churches. In most of the comments to the seven churches the Lord included an admonition, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” Now after almost 2000 years when WE read these warnings and exhortations the Scripture speaks to OUR hearts and asks us the very same question, “Do YOU have ears to hear? Does the shoe fit YOU?”

These are the times when we must according to 2 Corinthians 13:5 “examine ourselves”… and see if the said warning or exhortation applies to US. If it does then we need to repent accordingly. The Jesus we serve is just, merciful and forgiving that He even gave Jezebel in the church of Thyatira a chance to repent.

Through the years, I’ve sat through sermons that pierced my soul and all the while I was thinking, “Man, I wish old brother John was in this service to hear this message because he could really benefit from everything that’s being said here today.” I failed to realize that the shoe being preached was my exact size and it would fit me perfect. I would leave that meeting wondering why I was not maturing and drawing closer to God–not comprehending that I had left a perfect pair of spiritual shoes on the altar. Had I stopped and considered that Jesus was speaking to me through His Word, I would have had ears to hear and realized that the shoe fit—put it on and allowed it to help me walk worthy on the vocation wherewith I am called.

Nonetheless, it’s foolish of us to think that everyone that hears the Word of God is going to believe in, adhere to and rely on what it is saying. The proof is in the parable of the sower who sows his seed on four different types of ground and observes four different results. The seed is the Word of God and it was the same seed sown but sown on diverse types of ground. Even the good ground that received the Word produced dissimilar amounts of fruit from the same seed, which was the Word of God. Therefore, it is safe to say that some thought the shoe of the Word fit them better than others did. Could it be that the ones that produced thirty fold recognized only their need for the shoe? Could it be the ones that produced sixty fold may have actually spiritually tried it on to see if it fit? On the other hand, could it be the ones that were walking in the one-hundred-fold ministry were walking around in Word of God shoes because they fit and they had ears to hear what was being said?

The Bible says the Word of God is like a two-edge sword, sometimes It cuts off ungodly and undesirable attributes and characteristics that hurts our body, soul and spirit, but it may be Jesus saying, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear or If the shoe fits, wear it.”

“The fundamental principle for which we are here contending is plainly expressed again by Christ in Mark 13:37, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” That exhortation to the apostles is addressed directly to THE SAINTS IN ALL GENERATIONS AND PLACES. As Owen well said, “The Scriptures speak to every age, every church, every person, not less than to those to whom they were first directed. This shows us how we should be affected in reading the Word: we should read it as a letter written by the Lord of grace from Heaven, to us by name. “If there be any books in the New Testament particularly restricted, it is the “pastoral epistles,” yet the exhortation found in 2 Timothy 2:19, is generalized: “Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Those who are so fond of restricting God’s Word would say that “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (verse 3) is addressed to the minister of the Gospel, and pertains not to the rank and file of believers. But Ephesians 6:10-17, shows (by necessary implication) that it applies to all the saints, for the militant figure is again used, and used there without limitation. The Bullinger school insist that James and Peter—who gave warning of those who in the last time should walk after their own ungodly lusts—wrote to Jewish believers only; but Jude (addressed to all the sanctified) declares they “told you” (verse 18).

“You have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord” (Hebrews 12:5). That exhortation is taken from Proverbs 3:11, so that here is further evidence that the precepts of the Old Testament (like its promises) are not restricted unto those who were under the Mosaic economy, but apply with equal directness and force to those under the new covenant. Observe well the tense of the verb “which speaks”: though written a thousand years previously, Paul did not say “which has spoken”—the Scriptures are a living Word through which their Author speaks today.

Note too “which speaks unto you”—New Testament saints: all that is contained in the book of Proverbs is as truly and as much the Father’s instruction to Christians as the contents of the Pauline epistles. Throughout that book God addresses us individually as “My son” (2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1). That exhortation is as urgently needed by believers now as by any who lived in former ages. Though children of God, we are still children of Adam—willful, proud, independent, requiring to be disciplined, to be under the Father’s rod, to bear it meekly, and to be exercised thereby in our hearts and consciences.” – A.W. Pink

Every time a preacher stands up and exhorts a multitude to forsake a certain sin or compromise, there will always be those in that same multitude who are not in the least guilty of that sin. So should the preacher be silenced lest he offend the sinless FEW! ABSURD!

ALL preaching challenging those gathered to forsake a particular sin or compromise and follow after righteousness is done with the admonition – “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear or If the shoe fits, wear it”!

[compiled from sources on the web]

YOU MAY HAVE CELEBRATED AND OBSERVED THE PAGAN FESTIVAL OF EASTER BEFORE YOU WERE SAVED, BUT NOW AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT!

YOU MAY HAVE CELEBRATED AND OBSERVED THE PAGAN FESTIVAL OF EASTER BEFORE YOU WERE SAVED, BUT NOW AS A SAVED CHRISTIAN GOD COMMANDS YOU TO REPENT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[copied from sources on the web]

GOD ORDAINS AND PURPOSES ALL THINGS!

GOD ORDAINS AND PURPOSES ALL THINGS!

God is not a fortuneteller, a soothsayer, a mere predictor. He doesn’t have a crystal ball. He knows what’s coming because He plans what’s coming and He performs what He plans. In Isaiah 46:10 He says “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all My purpose!” He does not form purposes and wonder if someone else will take responsibility to make them happen. “I will accomplish all My purpose!”

So, based on this text, here’s what I mean by the sovereignty of God: God has the rightful authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to bring about everything that He intends to happen. And therefore, everything He intends to come about does come about. Which means, God plans and governs all things.

When He says, “I will accomplish all My purpose,” He means, “Nothing happens except what is My purpose.” If something happened that God did not purpose to happen, He would say, “That’s not what I purposed to happen.” And we would ask, “What did You purpose to happen?” And He would say, “I purposed this other thing to happen which didn’t happen.” To which we would all say, then, “But You said in Isaiah 46:10, ‘I will accomplish all My purpose.’” And He would say, “That’s right.” Therefore, what God means in Isaiah 46:10 is that nothing has ever happened, or will ever happen that God did not purpose to happen. Or to put it positively: Everything that happened or will happen is purposed by God to happen.

“God worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of His own will!” [Eph 1:11]

Hallelujah!

[Quoted from desiringgod.org]

THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION – A TRUTH TO BE KNOWN

 THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION – A TRUTH TO BE KNOWN

Michael Jeshurun

We have come across not a few who contend that the ‘doctrine of Election’ though it may be true is not for us to know. Election and predestination are ‘God’s business’ and we need not break our heads over it.”

Is that what the BIBLE teaches?

Here’s what the Scripture says –
“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deut 29:29]

Read that again – “but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!”

And WHAT has God revealed apart from the who He is and what He expects of man . . . why, He has revealed to us that He is a DISCRIMINATING GOD who has mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will! [Romans 9:18]

THE BIBLE EXPLICITLY TEACHES ELECTION in both the old and the new testaments and those who fail to see it are either men who are spiritually BLIND who must be born again or just plain REBELLIOUS men who willfully reject the teaching of God’s word because it is NOT AGREEABLE to their feelings and plausible to their understanding. Every Christian MUST believe in some kind of election, for the great God hath chosen to ‘REVEAL IT’ in His Word! And while the Scriptures leave unexplained many things about the doctrine of Election, they make very plain the FACT that there HAS BEEN AN ELECTION!

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, and the rest were blinded!” [Rom 11:7]

The most eminent apostle of them all who wrote more than half the New Testament, towards the end of his ministry confessed to the Ephesian Church – “I KEPT BACK NOTHING THAT WAS PROFITABLE UNTO YOU, but have showed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house.” [Acts 20:20]

And WHAT was one of those ‘profitable’ doctrines which he did not keep back from the Ephesians? Why ELECTION and PREDESTINATION!

“According as He hath CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will etc” [Ephesians 1:4,5]

And Paul was not the only one who taught Election and Predestination, but so did ALL OF THE APOSTLES! It is either expressly stated, strikingly illustrated, or clearly implied!

The Apostle Peter starts off his very first letter thus – “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus . . . ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER, through sanctification of the Spirit . . .” [1Pet 1:1-3]

And John that apostle of love was so full of the doctrine of election that he even addresses a sister in Christ as “the Elect lady” [2John 1:1] You can’t get more ‘Reformed’ than that!

GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF HIS ELECTION AND SOVEREIGN GRACE or He had not filled the pages of His Book speaking about it!

“but those things WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children!” [Deut 29:29]

And the reason why God has revealed the doctrine of Election in His Book is because as all other Biblical doctrines the Doctrine of Election and we might add the Doctrine of Man’s Total Depravity are profitable to us!

“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Timothy 3:16,17]

The doctrine of Election which we hold and contend for gives God ALL the glory and puts man where He belongs – i.e. in the dust! And the Holy Spirit has seen fit to reveal it in His Word and holy men of God through the ages have contended for it and in some cases have even laid down their lives for it!

Such a precious truth as this must not be neglected or set aside! It must be preached from the rooftops!

“What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that PREACH YE UPON THE HOUSETOPS!” [Matt 10:27]

BUT TRUTH IS NEVER POPULAR and this is especially so with the truth of Election! It is not taught to gain favour with men. The preacher whose goal is to ‘win friends and influence people’ must needs AVOID this doctrine or explain it away to the satisfaction of the religious goats who warm his pews! . . . and sadly many have done just that!

In fact, to mention it before some, is like shaking the proverbial red flag before an enraged bull. It arouses the fiercest passions of their nature, and brings forth a torrent of abuse and calumny. But, because men have fought against it, or because they hate it, or perhaps misunderstand it, is no reasonable or logical cause why we should turn the doctrine adrift, or cast it behind our backs. The real question, the all-important question, is not “How do men receive it? But, IS IT TRUE?”.

“It is the duty of every theologian to subordinate his theories to the Bible, and teach not what SEEMS TO HIM TO BE TRUE OR REASONABLE, but simply WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES. The question as to whether Election and Reprobation are true, is not to be decided by ascertaining which is more agreeable to our feelings or the more plausible to our understanding, but which is consistent with the doctrines of the Bible and the facts of experience.” (Dr. Charles Hodge).

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this Law.” [Deut 29:29]

WHAT IS YOUR ‘IDOL’ CHRISTIAN?!

WHAT IS YOUR ‘IDOL’ CHRISTIAN?!

Michael Jeshurun

The Scripture affirms that God is a jealous God and will have no other God’s before Him. [Ex 34:14] Especially, if you are a child of God, then He is jealous over you with a godly jealousy! He will not permit you to put any other gods before Him!

Incidentally a ‘god’ or an ‘idol’ is not just something made of stone or wood which the pagans bow before.

According to J.C. Philpot – “NOTHING IS TOO SMALL OR TOO INSIGNIFICANT WHICH, AT TIMES, MAY NOT BE AN IDOL; EVEN A TULIP OR A GOOSEBERRY! “What a wonderful large gooseberry! What a beautiful tulip”! Some will walk up and down their garden on the Lord’s day admiring their gooseberry trees, and praising the fruit, how fine and large it is; others their tulips or anemones. They look at them and admire them, fearful the frost may have done them some injury. THIS is idolatry, because it is something, which, for the time, the mind is looking at before God.

Whatever is meditated on preferably to God, whatever is desired more than he, whatever more interests us, pleases us, occupies our waking hours, or is more constantly in our mind, becomes an idol and a source of sin.

It is not the magnitude of the idol, but its existence as an object of worship, that constitutes idolatry. I have seen some Burmese idols not much larger than my hand, and I have seen some Egyptian idols weighing many tons. But both were equally idols, and the comparative size had nothing to do with the question. So spiritually, the idol is not to be measured by its size, its relative importance or non-importance. A flower may be as much an idol to one man as a chest full of gold to another. If you watch your heart, you will see idols rising and setting all day long, nearly as thickly as the stars by night.”

But the good Lord is faithful to show His children their ‘gods’ and ‘idols’ and give them the willingness to forsake them! “Ephraim shall say, what have I to do any more with idols”? [Hosea 14:8]

God always knows what our ‘idols’ are and what it is that is very dear to us and generally requires THAT! God requiring the Issac whom Abraham loved as an offering is a case in point!

“And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; AND THE LORD DELIVERED THEM INTO HIS HANDS. . . .
And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his DAUGHTER came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and SHE WAS HIS ONLY CHILD; beside her he had neither son nor daughter”! [Judges 11:30-34]

Since the beginning of time men have forsaken all sorts of things for the Lord and His Kingdom. But they have never been the worse for forsaking them.

As the Master said – “Verily I say unto you, There is NO MAN that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive AN HUNDREDFOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life”. [Mark 10:29,30]

David Livingstone, the British missionary who pioneered the jungles of Africa and died there, said, “I NEVER MADE A SACRIFICE!” He gave EVERYTHING, but knew that what he was getting in return was worth much more than anything he could possibly give! Although he gave his life, he reaped dividends in immortal souls, thousands reached with the gospel!

God is a debtor to NO MAN! No man ever makes a ‘sacrifice’ to God which God does not pay back a hundredfold!

But no true child of God gives or sacrifices with an intention to get a hundredfold. They give whatever God requires of them because they love Him above everything! It is only the false ‘Prosperity Preachers’ like Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar who urge their congregations to ‘GIVE’ that they may ‘GET’!

But the true children of God give expecting NOTHING, and God in turn opens the windows of heaven and pours out a blessing that there will be no room enough to receive it! [Mal 3:10]

THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD MAKE USE OF GOD’S APPOINTED TEACHERS

THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD MAKE USE OF GOD’S APPOINTED TEACHERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOT AT ALL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Jeshurun

THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF A DAUGHTER!

THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF A DAUGHTER!

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” [Psalm 144:12]

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future. ~ Author Unknown

“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.  ~John Gregory Brown

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express. ~ Joseph Addison

YOU CAN PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE LOST, BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE THEM BELIEVE!

YOU CAN PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE LOST, BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE THEM BELIEVE!

Michael Jeshurun

You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink! If you want him to drink, you must have the power to PUT SOME THIRST IN HIM!

And THIS is what God does with His sheep, in the day of His power! He puts a thirst in them for the Living Water . . . . .so they come and drink to thirst no more!

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink”! [John 7:37]

But NO MAN will thirst for Christ unless he is one of God’s sheep! Jesus said unto the unbelieving Jews – “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”. And He tells them why – “But ye believe not, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF MY SHEEP”! [John 5:40 & 10:26]

“The Lord did not say “Ye are not of my sheep BECAUSE ye believe not,” but, “Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.” Man always turns the things of God upside down. When he comes to something in the Word which is peculiarly distasteful, instead of meekly submitting to it and receiving it in simple faith because God says it, he resorts to every imaginable device to make it mean something else.

Here Christ is not only charging these Jews with unbelief, but He also explains WHY faith had not been granted to them — they were not “of his sheep”: they were not among the favored number of God’s elect. If further proof be required for the correctness of this interpretation, it is furnished below.

A man does not have to believe to become one of Christ’s “sheep”: he “believes” BECAUSE HE IS one of His sheep”.
[A.W. Pink]