THE CHRISTIAN AND WORRY

THE CHRISTIAN AND WORRY

There are two things that usually bring the Christian down: they are : REMORSE OVER THE PAST, AND WORRY OVER THE FUTURE; and God’s word forbids from doing EITHER. What has happened till now is past and there is little we can do to undo it. It is what men term as ‘water under the bridge’.

But for the Christian there is always hope no matter how bad his/her past may have been. The Apostle’s admonition is – “forgetting those things WHICH ARE BEHIND, and reaching forth unto those things WHICH ARE BEFORE”! [Phil 3:13] Now this is easily said than done. Memories of the past constantly haunt us and the results of our past mistakes most often stare us in the face. And if we were without God like most the worldly people the future would be pretty bleak. But we have a God who is SOVEREIGN and with whom ALL THINGS are possible.

Our God can and does overrule any mistake or sins of our past for His glory! In the Old Testament the Lord told His people- “I will RESTORE to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.”! [Joel 2:25]

Now ponder the above verse very prayerfully! God says He can and will restore what you think may hopelessly be lost, and in the end you will never be ashamed.

This is one of the amazing things about God. He can take our broken dreams and make a miracle out of our lives.

The more we learn how sovereign our God is, the more we can be assured that He is in COMPLETE CONTROL of all that has transpired in our lives. If you are a Christian, then you know that God did not spare His only begotten Son to save you. Now THAT is the ultimate expression of love. One may sacrifice their child to save a FRIEND, but only God sacrificed His Son to save His ENEMIES. “For if, when WE WERE ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”! [Rom 5:10]

Seeing that He has given His well beloved to save our wretched souls, will He now trick or trap us into ruin? “Oh but I brought all this on myself by MY OWN wrong decisions”! In a certain sense this is true, but in a deeper sense it is God who has been guiding you in all the decisions you have made! “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps”! [Prov 16:9]. Again, “A Man’s goings are OF THE LORD; how can a man then understand his own way”? [Prov 20:24]

The Patriarch Job was so established and confident of God’s ‘Absolute Sovereignty’ that in spite of all the evil that befell him, he could confidently affirm – “But HE KNOWETH the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall COME FORTH AS GOLD”! [Job 23:10]

One thing that I have learnt during these twenty six years as a Christian is that the Lord is sovereignly overruling ALL OUR DECISIONS for His glory and for our ultimate good! Unless we grasp this amazing truth, we shall be miserable in this vale of tears. ‎”The misfortunes and adversities of life, so called, assume a different color when we look at them through this glass of Absolute Predestination. It is sad to hear people trying to live over their lives again and saying to themselves: ‘IF I had chosen a different profession,’ ‘IF I had taken a different turning of the road,’ ‘IF I had married another person.’ Etc. All this is weak and unChristian. The web of destiny we have woven, in a sense, with our own hands, and yet God had His part in it. It is GOD’S PART in it, and not our part, that gives us faith and hope.” [Clarence E. Macartney]

Dearly Beloved, this doctrine of Absolute Sovereignty is not a novelty amongst God’s people, but is as old as the Bible itself. This is what made Joseph affirm to his brethren, “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good”! [Gen 50:20]. Knowledge of this doctrine is what made David say concerning Shimei when he cursed David, “let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so”? [1Sam 16:10]. Finally when Judas would betray our Master, the Lord does not entreat him to repent, but rather says, “That thou doest, do quickly”! [Jn 13:27].

If a sparrow falleth not to the ground without the Father and if the hairs of our head are all numbered, then rest assured that ALL THINGS that transpire in the life of the believer are working together for his/her good. He began this good work in us and He alone will one day finish it and to Him alone will be all the Glory!

“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it! Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the LORD of hosts”! [Zech 4;6-8]

“Beloved, I would encourage you to constantly remind yourself of the Scripture where the Psalmist says that – “He (God) led them forth by the RIGHT WAY that they might go to a city of habitation.” Is that not amazing? For we read that “they (the Israelites) WANDERED:” and that their wanderings were in a “WILDERNESS,” where there were no TRACKED PATHS? And we read that it was “a solitary way”? How, then, could it be “a RIGHT WAY,” where there was no way at all? Yet the Spirit of God says, that it WAS the “right way.” Reason, sense, and nature, have to hold their peace. Because, nature never can understand how a way of trouble, of temptation, of exercise, of sorrow, of perplexity can be the right way. But GOD NEVER MEANT NATURE, SENSE, AND REASON TO UNDERSTAND IT. The Lord gives faith to His dear people, that His dealings may be believed in, not reasoned upon; and He raises up this precious gift of the Spirit in their soul, not that they may confer with nature, sense, and reason, but that they may believe His own testimony in their heart and conscience. For this reason God leads His people by such paths as are directly contrary to nature, sense, and reason, in order to baffle them!

By faith, then, only can we understand how it is “a right way.” And when faith is in exercise, then it is known to be “a right way.” Our losses, our crosses, our trials in providence, our afflictions of body, our perplexities of mind, our sorrows of heart, – all are then to us “a right way.” ‘Once,’ you say, ‘they were a labyrinth: I could not find my way through them: they were an enigma, which I could not unravel. But soon you will see that those things, which so puzzled, perplexed, and tried me, led to your greatest blessings. I could not,’ you will say, ‘see the hand of the Lord at THAT TIME: but how plainly do I see it NOW? In that painful dispensation, that agony of soul, that trouble of mind, that distressing path, how plainly do I see NOW that the Lord’s hand was leading me”! [J.C. Philpot]

And the Lord is not done yet, Beloved! He will CONTINUE to lead you and ultimately bring you into your desired haven!

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their DESIRED HAVEN. Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! [Psa 107:29-31]

Love

Michael Jeshurun

P.S. If I could, would I go back and change anything in my life? Trust me, actually NO! This path which He has brought me through is the BEST for me. For had there been a better path, HE who loved me enough to die for me would have brought me that way! Hallelujah!

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ePubs and your Christian Library

ePubs and your Christian Library

If you’re like me – someone who likes to read, then it’s about time you learned how to start using epubs. Now what in the world are epubs?

EPUB is an e-book file format with the extension .epub that can be downloaded and read on devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, or e-readers. It is a free and open standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub.

The best ‘Application’ to store and read your epubs is of course Google Play Books. So before you can do anything else, you have to make sure you have the application ‘Google Play Books’ installed on your mobile device. Chances are, it’s already installed on it (it’s on mine as “Play Books”). If it’s not preinstalled, just go ahead and download it from the Google Play Store or your Apple’s iTunes.

With Google Play Books for Chrome, you can use just about any device you own to read any book, anywhere. Great Reading Experience – Make your books available for reading even when you are not connected to the Internet – Change font and layout, search within the book – Highlight text, add margin notes and select words to find definition, to translate, or to search online. Discover Millions of Titles – Over 4 million books in every imaginable category, from the New York Times ® bestsellers to favorite classics – Millions of free books available instantly. And if you’ve logged in to Google Play Books with your email ID then whatever you mark, highlight or take notes on is at once synced to all your devices and book marked. So if you’ve been reading on your iPad at the workplace, you could go home and continue where you left off on your smartphone complete with the same markings, hightlights and notes etc.

Now we are looking for free Christian Reformed epubs, right? And for this you have two very good websites which I personally know of –www.monergism.com , and www.chapellibrary.org . There are probably more sites out there. You just have to patiently search for them.

Once you have the Google Play Books downloaded on your Apple or Android device, all you need to do is just go to these websites offering free Christian books and find the book you desire to upload to your Playbooks and click on the icon that reads epub. The file will download to your mobile device and all you need to do is click on the downloaded file and it will open in your Google Playbooks. Ta da! Now you can set the font to your desired size and start reading, highlighting and taking notes and if you wish you could even share what you’ve read on your Social Media website.

I personally have right now on my Google Play Books the complete works of A.W. Pink, J.C. Philpot, Spurgeon, John Flavel, Bunyan, Edwards and much more. God bless the brothers who have made these available for FREE!

So while I’m waiting for the subway train to arrive or for my wife to finish her shopping, I am not goofing off playin’ ‘Candy Crush’ but I redeem the time reading Theology because my whole Christian Library is now in my pocket! Praise the Lord!

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the Word of Truth!”
[2Tim 2:15]

Love
Michael Jeshurun

CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HALLOWEEN

CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HALLOWEEN

 HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

 Celtic New Year

October 31 is the most important day in the satanic year. [It is known as the devil’s birthday.] It marks the Celtic new year. It was the end of the growing season. It became a festival of death. On this day, the god of the Celtics was to have called up the spirits of the wicked dead who had died during the past year. At the same time, other evil spirits arose and went about the countryside harassing the people. On October 31, the Celtics expected to be harassed by ghosts, evil spirits and demons; and it was no fun and games to them. They would light bonfires to guide the spirits to their own town and to ward off evil spirits.

 DRUIDS

The Celtics had priests called druids. On October 31, the druids went from house to house demanding certain foods, and all those who refused were cursed. The people were tormented by means of magic. As they went, the druids carried large turnips which they had hollowed out and on which they had carved demon faces as charms. Each one was believed to contain the demon spirit that personally led or guided that priest: his little god.

 DIVINATION

Those who practiced fortune telling and divination found that this was the night that they had the most success. They called upon satan to bless their efforts. One form of divination was to put apples in a tub and bob for them. The one who first successfully came up with one without putting them in his teeth was to have good luck throughout the year. They would then peel the apples and throw the peeling over their shoulders and then quickly look around. They expected to see a vision or an apparition of the one they were to marry.

 SACRIFICES

These things happened several centuries before CHRIST. Sacrifices were made to the gods, especially the god of death – Samhain (pronounced Sah win). Sacrifices all the way from vegetable to human were offered. This went on and on, and, in some parts of the world, still goes on today.

 8th CENTURY

In the 8th century, the Pope, in an effort to get the people to quit the festival of Sam hain, invented All Saints Day (Nov. 1). This was an attempt to get the people to turn away from the horrible observance of Sam hain. All Saints Day was intended to honor the martyrs of the Roman persecutions. It did not work! It never works to Christianize a pagan holiday. The holy and the profane do not mix.

 THE MIDDLE AGES

In the Middle Ages, there was a great revival of satanic practices and witchcraft and magic – like there is today. During this time the belief developed that witches traveled on broomsticks to the black Sabbaths to worship satan on October 31. They were guided by spirits in the form of black cats. The Druids worshiped cats believing them to be reincarnated evil people.

 CHURCH INVOLVEMENT

This festival of death has survived all the efforts of the church to stamp it out. The church is joining the opposition by celebrating this festival.

All Saints Day became All Hallows Day. Hallow means holy or sacred. October 31 is the evening before All Hallows Day and came to be called in the western world all hallows evening and then all hallows een. Een is an abbreviation for evening. Finally, the word was reduced to the way we have it today, Halloween. That’s where the name came from, and even if it is called all hallows evening, it has nothing to do with Christian faith, and it never did.

 MODERN HALLOWEEN

Now let’s look at the present day celebration of Halloween. Isn’t the whole theme one of darkness, death, fear, threats, destruction and evil? There are witches, broomsticks, bats, owls, ghosts, skeletons, death, and monsters. You dress up your children as demons and witches and ghouls and monsters and werewolves and send them out into the street in the darkness to reenact the Druids’ practice of demanding food from people under threat of tricks (or curses) if they don’t comply.

You take, not a turnip, but a pumpkin and carve demon faces in it and decorate with it.

At Halloween there will be apple bobbing, divination, fortune telling, haunted houses, candles lit and spirits called up. There will be seances and ouija boards in the name of fun and excitement. There will be sacrifices of dogs, cats, rats, chickens, goats and even humans!

You say, “Well, we don’t take it seriously.” But the devil does and so does God. Particularly this is true when the Church which He purchased with His own precious blood builds houses of horror in its fellowship halls so that the little lambs who have been entrusted to its care can be terrified and opened up to invading spirits of fear and torment and confusion.

 How this must Grieve the Lord!

 Scriptural References:

Hosea 4:6; Ezekiel 44:23; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 7:25-26; James 1:27; II Corinthians 6:14; I Corinthians 10:19-23; I Thessalonians 5:21-23; Philippians 4:8.

 “HALLOWEEN, TRICK OR TREAT?

You can call a duck a horse, cow, cat, etc., but it is still a duck. You can call what you do a “fall festival”, “alleluia party”, etc., but you are still observing Halloween, even if you dress up as bible characters. Halloween is the highest satanic holy day of the year.

On October 31st, the high priest of all witch covens are required to make a human sacrifice. God condemns witches and everything to do with them. The head of the first satanic church said, “a witch is a witch”, when referring to black and white witchcraft. All their power comes from the devil.

People think it’s funny to scare people to “death”. II TIMOTHY 1:7 says, “For God has not given to us the spirit of fear…”. So guess who is scaring you?

Tell your children the truth about halloween. Revelation 21:8 says liars won’t make it to heaven. Then, parents, you will be doing your job as the high priest of the family like you are suppose to be. If you open your doors to pass out tracts, you are still observing halloween. Why don’t you pass them out another time?

 SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN

“For Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,” 1 Sam. 15:23,

WITCHCRAFT – SATANISM

Witches are for Halloween or for superstitious primitives in seventeenth century Salem. That seems to be the “modern” outlook sophisticated skepticism and a knowing smile when it comes to witchcraft.

And yet Time’s recent cover story would indicate that witchcraft is not a thing of the past. Satan is not dead. Young people by the thousands are probing seriously the mysteries of “the other side,” from seances to Satan worship. Leading universities report over-enrolled courses on witchcraft . . . occult book sales have doubled in three years . . . most American high schools have their campus “witches and warlocks” . . . And occasionally the headlines shatter our complacency with the terror of Manson-style violence.

Halloween is celebrated by children in the United States. This issue is becoming debatable inside of Christian circles because of the rise of the occult in America.

Witchcraft-Satanism revivals and their obvious tie with pagan holiday causes Christians to question if the church should participate in Halloween.

Children are in costumes and masks with Halloween pumpkins of ‘Jack O’ Lanterns’ name for (Will Wisps) an ancient symbol of a damned soul, too long considered harmless fun, and innocent pranks.

Halloween is celebrated masquerading as Church fund-raising bazaars decorated with black cats and witches; skeletons, scarecrows, haunted houses, bats, vampires and dummies in coffins. It should not be integrated with the holiness of the scared house of God. It’s wicked and brings curses, (Deut. 11-36, 28.)

Some see it as evil and will have nothing to do with the celebration; others as harmless fun partake fully: costume parties, Halloween decorations and ‘trick-or-treat. Still others try to find a “middle” approach, allowing trick-or-treat and masquerades, but as “Bible characters” instead of demonic and occult figures.

Some Churches are now seeing the influence of its fruit. One cannot deny the occult-metaphysical nature of Halloween is not in line with the Christian in character. Despite this clear contrast, Christians defend their complicity in the holiday asserting their “liberty” in Christ from the bondages of “legalism,” declaring it is only innocent fun! God never gave us liberty to engage ourselves in evil!

“Learn not the way of the heathen . . . for the customs of the people are vain,” (Jeremiah 10:2-3).

“And what concord hath Christ with Belial or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,” (II Corinthians 6:15-17).

[Quoted from various sources on the Web]

Please do not post comments justifying either Christmas or Halloween . . . they will be promptly deleted!

Michael Jeshurun

THE SACREDNESS OF TEARS 

THE SACREDNESS OF TEARS

Compiled by Michael Jeshurun

The Bible teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Like it or not, we are all born sinners, which means we are all born unbroken. Yes, our DNA is infected with the sin of our forefather Adam. The word that best describes this condition of unbrokenness is pride. The word that best describes brokenness is humility.

We are all—every last one of us—more or less unbroken. The Christian journey is one of God bringing us out of tree of knowledge trash such as sinful, rule-based, self-righteous, self-sufficient, prideful dependence upon our own strength, wisdom and knowledge into the tree of life treasures of brokenness, humility, worship of and dependence upon Him. These are God’s highest desires for all of His children, and His desires are always what is best for us. They are highly prized by Him, and once we begin to understand and bear the fruit of them, we will prize them highly too.

Biblically, tears are an essential expression of brokenness. They are God’s provision for cleansing us of the unbrokenness that hinders and sometimes destroys our spiritual, mental and physical health and well being.

“Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure” (Psalm 80:5).
Ken Gire wrote in Windows of the Soul, “In each tear is distilled something of eternity, something of love and compassion and tenderness, all things that originate in heaven and come to earth as a sacrament to the soul, if only I am willing to take and to eat. The closest communion with God comes, I believe, through the sacrament of tears. Just as grapes are crushed to make wine and grain to make bread, so the elements of this sacrament come from the crushing experiences of life.

Many Hebrew words for grieving, weeping and lamentation actually mean “to distill”, which means to “separate and change from one substance to another”. This word beautifully describes God’s renewing work in the midst of our tears. In the life long metamorphosis of our souls, God is continually transforming us from the sin-marred image of Adam into the glorious image of Christ. The tears we pour out at the feet of Jesus, both joyful and sad, are the distillation of God’s eternal work in our lives.

Tears are the language of the soul. When they are turned toward God, they are never wasted nor shed in vain. Though often shunned by man they are treasured by God. Psalm 56:8 says that God keeps our tears in a bottle and writes each one in His book.

God considers our precious tears an offering. Exodus 22:29 urges that we not “delay to offer the first of [our] ripe fruits, and of [our] liquors . . . “.

The primary meaning of the Hebrew word for “liquors” is “tears”. And we should not delay the offering of them! They are put into His bottle and are written in His book. I can almost see the fingers of God lovingly caressing each line in that weighty tome as He ponders our every offering and sacrifice of brokenness—love letters straight from our heart to His. Just let your heart ponder this for a moment. Our tears are treasures in heaven, for they represent our every moment of surrender to Him.

The great old theologian, Matthew Henry wrote of this verse, “God has a bottle and a book for his people’s tears, both those for their sins and those for their afflictions. He observes them with compassion and tender concern; he is afflicted in their afflictions, and knows their souls in adversity. Paul was mindful of Timothy’s tears (2 Timothy 1:4), and God will not forget the sorrows of his people. God will comfort his people according to the time wherein he has afflicted them, and give to those to reap in joy who sowed in tears. What was sown a tear will come up a pearl.”

[Gleaned from sources on the web]

LIMITED ATONEMENT THE MOST OFFENSIVE TRUTH

LIMITED ATONEMENT THE MOST OFFENSIVE TRUTH

Michael Jeshurun

Without doubt the doctrine of Limited Atonement or [Particular Redemption] is the most offensive, controversial and difficult of the doctrines of grace. A testing doctrine! Only a Christian who has decided to preach the offence of the Cross will accept it.

All the rest will openly reject it, and in certain cases vehemently attack it. The reason for this is because, if Limited Atonement is accepted, it follows that these must also be accepted –

1. God does not intend to save all, seeing He hath not made provision for all.
2. If God does not intend to save all he obviously does not love all.
3. It accuses God of partiality, and debunks the view they have had if Him since their youth.
4. The carnal mind immediately foresees that embracing this truth is to make oneself unpopular in the religious world.

History shows that the most popular preachers whether Reformed or Puritan, either deliberately ignored or explained this doctrine away by removing its offence. This is not the doctrine to contend for if you are a preacher interested in numbers or a Christian interested in making friends and influencing people.

What will you do with this grand Truth of God’s unfailing Word?!!

Come now, think about it . . .

If the Atonement was offered for all mankind then the debt incurred by EVERY MAN HAS BEEN CANCELLED. If Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins of all men WITHOUT EXCEPTION, then none will perish. If Christ was “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race then none are now “under condemnation.” “PAYMENT GOD CANNOT TWICE DEMAND, FIRST AT MY BLEEDING SURETY’S HAND AND THEN AGAIN AT MINE.”

But Christ DID NOT discharge the debt of all men without exception, for some there are who will be “cast into prison” (see 1 Peter 3:19 where the same Greek word for “prison” occurs), and they shall “by no means come out thence, till they have paid the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:26), which, of course, will never be. Christ DID NOT bear the sins of all mankind, for some there are who “die IN THEIR SINS” (John 8:21), and whose “sin REMAINETH” (John 9:41).

Christ WAS NOT “made a curse” for all of Adam’s race, for some there are to whom He will yet say, “Depart from Me YE CURSED” (Matthew 25:41). To say that Christ died for all alike, to say that He became the Substitute and Surety of the whole human race, to say that He suffered on behalf of and in the stead of all mankind, is to say that He “BORE THE CURSE FOR MANY WHO ARE NOW BEARING THE CURSE FOR THEMSELVES; that He suffered punishment for many who are now lifting up their own eyes in Hell, being in torments; that He paid the redemption price for many who shall yet pay in their own eternal anguish ‘the wages of sin, which is death’.

But, on the other hand, to say as Scripture says, that Christ was stricken for the transgressions OF GOD’S PEOPLE, to say that He gave His life FOR THE SHEEP, to say that He gave His life a ransom FOR MANY, is to say that He made an atonement which FULLY ATONES; it is to say He paid a price which ACTUALLY RANSOMS; it is to say He was set forth a propitiation which really propitiates; it is to say HE IS A SAVIOR WHO TRULY SAVE!

To say that Christ died for every human being without exception is to say that at least in some sense ‘Christ died in vain’. Fact is, there are many who died and perished long before Christ came. And even to this day there are many who died without hearing the Gospel. To say that Christ died even for these is to say that He died in vain!

YOU  CANNOT MAKE ANYONE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!

YOU  CANNOT MAKE ANYONE BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!

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]

YOUR SMART PHONE – A GREAT TOOL TO STUDY GOD’S WORD!

YOUR SMART PHONE – A GREAT TOOL TO STUDY GOD’S WORD!

Michael Jeshurun

Please don’t get me wrong, brethren, I still am a lover of the old fashioned real ‘paper back and hard bound books’ and Bibles. And I haven’t yet sold my massive library in a ‘garage sale’. But the fact remains that I find my Tablet more useful and practical in my study of God’s Word.

There are many reasons for this. I will just state two most important ones. As a servant of God who travels most of the time and enjoys sharing what I have read, ‘word for word’ it would be practically impossible for me to walk around with four trunk loads of Theology and Reference books. But now I have practically ALL these books on my Galaxy Tablet which is a little smaller than the ‘slate chalkboard’ which I held in my kindergarten! The complete works of A.W. Pink, J.C. Philpot, Owen, Dr. Gill, Edwards, Spurgeon and a whole lot of others ALL loaded on my tablet and Smartphone ready to be accessed at any time!

The second greatest advantage of a Tablet or for that matter any sophisticated smart-phone is the ‘SEARCH ENGINE’. I always like to quote things verbatim (word for word). And my paperback Crudens’ Concordance has now broken into three pieces due to extensive usage over the last twenty three years. And the print is SO SMALL that it is truly a strain on my eyes to search for a given scripture. But not so with my Tablet. I can search out any phrase or word in a ‘jiffy’ and cut and paste the same in the letter which I am writing to a sheep! Now THAT is a tremendous blessing!

And not only can I search out the verse or find and quote something which some theologian has spoken, but I can also highlight it, underline it or write notes beside it as per my desire.

And when I am too tired to ‘read’ I can just turn on an audio sermon or Alexander Scourby’s audio KJV Bible which I have loaded, or when there is an Internet wifi connection I can log in to ‘sermon audio’ or any one of the other myriads of Reformed Christian websites and ‘LISTEN’ to audio sermons, irrespective of whether I am laying down on my bed or traveling on a train. Even a ‘Laptop’ is a little cumbersome compared to these latest tablets.

All that to say, a tablet or a smart-phone is a good investment for a Christian, especially a Christian worker. And no, you don’t have to be a ‘Rocket scientist’ to learn how to use one. I just taught my 65 year old mom how to use one and if she can get it so can you!

Love
Michael Jeshurun

IT’S A ‘HIGH CALLING’ WHEN GOD HAS CALLED YOU

IT’S A ‘HIGH CALLING’ WHEN GOD HAS CALLED YOU

Michael Jeshurun

Almost every visitor to the Sistine chapel is awed by Michelangelo’s masterpiece which adorns the ceiling but hardly anyone even notices the floor which they’re standing on. Truth is there would be no ceiling without the floor. And those who laid the tiles for the floor were as much needed as the one who adorned the ceiling with his artwork. Even so in the work of the Lord’s ministry people notice and applaud the preacher or the street evangelist who is thundering out the Gospel; but hardly does anyone even think about the preacher’s wife who is at home nursing the baby and keeping the fires burning!

But even so hath the Lord ordained that those who are in the ‘forefront’ preaching the gospel and those just working in an office witnessing Christ by their godly example should receive the same reward as those who ‘keep the fires burning’ back home and the elderly who are praying for His Kingdom to come!

Now that is scriptural! “But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: THEY SHALL PART ALIKE. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.” [1Sam 30:24,25]

In a real war or battle THIS is quite obvious. For an army ‘moves on its stomach’ so to say. And the folks back home who supply their food and medicines are as much needed for the victory as the ones who are actually wielding the sword on the battlefront!

But even in a spiritual battle this is very true. Every true missionary and evangelist has to be backed up by not only his material needs like food and clothing but BY PRAYER! How many times do we read the great Apostle requesting –

“PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; AND FOR ME, THAT UTTERANCE MAY BE GIVEN UNTO ME, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” [Eph 6:18-20]

And if the apostle needed ‘prayer’ in order to have the ‘utterance’ and the ‘boldness’ then so does every other preacher of God’s Word!

So don’t ever belittle the calling for which God has called you! The scripture makes it plain that not everyone is called with the same calling. Not everyone is called to be a ‘Pastor’ or an ‘Evangelist’ or a Teacher. God calls many who live and die in obscurity as far as recognition goes! Many shall come forward on that great Day who were literally unknown but without whom the other ‘great men and women of God’ could never have accomplished what they did.

Martha may be cumbered with much serving, but without her you would go hungry and faint by the way. Everyone has heard of Martin Luther and his master piece “De Servo Arbitrio” or the “Bondage of the will” but few know the fact that but for Luther’s wife Katharina Luther there would be no “Bondage of the will” for it was under her constant persistence and compulsion that Martin finally sat down to put pen to paper!

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, ARE NECESSARY!” [1 Cor 12:18-22]

I am 51 years old! And beloved, I can look back and see that the Lord has indeed brought me A LONG WAY from what I once was! As one divine put it – “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” [John Newton]

Things which once meant THE WORLD to me seem SO TRIVIAL now! And the funny thing is, I spent a greater part of my life wondering what I would be someday, when every day of every year I was being exactly what the great God had designed me to be. I know there is much written about ‘finding the will of God for one’s life’ and doing it. But methinks that for the most part that we children of God are being swept along by the current of God’s will just as a helpless driftwood in the rapids!

Please do not read me wrong here. Yes THERE IS a place to seek God’s will and go about doing that . . . and yet for all that for the most part HE IS LEADING US IN THE PATH WHICH HE HAS CHALKED OUT FOR US before Time began. As that good ol’ hymn says –

“HE leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
still ‘TIS GOD’S HAND THAT LEADETH ME.

And thank God for that, Beloved! Because for the most part WE know not what to do or even how to do it! As Brother Philpot said long ago – “The Christian thus learns that if he stands, God must hold him up; if he knows anything aright, God must teach him; if he walks in the way to heaven, God must first put, and afterwards keep him in it; if he has anything, God must give it to him; and that if he does anything, God must work it in him.”

And THIS I have found to be the truth! As the prophet says,LORD, THOU wilt ordain peace for us: for THOU also hast wrought ALL OUR WORKS IN US!”[Isaiah 26:12] And again, “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure!” [Phil 2:13]

Praise be the Lord!

The Christian’s Music!

The Christian’s Music!

Mike Jeshurun

On a Forum some time ago a Sister in Christ asked me as to what constitutes true worship. She wrote – “I know that many only worship with Psalms, but the scriptures say “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs – making worship in your heart to the Lord.” My husband and I usually worship the Lord with some of Gadsby’s Hymns, though I am unable to sing. It would be interesting to see what others believe is True Worship.

Pasted below is the answer the Lord led me to write –

Dear Sister,

The question which you have raised is indeed an important one for the Christian. If you had asked me this question in your living room over a cup of tea, my answer would have been plain and simple and straight to the point. This is because you are already for the most part established on what God’s will is for the Christian with regards to music. I praise God for that.

But since you have raised this question on a ‘Forum’ the answer cannot be given in a word, for there are many who visit a forum who have no idea what Christian music is and whether God is concerned as to the kind of music we listen to and sing in His honour.

So please bear with me if I go a little bit into detail and mention things in this post that may not even be relevant to you. But trust me, it will be relevant to many and be a blessing to many more.

First we must begin by correcting a few false notions which exist in the mind of many Christians regarding music. One of them is that “All the music is neutral only the words matter.” In fact the entire ‘Contemporary Christian Music’ (CCM) is built on this one massively deceptive pillar!

The other lie that is prevalent among many so called Christians today is that–”the Bible gives no instructions on the type of music for a Christian to listen to. It’s all a matter of preference and culture.

As we shall see, this is not true. Let their be no doubt. . .
Music is not neutral. Has never been neutral. Nor ever will be neutral!

Do you remember that when king Saul was troubled by an evil spirit, they did not go around looking for a doctor or a soothsayer but a musician! And the scripture records – “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him”. [1sam 16:23] Saul’s men knew the power of music. They knew music had inherent powers! They knew music wasn’t neutral!

Ask any composer who is asked to compose music for a play or a movie. The music is not the same for a happy scene as it is for a sad one. Because music has an effect on both the mind, (emotions) and the body.

One more fact to bear in mind while discussing Christian music is that the purpose of Christian music was NEVER meant to evangelize the lost! Many contemporary ‘Christian’ musicians and compromised ‘Churches’ which allow Christian Rock and Christian Rap music in their assemblies justify it by saying that they are doing it to ‘reach the lost’ who come to their services.

God’s only method of reaching the lost is the preaching of the Word of God. Not aping the world and using their music! ‘For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”! [1Cor 1:21]

How to discern music?

Many sincere Christians when it comes to music usually ask –“What about such and such a group or such and such a singer, can we listen to him or use their songs to worship the Lord”?

The best way to answer that question is to give them guidelines as to what godly music is in the first place and let them make the judgment. As the scripture admonishes – “test all things, and hold fast to that which is good”! [1Thes 5;21] Does the Bible give us any indication to the type of music we should sing? Did the Lord God who made heaven and earth, who created music and sound, who put so much emphasis on music in His Word forget to tell us what is Christian music?

Not hardly. Thank God — He has given us instructions for our music.

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making MELODY in your heart to the Lord”.  [Ephesians 5:18-19]

Let us start with a word of reproof to those who use Rock or Rap music to ‘worship’ the Lord.

We need to understand that Music is composed of three main components; melody, harmony and rhythm. If these ingredients are not present, then it’s not music, but noise. Though there is a lot of harmony and some rhythm in Rock and Rap music, there is hardly any melody. Because of that, rock is unlike any other music. In other music, the melody is the main component, but in rock – the rhythm or the beat literally takes over the music.

Perhaps the most important defining quality of rock and roll is the BEAT, . . . Rock and roll is different from other music primarily because of the BEAT.” (Charles Brown, The Art of Rock and Roll, p. 42)

And it is that BEAT that the FLESH loves!

When secular rock-star, Michael Jackson was asked why he did the filthly-sexual, hand gestures on stage, he replied:

“It’s the music that COMPELS me to do it. You don’t think about it, it just happens. I’M A SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM.” (The Evening Star, February 11, 1993, p. A10)

So ask yourself, can one use Rock or Rap music to worship the Lord?

Here is a quote from Rock star David Bowie (sodomite) – “Rock has always been THE DEVILS MUSIC . . . . I believe rock and roll is dangerous . . . . I feel we are only heralding something EVEN DARKER THAN OURSELVES.” (Rolling Stone, Feb. 12, 1976)

Some country Gospel songs were written and sung in the right spirit. But sadly not all.  Much discernment is needed in determining whether a particular country gospel is Christian.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN WORSHIP

There are those who would forbid all musical instruments in worship. But I would have to disagree. Because the Scripture does not forbid it!

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.etc Psalms 150:3-5

With all the many references to musical instruments, there is one instrument that is NEVER mentioned! The DRUM! Why is that? The drum was a very common instrument in Egypt and the lands around Israel. And yet the DRUM is NEVER mentioned in a King James Bible.

Did the Lord just forget to include the DRUM or is there another reason?

Is it because — drums are associated with voodoo, shamanism, paganism and magic rituals?

“[Drums] represents the beat of the heart and is played to summon up magic powers.” (Miranda Bruce-Mitford, The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols, DK Publishing, 1996 p.80)

“The shaman was the original ‘long hair’, the first rock star draped in leather, dancing POSSESSED to a rhythm banged out on A DRUM.” (Danny Sugerman, Appetite for Destruction, p. 208)

In Siberia, in northern Asia, drums are used in shamanic rituals to heal people. It is believed that the shaman can communicate with the spirit world THROUGH DRUMMING. (Louise Tythacott, Musical Instruments, Thomas Learning, 1995, p. 37)

“Pagan dances and rituals are always accompanied by the incessant BEAT of DRUMS. Rhythm plays a major role in these demonic activities.” (Hart, Lowell Satan’s Music Exposed, Salem Kirban Inc., 1980 p.71)

The DRUM has always been associated with the paganism and the devil. In fact, a little more than a hundred years ago, drums were forbidden (exy th for the military) in America!

“The arrival of African slaves has had one of the strongest influences on North American music. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, millions of African people were taken as slaves to the U.S. to work on plantations in the South. They brought many of their own traditions with them but were forbidden to play their DRUMS.” (Louise Tythacott, Musical Instruments, Thomas Learning, 1995, p.19)

Do you know why New Orleans is the voodoo capital of the U.S, and also the birthplace of jazz? Because drumming was forbidden in the U.S. – except in New Orleans!

When the first blacks from Africa were converted to Christianity they knew the power and evil influence of DRUMS. And the converted blacks strictly forbid the use of drums! They referred to the drums as “the Devil’s drum”. (Martha Bayles, Hole in Our Soul: The Loss of Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music, p. 138)

One simple guideline for Christian music is NO DRUMS!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD FEED THE SPIRIT — NOT THE FLESH!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD EMPHAZIE THE MELODY — NOT THE BEAT!

So much then for a general statement on music, and now to particularize:

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST — NOT MAN

Now, you would think this point is unnecessary for CHRISTian music. After all, CHRISTian means “a follower, believer of Jesus Christ”. And if it is truly Christian music, it should testify, praise and sing about the Lord Jesus Christ.

The PURPOSE of Christian music is to PRAISE the Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to THY NAME, O thou most High. Psalm 9:2

Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we SING and praise THY POWER. Psalm 21:13

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my SONG will I praise HIM. Psalm 28:7

Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. Psalm 33:2-3

When someone truly gets saved, God puts a NEW song in their mouth. And that song is “PRAISE unto our God” — the result of salvation is — praise unto our GOD! And it’s not something we work up, or “fake”, or just do — but it’s something God “puts”! Christian music is “praise unto our GOD“.

He hath PUT a NEW SONG in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Praise 40:1-3

Sadly, much of what goes by the name CHRISTian Music today is NOT CHRISTian. It does NOT testify, praise or sing about the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, a great deal of it does not even mention the Lord Jesus Christ. Much of today’s Christian Music goes out it’s way to avoid the name of Jesus Christ – or any Christian content whatsoever.

CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS FOR THE LORD — NOT THE WORLD.

A Christian’s music is sung to the Lord. It is not for the world.

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart TO THE LORD; Ephesians 5:19

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts TO THE LORD. Colossians 3:16

Sing praises TO THE LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. Psalm 9:11

Isaiah 12:2 sums it up wonderfully, “. . .for the LORD JEHOVAH is . . . MY SONG . . .”:

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and MY SONG; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

The ONLY way Christian Music can appeal to the world is make it UN-Christianwhich is exactly what CCM does. Most CCM artists “remove” or “redefine” the Lord Jesus Christ. They replace the Lord Jesus Christ with the pronouns; “he”, “him”, “you”, “I”, et. al. They also “redefine” the Lord Jesus Christ as a “politically-correct” “tolerant”, “lovey-dovey”, non-judgemental, “partying”, “hip-hop”, “rapping-rocker” that appeals to the world. Songs such as, dc Talk’s “Jesus Freak”, Messiah Prophet Band’s, “Master of the Metal”, et al. clearly describe “another Jesus” than the Jesus Christ of the Bible. In 2 Cor. 11:4, the apostle Paul warns of “another Jesus”.

Just as the lost world is not interested in a “Bible-believing” church that preaches the word of God, the world is not interested in music that openly praises the Lord. The lost world is NOT going to praise the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is CLEAR — “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God”!

After Babylon captured the children of Israel, Babylon requested Israel to sing, but Israel refused to sing “the Lord’s song in a strange land”. Notice, it is “the Lord’s song” — NOT the world’s song or even Israel’s song.

How shall we sing the LORD’S SONG in a strange land? Psalms 137:1-4

CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS A NEW SONG — NOT AN OLD SONG

Just before I got saved, I loved rock ‘n’ roll. Nothing – but nothing, was more important to me than rock music!. I played rock guitar – day and night! I did not have a dream or goal besides rock music. And when I got saved in November 1986, at 19 years old, I had NO intention to stop listening and playing rock music. But something changed. . .

I didn’t know it then — but “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW” and that included my music!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I didn’t change intentionally — but within a few months, the ONLY music I wanted to listen to and play was real Christian Music. Music that praised my Lord and Savior! My desire and love for rock music was replaced by a NEW SONG — even PRAISE unto our God!

Fanny Crosby is the greatest hymn writer that ever lived, writing over 9,000 songs! Before Fanny got saved, at 45 years old, she wrote many secular songs. But after she got saved — things were different. . . Here’s what Fanny said about mixing Christian and worldly music:

“Sometimes I need to reject the music proposed for my songs because the musicians misunderstand that the Fanny Crosby who once wrote for the people in the saloons has merely changed the lyrics. Oh my no. The church must never sing it’s songs to the melodies of the world.” (Danny Castle, video “What’s Wrong with Christian Rock”)

And do you know why Fanny Crosby said that — because Fanny got saved! And God “hath put a NEW SONG in my mouth, even PRAISE unto our God” inside the NEW Fanny Crosby! Fanny Crosby wrote over 9,000 songs to the Lord! Fanny used over 200 different pen names because she wanted to make sure God got the glory and not her.

CHRISTIAN MUSIC’S MESSAGE SHOULD BE CLEAR — NOT VAGUE OR DECEPTIVE

The Bible says in 1 Cor 14:15:

I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the UNDERSTANDING also. 1 Cor. 14:15

The message in Christian music should be clear, not vague, or unclear. Christian music should praise the Lord and — the listener should clearly understand the message.

The apostle Paul didn’t try to “trick” anybody, he wanted to make sure he was understood:

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great PLAINNESS of speech: 2 Cor. 3:12

And my speech and my preaching was NOT with ENTICING words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 1 Cor. 2:4

Paul warns against “enticing words”, such as CCM does:

And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with ENTICING words. Colossians 2:4

Martin Luther, the German Reformer, also avoided any worldly influence and wanted the message clear:

“But I would like to avoid any new words or the language used at court. In order to be understood by the people, only the simplest and the most common words should be used for singing; at the same time, however, they should be pure and apt; and further, the sense should be CLEAR and as close as possible to the psalm.” (Martin Luther, “To George Spalatin,” Letters II, p. 69)

Look how clear these songs praise the Lord. And literally thousands of examples could be given:

“Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine” by Fanny Crosby
“My Jesus I Love Thee” by Adoniram Gordon

“Wonderful, Wonderful Jesus” by Anna Russell
“Victory in Jesus” by E.M. Bartlett
“Jesus Is All the World to Me” by Will Thompson
“Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know” by Lela Long

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD EMPHASIS THE MESSAGE — NOT THE MUSIC, NOR THE MUSICIAN

Christian music should give ALL the attention and praise to the Lord — and NONE to the music, or the musician, or the singer. The Lord should get ALL the praise, ALL the glory, and ALL the honor. Spiritually speaking, the Christian musician should be heard but not seen — the Christian musician should be hidden in Christ.

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2

Christian musicians today are so caught up with their “music” and just the “right-sound” that the message takes a backseat. A lot of Christian music (especially with the “canned” accompaniment tapes) is a “performance” rather than a message. When that happens, the “performance” completely destroys the message by pointing all the attention to self or the music. Consequently, the musician “robs” the Lord of any praise and from a Christian perspective, it’s fruitless.

Sadly, many musicians (and not just limited to CCM) are like the chief rulers that the Lord Jesus addressed in John 12:

For they loved the PRAISE OF MEN more than the praise of God. John 12:43

Much of Christian music today is more entertainment than ministry. A lot of Christian musicians (and not limited to CCM or Christian Rock) are far more interested in impressing their audience and “flaunting” their musical talent than ministering to the Lord. You can not sing to “please men” and sing unto the Lord. It’s one or the other.

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

Christian music is not entertainment. Christian music is spiritual “food”. Real Christian music admonishes [reprove mildly], while praising the Lord.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and ADMONISHING one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your HEARTS to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

Christian music is from the heart, not just the voice. Beautiful voices are a “dime a dozen”. But beautiful hearts are “more priceless than gold”. I can’t remember the times I’ve watched a Christian musician, flaunt, pomp, articulate, get every note and vibrato perfect — and yet God was nowhere around. And yet, I’ve seen several times, when the singer may not hit the right notes — and yet God was all over them — and it showed!

A church we once attended had a man, named “J.C.” Brown. “J.C.”, by the world’s standards “wasn’t all there” — but “J.C.” and the Lord “was all there”. When “J.C.” would sing, he didn’t know all the words, he wasn’t musically “in tune” — but he was spiritually “in tune” with the Lord. And when “J.C.” sang, hearts were moved, tears would flow and you knew God was there. Why? “J.C.” was “in tune” with the Lord.

Christian music is not entertainment, not a talent show, not a performance or a concert — but a SERIOUS ministry to the Lord.

Augustine once stated:

“When I am moved by the voice of him that sings more than the words sung, I confess to have sinned”. (Oliver Strunk, Source Reading in Music History, Vol. I, p. 74)

 CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH — NOT CONCERT HALLS, NIGHT CLUBS.

God’s place of worship and fellowship is the local church.

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the CONGREGATION of saints. Psalm 149:1

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the CONGREGATION will I praise thee. Psalm 22:22

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the CHURCH will I sing praise unto thee. Hebrew 2:12

While I realize there are exceptions, the primary place for Christian music, (excluding tapes, CD’s and other recordings) is the church. CCM’ers justify their performing in worldly concert halls, auditoriums, et. al. as “trying to reach the lost“. Of course, at the same time they charge $15 – $20, rarely mention Jesus Christ and never, never, never — mention hell, judgement, sin or enough “salvation doctrine” to get anyone saved!.

CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD FEED THE SPIRIT — NOT THE FLESH

The Christian life is a spiritual life.

A Christian is born-again of the Spirit.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:6-7

A Christian is to walk in the Spirit:

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

God is a Spirit — and you “MUST worship him in spirit”.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

And a Christian’s music should be spiritual — not carnal.

I will sing with the SPIRIT, and I will sing with the understanding also. 1 Cor 14:15

ROCK MUSIC AND CCM IS FLESHLY MUSIC!

 LASTLYAND MOST IMPORTANTLY CHRISTIAN MUSIC SHOULD BE RICH IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the lord. Colossians 3:16

This is one reason why many older saints stick to the Psalms in their singing. Because when you are singing the Psalms you cannot be singing anything else other than the Word.

But even the other hymns and spiritual songs which we sing should be judged by how rich in the word and scriptural they are and how doctrinally right they are. Not all the hymns in the Hymn book (whether Baptist or Presbyterian) were written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Some of them are obviously erroneous and while others are not easily discernable to the simple. So it behooves the Christian to examine every hymn and spiritual song in the light of God’s word before he lifts his voice to sing them.

 Let me close with a good rule of the thumb for determining if the Christian music we use is biblical:

(1) Can I hum the tune after hearing it?

(2) Can I understand the words?

(3) Do the words conform to sound biblical doctrine and truth?

(4) Do the words, and the tune, honor the Lord rather than pander to the flesh and the physical?

(5) Does the song emphasize grace, salvation, eternity, etc.? (6) Does it simply sound like a “love song” that has a romantic tinge to it, rather than proper spiritual love?

(7) Is the song loud and blaring in order to bring on an emotional response?

(8) Is it a mantra with empty repetition (Praise God, praise God, praise God, praise God)?

(9) Can both old and young understand the song and be equally touched by it?

I trust the above was of some help in discerning what constitutes TRUE WORSHIP.

Love

Mike!

[Much of the above is taken from Jeff Godwin’s ‘Bible Guidelines for Christian Music’]

LET NOTHING BE LOST OR WASTED!

LET NOTHING BE LOST OR WASTED!

compiled by Michael Jeshurun 

“Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost!” [John 6:12]

“It is a marked and instructive feature of all God’s works, that there is no waste, no unmeaning expenditure, nothing extravagant or superfluous. All His operations, from the most minute to the most stupendous, are upon a principle of the strictest economy. There is not an atom of matter, nor a ray of light, nor a breath of air, nor a drop of water, nor a living thing over and above what is absolutely needful. Not a tree or shrub, not a beauteous flower or noxious weed, not an insect or animal, not a breath of air or a wave of the sea, that has not a mission to accomplish, an end to answer. Munificence and economy are the prevailing laws of God’s works. Everything is vast, and nothing is lost!

Such is the Divine precept of economy which we now propose to consider. The subject is highly spiritual, practical, and instructive. The great truth inculcated is that, as there is no waste in God’s works, so there should be none in ours!

That the fragments, whatever they are, in our domestic, personal, or official economy, should be conscientiously husbanded and carefully gathered, that nothing be lost. This principle applies to human society in all its departments, more thoroughly than would at first sight appear.

See that there is no waste in your life. Have you an excess of prosperity? -feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the orphan, and make the widow’s heart to sing for joy. Have you an excess of happiness? – let its overflowings distill into the cup of some child of woe, who, perchance, has none. Have you leisure time? -devote it to help forward some useful enterprise, the wheels of which, perhaps, are standing still for the lack of a voluntary hand. Gather up the fragments, from whatever source they spring, that even these may advance the fame of Jesus, the glory of God, and the well-being of man.

Once more, we remind you, that in God’s economy of the universe, nothing is lost. Nor shall it be in our individual history. If our intellectual faculties are misemployed – if our influence is abused – if our time is wasted, if our possessions are squandered- if our one talent is buried in the earth – if, in a word, we are living to ourselves, and not unto God – not even these things shall be lost!

They have gone forth upon a solemn mission to be executed in the great Day of account. Then will they appear as witnesses against us, when each one of us shall give account of himself to God. Not lost! O no! Failing to aid the cause of mercy, they will advance the purpose of judgment; laying up for us no treasure in heaven, they will pave our descent into the shades of despair, where God will by no means clear the guilty.” – [ Octavius Winslow ]

“When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost!” [John 6:12]

“All were filled and yet abundance remained! How wonderful and how blessed this is. All fulness dwells in Christ, and that fulness is exhaustless. Countless sinners have been saved and their souls satisfied, and yet the riches of grace are as undiminished as ever. Then, too, this verse may be considered from another angle. “Gather up the fragments.” There was abundance for all, but the Lord would have no waste.

How this rebukes the wicked extravagance that we now behold on every hand! Here, too, the Holy One has left us a perfect example. “Gather up the fragments” is a word that comes to us all. The “fragments” we need to watch most are the fragments of our time. How often these are wasted! “Let nothing be lost”! “Gather them up”—your mis-spent moments, your tardy services, your sluggish energies, your cold affections, your neglected duties. Gather them up and use them for His glory!”

– A.W. Pink