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Divine Sugar Sticks for January 2001

Need a quick spiritual energy boost? Here's just what you need ... Divine Sugar Sticks. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

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Monday, January 1, 2001

One of the Interesting Features of the Book of Daniel is the Languages That the Holy Spirit Uses in the Book

One of the proofs of the date of the Book of Daniel is the languages in which it is written. From chapter 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, it is written in Aramaic or Syriac, the common language of the Gentile nations, which was the language of commerce and diplomacy over the then-known world. The rest is in Hebrew.

The part written in Aramaic relates to the Gentile supremacy over Israel. The use of this language signifies that God had for a time set aside the Jew. During the captivity, just at the time that Daniel wrote, both languages, the Aramaic and the Hebrew, were understood by the Jewish people, and they would be able to follow the whole Book.

The Book of Daniel and the Testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ quoted from the Book of Daniel. As recorded in Matt 24:14, 15, 30, Luke 16:24, and again in Matt 26:63, 64, when He applied the prophecy of Daniel about the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven as a proof of His Messiahship and His Deity.

He speaks expressly of “the prophet Daniel” by name, with the words added, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.”

It is a remarkable fact that our Lord thus commends to our study this Book of Daniel and also the Book of Revelation – both full of unfulfilled prophecy. The Book of Revelation opens with a blessing on him that readeth, and those that hear and keep this Word of testimony of Jesus Christ. And it closes with a solemn warning to those who shall either add to or take away from the Words of the prophecy of this Book. Rev 1:1-3, 22:16, 18, 19.

The Minor Prophets

These 12 were classed by the Jews as one Book. The period which they covered within which the major prophets also fall extends from about 870-440 B.C. For the sake of better understanding, their teaching they may be grouped around these four great prophets:

  1. Isaiah is illustrated by Hosea, Amos, and Micah.
  2. Jeremiah is illustrated by Obadiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
  3. Ezekiel is illustrated by Joel, Jonah, Nahum.
  4. Daniel is illustrated by Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

The Prophecies of the 12 Minor Prophets Present One Complete View

The kingdom of David is seen as rent asunder, and its portions end in ruin. But a believing remnant always survives the ruin, and a restoration will come when David’s Son will rebuild the ruined nation and re-establish the throne. There is a constant look forward – past Macedonian conquests and Macabean successes and the apostasy of the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem, beyond even the dispersion of the elect nation, to the final conversion and ultimate restoration of God’s chosen people.

The Old Testament outline of the Messiah and His kingdom, which at earlier periods of prophecy was like a drawing without color, now reaches completeness and every prophetic book adds at least another touch or tint to the grand picture.

Once let the reader of prophecy get clear conceptions of this fact, that Christ is its personal center and Israel its national center, and that round about these centers all else clusters and that in them all converge. And whether he walks or runs he will see all things clearly. For the vision is written in large letters as upon tablets by the wayside.

The Prophet Hosea Was a Contemporary of Isaiah and Continued to Prophesy for 70 Years

He was God’s messenger to the northern kingdom. He addresses Israel sometimes as Samaria and Jacob and Ephraim, the last because that tribe was the largest of the ten and the leader in the rebellion. Hosea abounds in expressive metaphors. “Ephraim is a cake half baked, not turned.” ”A silly dove without a heart.” “Her king is cut off as foam upon the water.”

Hosea began to prophesy during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of Israel, one of the most powerful of her kings, and during the reign of his successors, whom the prophet does not even name because they were not of the Lord’s choosing, Hosea 8:4. There was not one of them found who would risk their throne for the Lord.

There was a striking illustration of the law in Deut 17:15, “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose.”

When the Lord Has a Controversy With a Nation!

The moral state of Israel during Hosea’s ministry was as bad as it could possibly be. The idolatry inaugurated by Jeroboam I, the son of Nebat, had continued for upwards of 200 years and had diffused every form of vice among the people.

What was the controversy the Lord had with the nation? “The Lord hath a controversy with the land.” “Because there is no Truth.” “Nor mercy.” “Nor knowledge of God in the land.” ”By swearing and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out,” Hosea 4:1-2.

Drunkenness and shameful idol festivals were spread over the land. The idolatrous priests even waylaid and murdered the wayfarers.

Hosea’s Message Was Like a Two-Edged Sword

Hosea was sent both to renounce the sins of the people and to proclaim to them the compassionate love of the Lord and His willingness to have mercy upon them if they would but return to Him.

He himself was made a sign to the people. His longsuffering love for his wife, who proved faithless to him and whom he brought back from a life of shame, was a picture of the Lord’s love to His rebellious people who had broken their covenant with Him, and had given themselves up to the worship of idols.

God first pronounced His judgment upon His people. He will be to them as a moth, and rottenness, and as a young lion, and as a leopard, and as a bear robbed of her whelps. He says He has hewed them by the prophets and slain them by the Words of His mouth. He foretells the awful destruction of Samaria and the sword that shall slay them and the fire that shall destroy them.

But along with judgment, He makes known His mercy – His earnest desire for them to change their mind. “I will go and return to My place till they acknowledge their offence and seek My face and in their affliction they will seek Me early,” Hosea 5:15.

”It is good for me to be afflicted, for therein have I learned more of Thy Word.”

Do You Have a Youth Program in Your Church?

Well, the Lord has one and these are His principles:

  1. To whom should young men give their primary allegiance?
    Ecc 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the year draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”
  2. What should be the supreme guide of a young person’s life?
    Psa 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way, by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word?”

    ”I most strongly and affectionately impress upon you the priceless value of the New Testament and the study of the Book as the one unfailing guide in life. Deeply respecting it and bowing down before the character of our Saviour, you cannot go very wrong, and always will preserve at heart a true spirit of veneration and humility.” Charles dickens to his son.
  3. Of how much greater value is the knowledge of God than material resources?
    Prov 3:13-15, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding, for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
  4. Who are commended in the Scriptures as examples of youthful spirituality?
    1 Sam 2:26, “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord and also with men.”
  5. Who is the supreme example of growth in Grace and virtue?
    Luke 2:40, “And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the Grace of God was upon Him.” Christ.
  6. After God, to whom should a young man give honor?
    Exodus 20:12, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
  7. For whom was Solomon thankful?
    Prov 4:3-4, “For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, let thine heart retain my words, keep my commandments, and live.”

God’s youth program – more to follow …

Tuesday, January 2, 2001

Hosea and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Hosea 6:2, “After two days He will revive us, in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”

Here is the resurrection of Christ and our resurrection in Him. Could it not be more plainly told? The prophet expressly mentions “two days” after which life shall be given and a “third day” on which the resurrection would take place.

Hosea 6:3, “His going forth is prepared as the morning. And He shall come unto His own as the rain, unto the Earth.” He who should so go forth is the same as He who was to revive them and raise them up. Even Christ, who as “the Day-Spring from on high hath visited us” coming forth from the grave on the resurrection morning, and of whom it was foretold that He should, “Come down like showers upon the mown grass.”

Hosea’s Saviour!

Hosea 11:1, “I called My Son out of Egypt.” This had a primary fulfillment in Israel as a type of Christ. It’s real fulfillment as we are told by Matthew 2:15 was in Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God.

Hosea 11:4, “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” Christ drew us with cords of a man when for us He became man and died for us. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.”

Hosea 13:4, “There is no Saviour besides Me.” “Thou shalt call His Name Jesus, Saviour, for He shall save His people from their sins.” “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.

Hosea 13:14, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death.” The word rendered “ransom” signifies rescued them by the payment of a price. The word rendered “redeem” related to one, who, as the nearest of kin, had the right to acquire anything as his own, by paying the price. Both words in their most exact sense describe what Jesus Christ did for us.

”O death, I will be thy plague. O grave, I will be thy destruction,” is a burst of triumph at the promised redemption when Christ, being risen from the dead, became the First-Fruits of them that slept.

Jonah Thought Like Many Others That a Change of Environment Was the Answer to Man’s Problems

Jonah was God’s prophet to Israel. His whole being was bound up in the salvation of his own people. And it was no doubt his intense patriotism which made him question the wisdom of God’s command and made him ready to incur His displeasure and abandon his prophetic office rather than risk the welfare of his country.

Jonah was a diligent student of the Psalms. He knew perfectly well that even if he “took the wings of morning and dwelt in the uttermost parts of the sea” he really could not flee from God’s presence. But like many a servant of the Lord since, he thought that by a change of environment, circumstances, he might get away from the presence of God’s hand upon him or stifle His voice.

And so he went down to Joppa “and he found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare thereof and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

”If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there.”
”If I descend into the deepest parts of the sea, Thou are there.”
’Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?”

Jonah’s Familiarity With the Psalms!

Jonah’s prayer to God from his prison cell is the breathing of one to whom the Psalms had long been familiar. He quotes short fragments from various Psalms, and adapts them to meet his own case. Application of the Word of God to experience!

There are allusions in his great prayer to the great Messianic Psalms – Psalm 22, Psalm 69, Psalm 16 – but most striking of all is the application of Psa 16:10, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Jonah says, “Out of the belly of hell cried I, and yet, hast Thou brought up my life from corruption.” “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”

“The Bird With the Broken Wing Will Never Fly Again”

I have heard that many times from many different pulpits, and it is supposed to mean that if you failed, you could no longer serve the Lord. Well, Jonah was a bird with a broken wing and what happened to him? “He winged it!”

”And the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise and go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.”

”Arise.” “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” The call to Jonah came through a heathen shipmaster. He chooses often to send His message through a rough instrument. Twice the Lord spake directly to Jonah, “Arise.”

He did not upbraid him for his disobedience. The sharp lesson he had learned was not enough, and in His Grace He is still willing to use His servant. Prepared now to do His bidding, a “bent” Jonah was able to bend all heathen Nineveh so that revival blessing held back impending judgment.

Eight Visions

For a summary or an outline we have eight visions in the book of Zechariah.

  1. The myrtle tree
    A picture of Israel today, outcast but never forgotten by the Lord.
  2. The horns and smiths
    Foretelling the overthrow of Israel’s enemies.
  3. The measuring line
    This shows the future prosperity of Jerusalem. The presence of the Lord as a wall of fire around His people will make walls unnecessary and the extent of the city will make them impossible.
  4. Joshua
    A picture of Israel cleansed and restored to the priestly position of access to God.
  5. The candlestick
    Lamp stand – Israel as God’s light bearer. The two olive trees in this vision refer in the first place to Zerubabbel, the ruler, and Joshua the priest. And thus through them to both offices fulfilled in the person of the Messiah.
  6. The flying roll
    The government of the Earth.
  7. The ephah
    Restriction of wickedness.
  8. The chariots
    The administrative forces of righteousness.

A Youth Program for Your Church – Part Two

  1. What contrast is there between a wise and foolish son?
    Prov 13:1, “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction, but a scorner heareth not rebuke.”
  2. How was Timothy influenced by his mother’s faith?
    2 Tim 1:5, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
    Under whose preaching were you converted? Under nobody’s preaching, said Timothy, I was converted under my mother’s practicing.
  3. What reference should the young render to the aged?
    Lev 19:32, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head and honor the face of the old man and fear thy God. I am the Lord.”
  4. How responsible then was the conduct of Rehoboam?
    1 Kings 12:8, “But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him. And consulted with the young men that were grown up with them and which stood before him.”
  5. In what way may a youth rightly glory?
    Prov 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength and the beauty of an old man is the gray hair.”
  6. Against what are young men warned?
    Prov 3:7, “Be not wise in thine own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”
    2 Tim 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
    Prov 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
  7. To what may all worthy youth aspire?
    1 Tim 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers in word, in manner of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Christians Who Are Sick!

Christians can make themselves sick without even knowing it. It is a illness that doctors can’t cure and no medical center can help and there are no shots that you can take for it. Even the so-called “faith healers” can’t help, even with their laying on of hands and pouring all kinds of oil on you and supposedly breathing the Holy Spirit on you from across the platform. And it is actually suicidal!

1 Cor 11:30, “For this cause many are weak, and sick, and sleep.”

”Weak” is the word ASTHENEO, which means feeble, diseased, impotent, and weak. “Sick” is the word ARRHOSTIS, which means to be infirmed, sick. And the word “sleep” is KOMOSIS, which is Christian death, resting.

There is only one cure for this because with this condition you also have Divine discipline, and it ends up with the sin unto death. The cure is 1 Cor 11:31, “Judge ourselves.”

The believer is out of fellowship with the Lord. And if he continues in this walk this way, he will shorten his life. He is walking in darkness and he is called carnal, walking in the flesh, contrary to the Spirit. So to judge yourself, or to examine yourself, is the same as and as simple as, confession.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

In Studying the Book of Ezra You Find That the Key Note is Restoration

There is a faithful remnant and in this remnant we have a picture of restoration from backsliding, of individual faithfulness, and of a true effort after a closer walk with the Lord.

The worldliness and unbelief that we see all around us in the Church today need be no hindrance to a faithful walk on our part with the Lord Who is still calling us to come and be separate unto Himself. The restored remnant seemed to have begun at the core and to have worked from within outward. They did not begin with building up the walls. Nor even with building the temple.

”But they builded the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God, and they kept the Feast of Tabernacles.”

At the very heart of this book we see Christ and His great atoning work in these burnt offerings. The restored people are pointed forwards to Him that was to come. And every soul that returns from its backsliding today must begin afresh at the foot of the Cross.

The Book of Ezra and the Doctrine of Separation

We find in Ezra a very practical lesson for the body of Christ today on the need of “separation for service.” The adversaries of the Jews were the semi-heathen Samaritans found in Ezra 4:1, 9, 10, whom Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, had transplanted to the cities of Samaria.

In the place of the captives whom he had carried into Assyria at the time of the captivity of the ten tribes, we have a full account of this in 2 Kings 17. And there we read that the king of Assyria sent back one of the captive priests to teach these people what he called “the manner of the God of the land.” The result was “that these people feared the Lord and served their own gods,” and this mixed worship was perpetuated among their children.

These adversaries showed their hostility first by offering to help build the temple. That is how the world often begins its hostility to the Church today. We need to take the firm stand that these restored Israelites took and not compromise God’s work by accepting such offers of help, or placing unbelievers in prominent positions in our churches and Sunday Schools.

I see this in operation today. Don’t you??

The Book of Ezra and the Sin of Compromise and the Need for Separation

There is a growing tendency in these days to seek to bring about union with the Church of Rome. And meanwhile, to join with them in work. Through blindness in recognizing that they are as truly “adversaries” as were those to whom Zerubabbel refused any share of the building, the true nature of these men soon came out. They harassed the people of Judah in their work, and at last succeeded in stopping them.

But the Lord sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who so encouraged the leaders that they began to build again in spite of the opposition. Then Tatnai, the governor, asked them, “Who gave you a decree to build this house?” Now, believing their answer he sent to Darius the king to inquire.

The decree of Cyrus was found at Achmetha, the summer palace of the king and encouraged in every way by Darius, the building went forward to its completion.

The 12 He-Goats of Ezra

As soon as the temple was finished, the people kept the dedication of it with joy. Among their offerings were 12 he-goats, according to the number of the 12 tribes of Israel, Ezra 6:16. This is one of the proofs that among the remnant which returned were some of the 10 tribes of Israel as well as the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. As is the next remnant which returned under Ezra when “12 bullocks for all Israel” were offered, Ezra 8:35.

Besides this, before the captivity of Israel, large numbers of those ten tribes ”fell away to Judah” on account of the idolatry of Israel. 2 Chr 11:14-17 and 31:6. The returned captives were properly representative of the entire nation and so are the Jewish people throughout the world today.

Ezra’s Testimony for the Lord!

It was a high tribute to Ezra’s character and ability that Artaxerxes, the king, gave him a letter authorizing all the people of Israel who were willing to go with him, and commanded that he should be supplied with all that was needful for the house of God. And authorizing him to set magistrates and judges to judge the people, and instructing him to teach them the Law of God.

Ezra attributes all his success, the favor of the king, the preparation of the people, the safety of the journey, to the good hand of his God upon him. He was in all things under the hand of the Lord. Only a few thousand gathered with him at the river Ahava and there, with fasting and prayer, they committed their way unto the Lord, for Ezra “was ashamed” to ask for a guard of soldiers.

No doubt that remembrance of God’s deliverance of His people under Esther, which had occurred during the interval of the 60 years, made Ezra doubly sure of His protection now.

When Ezra Sat Down!

There was an interval of backsliding among the Jews at Jerusalem. They had again intermarried with idolatrous nations around. The only reason for Israel’s existence as a nation was to be a holy people, separated unto the Lord. When Ezra heard how utterly Israel had failed, he was overcome with grief and, “Sat down astonied until the evening sacrifice.”

Again at that sacred hour relief came. He poured out his soul in a deep agony of prayer to God, associating himself with his people in confession of sin. His prayer, coming from his very soul, touched the souls of the people and assembling in great numbers, men, women, and children, they caught the fire of his spirit and “wept very sore.” But this contrition did not end with weeping. They took sides with God against themselves, and promised to stand by Ezra in his work of reformation.

Today if you know of someone who is standing in the gap, teaching the whole Counsel of God, stand by that man.

It needed all of Ezra’s courage to carry it through, and no doubt the authority of the king’s letter was part of God’s provision for His servant. Out of the whole population, there were 112 cases of these mixed marriages, and the law of Moses was applied to them all.

Outstanding lessons from Ezra for us today ...

Satan’s Strategy in Trying to Stop Nehemiah From Serving the Lord

Four times the enemy’s strategy was to send a message to Nehemiah asking him to meet them in the plain of Ono. Four times he sent the same reply. “I am doing a great work. Why should the work cease, while I leave and come down to you?”

Then they accused them of rebellion and sought to weaken their hands and make them afraid. But Nehemiah replied to Tobiah, “There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own mind.”

As a last resort, one bade him to take refuge in the temple. “For they will come to slay thee.” “Should such a man as I flee?” Was Nehemiah’s steadfast reply. ”So the wall was finished in 52 days,” Neh 6:15.

Our soul’s enemies still use wiles and threats and plots, similar to all of these, if by any means they can hinder or discourage us from doing the work of the Lord. And we need, like Nehemiah, to remember “Who has commissioned us” and make our prayer unto Him in order to disregard all suggestions that would weaken our hands.

The Register of the Jews Returning From Babylon Found That Some of the Priests Sought Their Register in the Genealogy, But it Could Not be Found

“Therefore were they (as polluted) put from the priesthood and the governor said unto them that they should not eat of the most holy things till there stood up a priest with urim and thummim,” Neh 7:63-65.

We have here one of those instances in the Old Testament when the face of Jesus Christ suddenly shines upon us in the most unexpected and unlikely places. Merely a register and a few priests who could not find their place in it. But we can thrill with the consciousness that we have a great High Priest, even Jesus Christ, Who has the urim and the thummim, Who is the “perfect light” to whom all souls are open who can settle the question unhesitatingly as to our right to communion with God, and the answering to the eating of the most holy things and as to our worthiness to act as His priests in blessings to others.

Unclean, unworthy, polluted as we know we are, He has by His own sacrifice entered in once and for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb 9:12. And if we trust in His one sacrifice for sins for ever, we also may draw nigh and have communion with Him. Not once a year, or once a month, or once a week merely, but day by day.

The Precious Blood of Jesus Christ! 1 Peter 1:18-19

The meaning of the blood, Lev 17:11, 14
Redemption through the blood, 1 Pet 1:18-19
Forgiveness through the blood, Eph 1:7
Justification through the blood, Rom 5:9
Peace through the blood, Col 1:20
Cleansing through the blood, 1 John 1:7
Loosing from sin through the blood, Rev 1:5
Sanctification through the blood, Heb 13:12
Access through the blood, Heb 10:19
Victory through the blood, Rev 12:11
Glory everlasting through the blood, Rev 7:14, 15

Notice the accomplishments in our life of the one sacrifice of Christ!

The 7th Chapter of the Book of Numbers Gives Us the Offerings of the Princes

They each brought exactly the same, but instead of massing the offering together, each is repeated in detail. God delights to honor the gifts of His children. Merry Christmas!

How carefully Jesus Christ noted the gift of the poor widow who cast into the treasury all that she had. And He said that the anointing of His feet by Mary of Bethany should be told wheresoever the Gospel should be preached.

Surely in light of Calvary our gifts should exceed the measure of the Israelites under the law. But how far we come short. There are some who say, “The Jews gave a tithe, I give much more than a tenth of my income.” And yet if they really examined their accounts, they would be surprised to find that they are giving less than a tenth.

Besides, the tithe was only a small part of what the Israelites gave. The various other tributes brought the amount up to about one forth or one third of their income. And yet it was only after this had been paid that their “free-will offerings” began.

If we as Christians were to give in like proportion, there would be no lack for our spreading the Word of God, or any other part of the work the Lord has entrusted to our care.

Aaron the High Priest!

The Book of Numbers gives us some fresh teaching about Aaron. When the Lord sent a plague among the people for their sin, we see Aaron, the high priest whom they had so recently maligned, with his censer of incense running quickly and standing between the dead and the living to make an atonement for the people. Num 16:46-50.

What a picture of One greater than Aaron! One whom they blasphemed and crucified, who having made a full atonement for the sin of the people “ever liveth to make intercession for us.”

Aaron’s Rod That Budded!

Immediately after Aaron stood between the living and the dead in Numbers 16:46-50, the representatives of each tribe were commanded by God to bring a rod and lay it up in the tabernacle before the testimony. And the rod of the man whom God would choose would blossom.

The rod lay there through the dark hours of the night, and in the morning, the rod of Aaron alone brought forth buds, and bloomed flowers, and yielded almonds. The ruler’s rods were symbols of mere natural power. Human. Aaron’s of spiritual power, Divine.

Natural power may reform and civilize. But Christ is the Power of God, and the Power of Jesus Christ alone can change men’s souls and impart new life. Num 17.

Three things were inside of the ark:
Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, and the tablets of the Law – which were perpetual reminders that the Jews broke all three:

God’s choice for leadership.
God’s choice for sustenance.
God’s choice for His Word.

The Water of Separation!

In Numbers chapter 19 we have the account of the water of separation. Now I know you studied that in Sunday School??? But this is God’s beautiful provision for cleansing from the defilement contracted in daily life. The cleansing efficacy of the water consisted in the ashes of a red heifer, offered as a sin offering with which it was mingled.

Thus it was a cleansing based upon atonement. A foreshadowing of the blood of Christ which cleanses, keeps on cleansing from all sin, those who are walking in the light. 1 John 1:7.

In the Book of Numbers We Have a Reference to Balaam’s Prophecy

The prophet from a far off land who was called in to curse God’s people could only bless them. And the words of his blessing form a prophecy which has remarkably described the Israelites ever since they were first uttered centuries ago. “The people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations.”

Which words, among others, no doubt, Fredrick the Great’s chaplain had in his mind when the emperor asked him to prove the Truth of the Bible in one word and he answered “Israel”

In these Books of Moses many points where prophesied about Israel and the land which are true today. For instance:

”They shall be driven out of their land,” Lev 26:33.
”And their land shall be desolate,” Lev 26:33.
”They shall be scattered among the nations,” Deut 4:27.
”And yet remain a separate people,” Num 23:9.

The same has never been true of any other nation except Israel. Wherever we see a Jew, we have a witness to the Truth of God’s Word.

One of them almost became vice-president.

Balaam Looked Down the Ages and Saw One Who Was to Come!!

“I shall see Him, but not now.”
”I shall behold Him, but not nigh.”
”There shall come a Star out of Jacob.”
”And a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel.”
”Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion,” Num 24:17, 19.

”Where is He that is born King of the Jews, for we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him,” Matt 2:2. Where is the King? We have seen His star! The star and the sceptre were foretold 1500 years before they came to pass. The wise men saw the star, shining in all its splendor, above all other stars in brightness, over the lowly spot where lay the Babe of Bethlehem.

”I Jesus have sent My angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches. I am the Root and Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star,” Rev 22:16.

Moses in Deuteronomy

Of all the Old Testament characters, Moses stands out as the greatest. He was prophet, legislator, historian, ruler, all in one, and in the world’s history, probably no name has ever stirred the heart of a nation as he no doubt has done.

It is impossible to overrate the place held in the Jewish nation. He laid the foundation of its literature, and no appeal has ever been made by the Jews from his laws or from any word that he wrote.

His Hebrew parentage and training, his learning in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and his 40 years of communion with God in the solitude of Horeb, combined to fit him both for his leadership of the people and the authorship of his books.

Nowhere does the character of Moses shine out with greater dignity than in the book of Deuteronomy.

We see him at the close of his long life with still unabated vigor about to take leave of the people with whom he had borne patiently through all their provocations. With the one exception for which he was not allowed to enter the promised land, yet there seems no bitterness against them in his heart for this. Instead he rejoices in the prospect of their entrance into the land under the leadership of Joshua.

The Word of the Lord came unto Moses, “Get thee up into Mt. Nebo, behold the land, and die,” Deut 32:49-50. And with meekness he showed the same obedience in death as he had in life. “So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab according to the Word of the Lord,” Deut 34:5.

But a greater honor awaited God’s faithful servant than even the honor of leading the chosen people into the land. A day came when he stood with Elijah beside the Saviour on the Mt of Transfiguration, within the land. And communed with his Lord on that greatest of all themes. His decease, which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

Thursday, January 4, 2001

The Red Sea and the Jordan

In the faith chapter, Hebrews 11, there is a gap of about 40 years between the crossing the Red Sea and the taking of Jericho. The interval is filled with unbelief and disobedience and even the act of faith, the crossing of the Jordan, which brought the children of Israel into the land is omitted. For had there been no wandering there had been no Jordan and they would have marched straight up from Kadesh Barnea without having to cross the river.

These two crossings are coupled together in Psalm 114:5, “What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest ? Thou Jordan, that thou was driven back? There is a close connection between them.”

Going down into the bed of the sea and into the bed of the river alike signified death. And both show our participation with Christ in His death.

Buried and Risen With Christ, in Joshua

The 12 stones buried forever under the waters of death show us our place as crucified with Christ. The 12 stones set up on the other side show us our place as risen with Christ.

”Likewise reckon ye also your selves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom 6:11.

God’s Word to us is, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” To believe this is as great an impossibility as for Israel to cross the Jordan. But as we take Him at His Word, and reckon the self life to be dead with Christ, He makes it true in our experience and enables us to live the risen life in Christ Jesus.

”I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me,” Gal 2:20.

The Bible is Our Chart

In these days we sometimes hear it said “If we have Christ, we don’t need the Bible.” But what do we know of Christ apart from the revelation God has given us in the Bible? Other writings establish the bare fact of historical identity. But they reveal nothing of His Person or His teaching or His work.

What book or movie production tells you that Jesus Christ is God and man in one Person? The God-man?? I will go and see it with you.

If we had not learned of Christ through the written Word, what should we know of Him revealed within? The conscience and the reason of man are not a sufficient guide. And we have an abundance of evidence in the Book of Judges concerning this principle. Let your conscience be your guide???

We are twice told in Judges, “Not that every man violated his own conscience.” “But that every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” And we see to what awful excesses of sin such a course led.

For the safe guiding of our ship on the sea of life, we need to have on board:

The Chart of the Scriptures,
The Compass of the Hoy Spirit,
And the Captain of our ship, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It would be folly for a seaman to reason, “I do not need a chart because I have a compass,” or vice versa. As invariably as the compass points to the north, so God the Holy Spirit points to and glorifies Christ. The Scriptures also testify of Him. And these two Witnesses agree together.

For the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ as revealed in the Written Word and makes them life to our souls. “Search the Scriptures for in them they speak of Me and in them you have eternal life.”

The Book of Judges, a Not Much Studied Book, Has Many Lessons for the Believer Today

Even in the darkest period in Judges, as in every age, the Lord did not leave Himself without a witness. We may see in the deliverers He raised up not only a general type of Christ, but much teaching for the Christian showing us that through the power of Jesus Christ, we also may become witnesses for Him.

Judges is the practical commentary on the Truth that “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty ... that no flesh should glory in his presence.”

God used Ehud, a left-handed man to deliver Israel.
Shamgar with his ox goad.
Samson with a jaw bone of an ass.
He used a woman, a weaker vessel, to inspire the failing courage of Barak, and to censure the men who did not help in the hour of need. Deborah said to Barak, “Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded go and draw to Mount Tabor, and I will deliver Sisera into thy hand?” Judges 4:6-7. When Barak made his obedience conditioned by her going with him, she told him that the journey would not be to his honor. “For the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

What Made Gideon a Hero?

The account of Gideon is a very encouraging one. He was a man conscious of his own nothingness. “Oh, my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

”I have sent thee, I will be with thee. Go in this thy might, thou mighty man of valor.” ”The Lord looked upon him,” and encouraged his faith by various signs of His mighty power. That look and that command made a hero out of Gideon.

He began at home and at the bidding of the Lord threw down the altar of Baal in his father’s house. His natural shrinking came out in the fact that he did it by night, his God-given courage in the fact that through shrinking, he got it done.

Then the Lord had to reduce Gideon’s army so that it might be clearly seen that the victory was His. And with the 300 eager men, who would not stop to quench their thirst by a long draught, He delivered Israel.

“A Greater Than Solomon is Here!”

At the height of Solomon’s testimony, he was oriented to the Word of God and consequently made application in his life. When the Lord asked him to ask for anything and He would grant it to Him, Solomon applied the principle of “If any one lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth it liberally.”

Solomon asked for wisdom in order to deal with the Lord’s people and the Lord gave him the wisdom he asked for. Because he didn’t ask for anything for himself, the Lord made him very, very prosperous with many, many details of life. Following the principle of, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.” Solomon’s fame was heard all around the world and the Queen of Sheba came and said that Solomon had twice as much wisdom as she had heard.

Then Solomon took his eyes off the Lord and went negative to the Word of God and became occupied with the details of life. When people came to hear of his God-given wisdom, Solomon showed them his possessions and his palace. He emphasized the gifts to the exclusion of the Giver. And he came under the principle that you can’t serve God and mammon, too.

Solomon missed one of the greatest gifts of God – his Right Woman and he ended up with 1,000 women, which included all their religions and he had an ecumenical movement in his own palace.

But “a Greater than Solomon is here.” “Christ, the Wisdom of God,” Who had no place to lay His head.

The issue to us is ... It is either Doctrine or details which we emphasize. Details are great slaves, but they are cruel masters.

Judges and the Angel of the Lord

In this dark period of Judges, the Angel of the Lord, the Son of God Himself, appeared three times to His people. In the first instance, Judges 2:1, He came up from Gilgal where He had appeared to Joshua as Captain of the Lord’s host. To Bochim, and there He spoke as none but JEHOVAH could speak. Reminding them of His power and Grace and reproving them for their disobedience. And at His words, “The children of Israel lifted up their voices and wept. And they sacrificed there unto the Lord.”

About 150 years later He appeared to Gideon to call him to His great work of delivering Israel. Gideon brought a burnt offering and a meat offering. And the Angel of the Lord commanded him to lay them upon the rock. The rock itself is a type of Christ as well as the offering. And he touched the offering with his staff and fire rose up out of the rock and consumed the offering as a token that it was accepted.

Thirty years after this event the Lord appeared in like manner to the wife of Manoah and again to her and her husband together. Manoah likewise brought a burnt offering and a meat offering and offered it upon a rock. “And the Angel of the Lord did wondrous things.” For the fire went up to Heaven from off the altar, and the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar when Manoah had asked His name.

The Angel of the Lord said, “Why askest thou after My name, seeing it is a secret?” literally, “Wonderful,” the very name given later on through Isaiah to the Messiah that was to be born.

Thus we are brought face to face with the Babe of Bethlehem in the Person of the Angel of the Lord.

Friday, January 5, 2001


Samuel himself was a picture or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The meaning of his name was one of the perplexities of Hebrew scholarship till the year 1899, when the 12th congress of orientalists held its meeting in Rome. Professor Jastrow of Philadelphia showed that in the Assyrian language, which is closely allied to the Hebrew tongue, the word SUMU means “son” and he translated “Samuel” as “son” or “offspring of God.”

Hannah, in the depth and sincerity of her surrender, gave up her first-born son to God utterly. He was “God’s son” from the moment of his birth. Therefore, “I have given him to the Lord,” not “lent” as in the Authorized Version.

Hannah wanted every one to know that he was altogether the Lord’s own and she chose this word that everyone could understand.

The Name “God’s Son” in Samuel Takes Us a Step Further

The resemblance between Hannah’s song and that of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, have always been marked. Mary’s song is not a repetition of Hannah’s, yet both see the same vision. It is a vision of the Earth’s full salvation, and of the Lord’s Christ.

”The adversaries of the Lord,” sings Hannah, “shall be broken to pieces; out of Heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the Earth; and He shall give strength unto His King, and exalt the Horn of His anointed,” that is of His Messiah. 1 Sam 2:10.

”He hath shown strength with His Arm,” responds Mary. “He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever,” Luke 1:51-55.

Hannah’s song and the name she gave her child are alike a prophecy of Christ. She has the honor of being the first to use the name “Messiah,” “the Horn of His Anointed,” literally, Messiah.

Hannah’s name in the Hebrew means “Grace.”

“The Lord of Hosts”

Another and most majestic Divine title appears for the first time in the first chapter of 1 Samuel. The Divine title “the Lord of hosts” never occurs in the first five books of Moses. It occurs for the first time in 1 Sam 1:3. And after this it occurs very frequently, especially in the prophets – 281 times in all.

If the first five Books of Moses were written by a multitude of writers in a later age when this title for the Lord was so much in vogue, how is it that not one of them has in the first five Books used this expression not even once?

This title “Lord of hosts” was a title for Christ we see from comparing Isa 6:1-3 with John 12:41 and Isa 8:13, 14 with 1 Pet 2:8.

Samuel Was a Type of Christ in Combining the Offices of Prophet, Priest, and Ruler

The schools of the prophets founded by him are a foreshadowing of the Lord’s service in pouring out His Spirit upon the apostles, evangelists, and teachers.

Above all, Samuel was a picture of Christ in his life of prayer and intercession. From the time that “God called Samuel,” the story that we have loved from childhood, his life was one of continual communion. Samuel had access to the ear of God and his own ear was open to God’s voice. “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.”

He and Moses are God’s chosen examples of intercession. “Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet my mind could not be toward this people,” Jer 15:1.

Samuel said to the rebellious nation, “God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.”

“Jesus Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us.”

“I Call You No Longer Servants, But Friends”

A Friend

In Jonathan we have another picture of Christ, showing the love and friendship of our Heavenly Friend. “There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

Jonathan, the king’s son, was not ashamed to own the shepherd lad as his friend.
And Jesus Christ “is not ashamed to call us brethren.”

”The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David and he loved him as his own soul.”
”Jesus Christ, having loved His own which were in the world, loved them to the uttermost,” John 13:1.

Jonathan made an everlasting covenant with David and he stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
So Christ stripped himself of His glory and He has covered us with the robe of His righteousness, and has armed and girded us for the fight.

Jonathan strengthened David’s hands in God.
And the Lord says to us, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

The Hebrew Word “Gay”

Psa 23 is the shepherd Psalm and in it David surely describes his own care of the sheep. How often he had led them by still waters, and caused them to lie down in green pastures. And many a time he must have had to lead them down one of the gorges of the wilderness of Judaea. This wilderness is 50 miles long and 10 miles broad, with many valleys, just such as are described by the word “gay” in the Psalm.

There are eight different words for “valley” in Hebrew, but “gay” signifies a deep, rocky gorge, some of them only two or three feet wide at the bottom and almost as dark as night even in the daytime, because of the steep, rocky sides rising 800 feet high on each side.

Here the hyenas stalk the sheep if they get separated from the shepherd. But with his club, the shepherd does battle with the wild beasts and reassures the sheep with the touch of his staff in the dark valley.

More than once David has risked his life and left the rest of the flock to rescue one lamb from the mouth of the lion or the bear. The good shepherd has always to take his life in his hands and be ready to lay it down. With what confidence David says, “The Lord is My Shepherd. I shall not want.”

And the Son of David responded, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”

”He leaves the 99 in the wilderness and goes after that one that is lost till He finds it.”

There Will Never be a One-World Ruler Till Christ Comes

The problem that leaders have nationally and worldly is found clearly in the Word of God. There will not be a one-world order till Christ comes. The principle is found in Psalm 23, which was primarily David and David, as you know, was a shepherd and a king. Out of all the sons of Jesse David was the one the Lord selected because he was a shepherd. Throughout the Old Testament rulers were called shepherds.

God’s ruler must be a shepherd of the people. The shepherd and the king were blended in David and in David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

A true king must always have the heart of a shepherd. When David saw the Angel of the Lord about to destroy Jerusalem, he cried, “I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed. But as far as these sheep, what have they done? Let Thine hand be on me. But not on Thy people,” 1 Chr 21:17.

”I will set up one shepherd over them and he shall feed them, even my shepherd David, and he shall be their shepherd,” Ezek 34:23.

Christ is:
the Good Shepherd in death – John 10:11, Psa 22
the Great Shepherd in resurrection – Heb 13:20, Psa 23
the Chief Shepherd in glory – 1 Pet 5:4, Psa 24

The Lord is my Shepherd and my King of kings.

David Was Anointed Three Times

First in his father’s house. Then over Judah. And lastly over all Israel. God has anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with the oil of gladness. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

But David, though anointed king, was in exile while Saul reigned over the people. So Jesus Christ is rejected by the world and the “prince of this world” is reigning in the hearts of men.

A day came when the men of Judah gathered to David and anointed him king in Hebron. ”The Spirit clothed Anasai and he said, “Thine are we, David, and on thy side,” 2 Sam 2:4, 1 Chr 12:18.

It is a joyful day in the experience of the believer when he yields the full allegiance of his soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. And says, “Thine I am and on Thy side.” When we can look up into His face and say, “Thou art my King.” Psa 44:4.

God’s Promise to Israel Was That He Would Save Them From All Their Enemies by the Hand of David

This was literally fulfilled from the day that he slew Goliath all through his reign. We never read of him being defeated. So Christ has vanquished our great enemy, Satan.

”He has come that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear.” “He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet.”

”Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end,” Isa 9:7. ”And David took the stronghold of Zion.”

This is like the central citadel of our will. When that is surrendered to the Lord, His reign is established.

In the Story of Mephibosheth We Have a Beautiful Picture of the Grace of Our King

In bringing us nigh and making us:
”as one of the king’s sons.”
”to eat bread at His table continually.”

He brings us into His banqueting house and bids us partake saying:
“Eat of friends, drink yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”

He Himself is the Heavenly Food, for He says,
“The bread that I give is My flesh, and My flesh is meet indeed.”

Remember Mephibosheth was crippled. He was handicapped. But you couldn’t see his handicap because his feet were under the king’s table. A handicapped person knows he can’t do something, but that the Lord can.

David’s Sin

Any type of our blessed Saviour falls short somewhere. And David as a type is no exception.

How can such a sinner be described as “A man after the Lord’s own heart?” All through the life of David there is one characteristic which marks him out from other men and in special contrast to King Saul. And that is his continual trust and confidence in the Lord, his acknowledgment of God’s rule, and his surrender to God’s will. The great desire of his heart was to build God’s house, yet when God set him aside, he acquiesces with perfect Grace in the Divine will.

When Nathan brings home to his conscience the great sin of his life, absolute monarch that he is, he acknowledges it at once. And the depth of his confession is only as such a soul knows the Lord can feel. For all times Psalm 51 stands out as the expression of the deepest contrition of a confessing soul. In that Psalm David speaks of broken heart as the only sacrifice that he can offer and a sacrifice which God will not despise.

And the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity goes further in His wondrous condescension and says by the mouth of Isaiah, “I dwell in the High and Holy Place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite ones,” Isa 57:15.

God’s response to our confession of sin.

Saturday, January 6, 2001

The Four Gospels Have Been Compared with the Four Cherubim of Ezekiel and Revelation

Matthew shows us our Lord in His kingly aspect as the “Lion” of the tribe of Judah.
Mark exhibits Him as the Faithful Servant of the Lord, the “Ox” ready alike for service or for sacrifice.
Luke presents Him the Son of “man,” full of human compassion as the emblem of the man suggests.
In John we see Him as the Son of God, the “Eagle” soaring into the heavenly blue with a majesty that transcends all our thoughts and our imaginations.

In the Book of Mark We Have Jesus Christ as the Servant of the Lord – Always Serving and Always Sacrificing

This is expressed in such words as we find in Mark like, “immediately,” “forthwith,” “Anon,” “straightway.” And the lesson for us is a like prompt obedience.

These are all one word in the Greek, and it is deeply to be regretted that our translators and revisers have not rendered the original language uniformly in this and countless other places.

Galatians 5:16-18: There Are Some Interesting Word Studies

Walk Spirit Lusteth Against Contrary Cannot

The Christian is exhorted to walk in the Spirit. The word “walk” is used in an early Greek manuscript in the sentence, “I am going about in a disgraceful state.” The writer of this sentence was commenting upon the kind of living he was living, how he was conducting himself.

The form in the Greek shows that it is a command constantly to be obeyed. “Be ye constantly conducting yourselves in the Spirit.”

The word “Spirit” here referring to God the Holy Spirit. It is in the locative of sphere, and could be charted by a dot within a circle. The dot is emsphered within the circle. The exhortation therefore is, “Be constantly conducting yourselves in the sphere of the Holy Spirit.”

That is, determine every thought, word, and think every thought, and speak every word and do every deed, in an attitude of entire dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s empowering energy.

”Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor 10:5.

Dislocated Saints!

We have the case in Gal 6:1 of a child of God overtaken in a fault. The Greek word for “overtaken” here is carrying the idea of a Christian surprised by the fault itself. He was hurried into a sin. He sinned before he knew it. And the person needs to be “restored.”

Sin in a Christian’s life that is known and cherished causes the fellowship between the saint and the Lord to be broken. And that which restores fellowship is confession of sin, 1 John 1:9. This restoration is an act of God.

Sometimes God uses another Christian as a channel through which He can work to bring the sinning saint to place where he will confess the sin. The word “restore” is from a Greek word which is to “reconcile factions,” “to set broken bones,” “to set a dislocation,” “to mend nets,” “to equip or prepare.”

As a dislocated arm is useless to the body, so the believer who is out of fellowship with his Lord and is useless.

All About Tents

Paul was a tentmaker and he, like every Jewish boy, learned some manual trade in addition to his chosen profession. The great scholar made tents for a living while preaching Christ, Acts 18:3.

Writing to the Philippians, verse 1:23, he tells them of his conflicting desires to depart and be with the Lord, or to remain with them for their benefit. The words “to depart” are from a military term meaning “to take down one’s own tent and be off.” Paul wrote this in a military camp. Paul’s human body was the tent in which he was living.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents, Heb 11:9. A tent speaks of a pilgrimage journey, and they were looking for a permanent place of abode.

Sunday, January 7, 2001


In Mark 6:48 we read of our Lord “walking upon the sea.” The preposition in the Greek is used with a certain case which means the idea of actual contact is in mind. Our Lord was not in any mysterious way moving over the general surface of the water, but was walking upon it, his feet contacting the surface of the water just as naturally and really as our feet have contact with the hard surface of the pavement.

In Rev 5:10, the Church is seen in Heaven, after the Rapture. Its song includes the words “We shall reign on Earth.” The same preposition and case is used as in Mark 6:48, which means that the Church saints, associated with our Lord in reigning over this Earth, will have contact with this Earth in the Millennium. This means that millions of glorified saints will be visible object lessons of what God’s Grace can do for a poor lost sinner.

The Personality of the Life!

That eternal life which is given to the believer is not a mere abstraction, not some spiritual energy or dynamic, but a Person – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul speaks of Christ as “our Life,” Col 3:4.
John speaks of the “Word of Life,” 1 John 1:1.
Christ says “I am the Life,” John 14:6.

The life here is eternal life. It has the definite article in the Greek pointing out the particular life that the Scripture reveals. It is not the Greek word speaking of the necessities of physical life, such as food, clothing, and shelter, but the word refers to the
principle of life.

Christ is our life and He is eternal life.

Divine Wood Cutters!

Paul is in prison in Rome, writing to his beloved Philippians. He is assuring them that the circumstances in which he finds himself are contributing to rather than hindering the advance of the Gospel. He says in Philippians 1:12 that the things that have happened to him have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the Gospel.

The word “furtherance” is from a Greek word which was used in the first century to refer to a company of wood cutters preceding the progress of an army – cutting a road through the forest so that the army might advance.

Paul says that his circumstances are “Divine wood cutters,” cutting a way through the opposition so that the Gospel might be advanced. What were these circumstances? His liberty was gone. He was chained to a roman soldier night and day. And Paul says that they are God’s wood cutters making a road for the advance of the Gospel.

The Grace of Giving!

Paul says in Gal 6:6, “Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” The word “communicate” is from a Greek word that means to “share with another.” In this context it means to share with another in his necessities by making those necessities one’s own.

Those who are instructed in the Word have the responsibility of making the teacher’s needs his own. That is in the case of a God-called servant of the Lord who devotes his full time to the teaching of the Word of God. Those who are recipients of his ministry are to make it their business to see that he is properly taken care of financially. So that he may be free to give of his best to the Lord’s work.

The same Greek word is used in Phil 4:15 where Paul says that only the Philippian Church recognized their obligation to make Paul’s necessities their own.

Paul Writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

The word “study” has changed in its meaning somewhat in 300 years since the Authorized Version was made. Today the word refers to the mental effort put forth in an attempt to add to one’s store of knowledge and one’s ability to use that knowledge in an effective way. When we use the word “study,” we think of a school, the classroom, the teacher, and the books. But the word is not so used here.

The following are some of the examples of its usage in the early centuries which should determine its translation today.

”I wish to know that you are hurrying on the making of it.”
”Make haste therefore and put our little slave Artemidorus under pledge.”
”In accordance with the king’s desire.”
”That he may do his best until it is effected.”
”Take care that Onnophris buys me what Irene’s mother told him.”

It is the idea of making haste, being eager, and giving diligence, with the added idea of effort put forth, are in the Greek usage of the word. It is a much more intense word that our understanding and use of the word “study” today.

A Perfect Salvation!

The perfect tense in the Greek is very expressive. It speaks of an action that took place in the past, which was completed in the past time, and the existence of its finished results.

For instance, “I have closed the door” speaks of a past completed action. But the implication is that as a result, the door is still closed. Thus, the entire meaning is “I have closed the door and it is closed at present.”

In John 19:30 our Lord cries from the Cross, “It is finished,” TETALESTAI. Referring to His work of procuring for lost sinners a salvation from sin, the entire sense is, “It was finished and as a result it is forever done.” ”It stands finished” would be a good translation.

The priests always stood in the tabernacle when ministering in the sacrifices. But our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is seated. His work is finished. He need never arise and offer another sacrifice.

He sat down – because everything was finished. One offering for sin.

In Matthew 4:4 Our Lord Said, “It is Written”

Once again, the perfect tense is used. Jesus Christ quoted and answered Satan from the Book of Deuteronomy. The words had been written by Moses 1500 years before. But they are still on record.

David said, “Forever. O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” A good translation reads, “It stands written.” It is the eternal Word of God.

What I have written, I have written. The permanence of the Word of God.

In Ephesians 2:8 We Have

“For by Grace are ye saved.” The definite article appears in the Greek.

God’s salvation does not merely issue from a gracious attitude on His part. It proceeds from the particular gracious act of God the Son dying upon the Cross to pay man’s penalty incurred by him through sin. It is the particular Grace that issues from Calvary that saves sinners.

The words “ye are saved” are in the perfect tense in the Greek. That is, a Christian is given a perfect salvation in past time when he believed, and as a result of that past completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and his past acceptance of the same, he is at present a saved person. His present possession of salvation is based upon one thing only – what Jesus Christ did for him on the Cross and his past acceptance of that work.

”Ye have been saved” in the past with a result you remain saved forever.

“For by Grace Te Have Been Saved”

This means the works of an individual, past or present, do not enter into his acceptance or retention of salvation. Salvation is the alone work of Christ. The believer is the recipient. Passive voice – the believer receives salvation – the action of the verb.

That means that the believer is saved and saved forever. For as he reads this text, the present results of the perfect tense are always present with the reader. And to strengthen the assertion, Paul adds another word in the present tense to show not only the existence, but the persistence of the results.

The full translation is, “By the Grace ye were saved, and as a result are in a saved state at the present time.”

Galatians 5:19, “The Flesh Lusts Against the Spirit and the Spirit Against the Flesh, and They Are Contrary One to the Other.”

The fallen nature lusts against the Spirit. The flesh has a strong desire against the Spirit. The word “against” is from a preposition that means “down,” and the idea is one of defeat and suppression. “The flesh has constantly a strong desire to suppress the Spirit.”

The work of the Holy Spirit in the believer is two fold: to put sin out of the life and to produce its own fruit.

”They are contrary one to another.” “One another” is a reciprocal pronoun in the Greek. The word “contrary” speaks of a permanent attitude of opposition toward each other on the part of both the flesh and the Spirit. It is a military term, “contrary,” and it is a picture in the Greek of two opposing armies, each digging a system of trenches for the purpose of holding the land they have and conducting a trench warfare.

They have dug themselves in for a long drawn-out contest. And the contest is going on all the time in the believer. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Provision for victory.

No Room in the Inn, But Does Christ Have a Home in You?

Paul prays in Eph 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in the hearts of the saints.” The word “dwell” is from a Greek word made up of two words – one meaning “to live in a home,” and the other literally meaning “down.”

Paul prays that our Lord might live in our hearts as His home. He is already in us. Therefore Paul’s thought is that Christ feels at home in your heart. Be at home there.

The tense speaks of finality. The word “down” speaks of permanency. “That Christ may finally settle down and feel completely at home in your heart.” It is one thing to be in a person’s home, but another thing to feel completely at home there.

Our Lord condescends to live in a sinner saved by Grace. What an honor to have such a Guest in our hearts. Do we make Him feel at home? Does He have free access? Is He our constant Companion? Or, are we preoccupied with persons or things we feel are not consistent with having fellowship with Him?


We read in Matt 17:2, “That our Lord was transfigured before them and His face did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light.”

The word “transfigured” is from a Greek word made up of two words. One refers to the outward expression one gives to his inmost true nature. The other signifies a change of activity. We could translate it, “His mode of expression was changed before them.”

Our Lord’s usual mode of expression while on Earth in His humiliation was that of Servant. He came, Mark 10:45, “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

But now, that usual mode of expression was changed. Our Lord now gave expression to the glory of His Deity. The word “transfigured” here means He changed His outward form of expression, namely from that of Servant to that of Deity. He showed how He would appear at the Second Advent even before He went to the Cross, before He set aside His Deity and took on the form of a Servant.

And now He reverses the process.

We Have in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 Another Greek Word of the Direct Opposite Meaning

Namely …

Meaning the act of changing the outward expression of that which inwardly remains the same – that outward expression not being representative of that person’s inward nature.

Satan, his false apostles, and ministers assume an outward expression that does not correspond to their true nature. Before masquerading, and that is what the Greek word means, as an angel of light, Satan gave outward expression to his inmost nature.

But in order to mislead the human race and gain followers, he had to pose as an angel of light. He changed that outward expression which was expressive of his inmost nature and assumed another, which did not correspond to it.

Satan masquerades as an angel of light, whereas he is all the while an angel of darkness. It tries to counterfeit the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 8, 2001

Transfigured Believers

Christ was transfigured, Matt 17:2, METAMORPHOO, a change on the outside of something of reality on the inside – “Deity.”

Satan was transformed, 2 Cor 11:14, METASCHEMATIZO, change on the outside of something that he is not on the inside – an angel of light, since he is an angel of darkness. Notice the difference in the Greek word. He masquerades as such and this is his deception.

Believers are transformed, Rom 12:2, METAMORPHOO, change on the outside of something we are on the inside – the Spirit-filled life producing the character of Jesus Christ. Notice it is the same verb as in the case of Jesus Christ.

A genuine change, not a masquerade of deception. Christ like.

Everlasting Watchfulness!

Luke 4:13, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season.”

The English words “for a season” could imply that there are times when the believer is free from the temptations of Satan. And in this he might relax his vigilance. But the Greek words do not permit such a thought. The thought in the original text is that Satan departed from our Lord until a more opportune, propitious, or favorable time when our Lord would be more susceptible to temptation, when Satan could work more effectively.

The word “depart” is from a Greek word that literally means “to stand off from.” Thus, Satan never leaves the believer alone. If he ceases his activities it is only that he might stand off from him and wait for a time when the believer is more susceptible to temptation.

Therefore, the price of victory over Satan is in everlasting watchfulness.

2 Cor 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The Fullness of the Spirit – Ephesians 5:18

There are four grammatical rules in the Greek language that lead us to four truths relative to this great subject. Eph 5:18, “Be filled with the Spirit.”

First, the verb is in the imperative mood. That is, it is imperative that we be filled with the Spirit. Because God commands it, and because the fullness of the Spirit is the Divine enablement in the life of a Christian, that results in a Christ-like life. Failure to be filled with the Spirit is sin, and results in the failure of living a life in honoring the Lord.

Secondly, the tense of the verb is present, and this tense in the imperative mood always represents action going on. We learn from this that the mechanics of the Spirit-filled life do not provide for a spasmodic filling. The Christian life is a normal life of moment by moment fullness of the Spirit.

Third, the verb is in the plural number, which teaches us that this address is not only to pastors or deacons, but to every Christian, to the business man, to the laboring man, to the housewife. It is the responsibility of every Christian to be always filled with the Spirit.

Fourth , the verse is in the passive voice. This grammatical classification represents the subject of the verb as inactive but being acted upon. The passive voice is the voice of Grace – you receive it.

This teaches us that the filling of the Holy Spirit is not a work of man but of God. We cannot work ourselves up to that condition by any amount of tarrying, praying, or agonizing.

A Christian’s Fragrance of Memories!!

A Frame of Reference for the Grace of God!!

The apostle John, writing about A.D. 90, says in his first epistle, 1:1-3, “That which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the Word of Life, declare we unto you.

The things he refers to, of course, are recorded in the Gospel he wrote somewhere between 85-90 A.D. A lapse of 50 or 60 years is quite a long time for one to accurately report the happenings in the Lord’s life. Yet John claims to remember them as if they happened but yesterday.

The words “we have heard” are in the perfect tense in the Greek. This tense speaks of an action which was completed in past time whose results still exist in present time.

The full translation reads like this: “That which we have heard in times past and which we still retain in our memory.” Likewise, the words “we have seen” are in the same tense and are fully rendered, “that which we have seen in times past and which we still have in our mind’s eye.”

John therefore claims that the things that he heard and saw, were still fresh in his mind after all those years. But in the word “seen” he refers to more than the physical act of seeing, for he uses a word that speaks of discerning sight. “That which we discernly saw with our eyes, and which we still have in our mind’s eye.”

”The Word lives and abides for ever.”

John Says in 1 John 1:1-3 …

“Looked upon” which also means “to see, but it is a different word. It means literally, “to view attentively,” “to contemplate.” No wonder that after the apostles saw our Lord with discerning eyes, they watched His wonderful life with attention and contemplation. Their question must often have been “What manner of Man is this?”

This verb is not in the perfect tense, but in the aorist tense – the tense used most naturally when the Greek writer does not want to go into detail. Referring to a point in time.

John had already informed his reader of his fitness to report what he saw and heard in our Lord’s life and he did not feel the need of repeating the fact. Then he says “Our hands handled.” The verb refers to the act of handling something in order to investigate the nature of the thing. The same word is used in Luke 24:39 where our Lord says, “Handle Me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have.”

One of the evidences of the fact that our Lord was raised out of death in the same body in which He died is that the disciples felt of that body after the resurrection. Not many mention this principle.

Investigating the claim of Jesus Christ that it was a true physical body of flesh and bones. True humanity and absolute Deity in one Person.

Fragrance of Memories – Part Two

Thus the apostle John, when writing his account in 1 John of our Lord’s life, he had clearly in mind the things he saw our Lord do and heard Him say approximately 60 years before. But how can a man remember so much for so long a time? And with such accuracy?

There are possibly two answers. One from the human side. And one from the Divine side.

In the first century there were few books, and consequently people were forced to retain in their memory much more than we do today when we have many books. In fact, many ancient peoples have been known to hand down from generation to generation large quantities of poetry and prose by committing it to memory. So John remembered much of what he had seen. He may have had access to some written records also.

In addition to this, he had the promise of the Lord in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit would bring all the things Jesus Christ said to the remembrance of the apostles. We have the answer therefore as to how John could have written the Gospel attributed to him so many years after the events took place.

Fragrance of memories. And a frame of reference.

The Indestructibility of the Church

Because the Foundation of the Church is the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Church is indestructible. The declaration of our Lord is that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The word “prevail” is from a Greek word which means to “overpower,” “to be strong to another’s detriment.” Thus the indestructibility of the Church is in view here.

The word “hell” is from a Greek word which is brought over in our English language in the word “Hades.” This is not the translation of the word, but the transliteration.

The pagan Greeks designated the word of departed human beings by the word “Hades” and it had two compartments – one for the evil doers, Tartarus, and one for those who were good, Elysium. These were the permanent abodes of the dead.

Likewise, the term “Hades” is used in Christian terminology to designate the place of the departed human beings, it being divided into a place for the unrighteous dead and one for the righteous.

The former is still occupied and the place where the unsaved go. But the latter is empty, for the righteous dead that occupied that place before the resurrection of our Lord are now in Heaven. And believers since that great event go at once to be with the Lord.

The word “Hades” means, “not to see,” and in its noun form, “the unseen.” It refers to the unseen world – that world of personalities that is unseen.


In Romans 5:2, Paul speaks of the fact that “we have access through our Lord into the Grace in which we stand.” The word “access” is from a Greek word that refers to the act of one who secures for another an interview with a sovereign.

In the first place, the person thus acting must be close to the king himself. Our Lord dwells in the bosom of the Father. He occupies the place closest to the Father’s affections. He is therefore fitted for his task.

In the second place, the one for whom this entree has been gained. The French word gives us the meaning of the Greek, and it must be rendered “acceptable to the king.”

Thus our Lord did through the Cross, whereby He put away the guilt and the penalty of sin and bestowed upon us His righteousness, even His own standing before the throne, and thus we are, “acceptable in the Beloved,” Eph 1:7.

As Peter says, 1 Pet 2:7, “Unto you therefore who believe is the preciousness.” The preciousness of Jesus Christ in the eyes of God the Father has been imputed unto us, as His righteous standing has been imputed.

God therefore looks down upon us with all the Grace with which He looks upon His own Well-Beloved Son.

Tuesday, January 9, 2001

What it Takes for the “Furtherance of the Gospel”

Phil 1:12, “The things that have happened to Him have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel.”

What were the circumstances which caused the furtherance of the Gospel? Paul was in prison in Rome. His liberty was gone. He was chained to a roman soldier night and day. God put a fence around the apostle. He had put limitations upon him. ”He placed handicaps upon Him.”

But Paul says that they are “God’s wood cutters,” making a road for an advancement of the Gospel. Paul was bound, but the Word wasn’t. The principle is, so it is in every Christian life, the things that hedge us in, the things that “handicap” us, the tests we go through, and the temptations that assail us, are all Divinely appointed wood cutters used by God to hew out a path for our teaching the Gospel.

It may be that our fondest hopes are not realized. We are in difficult circumstances. Illness may be our lot. You can’t get out of bed, you can’t be a missionary and cross a body of water. Yet if we are in the center of God’s will, all these are contributing to the progress of the Gospel. They draw us closer to the Lord so that the testimony of our lives will count more for God and thus we become more effective in proclaiming the Gospel.

”Thank God for the handicaps and the testings.” They are blessings in disguise. When we have limitations imposed upon us, we do our best work for the Lord, for them we are most dependent upon Him.

Paul says, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of God may rest upon me,” 2 Cor 12:9.

Punctuation Marks in Scripture!

Punctuation is neither present in Greek nor the English texts inspired. The punctuations of Eph 4:12 wreaks havoc with God’s plan of operation in the Church, namely that each saint is expected to be engaged in some form of the Christian service as God may lead.

For it puts the entire responsibility of proclaiming the Word upon the shoulders of the gifted men who are God’s gift to the Church, and requires nothing of the saints to whom they minister.

The men to whom God has given special gifts for ministering the Word of God as given in verse 11 are apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teaching pastors. The construction in the Greek does not allow us to speak of pastors and teachers, as two individuals, here.

The two designations refer to a pastor who has also the gift of teaching. The two gifts go together in the Divine economy and it therefore follows that a God-called pastor is to exercise a didactic ministry. That is, his chief business will be to teach the Word of God. His is a ministry of explaining in simple terms what the Word of God means.

The word “pastor” is from a Greek word which means “a shepherd” and the illustration is evident. The pastor is to bear the same relationship to the people whom he ministers, that a shepherd does to his flock of sheep.

”Feed the flock that is among you.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 – Teaching Pastors

We see that the Pastor of a Church is a specialist. His work is to teach the Word of God to the saints, and to train them in the art of winning souls and of teaching and preaching the Word.

Each Church should be a miniature Bible Institute, a training station from which saints go out to spread the Word. The pastor thus multiplies himself.

The pastor’s chief work is to equip the saints to do the work. Since the pastor must specialize in the work of training the saints. It follows that he cannot spend his time and energy upon a thousand and one things in the work of the Church which should be done by its members.

”Perfecting the saints” is a Greek word that has nothing to do with spiritual maturity. But from one that has the idea “of equipping the saints.” So that it might serve the purpose or do the work for which it was brought into being.

Why Worry?

Phil 4:6, “We are exhorted to be careful for nothing.” We have here a word that has changed its meaning. Today it means to exercise caution. When our translation was made, it meant “to be full of anxious care.”

The Greek word is used in a second century sentence. “I am writing in haste to prevent your being anxious for I will see that you are not worried.” The word, therefore, is a synonym for the word “worry” and the force of the word in the Greek is that of forbidding the continuance of an action already going on. Thus, the translation is, “Stop perpetually worrying about even one thing.”

The same Greek word is found in Matt 6:25, and it is translated “take no thought,” and we have the same force of the Greek word here. “Stop perpetually worrying.”

This recognizes the habitual attitude of the unsaved soul toward the problems and difficulties in life. God commands us to “stop perpetually worrying about even one thing.” We commit a sin when we worry. We do not trust God when we worry. We do not receive answers to our prayers when we worry. Because we are not trusting in Him.


Rom 6:16-18, the word “servants” is from a Greek word that has its derivation in a word which means “to bind.” Thus, the word in Romans refers to one who is “bound to another,” a slave.

There are two words in the Greek referring to a person in slavery. One speaks of a slave taken in war. And the other refers to a person born into slavery. The latter is the one used in Romans. It presents the slave in various aspects.

  1. He is one – bound to his master.
    We who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour were once bound to Satan in the bonds of sin. We were His bondslaves. Now we are bound to our Lord Jesus Christ by the bonds of eternal life.
  2. We are in permanent relationship to Satan until our identification with Christ in His death, those bonds are broken.
    Now we are in permanent relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. And because He lives we live, and since He never dies, we will never die. We are His bondslaves forever.
  3. And yet this slave is one born into slavery.
    We were born into slavery to Satan by our first birth. We are born by our second birth into slavery to the Lord Jesus Christ unto a glorious, free, blessed, condition in which we are His loving bondslaves forever.
  4. In addition to that, the word refers to one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another.
    Before we are saved, our wills were swallowed up in the will of Satan. We walked according to the prince of the power of the air. Now our wills, as we yield to the Holy Spirit’s fullness, are swallowed up in the will of another, the Lord Jesus Christ.

What an example we have in the apostle Paul. His favorite designation of himself is that of a bondslave of Jesus Christ. His apostleship comes next.

John 1:1-3, “The Word Was With God”

The word “with” is from a preposition meaning literally “facing,” PROS. Thus the Word is a Person facing God the Father.

The article appears before the word “God” in the Greek, which indicates that the First Person of the Trinity is meant. Thus John is speaking of the fellowship between the Word, Jesus Christ, and the Father – a fellowship that exists from all eternity and will exist to all eternity. And which was never broken except at that dark mysterious moment at Calvary when the Son cried, “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

”And the Word was God.” Here the word “God” is without the article. When it is used in that way it refers to Divine essence. Emphasis is upon quality of character. Thus John teaches us here that our Lord is essentially Deity. He possesses the same essence as God the Father and He is one with Him in nature and attributes.

Jesus Christ, the Carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth, the Teacher, is very God.
”In the beginning was the Word” – total concept of God.
“And the Word was in constant fellowship with God” – the Father.
”And the Word was” as to His essence or nature, “God” – absolute status quo.

“In the Beginning Was the Word” – John 1:1

The definite article appears before the word “Word” – “The Word.” He is not merely a concept of God among many others. For the heathen have many concepts of God. He is “the concept” of God. The only True One, the Unique One.

He was in existence when things started to come into being through the creative act of the Lord Jesus Christ. He existed before all created things. Therefore, He is uncreated, and therefore eternal in His being, and therefore Jesus Christ is God.

”Before Abraham was, I am ...” I always existed.

“In the Beginning Was the Word” – John 1:1

John uses the word as a name for the Lord, LOGOS. There are three words in the Greek language for the word “Word.”

  1. One referring to the mere articulate sound of the voice.
  2. Another speaking of that sound as the manifestation of a mental state.
  3. The one used by John, and the word is LOGOS. It comes from a verb which means literally “to pick out or select,” to pick out words in order to express one’s thoughts, thus to speak. It speaks of a word uttered by the human voice that embodies a concept or an idea. Not merely to a part of speech, but to a concept or idea.

Greek philosophers, in attempting to understand the relationship between God and the universe, speak of an unknown Mediator between God and the universe, naming this Mediator LOGOS. John tells them that this Mediator unknown to them is our Lord and he uses the same name, LOGOS.

Our Lord is the LOGOS of God in the sense that He is the total concept of God. Deity speaking through the Son of God, not in parts of speech as in a sentence composed of words, but in the human life of a Divine Person. Our Lord said “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”

Paul says, “Whereas in times past God spoke to Israel using the prophets as mouthpieces, He has now spoken in the Person of His Son,” Heb 1:1-2.

Our Lord, therefore, is the Word of God. He that He is “Deity told out.”

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Who is Christ?

Christ is the English spelling of the Greek word CHRISTOS, which in turn is the translation of a Hebrew word meaning MESSIAH. The word “Christ” means “the Anointed One.”

The word “Jesus” is the English spelling of the Greek IESOUS, which in turn is the Greek spelling of the Hebrew word JEHOSHUA, which means ”JEHOVAH saves.”

We have therefore in these two names, the Messianic office of our Lord, His Deity, and His substitutionary atonement.

Did you know that? Be honest!

“Holding Forth the Word of Life”

The words “holding forth” are the translation of a Greek word used in secular documents “of offering wine to a guest.” It means “to hold forth so as to offer.”

This should ever be the attitude of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ – the offering of salvation to a lost and dying world.

The word “rejoice” is not from the usual Greek word translated “rejoice,” but from a word that means to “boast” or “to glory.”
The word “that” has the idea of “because” and the day of Christ refers to the Rapture of the Church.
The word “labour” means to labor to the point of exhaustion.

If the Philippians would continue to hold forth the Word of life, Paul would have ground for glorying when the Lord Jesus Christ comes for His saints. For he would not have run his Christian race in vain. Nor would he have bestowed exhausting labor on the Philippians in vain. For the results of his efforts in Philippi would be apparent in the soul-winning activities of the saints there.

“Forgetting” “Reaching Forth” “The High Calling” – Philippians 3:13

“This one thing I do.” “This I do” are in italics they are not here. Literally, “But one thing” sums up the Christian conduct and purpose.

”Those things which are behind” – the things he depended on to find favor with God, Phil 3:5, 6.
”Forgetting” is a stronger word in the Greek – “completely forgetting.” Paul uses an illustration of a Greek runner completely forgetting his opponents whom he is leading in the race, not looking back, so that his speed is not slackened should he think of those behind him.

”Reaching forth” are words from another Greek athletic term which describes the runner whose “eye outstrips and onward the hand, and the hand, the foot.” Literally, “To stretch forth after.”

”Press” is literally, “pursue.” “Mark” refers to a target for shooting. Here are moral and spiritual targets.

”Forward” is from the preposition meaning “down,” and has the idea of “bearing down upon” in the direction of the goal.

”The high calling” – the idea here is a calling which is from Heaven and to Heaven. A call from Heaven to Heaven to which the apostle must ever give heed.

To run the race and to finish the course.

Philippians 1:13, “Palace”

The word “palace” refers in the Greek to the praetorian guard, composed of the soldiers of the imperial regiments whose barracks were in Rome. Paul had been living in his own rented quarters near these barracks guarded by soldiers 24 hours a day and he lived for two years with a roman soldier chained to his wrist.

As different soldiers would take their turn guarding Paul, they would hear the conversations he had with his visitors – conversations full of the Gospel and of the Saviour of sinners. They would hear the apostle pray and would listen as he dictated the epistles that he wrote. Thus, the Gospel went through the barracks of the roman soldiers – a place where it would not have gone if Paul had not been a prisoner there.

”The furtherance of the Gospel.”


Phil 1:27, “Our conversation is in Heaven.”

This word is found in an early manuscript in this sentence. “I live the life of a member of a citizen body.” That is, the writer was fulfilling the duties expected of a citizen of a commonwealth.

Our English word “politics” is a transliteration of this Greek word. Paul exhorts them, “Only be constantly performing your duties as citizens, worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

In Phil 3:20 we have the same noun, “Our citizenship is in Heaven.” Philippi was a Greek city far from Rome. But in the Roman Empire, and a colony of Rome in a sense that its citizens possessed roman citizenship, the inhabitants of Philippi recognized the emperor of Rome as sovereign and were obligated to conduct themselves as roman citizens, just as if they were residents of Rome.

Paul was teaching the Philippians that just as they constituted a colony of Rome so far as their earthly connections were concerned, so also they were a colony of Heaven so far as their heavenly relationships were concerned.

Thursday, January 11, 2001

“Pray Without Ceasing”

One of the beautiful things about the original language of Scripture is that in the Greek language you can say more in one word through the grammatical rules that pertain to it, than the English language can in 12 words.

In the imperative mode, the Greek tenses are very definite in their distinction. We have the imperative mood in the exhortation in Matt 7:7-8 as well as the indicative mood. Both are used in the present tense, the former always speaking of continuous action, the latter usually as the context allows it.

We have the word “knock” in verse 7. There are two words for “knock” in the Greek, one that refers to a ceremonious pounding, the other to a polite knocking. The latter is used here.

Thus we have the translation, “Keep on asking and it shall be given unto you, keep on seeking and ye shall find, keep on reverently knocking and it shall be opened unto you.” ”For everyone who keeps on asking, keeps on receiving, and he that keeps on seeking , keeps on finding, and to him that keeps on reverently knocking, it shall be opened.”

The Road to Heaven!

Rom 4:23, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The Greek word translated “sin” is HARMARTIA, and it is word which among the pagan Greeks meant, “to be without a share in,” thus to “miss the mark,” “to fail in doing,” The Greek athletes aiming at a target would sometimes miss the mark. Thus the human race has missed the mark, namely, a life lived to the glory of the Lord.

Our Lord in John 14:6 says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The word “way” is from a Greek word which has two uses, a literal and a metaphorical. It was used to speak of a road and also to refer to a method or manner of accomplishing something. These uses are closely intertwined and cannot be disassociated. The road leading to a certain place is the method of getting there.

Our Lord is the literal Road that a sinner must take if he is to reach Heaven. And Jesus Christ thus becomes the method by which he is saved.

Missing the glory of God is evidence of the fact that the sinner has not gone in the right direction. And that shows that he has not been on the right road. He has missed the road. To reach Heaven, the sinner must put himself on the Road to Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ is that Road.


1 Thess 4:15, “Prevent them that sleep.” The word “prevent” today means “to so order or control circumstances that a certain proposed act will not take place.” But when the Authorized Version was translated in A.D. 1611, it meant what the Greek word from which it is translated means.

The word means “to precede, to get the start of.” The teaching is that the saints who are alive when the Lord comes, will not precede the saints who have died previous to the Rapture in receiving their glorified bodies. For the dead in Christ shall take the precedence being glorified first.

”The dead in Christ shall rise first.”


1 Thes 2:7, the word “letteth” today means to “allow,” but when the Authorized Version was made, it meant what the Greek word from which it is translated means, namely, “to hold down,” thus to “restrain.”

It is spoken of the Holy Spirit who through the Church is restraining evil on Earth. The words “taken home” are from a word which literally means “to become.” The Holy Spirit will restrain evil until He “becomes out of the midst,” that is, to go out from the midst of humanity.

When he goes back to Heaven, the saints will go with Him. For He has taken up His permanent abode in them.

“Another Comforter,” John 14:16, 17

The word “another” is significant. There are two words in the Greek which mean “another.” One refers to “another of a different kind.” And the other meaning “another of the same kind.”

Jesus Christ uses the latter word. The Holy Spirit is a Helper of the same kind as the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person just like the Lord Jesus Christ and has the same essence and attributes and qualities.

”Another Comforter of the same kind.”


Our Lord was about to return to Heaven. The disciples were troubled because the One who had been their Guardian, Helper, Adviser, strength Giver, was now leaving them. They thought that Jesus Christ would leave them alone. They are not the only ones who think that. But He told them that “another Comforter” would come to their aid, even God the Holy Spirit, John 14:16, 17.

The word “Comforter” is from a Greek word which means literally, ”to call alongside.” It was used in the first century of one called in to support another, or to give aid. It was a technical term to describe a lawyer in the Greek law courts. One who was called in to aid the accused.

The word means “one called in to help another.” It comes from a Latin word that means “one who comes with strength,” to comfort in the sense of consoling one, which is just one of the many ministries of the Holy Spirit to the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

His many-sided work can be summed up in one phrase, “One called in to stand by and give aid.” The idea to “stand by” comes from the preposition which is part of the Greek word PARAKLETES. PARA means to stand by.

The Holy Spirit as Another Comforter of the Same Kind

He comes to help the saint when the saint expresses a desire for that help and trusts Him to render that help. Our Lord says, John 7:37-38, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his inmost being shall flow rivers of living water.” John says that the Living Water refers to God the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord sent the Holy Spirit to come to our aid. Now He lays down the necessary procedure for the believer to follow in order to avail himself of that aid. The Christian life is not a life of self-effort, but of dependence upon the Holy Spirit to put sin out of the life and to produce His fruits in us. He does that as we desire Him to do that and trust Him to do that.

The Holy Spirit is constantly working in and for the believer who is filled with the Spirit. Only in that way can He give us aid. The Holy Spirit is God’s provision for living a life pleasing Him.

Eph 5:18, “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.”

Defending the Faith!

1 Pet 3:15 – it is every one’s obligation in days of apostasy, every believer needs Divine protection against false teaching. The best protecting is found in obeying Peter’s words, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.”

The word “sanctify” is from a Greek word whose root meaning is “to set apart,” HAGIAZO. The Greeks sanctified their temples and their gods in the sense that they set them apart for religious services, thus declaring them non-secular, holy. Then they set themselves apart as worshippers of these gods and as those who attended the temple worship. Thus they acquired the character of the deities worshipped.

The use of the word holds good in the Christian way of life. We who are saved by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, are also indwelt by Him. We are to set Him apart in our hearts as the alone Object of our worship. He is to occupy the throne of our lives. We set ourselves apart to His worship and obedience. Thus we acquire a character like His. And this results in a holy, separated Christ-like, Spirit-filled life.

This is the best protection of the saints against becoming entangled in false teaching. ”Be ye holy for I am holy, saith the Lord.”

“Give an Answer”

As living close to the Lord Jesus Christ, we must “always be ready to give an answer to every man that asks us a reason for the hope that is in us, Peter states. The words “Give an answer” are from a Greek word which means literally, “to talk oneself off from a charge preferred against one.” It was a technical word in the Greek law courts used to designate the work of a lawyer, one who presented a verbal defense for his client, proving that the charge preferred against his client was not true.

The Bible, even in our country today, is being charged with being a man-made book, full of inaccuracies and a mass of myths and fairy tales. Christians are exhorted to present a verbal defense for the Bible, proving that this charge is not true.
”We are to contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”

1 Peter 1:14, “Stir Up”

“Stir up” is the Greek word DIEGEIRO, “to wake up,” “to awaken,” “to arouse.” Metaphorically, “to arouse the mind,” “stir up,” “render active.” The prefixed preposition adds the idea of doing a thorough piece of work in arousing their minds. “Keep on rousing you up.”

Peter purposed to do this by reminding them of the things which they had been taught. The phrase is instrumental of means. He would arouse their minds to action by reminding them of the Truth they had learned from the Word of God.

The pastor should be an intense student of the Word, bringing to his hearers fresh, new Truth with the dew of Heaven upon it. But there is a place for the repetition of the old Truths that the saints know well. Much of it has not yet been put into practice.

And the fact that it is repeated, gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to make it experimental in the life of the believer.

Repetition is theological glue.

2 Peter 1:7, “Add to Your Faith”

The verb rendered “add” is EPICHOREGEO, which is derived from the word ”chorus,” a chorus such as was employed in the representation of Greek tragedies. The verb originally meant “to bear the expense of a chorus,” which was done by a person selected by the state, who was obliged “to defray all the expenses of training and maintenance.”

It was a duty that prompted to lavishness in execution. Hence CHOREGEO came to mean “supplying costs for any purpose.” A public duty or a religious service, with a tending, as here, towards the meaning, “providing more than is barely demanded.”

Thus, the word means “to supply in copious measure, to provide beyond the need, to supply more than generously.” Saints are to provide or to supply in their faith, virtue. To develop one virtue in the exercise of another. Each new Grace springing out of, attempting, and perfecting the other.

2 Peter 1:16, “Coming”

The word “coming” is PAROUSIA. It is made up of PARA, which means alongside,” and OUSIA, which means “to be.” Thus “to be alongside,” thus “personal presence.”

This word occurs frequently in the Papyria as a kind of “terminus” “technicus” with reference to a visit from a king or some other official. The word came into use in this application of the Second Advent of Christ, in apostolic times, as faithfully representing the meaning of Jesus Christ Himself. The usual classical sense of the word is “actual presence” and a near “coming.”

The word “power” is DUNAMIS, inherent power, power residing in a person or a thing by virtue of its nature, power which a person exerts. At the Second Advent of Christ, He will be coming in all power.

Friday, January 12, 2001

Two Kinds of Power

There are two Greek words translated by the word “power.” One is in John 1:12 and the other in Romans 1:16.

John 1:12, “To as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.” The word “power” here is from a Greek word which was used in the first century to refer to a “legal right.” That is, a person was given the legal right to do or be something, EXOUSIA. A sinner who appropriates Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour is given the legal right to become a child of God! He becomes a child of God through regeneration. But his legal right to regeneration is procured by his act of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.

The other word for “power” is in Rom 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” The word in the Greek means “power” in the sense of that which overcomes resistance. Our English word “dynamite” comes from this Greek word, DUNAMIS.

The Gospel is God’s spiritual dynamite which breaks the granite-like heart of the sinner into rock dust, pulverizing so that it becomes rich soil in which the seed of the Word finds roots and grows.

The Gospel is dynamite it is the most powerful thing in the world!!!!

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry in Prayer!

The infirmities of Rom 8:26-27 have to do with certain weaknesses in our prayer life. The Holy Spirit, Paul says, helps them. The Greek word translated “helpeth” literally means “to lend a hand together with and at the same time with one.”

Martha used the same word when appealing to our Lord to bid Mary to help her with the preparation of the meal. Luke 10:40. The Holy Spirit lends a hand together with us as we are praying.

It is not that He helps us bear our weaknesses, but He helps our weaknesses. The weaknesses spoken of here are two – what we should pray for, the matter of prayer, and how we should pray, the form and manner of our prayer.

The word “what” has an article before it in the Greek. It is literally “we do not know the what to pray for.” That is, we do not know the particular definite thing to pray for.

To be specific in our prayers involves a knowledge of God’s will in particular instances, and of that we are naturally ignorant and it is right here that the Holy Spirit comes to our aid.

Romans 8:26-27, “The Holy Spirit Maketh Intercession”

“The Spirit, Himself,” not “itself” should be the translation here. The word “Spirit” in the Greek language is in the neuter gender and consequently its pronoun is neuter. But the Holy Spirit is a Person and should not be referred to as “it.”

He makes intercession.” This word comes from a Greek word that is most picturesque. It is used of one who happens upon one who is in trouble and pleads in that one’s behalf.

The Holy Spirit of God dwelling in us, knowing our wants better than we do. “Himself pleads in our prayers,” raising us to a higher and holier desires than we can express in words which can only find “utterance in sighings and aspirations.” God the Father, who searches the hearts of His saints for their prayers, uttered and unexpressed, interprets those inarticulate sighings of the Spirit in us by reason of the fact that the Spirit pleads for us and in us and through us according to the will of God.

One Devil and His Demons

There are two different Greek words translated by the one English word, “devil” in the Authorized Version, which fact leads to some confusion in our thinking. One word is DIABOLOS, which in its literal meaning refers to one who falsely accuses another or slanders him. The word comes from another word which literally means “to throw through,” thus it means to “riddle one with accusation.”

This title is coupled with the word “Satan” in Rev 20:2. The latter being a transliteration of a Hebrew word which means “adversary.” These two names are used to refer to the angel Lucifer, who as regent of God, fell from his high position through sin and today is the god of this world.

The other word is DAIMONION – quite a different word. It was used in pagan Greek writings to refer to an inferior or race of divine beings lower than the Greek gods, but more powerful than men. The Bible uses the term to refer to the evil spirits who are servants of the devil. And they are the “principalities and powers” of Eph 6:12. The kingdoms of the devil are located in the atmosphere surrounding this Earth.

There is only one devil and many demons and we must be careful to distinguish between them. The Authorized Version says “devils,” plural, which is wrong. Only one devil but many demons. Make the correction. The devil can only be in one place at one time... Like Washington D.C.

The Devil and Demons

Here is the rule to follow in order to correctly interpret the passages in which these two Greek words are found, DIABOLOS and DIAMONION. First, where the word is found in the plural as “devils” is always translated by the word “demons,” for the word DIAMONION is in the Greek.

Second, where you have the word “devil” in a passage that speaks of personal possession with a devil, as for instance Matt 9:32, or a person having a devil as in Luke 7:33, is always translated by the word “demon.”

Third, where the king of the demons is in view, that awful personality known as Satan, as in Luke 4:2, 1 Pet 5:8, Rev 20:2, translated by the word “devil.” In John 6:70, Judas is called a devil by our Lord, the word there being DIABOLOS.

Don’t Forget to Wash

There are two Greek words for “wash” found in John 13:5-10. The one, which means to “wash part of the body,” appears in verses 5, 6 and 9. In verse 10, the second time the word is used.

The other word meaning “to perform a complete ablution” is used in verse 10 in the word “washed.” These two words in their usage here point to two Truths of the standing of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and his experience.

To wash part of the body is talking about fellowship in time. To perform a complete ablution, is salvation once and for all.

Union with Jesus Christ is so strong, that nothing can break it. John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Communion with Jesus Christ is so fragile that the slightest sin can break it. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 12:9, “Let Love be Without Dissimulation”

The word “dissimulation” is from a Greek word which is made up of three parts – a verb which means “to judge,” a preposition which means “under,” and the Greek letter “alpha,” which when prefixed to a word, gives it its meaning directly opposite to that which it had before.

The preposition and verb together mean literally “to judge under” – under a mask or a cloak, thus appearing to be what it is not. The word comes over into our language in the word “hypocrite” – one who plays the part of a character which he is not, and does it to
deceive. The word means “hypocrisy.” The alpha prefix gives us the translation “without hypocrisy.”

“Let love be without hypocrisy.” Do not try to counterfeit this love by seeming to love a Christian brother and yet not be willing to put that love into action. The same word is used in 2 Cor 6:6 and 1 Pet 1:22 where it is translated “unfeigned.”

The world wears a mask. The love that it shows on the face is only external. If a saint does not have a love that is unfeigned, the trouble is with his adjustment to the Holy Spirit who is the One to provide the saint with that love.

Rom 5:5, “The love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by means of God the Holy Spirit.” “The fruit of the Spirit, is love …” Gal 5:22.

Acts 9:30, “And Straightway He Preached Christ in the Synagogue, That He is the Son of God.”

Paul’s synagogue audience was amazed at Paul’s theology. But surely a Jewish audience would find nothing surprising in the fact that Christ is the Son of God. For that was clearly taught in the Old Testament and believed by an orthodox Jew.

What is more, they wanted to kill Paul we read, for having made that statement. The word “Christ” is a transliteration of a Greek word which means “anointed.” By transliteration we mean the act of bringing a word from one language to another in its spelling. Whereas by translation we refer to the meaning of the word being taken over into the second language.

The Greek word “anointed” is a translation from a Hebrew word which means “The Anointed” and which latter is brought over into English by transliteration in the word “Messiah.” The Messiah of Israel is the Anointed One of God.

Thus, when the name Christ is found in connection with Israel either in the Old or the New Testament, it refers to Israel’s Messiah. Jesus Christ is Israel’s Messiah.

John 13

To understand the conversation between our Lord and Peter and the spiritual lesson in it, we must understand something of the habits of the citizens of that time. Rome established baths in the cities of the empire. A roman would bathe completely at the public bath, and upon reaching home, would need to wash his feet. For although cleansed at the time, they contracted defilement by reason of the insufficient covering which his sandals afforded.

Peter refuses to allow the Lord to wash his feet, but upon being told that if he does not permit the Lord to do that for him, he will have no fellowship with the Lord. And Peter asks that the Lord wash his hands and his feet. Our Lord answers, “He that is bathed all over stays bathed and needs not except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”

The spiritual lesson we learn from this is this – every believer has been cleansed completely from his sins in the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross. This is his standing before God, and that position is permanent. If sin comes into the life, it does not affect that standing of salvation. So, if a believer sins, he does not need to go back to the Cross to be saved all over again. Feet stand for a person’s walk, speaking about fellowship with the Lord.

Once washed – our salvation.
Many washings– fellowship in time.

You don’t have to go back to the roman public bath house again. Only wash your feet –for service not for salvation.

“A Castaway”

Paul, in a figurative sense, beats his body black and blue and brings it into bondage to himself, lest after having preached to others, he himself shall be castaway, 1 Cor 9:27. Some interpreting this that Paul feared if he did not properly fulfill his apostolic office, he would be cast away by God into an eternity of suffering in the Lake of Fire. But there are three things that forbid this meaning.

First, the context is not one of salvation, but of service and rewards. Salvation is a free gift with no strings tied to it. It was made possible by the infinite price that was paid at the Cross. Rewards are earned by service.

Secondly, the words of Paul’s Saviour are pertinent here. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no way cast out,” John 6:37. The word “castaway” in our Corinthian passage is an entirely different word from the two Greek words translated “cast out,” the latter being literally “cast out into the outside.” The words “in no wise” are from a double negative in the Greek which does not make a positive assertion, but means a most emphatic “not.”

Thirdly, the word “castaway” is from a word compounded of two parts of speech, a word meaning to “put one’s approval upon after the one has tested something.” The Greek letter alpha, which when prefixed to a word, makes the word mean the opposite to that which it originally meant. The word means “disapproved after having failed to meet the requirements,” and Paul was speaking of his service.

Approved not for salvation but for service.

Castaway – Part Two

Before Paul could be disapproved as to his standing in Christ, as to his salvation, his Lord would have to be disapproved. But he is God Himself, in His holy character unchangeable.

Paul was running a race to win a crown. His service must be acceptable. Greek runners would compete for a prize, a crown of oak leaves. If they broke training, they would be disqualified, forbidden to race. The Greek word translated “castaway” is this word “disqualified,” disapproved after having failed to meet the requirements. Paul served his Lord with an intense earnestness lest he be disqualified, forbidden to exercise his ministry.

Let us who are serving the Lord do our best to please Him, lest we be set aside and someone else put in our place.

Saturday, January 13, 2001

John 4:24, “God is Spirit” – Not “A Spirit”

The indefinite article appears in the Authorized Version, but “a” should not be there. There is no indefinite article in the Greek language. The English indefinite article should only be included in the translation when the original in its context demands it.

”A Spirit” is a created intelligence. But God is not created. The absence of the definite article in the Greek emphasizes character or quality. The translation should read, ‘God in His essence is Spirit.” That is, He is a personality without a body.

Human beings have spirits – Heb 12:23, 1 Thes 5:23
Angels are spirits – Heb 1:7

“But God is Spirit.”


One of our Lord’s favorite methods of teaching was that of using parables, Matt 13:3. The English word “parable” is from a Greek word which means “to throw alongside,” PARABOLE – transliteration.

A parable is an illustration thrown alongside of a Truth in order to explain it. A pound of illustration is worth a ton of explanation. It was a gracious act of mercy to those whose souls were darkened by sin, to have the Truth brought to them so simply.

”The common people heard Him gladly.”

In 2 Timothy 4 the Lord Jesus Christ is Described as:

“One who shall judge the quick and the dead.” “The word “shall” is literally, “to be about,” to do something. The word is used of someone who is on the point of doing something. In Scripture, of those things which will come to pass by fixed necessity or Divine appointment. Paul was living in the expectation of the imminent return of the Lord.

“Judge” is from a construction which speaks of action going on. Thus, the various judgments are in the apostle’s mind. The judgments of the Church, of the nations, and that of the Great White Throne. A series of judgments – not one judgment.

The word “quick” has changed its meaning in the years since the Authorized Version was translated. Today it means “fast, swift,” and then it meant “alive.”

2 Timothy 4:7, Paul’s Summary of His Life

Paul casts a swift glance over his past life, and sums it up in three sentences using the figure of a Greek wrestler, a Greek runner, and a roman soldier.

”I have fought the good fight.” The definite article appears before the word “fight” and it is a translation of a word used in Greek athletics of a contest in the Greek stadium where the games were held.

The word “good” refers to external goodness as seen by the eye. It is not a goodness that is moral but aesthetic, a beauty of action that would characterize either the Greek wrestler’s efforts or the Christian’s warfare against evil.

The words “have fought” are in the perfect tense, speaking of an action completed in the past with present results. Paul fought his fight with evil to a finish and was resting in the completed victory. What a happy ending to a strenuous, active, heroic life.

He says in his colorful Greek, “The beautiful contest I, like a wrestler, have fought to the finish and at present am resting in a complete victory.”

2 Timothy 4:7, Paul Summing Up His Life – as a Greek Runner

“I have finished my course.” The Greek word translated “course” refers to a race course, the cinder path of the present day college athletic field.

The words “have finished” are also in the perfect tense. Like a Greek runner, he has crossed the finishing line and is now resting at the goal.

His life’s work is over.

2 Timothy 4:7, Paul Sums Up His Life Like a Roman Soldier

“I have kept the faith.” ”The faith” here is the deposit of Truth with which God has entrusted Paul.

The word “kept” means “to keep by guarding” and again the apostle uses the perfect tense. His work of safe-guarding the Truth is now at an end. He has defended it against the attacks of the gnostics the Judaizers and the philosophers of Athens. He has laid it down now at the feet of Timothy.

He, who like a soldier has grown old in the service of his country, is awaiting his honorable discharge. And so he writes to Timothy, ”The desperate, straining, agonizing, contest marked by its beauty of technique, I, like a wrestler have fought to a finish, and at present am resting in the victory. My race, I, like a runner have finished, and at present am resting at the goal. The faith committed to my care, I, like a soldier, have kept safely through everlasting vigilance.”

All this would surge through Timothy’s mind as he read Paul’s Greek. Much of this is lost to the English reader. This is untranslatable richness of the Greek New Testament.

2 Timothy 4:8 – Paul’s Use of Illustrations From Greek Athletics is Not Finished

He likens himself to a Greek athlete, who having won his race, is looking up at the judge’s stand and awaiting his laurel wreath of victory. He says, “Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”

”Henceforth” is from a word that means literally, “what remains.” “Crown” is from the Greek word referring to the victor’s crown – a garland of oak leaves or ivy given to the winner in the Greek games.

The victor’s crown of righteousness that is the crown that belongs to or is the due reward of righteousness. The righteous Judge is the just Judge, the umpire who makes no mistakes and who always plays fair.

The words “righteousness” and “just” are the two translations of the Greek word used here.

2 Timothy 4:9, “Do Thy Diligence to Come Shortly Unto Me”

After his swift glance down the years of his strenuous life, Paul turns to his present circumstances. He is a prisoner in a cold roman dungeon, awaiting his second trial before Nero. And death. Great soul that he was, he needed and craved some human fellowship and compassion in his hour of trial.

How this reminds us of “the Man of sorrows” who needed the fellowship and compassion of the inner circle – Peter, James, and John – in His hour of trial in Gethsemane. How real a man He was, yet all the time very God.

Paul writes to Timothy “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.” The words “Do thy diligence” in the Greek have the idea of “making haste, exerting effort” and can be translated “Do your best.”

Timothy was urged to do his best to come to Paul quickly. Timothy was at Ephesus bearing a heavy burden of responsibility.

“Demas Has Forsaken Me,” 2 Timothy 4:10-12

Paul’s associates who were carrying on the work in Rome had left. He writes “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” Sounds like 21st century Christianity.

The Greek word “forsaken” means to “abandon, to desert, to leave in a strait, leave helpless, leave in the lurch, to let one down.” This tells us that Demas had not only left Paul so far as fellowship was concerned, but he had left him in the lurch, also, so far as the work of the Gospel was concerned.

He had been one of Paul’s dependable and trusted helpers. And Paul said that he let him down. This latter expression is so often heard today. But it was in common use in Paul’s day. Our Lord used it while He was on the Cross Matt 27:46. And Paul used it in Heb 13:5.

The Greek word is, however, stronger than the English words. It is made up of three words: “to leave,” “down,” and “in” – that is to forsake one who is in a set of circumstances that are against him.

It was a cruel blow to Paul. Right to the last his intense nature impelled him to do what he could in the service of the Lord.

A Promise a Day Keeps Anxiety Away!

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause, which doeth great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number,” Job 5:8-9.

With such an all-powerful Creator, whose wonders are displayed in the universe along with our loving heavenly Father, we should be content to leave our cares and our cause to Him. The marvels in His created world will be matched by His gracious
provision of His kindly providences for those who rest in His will.

Consider the little bee that organizes a city, that builds 10,000 cells for honey, 12,000 cells for larvae, and finally a very special cell for the mother queen. A little bee that observes the increasing heat and when the wax may melt and the honey be lost, organizes the swarm into squads. It puts sentinels at the entrance, glues the feet down and then with flying wings, creates a system of ventilation to cool the honey that makes an electric fan seem tawdry. A little honey bee that will include 20 square miles in the field over whose flowers it has oversight.

If a tiny brain in a bee performs such wonders, who are we that we should question the guidance of the Lord? Lift up your eyes and behold the Hand that supports the stars without pillars, the Lord who guides the planets without collision.

”He it is who cares for you.”

A Promise For the Day to Keep Anxiety Away!

“In nothing be anxious ... let your requests be made known unto God,” Phil 4:6. In this blessed invitation to approach the Mercy Seat with all our requests, there is a latent promise of relief. Paul actually gives us a three-fold cord, “A trinity of Truth in unity.”

  1. “We should be careful for nothing.”
    While God expects us to use common sense in the ordering of our lives and to exercise our minds calmly and judiciously whether in our temporary or spiritual affairs, whatever goes beyond our careful planning and prudence in sin.
    It is a sign of distrust when we allow ourselves to be shaken with vague uncertainties and ceaseless alarms. For today and tomorrow we must trust the Lord.
  2. “We should be prayerful for everything.”
    Prayer safeguards us against and counteracts the manifold dangers surrounding us. “Prayer” corrects the feverish restlessness of our souls, bring me into God’s atmosphere of calm.
    Prayer enables me to continue steadfast in well-doing, giving me back old energy. Prayer endues me with marvelous influence over others, opening not only the door of the celestial city, but the door of human souls and the King comes in.
  3. “We should be thankful for anything.”
    How lacking in gratitude we are. Note the scope of such thankfulness – “anything.” Not only thankful for the pleasant things of life, but the unpleasant experiences as well. For trials as well as triumphs, and for losses as well as gains.
    The Lord could take the bitter cup and give thanks. While it may be hard to thank the Lord for sorrow, we can bless Him because He knows what is best for us. And for the fact that He cannot make any mistake in what He might permit a child of His to bear.

Sunday, January 14, 2001

The Purpose of the Lord’s Healing …

Was of a two-fold character:

Godward: It proved His Deity, Luke 5:24. Fulfilled prophecy, Matt 8:16-17. Satisfied His compassion, Matt 14:14. And obtained the glory of His Father, John 9:2-3.

Manward: His miracles of healing were designed to save life, to set the infirm free, to empower and ennoble life; to add to life qualitatively, to reorganize life creatively, to reveal God’s love in practical ways.

Christ’s Healing Ministry Was of a Four-Fold Nature

  1. It was miraculous intervention – Luke 4:39-40, 6:17-22.
  2. It was gradual, “He began to amend,” – John 4:52.
  3. It was instantaneous, “immediately” – Luke 5:25.
  4. It was complete, “made whole from that hour,” Matt 15:22-28.

Healing Today!

The question is asked, “Does God heal today?” Certainly He can and does, but not always. No gift of healing was used to restore Epaphroditus, Timothy, Trophimus, and Gaius. Phil 2:26-27, 1 Tim 5:23, 2 Tim 4:20, 3 John 2.

God is sovereign in His bestowing of healing and He can heal in response to prayer and faith, through skillful physicians and medicine or independent of means.

If, as a Christian you are sick or diseased, realize that God is your Father and your Friend and that you can leave the matter of your healing entirely in His hands.

In sickness or distress to Thee
We raise our feeble prayer.
We know Thou hearest us, dear Lord,
And all our sorrows share.

We know not what is best for us
We would that Thou shouldst choose.
Sorrow or joy, or grief or pain,
Our care on Thee we lose.

1 Peter 1:19, “We Have a More Sure Word of Prophecy”

This can be understood in either one or two ways:

”We have a better certified than before as to the prophetic Word by reason of this Voice,” or
”We have the Word of prophecy as a surer confirmation of God’s Truth than what we saw ourselves.”

The Word of God is more sure, more reliable than seeing the Lord transfigured before our eyes or hearing the Voice of God from Heaven. Peter knew a sounder basis for faith than that of signs and wonders. He had seen our Lord Jesus Christ receive honor and glory from God the Father in the Holy Mount. He had been dazzled and carried out of himself by visions and voices from Heaven.

But, nevertheless even when his memory and his soul is throbbing with recollections of that sublime scene, he says, “We have something surer still in the written Word.”

The Word of God is more reliable than anything you see or hear.

1 Peter 1:19, “More Sure Word”

“More sure” is the comparative of BEBAIOS, which means “stable, firm, fast.” Metaphorically “sure, reliable, trusty.” The idea here is of something that is firm, stable, something that can be relied upon or trusted in. The Word of God.

The idea in the Greek text is “We have the Word as a surer Foundation” than even signs and wonders which we have seen.

”As a light” – LUCHNOS – literally, “a lamp.”

”In a dark place,” Dark is AUCHMEROS – literally, a dry place. It is a subtle association of the idea of darkness with squalor, dryness, and general neglect – dry, parched, squalor, rough, murky.

To a lamp is likened the Old Testament prophecies inasmuch as they afforded at least some knowledge relative to the glorious return of Jesus Christ from Heaven down even to the time when the Holy Spirit, that same Light, like the day and the “Day Star” shone upon the souls of men. The Light by which the prophecies themselves had been enlightened and which was necessary to the full perception of the true meaning of their prophecies.

“Behold I Am With Thee, and Will Keep Thee in All Places Whither Thou Goest,” Genesis 28:15

Don’t leave home without Him!

What a promise this is to have before us when we set out on a vacation! We remember the little boy who prayed as the family was about to leave for a holiday. “Well goodbye God, we're off for our holidays.”

Too often there are those who profess His Name but leave Him at home and who, on vacation, engage in things and go to certain places they would not think of patronizing at home. As we prepare to leave for Hawaii, whether we journey near or far, we need “journeying-mercies” and the Lord’s presence and preservation. We cannot have these unless there is continual recognition of the fact that we are His.

Whenever we go abroad from our accustomed abode, let us take with us our heavenly “Escort” and the days of change and pleasure will be crowned with His Grace. If we live in the “Spirit of the traveler’s Psalm,” Psalm 91, then our “holidays” will be “holy days.”

“Wives ... Husbands as it is Fit in the Lord,” Colossians 3:18

The fitness Paul writes about is not according to the accepted and accustomed standards of society, but according to Divine norms and standards. “As it is fit in the Lord.”

A thorough Christian home will not be characterized by unwarranted demands – forceful and unloving husbands and bitter and inconsiderate wives –Who act against a “God-enlightened conscience,” are certainly “not in the Lord.”

How many loving couples started out with high and happy hopes. But who met with sad disappointments at the bend of the road where unreasonable demands were made. These lines being read by a newly wedded couple starting out in life with high hopes should stand out as their motto, “As is fit in the Lord.” If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.

Such an arrestive motto will safeguard as well as sweeten your whole marital relationship, ”ss you turn the motto into a motive for living.”

“Married Conversation”

We take great pains in seeing that our house is well furnished. But we are not as careful and deliberate about “household speech” as we are about the choice of carpets and furniture.

Tongues are not loving, tender, and cheerful in their speech as they should be. There must be a strong endeavor to keep out all incessant petty strife if the home is to become the brightest and the sweetest spot on the Earth to those who dwell within its walls.

Conversation should always be elevating, enlightening, and enjoyable and not as unprofitable as the talk Job referred to. Job 24:25, “Make my speech nothing worth.”

Married couples should apply these verses in marriage. “Excellent speech becometh not a fool,” Prov 17:7. ”Let your speak be always with Grace seasoned with salt,” Col 4:6.

Home should inspire every tongue to speak its most loving words. And yet in many families there is a great dearth of kind, affectionate speech. A stranger might mistake the home for a deaf and dumb institution, or a hotel where strangers were only together for a passing season.

Home conversation should be devoid of all sharp, angry, or unloving words. Speech must be governed.

As James reminds us when he speaks of having a bridle on our tongue so that no one will fly into a temper and utter bitter words at the smallest of all irritations.

P.S. Since sins of the tongue are top on the list of the worst sins, I wonder how many marriages have been destroyed by sins of the tongue!

God Spoke in Dreams and Trances!

“I had a dream.”

”For we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.”

”Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scynthian, bond nor free, but Christ is all, and in all.”

”For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.”

Gal 3:26, Gal 3:28, Col 3:11, Rom 10:12

Three-Fold Blessed Assurance!

  1. Assurance of the understanding in a well-grounded knowledge of Divine things founded on the Word of God.
    ”Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding,” Col 2:2.
  2. The assurance of faith does not relate to our personal interest in Christ but consists in a firm belief of the revelation that God has given us of Christ in His Word with an entire dependence upon Him.
    ”In full assurance of faith,” Heb 10:22.
  3. Assurance of hope in a fixed expectation that God will grant us the complete enjoyment of what He has promised.
    ”The full assurance of hope unto the end,” Heb 6:11.

The Harmony of Happiness! The Blesseds!

Have you ever cataloged the “blessed blesseds” of the Bible? What an imposing array they make, and how laden with heavenly promises they are. Take for example:

The blesseds found in the Psalms,
in the beatitudes of our Lord,
and in the Book of Revelation.

”Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord,” Psa 128:1, 34:8
”Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,” Psa 32:1

”Blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed,” John 20:29
”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth,” Matt 5:3-11
”Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it,” Luke 11:28

”Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear,” Rev 1:3
”Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord,” Rev 14:13

Blessed are they of the Easter faith
For theirs is the risen Lord.
For them He lives, and to them He gives
The fountain of life restored.

Monday, January 15, 2001


“Paul saw ... and took courage,” Acts 28:15. The sight of a friend’s face in a time of crisis puts a fresh heart into us. Paul was ever too thankful when reaching the market of Appius. He meet the believers who had come from Rome to greet him. After such a perilous sea voyage, and knowing what imprisonment faced him, Paul’s courage rose high the moment he met compassionate friends. Adversely, bearers of evil tidings may whither up any courage we have, Joshua 2:11.

Life at best is very brief, and the world is full of men and women who need encouragement. Do those who cross our pathway from day to day feel all the better for having met us? Is there something about our handshake, our contented look, and our compassionate words that lead them to thank the Lord for courage?

Isa 41:6, “They helped every one his neighbour and every one said to his brother be of good courage.”


“Be strong and of good courage and do it,” 1 Chr 28:20. Denied the privilege of building the temple, David handed over to Solomon, his son, the materials he had prepared in abundance for the house of the Lord God. In doing so, he urged Solomon to be strong and courageous in the accomplishment of the gigantic task.

”Dread not, nor be dismayed,” 1 Chr 22:13. Truly it required undaunted courage to continue through 20 years covered by the building of the temple and Solomon’s own house.

Has God assigned us some hard and long task? Are we a little overwhelmed about what He has asked us build out of materials He has, or will, supply?

Well, David’s promise to Solomon is good for us. And remember “The Lord God will not fail thee or forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work,” Joshua 1:6, 7, 9.


“When they saw the boldness of Peter ... they marveled,” Acts 4:13. No wonder the members of the Sanhedrin were amazed over Peter’s courageous defense of his Lord. Why, was not this the same man who, a few weeks previous, had cowered before the taunt of a servant girl and stoutly denied the Lord he was now defending?

Such a change from cowardice to courage filled the Jewish rulers with amazement. The secret of such a transformation is given in the words, “They had been with Jesus.” The Spirit of the Lord had possessed the servants.

Pentecost transferred the courage of Jesus Christ to His one-time faltering servant. And fearlessness in witnessing is not of the flesh. It is Heaven born.

Eph 6:19-20, “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.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

“No Discipline for the Present is Joyous, But Grievous, But it Beareth the Peaceful Fruit of Righteousness When Exercised Thereby.”

The result of chastening – the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Psalm 38:

  1. It makes one pray, verses 1, 16, 21, 22, “A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure.” “For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.” “Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my Salvation.”
  2. It awakens to the foolishness of sin, verses 3, 5, “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.” “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.”
  3. It makes one desire the Lord, verse 9, “Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my groaning is not hid from Thee.”
  4. It enables him to know his true friends, verses 12-14, “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.”
  5. It makes one compassionate and gracious to others, verses 12-14, “They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs.”
  6. It makes him confess, verses 6-7, 17-18, “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.” “For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.”
  7. It produces hope and faith, verse 15, “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.”
  8. It encourages a life of following that which is good, verse 20, “They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.”

When Adversity Comes Our Way We Are Apt to be Downcast

Our souls sink where we are sorely tried.

But even in a shipwreck with everything gone, Paul could urge both crew and passengers to cheer up. And such was no false encouragement. Paul believed God, hence his cheerful confidence that all would reach safety.

We face a hostile world now more than ever, but the Lord says, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

What a promise this is to hide in our hearts. And when Christ bids us cheer up, we dare not be cast down in His presence. To Him the world is a beaten foe. And we can share His victory over it. “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.”

Therefore, let us be of good cheer and sing heartily unto our conquering, soon-coming Lord.

The Promises for Cheerfulness Begets a “Cheerful Godliness”

And it makes us “cheerful travelers” on the road of life

The world around us will never be attracted to the Lord Jesus Christ by a “cheerless godliness.” How narrow, warped, and joyless the Christianity of some professed Christians seems to be. They appear to be destitute of the “joy of the Lord.” “The fruit of the Spirit is joy.”

And yet often believers’ very faces suggest that the Gospel is a “funeral, rather than a feast.” Consider this salvation promise – “Happy art Thou ... O people saved by the Lord,” Deut 33:29. There never was a time when the Lord was not happy.

”The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

Blessed Medicine

“Blessed” means happinesses. And because God is the “happy God,” or the “blessed One,” He does not want His children to be gloomy, despondent, cheerless.

Did Solomon affirm that? Was Solomon happy?

”A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” Prov 17:22
”A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance,” Prov 15:13
”Let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth,” Ecc 11:9
”Be of good cheer. Thy sins be forgiven thee,” Matt 9:2
”Be of good cheer. It is I, be not afraid,” Matt 14:27
”Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world,” John 16:32
”Be of good cheer. Thou must bear witness,” Acts 23:11
”I exhort you, be of good cheer,” Acts 27:22
”Be of good cheer, for I believe God,” Acts 27:25, 36
”God loveth a cheerful giver,” 2 Cor 9:7

”Rejoice, and again I say rejoice.”

The Greatest Attack on Marriage Today!

Just logically if you take the worst sins in the Bible and apply them to marriage you will see the problems that exist in marriage and the cause for so many divorces. It is not money, or position, or the type of house you own, or the car you drive, or your status in life, or that you are from Mars and Venice.

The seven worst sins in the Bible are mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue and one overt sin, murder. When it comes to mental attitude sins, if you are angry, full of hatred, envious, jealous, vindictive, implacable, revengeful, full of pride, well that in itself will destroy a marriage.

If you add to that sins of the tongue like gossiping, maligning, kissing and telling, putting down your wife or husband in public, verbal harassment, building your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness, you can see why there is no domestic tranquility.

Most marriages never consider mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue. James expresses that a tongue is like a fire that sets the whole world on fire. Murder is the only overt sin mentioned in the worst sins in the Bible and we see even in that area that husbands are killing their wives and wives are killing their husbands.

But it all starts with the mental attitude. The mental attitude is very important in marriages.

”As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he.”
“Guard your mind with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.”
”With the mind man believeth unto salvation.”

Your Choice of the Best of Companions!

Some of the most precious promises in the Bible are those declaring the Lord’s willingness to dwell within His people and to be with them throughout life’s pilgrimage. Surely this is a most privileged companionship. The loneliest saint is therefore not companionless.

How abundant are these promises of Divine presence! How they deepen within our souls gratitude and love to Him who became “Immanuel” – “God with us.”

”As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth forever,” Psa 125:2
”God is with thee withersoever thou goest,” Joshua 1:9
”Samuel grew and the Lord was with him,” 1 Sam 3:19
”God Himself is with us as our Captain,” 2 Chr 13:12
”As I was with Moses, I will be with thee,” Joshua 1:5
”With us is the Lord our God,” 2 Chr 32:8
”David waxed greater and greater for the Lord was with him,” 1 Chr 11:9
”I am with thee, I will hold thy hand,” isa 41:10, 13
”Lo I am with thee always,” Matt 28:20
”I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” Heb 13:5

And many, many more of this Divine Companion. Believers are never alone.

The Blessed Promises of Divine Companionship Are for Each Saint to Appropriate

In all of our journeys, we are assured of double favor of God’s presence and rest. No matter how our journeys separate us from home and loved ones, there is always One who accompanies us, making us the recipient of His fellowship and also of His care, provision, and strength.

While our travels may not provide us with much physical rest, the knowledge “that the Lord of hosts is with us,” Psa 46:7, lets us rest in the joy of all He is in Himself.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word
But as Thou dwellest with Thy disciples, Lord!
Familiar, condescending, patient, free
Come not to sojourn, but abide with Me.

“The Lord is at Hand” – A New Testament Expression for Omnipresence!

Jer 23:23, 24, “Am I a God at hand? saith the Lord.” The Truth Jeremiah is emphasizing in these verses is that of God’s omnipresence. There is no secret place we can hide from Him. Ever at hand, He sees and knows all.

When Paul said, “The Lord is at hand,” he meant what the prophet did, namely that the Lord is at hand, as close as that, and ready to undertake in all things. “Be not far from me, for trouble is near,” Psa 22:11.

”Though He be not far from every one of us,” Acts 17:27, Psa 139:7-10

God is not so far off as ever to be near
He is within. Our soul is the home He holds most dear
To think of Him as by our side is almost as untrue
As to remove His throne beyond those skies of blue.
So all the while I thought myself homeless, forlorn, and weary
Missing my joy, I walked on Earth, myself God’s sanctuary.

Faith Claiming and Resting in the Promises of God!

How many promises did you claim today? Yesterday? We have a life before us of faith in the promises of God. Today the riches of any nation consist in the credit that is given to notes, bonds, assignments. Likewise the riches of the Christian way of life are in the notes under God’s hand. A nation can default in its bonds. With God, however, it is impossible for any promise of His to fail.

The Bible presents a formidable array of passages proving that faith, which is the medium of a right relationship Godward, and it also is the condition on which depends the security and enjoyment of promised blessings.

“The promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe,” Gal 3:22.

”The promise ... through the righteousness of faith,” Rom 4:13

”Therefore, it is of faith ... to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed,” Rom 4:16

”Through faith and patience inherit the promises,” Heb 6:12

”Who through faith obtained the promises,” Heb 11:33

”Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering,” James 1:5

”We walk by faith and not by sight,” 2 Cor 5:7

Thursday, January 18, 2001

History is “His-Story”

God’s story of choice, love, patience, Grace, and blessing is loaded with promises. The leading points in Israel’s history are full of promises recorded in the following passages:

  1. As the seed of Abraham, Rom 4
  2. As the family under Jacob, Gen 49
  3. As the nation under Moses, Exodus 12-14
  4. As the kingdom under Saul, 1 Sam 10
  5. As captives
    Under Shalmaneser – 10 tribes – 2 Kings 17
    Under Nebechadnezzar – 2 tribes – 2 Kings 25
  6. As a restored remnant under Cyrus, Ezra 2
  7. As a nation dispersed under Titus, Luke 21:24
  8. As a nation regathered, Isa 11:12
  9. As a nation full of blessing, Ezekiel

”His ... Story”

Israel’s Failures and Backslidings – Divine Promises Concerning Her Have Never Been Abrogated

She was brought into being for the following manifold purposes:

  1. Witnessing to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry.
    ”Here, O Lord, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut 6:4-5
    ”Ye are My witnesses, that I, even I, am the Lord,” Isa 43:10-12
  2. Illustrating the blessedness of serving the True God.
    ”Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?” Deut 33:26-29
    ”What one nation in the Earth is like Thy people Israel?” 1 Chr 17:20-21
    ”Happy is that people that is in such a case, yea happy is that people, whose God is the Lord,” Psa 144:15
  3. Producing and preserving the Scriptures.
    ”Behold I have taught you statutes and judgments,” Deut 4:5-8
    “Unto them were committed the Oracles of God,” Rom 3:1-2
  4. Preparing the way for the Messiah.
    ”Out of thee shall come forth unto Me, that is to be a Ruler in Israel,” Micah 5:2, Matt 2:5-12

The same purpose is true for the body of Christ.

A Promise is God’s Bond and Intended to Set Our Minds at Rest

All promises, whether temporal or spiritual, are realized by faith. The promises of Grace and glory far outweigh those associated with material things for all who enquire after God.

”There is a promise of a new heart,” Ezek 36:26, 27
”There is of wisdom for all who will search for it,” Prov 2:4, 5
”There is a promise of rest for all who labor and are heavy laden,” Matt 11:28
”There is the promise of the increase of Grace for whose who persevere unto the end,” John 15:16

We have two notable instances of the lack of expectation:

There is Zacharias who refused to believe that his desire for a son and God’s promise of one was about to be granted to him, Luke 1:13, 18.
Then there were those who “gathered together praying” for Peter’s release, yet could not credit the fact that “he stood before the gate and continued knocking,” Acts 12:5, 12-16.

“Salvation is of the Jews,” John 4:22

When the Lord declared that “salvation was of the Jews,” He did not only infer that they produced Him as the Saviour of the world, but that they themselves were to act as the “salt of the Earth,” preserving it from moral putrefication. As the Jews were dispersed throughout the world, they became the media of Divine communication to the Gentiles and they played a great part in the distribution of the good news.

What needless controversy would have been saved if only God’s plan for Israel had been regarded as “inclusive and not exclusive,” that He chose one nation through whom He would bless all nations. ”This is Jerusalem. I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her,” Ezek 5:5, 36:20, 23. ”If the fall of them be the riches of the world and the diminishing the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness,” Rom 11:12.

Dispersed, demoralized, dispossessed, and discredited, the Jews have been Divinely preserved and all God’s promises concerning their present and future destiny will be abundantly fulfilled.

The preservation of the three Hebrew youths as they were made to pass through the fiery furnace, Dan 3:19-25, affords a prophecy and a promise of God’s preservation of His own chosen people.

Israel Has a Future and Israel Will be Restored

There are numerous and explicit promises concerning the restoration and future blessings of the Jews in light of the Mid-East crisis.

”I will bring them against this land and I will build them and not pull them down and I will plant them and not pluck them up,” Jer 24:6, 30:10-11

”I will plant them upon their land and they shall no more be pulled up out of the land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God,” Amos 9:13-15

No sharing of the land!

In the promise of the final restitution, Israel will be:

”Set in the midst of the nations,” Ezek 5:8, Acts 3:19-21, 15:17
”In Jerusalem, the center of the Earth,” Ezek 38:12

  1. Palestine became the “nerve center” of the Earth in the days of Abraham.
  2. Later on, the country became “the Truth center” because of Moses and the prophets.
  3. Ultimately it became the “salvation center” by the manifestation of Christ.
  4. His rejection led to it becoming “the storm center” as it has continued to be through many centuries.
  5. The Scriptures predict that it is to be the “peace center” under the Messianic Kingdom, and
  6. It will be the “glory center” in a new universe yet to be experienced.

In Light of the Mid-East Crisis, the Promises of Israel’s Restoration Can be Summarized Like This:

  1. They are to be regathered in unbelief.
    Presently the Jews are returning to their own land, but in spiritual blindness.
    Rom 11:25, 26, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”

    Before their national conversion, severe judgment is to overtake them.
    Ezek 20:34-38, “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezek 36:24-27, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them.”
  2. They are to be refined in holiness.
    Destined for great purposes, God is to cast them into the melting pot.
    Ezek 22:19-22, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in Mine anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of My wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out My fury upon you.”

    And cause them to go through the refiner’s fire. Zech 13:9, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
    Malachi 3:1-3, “Behold, I will send My Messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a Refiner and Purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

    Also Jer 30:4-7, “And these are the Words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.“

    Dan 12:1, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of Thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”

    Matt 24:21-31.
  3. They are to be restored to favor.
    As the result of the refining process, the Jews will become wholly the Lord’s and promised blessings will then be fully realized. God’s age-long controversy with His people will be at an end. Ezek 36:24-27, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. nd I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them.”

    Isa 66:8, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the Earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

    Zech 12:10, 14:4, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of Grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for His firstborn.” “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

    1 Corinthians 15:8, “And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
  4. They will be reunited in love.
    Schism is to given way to blissful unity as the promise of “the two sticks” vividly portrays. Ezek 37:15-32.
    ”Ephraim shall not envy Judah and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”
    Isa 11:13, “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”

    Jer 3:18, “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.”

They are to be readjusted in privilege.
All the promises as to Israel’s future glory depicted in such glowing terms are to be consummated during the Millennium age, all their theocratic privileges are to be restored.

Mark these aspects in your Bible:

”Israel will be free from war and international strife, and friction.”
Isa 2:1-4, “The Word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Micah 4:1-4, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”

Her cities are to be rebuilt and her land Divinely replenished.
Amos 9:14-15, “And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.”

Jer 31:27-28, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.”

All her past sorrows and anguish are to give way to joy and satisfaction.
Jer 30:10-14, “Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. For thus saith the Loes, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.”

Isa 61:4-9, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways: behold, Thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon Thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech Thee, we are all Thy people.”

A New Covenant will be entered into and enjoyed. All broken covenants will be forgotten.
Jer 31:31-34, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My Covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Israel will be distinguished by righteousness and glory and have a new name.
Isa 62:1-4, “For Zion’s sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the Mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”

The Lord’s presence and blessing will be hers.
Zech 8:23, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

Rest and quietness will be experienced and favor among all peoples will be hers.
Zech 3.

Friday, January 19, 2001

God’s Promise to Satan??

To Satan whose subtlety was responsible for sin’s entrance into the newly-created world there was given “the promise of Christ” who would nullify his power. ”I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel,” Gen 3:15.

Satan receives a promise from God and the first murderer, Cain, receives a promise from God.

God keeps His promises!

God’s Promise to Adam and Eve!

To the first to be deceived on the Earth by Satan, Adam and Eve, there came the mournful promise of sorrow and death.

Unto the woman, “God said I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception.”
Unto Adam, “God said cursed is the ground for thy sake. In sorrow thou shall eat of it all the days of thy life,” Gen 3:16-19.

Eve was deceived and Adam sinned willingly. And the ground is still groaning awaiting the redemption of the body of the saints.

God keeps His Word!

God’s Promise to Cain???

To Cain, the world’s first murderer, there was given a promise. How many know what that promise is? There was given to Cain the promise of Divine protection!

”The Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken upon him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should slay him,” Gen 4:5.

Could You Pass a Test and List the Promises to Noah??

To Noah, through whom God re-peopled the Earth again after the terrible destruction of the flood, many promises were given.

  1. There was the promise of an established covenant.
    ”But with thee will I establish My covenant,” Gen 6:18, 9:13-17.
  2. There was the promise of freedom from further curse.
    ”I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake,” Gen 8:21.
  3. There was a promise of enlargement through Japheth.
    ”God shall enlarge Japheth,” Gen 9:27. Interesting promise.
    The development of government and science and art through the centuries is the indisputable fulfillment of such a Japheth promise.
  4. There was the promise of Shem’s peculiar relation to JEHOVAH.
    ”Blessed be the Lord God of Shem,” Gen 9:26.
    From this point on, attention is focused on the line of Shem from whom sprang Abraham, the Hebrew race, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Promise to Ham!!

There was the promise of Ham’s inferior and servile posterity. “Cursed by Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” Gen 9:22, 25-27.

Good bad or indifferent, God keeps His Word to Satan, Adam and Eve, Noah, Japheth, Shem, and Ham … and you.

”Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life,” John 6:47. You, Me, Life.

With All Kinds of Sophisticated Missiles, If God Would Permit World War Three, Are There Promises for a Further War??

“The Lord your God it is He that goeth with thee to fight for you against your enemies, to save you,” Deut 20:4.

”The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee,” Deut 23:14.

”The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face,” Deut 28:7.

”Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help whether with many or with them that hath no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on Thee and in Thy Name we go against the multitude. O Lord, Thou art our God. Let not man prevail against Thee,” 2 Chr 14:11.

”He shall deliver thee in war from the power of the sword,” Job 5:20.

”Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident, He shall hide me in His pavilion,” Psa 27:3, 6.

”Through God, we shall do valiantly for He it is that shall tread down our enemies,” Psa 60:12.

Take Two Promises Out of the 7,000 Listed in Scripture

“No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly,” Psa 84:11.
”How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Rom 8:32

What royal promises these are, if not in form, then in fact!

These two verses suggest a conglomerate of promises. His love, like a spring, rises of itself and overflows for the supply of all other needs, all of which are so freely bestowed. Had there been any limit to His giving, He would have kept back His own Son. “But God, who spared not His own Son.”

”My God shall supply all your need,” Phil 4:19.

While we delight in the spiritual significance of these promises, we must not lose sight of their coverage of all that concerns our complex life. As the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the Lord is able to meet all our needs whether material or spiritual.

How abundant and varied are “His precious things.”

One, Two, Three, Four, Five!

The number five as used in Scripture is full of spiritual suggestion. Five, as associated with God, is the number of Grace.

This is made known in the five sections of the Name of the Lord – ”His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

And the number five, when found in connection with man, indicates his weakness, hence we read God uses five classes workers. “Foolish things, base things, despised things, and things that are not.” 1 Cor 1:28.

Some have divided the Bible into five Books. The Books of the Law, the Prophets, the Covenant History, the Psalm Books, the Pauline epistles, and the other Epistles along with the Book of Revelation.

Five cubits are the repeated dimensions for the tabernacle. There are five wounds in the body of Christ – both hands, both feet, and His side.

The Law of Centralizing Thought!

One of the greatest words in the sacred pages is “salvation,” from the simple fact, “God Himself is its center and circumference.” Any salvation short of God Himself is no salvation at all.

Jacob, in blessing his sons on his death bed, says when he comes to Dan, “Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path that bitteth the horse’s heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O JEHOVAH,” Gen 49:16-18.

The prophecy about Dan is wrapped up in the meaning of his name. Dan’s name means judgment. He was predicted to be the judge of his people. And that he would be treacherous in his dealings. Hence he is compared to a serpent and to an adder, which bites the heels of the horse and causes the rider to be thrown to his hurt.

Then the patriarch immediately exclaims, “I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.” As if he said, by thy salvation I am saved from judgment, and from the evil of the old serpent acting through Dan.

Salvation – There is no Word Which is so Large in its Meaning, Lofty in its Conception, and Lasting in its Blessing.

As the New Jerusalem will have 12 foundations, so the city of God’s salvation has 12 foundations to it.

  1. God in His Grace is its Author, Titus 2:11.
  2. The Cross is the vicariousness of its atonement in its basis, 1 Pet 1:9-11.
  3. Man in his need as a sinner is its object, Acts 13:26.
  4. Faith in its reception of Christ is its inception, Rom 1:16.
  5. Deliverance in the many-sidedness of its blessing is its meaning, hence the word “salvation” in the Old Testament is translated, “Help” – 2 Sam 10:11, “Welfare” – Job 30:15, “Health” – Psa 42:11, and “Deliverance” in Psa 18:50.
  6. God’s Word in the witness of its promise is its assurance, 2 Tim 3:15.
  7. Joy is the secret of its gladness by obedience is its exultation, 1 Sam 2:1.
  8. The spirit in the Grace of His strength is its power, Phil 2:12, 13.
  9. Holiness of heart and life in their correspondence to Christ is its fruit, 2 Thes 2:13.
  10. Christ, in the beauty of His character, is its embodiment, Luke 19:10, Isa 12:2.
  11. Fellowship with the Lord in all the partnership of His love is its privilege, 2 Cor 1:5-7.
  12. Glory in its likeness to Christ is its consummation, Heb 9:28.

Our so great Salvation!

The Law of a Reliant Faith!

Faith is the Grace that receives from the Lord what He has to offer and rests in the will of His Word. The verb “to believe” denotes the steady resting of the soul upon an object outside of itself. For one person to rely, to trust, to depend upon another.

Faith depends on the living God. It has no reliance upon itself.

”Abraham believed in God and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” Gen 15:6.

The same word as rendered “believed” in Gen 15:6, is rendered “nursed” in Isa 60:4, where it says, “Thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.” This refers to the eastern custom of the mother carrying her child astride upon the hip and with her arm around the body. What better picture could we have of an attitude and act of faith than the child resting on the mother’s hip and being supported by her?

Abram believed the Lord and the Lord undertook all the responsibilities of his salvation and need.

The Word “Believed” is Rendered:

“Brought up” in Lam 4:5
”Sure” in Psa 93:5
”Verified” in Gen 42:20
”Established” in 2 Chr 1:9
”Faithful” in Num 12:7
”Stand fast” in Psa 89:28
”Assurance” in Deut 28:66
”Steadfast” in Psa 78:8
”Trust” in Job 4:18

Reading these words into the meaning and association of faith, we may say of the man of faith:

He is “brought up” by the Lord’s ministry.
He is “sure” of the Lord’s love.
He is “verified” in the Lord’s Truth.
He is “established” in the Lord’s Grace.
He is “faithful” in the Lord’s service.
He is “standfast” in temptation for the Lord’s glory.
He is “assured” by the Lord’s promise.
He is “steadfast” in the Lord’s ways.
He “trusts” in the Lord Himself.

We believe!

The Definiteness of the Lord!

The Lord is always definite in His Truth and Teaching, and when the Lord speaks, it is for us to bow and obey.

But when He speaks in an “added specific character,” and “in a special way,” it is for us to listen attentively and intensely. This law can be illustrated from many Scriptures, but we will refer to Christ’s messages to the seven Churches as found in connection with the
words “these things.”

  1. The Holder of the stars.
    ”These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand,” Rev 2:1.
    The seven stars represent the ministers whom the Lord uses in His ministry to the Churches. When they are held by Him and used in His service, He serves and speaks through them to purpose.
  2. The First and the Last.
    ”These things saith the First and the Last which was dead and is alive,” Rev 2:8.
    Between Whom is first in creation and last in consummation is His death and His resurrection. He can be to us the Genesis and Revelation because He died for us and lives for us.
  3. The Possessor of the two-edged Sword.
    ”These things saith He which hath the sharp Sword with two edges,” Rev 2:12.
    His Word cuts both ways as His message to the Church at Pergamos illustrates. It cuts into the inner life as well as the outward. He lays bare the heart of purpose and discovers where the life is barren and wanting.
  4. The Eyes of fire.
    ”These things saith the Son of God who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire,” Rev 2:18.
    The flame will not burn unless it has fuel on which to feed, but when there is the combustibility of sin, it will scorch and burn to the hurt of the sinner.
  5. The Possessor of the Spirit.
    ”These things saith He that hath the seven spirits,” Rev 3:1
    Isa 11:2-3 reveals the Holy Spirit in His seven-fold character. The Lamb and the Spirit are always associated. The Bible begins with a brooding Dove and ends with a bleeding Lamb.
  6. The Holy One.
    ”These things saith He that is holy,” Rev 3:7.
    He is holy and true. Holiness and Truth are not merely attributes with Him, they express what He is in the essence of His being.
  7. The Faithful Witness.
    ”These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God,” Rev 3:14.
    The “Amen” comes first and the “beginning” last. And between the two He is revealed as “The Faithful and True Witness.”

Does this not reveal to us Christ in His life and in His ministry as the revelation of God? And as such, He is the “Amen,” so let it be, and as the “Beginning,” He can make it to be, as He did in the beginning.

God is Righteous!

The word “righteous” is used in Romans in seven different ways, and while its primary meaning means to be right, the context suggests the sense in which it is to be understood.

  1. Personally, what God is, or His acts consistent with His nature, that which is right, Rom 3:5, 9, 25.
  2. Righteousness of the law, or what God demands from man. Rom 10:5, 9:31.
  3. Righteousness displayed in the Gospel that is God’s Grace consistent with His character, Rom 1:17, 3:21-26, 5:17, 21, 8:10.
  4. The righteousness of God personified in Christ, that is He is all that God wishes and has fulfilled all He has required, Rom 10:3-4.
  5. The righteousness of faith, or what God puts to our account, when we believe in Christ, namely, we are made the righteousness of God in Christ, Rom 4:3-22, 9:30, 10:6, 10.
  6. The righteousness of the Spirit or what He produces in the life of the believer, Rom 14:17.
  7. The righteousness of the believer or the practical outcome of union with Christ, Rom 6:13, 16, 18, 19, 20.

”He made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Cor 5:21.

Saturday, January 20, 2001

Twelve Legions of Angels

In the midst of our Lord’s hour of betrayal and the agonies of the passion week, He reminded the impetuous Peter that He had infinite resources of power had He chosen to draw upon them.

”Thinkest thou not that I could pray to My Father, and He would presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels?” Matt 26:53.

We have but to turn back to 1 Chr 27:1-15 to find a hint of why He referred thus to “twelve legions” and get an illuminative illustration of His meaning. For there we read how David, His kingly type, surrounded himself with twelve legions of servant-soldiers. Each legion numbered 24,000 and altogether therefore 288,000 or including the 12,000 officers that naturally waited on the chief princes – an immense body guard of 300,000.

How beautifully our Lord thus taught His disciple who was eager to draw a sword and smite his foes, that David’s greater Son had at command resources far greater than Judea’s king. And, if one night one angel had smitten with death 185,000 Assyrians, what might not twelve legions have done in that hour of distress.

Such a host could depopulate 37 worlds like ours.

The Law of Perspective!

The point of view must be found before the relation of Truth can be known. So many fail to give a true picture of Truth because their perspective is at fault. What is the Church’s standpoint?

It is the Old Testament? No, for it reveals Christ in relation to Israel.
It is the Gospels? No, for the Church being built is yet future.
Is it from the standpoint of Acts? Not exclusively, for there the Church is largely Jewish.
It is the standpoint of Revelation? No, for after the fourth chapter, the Church is not mentioned.

What is the Church’s standpoint? The Pauline Epistles, which make known the Church of God as the mystery hid in Him. Rom 16:25, 26, Eph 3:4-12.

What is Important?

We have often been told that “We should put first things first.” Some things are first in order of time, other are first in the place of importance.

The mounted policemen are first in the order of an official’s parade, but they are not first in the order of importance. Paul says in speaking of the soul of the Gospel.

”I declare unto you first of all how that Christ died and rose again according to the Scriptures,” 1 Cor 15:3-4.

Peter, in speaking of the characteristics of the last days, says, “Knowing this first” that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts and saying, where is the promise of His coming?” 2 Pet 3:3-4. These are first in importance.


Christ uses the word “first” in the Sermon on the Mount. And in both of these instances is to the “first thing in order of time.”

When one brings his gift to the altar and remembers that his brother has something against him, he is to leave his gift, “and first be reconciled to his brother,” Matt 5:23-24. When the things of life are contemplated, they are to be subordinated to the kingdom of God, hence Christ says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things shall be added unto you,” Matt 6:33.

Put first things first in order and in importance.

The Law of Variation!

The change from the “singular to the plural pronoun” in the prophecy about Tyre in Ezekiel 26 is of Divine intent, and is confirmed by the facts of history.

Vverses 7-11 refer to Nebuchadnezzar’s exploits against Tyre. Hence, we are told “what he shall do.” But from verses 12-14 we are told what “they” shall accomplish – referring to Alexander and his generals in their subsequent invasion against Tyre.

From the singular to the plural pronoun is Divine history.

Another Instance is Found in What is Known as One of the Imprecatory Psalms

In Psalm 109 there is a most noticeable change of number and person. In verses 1-5, the plural “they” is prominent. And again after verse 20. But from verses 6-19 the singular “he” and “his” and “him” are found 30 times.

Here, again, this divides the Psalm into three parts. And if the word “saying” be understood at the close of verse 5, the whole imprecation that follows down to verse 19 becomes not the Psalmist’s prayer for vengeance on his adversaries. But their imprecation of curses upon him and renders the whole Psalm luminous.

This just goes to show the depth and accuracy of the Bible.

The Law of Discrimination!

A critic who observed to Michael Angelo that he seemed in his work to be too careful about trifles, was answered, “Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle.”

Take two facts about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called “the Only Begotten Son,” John 3:16, and “the First Begotten,” Heb 1:6.

As the “Only Begotten,” He was the only One of God who could meet our need and He stands alone in His Deity and majesty.

But “As the First Begotten” He rose from the dead as the one was the pledge of all the redeemed who should be raised and glorified.

God made His Son like to all that He might make all sons like to One.

Sunday, January 21, 2001

In Case You Couldn’t Make Church Service This Morning!

Two little words and five letters of exhortation!

Exhortation means an appeal to the mind and the conscience of the individual soul to do something that is worthy and of importance and leads to a practical end. We frequently find the apostles exhorting those to whom they write to do certain things in connection with the words, “Let us …”

The following outline in connection with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will illustrate.

  1. Separation.
    ”Seeing the night is far spent and the day is at hand, let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light,” Rom 13:12.
    The clothes of the old man of sin are to be cast away as useless and worn out, and the armour of Him who is light is to panoply us.
  2. Walk.
    Let us walk honestly and put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom 13:13-14.
    To walk in the realm of honesty means to be open to the light and free from any ulterior motives, namely, to be transparent. To be clothed with Christ signifies He is seen and heard.
  3. Following.
    Let us, therefore, follow after peace,” Rom 14:19.
    The association of these words is in relation to our conduct towards each other, our conduct will be reviewed at the Judgment Seat of Christ when we shall each have “to give account of himself to God,” verse 12. Hence we are not to judge or despise each other but to “follow after peace.”
  4. Reaping.
    Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not,” Gal 6:9.
    We shall reap in kind what we sow.
  5. Alertness.
    Let us not sleep,” 1 Thes 5:6.
    To be in a state of spiritual slumber as the word “sleep” means, is to evidence that we are in a wrong condition of soul. To awake is to show that we are alert to the Lord’s will.
  6. Watchfulness.
    Let us watch and be sober,” 1 Thes 5:6.
    We need a watchful eye to see what the enemy is after, a watchful mind to keep the garden of our inner being, and a watchful soul to be ready for our Lord.
  7. Sobriety.
    Let us who are of the day, be sober,” 1 Thes 5:8.
    Because of what we are, we ought to be different from others.

Did you like the church service? Come back, ya hear!

What Think Ye of Christ?

What a difference we find in the thought of man and in the revelation of God when the nature of God is in question.

With the Greek, God is beauty.
With the Roman, God is force.
With the Jew, God is JEHOVAH.
With the scientist, God is the first cause.
With the man in the street, God is providence.
With the moralist, God is righteousness.
With the philosopher, God is thought.

But when we turn to the pages of the New Testament, we find in profound and simple language that, “God is love.” This love is not an attribute of love such as righteousness, goodness, and truth, but it is the very nature of God, and the eternalness of His nature. For it does not say that “God was love” or that “He will be love.” But “that He is” what He ever will be in the eternal present.

The word “is” is the Greek word EIMI, which means absolute status quo. Always was and always will be ... love.

Light – Love – Life!

To illustrate the concrete character of God’s Word we find in first John, how he plays upon the words, “light, love, life.” We may sum them up by saying:

Life is the sum of all being.
Light is the sum of all intelligence.
Love is the sum of all moral excellence.

The whole of John’s epistle may be summarized under the following points:

Division one: 1:1-4, Introduction – the LOGOS, His eternity and identity with the Father. His revelation in the flesh.
Division two: 1:5-2:11 – the message concerning light.
Division three: 2:12-5:3 – the message concerning love.
Division four: 5:4-21 – the message concerning life.

Sunday School Class – in Case You Were Snowed In!

Christ’s death is the keystone to the arch of the Gospel

The Holy Spirit recognizes this when He says, “Christ died ... according to the Scriptures,” 1 Cor 15:1-3. The following seven facts of history, declared in the prophetic Scriptures, will illustrate.

  1. How He will die.
    ”He was pierced,” Psa 22:16, which was according to Roman law for the Jewish law for capital punishment was stoning, i.e., Stephen.
  2. He was betrayed “by a friend,” Psa 41:9, and “Sold for 30 pieces of silver,” Zech 11:12.
  3. “He bare the sin of many,” Isa 53:12 and “was numbered with the transgressors,” Isa 53:12.
  4. There was no compulsion in His sacrifice.
    ”I delight to do Thy will, O, God,” Psa 40:8.
  5. The depths and intensity of His sufferings are heralded forth in the words of His soul’s despair.
    ”My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Psa 22:1.
  6. His absolute identity with the sins of His people are tersely put when He speaks of their iniquity as His own.
    ”My sin,” Psa 38:3.
  7. The Divine Actor behind all is beyond question.
    ”For it pleased the Lord to bruise Him,” Isa 53:10.

Come back to Sunday School next Sunday and bring a friend. We never take up an offering!

Monday, January 22, 2001

The Gracious Repetitions of the Lord

Three times Christ uses the sentence, “Ye cannot be My disciples” in laying down the condition of discipleship. Luke 14:26, 27, 33.

Three times Christ reminded the Jews of the consequence of their unbelief namely, “They would die in their sins” and “Whither I go, you cannot come.” John 8:21, 24.

Three times Christ asked Peter the question., “Lovest thou Me?” John 21:15-17.

I am glad the Lord repeats Himself!

The Multiplication of Double Grace!

It is said of the wise woman that all her garments are “double,” Prov 31:21. There is always the Divine side and the human side. God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. John 6:37.

”We are justified before God through faith in Christ without works,” Rom 3:28. ”But we justify our faith before men by works,” James 2:14-20.

Our privilege is to be “in Him” and the secret of power is “He in us.”

The double of acceptance is seen is seen when we recall that believers are “Accepted in the Beloved through Divine Grace.” Eph 1:6. “And we are acceptable to the Lord when we do those things that are well pleasing to Him,” 2 Cor 5:9.

The double love is brought out in John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16. God proved His love to us by giving us His Son. And we prove our love to one another by compassionate help.

We have the double of assurance when we confess our sins, for He is faithful and just to forgive them, 1 John 1:9.

He is not only “faithful,” but He is “just.” That is, that He is faithful in His love and righteousness in His act.

The importance of recognizing the two sides of any given thing is paramount, for what God has joined together let no man put asunder.

The Importance of the Adverb of “Time”

Frequently the adverb of time “then” is used and gives the sequence of what follows.

The five “thens” of Isaiah chapter 6 give the subsequent steps in the prophet’s experience. The sight of the Lord’s holiness made him realize his sinfulness. ”Then said I, woe is me ... for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

After that confession, “Then flew one seraphim” and placed a live coal upon the lips of Isaiah and said, “Thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin atoned for,” when he had been cleansed by his sin being answered for.

Then he heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?” Having heard the voice, he could respond and said, “Then said I, here am I, send me.”

Following the answer to the call, he could speak to the Lord about the message he had to deliver. “Then said I, Lord how long?”

The adverb of time “then” is found in relation to Christ’s temptation in the wilderness as showing the time and the testing is of telling importance. Matt 4:1, 5, 10, 11.

Then … Then … Then … Then ...

The Importance of “Exegesis”

“Exegesis” means the bringing out the meaning of the words employed. A true expositor of God’s Word is an exporter and not an importer. That is, he does not import his own thoughts into the Scriptures, but seeks to know and bring out the mind of Christ.

The following quotations are apt illustrations of true exegesis on sin as referred to in John’s first epistle. It is unfortunate that our version has failed to reproduce the studious precision of the apostle’s language in dealing with the question of the relation between the believer and sin.

Observe these distinctions:

”The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from,” not “all” but, “every sin,” 1 John 1:7. The noun “sin” in the singular denotes the sinful principle the old sin nature, the evil thing called sin, while “sins” in the plural are its specific manifestations.

As regards the verb “to sin,” there is, as everyone who knows Greek is aware, a significant difference between the present tense on the one hand and the perfect or the aorist tense on the other. The perfect tense denotes the past commission of a sin or sins, as when it is written in 1 John 1:10, “If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar.”

While the aorist refers to a definite act of sin, whether actual or prospective. And thus it is employed where we read in 1 John 2:1, “These things write I unto you that ye sin not,” “And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.”

And what of the present tense? It means properly “to be sinning,” 1 John 3:6. “Whosoever abideth in Him doth not keep on sinning, whosoever keepeth on sinning hath not seen Him.” An idea which the apostle more explicitly expresses by the phrase, “committing sin” or rather as it is literally “doing sin” – that is “making sin one’s business.”

See how he interchanges these phrases – “Whosoever is begotten of God doth not sin because His seed abideth in him, and he can not keep on sinning because he is begotten of God,” 1 John 3:9.

Pastors should exegete – not exit Jesus.

The Sequence of Grace or the Follow Through of Grace!

Sequence of Grace speaks of that which follows as a consequence. Psalm 27 is a good illustration. The word “Lord” occurs no less than 13 times in this Psalm. And the word “JEHOVAH” means “the unchanging One who cause things to be.”

This thought of Grace sequence or what follows is recognizing the Lord as “the Faithful One” and it is seen several times. First we have “faith’s avowal” and then “faith’s blessing.”

”The Lord is my Light and my Salvation,” and the Grace sequence is, “Whom shall I fear?”
”The Lord is the Strength of my life,” and the Grace sequence is, “Of whom shall I be afraid?”
”I may dwell in the house of the Lord,” and the Grace sequence is, “In the time of trouble He will hide me in His pavilion.”
”When my mother and my father forsake me,” the Grace sequence is, “The Lord will take me up.”
If the psalmist “had not seen the goodness of the Lord, he would have fainted.” But the Grace sequence of seeing that goodness was, he did not faint.
To “Wait on the Lord” is to find the Grace sequence of “good courage” and to have the soul strengthened.

“To Be or Not to Be”

There are seven passages where we find the word “be” occurring:

The “be holy” of consecration – 1 Pet 1:15
The “be perfect” of adjustment – 2 Cor 13:11
The “be strong” of equipment – Eph 6:10
The “be patient” of endurance – James 5:7
The “be sober” of conduct – 1 Pet 1:13
The “be vigilant” of watchfulness – 1 Pet 5:8
The “be ye separate” of holiness – 2 Cor 6:14-17

The Lord commands our obedience that we may enjoy His blessings.

The Eight Commandments of the New Testament

In Phil 4:1-6 we have eight commandments:

”The stand fast” of fidelity.
”The be of the same mind” of compassion.
”The help” of energy.
”The rejoice” of joyfulness.
”The let your moderation” of testimony.
”The be careful for nothing” of anxiety.
”The everything by prayer and supplication” of entreaty.
”Thanksgiving” of doxology.

Precepts are coupled with God’s promises that me may enjoy the latter through our practice. ”If you love Me, keep My commandments,” John 14:15.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Song of Solomon 5:9, “What is Your Beloved More Than Any Other Beloved?”

My Beloved is better than the angels because of what He is and what He has obtained, Heb 1:4, 8.
My Beloved is better than Moses because the Son is higher than the servant, Heb 3:1-6.
My Beloved is better because His priesthood is better than that of Aaron, because it is not passed on to another but is concentrated and consolidated in Himself, Heb 5:1-10.
My Beloved is better because He brings in a better hope than the law could give, Heb 7:7.
My Beloved has a better sacrifice, Heb 8:6, 9:23.
And Grace bestows a better substance than can be obtained on Earth, Heb 10:34.
In my Beloved we have a better country and a better resurrection, Heb 11:16, 35, 40.
And we are “accepted in the Beloved,” Eph 1:6.

Fact and Factor!

Every “fact” of the Gospel in its historical significance is meant to be a “living factor” in the life of our experience. Everything which happened to our Lord should come to pass in our experience.

”He died for sin that we should die to sin,” 1 Pet 2:24.
“He suffered uncomplainingly that we should follow in His steps,” 1 Pet 2:21.
”He rose from the dead that we should seek those things which are above,” Col 3:1, 2.
”He was born for us that He might be born in us,” Gal 4:4, 19.
”He went about doing good that we might do good to all men,” Heb 13:16.
”He loved us even unto death that we might love one another,” 1 Jn 3:16.
”He intercedes for us that we might make intercession for all men,” 1 Tim 2:1.
”He trusted in God in life and death that He might be the Prince and the Pattern of faith within us,” Heb 12:1, 2.
”He lived and died in doing the Father’s will that we might delight to do the same,” Psa 40:8.
”He gave up all He had to benefit us and He expects the same mind to be in us,” Phil 2:4-8.

Wisdom is the application of the Word of God to personal experience.

A Whale of a Story!

Job 41:15-17, “His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal, one is so near to another, that no air can come between them and they are joined one to another, they stick together that they cannot be sundered.”

The interesting word here is “stick together.” To study the strata of the Earth and to understand its formation is always of captivating interest. To study the Words of Scripture and to get to know the soul of their meaning is of paramount importance.

What a world of clinging meaning is made known in, “Followeth hard,” Psa 63:8, when the psalmist exclaims, “My soul followeth hard after Thee.” Literally, “My soul is glued to Thee.”

Thus, the thought of not only following close, but so close that nothing can come between. The same word is used for the scales of the sea monster Leviathan in Job. “They stick together that they cannot be sundered.”

Stephen and Barnabas – “Being Full of the Holy Spirit”

Of Stephen we read “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into Heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,” Acts 7:55. He would not have that steadfast gaze and that vision of the glory of the glorified Lord if he had not been “filled with the Spirit.”

The other instance of one being “full of the Holy Spirit” was that of Barnabas when he had visited Antioch, of whom we read, “Who, when he came, and had seen the Grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all that with purpose of mind they would cleave unto the Lord.” ”For he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith,” Acts 11:23, 24. The reason why he was “glad” was because he saw the Grace of God demonstrated in the lives of the believers. And he exhorted them to cleave unto the Lord with purpose of mind was because “He was full of the Holy Spirit and faith.”

It is the Holy Spirit alone who can give us Grace to appreciate the work of the Lord in others, and can use us to add others to the Lord.

Notice what it takes to make you happy “when you see the Grace of God.” By the “Spirit of Grace,” i.e., Holy Spirit.

The Specific Setting for the Word of God – Context

Three persons are said to “be full of the Holy Spirit” – Jesus Christ, Stephen, and Barnabas.

Of Christ it is said “And Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” Luke 4:1, 2. ”To be tempted of the devil,” Matt 4:1. Does not the fact of our Lord being “full of the Holy Spirit” tell us that was the reason why He returned from Jordan, the place of death? And further that “being full of the Holy Spirit,” the Holy Spirit could lead Him to the place of temptation and the subsequent victory?

Deuteronomy 4:2, “Thou Shalt Not Diminish Any of the Word of the Lord”

To take one side of a Truth, and not to recognize the other, is to be guilty of error. The Church, the body of Christ, in its different aspects will illustrate.

  1. The Christship of Jesus is the Foundation of the Church.
    ”Thou art the Christ ... upon this Rock I will build My Church,” Matt 16:18.
  2. The blood of Christ is the atoning price of the Church.
    ”The Church ... which He purchased with His own blood,” Acts 20:28.
  3. The Holy Spirit is the Administrator of the Church.
    Hence He sets “in the Church,” His gifts “sovereignly as He will,” 1 Cor 12:28.
  4. The ascended Lord is the Head of the Church, Eph 1:22, Eph 5:23, the mystical body.
  5. Love is the motive and moving power of the Church. Therefore, the members are to love each “as Christ loved the Church,” Eph 5:2, 25.
  6. Prayer is the life of the Church, the power that brings release, even as it did to imprisoned Peter when prayer was, “made without ceasing of the Church unto God,” Acts 12:5.

    Six more illustrations to come. I know you just can’t wait.

    Thursday, January 25, 2001

    Deut 4:2, “Diminish Not One Word From the Word of God” – Part Two

    To take one side of the Truth and not recognize the other is the “spirit of error.”

    1. Worship of the Lord is the privilege of the Church. And Christ is the One who is ever in the midst of the Church – leads her in praising to God. Heb 2:12.
      And the Church is responsible as well as privileged to “come together” to remember the Lord’s death, 1 Cor 11:18-26.
    2. Edification or building each other up is the rule of the Church, therefore, the key note of all in the Church. 1 Cor 14:5, 12, 19.
    3. Unity of action is the responsibility of the Church, therefore, there is to be no schism in the body, but each member is to tarry one for another. And hold the head by recognizing the members in mutual help and assemblage. 1 Cor 11:18-22, Eph 4:16.
    4. The Truth of God is in the custody of the Church, therefore, the Church is the pillar and ground of the Truth, 1 Tim 3:15.
    5. God Himself is in the Center and Circumference of the Church. The Church is called “the Church of God” and it is said to be “in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ,” and it is also “the Church of the Firstborn.” 1 Cor 1:2, 1 Thes 1:1, Heb 12:23.
    6. The glory of God is the end of the Church, therefore, it displays His manifold wisdom and is to be His manifested glory. Eph 3:10, 21, 5:27.

    This is the law of the completion of Scripture, the whole Truth.

    Not Only People, But Places Are Also Types in Scripture

    The Egypt of the world – Exodus 1:1, Rev 11:8
    The wilderness of unbelief – Psa 78:40, Heb 3:8-11
    The curse of Sinai – Deut 28:19, Gal 3:13
    The Bethel of God’s presence – Gen 28:19, Matt 28:20
    The tabernacle of God’s indwelling – Exodus 25:8, John 1:14, 2 Cor 6:16
    The safety of God’s refuge – Num 35:6, Heb 6:18
    The Zion of blessing – 2 Sam 5:7, Heb 12:22

    Not Only People and Places Speak of Christ in Scripture, But So Do Actions

    The killing of animals and Christ’s death for sin – Lev 4:15, Rev 5:9
    Living bird with blood of slain one on it – Lev 14:4-7, Rom 4:25
    Sprinkling of blood and cleansing – Lev 14:7, Heb 9:13
    Laying hands on sacrifice and identification – Lev 16:21, 1 Tim 4:14
    Banishment of scapegoat and Christ taking away sins – Lev 16:22, Isa 53:6, 12
    Placing blood on members of body and sanctification – Exodus 29:20, 1 Cor 6:20
    Placing blood on doorposts and faith – Exodus 12:7, Heb 11:28

    Initiation Into God’s Fraternity!

    God’s secret society – Mystery known to believers only

    The cause of the believer’s initiation into God’s secrets is because God makes them known by His Spirit in His Word. There are several “mysteries” made known in the New Testament. The place where each is mentioned must determine the application. To mix these mysteries up is to confusion worse confounded.

    1. The mystery of Israel’s blindness is no mystery regarding the blindness of Israel. But its duration is made known in the fact that it is until the “fulness of the Gentiles” or the number of the Gentiles be gathered in. Rom 11:25.
    2. The mystery of godliness is that God was made manifest in the flesh, hence its greatness and glory. 1 Tim 3:16.
    3. The mystery of the Church is that God in His Grace is blessing those who receive Christ and making them, whether Jew or Gentile, one in Him ... Rom 16:25, Eph 3:3, 4:9, 5:32, 6:19, Col 1:26, 27, 4:3, 1 Tim 3:9. Hence it is called the “mystery” of what was kept secret since the world began.
    4. The mystery of lawlessness is the end of hell’s working in the self-will of man, which will develop the production of the lawless one. 2 Thes 2:7.
    5. The mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ is the centralization of everything, whether in Grace or government, and that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Eph 1:9, Col 2:2, Rev 10:7.
    6. The mystery of the seven stars is that Christ holds all those who are in places of responsibility in God’s assembly, by His mighty power. Rev 1:20.
    7. The mystery of Babylon is that behind all the abominable mixture of the world’s religions and its commercial spirit, there is the satanic spirit that governs it. Rev 17:5. Satan is the father of religion.
    8. The mystery about the glorified saints is that we shall all not sleep, but that we all shall be changed and be made like to our glorious Lord. 1 Cor 15:51.
    9. The mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven in a general sense, is that behind all the body of the outward meaning of revealed Truth, there is a soul of secret explanation. Matt 13:11.
  7. ”Behold I show you a mystery.” Only those in God’s fraternity know.

Friday, January 26, 2001

The All-Inclusiveness of the Word of God!

So many of the Lord’s thoughts enclose a world of meaning in the contents of their significance. Christ is called “the Word” and this title occurs four times in John chapter one, verses 1 and 14.

The word rendered “Word” is “LOGOS” and signifies the thought of God expressed in action. Therefore, we must remember that the significance covers the whole of Christ’s personality. His life. His work. And His message.

Christ as “the Word” proclaims:

  1. The glory of His personality – John 1:14
  2. The glory of His miracles – John 2:11
  3. The glory of His love – John 3:16
  4. The glory of His life – John 4:14
  5. The glory of His revelation – John 5:39
  6. The glory of His supply – John 6:58
  7. The glory of His death and resurrection – John 19:30, 20:19-31

This will give you some idea of the all-inclusiveness of the Word of God and in this instance, the word “LOGOS.”

The Law of Climax!

The Lord always has an end in view in calling attention to any given thing. Therefore, when the Spirit of the Lord spoke of the Priesthood of our Lord in contrast to the priesthood of the past, He ends the whole of His teaching by saying, “Now, of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum, we have such a High Priest,” Heb 8:1.

This is more definitely seen when we know the word “sum” indicates a capital or a special outcome. This may further be apprehended when we read such a sentence as we find frequently in the prophets, “in that day,” meaning, of course, the time when Christ shall come in His power and glory and set up His Millennial Kingdom on the Earth.

If the prophecy of Isaiah alone is read, it makes known what will take place in that day.

Sunday, January 28, 2001

Personal Promises From the Transfiguration!

Matt 17:2, “And was transfigured before them, and His face did shine as the sun. And His raiment was white as light.”
“Transfigured before them” – METAMORPHOO – means a radical change.

  1. “The radiance of His face.” “His face was as the sun.”
  2. “And His garment was as the light.”

First, the indwelling Divine glory which dwelt in Him as a shrine and then shone through the veil of His flesh. And the promise to us, Phil 3:21, “Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned (METAMORPHOO – radical change) like unto “His glorious body.” “And His garment was as white as the light.”

And the promise to us, “We will walk with Him in white linen.” ”Behold now we are the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is,” 1 John 3:2.

Moses and Elijah and the Transfiguration

  1. Moses the lawgiver pointing to Christ.
  2. Elijah the prophet, prophets pointing to Christ.
  3. The Finger that wrote the law pointed to Christ.
  4. And the Finger that smote the Jordan pointed to Christ.
  5. The stern Voices that spoke the Commandments pointed to Christ.
  6. The hurled threatenings of the prophets pointed to Christ.
  7. Moses and Elijah’s presence at the transfiguration teaches us that Christ is “The Life of all living dead.”
  8. One was buried mysteriously by the Lord we know not where.
  9. The other had passed into Heaven by “another gate other than death.”
  10. And here they stand with their lives undiminished by their mysterious changes.
  11. They are in the fullness of their power and consciousness and bathed in glory, which was their native air.
  12. They are witnesses of an immortal life.
  13. And proofs that “His unpierced hands” held the keys of life and death. This happened before the Cross.
  14. He opened the gate which moves backwards to no hand but his and summoned them and they came.
  15. With no napkins about their head.
  16. No clothes entangling their feet.
  17. And they own Him as “King of life.”

The Law of Similarity!

Prov 25:25, “As cold water to a thirsty man, so is good news from a far country.”

In Proverbs we find a unique literary structure. There are two lines of poetry and in this case, the two lines are “parallel” and the two-line structure is called a “distitch,” meaning two lines. You can find this structure throughout the Bible.

There are two small words of large meaning that illustrate this law, namely the words “as” and “so.”

  1. The “as and so” of love.
    ”As the Father hath loved Me ... So have I loved thee,” John 15:9.
    Who can fathom the unknowable and measure the immeasurable love of God
  2. The “as and so” of strength.
    ”As the days ... so shall thy strength be,” Deut 33:25.
    The days may be long and dreary and sad and weary, but the key of His Grace fits the lock of our need and locks us into the chamber of His love secluding us to Himself.
  3. The “as and so” of service.
    ”As My Father sent Me .... So have I sent you,” John 20:21.
    That sending meant for Him the humility of Bethlehem and the suffering of Gabbatha, the shame of the Cross, the victory of the resurrection, and the glory of the Father’s right hand and so it means to us.
  4. The “as and so” of substitution.
    ”As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up,” John 3:14.
    The necessity of His death is summarized in the “must” and the nature of that sacrifice is suggested, “the lifting up” for as the uplifted serpent was like that serpent that caused the Israelites to be stung, so Christ was made sin for us.
  5. The “as and so” of identification.
    ”As He is ... So are we in this world,” 1 John 4:17.
    The association of this pregnant sentence is, His love makes us one with Christ, therefore we are identified with Him in the acceptance of His worth and the completeness of His atoning work.

The Law of Conciseness!

There is a soul of meaning in the great star words which shine out in the sky of Scripture. Take for example “Ebenezer,” “Mizpah,” “Maranatha.”

”Ebenezer” was the name which Samuel gave to a stone which he set up as a memorial of the Lord’s help against the Philistines and of His victory over them, hence its meaning, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,” 1 Sam 7:12.

What a helper the Lord is! All other helpers fail, but He is the Helper that meets every need and conquers ever foe.
”Mizpah” was the name of the heap of stones which Laban and Jacob erected as a witness and a watchword between them. As its meaning testifies, “The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent the one from the other,” Gen 31:49.

When the Lord is the soul of a compact, how binding our obligations are one to the other.
“Maranatha” is what Paul said in the close of his first letter to the Church at Corinth. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ‘Anathema, Maranatha’,” 1 Cor 16:22.

There are no punctuation marks in the original text. Therefore, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ‘accursed’ “maran antha,” the Lord cometh.” The fate of those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ is to be accursed.

Then the apostle in a jubilant note says, “The Lord cometh,” Maranatha.

”The Lord cometh” settles all questions. Paul seems to say, so we need not worry about anything.

The Law of Supplement

One truth flows out from another

As the root produces the tree, and the trunk the branches, and the branches the leaves, blossom, fruit.

Christ’s atoning death is the fact of the Gospel. But flowing out of that fact is the living factor of our identification with Him, which causes the believer to die to sin and self.

Romans five is the Gospel for the “sinner,” for it is justification by the blood of Christ, Rom 5:9.
But Romans 6 is the Gospel for the “saint,” for it proclaims we are baptized into His death, Rom 6:3-17.

The death of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice cuts off the old associations of sin and self, and unites us to the vitality of Christ’s risen and vitalizing life.

Further examples may be found in the “Alsos” of John 14 and 17. The “much mores” of Romans 5. And the repeated “Ye have heard .... but I say unto you” of Christ’s sermon on the Mount.

How to Identify False Teachers as a Part of Satan’s Strategy

  1. False teachers have a phony and hypocritical façade. Matt 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Rom 16:18, “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
  2. False teachers use human public relations systems and legalistic flirtation to court believers. Gal 4:17, 18, “They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.” 2 Tim 3:5-7, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.”
  3. False teachers appeal to human ego and “pride.” 2 Cor 10:12, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
  4. False teachers promote idolatry as part of the devil’s communion table. Hab 2:18-19, “What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.”
  5. False teachers promote legalism and self-righteousness. 1 Tim 1:7-8, “Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.”
  6. False teachers continue through this intensified period of the angelic conflict. 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

The Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

The Person of the Devil!

He’s not what you see on a can of deviled ham!

  1. The devil is the highest of all angelic creatures and the ruler of the “fallen angels.” Matt 8:28, 9:34, 12:26, Luke 11:18-19.
  2. The devil is a pre-historic super creature. Isa 14:12-17, Ezek 28:11-19.
  3. The devil has “three falls to a finish.” Isa 14, Ezek 28, Rev 12, 20.
  4. The devil has “two advents.” Gen 3, Rev 20.
  5. The devil is the central antagonist of the angelic conflict. Gen 6, Heb 1:2, 1 Pet 3:18-22.
  6. The devil has organization. Eph 6:10-12.
  7. The devil is a murderer. John 8:44.
  8. The devil is the opponent to the Word of God. Matt 13:19, 39.
  9. The devil is the enemy of the Church, the royal family of God. Rev 2:9, 13, 24.
  10. The rulership of the devil. Luke 4:5-7, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Cor 4:4, Eph 2:2.

”Know your enemy”

Satan's Strategy

  1. Satan’s Strategy Regarding the “United Nations”
    His strategy is to deceive them. Rev 12:9, Rev 20:3, Rev 20:8.
    Therefore, he is the chief opponent to the laws of Divine establishment and the sovereignty and freedom of nationalism. He is deceiving and he is succeeding in his deception.
  2. Satan’s strategy regarding the unbelievers.
    It runs the gamut from blinding their minds to the Gospel to all forms of reversion. Luke 8:12, 2 Cor 4:3, 4, 2 Thes 2:7-10, Col 2:8, Rev 17.

Religion is the devil’s ace trump in this area of his policy and strategy. Satan is the father of religion, John 8:44, and religion kills, so he is also a murderer.

Religion as a Part of Satan’s Strategy

Basically, religion has been created by the devil in order to counterfeit the Plan of God.

Christianity is not a religion!!!!

Christianity is a “relationship” with God through faith in Christ … by which the believer enters into “the royal family of God” through the baptism of the Spirit.1 Cor 12:13.

By way of contrast, man is seeking the approbation of God through his own plans, his own works, his own merits and systems.

Religion as a campaign cannot occur as long as the Church is on the Earth, the salt of the Earth, and the restraining ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

Satan’s Strategy Regarding the Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ

  1. To accuse the believer. Job 1:6-11, Zech 3:1, 2, 1 John 2:1, 2, Rev 12:9-10.
  2. To sponsor negative volition to the Word. 1 Cor 10:19-21, 2 Cor 11:3, 13-15.
  3. To frustrate the will of God.
    A. Mentally. Eph 4:14
    B. Geographically, 1 Thes 2:18
    C. Operationally, James 4:7-8
  4. To neutralize the Word through worry and mental attitude sins. 1 Pet 5:7-9.
  5. To destroy the believer’s focus.
    A. Eyes on people, Jer 17:5
    B. Eyes on self, 1 Kings 19:10, 14
    C. Eyes on things, Heb 13:5-6
  6. To get the believer to become involved “in the improvement of the devil’s world,” therefore, the negative believer becomes humanistic, being occupied with the temporary solutions to man’s problems, advocating systems to improve man’s environment, socialism, social action, and the social gospel.
  7. The inculcating of fear regarding physical death. Heb 2:14, 15.

Monday, January 29, 2001

“The Book”

Ecc 12:12. “By these, my son, be admonished, of making of many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.”

The difference is that “The Bible is a Book from Heaven.”

  1. What terms applied to the Biblical record affirms its Divine origin?
    “The Book of the Lord,” Isa 34:16
    ”The Gospel of God,” Rom 1:1
    ”The Oracles of God,” Rom 3:2
    ”The Word of God,” Heb 4:12, Heb 6:5
    ”The Word of Christ,” Col 3:16
  2. From whom do the Bible writers claim to receive their messages?
    ”And God spake all these words,” Exodus 20:1.
    ”The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His Word was in my tongue,” 2 Sam 23:2.
    ”The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him and He sent and signified it by His Angel unto His servant John,” Rev 1:1.
  3. How explicitly did they disclaim credit for their compositions?
    They specifically disavow responsibility for their revelations.
    ”I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is
    not after man
    , For I neither received it of man, neither I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ,” Gal 1:11-12.
  4. Do the Bible writers claim inspiration for only the general thought or teaching of Scripture or for the actual words?
    “He said unto me, son of man, all My Words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears,” Ezek 3:10.
    ”Which things also we speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth,” 1 Cor 2:13.
  5. How do they acknowledge each other’s inspiration?
    ”I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years whereof the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem,” Dan 9:2.
    ”Our beloved brother, Paul, also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you,” 2 Pet 3:15.
  6. What seal does Jesus Christ set on the inspiration of Scriptures?
    “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me,” Luke 24:44.

    ”The Scriptures cannot be broken,” John 10:35.

More to follow on the importance of the Word of God in your life.

“The Book” – Part Two

7. Are there any evidences apart from the claims of Scripture that the Bible is an inspired Book?
Yes, there are many ways of which may be specifically mentioned:
A. Its marvelous unity.
B. Its superhuman range of teaching.
C. Its perpetual freshness and universal appeal.
D. Its transforming power upon the individual.
E. The fulfillment of its prophecies.
F. Its indestructibility.

8. Why is the Bible’s unity of Doctrine so remarkable?
The Scriptures comprise 66 books written by some 40 or more authors over one and a half millenniums. And yet there is one system of Doctrine, one rule of faith, and running from Genesis to Revelation there is one dominant theme – redemption through the Cross of Christ. The unity and plan exhibited on every page of Scripture testify to an activity more than human guiding pens of the writers and guiding the Church in gathering the Books which have been so written.

9. How completely is human wisdom eclipsed by the teachings of the Bible?
”Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?”
”Hath God not made foolishness the wisdom of this world?” 1 Cor 1:20.
The Scriptures offer a clear solution to all the problems of life. They treat upon God and man, the meaning of sin and suffering, and death, of origin, or destiny in a manner understandable to the simplest and yet inexhaustible in their profundity. They exhibit a coherence and a sense of proportion not found elsewhere. How did the Hebrews, surrounded by nations steeped in polytheism and nature worship, come to possess so unique a body of Doctrine if not by Divine revelation?

”What profit is there then to the Jew, to them was committed the Oracles of God?”

More to follow – an interesting study on the Word of God long awaited!

“The Book” – Part Three

10. What is notable about the perpetual freshness and universal appeal of the Scriptures?
”The Word of God ... liveth,” 1 Pet 1:23.
Though this Book has never been added to nor distracted from for nearly 2,000 years, it meets the needs of men today as fully as it met the needs of those who were contemporary with the original writers. It appeals not to one class of society, but to every sort and condition of men from highly civilized peoples to savages in the darkest corners
of the Earth. Nor is even this all.
Its message never palls. The more often it is read, the more it is enjoyed, the deeper the mine is dug, the broader grows the vein, and the richer the ore.
These are not the marks of merely human genius.

11. What remarkable power upon the individual does the Bible possess?
”For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you who believe,” 1 Thes 2:13, also 1 Pet 1:23.
Notice that the Bible is even more than a unique system of religion and ethics. It is possessed of a power which is not paralleled by any human composition. The Bible comes to men sunk in degradation and sin, arrests them in their downward course, and builds up characters to righteousness. Those who have experienced its transforming power have no need to be convinced by arguments. They “know” that the Bible is not a human book.

We may not be able to argue.
We may not be able to present theological fact or reasons.
We may not be able to explain the philosophy of revelation.
But we know this, then when we were men and women of evil character, the Bible got a hold of us and quelled the tiger in us.

“The Book” – Part Four!

12. Who only could have inspired the marvelous accurate prophecies of Scripture?
”I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,” Isa 46:9-10.

The revelations of prophecy are facts which exhibit the Divine omniscience. So long as Babylon is in heaps, so long as Nineveh is empty, void, and waste, so long as Egypt is the basest of kingdoms, so long as Tyre is a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, so long as the great empires of the world march on in their predicted course, so long have we proof that one Omniscient Mind dictated the predictions of the Book.

13. How has the Bible been able to survive the constant persecution to which it has been subjected through the ages?
”Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away,” Luke 21:33.
”The Word of God liveth and abideth forever,” 1 Pet 1:23.
No book has lived through such fierce and relentless persecution. Antiochus Epiphanes vented his wrath against the Old Testament Scriptures, and the roman emperors, especially Diocletian, against the New. In the subsequent centuries, there has hardly been an hour’s cessation of attack upon it. Yet, in spite of all the assaults of infidelity, pseudo-science, and higher criticism, this wonderful Book is still the best seller of all.
The reason can only be that the Mind which inspired its contents has also preserved it from every attack, that the world might never lack a sure Guide to this life and the life to come.

14. Surveying all these evidences, what must be our verdict concerning the Bible?
”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” 2 Tim 3:16.
”Holy men of God spake as they were moved by God the Holy Spirit,”
2 Pet 1:21.

Children’s Responsibilities

To the Lord:

  1. Children are responsible to make a decision regarding salvation.
    ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,” Acts 16:31.
  2. After they have made their decision, and only you are responsible for that decision to accept Christ as your personal Saviour, then you can be truly “a wise son” or “daughter.”
    Prov 1:7.
  3. The believing child is responsible for having a testimony for the Lord.
    A. Learn the Word of God.
    B. Claim the promises found in the Word of God.
    Deut 24:15 – Resortation to fellowship
    Prov 1:7 – Faith in the Promises of God
    Eph 4:16 – Grow as quickly as possible

Toward their parents:

A. Rebellion against parental authority is sin. And sin withholds good things from you.
Jer 5:25, Prov 30:13.

B. Rebellion against parental authority may ultimately result in a violent death.
Prov 30:17, Matt 14:4.

C. A child is commanded by God to obey his parents as a minor and to honor them for life.
Exodus 20:11, Col 3:20, Deut 5:16, Eph 6:2.
To honor is to respect their better judgment and their instructions and their advice and their values. So, think rightly of them, respect.

D. Honor is for the duration of the child’s life.

E. Children should understand their responsibility before the Lord and their parents and perform it. The whole thing is called appreciation.

F. Children with believing parents should be thankful for them and respond with helpfulness and cooperation. They should realize how valuable this Christian heritage and training is.

G. Children are to obey their parents, believer or unbeliever, even if you think they are unwise. This is their responsibility. Trust the Lord to direct you. Prov 3:5-6 and let Him show your parents that they have been unwise.

H. Heed parental instruction, listen, and do.
Prov 1:8, 23:12.

I. Children must provide for the aged and needy parents.
1 Tim 5:4.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The Challenge of Christ!

Luke 44, “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

  1. What knowledge is unattainable by human wisdom?
    ”Canst thou by searching find out God?” Job 11:7.
    ”How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out,” Rom 11:33.
  2. How only can we attain unto this knowledge?
    ”The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are not revealed, belong unto us and to our children for ever,” Deut 29:29.
    Notice the Scriptures are the only records in which God has been pleased to consign His Truth to perpetual remembrance.
  3. What confidence may we have in the knowledge which comes to us through the Word of God?
    ”Have I not written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I may make thee know the certainty of the Words of Truth that thou mightest answer the Words of Truth to them that send unto thee,” Prov 22:20-21.
    Notice there is no sure Doctrine but such as is conformable to the Word of God. This Word is the only Truth. It is the sure rule of all Doctrine and of all life, and can never fail or deceive us.
  4. To a world alienated from God through sin, what assurance does the Bible bring?
    Rom 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

    Notice Christianity has news about God and man. And its first news, yes, we have to admit the fact is … bad news. The news of man’s sin and God’s wrath against sin. But Christianity not only has bad news, and it has, and this is the important thing about it “Good News.”
  5. What spiritual transformation is made possible through the Word of God?
    Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever,” 1 Pet 1:23.

    More to follow of the importance of the Word of God in your life.

    The Importance of the Word of God in Your Life – Part Two

  6. How does the Word of God continue to bless the transformed life?
    A. It gives understanding.
    ”The entrance of Thy Words giveth light, it giveth understanding unto the simple,” Psa 119:130.

    B. It keeps from sin.
    ”Thy Words have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee,” Psa 119:11.

    C. It guides us in the way of life.
    ”Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” Psa 119:105.

    D. It builds up.
    ”And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His Grace,” which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified,” Acts 20:32.

    E. It gives hope.
    ”For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,” Rom 15:4.

    Some great assets here for taking in the Word of God.

    More to follow …

    The Importance of Living in the Word – Part Three

  7. How completely does the Bible meet human needs?
    ”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.”
    Notice the object is not merely to convince and to convert him. It is to furnish all the instruction needful for his entire perfection. There is no deficiency in the Bible for man in any of the situations in which he may be placed in life, and the whole tendency of the Bible is to make him who will put himself fairly under its instructions absolutely
    Notice the word is not “thoroughly furnished” but “throughly furnished.”
  8. What value therefore does Job place upon the Bible? ”Neither have I gone back from the Commandment of His lips, I have esteemed the Words of His mouth more precious than my necessary food,” Job 23:12. Compare with Luke 4:4, “Man cannot live by bread alone …”
  9. What supreme gifts come to us through the Word of God?
    ”These things have I written unto you that ye may know that you have eternal life,” 1 John 5:13.
    ”He called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Thes 2:14.
  10. Where will the Bible lead those who take it as their Guide?
    ”O send out Thy Light and Thy Truth, let Them lead me. Let Them bring me unto Thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles,” Psa 43:3.
    We want to know one thing, the way to Heaven, and how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way. He has written it down in a Book. Oh! Give me that Book! At any price, give me “the Book of God.”
  11. On the other hand, what dire results will follow its neglect?
    ”Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed,” Prov 13:13.
    There is the Lord’s revelation of Himself to men. Receive it or be lost, reject it and perish.
  12. What then should be our attitude about the Word of God?
    A. Seek after it.
    ”Seek ye out of the Book of the Lord and read,” Isa 34:16.

    B. Give earnest heed to it.
    ”Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard lest at any time we should let them slip,” Heb 2:1.

    C. Obey it.
    ”Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only,” James 1:22.

    This is a brief outline, but go over these verses. They are tremendous!

Do We Have a Personal God and Does He Really Care For Us?

  1. How does God feel toward mankind alienated from Him through sin?
    ”I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee,” Jer 31:3.
  2. By what act is God’s love toward man supremely revealed?
    ”In this was manifest the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, and that we might live through Him,” 1 John 4:9.
    Love is the Alpha and Omega of redemption – the love of God to man. Read it in the journey of the Mediator from Heaven to Earth. Read it in His pilgrimage through the land of sorrow. Behold Him nailed to the shameful tree. See the blood and water coming from His side. Hear the sound of the water-spouts as the floods of wrath roll over Him, then ask the reason. The answer is ... “God is love.”
  3. To how many is the message of the Gospel extended?
    ”The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him, for whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved,” Rom 10:12-13.
  4. How patiently does God wait for a response?
    ”The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing than any should perish but that all should come to a change of mind,” 2 Pet 3:9.
  5. What does He promise to those who respond to Him?
    ”I will love them freely, for Mine anger is turned away from him,” Hosea 14:4 and Jer 3:12

    More to follow on God’s care for you. He cares ...

    God Cares For You! – Part Two

  6. Into what intimate fellowship with Himself does He admit them?
    ”Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of god,” 1 John 3:1.
  7. Is there any limit in the Grace of God to His children?
    ”He hath not spared His own Son, but delivered him up for us all. “How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things,” Rom 8:32.
  8. May we count on His Grace at all times?
    ”The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime and in the night His song shall be with me,” Psa 42:8.
    ”The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee,” Isa 54:10.
  9. What loving control does He exercise over all the circumstances of our lives?
    ”And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose,” Rom 8:28.
  10. How comprehensive is His promise of help?
    ”And God is able to make all Grace abound toward you” that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,” 2 Cor 9:8.

    All Grace, all sufficiency, all things, every good work
    More to come on how God cares. I hope you are saving these verses.

    How God Cares! – Part Three!

    You can never say “No one cares for me!”

  11. Assured by the Promises of God, what are we urged to do?
    ”Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee,” Psa 55:22.
    If you tell your troubles to God, you bury them and put them into the grave and they will never rise again when you have committed them to Him. No resurrection of troubles when it comes to the Lord. If you roll your burden anywhere else, it will roll back again, like a stone.
  12. How do we know that God’s Grace will be even more strikingly manifest towards His children in the future?
    ”Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the mind of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” 1 Cor 2:9.
    The biggest thing with which the mind can cope is the infinite love of God and all our sanctified powers and all the ministries of holy fellowship and all the exploration of eternity will never reach a limit in its unmeasurable wealth. The biggest thing you and I will ever know is the love of God in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
  13. In what appropriate way may we acknowledge the Grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ?
    ”Oh that men would praise the Lord for His Grace and for His wonderful works to the children of men,” Psa 107: 8.

God cares, that is why you can cast all your cares upon Him!

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Is Jesus ...Divine!

  1. What challenging question must every soul answer for itself?
    ”What think ye of Christ?” Matt 22:42.
  2. How do the Scriptures help us in settling this vital problem?
    ”These things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” John 20:31.
    There are two absolutely essential elements in historic Christianity. One is a personal God. The other is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ.
  3. What definite statement does the Bible make concerning the nature of Christ?
    ”Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifested in the flesh,” 1 Tim 3:16. “The Word was God,” John 1:1.
  4. How did Jesus Christ emphasize His oneness with the Father?
    “I and My Father are one,” John 10:30. Also John 17, 11, 21, 22.
  5. What other claims are made by or for Jesus Christ which compel us to recognize Him as God incarnate?
    A. Omnipotence.
    ”All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth,” Matt 28:18.

    B. Omniscience.
    ”In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Col 2:3.

    C. Perfect holiness.
    ”In Him is no sin,” 1 John 3:5, Heb 4:15.

    D. Eternal existence.
    ”He is before all things,” Col 1:17.
    ”Whose goings forth have been "from of old, from everlasting,” Micah 5:2.

    E. The sum of Divine attributes.
    ”For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col 2:9.

    More on Jesus being Divine ... which breaks the backs of all the cults.

    Is Jesus Divine? – Part Two

  6. Because He revealed in their entirety the attributes of the invisible God, how could He well be described?
    ”Who is the image of the invisible God, the First Born of every creature,” Col 1:15.
  7. While truly God, how truly also was He man?
    ”But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son made of a woman,” Gal 4:4.
    ”And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth,” John 1:14.
    This blessed union is incapable of dissolution. As there ever has been, and ever will be, the eternal Son of God, so there ever will remain the eternal Son of man.
  8. What was the incarnation of the Son of God decided upon?
    ”Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” 1 Pet 1:20.
  9. To whom was the first intimation of the incarnation made?
    To the serpent in the Garden.
    ”I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her Seed. It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel,” Gen 3:15.
  10. How did the news come to Mary that God was to become incarnate in human flesh?
    ”The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God,” Luke 1:35.
    If our Lord had entered the race by natural generation, it would be extremely difficult for us to believe that the child of Mary was the Word incarnate.

    We should have almost been compelled to think of Him as a mere man who in an unusual degree had received the indwelling of the Divine life. He might then appear to us as the First Born among many brethren. But He could not be our Redeemer.

    More to come on Jesus being Divine ... Good-bye cults!

    Jesus is Divine – Part Three!

  11. By what act did the wise men from the east recognize the Divinity of Jesus?
    ”And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him,” Matt 2:11.
  12. How did God testify to Jesus’ Divinity at the commencement of His ministry?
    ”For He received from God the Father honour and glory when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” 2 Pet 1:17.
  13. How was Jesus’ Divinity manifest in His life?
    A. By His miracles.
    ”The power of the Lord was present to heal them,” Luke 5:17.

    B. By His authoritative teachings.
    ”His Word was with power,” Luke 4:32.
    ”Never man spake like this Man,” John 7:46.
  14. What Divine prerogative did He exercise?
    ”But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on Earth, to forgive sin, arise, take up thy bed, and go into thine house,” Matt 9:4.
  15. What paramount gift did He claim ability to give?
    ”For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even the Son quickeneth whom He will,” John 5:21.

    Jesus Christ knows no more sacred task than to point men to His own person. The Jesus who thinks thus of Himself and who looks on humanity with such a confidence in His power to redeem them from the terrible misery in which He sees every one round about Him stands as a fact before us – a fact that has no equal.

    More to come on Jesus Divine ... I hope you hold on to these passages the next time a cult knocks at your door.

    Print them up and hand them to them.

    Jesus the Divine – Part Four!

  16. What testimony did the disciples bear to His Divinity?
    ”Thomas answered and said unto Him “My Lord and my God,” John 20:28.
    “Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Matt 16:16.
  17. Who else during Christ’s life on Earth recognized His true nature?
    ”And demons came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art Christ, the Son of God,” Luke 4:41.
  18. To whom did Jesus declare He would return?
    ”I am come forth from the Father and are come into the world again, I leave the world and go to My Father,” John 16:26.
  19. What position does He now occupy in Heaven?
    ”Who is gone into Heaven and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him,” 1 Pet 3:22.
  20. When will Christ’s Divinity be manifest to all?
    ”In the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory,” Matt 19:28.
  21. What confession will all men then make?
    ”That every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father,” Phil 2:11.
  22. How vitally important is the acceptance of the Doctrine of the incarnation?
    ”Hereby know ye the Spirit of God, every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.”
    ”And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world,” 1 John 4:2, 3.

    Hold on to this – the “cults are coming.”

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