I CAN’T STAND ‘PASTORS’ WHO ARE MEN-PLEASERS
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” [Galatians 1:10]
“Some of the elect are permitted to sin most grievously in their unconverted state, whilst others of them, even in their unregenerate days, are wondrously preserved. Again; some of the elect after their conversion have been divinely allowed to awfully fall into the most horrible impieties, whilst others of them are so preserved as never to sin willfully against their consciences from the first conviction to the very close of their lives.” (Condensed from S. E. Pierce on Hosea 14:1).
Even so, God preserves the marriages of a great number of His people whilst others He decrees that they be separated and glorify Him in the fires! [Isaiah 24:15] But in either case though the means be varied the determined end is ever the same – i.e. to conform His child to glorious image of His beloved Son!
The path ordained for every child of God whether it be in blessing or trial is as unique as the fingerprints on our hand or the iris in our eyes! It is a UNIQUE PATH “which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen” [Job 28:7]. Wherefore for the most part we seek in vain for someone to ‘understand us’ or sympathize with us! Our glorious Head looked for some to take pity, but there was NONE; and for comforters, but He found NONE”! [Psa 69:20]. And as a part of that glorious body it shall be no different with us!
“But HE knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold”! [Job 23:10] is the heartfelt confession of every true child of God! For they be persuaded that it is the LORD who giveth and the same LORD who taketh away and also that ‘ALL THINGS truly work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose!’ [Rom 8:28]
Today my wife and I glorify God for twenty five years of married life. A marriage that may not have lasted twenty five months God held together for a good twenty five years and all praise and glory is due to HIM ALONE!
Truth be told – it takes more than ‘GRACE’ to live with a miserable sinner like ME . . . it takes what the apostle calls “MORE GRACE!” But thanks be to God, “HE GIVETH MORE GRACE” which He graciously did and why we’re still around together serving Him. (James 4:6)
What is true concerning my own salvation as an ex-Satanist, alcoholic and drug addict, is true concerning our marriage too –
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home!
Thank you Lord Jesus for your faithfulness!
So you are claiming to be the ‘elect’ of God for whom Christ died. You know enough theology to debate any Arminian or Amyraldian and prove him wrong. But could it be that you are just a spiritually dead theologian with a lots of doctrine in your head?
You have heard this for a long time now that Christmas is Pagan and an offence to the God you claim to love and obey, but you could care less. You don’t want to be that ‘oddball’ who shuns Christmas and preaches against it. You have no desire to go forth unto Him, outside the camp (of apostate christianity) bearing His reproach like all the Elect! [Heb. 13:12,13].
“It’s not a moral issue” you reason! And where does the Bible say ‘don’t celebrate Christmas’? Ha, spoken like a genuine purebred goat! Maybe you need to “examine yourself whether you are in the Faith” [II Cor. 13:5]. The true saint of God does not abstain himself only from those things which are morally wrong, but hates “every false way” [Psa. 119:104].
Many such dry, dead, graceless head-Calvinist are burning in Hell right now who professed to know God but denied Him in works! [Titus 1:16]
“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing” is not just good advice but a command. Your very affiliation and participation in the pagan festival of Christmas reveals your true identity. You are just a goat with a head full of theology, but the ‘root of the matter is not in you’! [Job 19:28].
Why not go all the way and join the Roman Catholics in celebrating MASS every Sunday?! After all Roman Catholics who celebrate Christ-MASS are our brothers and sisters in Christ, aren’t they? Many ‘Evangelicals’ seem to think so, J.I. Packer and Bill Bright to name a few! To these broadminded evangelicals the Reformation was a joke and those who were burned at the stake (for denying ‘the Catholic wafer Jesus) were nerds anyway!
And isn’t the Christmas season a great time to win the lost? At least they are more open to the Gospel! Like John Macarthur Jr said, “I do see Christmas concerts attracting people to the church”(GC-2022). So the end justifies the means. Have a Christmas program, a Rock or Rap concert, do anything as long as you can lead folks to Christ and get them to pray and ask Jesus into their hearts. After all what better day for lost souls to make a decision and open their heart to invite Jesus in than his Birthday?!
Surely we can’t deny the kiddies a good time by being such a nonconformist radical. Yes Moses took all the little ones with him out of Egypt (Ex 10:9,10). But times are different now! There are times when we have to follow the multitude to do evil and allow our children to mingle with the present day Egyptians in their “pleasures of sin for a season“? (Hebrews 11:25).
But seriously here is the truth: “In the sight of God the circus and the theater are far less obnoxious than the “Christmas celebration” of Romish and Protestant “churches.” Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the holy name of Christ; the former are not”. [A.W. Pink]
The question is not whether you will lose your salvation if you join in this pagan abomination done in your Lord’s name, but whether you are saved to start with! You are smart enough to know who it is that celebrates “Christmas”! The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, joining in the merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus!
Putting it on its lowest ground, we would ask, “You claiming to be His friend, will you unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification?” Does any truly born-again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, “the customs of the people are vain“; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2)
Without labouring the point, the true child of God has no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather exposes them [Eph 5:11], not that he might be saved, but because he is! It cannot be overstressed that ‘Christmas’ is a worldly festival, and everything connected to it – (the Christmas Tree, Santa Claus, the Mistletoe, the elves all of them) has a Satanic significance. And God’s Word makes it plain that if you are a friend of the world you are the enemy of God! [James 4:4]
If the Master walked into your house this month and saw your decorated Christmas tree [Jer 10:2-4], the Satanic Pentagram (Christmas Star), Santa Claus etc would he commend you with a “well done thou good and faithful servant’ or “depart from me I never knew you”?! Surely you know the answer to that! If as you claim, Christ has set you free, then it was not that you might be delivered to do all these abominations! [see Jer 7:10]
And please don’t justify your celebration of this paganism by quoting other blind Calvinists like John Macarthur or John Piper who are leading their blind congregations into the ditch! The hypocrite John Piper says –“It’s really worth the risk, even if the date of December 25 was chosen because of its proximity to some kind of pagan festival. Let’s just take it, sanctify it, and make the most of it, because Christ is worthy of being celebrated in his birth”. Oh may God deliver his sheep from such wolves in sheep’s clothing!
So quit justifying yourself my dear Calvinist friend, and seriously
“Examine yourself, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves”! [2Cor 13:5]
Every true Christian worth his salt is a ‘Protestant’! For the One he follows as a disciple is a Protestant! Read His “Woe unto scribes and Pharisees!” which were hurled at the religious establishment of His day! Read the record of His apostle whose spirit was “stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry!” [Acts 17:16] And he protested against it!
God is looking for men who will not just peach the truth but who will cry out against the Lie!
The charge of God to every child of His is to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them!” [Eph 5:11] Meaning : when someone wishes you a “Merry Christmas!” just don’t ‘grin and bear it’ but take a stand and say, “Sorry I do not observe this Pagan holiday!” And if God opens the door, go on to preach the true Christ using that opportunity!
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” [Psalm 94:16] “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins!” [Isaiah 58:1]
The question today is still, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” [Isaiah 6:8] Don’t be a wimp and say, “Here am I . . . send my sister!” But rather say with the prophet – “Here am I; send ME!”
Listen beloved, The Roman Catholic ‘Church’ whom the Bible decries as the ‘Great Whore’ (Rev 17:1) hasn’t cleaned up her act and repented of her fornications (she never will) but is even now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner, to catch the unwary and gullible and kiss them; and with an impudent face say unto them, “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” [Prov 7:6-27]
And the ‘Christmas bed’ is one very beguiling and irresistible ‘bed’ few so called ‘Christians’ can resist! HOW do I know this? Because in this very city where I live the Baptists, the Methodists and the Pentecostals and almost every established ‘Christian’ denomination come together along with the Roman Catholics to have a “United Christmas Celebration”! “Oh we’re trying to put Christ back into Christmas.” they whimper. Fools! Christ was NEVER A PART of this Pagan abomination to start with!
“But WHAT is “Christmas?” Does not the very term itself denote it’s source – “Christ-mass.” Thus it is of Roman origin, brought over from paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Savior’s birth. It is? And WHO authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples “remember” Him in His death, but there is not a word in scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. It is without reason that the only “birthday” commemorations mentioned in God’s Word are Pharaoh’s (Gen. 40:20) and Herod’s (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded “for our learning?” If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?
And WHO is it that celebrates “Christmas?” The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on it’s lowest ground, we would ask, is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any true born again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, the customs of the people are VAIN; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2). – A.W. Pink
“For what peace in the Church without Truth? All conformity to anything else is but the agreement of Herod and Pilate to destroy Christ and His Kingdom”. And again, “An agreement without truth is no peace, but a covenant with death, a league with hell, a conspiracy against the Kingdom of Christ and a stout rebellion against the God of Heaven”. [John Owen]
In the light of the above statements does it not grieve the spirit of the true child of God to see those who are supposed to be Protesting against Rome jump into bed with her and embrace her children as ‘brethren’?
“Oh, but I am not a “Protestant’” says one, “I am just a “Christian”!
Thou fool! Knowest thou not that a ‘Christian’ and a “Protestant” are spiritually synonymous!
A ‘Christian’ is not just someone who embraces that which Christ loves, but one who HATES EVERYTHING which He abhors!
“Through Thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY”! [Psalm 119:104]
The Apostle’s admonition to you who call yourself a ‘Christian’ is as we have said above to – “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE them”. [Eph 5:11] The word ‘reprove’ according to Strong’s means to ‘tell a fault’ confute and rebuke – in other words to PROTEST!
Was Jesus (the one you claim to follow) a ‘Protestant’? Go back and read about the time when your Lord made a scourge of small cords and drove out of the temple those who were making a merchandise of His Father’s house! This is one of the few instances which is recorded in ALL the four gospels. Must be PRETTY IMPORTANT! And the Apostle tells us WHY he did it – “It was written, The zeal of Thine house hath EATEN ME UP”! [John 2:17]
Trust me, if you have even a little bit of Christ’s Spirit, then this SAME ZEAL ‘will eat you up’!
How can you claim to be a Christian, if you are not PROTESTING against that which parades in your Lord’s garb, while making MERCHANDISE OF THE SOULS OF MEN?! [Rev 18:13]
Something’s SERIOUSLY WRONG with the ‘Christian’ who can shake hands with a Roman Catholic and call him a ‘brother’!
I am not advocating that you hate the Roman Catholic, but you have got to HATE THE SYSTEM! For it is the spirit of ANTICHRIST! You must be willing to fight it ‘tooth and nail’ to your last dying breath! All of Christ’s true brethren fought this evil system and some of them sealed their testimony with their blood!
If you haven’t already done so, go get yourself a book called ‘The Book of Martyrs’ by John Foxe and read it and weep! And don’t just weep, take up the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and cut this system and the devil which rules it to the heart!
May God help us!!
“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]
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]
Condensed from the writings of J.C. Philpot by Michael Jeshurun
Every true minister of the gospel is “a steward of the mysteries of God;” as the Apostle declares (1 Cor. 4:1), “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” And his office is, as God the Spirit teaches and enables him, to bring forth these mysteries for the edification and consolation of the people of God.
WHAT IS A MYSTERY?
Let us endeavor to discover its scriptural meaning. A MYSTERY has these three marks attending it–
1. It is a truth beyond the comprehension of nature, sense, and reason.
2. It is hidden from the wise and prudent.
3. It is revealed by the Spirit of God unto babes.
These three distinct marks are found in EVERY gospel mystery; and therefore nothing but divine teaching can lead us into a spiritual and experimental acquaintance with heavenly mysteries.
Almost everything pertaining to the Gospel and the Kingdom to come is a ‘Mystery’!
There is the ‘Mystery of the Trinity’ [1John 5:7],
the ‘Great Mystery of Godliness’ [1Tim 3:16],
the ‘Mystery of the union of the Church with her covenant Head’ [Eph 5:30-32],
the ‘Mystery of the Gospel’ [Eph 6:19];
the ‘Mystery of the Kingdom of God!’ [Mark 4:11],
the ‘Mystery of the two natures, that “company of two armies,” perpetually struggling and striving against each other in the same bosom! [Sos 6:13]
the ‘Mystery of iniquity’ [2Thes 2:7]
the ‘Mystery of the Resurrection’ [1Cor 15:51, 52]
And then comes what John saw in Revelation (10:7)—”In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, THE MYSTERY OF GOD SHALL BE FINISHED, which He has declared to His servants the prophets.”
This is the winding up of all things, when the mystery of iniquity in the professing world; the mystery of God’s dealings with his people in grace; the mystery of his dealings with them in providence; the mystery of the way in which God has led his church; the mystery of all our trials, temptations, afflictions, and sufferings; the mystery of the crooked road we have walked, of the tangled labyrinth which we have threaded; the mystery why the wicked have prospered, and the righteous been oppressed—all these mysteries, which now puzzle and perplex nature, sense, and reason, will then be unfolded to the church of God.
Then “the mystery will be finished;” and God will lay bare the mystery hidden for ages in Christ Jesus, and make it known to the salvation of His people, the confusion of His enemies, and the glory of Himself.
Now, “in the Spirit,” the man of whom the Apostle spoke, preached “mysteries;” (1Cor 14;2) for “in the Spirit” they must be preached, and “in the Spirit” they must be received; or he who preaches, and those that hear, will preach and hear in vain. But what a mercy if the Spirit has preached any of these mysteries into our hearts; and what a blessing if we have received them in a measure of faith, hope, and love; and being deeply sensible of our ignorance, have received the truth in the love of it, been enabled to embrace it, in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, for our soul’s edification and consolation. THEY MUST BE RECEIVED AS MYSTERIES.
Immediately as natural reason intrudes, and the question is asked, “How can these things be?” we cease to submit to God’s will and word. But when we fall down before the throne of God, and feeling that though we cannot understand them, cannot comprehend them, cannot reason ourselves into them, we yet are enabled to receive them into our heart by a living faith, we see their beauty, taste their sweetness, and enjoy a measure of their glory.
Thus we have some evidence that we have received and have felt a power in the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, when a ‘reasonable’ religion, a ‘natural’ religion, an ‘intellectual’ religion satisfies us no longer. Has there not been a time with us when we scorned all mysteries, and would have no religion but one which we could comprehend, and, by dint of our natural understanding, could lay hold of? And through mercy, has not this ‘proud Babel’ been laid low? And have not some of us, through the teachings of God in the conscience, found NATURE, SENSE, and REASON buried in the dust; and felt ourselves brought down to be little children, to know our own ignorance, and to cry to the Lord to teach us the truth by divine revelation?
And since the Lord in mercy has brought our reason to nothing, since in mercy he has caused the ‘tall steeples of natural religion’ to topple down and be stretched in the dust, have we not felt a measure of sweetness, of power, of reality in the things of God not known before? Has not truth come with life and light into our souls, made us new creatures, revolutionized our lives, changed all our views, and given us eyes to see realities we never thought of before? And has not the Gospel of the grace of God been received into a believing heart, and a measure of its sweetness been experienced?
It is thus we have some evidence that we have received the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. And are they not doubly sweet, because reason cannot comprehend them, because we are not able to understand them; and because they can only be received from the lips of Jesus, or as they are dropped into the heart, and distilled on the conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit? And is it not far more blessed to learn them thus, than if we could understand all mysteries by natural intellect, or fathom the depths of God by the line of creature understanding?
Some of you perhaps are poor and despised, and are ridden down by ‘great professors’; your family and friends perhaps cast you out, and say, “Really we cannot understand you; you were a good Christian once, a pattern to others, a truly pious person; and everybody loved and spoke well of you. But,” they say, “what a strange person you are now! We cannot at all get on with you. Ever since you have gone to that chapel, and become connected with that strange sect, you are quite altered, and we know not what to make of you.” Does not this show that the mystery, revealed unto babes, is hidden from the wise and prudent? If all could SEE as we see, HEAR as we hear, FEEL as we feel, the gospel would then be no mystery at all; but by knowing something of this mystery, we are made to differ from them, and this stirs up their enmity and wrath.
“What,” say they, “are there only two or three in a village, only half a dozen in a town, only one in a family going to heaven? and are none right but they?—Away with such narrow-minded, bigoted wretches.” What is this but declaring that there is a mystery in this people’s religion? If they could understand it, if it were agreeable to nature, sense, and reason, it would cease to be a mystery, and you would cease to have a testimony from God that you have received it into your heart with power.
THEREFORE, TO KNOW GOSPEL MYSTERIES BY DIVINE TEACHING, WILL SEPARATE A MAN FROM THE WORLD, LEAD HIM OUT OF FALSE CHURCHES, CUT HIM OFF FROM DEAD MINISTERS, AND BRING HIM INTO UNION WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
And as he finds these are spiritually led into the mysteries of the kingdom of God, it will produce a communion with them, and a sweetness which he never knew in dead churches; and, his heart being dissolved in love and affection, he will cry, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16.) And thus he will have an increasing testimony from God that he is not one of the “wise and prudent” from whom these things are hidden, but one of “the babes” to whom they are revealed.
O may we know more of these divine mysteries! And may the Lord the Spirit lead us more deeply into them, favor us with more sweet and abiding views of them, and specially make the mystery of the gospel, in the Person, love, and blood of Jesus, “all our salvation and all our desire.” And then, we shall bless God not only that there is a mystery in the gospel, but that He has mercifully unfolded it with power to our consciences!
Amen! Praise the Lord! – M.J.
“According as His divine power hath GIVEN UNTO US ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN UNTO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue!” [2Peter 1:3]
That’s right, even a thing as common as a printing press to print a Bible or the spectacles through which to read it were all foreordained by God with an eye on His Elect! In fact all the inventions, discoveries, advances in science and practically EVERYTHING that is transpiring under the sun is unfolding with an eye on God’s only begotten Son as the Head and His body the Church! ALL THINGS whatsoever they may be are working together for the GOOD of them that love God, and those who are the called according to His purpose!” [Rom 8:28]
Spurgeon said in one of his sermons – “Long before He had made the world in which men should dwell, He had ordained a place for His people and the arrangements of Providence were made WITH AN EYE TO THEM, for Moses says, “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. For the Lord’s portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.” [Duet 32:8,9]
And A.W. Pink said – “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.”
WHATEVER comes to pass is God’s will and by God’s sovereign rule! God is doing it to glorify Christ and with an eye on His Elect, His chosen, His sheep! God is sovereign in His purpose, over sin and in the salvation of his Elect. God’s purpose shall not fail!
Most importantly God’s purpose for YOU shall not fail beloved, and that in-spite of yourself – your sins, your shortcomings and your oft failures! The God who purposed to save you is One who speaks in righteousness – ‘Mighty to save!’ [Isa 63:1] And He is not only ABLE to save you to the uttermost but He WILL save you to the uttermost!
“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD SHALL RETURN, AND COME with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head.” [Isaiah 51:11]
The Lord God says that His redeemed SHALL COME and that settles the matter!
Say “Praise the Lord!”
compiled by Michael Jeshurun
“What human intellect could have devised a means whereby God could be just and yet merciful, merciful and yet just? What mortal mind would ever have dreamed of a free and full salvation, bestowed on hell-deserving sinners, “without money and without price”! And what flight of carnal imagination would ever have conceived of the Son of God Himself being “made sin” for us and dying the Just for the unjust?” [A.W. Pink]
“Yet doth He devise means, that His banished be not expelled from Him” [2 Sam 14:14]
“Sin entered the world by Satan, and death entered by sin. Sin separated between God and our souls, but the incarnation of the Son of God brought our nature back to God which sin had separated, and the blood of Christ made us nigh, whom wicked works had made far off. Sin had its beginning by the tree of knowledge, and it had its end on the accursed tree. Adam sinned and died, and paradise was lost; Christ was made sin and died, and a better paradise was gained.
The woman, being first in the transgression, was condemned to sorrow in child-bearing, and that sorrow brought forth the woman’s great Deliverer. Sin is the sole cause of all our misery, and a sense of this misery renders us proper objects of God’s mercy. By sin and death Satan aimed at the eternal destruction of men, and sin and death will be the eternal destruction of Satan.
Nothing pleased Satan so well as bringing mankind under the sentence of death; and that sentence executed upon Christ bruised Satan’s head, and he himself and his works were destroyed in the same nature that he had ruined. By the incarnation of Christ grace and mercy came to men, and by the death of Christ honour is brought to the justice and holiness of God. Satan is degraded, sin is condemned in Christ’s flesh and the sinner is saved, and yet God appears just when He justifies the ungodly. Sin is freely pardoned and yet vengeance is taken on our inventions; forgiveness and cleansing are of free grace, and yet God is faithful and just in forgiving and cleansing. The sinner is bought with a price and yet saved and glorified by free grace.
Sin brought us all under the wrath of God, but in pouring that wrath upon Christ, everlasting love was displayed to men. All the works of devils have been to destroy human nature, and by a Judge in human nature shall all devils be judged and destroyed. Devils are the accusers of the brethren, and the brethren shall be the judges of the devils. Men, aspiring to be like gods, fell under the dominion of fallen angels; Christ, by being made a little lower than the angels of light, raised us to an honour above them.”
William Huntington S.S. [1745-1813]
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” [Prov 15:17]
Can you say amen to this from personal experience? My wife and I get invited to some of her relatives’ weddings, birthdays and the like. And initially though we knew that the people inviting us were not saved or rather were not those who ‘knew the Lord’, we still went for the food sake. Because some these unbelieving ‘nominal Christians’ usually had quite a spread.
But we learnt it the hard way that food is not everything. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have some good food once in a while and God himself blesses us with choice food and delicacies. But food that is had in a gathering is always connected with fellowship and conversation. When we sit at a table with others be they Christian or not we cannot help but engage in a conversation.
Now my wife’s relatives know us to be Christians involved in the Lord’s work and so they try and start talking about the Lord and spiritual matters. And THAT is when things start getting pretty nasty. Because you can’t engage in a conversation about the Lord with a GOAT and enjoy your food at the same time! And that’s when the Apostle’s words drive home – “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” [Rom 14:17] And Brother, if there’s no righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost in the fellowship with whom you sit at the table, your life can be hell no matter how good the food is.
But oh what a difference to dine with brethren who know the Lord even if the food is not so fancy. We can sit and talk about God and spiritual things till the ‘cows come home’ and still not be tired of it. Little wonder it says – “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance. In thy Name shall they rejoice ALL THE DAY: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” [Psalm 89:15,16]
So now we hardly ever go to birthdays or weddings unless compelled to.