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Divine Sugar Sticks for May 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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Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Separation of Church and State

  1. Religion as a principle always tries to dominate the political situation.
  2. Religion must never gain ascendancy in any nation that values its freedom.
  3. Christianity recognizes the freedom of the individual.
  4. This freedom cannot exist unless there is a separation of Church and state.
  5. When religion and state become one, there is no freedom for the people in that national entity.
  6. Religion takes over the state when there is no separation of Church and state.
  7. Bible Christianity cannot reach the nation when these distinctions are blurred.
  8. No nation has ever been ruled by religion without being enslaved. Example: India. This applies to Christianity, too.
  9. The local Church, or any organization within the local Church, Christian institutions, which communicate the Word of God, allow the individual to use his volition in regard to it.
  10. The local Church functions as an entity separate from the government, state, but it can have a great deal of influence on government through witnessing, evangelism, and the presentation of the Word of God in a clear way.
  11. The influence of believers with Doctrine overflows into the life of a nation ...”The salt of the Earth,” Matt 5:13.
  12. The most patriotic thing a believer can do for his nation is to be a believer with Bible Doctrine, eventually growing into maturity, and being spiritually self-sustaining.“The light of the world.”

”Except the Lord left us a remnant, we would be as Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Satan's Strategy

Satan seeks to get the eyes of the believer off the Lord Jesus Christ, obscuring the focus of the believer.

  1. Eyes on yourself.
    1 Cor 1:10-11, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” Gen 3:1, “ Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

    Elijah in 1 Kings 19:10, “ And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

    Peter in Matt 26:31-35, “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. Peter said unto Him, Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.”
  2. Eyes on things.
    Heb 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
  3. Eyes on people.
    Jer 17:5. Jealousy of people or admiration of people. “ Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”

Answer: Heb 12:2, “ Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Col 3:1-2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth.”

“Looking unto Jesus.”

Satan’s Strategy – Part Two

  1. Satan encourages believers to worry.
    1 Pet 5:7-9, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
  2. Satan gets believers occupied with the temporal solution to man’s problems and therefore to neglect Divine solutions.
  3. Satan instills the fear of death in believers.
    Job 5:1, “Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?” Psa 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.”
  4. Satan blinds the minds of the unbeliever.
    2 Cor 4:3-4, “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Thes 2:9-10, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.”
  5. Satan deceives nations.
    Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” 20:3, 8, “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

Satan’s Strategy – Part Three

  1. Heaven – Satan accuses believers to hinder the work of the Lord on Earth. Satan has access to Heaven.
    Job 1:6-11, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the Earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the Earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face.” 2 Cor 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Zech 3:1, “And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.”
    The believer’s Defense Attorney is the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
  2. Earth – Satan invites believers to ignore the Word of God and accept false doctrine.
    1 Tim 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Cor 10:19-20, “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” 2 Cor 11:3, ”But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Cor 13-15; 1 Chr 21:1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”
  3. Satan seeks to frustrate God’s will.
    A. Operational will.
    James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Gal 5:7, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the Truth?”

    B. Geographical will.
    1 Thes 2:18, “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”

Sanctification – The Greek Word is “HAGIOS”

  1. Sanctification describes the modus operandi whereby God the Father makes the believer like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and that is Grace.
  2. “Sanctification” is the word “HAGIOS,” which is the root word for holy, holiness, sanctification, consecrate, or sanctify, meaning “to set apart.”
  3. The believer is called a saint, literally, a “set apart one.” 1 Cor 1:2.
  4. Sanctification is Grace in function.
  5. There are three categories of sanctification. Rom 8:29.
    A. Positional – Union with Christ, 1 Cor 1:2, 30, 6:11, 1 Pet 1:2. Phase One, which is salvation. Heb 10:10, 14, 13:12, 2 Thes 2:13.
    B. Experiential – Spiritually, 1 Thes 4:3, Rom 6. This is Phase Two, the Christian walk. sometimes called progressive.
    1. Experiential emphasizes spirituality.
    2. Progressive emphasizes growth. John 17:17, 2 Pet 3:18.
    Both experiential and progressive are mentioned in Eph 5:26, 1 Thes 5:23.
    C. Ultimate sanctification – The Rapture. 1 John 3:1-2, 1 Cor 15:51-57, Phil 3:21.
  6. Agents of sanctification – Always the work of God, not of man.
    A. God the Son. Heb 10:10-14, provision.
    B. God the Holy Spirit. 1 Pet 1:2, mechanics.
    C. God’s Word. John 17:17, Eph 5:26.
  7. The mechanics of progressive sanctification.
    The use of confession of sin, 1 John 1:9, which results in the cleansing and filling of the Holy Spirit. Eph 5:18. Also compare John 17:17 with 2 Tim 2:15, with 3:16-17.

”Sanctify them with Thy Truth. Thy Word is Truth.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Separation From Believers

  1. We are to separate from carnal believers who are obviously perpetually out of fellowship.
    1 Cor 5:10-11, “Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
  2. We are to separate from believers who reject the Word of God.
    2 Cor 3:14-15, “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.”
    2 Thes 3:6, “Now we command you, brethren, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
  3. We are to separate from believers who are in emotional revolt as a habit of life and from believers who operate under some false system of spirituality.
    Rom 16:17-18, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the Doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 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.”
  4. We are to separate from the fast crowd.
    1 Pet 4:4, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:” Prov 1:10-19.
    Also 1 Cor 5:11 and context (But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”
    This prohibition is for both classifications – believer and unbeliever.
  5. Sometimes the unbeliever – we are to separate from unbelievers in those relationships where the Word of God is compromised.
    2 Cor 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    Heb 13:13, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

    A. Marriage: A believer is prohibited from marrying an unbeliever.
    2 Cor 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

    B. Certain business relationships: This does not mean that you do not associate with unbelievers, or can’t do business with unbelievers. This would be a partnership.

    C. It can involve organizations such as frats or sororities.
  6. We are to separate from worldly human viewpoint thinking. This is a mental separation. Rom 12:2 says worldliness is what you think. It has a mental viewpoint. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

    A. Worldliness is becoming a sucker for a social action.
    B. Worldliness is being hung up in liberalism.
    C. Worldliness is thinking that the war on poverty has merit.
    D. Worldliness is disrespect for the law.

Category of Sin – Colossians 3:5-10

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the Earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

  1. Verse 5, “Mortify” means to render impotent. Use 1 John 1:9, Rom 8:13. Mortify through the Holy Spirit. ”Members which are upon the Earth,” the old sin nature, sin area.

    One overt and four mental attitude sins.
    A. “Fornication” – Overt sin, both technically referring to the phallic cult and general.
    B. “Uncleanness” – Mental adultery, lewdness, impurity of mind.
    C. “Inordinate affections” – Depraved passion.
    D. “Evil concupiscence” – Evil desire, lust, mental sin.
    E. “Covetousness which is idolatry” – Mental attitude sin, putting anything before the Lord.
  2. Verse 6, Divine discipline for believers.
  3. Verse 7, the carnal believer imitates the unbeliever.
  4. Verse 8, “Put off” – Take off dirty clothes. Be restored back to fellowship and render impotent the old sin nature.

    A. “Anger” – ORGE, emotion caused by jealousy, mental attitude sin. May be a sudden burst of activity or an inward burn which results in violence.

    B. “Wrath” – A turbulence of emotions expressed outwardly. Mental attitude sin-like tantrums.

    C. “Malice” – Mental attitude sin. Lust to hurt someone. This may come from jealousy or frustration. It generally expresses itself through the sins of the tongue.

    D. “Blasphemy” – Malign or slander, usually God, either His character or His work. A tongue sin. It runs the gamut from legalism to the expression of false doctrine.

    E. “Filthy communication out of your mouth” – A tongue sin. Obscene language which indicates a foul mind.
  5. Inner conflict between the old sin nature and the Holy Spirit. Rom 8:13, “Die,” temporal death. “Live,” temporal life. The filling of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:19-21 – Categories of Sin

  1. Sexual sins. Gal 5:19.
    A. Adultery – Overt sin.
    B. Fornication – Sex in the name of religion.
    C. Uncleanness – Mental adultery.
    D. Lasciviousness – Sexual lust.
  2. Directional sin, toward sin. Gal 5:20. The old sin nature can control the believer directionally.
    A. Toward God – Idolatry.
    B. Toward self – Witchcraft. Literally, “Pharmacies” in the Greek, meaning drugs. Any type of addition, drugs, etc.
    C. Towards others.
    1. Hatred – Mental
    2. Variance – Discord.
    3. Emulation – Jealousy seeking to outdo others. Playing spiritual “king of the mountain.”
    4. Wraths – emotional sins, tantrums.
    5. Strife – Taking sides without knowledge.
    D. Towards the Word of God. Gal 6:20.
    1. Seditions – Revolt against the Word of God.
    2. Heresies – Opinion contrary to the Word of God, either principle or application.
  3. Person sins. Gal 5:21.
    A. Inner, envy, jealousy, etc. Mental
    B. Outer, murder, drunkenness, reveling, orgy. Overt.

Alternative to the control of the old sin nature – Gal 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit. In Greek culture, the body was beautiful. Sex was a religious ceremony. So when they became born-again, this was a real problem to them, the boundaries of marriage, etc.

Did God Create Sin?

  1. No! God is not the Author of sin. God is not the Author of temptation. James 1:13. It would be incompatible with Divine essence. All sins come from the old sin nature. James 1:14-15.
  2. Sin originated with Satan through negative volition.
  3. God created Adam in innocence.
  4. Adam was a free moral agent, as Satan was. Adam had free will. The only way that Adam could sin in innocence was negative volition, acting independently of God.
  5. God did not create Adam with an old sin nature. Adam acquired an old sin nature through negative volition.
  6. The sovereignty of God and the free will of man are co-existent on this Earth. The ideal situation is when the volition of man crosses the sovereignty of God, compatible at the Cross.
  7. The sovereignty of God gave man free will. Why? To resolve the angelic conflict. Free will gave man the right to choose for himself, even in opposition to the will of God.
  8. Adam’s choice was made against God’s will. “God is not willing that any should perish,” 2 Pet 3:9.
  9. If Adam hadn’t sinned, would he have lived forever? No! He didn’t have eternal life. Man receives eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.
  10. Argument: God made all things and since sin is a thing, God made sin.
    Answer: Sin is not a thing. Sin is acting independently of God, either mental or overt.
  11. God did not create sin. Sin is a result of negative volition.

“Not Thinking Grace”

  1. Spirit of pride – exalted feeling based on success or position or because of good training, appearance of natural gift and abilities, an inner feeling of self-importance.
  2. Love or lust for human approbation or praise – A secret fondness to be noticed and recognized by Christians. A love of supremacy, a drawing attention by conversion, exhibitionism, or by playing spiritual “king of the mountain.”
  3. Social interaction – Anger or impatience, touchy and sensitive nature. Resentment and retaliation when disproved and contradicted, jealousy, sour grapes, envy, etc.
  4. Self-will – The concept of the stubborn or unteachable nature. A disposition to be argumentative, harsh, bitter, a nit-picker, one who is critical, one who minds the business of others more than his own, one who has a long proboscis.
  5. Tendency to magnify the faults and failings of others while emphasizing your own virtues. It is having an unpleasant feeling when others succeed and prosper.
  6. Negative disposition – Peevish, fretful disposition, that loves to be coaxed and honored, a dishonest, deceitful disposition, a disposition that tends toward discouragement and despondency under pressure or an attempt to solve one’s problems by hysteria and tantrums.
  7. Apathy – Indifference to the Word of God and Scriptures in general.

The above are all manifestations of emotional revolt. It is the soul in revolt. It is a carnal revolt piled high.

The Biblical Stability of a Nation!

  1. Stability through law and order. Rom 13:1-7.

    A. God has ordained certain laws for each nation. They come out of the Divine Institutions. Rom 13:1.
    B. God is not the Author of confusion. Rom 13:2, 1 Cor 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
    C. Rulers have the authority to uphold the laws of the land. Rom 13:3.
    D. For enforcing the law of the land there are various degrees of punishment, including capital punishment. Rom 13:4.
    E. For financing the nation, God has ordained the principle of taxation – that is taxation with representation. Rom 13:6-7.
    F. When a national entity violates the Divine Institutions, such as the USSR, Red China, the citizens of that country are under obligation to the Word of God and not the slavery laws of that country which usually means miraculous deliverance or death.
    G. It is not “as the people” confusion, or the priest or the pastor confusion, but as the pastor giving out the Word of God to the people receiving the Word of God.

    More to come ...

    The Biblical Stability of a Nation – Part Two

  2. The stability through the salt and light principle. Matt 5:13-16.
    Principle: The number of born-again believers does not guarantee the deliverance of a nation. A majority of them may be carnal, but the number of mature believers, the remnant, is the key to the nation’s deliverance.

    A. Salt principle. Matt 5:13.
    1. Unseen preservative.
    a. Pastor-teacher studying and teaching daily, the believers functioning under the principle of growing in Grace, maturing daily.
    b. Congregation – taking in the Word of God through the principles of growing in Grace and privacy of the priesthood.

    2. Flavor principle of “lost its savor” – meaning out of fellowship.
    a. Robbing the Word of its power, sterile teaching of the Word.
    b. Insipid, flavor not there, tastelessness.
    c. “It is good for nothing”– it has ability for nothing.
    This is a believer out of fellowship, not filled with the Spirit. Not filled with the Spirit means no Divine ability. No Divine ability means filled with human ability.
    d. “Cast out” is a believer out of fellowship.
    e. “Trodden under foot” is Divine discipline.

    More to come on the stability of a nation ...

    The Biblical Stability of a Nation – Part Three
    The Light Principle – Matthew 5:14-16, John 8:12

  3. “You all are the lights of the world,” plural.
    A. This is a phrase designating a mature believer. There is an inner spiritual structure in the soul, edification, a building in the mature believer.
    B. A believer who is not in emotional revolt – emotions dictating principles to the mentality of the soul.
  4. “A city” – a group of mature believers now as a Local Church.
    A. “Cannot be hid” – This type of Church has an impact. Testimony.
    B. The reflecting of the glory of God in the devil’s world.
  5. “A lamp” – A lamp under a big clay pot, out of fellowship, no maturity. Walking in darkness. Don’t contribute darkness to a world of darkness.
  6. “Put it on a lamp stand and give light to the whole world.”
  7. Verse 16, “Let your light so shine,” command for maturity. Daily study, daily function under growing in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  8. “Good works” – the production of Divine Good, filling of the Holy Spirit, the exhale of the Word of God and reaching maturity.
  9. “Glorify” – Reflect the glory of God – very important!

Thursday, May 3, 2001

Three Types of Sin – Three Parts of a Whole

  1. Definition: Sin is acting independently of God and God’s provision – coming short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23.
  2. Three types of sin – three parts of a whole.

    A. Imputed sin. 1 Cor 15:22, Rom 5:12, Rom 3:23. The human race was counted guilty when Adam sinned. “For as in Adam all die.” First, spiritual death, then the second death.

    B. Inherent sin. Rom 5:12, “Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin (the old sin nature) entered into the world.” When Adam sinned, he acquired an old sin nature and brought into existence the old sin nature. The human race inherits the old sin nature through physical birth by means of an human father, Psa 51:5, and retains the old sin nature after salvation. A sinner saved by Grace.

    C. Personal sin. Personal sin is a manifestation and result of having an old sin nature. Use 1 John 1:9 because if we say we have no sin, we call God a liar, and deceive ourselves.

The Sequence of the Three Types of Sin

It is like three dominoes in a row on edge.

  1. Imputed sin – Results in spiritual death. Domino number one. When Adam sinned, the human race sinned, hence when Adam was counted guilty. The human race is born of Adam’s seed.
  2. Inherent sin – Which makes man a sinner. Domino number two. When Adam sinned, he acquired an old sin nature and brought into existence the old sin nature. Rom 5:12a.

    A. The human race acquired an old sin nature because of physical birth. By means of a human father, every person is a sinner. We inherit our old sin nature from our human father.

    B. The human race is born spiritually dead because of imputed sin. Spiritual death means no fellowship with God. Minus righteousness cannot have fellowship with Absolute Righteousness.
  3. Personal sinDomino number three. The human race from Adam on sins personally because of an old sin nature, both before and after spiritual birth.

When domino one falls, domino numbers two and three follow.

What Sins Do You Think God Hates?? Proverbs 6:16-19

In this passage there are seven things that God hates. The phrase “an abomination” is the worst. There are four sins of the tongue, two mental attitude sins, and one overt sin.

  1. “A proud look” comes through the eye gate. It is a mental sin. Pride. Pride plus lust equals jealousy. Thinking pride, wicked imagination.
  2. “A lying tongue” is lying, a habitual liar, a sin of the tongue.
  3. “Hands that shed innocent blood.” Murder is not debatable. An overt sin. Murder. Killing during a war is not murder. Exodus, “Thou shalt not kill.” This is the Hebrew word for murder, not kill.
  4. “A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations.” The heart is the mind. This is the mind controlled by the emotions, and it is a mental attitude sin. This is the mind filled with jealousy, jealousy breeds suspicion, and suspicion thinks the worst. The worst in the mind is the imagination.
  5. “Feet that be swift in running to mischief.” This is a sin of the tongue and overt sin. This is a person going around and making trouble. Most trouble is caused by the use of the tongue. This involves gossip, resulting in an overt sin making trouble for others.
  6. “A false witness that speaketh lies” is a sin of the tongue. Perjury, downgrading someone, playing spiritual “king of the mountain.”
  7. “He that soweth discord among the brethren” is a sin of the tongue, maligning.

”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.”

The Sin Unto Death!

  1. The sin unto death as a principle.
    A. 1 John 5:16, “There is a sin unto death.”
    B. Psa 118:17-18, Ezek 18:21-32.
  2. Characteristics of the sin not unto death.
    A. It is a sin that is confessed. 1 John 1:9, 1 Cor 11:31, Psa 32:5, Psa 38
    B. It is can also be characterized by a sin which is discontinued. Heb 12:1, Ezek 18:21-33.
    C. It is a sin which responds to discipline. Heb 12:6 compared with Heb 12:11-15.
  3. Characteristics of a sin unto death. 1 John 5:16b.
    A. An unconfessed sin, therefore persistent, never uses confession.
    B. It is a sin that persists unchecked.
    C. It is a sin that ignores Grace – warning and discipline. Lev 26.
    D. It is a sin that has a maximum adverse affect on other believers. Acts 5, Annias and Sapphira.
  4. Case histories of the sin unto death. 1 John 5:16b.
    A. Cornithian incest. 1 Cor 5:1-5.
    B. Lying to the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:1-10, trying to get credit for something you didn’t do.
    C. Persistent carnality at the Lord’s table. 1 Cor 11:30-31.
    D. Disobedience to the Word of God. Example: King Saul. 1 Chr 10:13, 14, 1 Sam 13:9-14. Saul had no business offering sacrifices. He was a king, not a priest. The priest didn’t show up when Saul thought he should. Saul was told to annihilate Agag. He didn’t, so Saul consulted a medium, the witch of Endor.
    E. Self-righteousness and dependence upon man perpetuated. Isa 38, Hezekiah.
    F. A believer turned apostate. Num 31:8, Balaam. 1 Tim 1:19-20, Hymenaeus and Alexander.
  5. Some of these sins are gross and overt and some are mental attitude.
  6. Conclusion: The sin unto death is not a particular sin, but a continual carnality.

Friday, May 4, 2001

The Unpardonable Sin!

  1. Definition:
    A. The unpardonable sin is an unpardonable act. It is in unbelief, the rejection of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.
    B. The unpardonable sin is listed as a sin against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need to understand the following.
    C. The unpardonable sin is not:
    1. Adultery, suicide, using profanity – the willful sin.
    2. The constant repetition of any sin – the sin unto death.
    3. Not calling your brother a fool, falling away, etc.
    The above are the most common concepts of the unpardonable sin and they are all wrong.
    D. “All sins shall be forgiven,” Mark 3:28, is a source of comfort. Correlate this with the Doctrine of unlimited atonement.
    E. The unpardonable sin was not poured out on Jesus Christ and therefore was not judged. All sins are pardonable except rejection of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. 1 Pet 2:24, 2 Cor 5:21.
  2. Characteristics of the unpardonable sin.
    A. It is a sin, act, committed by an unbeliever.
    B. It is impossible for the believer to commit the unpardonable sin. Isa 1:18, 44:22, 1 John 1:7, Psa 103:12.
    C. It is not a single sin or act. It is not progressive. It is not repetitious except in its expression. If you reject the Gospel when you hear it again, you may continue to reject it.
    D. It is unpardonable. There is nothing in the plan of God which provides forgiveness for it. Acts 4:12.
    E. It is condemned. When this act of unbelief is operational, it is always condemned. John 3:18.
    F. The alternative to this unpardonable act is to believe and be saved. But if rejection persists to the point of physical death, then there is no hope and no help.

”He that believeth not on Him, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Slave Market of Sin!

  1. Because of procreation we all come into the world spiritually dead. Romans 5:12.
  2. There are three categories in the human race:
    A. Immoral. Rom 1:18-32.
    B. Moral. Rom 2:1-16, Isa 64:6.
    C. Religious. Rom 2:17-19, 4:4.
  3. All categories have sinned and come short of God’s standard. Rom 3:23.
  4. All are born in the slave market of sin.
    A. John 8:34-35, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (bond slave) of sin.”
    B. Gal 3:31. The law cannot get one out of the slave market of sin.
  5. Only a free man can free a slave.
    Only Jesus Christ was born free from sin, without an old sin nature, and did not commit personal sin. 2 Cor 5:21. Why? Virgin birth. The old sin nature is passed down by the father, Psa 51:5. Jesus Christ had no human father, Matt 1:20. Therefore, He had no old sin nature and was a Free Man not born in the slave market of sin.
  6. The Lord Jesus Christ bought us, paid the price, from the slave market of sin.
    A. 1 Pet 1:18-19, “Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.”
    B. 1 Cor 6:20, “Ye are bought with a price.”
  7. This freedom, from the slave market of sin, and from debt, is dependent upon the exercise of the individual’s positive volition. The gate has been removed.
  8. There is only one way out of the slave market of sin.
    A. John 14:5, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
    B. John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
  9. The issue: What are you going to do with Jesus Christ?

The Origin of Spiritual Gifts

  1. Modus operandi of the Jewish Age was special empowering for special jobs – that is, to perform miracles. Matt 10:1.
  2. When Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven after His resurrection, He emptied Paradise and transferred the soul and the spirit of the Old Testament saints to the third Heaven.
    Eph 4:8, “Led captivity” – soul and spirit, no resurrection body – “captive.”
    Soul and spirit to Heaven, still no resurrection body.
  3. “He also gave gifts unto men,” Eph 4:8, spiritual gifts.
  4. All Members of the Godhead are involved in spiritual gifts.
  5. Each believer in the Church Age receives a spiritual gift at the moment of salvation. 1 Cor 12:11.
  6. You do not seek a spiritual gift. You do not earn or work for spiritual gifts. You do not get one on the basis of any human ability. Whatever gift you have is the sovereign decision of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Since God the Father is the Planner, we assume He decided we needed X number of Pastors-Teachers, Helps, etc. 1 Cor 12:28, “And God,” that is God the Father.
  8. Jesus Christ provided the basis for spiritual gifts. Eph 4:8-11.
  9. The Holy Spirit appoints the gift to the person. 1 Cor 12:11.
  10. Spiritual gifts are the Father’s organized witness to the plan of salvation. Heb 2:4. Behind any mass evangelistic campaign are all kinds of spiritual gifts – a team concept. All members of the same team, but they play different positions.
  11. Eph 4:12 gives the purpose of spiritual gifts.
    A. Equipping: “For the equipping of the saints.”
    B. Production: “For the work of the ministry” – every believer represents the Lord Jesus Christ.
    C. Supply: “For the edifying, building up, of the body of Christ.”

You build on the body of Christ by adding new believers and helping other believers to grow in Grace.

Spiritual Gifts – PNEUMATIKOS”

  1. Scripture: 1 Cor 12, Rom 12, Eph 4:11. All spiritual gifts are not listed in Scripture, but are merely representative of categorical concepts. Some require preparation, therefore, they are mentioned, “teaching types.” The purpose of some of the spiritual gifts are mentioned in Eph 4:8-11.
  2. Every believer receives at least one spiritual gift at the moment of salvation. 1 Cor 2:11.
  3. Each spiritual gift is necessary for you to function in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is a team working together. Your spiritual gift is your position on the team.
  4. It is not necessary for you to recognize your spiritual gift for you to function under it. Function is dependent upon the filling of the Holy Spirit, and growing in Grace, rather than knowledge of your spiritual gift.
  5. For Divine production from your spiritual gift, you need the filling of the Holy Spirit and the transfer of the knowledge of the Word of God into your human spirit.
  6. Spiritual gifts are the Father’s organized witness to the plan of salvation. Heb 2:4. In evangelism many more gifts are operating than the gift of evangelism. It is a team effort, a Divine Good effort, by the body of Christ.
  7. The attitude toward spiritual gifts is given in Rom 12:3. One is not to feel inferior or superior. It is a gift.
  8. Perspective of the spiritual gifts is given in 1 Cor 12. Possession of a spiritual gift does not indicate merit or spirituality. “Gift” connotes Grace. Paul was the worst sinner, 1 Tim 1:12, who ever lived, and he had several gifts.
  9. There are two categories of spiritual gifts:
    A. Permanent – Which exist throughout the Church Age.
    B. Temporary – Those used between the day of Pentecost and the completed Canon of Scripture. Approximately 32–95 A.D. Most were spectacular.
  10. Temporary gifts were necessary to get the Church started without a completed Bible. 1 Cor 13:8-10. They functioned in the place of a completed Canon.
  11. Temporary gifts were used by God to focus attention on the message of the Gospel. Heb 2:4.

Modifications of the Body

With the recent report on “modifications of the body” with tattoos, etc. we see the emphasis is once again on the body to the exclusion of the real you, the soul. This body we have is only temporal and is spoken of in Scripture as a tent, which is a temporary dwelling place for the permanent soul.

We will receive a resurrection body, just like the one that the Lord Jesus Christ has.

There will be no markings in our resurrection bodies. But the Lord’s body will be the only One with any markings at all. He will appear as a Lamb freshly slain.

They will look upon Him “Whom they have pierced.”

Lev 19:28, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, nor print any marks upon, I am the Lord.”

Saturday, May 5, 2001

Spiritual Gifts in the Corinthian Church

  1. It is obvious from 1 Cor 1:7 that the Corinthian Church abounded in spiritual gifts. They had spectacular gifts and many of them.
    1 Cor 1:7, “So that ye come behind in no gift waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  2. It is also obvious from the rest of the epistle that this was one of the most carnal churches that ever assembled in the Name of the Lord. The Corinthians were noted for their envy, jealousy, childishness, spiritual bullying, litigation, divorce, drunkenness, and other carnal activity.
  3. Conclusion: The possession of a spiritual gift does not mean spirituality.
  4. Principle: If the Corinthians with all their carnality could have more people with spectacular spiritual gifts, then there is definitely no correlation between possessing a certain type of spiritual gift and spirituality.
  5. It is important to distinguish between spiritual gifts and spirituality. A spiritual gift for its proper function depends upon spirituality, but they are not the same.
  6. False teaching based on legalism and emotionalism had infiltrated the Church at Corinth. Consequently we have chapters 12, 13, and 14 to refute the legalism and emotionalism there. Also, it was written to deal with some of the false impressions which came out of speaking in tongues. What was happening in Corinth is happening today.
  7. One of the abuses in the Corinthian Church was that there were many people speaking in tongues and they felt that they were the spiritual giants in the assembly. They said the rest were peons and possibly not even saved. They were looking down their spiritual noses at the rest and saying that until they spoke in tongues they were not spiritual, or possibly not even saved.
  8. “Brother foot” has a inferiority complex. “Brother hand” has a superiority complex. Both are ignorant of the Doctrine. They are both on the same team, but play different positions. One is not better than the other.
  9. The spiritual gift you possess is not the important factor, but the filling of the Spirit, the power on which the spiritual gift operated. 1 Corinthians chapter 13.
  10. 1 Cor 14. The gift of tongues was regulated. In the Church worship certain spiritual gifts are to function and others are to be minimized or avoided.

Identification of Spiritual Gifts

  1. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly bestowed by God the Holy Spirit.
    A. The Holy Spirit is the Instrument at the moment of salvation Who appoints the spiritual gift. 1 Cor 12:11.
    B. No spiritual gifts are given until after the ascension of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ provided the spiritual gifts. Eph 4:8-11.
    C. You do not seek a spiritual gift. Be satisfied with the one the Holy Spirit has given you.
  2. Spiritual gifts in order of merit, all spectacular. 1 Cor 12:28-30.
    A. Apostles – Temporary gift, necessary when the Canon of Scripture was incomplete in order to carry the Church through those difficult beginning days. The gift of absolute spiritual dictatorship was set aside with the completed Canon, with the Canon now being the absolute authority. No one now has authority over more than one Church.
    B. Prophets – The gift of both:
    1. Foretelling – Prophecy, temporary.
    2. Forth telling – Preaching, permanent..
    C. Pastor-teachers, permanent.
    D. Miracles, temporary. The person’s faith not involved.
    E. Healings – Temporary. Person’s faith not involved.
    1. Physiological
    2. Mental
    3. Demon-induced illness.
    F. Helps – Permanent. Gift of administration.
    G. Governments – Permanent. Gift of administration.
    H. Diversities of tongues. Temporary. A gift of speaking in a foreign language not previously known, not ecstatics, last in order. Note this is dealing with the 1 Cor 12:28-30 passage.
  3. The use of spiritual gifts does not mean spirituality. However, the filling of the Holy Spirit allows you to use the spiritual gift to the maximum.

1 Cor 12:31 introduces chapter 13. “But covet,” as a Church, “the best gifts.” Prophecy vs. tongues. Subject of chapter 14, “More excellent way”. This is love produced by the filling of the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:22-23, which is spirituality.

Six Greek Words for Forming Calluses on Your Soul and Having a Seared Conscience

  1. “MATAIOTES” – the emptiness or vacuum in the soul sucking in darkness, legalism, cosmic wisdom, the English word “vanity” as used in Eph 4:17.
  2. “DIANOIA” – The thoughts of the soul. Translated by the English words “understanding” or “mind.”
    A. Darkness – Satanic thoughts, Eph 4:18, Col 1:21.
    B. Doctrine – Divine perception, 2 Pet 3:1.
  3. “SKOTIZO” – Have become blacked out, the blackout of the soul. Rom 1:21, 11:10. Translated by the English word “darkness.”
  4. “APALLOTRIOO” – Alienated from the life of God. Eph 2:12, Eph 4:18, Col 1:21. Translated by the English word “alienated” or “aliens.”
  5. “AGNOIA” – Ignorance. Eph 4:18.
  6. “POROSIS” – Calluses in the soul. Translated “blindness” in Eph 4:18. Likewise in Rom 11:25.
    Calluses on the soul and having the old sin nature in control of your life results in an emotional revolt of the soul and self-induced misery.
    Self-consciousness of the soul, not occupied with Christ.
    Mentality of the soul, not thinking Divine Viewpoint.
    Volition of the soul, not making decisions for the Lord.
    Emotions, no appreciation for the Lord or His Word.
    Conscience, seared, void of Divine norms or standards.

The old sin nature in control distorting the bona fide operation of the soul. Past feeling.

Calluses on the Soul Are Built Up in Several Ways, Ephesians 4:17-19

  1. Adultery. Prov 6:32, Eph 4:19. Single or married.
  2. Mental attitude sins. 1 John 2:9, 11. Mental attitude sins include bitterness, pride, jealousy, hate, revenge tactics in the thought pattern, spite, guilt complex, etc.
  3. Also darkness and drugs can cause calluses on the soul.
  4. How calluses are removed:

    A. The unbeliever loses the calluses at the point of salvation. Isa 43:25, 44:22. All calluses are removed.

    B. The believer’s recovery from calluses formed on the soul.
    1. Confession of sin, which provides the filling of the Spirit and sets up the believer for the filling of the Holy Spirit, so that it can be removed. 1 John 1:9, Eph 5:18.
    2. Crash program. Learning the Word of God. Hebrews chapter 6. The exhale of the Word of God from the human spirit which results in forming a spiritual structure in the soul, edification, which results in Grace orientation, the mastery of the details of life, a relaxed mental attitude, and the capacity for life and love and inner happiness.
  5. Calluses can completely cover the soul.
    A. For an unbeliever, like Judas Iscariot, resulting in suicide. Matt 27:1-10.
    B. For a believer, like Ananias or Sapphira, it means the sin unto death. 1 John 5:16. Suicide can take place in believers as well, but they are still saved, however. Suicide cannot separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39.

The Doctrine of Shadows, Colossians 2:17

  1. Before the Cross, B.C., revelation was given by shadows.
    After the Cross, revelation changes to reality, the Canon of Scripture.
  2. Before the Cross, shadows anticipate.
    After the Cross, when reality comes, the shadows no longer have a bona fide place.
  3. Before the Cross, in shadow systems you do something over and over again. A lot of ritual is involved.
    After the Cross, once you are looking back at this and it is in writing, then it becomes a matter of perception instead of ritual.
    Col 2:17:
    A. “Shadow” – “SKIA,” an image or a shadow cast by an object and representing its form without being its form. Heb 10:1.
    B. “Body” – “SOMA,” substance, reality. The Reality of the shadows is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Reality which fulfills the shadows.

”Me and my Shadow”

A Verse a Day for the Month of May!

“If I say, Surely the darkness shall hide me, and the light become darkness around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you,” Psalm 139:11-12.

”My God turns my darkness into light,” Psalm 18:20.

”Wake up, O sleeper, Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you,” Eph 4:14.

”Light that shineth in darkness.”

”They that sat in darkness have seen a great light.”

A Verse a Day for the Month of May!

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds,” Psa 147:3.

”Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you,” 1 Pet 5:7.

”And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” Phil 4:7.

A Verse a Day for the Month of May!

Raised in Glory!

“So it will be with the resurrection of the dead.”
”The body that is sown is perishable.”
”It is raised imperishable.”
”It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory.”
”It is sown in weakness. It is raised in power.”
”It is sown a natural body.”
”It is raised a spiritual body,” 1 Cor 15:42-44.

”Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are in this body, we are far away from the Lord,” 2 Cor 5:6.

”But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us,” 2 Cor 4:7.

Think not, of course,
That this is me,
This withered shoot,
This house of clay,
This hill of dust,
Soon blown away.
This staggering fragile child you see,
This bodily-prison isn’t me.

Death I know will set me free,
Will melt my shackles,
Break my chains,
Release my soul,
Ease my pains,
And land me on the crystal sea.

My death will finally set me free.

A Verse a Day for the Month of May!

“The eternal God is our Refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms,” Deut 33:27.

”Your love, O Lord, reaches to the Heavens,
”Your faithfulness to the skies,
”How precious is Your unfailing love.
”Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings,” Psa 36:5-7.

Pilate Asked the Question of Questions???

“Whence art Thou?” John 19:9.

The whole Word of God answers that question.

He is pictured in Psalm 8 as “One who was for a little while made lower than ELOHIM,” for that is the correct rendering of Psa 8:5. ELOHIM is the plural Name by which we are first introduced to God in Gen 1:1. God, the Strong One, EL, is singular and ELOHIM is plural.

The Lord Jesus Christ is seen in this uni-plural name. In the beginning was the Triune God. “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness,” Gen 1:26.

The Great Creator became our Saviour. The Second Person of the Godhead stepped down from that excellent glory “and made of Himself no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a Servant, and was make in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore God hath also highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name,” Phil 2:6-9.

The Book of Hebrews is the commentary on Psalm 8.

Heb 2:9, “We see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than ELOHIM for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the Grace of God should taste death for every man.”

Eight Prophecies Fulfilled When Christ Was Born

  1. He was to be the Seed of a woman. Every other person ever born is the seed of a man. Gen 3:15, Gal 3:16.
  2. He was to born at a special time in history. Gen 49:10.
  3. He was to come from the tribe of Judah. Gen 49:10, Heb 7:14.
  4. He was to be the Son of Abraham and the son of David. 2 Sam 7:12, Matt 1:1.
  5. He was to be called the Son of God. Psa 2:7, Isa 9:6, Prov 30:4, Luke 1:32.
  6. He was to be born of a virgin. That is the only way He could be the Seed of a woman. Isa 7:14, Matt 1:18-23.
  7. His name was to be called Immanuel. Isa 7:14, Matt 1:23.
  8. He was to be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2, Matt 2:1.

These are all Old Testament Jewish Scriptures.

Sunday, May 6, 2001

Maybe Today!

Come Almighty to deliver
Let us all Thy life receive.
Suddenly return and never,
Nevermore Thy temples leave.

Thee we would always be blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above;
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish then Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in Thee.

Changed from glory into glory,
Till in Heaven we take our place.
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and Grace.

Why the Messiah the Jews Are Looking For Cannot Come Today!

Since the Jews have rejected Christ as their Messiah, they expect their Messiah to come any day now. Some of Israel’s leaders are saying, “If you listen carefully, you can hear the footsteps of the Messiah.”

But their Messiah cannot be born today.

Some of our orthodox Jewish friends believe He will come any day in fulfillment of the Messianic hope. Is it possible for Him to be born today?

No, because He must come from the Seed of Abraham, from the house of David, and from the tribe of Judah. Gen 11:10-32, 49:8-10, 2 Sam 7:12-14. Since the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., all authentic genealogies of genuine origin, respecting the 12 tribes of Israel have been lost. No one today could prove his identity authentically.
No, because He must be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2. That is impossible for Bethlehem is in the kingdom of Jordan and no Jew is allowed there today.
No, because He must die by crucifixion according to Psa 22. That mode of capital punishment is not practiced today in Israel or any place in the Middle East, even and if there is capital punishment.
No, because He already came 2000 years ago according to all Scripture and history.

”The fullness of time was come 2000 years ago. God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law,” Gal 4:4-5.

”He came unto His own (the Jews), and His own received Him not; but as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” John 1:11-13.

The Sceptre Held Out!

“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah. Nor a law giver from between his feet, until Shiloh (peace) come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be,” Gen 49:10.

Just as Esther could not approach the king years ago, unless the golden sceptre was held out to her, so today no person, Jew or Gentile, can approach God unless the sceptre, the Lord Jesus Christ, is held out. He says to all who have ears, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me,” John 14:6.

“Do This in Remembrance of Me”

“For as oft as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till He come again.”

By Christ redeemed, by Christ restored,
We keep the memory adored,
And show the death of our dear Lord
Until He come.

His body broken in our stead
Is here, in this memorial bread,
And so our feeble love is fed
Until He come

His fearful drops of agony,
His life blood shed for us we see.
The wine shall tell the mystery
Until He come.

And thus that dark betrayed night
With the last advent we unite.
The shame, the glory, by this rite
Until He come.

Until the trump of God be heard,
Until the ancient graves be stirred,
And with the great commanding Word,
The Lord shall come.

Monday, May 7, 2001


For 2000 years it has been impossible to carry out the Biblical instructions for the “Day of Atonement” because there has been no temple. In 70 A.D. the temple was destroyed and the prophecy uttered by Hosea has been in effect these 20 centuries.

”For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days,” Hosea 3:4-5. What a remarkable prophecy!

The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the “awesome days.” They were the ten days of repentance when the Jewish people were commanded to search their hearts and to “afflict their souls.” In Biblical times, the emphasis on this was so strong that anyone who did not “afflict his soul” would suffer death.

Hear again the pronouncement, “For whatsoever soul it shall be that shall not be afflicted, in that same day he shall be cut off from among his people,” Lev 23:29.

Where is there today a real affliction of the soul? The very fact that the Jewish people do not so afflict their souls proves that God is dealing with the Jews. Beating their breasts, but not afflicting souls.


God has only one way of salvation – whether it be in that future day for Israel as a nation or for individual Jews and Gentiles today.

That one way of salvation is “JESHUA HAMASHIAH.” Obey Him Who said through the prophet Isaiah, “Look unto Me and be ye saved all the ends of the Earth, for I am God and there is none else,” Isa 45:22.

That is the way the nation Israel will be saved in that future day and that is the only way any Jew or Gentile can be saved today.

”Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29.

Jews celebrate the establishment of the state of Israel, but they do not consider their individual salvation. “He,” JESHUA, the Messiah, “bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” 1 Pet 2:24. Believe in Him and you will have an eternal celebration in your soul and life.


Ezek 37:11 reveals a heart cry of the Jewish people. “Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost. We are cut off for our parts.”

How wonderful that we have lived to hear Israel’s national anthem. “HATIKVAH” means “the Hope.” Israel’s stirring anthem contains nine stanzas which speak of the longing for Zion and the desire to return to it. The refrain is:

”Yet is our hope not lost
The ancient hope
To dwell in the land of our fathers
In the city where David encamped.”

Israel’s true Hope is not to dwell in the land. But in all part of God’s plan for His covenant people, “the Messiah is their true hope.”

But with Job they are saying, “Where is now our Hope?” Job 17:15. Israel’s heart will continue to be sick. Prov 13:12. Until they say with David of old, “Lord, What wait I for? My hope is in Thee,” Psa 39:7.

”Looking for the Blessed Hope and the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”


Both in the prophecy of Lev 23:10 and in the fulfillment in 1 Cor 15:23, it is not called “firstfruit,” singular, but “firstfruits,” plural.

Not one ear, but a sheaf! “Christ the Firstfruits. Afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming.” ”Firstfruits” refers to the whole harvest. Christ first. Afterwards those of us who are true believers.

So, just as Christ arose from the dead, they that are Christ’s will also be resurrected from the dead at His coming.

1 Thes 4:13-18, 1 Cor 15:23, 1 Cor 15:51-52.

“Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye ...”


We are being told today what constitutes a family. There are many different descriptions today of what a family really is. It is coming from the news media, from our senators and congressmen, social workers, and even from some pulpits. We hear all this talk about lifestyles and families and what constitutes a marriage and a mother and a father.

The Lord created the first family. This is the way in which the One who created the family described in detail what a family really is. He should know because He created the family. Regardless of what is taught as to what a family is, here it is:

”It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”

”And Adam gave names to all the cattle and to the fowls of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him.”

”And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept. And He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”

”And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

”And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

There is the Creator’s description of a family. “A help meet, a rib, a woman, wife, one flesh.”

One man and one woman constitutes a family.

One rib. No spare ribs. Not two Adams. Not two Eves. Only Adam and Eve.

Tuesday, May 8, 2001


  1. What makes a person spiritual?
    A. Is it an experience some Christians achieve to a greater degree than others?
    B. Is it a stimulating feeling within which produces an ecstatic reaction?
    C. Should we try to imitate the experience of another great believer in order to become spiritual?
    D. What does the Bible teach about spirituality?
  2. Spirituality is open to all believers just as salvation is open to all unbelievers.
  3. Spirituality is not an elusive and mysterious experience which some can have that will set them apart from other believers.
  4. Spirituality in the Church Age is a relationship with God the Holy Spirit.
  5. Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. I am a Christian because of my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  7. I am spiritual because the Holy Spirit controls my life.
  8. Spirituality is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit, nor is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit the basis of spirituality.
  9. Spirituality is the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
  10. Divine love is a manifestation of the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is spirituality. Divine love is from the source of God, the Trinity.
  11. Spirituality gets its title from the Third Person of the Trinity.
  12. An understanding of growth is necessary to the understanding of spirituality.
  13. Maturity is a result of growth and is often mistaken for spirituality.
  14. You can be a baby and be spiritual or carnal. An adolescent can be spiritual or carnal. A mature believer can be spiritual or carnal.
  15. The issue of spirituality is that at any point I am either controlled by God the Holy Spirit or by the old sin nature.
  16. The issue is growth/maturity and is progressive or retrogressive, depending upon knowledge of the Word of God.

Spirituality is an Absolute

  1. God is not the author of sin. God does not therefore solicit to sin.
  2. It is incompatible with the Divine essence to originate, condone, or to sponsor sin.
  3. What the old sin nature always promotes leads to sin.
  4. Therefore, what God has provided, the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who is God, cannot sin, but promotes spirituality.
  5. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the basis for spirituality.
  6. Every creature must live according to his nature.
  7. The unbeliever has only the old sin nature.
  8. The believer has both the indwelling Holy Spirit and the old sin nature. Therefore, we have this inner struggle. Rom 5:16-17, “The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and they are contrary one to another.” “Contrary” is literally “entrenched.” Galatians.
  9. To be born of God means living in union with Christ, indwelt by Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
  10. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit produces the character of Christ in the believer. In this status it is impossible to sin. Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
  11. The unbeliever has the nature to sin and lives habitually under the control of the old sin nature. Gal 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
  12. The believer has God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and in principle should produce the character of Christ.
  13. In practice believers can walk in the light, fellowship, or in darkness, out of fellowship. 1 John 1: 4-10, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
  14. The believer has God, the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who cannot sin, and a nature which can sin, the old sin nature. Human volition is the control switch.
  15. In principle, the believer is born of God and cannot sin.
  16. In practice, he flips the control switch of volition, and comes under the control of the old sin nature, and produces sin and dead works.
  17. 1 John 3 emphasizes the principle, while Galatians 5 emphasizes the practice.

The Believer’s Walk – Spirituality

Areas of the believer’s walk – The filling of the Holy Spirit necessary for all

  1. We are told to walk in Doctrine. 1 John 3. The believer cannot learn Doctrine if he is out of fellowship. This means to take in Doctrine and transfer it by faith to the human spirit, making it applicable Doctrine.
  2. We are to walk in faith. Heb 4:1-3, the filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary. Rom 14:23.
  3. Walk in the Spirit, Gal 5:16, which is a command to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  4. Walk in newness of life. Rom 6:4. The filling of the Holy Spirit produces a different life, an inner love. You love one another. You love the Lord. You are oriented to the Grace of God. You fulfill the principle of worship, prayer, witnessing, and studying.
  5. Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Eph 4:1. Every believer is in full-time Christian service. This is being filled with the Spirit and fulfilling your ambassadorship.
  6. Walk in the light. 1 John 1:7. The emphasis is on reflecting the glory of God by being filled with the Spirit.
  7. Walk worthy of the Lord. Col 1:10. The filling of the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. Walk honestly as in the day. Rom 13:13-14. This means to stay in fellowship and develop maturity and your life will have impact for the Lord Jesus Christ.
  9. Walk in good works. Eph 2:10. You produce Divine good works when filled with the Spirit and functioning under growing in Grace.
  10. Walk in love.Eph 5:2. The filling of the Holy Spirit and maturity has this by product, love, the fruit of the Spirit. Rom 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit.”
  11. Walk in wisdom. Gal 4:5. This is the application of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit teaches our human spirit when the believer is in fellowship. It is a matter of Divine guidance.
  12. To fulfill these “walk admonitions” is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, transferring knowledge as it goes into the mind from the printed page to the human spirit by faith, which becomes the basis and the frame of reference for learning more Doctrine.

Spirituality and the Command to Awake – Ephesians 5:14-18

  1. Verse 13, “Awake” – Wake up and find out how to operate all the wonderful Grace equipment available.
    ”Thou that sleepest” – Those ignorant of the Word of God.
    ”Arise from the dead” – Temporal death, the prodigal son. Indifference and apathy result when the old sin nature controls the life.
    ”And Christ shall give thee light” – The light that Christ gives is produced by God the Holy Spirit. This light is a reflected light and a structure in the soul. This light is a reflected light and brings glory to His Name. The Holy Spirit animates the Christian life.
  2. Verse 15, “Fools” – A carnal Christian under the control of the old sin nature.
    “Wise” – A spiritual Christian, under the control of the Holy Spirit.
  3. “Redeeming the time” – Purchasing the time. They keep on buying up time by being filled with the Spirit. Verse 16.
  4. Verse 17, “But understanding what the will of the Lord is.” The will of the Lord in context is verse 18. A believer is to understand what the will of the Lord is, that is, the filling of the Holy Spirit. It is a command to spirituality.
  5. Verse 18, “Be not drunk with wine” – negative.
    ”But be filled with the Spirit” – positive.

    This is a present tense and means keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is in the imperative mood, which is a command.

    The analogy is liquor controls a person. Results – negative.
    The filling of the Holy Spirit controls the believer. Results – positive.

    The motivating Force on the inside that changes you should be the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Commands Regarding Spirituality

There are two negative commands and one positive command.

  1. The first command, Eph 4:3, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.”
    A. Grieving the Holy Spirit is caused by any sin in the life of the believer which involves a moral or ethical issue.
    B. Grieving the Holy Spirit is producing sins from your area of weakness in the old sin nature, such as immorality, sins of the tongue, mental attitude sins.
    C. These get the believer out of fellowship.
  2. The second command, 1 Thes 5:19, “Quench not the Holy Spirit.”
    A. Quenching the Holy Spirit is disobedience to the Word of God that doesn’t involve a moral or ethical issue.
    B. It is producing human good from the area of strength in the old sin nature.
    C. Human good soothes your conscience and thus you fail to be restored back to fellowship, 1 John 1:9. When you quench the Holy Spirit, it keeps Him from controlling your life.
    D. Disobedience to God’s Word, that is Eph 5:18. This keeps you out of fellowship and keeps you from using 1 John 1:9.

    The first two commands show that we can do something “not to be spiritual.” The third commands shows “that we can do nothing” to be spiritual. It is a supernatural way of life which demands a supernatural means of execution.
  3. The third command, Eph 5:18, “Be filled with the Spirit” indicating that we are not always filled.
    A. The present tense means “keep on being filled” and indicates that we are not always filled.
    B. The Holy Spirit is God, and God cannot control when there is sin in the life.
    C. So, to be controlled by God the Holy Spirit, we must get into fellowship by means of 1 John 1:9, confession of sin. Acknowledge it.
    D. Confess means to identify or name our sin, which is non-meritorious. We do nothing.

False Criteria for Spirituality

  1. Spirituality by tabooism.
    A false idea that if a believer does not play cards, smoke, mixed bathe, go to the movies, dance, etc. he is spiritual “I am spiritual because I observe certain taboos.” One is not spiritual by outward externals, but by being in fellowship. Some of the above taboos are not named as sins in the Bible, but in principle the believer in fellowship may be led to not indulge in them. Fine, but they are not a means to spirituality.
  2. Spirituality by relativity.
    This means by comparing myself with others, I find that I am a better or more spiritual person than they. Perhaps my sins are more refined than other believers’ sins. This is wrong, first to compare people with people. And then second, to make spirituality have degrees. There are degrees of growth but no degrees of spirituality. You are either in fellowship (spiritual) or out of fellowship (carnal). Spirituality is an absolute as is carnality.
  3. Spirituality by crucifying self.
    This is self trying to cancel out self. This is impossible. Perhaps a believer is frustrated, discouraged, defeated, as he decides to nail the flesh to the Cross. He may do it through trying harder and going through a system of sorrow for his sins, penance. Vowing to live as Jesus Christ lived, all to no avail. One is spiritual because the Spirit of God controls the believer. If one is not controlled by the Holy Spirit, then he is out of fellowship and he gets back in by acknowledging the sin or sins that the Holy Spirit points out. Rom 12:1, 1 John 1:9.
  4. Spirituality by prayer.
    This is subtle. Prayer is wonderful. It is ordained of God for believers. But one does not become spiritual by saying, “O Lord, help me to be spiritual. Lord do it.” We do not pray for the filling of the Spirit. The filling of the Holy Spirit comes with Biblical confession of sin. Once the sin or sins are confessed, the automatic result is spirituality.
  5. Spirituality by asceticism.
    This is extreme self-denial. The not eating of certain foods to be spiritual, even monasticism, fasting to be spiritual, even doing things to the point of self-torture to be spiritual. This is again just human works which is no good. Spirituality is thus abused.
  6. Spirituality by discipline.
    I make myself do certain things to be spiritual. I try harder. I get under a schedule. I try to pray an hour a day and study the Word another hour. But it doesn’t work for spirituality. Discipline is a part of the believer’s walk with the Lord, but it is not the basis of spirituality.
  7. Spirituality by ecstatics.
    This is spirituality by emotionalism. One of the facets of the soul is emotions. It is the appreciator of the soul. But it is never a criteria for spirituality, never.

    More to come ...

    False Criteria for Spirituality – Part Two

  8. Spirituality by facial expression or body language. This is superficial hypocrisy.
    A. A long, sad face is not a manifestation of spirituality, but neither is a smiling face.
    B. Spirituality cannot be judged on the basis of facial expression.
    C. Spirituality is on the inside, and if in fellowship, there may be an outward animation. But the outward manifestation is not the important factor. Unbelievers can smile or frown. Anything an unbeliever can do is not spirituality.
  9. Spirituality by the second blessing.
    Never! This is the so-called area of maturity by panacea. One day I am carnal and a Christian failure, the next day I wake up and I have a great experience and from then on I am a power for God. Never!
    A. The filling of the Holy Spirit is needed whenever a person gets out of fellowship. His Grace is not limited to two blessings. You have received the fullness of God’s Grace at the point of salvation. “Grace heaped upon Grace.”
    B. Believers can have numerous blessings, but not of the so-called second-blessing type.
  10. Spirituality by yieldedness.
    This is the most popular error today in the field of spirituality. Rom 6:13 and Rom 12:1-2. “Yield,” forms the basis for this approach,
    they say. However, yieldedness does not produce spirituality. Yieldedness is explained as something the believer must do. No, on human works. There is nothing you can do to be yielded. It is a non-meritorious operation. True yieldedness is actually 1 John 1:9. When you confess your sin, Biblically you are in fellowship, yielded. When you are out of fellowship, you are unyielded. Only a faith operation puts you back in fellowship. Anything more than confession is human works and it only muddies the waters.

Not of works for salvation. Not of works for spirituality.

God is Light and in Him is No Darkness at All

  1. God is light, no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5.
  2. No darkness means no sin or sinfulness in God. God is perfect. Psalm 18:30.
  3. Positionally every believer is in union with Christ, 1 Cor 12:13, in union “with the Light.”
  4. Experientially, the believer “walks in the Light” only when he is filled with the Spirit. When he sins, he is walking in darkness.
    A. He is carnal.
    B. He is out of fellowship.
    C. He is under the control of the old sin nature.
  5. The believer then cannot have fellowship with God when his old sin nature controls his life.
  6. Even though positionally the believer has fellowship with God forever, temporal fellowship depends upon 1 John 1:9, confession.
  7. Just as absolute darkness and light are mutually exclusive, so spirituality and carnality are mutually exclusive.
  8. Illustrated by two sides of one coin. Vocabulary.
    A. John, walking in the light, the Holy Spirit controls.
    Walking in darkness, the old sin nature controls.
    B. Paul, walking in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit controls.
    Walking in the flesh, the old sin nature controls.
  9. Negative volition gets you out from under the control of the Holy Spirit. And you sin, confession of sin gets you back under the control of the Holy Spirit.
  10. Because of our position, “in union with the Light,” we are told to “walk in the Light.”
  11. When a believer is out of fellowship, he is called a weak believer, Rom 14:1.
  12. “Walking in darkness” is emphasizing ignorance of the Word of God.

Wednesday, May 9, 2001


When I was growing up, the Catholic Church told me that if I committed suicide, I would never go to Heaven, that this was an unpardonable sin.

  1. Jesus Christ died for the sin of suicide. 1 John 2:2, Isa 53. He bore all sins, paying the penalty for everyone. This does not mean that everyone is automatically saved.
  2. Saul, a believer, died of suicide. 1 Sam 31:1-6.
    A. Saul was a believer. Study 1 Sam 10, 11.
    B. Saul went to Heaven after he died. 1 Sam 28:19, “You and your sons will be with me” in Heaven.
  3. A believer cannot lose his salvation, or be separated from the love of God for any reason, Rom 8:35-39. When verse 28 says that “death cannot separate the believer from the Lord,” it includes suicide. Study the Doctrine of eternal security. John 10:28, 29, etc.
  4. A believer may be out of fellowship when he dies, but not out of an eternal relationship. Apply the Doctrine of the Cross. Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira, and 1 John 5:16.
  5. A believer or an unbeliever commits suicide when they have a “seared conscience” and close up the eyes of the soul. Study the life of the unbeliever Judas in Matt 27:3-10.
  6. A misunderstanding of some major Doctrines like union with Christ and positional Truth cause many believers to be off in their understanding of suicide. Suicide is horrible, but it doesn’t mean loss of salvation.

Why Suffering???

  1. Six circumstances under which the human race suffers.
    A. Health
    B. People
    C. Privation
    D. Weather
    E. Mental
    F. Justice
  2. Categories of suffering in time.
    A. The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, suffering of the Cross.
    B. The unbeliever, to awaken him to his need of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    C. The believer, 19 reasons why we suffer.

More to follow on why we suffer …

Nineteen Reasons Why Believers Suffer

  1. Suffering caused by the details of life, Ecclesiastes. With a seared conscience everything you touch turns to misery.
  2. Suffering from a guilt reaction to sin and the suppression of the sin in the self-conscious. 1 Tim 1:5, 6, 19-20, 3:9.
  3. Suffering because of calluses formed on the soul. Eph 4:17-19.
  4. Suffering from failure to isolate sin. Heb 12:15. The Doctrine of chain sinning, lighting a new sin off of a confessed sin.
  5. Suffering from the rejection of authority. Judges 18-21, Matt 7:29-8:13, Jer 7, Prov 30.
  6. Suffering from the rapid and accelerated growth to maturity. James 1:1-6.
  7. Suffering from inter-relationship with those who suffer. 1 Cor 12:26, Rom 14:7, 1 Chr 21.
  8. Suffering from the rejection of Right-Man/Right-Woman. Ezek 16, 23.
  9. Suffering from Divine discipline. Heb 12:6.
  10. Suffering from the rejection of the Word of God, therefore rejection of the Lord as the Right-Man. Jer 13.

    More to come ...

    Why Christians Suffer – Part Two

  11. Suffering directly related to the angelic conflict. 1 Pet 1:12, 1 Pet 3:17, Eph 3:9-13.
  12. Suffering to demonstrate the power and provision of Grace. 2 Cor 12:1-10.
  13. Suffering in order to learn the value of the Word of God. Psa 119. Especially notice verses 67, 68, 71. “Good for me to be afflicted, for therein have I learned more of Thy Word.” “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.”
  14. Suffering from national disaster. Isa 59:15-21.
  15. Suffering from the temporary loss of norms. Jer 2:24-25.
  16. Suffering from war. Deut 21, 24, Matt 24:6-7.
  17. Suffering from emotional short circuit in time of tragedy or disaster. John 20:9-18.
  18. Suffering in the process of dying. Job 5:20ff.
  19. Suffering because of a specific spiritual gift, as Paul suffered. Many passages.

Now, when someone asks you why you are suffering, you can show them your scars.

A Christian Survival Kit!

  1. In the days to come, you are going to need a survival kit – the Word of God in the mind and a full knowledge in the human spirit. You will need to function under growing in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and stay off of emotional revolt.
  2. Whether you survive or not depends upon the Doctrine you learn from the Word of God.
  3. The Word of God determines what is going to happen to you in any given set of circumstances in the days to come, “perilous times.”
  4. You carry the Word of God around with you. Or, if not, nox mix.
  5. Your rate of learning differs. But the important thing is to be consistent. Isa 33:6, “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.”
  6. Salvation. John 1:12. It is impossible to survive apart from a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
  7. The Doctrine of eternal security. Rom 8:35-39.
    A. Salvation is the work of God.
    B. God is perfect. His work is perfect.
    C. You cannot do anything to lose it.
    D. No one can ever take it from you. John 10:28-30.

    More to follow …

    Christian Survival Kit – Part Two

  8. The use of the techniques in the Christian life. The techniques are designed to keep you in line until you take in the Word of God as a mature believer. However, you will always use them.
    A. Restoration back to fellowship. The consistent use of 1 John 1:9, resulting in
    B. The filling of the Holy Spirit. This is when the Holy Spirit controls your life and produces Divine good in your life. Eph 5:14-18.
    C. Faith in the Promises of God. Heb 3:7-4:16, knowing and believing and claiming the Promises of God.
    D. Living in the Word. You have to function under growing in Grace. 2 Tim 2:15, Psa 119: 9-11.
    E. Occupation with Christ, Heb 12:1-2, thinking Divine Viewpoint, a mental attitude that is fixed on Christ.
  9. Start using the promises. Begin with at least ten.
    A. Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good.”
    B. Matt 21:22, “And all things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
    C. 1 Pet 5:7, “Casting all your cares upon Him for He careth for you.”
    D. Psa 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee.”
    E. Isa 41:10, “Fear thou not, for I am with you, Be not dismayed for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.”
    F. Psa 37:4-5, “Delight thyself also in the Lord.”
    G. 1 Sam 17:47, “For the battle is the Lord’s.”
    H. Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
    I. Isa 26:3-4, “Thou wilt keep him in peace, peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
    J. Psa 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
    K. 1 John 1:9, the believer’s aspirin. Look it up and use it.

    More to come on survival ...

    Survival Kit – Part Two

  10. Growth to maturity.
    A. There must be a communicator of the Word of God and people to take in the Word of God.
    B. The Word of God must be comprehended.
    C. Then faith must be applied to the Word and the Word stored in the human spirit.
    D. Then the Word is cycled into the mind filling the frame of reference with memory center, the conscience with Biblical norms, and giving that believer a viewpoint which reflects the mind of Christ.
    E. The Word of God is applied and used in daily living.
    F. And finally, a spiritual structure is erected with Grace orientation, mastery over the details of life, living in the Word, capacity for love with inner happiness.
    G. This preserves our nation, under the salt and light principle.
  11. Understand Doctrines and categories.
    A. The essence of God – A foundational Doctrine.
    B. Dispensations – Time Doctrine, understanding God’s time clock.
    C. Christology – Who Christ is and what He did for you on the Dross, now, and in the future.
    D. The Holy Spirit – Understanding His part in salvation and spirituality.
    E. Divine guidance – How to know the will of God at any point, under any circumstance.
    F. Volitional principles – Very important.
    G. Suffering – A vast subject, and needed for the believer’s orientation.
    H. Death – The concept of dying in Grace, and related Doctrines.

    More to come …

    Survival Kit for Believers – Part Three

  12. Orientation to the Grace of God.
    A. We do not earn or deserve anything from God.
    B. Everything depends on who and what the Lord is.
    C. God has a purpose for you. Live as a believer.
    D. If you fulfill the reason for being here, you are going to have a wonderful life and you will live through anything.
    E. If you do not fulfill that purpose, you will live miserably.
    F. You need to understand the wedding of Grace and faith at the Cross.
    1. Only Grace, God’s plan, and faith, man’s non-meritorious system of perception, can conceive, result in, the new birth.
    2. If a substitute is made for faith, i.e., works, then a Biblical spiritual conception does not take place.
    3. Bringing works to Grace, makes Grace step aside. Grace will not tolerate a harem of works.
    a. Believe and ... for the unbeliever – Wrong.
    b. Confess and ... for the believer – Wrong.
  13. Understand the Doctrine of the Grace apparatus for perception.
    ”Not of works” is the order of the day, both for salvation and spirituality.

Temptation for the Believer

  1. The three sources of temptation.
    A. The world, Rom 12:2 – thought temptation.
    B. The flesh, Rom 8 – the old sin nature.
    C. The devil, John 8 – religion and false Doctrines.
  2. The source of sin – the old sin nature.
  3. The areas of control in the believer’s life.
    A. Control of the Holy Spirit.
    B. Control of the old sin nature.
  4. Volition is the switch.
  5. There is nothing wrong in being tempted.
  6. Everyone has different areas of temptation.
  7. Sequence of action.
    A. You are tempted.
    B. You decide, volition, negative volition against God.
    C. If, first class condition, this action, deed, etc, is a sin, and it is, your decision puts you under the control of the old sin nature, even if you were ignorant of the fact that this deed, etc, was a sin.
    D. Now you are under the control of the old sin nature and you have committed an act of sin and are dominated by the old sin nature.
  8. To reverse the action.
    A. You realize you are out of fellowship.
    B. You know the Doctrine of restoration back to fellowship, so the switch is switched to positive.
    C. You confess your sin and you are cleansed.
    D. Now you are under the control of the Holy Spirit.
    E. The Holy Spirit is God and cannot sin.
  9. You cannot sin while under the control of the Holy Spirit. You go negative at the point of temptation and come under the control of the old sin nature, at which point you sin.
  10. Front door to old sin nature control – volition and knowledge
    Back door to old sin nature control – volition without knowledge
    Ignorance of what sin is. Both involve willful sin. Why? You can’t sin without the exercise of your volition, negative.

Test Your Knowledge of the Scriptures

“He that is slow to ____________ is better than the mighty,” Prov 16:32.

”For our Gospel came not n Word only, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much ____________,” 1 Thes 1:5.

”In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good _________, I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.

”Wait on the Lord, be of good ___________ and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say on the Lord,” Psa 27:14.

”For to me to live is Christ and to ________ is gain,” Phil 1:21.

Did you pass??

Thursday, May 10, 2001


  1. Taxation is a bona fide operation in a national entity. Rom 13:1-7, Matt 22:15-22.
    A. Simply because keeping law and order costs money. Rom 13:4.
    B. Because certain privileges enjoyed in a national entity cost money. Rom 13:5, “Subject,” like highways, park systems, etc.
    C. Because bona fide welfare costs money – the poor in the land.
    D. Because government leaders need support. Rom 13:6, full-time job.
  2. Taxation was enjoined by the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt 22:15-22.
    A. “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
    B. From the standpoint of the one being supported by taxes, it is a Grace method. Why? They don’t earn or deserve it.
  3. The Old Testament tithing system was a method of taxation. Num 18:21-24, Deut 14:22-24, Deut 14:28-29.
  4. Taxation can be abused.
    A. By graft, the split of the kingdom. 1 Kings 12:1-15, this causes excessive taxation, excessive because luxurious living is promoted.
    B. By non-bona fide welfare programs, supporting those who can work. 2 Thes 3:6, 10, 11, 12, Prov 24:30ff.
    C. By guaranteed annual income programs. 2 Thes 3:6ff, condemns.
    D. By socialized medicine. Cradle-to-the-grave programs, violate free enterprise, take private practice and makes it a federal program with resultant red tape that violates volition. You must participate or be damned. This violates the discipline of God. Life is designed with trial, heartache, difficulty. It makes you violate Divine Institution number four, nationalism.
    E. By federal laws bailing out bankrupt companies.

    Whenever the federal government takes over and you get some payment, that payment has strings attached. That takes some of your freedom away. As the paperwork grows more and more, they need more staff to produce the slavery. Before too long, the goose that laid the golden egg is dead.
  5. Abused taxation can ultimately bankrupt a nation. Lev 26:26.
  6. Abused taxation will cause slavery. Lev 26:25. Slaves don’t pay taxes, however.

    The term “taxation” does not appear in the English Bible. The words for “taxation” are translated “tithe” or “tribute” or occasionally “yoke.”

Truthfulness – What is Promised for Truthfulness?

“He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within My house, he that telleth lies shall not tarry in My sight,” Psa 101:7.

”Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are His delight,” Prov 12:22.

”A false witness shall not be unpunished and he that speaketh lies shall perish,” Prov 19:9.

”Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him,” Col 3:9-10.

”The lips of Truth shall be established for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment,” Prov 12:19.

”These are the things that ye shall do, Speak every man the truth to his neighbor, execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates, and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath, for all these things are things that I hate, saith the Lord,” Zech 8:16-17.

”In your gates” is talking about government.

Lies and speaking lies are sins of the tongue, the worst. Notice what God hates.

Soul Winning – A Word Not Heard Very Often Today

Many people feel inadequate as soul-winners. What promises does the Lord give to those who win souls?

”And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever,” Dan 12:3.
”The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise,” Prov 11:30.
”Let him know that he which converted the sinner from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins,” James 5:20.
”To the weak I became weak that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some,” 1 Cor 9:22.
”And he saith unto them, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men,” Matt 4:19.
”He that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad,” Matt 12:30.
”For they are white, already to harvest,” John 4:35-36.

Test Your Knowledge of the Scriptures

“But He giveth more Grace wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud but giveth Grace unto the ____________ ,” James 4:6.

”They that sow in tears shall reap in ___________ ,” Psa 126:5.

”God is ________________ and he that dwelleth in _______________ , dwelleth in God and God in him,” 1 John 4:16.

”I waited _______________ for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry,” Psa 40:1.

”Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister, and whosoever of you will be chiefest, shall be ________________ of all,” Mark 10:43-44.

”For the wages of ___________ is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom 6:23.

Case Histories of Believers Who Lived Through Difficulties

  1. Abraham. Gen 12-23.
  2. Joseph. Gen 37-50.
  3. Moses. Exodus 2-6.
  4. Jeremiah. Jer 26, 37.
  5. Daniel. Dan 1-6.
  6. John Mark. Acts 13-15.
  7. Paul. Acts 16, 21-28.
  8. Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John.

Difficulties will come, but they will also pass. The Lord wants to help you in all circumstances, on all occasions, especially in difficult times.

”Call upon Me in a day of trouble and I will deliver thee.”


God has always promised strength to His children. What kind of strength has He promised?

”In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate,” Isa 28:5-6.
”But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint,” Isa 40:31.
”Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness,” Isa 41:10.
”That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience, and longsuffering with joyfulness,” Col 1:10-11.
”And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness, most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Cor 12:9.

Angels in the Tribulation

An interesting study for serious Bible students – Not too frequently taught in the pulpits of our country today

  1. ”Four beasts,” Rev 4, 6, and 15:7. They are living creatures, angels, cherubim, half cherub, and half seraph, four angels that took Satan’s place guarding the throne room of God. There are two Greek words for “beasts.”
    A. “ZOE” – Angelic kingdom, used here.
    B. “THERIA” – Beast or wild animal, used for men that act like beasts, the two dictators of Rev 13.
  2. “Twenty-four elders” – Angels of rank, elder denotes rank, not age. Rev 4:4, Rev 5:8-12, Rev 7:2.
  3. Seven angels that administer the seven trumpet judgments, Rev 8:2.
  4. “Four angels standing on the four corners” – An idiom which refers to the north, east, west, south. These are angels who are in charge of the weather.
  5. Four fallen angels who are bound under the Euphrates River, Rev 9:14.
  6. The angelic herald of Rev 10.
  7. The elect angels are with Michael and the fallen angels are with Satan, Rev 12:7, 9.
  8. The seven angels of judgment of Rev 14.
  9. The seven angels that administer the seven vial judgments, Rev 16.
  10. An angel is in charge of the water to preserve the water supply, Rev 16:5.
  11. An angel calls the fowls of the supper of the great God, a judgment supper. Do not confuse this with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
  12. It is an angel that binds Satan at the end of the Tribulation, probably Michael, Rev 20:1-2.

Additional Angels in the Book of Revelation

A. Interpreting angel, Rev 1:1.
B. Rev 2, 3, “Angel of the Church” – The pastor-teacher.
C. 12 angels of the 12 gates of Jerusalem in eternity, Rev 21:12.

You will have to ask your pastor about the rest.

Abomination of Desolation! What is it??

  1. Understand prophecy, in its dual fulfillment.

    A. First, the “abomination of desolation” was the statue of Zeus Olympus in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, Dan 8:13, approximately 164 B.C.

    B. Second, “the abomination of desolation” will be the statue of the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire in the Tribulation.
  2. Matt 24:15 uses the placing of the statue as a warning to the Jews to flee Jerusalem, referring to it as “the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.”
  3. Daniel 9:27 gives the reason for the placing of the statue in the temple – an alliance between the two dictators and protection for Palestine.
  4. Daniel 11:31 tells of the placing. ”Shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”
  5. Dan 12:11 gives the time it will stand, – three and a half years. ”And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
  6. The statue is the link between the two dictators, both of whom are demon possessed. Rev 13:2, 11, 12 – the dictator of the Revived Roman Empire and the dictator of Palestine.
  7. The dictator of Palestine will have power to give life unto the image. Rev 13:15. The demon goes into the statue and the statue talks.
  8. There will be death for those who do not worship the image. Rev 13:15.

Friday, May 11, 2001

The Anti-Christ in the Tribulation

  1. In the Greek, the word “ANTI” can be translated two ways.
    A. “Instead” – passing himself off as the Messiah.
    B. “Against”
  2. This category is concerned with instead of Christ.
  3. In 1 John 2:8:
    A. “Many anti-Christs” – those against Christ.
    B. “Anti-Christ” – the dictator of Palestine.
  4. The term “anti-Christ” is used in connection with both beasts by some people.
  5. Actually, the second beast, the dictator of Palestine, is the Anti-Christ.
  6. He comes to the Jews and will deceive them into thinking he is the Messiah. Dan 11:37, Rev 13:11, “Like a lamb.”
  7. The Anti-Christ comes from the tribe of Dan. Gen 49:16-18.
    A. Verse 16. Dan is one of the worst of all tribes. Dan is going to rule his people in the Tribulation.
    1. He was the first tribe to go into idolatry, Judges 18:30.
    2. It was the last tribe to receive an inheritance in the land, Josh 19:47-49.
    3. It is mentioned last on every list that involves merit, 1 Chr 27:22.
    4. No evangelists, of the 144,000, come from the tribe of Dan in the Tribulation, Rev 7.
    5. It is omitted from the genealogies of 1 Chr 2-10.
    6. He counterfeits the Lord Jesus Christ.

    B. Verse 17. “Serpent” – dictator, Anti-Christ, the false prophet, beast of Rev 13, controlled by Satan.
    ”Horse” refers to Israel in the Tribulation. Dan will seek to destroy the believing remnant in the Tribulation.
    ”Rider” – Jewish remnant in the Tribulation.

    C. Verse 18. The remnant of Israel offer this cry when Dan starts to oppress them in the Tribulation. Dan depicts apostate Israel under the Anti-Christ in the Tribulation.
  8. The dictator divides the land for gain counterfeiting the Abrahamic Covenant. Dan 11:39.

Demon Activity in the Tribulation

Biblical background, Revelation 16:13-16

  1. Satan is behind the activity in the Tribulation. Also there is human activity.
  2. The background of Armageddon is anti-Semitism. Rev 12:17. Satan’s anger with Israel.
  3. There are three sources trying to get rid of the Jews.
    A. Satan
    B. The dictator of the Revived Roman Empire
    C. The dictator of Palestine
  4. These two dictators are controlled by Satan and are indwelt by demons. Rev 13:2, 11, 12.
  5. Demons are sent “out of the mouth” by Satan – dictator of the Revived Roman Empire, the dictator of Palestine, the false prophet, to gather them to battle.
  6. The responsibility of these demons is to persuade the rulers to follow satanic policies.
  7. This gathering of the nations in the land is the basis for the destruction of these armies at Armageddon.
  8. These demons enable these dictators to work miracles to impress people. The less people think, the more they are impressed by what they do not understand.
  9. Prophecy of Armageddon, Rev 17:4.

Divine Activity in the Armageddon Campaign

There is human activity in Armageddon.
There is demon activity in Armageddon.

  1. There will be four battles in this campaign, but the culmination of the fighting will be done in the Valley of Esdraelon before the hills of Megiddo. The boundaries form a natural valley of approximately 176 by 50 miles, Rev 14:20. Napoleon said, “All the armies of the world could maneuver in battle here.”
  2. Three of the battles are:
    A. The battle of Jehosphaphat.
    B. The battle of Idumaea.
    C. The battle of Esdraelon.
  3. Apparently the angels of judgment are responsible for killing off some of these armies before the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Rev 14:14-20.
  4. The fourth battle is the siege of Jerusalem, which is terminated by the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Zech 12 and 14, Rev 19:11-21.
  5. The armies that come with the Lord Jesus Christ do not fight. Rev 19:14, “White and clean.”
  6. The Lord Jesus Christ slays with His mouth these nations at Armageddon. He alone will do the fighting. Rev 19:13, 21.
  7. The great slaughter is described in Rev 14:20, Ezek 39:12, Zech 14:3, Isa 24:2, 6.
  8. Many passages of Scripture hint that Jesus Christ will destroy by means of “atomic fission or disintegration,” Isa 24:19, 20, 34:4, 9, Ezek 38:19-22, Matt 24:21, 29, Rev 18:8.
  9. The supper of the great God in Rev 19:17-18 is the feast of the fowls of the air upon the dead bodies from Armageddon – the undertakers of the Tribulation.

Daniel’s 70 Weeks and the Tribulation

  1. God never reckons time with Israel when they are out their own land, or out of Divine order – the fifth cycle of discipline.
  2. Dan 9:24-27 speaks of 70 weeks in God’s program for Israel.
    A. One week equals seven years. “Weeks” as used in this passage is a Hebrew word for “sevens.” 70 weeks are literally 70 sevens or 490 years.
    B. Check out Num 14:34 and Ezek 4:6b.
  3. This period of 70 weeks is divided into three sections. Dan 9:25.
    A. Seven weeks, 7 times 7 equals 49 years – troublesome times. This is the period of time that Artaxerxes, 445 B.C. issued the decree to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 2:1-8, until the walls were actually completed.
    B. 62 weeks, three score and two weeks, times 7 equals 434 years – the time from rebuilding the walls to the Cross. 30 A.D.
    C. 1 week times 7 v 27 equals 7 years, the Tribulation.

    ”A” and “B” make a total of 483 years but in Dan 9:24-27 they are promised 490 years. The 483 years are cut off at the Cross. The last seven years are picked up after the Church Age, Rapture.

The Tribulation is Daniel’s 70th age of Israel. These are lunar years of 360 days.

Test Your Knowledge of the Scriptures

“But to him that __________ _________ but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

”Verily, verily I say unto you. He that ______________ on Me hath eternal life.”

”I do not frustrate the ________________ of God, for is righteousness cometh by the law, then Christ died in vain.”

”Not by ______________ of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.”

A Happy Home!

Happiness in the home is God’s plan and everyone’s desire. What does the Bible say?

”But if any man provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel,” 1 Tim 5:8.
”Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Prov 22:6.
”For He appointed a law which He commanded our fathers that they should make known to their children That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments,” Psa 78:5, 7.
”For I told him I would judge his house for ever for the iniquity he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not, 1 Sam 3:13.
”The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him,” Prov 23:24.
”Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest, Yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul,” Prov 29:17.

Human Activity at the Battle of Armageddon

  1. The Scripture primarily to be studied is Dan 11:36-45.
  2. The King of the North wants to get to Africa because of the “treasures of gold and silver” ... “the precious things of Egypt,” Dan 11:43.
  3. The King of the North will choose two routes to Africa.
    A. The fleet will take the water route to Africa.
    B. The land route will go across the western end of Turkey into Syria, into Israel. Dan 11:40.
  4. The King of the North will organize two attacks.
    A. A strategical penetration toward the heart of Africa.
    B. A strategical envelopment along the Mediterranean coast of Africa. He will conquer everything from the Black Sea to Northern Africa.
  5. The King of the North chooses the time of the fifth vial, when darkness covers the Revived Roman Empire, for his activities.
  6. In Dan 11:44 the Revived Roman Empire challenges the north fleet probably at Hafia, to cut off their supply line.
    A. “Tidings out of the north” – to the north of the King of the North at this time.
    B. “Tidings out of the east” – could be either the Arabs or the Kings of the East. They are coming into Palestine, which would be to his east at this time.
  7. “The Kings of the East” – have moved into Palestine, Edom. Rev 16:12. The Euphrates River is dried up to prepare the way. Vial #6.
  8. “The King of the South” – attacks Israel simultaneously with the King of the North’s initial attack. Dan 11:40.
  9. “The King of the West” – will move into the Valley of Esdraelon, which is called Armageddon, to stop the King of the North, who is coming up from Africa. He does this as a part of the alliance made with the dictator of Palestine. This is after the fifth vial judgment is over.
  10. This makes three major troop concentrations.
    A. Valley of Jehoshaphat – near Jerusalem, Arabs from the south and the King of the North from Africa.
    B. Idumaea – the Kings of the East.
    C. Esdraelon – Armageddon, King of the West.

Belief involves placing your trust in one who is thought to be trustworthy. Here are some promises of “believe” to put your trust in.

”And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31.
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name,” John1:12.
”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.
”Be that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God,” John 3:18.
”He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John 6:47.
”He that heareth My Words and believeth on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life,” John 5:24.

Write your definition of belief. What did you believe when you believed?
Write down God’s promises that you would like to memorize.

Belief means trust and commitment. God invites you to put your trust in Him, in His ability to forgive you of your sin and give you everlasting life. The whole purpose of forgiveness is to enjoy God’s friendship.

The first words out of the mouth of Jesus Christ when He was born shows that He knew the Word of God long before His Father taught Him the Word of God.

Here is what He said the day He was born:

Heb 10:5, “Wherefore when He cometh into the world He saith, “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body Thou has prepared for Me.”

This was a quote from the Old Testament which the Baby Christ spoke.

Psa 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire, Mine ears hast Thou opened; burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required.”

He knew the Word before He was taught the Word, showing His fulfilling of all the Old Testament prophecies and offerings and sacrifices – as the only Messiah.

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Hanukkah – The True Light

Eight points where Hanukkah and Christmas are similar.

  1. Both originated in the same land by the same people
  2. Both are on the 25th day of the month
  3. Gifts exchanged
  4. Special songs sung
  5. Commemoration of great historic events
  6. Lights
  7. Prominence of servant
  8. And commercialization

All this is known as the “Feast of Lights.”

The true “SHAMMASH,” the Servant of the Lord said, “I am the Light of the world; He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” John 8:12.

Just as the “SHAMMASH” on the Hanukkah memorial lights all the other branches, Christ is the true Light who gives light to all who come in contact with Him, all who believe in Him.

”This is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved (AGAPE) darkness, rather than light, because their deeds were evil, for every one who doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds be reproved, but he that doeth Truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be manifest that they are wrought in God,” John 3:19-21.

Light and Darkness Are Mutually Exclusive

Light dispels darkness.
Light enables people to see.
Light brings life.
Light purifies.
Light heals.

”The Lord is my Light, and my Salvation,” Psa 27:1.

”Arise, shine; for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the Earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy Light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising,” Isa 60:1-3.

”A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel,” Luke 2:32.

Christ is the effulgence of God’s glory. Heb 1:3, for any who are in darkness to these spiritual Truths, this message is given.

”To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.” Christ, Acts 26:18.

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah celebration lasts eight days. On the first day, the “SHAMMASH,” the prominent branch of the “Hanukkah Menorah,” the nine-branched candlestick, is lighted.

The “SHAMMASH,” which means “servant,” is usually in the center and the tallest of the branches of the candlestick. From it each of the other branches is lighted on subsequent days, until all are lighted.

Tradition tells us that one of the priests in B.C. 164 found a cruse of oil. With this the candlestick was replenished. It is also said that this small quantity of oil was miraculously increased so that it lasted eight days. Hence, the eight days of festivities.

The way in which the Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah today is very significant. The customs of the joyous season points very definitely to One of whom all the divinely inspired Jewish prophets of old wrote. The One revealed in the New Testament.

”To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name is given the remission of sins,” Acts 10:43.

Israeli Torchbearers!

One of the interesting and exciting customs in Israel during the historic celebration is the carrying of the “Hanukkah torch of freedom” from Modin to Jerusalem.

The torches are lighted in Modin, the historic site near Lydda, where the Macabees rebelled in ancient times. The flaming spears are carried by marathon runners, both young men and women. They run from Modin in relays to Tel Aviv and then on to Jerusalem where torchlight processions are held.

”Holding forth the Word of life.”

The Importance of Bible Study

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand for ever,” Isa 40:8.

”For verily I say unto you, till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled,” Matt 5:18.

”Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” Deut 8:3, Matt 4:4, Luke 4:4.

”Thy Words are found and I did eat them, and Thy Word to me was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart,” Jer 15:16.

”And these Words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart,” Deut 6:6.

”Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee,” Psa 119:11.

”The Statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes,” Psa 19:8.

”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.

”Search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me,” John 5:39.

”Sanctify them through Thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth,” John 17:17.

Mother’s Day – A Mother’s Prayer

Lord of life, Who once was cradled
On a human mother’s knee,
Fed and clothed, and taught and guided
Through the years of infancy.
Help and bless us, as we gather
With our cares and needs to Thee.

Waking in the early morning
To the round which each day brings,
Sitting late into the evening
Making garments, mending things.
Give us strength and cheerful patience
For these common happenings.

Lord, we thank Thee for our children
With their faces bright and fair,
With their laughter and their temper
Making gladness, bringing care.
Teach us how to keep them upright
True and gallant, everywhere.

Show us when to hold and curb them
When to set them finally free,
How to keep their love and reverence
Stainless through the years to be.
How to win their adoration
And their loyalty to Thee.

And since we have often faltered,
Missed the road and lost the way,
Known temptation, met with trouble
Hear us mothers as we pray.
Be Thyself their Guide and Master
Shape and fit them for their day.

Mother’s Day Prayer

Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber
Holy angels guard thy bed.
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.

How much better thou art attended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from Heaven He descended
And became a Child like thee.

Soft and easy is thy cradle,
Course and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable
And His softest bed was hay.

May you live to know and fear Him
Trust and love Him all thy days,
Then go dwell for ever near Him
See His face and sing His praise.

Promises for Mother’s Day!

Prov 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”

Prov 10:1, “But a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”

Prov 15:20, “But a foolish man despiseth his mother.”

Prov 19:26, “He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.”

Prov 20:20, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”

Prov 23:22, “Despise not thy mother when she is old.”

Prov 28:24, “Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.”

Prov 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Prov 30:11, “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.”

Prov 30:17, “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”

Prov 31:27-30, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Sunday, May 13, 2001

The Similarities Between the Grave of the Lord Jesus Christ and John the Baptist ... and the Difference!

Matt 14:12, “And His disciples came and took up the body and buried it and went and told Jesus.”

Matt 28:8, “And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy and did run to bring His disciples word.”

There is a remarkable parallel and a still more remarkable contrast between these two groups of disciples at the graves of their respective masters.

John the baptist’s followers venture into the very jaws of the lion to rescue the headless corpse of their martyred teacher from a prison grave. They bear it away and lay it reverently in its unknown sepulcher.

When they have done these last offices of love, they feel that all is over. They have no longer a center, and they disintegrate. There is nothing to hold them together anymore. As a school or as a distinct community they cease to be. That sorrowful little group that turned from John’s grave parted then to meet no more and to bear away only a common sorrow that time would comfort and a common memory that time would dim.

The other group laid their martyred Master in His grave with as tender hands and as little hope as did John’s disciples. The bond that held them together was gone too, and the disintegrating process began at once, and they break up into little groups and soon they, too, will be scattered.

The women come to the grave to perform the women’s office of anointing and they are left to go alone, but all at once a new element comes in and all is changed.

The earliest visitors to the sepulcher leave it not with the lingering sorrows of those who have no more that they can do. But with quick buoyant steps of people charged with great and glad tidings. They come to it wrapped in grief and they leave it with great joy. They come to it feeling that all was over and that their union with the rest who had loved Him was little than a remembrance. And they go away feeling that are all bound together more closely than ever.

The grave of John was the end of a school. The grave of Jesus Christ was the beginning of a Church. Why? The only answer is the message that the women brought back from the empty sepulcher on that Easter day. ”The Lord is risen!” What a difference!

Is the Spiritual Life Necessary?

The spiritual life is necessary to have the consciousness of our fellowship with the Lord. If you are going to be conscious of fellowship with the Lord, you are going to have to live the spiritual life. 1 John 1:3-10.

One of the hardest things in the world to do is to get “Christians” to admit they have sinned. Sin separates us from consciousness of fellowship with the Lord.

When we sin we are told to “judge ourselves,” to “confess our sins.” After we have judged ourselves as having sinned and confessed that sin to God, God forgives us of that sin and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He not only forgives us, which means to forget, but He also cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Then we are living in harmony with God.

Roman 8:28 – And the Spiritual Life

It is only when we are living in harmony with our Lord that we can really understand and appreciate Romans chapter eight.

If we are living in harmony with the Lord, if we have dealt with our sins, if we have judged and confessed our sins to Him, then we can say, ”I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose,” Rom 8:28.

If we love the Lord, we are going to obey Him. He tells us when we sin we are to confess it to Him. Confessing is telling Him that we have judged ourselves and we know we have done something wrong, When we do that, God forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Then we are back in harmony with Him.

The spiritual life is necessary to have consciousness of fellowship with the Lord.

The Spiritual Life is Necessary

The spiritual life is necessary if we are going to have the abundant, rich, full life.

In John ten, our Lord said, “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” In the previous verse, ”I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

It is through a sense of fellowship with the Lord that we can really enjoy the Christian way of life.

Psa 16:8 the Psalmist said, “I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

The psalmist keeps the Lord always before him. He was always looking to the Lord. Because the Lord was at his right hand, he said, “I shall not be moved.”

Because the psalmist kept his mind on the Lord, he knew he would not be moved by circumstances and conditions.

A Mountain Top Experience

There are many Christians today who are on the mountaintops as long as everything is going well. They rejoice in the Lord, and they are happy, and they sing praises of the Lord. They talk about how wonderful it is to be alive and how happy they are that they are Christians.

The next day they get up. They are the same Christian, in the same home, in the same city, going to the same job. And you never hear them praising anything now. All they say is, “Oh I wish I were dead. I wish the Lord would take me home.”

Something has gone wrong. Something doesn’t suit them. Someone has failed them. They are slaves to their problems. They are slaves to their circumstances, and conditions. They don’t enjoy life.

Why? Because they are not conscious of the Lord. They have taken their eyes off the Lord, and put them on their troubles.

There is only one way to enjoy life and that is to be conscious of fellowship with the Lord.

The psalmist said, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved,” Psa 16:8.

He knew he wasn’t going to be moved by circumstances, conditions, opinions, disappointments. He wasn’t going to be moved because his mind, his eyes, were upon the Lord. He always set the Lord before him.

”Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”

Monday, May 14, 2001

Christianity is a Relationship and not a Religion

Some times Christ calls us brethren

In the following passage He shows just how intimate our relationship is, in that the way we are treated in this world, He is treated by us being in union with Him.

”For I was as hungered and ye gave Me meat.”
”I was thirsty and ye gave Me drink”
”I was a stranger and ye took Me in.”

”Naked and ye clothed Me,”
”I was sick and ye visited Me.”
”I was in prison and ye came unto Me.”

”Then shall the righteous answer Him saying,”
”Lord, when saw we Thee hungered and fed Thee?”
”Or thirsty and gave Thee drink?”
”When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in?”
”Or naked and clothed Thee?”
”Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?”

”And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”

Now that it is a personal intimate relationship! He is affected when we are affected.

How Christ Spent Mother’s Day

“Who is My Mother?”

”Then one said unto Him, Behold Thy Mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee.”
”But He answered and said unto him that told Him, ‘Who is My Mother? and who are My brethren’?”
”And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, ‘Behold My Mother and My brethren’.”
”For whosoever shall do the will of My Father, which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother,” Matt 12:47-50.

Christianity is a personal relationship and not a religion.

The Result of Trusting in the Lord

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings, his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord,” Psa 41:7.

His heart (mind) doesn’t jump from one to another. Too many people’s minds are fixed on the Lord until trouble comes and then their minds become immediately fixed on their trouble. Then they can’t have a great deal of help. The trouble is that our minds are not fixed on Him.

David said in Psa 62:5, “My soul, wait thou upon God, for my expectation is from Him.” There is the answer. It is trusting in the Lord.

He doesn’t expect anything from man. He only expects things from the Lord. He was trusting Him. His mind was fixed upon Him.

God tells us if we fix our minds upon Him we are not going to be troubled at evil tidings, because with our minds fixed on Him. We trust Him because we know He is capable of helping us. We can’t help but trust Him.

We find that we will be delivered from fear if we are fixing our minds on Him, because then we trust Him.

”I will keep him in peace, peace, because he trusteth in Me.”

“He Shall Not be Afraid of Evil Tidings Because His Mind is Fixed Trusting in the Lord”

If your mind is fixed on Him, you don’t have to worry about anything. There is nothing to worry about because “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

The trouble is that our mind comes off the Lord and goes on our trouble. Then our trouble becomes bigger in our minds than God because if our minds are upon difficulties, our minds are off the Lord.

”As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he.”
”Guard your mind with all diligence, for out of it come the issues of life.”

Then our Lord becomes smaller and smaller and smaller.

One of the reasons for that is that we expect too much from ourselves. And the more we expect from ourselves, the less we expect from God.

How we need to learn this and really know ourselves.

Are You Happy?

“Praise ye the Lord.” “Blessed (happy) is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.”

A good man is a God-fearing man, who delights greatly in God’s commandments. He is a God-conscious man.

This man’s whole life is lived under the fact that he believes in God. He is conscious of God when he gets up in the morning, and he continues this all the way through the day. He delights in obeying God. He wants to obey God because he is conscious of God, he fears God.

A lot of us get up in the morning and forget all about God. In fact, we are not conscious of God unless something happens to cause us to remember Him.

Things are going good and we have a normal expectancy for the day. There may be some pleasant things in store for us. Although we have decisions to make, we feel that we have control of the situation.

Then we eat our breakfast and then we go down to work and start working. Our mind is upon decisions, our mind is upon working, and we haven’t thought a thing about the Lord.

But a man that fears the Lord, he delights greatly in God’s commandments. So, we see a good man, a man whom God calls good, is a man that is not afraid of evil things because he is God fearing, and God conscious, and he is a man whose entire life is lived under the fact that he believes in God.

”You believe in God. Believe also in Me.”

“He That is Greedy of Gain Troubleth His Own House, But He That Hateth Gifts Shall Live,” Proverbs 15:27

How many broken homes there are today purely and simply because the man of the house is more concerned about money. More concerned about acquiring wealth in this Earth, than he is in living the life of a good husband and a good father.

There are lots of successful businessmen that are utter failures as far as being a husband or a father is concerned.

How true that is today. Father’s Day is coming up.

“Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith,” Prov 15:16, 17.

I wonder how many of us know people, perhaps this is true of your own home, that have everything that this world can offer. They have plenty of money, but their home is torn to pieces.

I know you would much prefer lots less of this world’s goods and have a home where there is love at the table.

While you may not have great sirloin steaks, or t-bone steaks, or crepe suzettes, or any wonderful meals, you would much prefer to do without those things, if there is more love at your table and in your home.

”Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.”

It is a lot better to be poor and have fear of the Lord than to have wealth and nothing but trouble. It is better to have a dinner of herbs where there is love, than a great banquet without love.

Treasure and trouble ... or love at the table.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

The Richest Man That Ever Lived – “Therefore I Hated Life”

Is your life worth living?

A lot of people are distressed for the wrong reason, because they forget that material possessions of this world do not guarantee a happy life.

In the book of Ecclesiastes we find that Solomon was a great man. He was a very wealthy man. He was a very wise man. Solomon was also the richest man in the world.

In Ecc 2:9 we find this. “So I was great and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me, and whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them. I withheld not my heart from any joy, for my heart rejoiced in all my labour and this was my portion of all my labour.”

Here is a man who obtained everything he wanted. He was greater than anyone. He had more wealth than anyone. He didn’t deny himself anything he saw that he wanted. He had everything that he could possibly dream of.

But we find in verse 11, “Then I looked on all my works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do. And behold all was vanity and vexation of spirit. And there was no profit under the sun.”
He piled up human good, dead works.

And in verse 17 he said, “Therefore I hated life.”

Here was a man who was very wealthy and very powerful. There was no joy that he had not experienced. He didn’t withhold anything from himself. Anything he wanted he took. He could take it and he did. Yet he said, “I hated life because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me. For all is vanity and vexation of spirit.”

I imagine there are many today who find themselves in the same boat with Solomon. They have anything they want in life, and yet they hate life, which is the pursuit of happiness apart from the Lord – a frantic search for happiness.

Is Your Life Worth Living?

If life is going to be worth living at all, it must not be influenced by the sins of yesterday, when we realize we are right with God, that God counts us righteous.

Then we find in Isa. 32:17, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace. And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.”

When we realize that in the face of our sins God has declared us righteous; the work of that righteousness should be peace, assurance, and quietness in our souls.

But the trouble is we permit our mistakes of yesterday to influence our lives today. Yet that is the very thing that God tells us not to do.

Heb 10:15-17, God said, “Wherefore the Holy Spirit also is a Witness to us, for after that He had said before,” notice it, “This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their minds and in their mind will I write them, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

That means that God has forgotten our sins. After you have accepted Christ as your Saviour, He has forgotten all of your mistakes and all of your weaknesses, and all of your sins of yesterday, He has forgotten them. It is just as though you have never sinned.

”Forgetting those things which are behind,” Phil 3:13.

The Greatest Accomplishment in Life!

The Lord said that man’s life does not consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses. Solomon proved that. The trouble is, we put too much emphasis and too much importance on possessions and not enough on relationship and accomplishment.

Someone said to me, “That is one of the reasons why I am so distressed. I feel that I have not accomplished anything in my life.”

”I see other men I went to school with and some I graduated from the same class at college with me. Look at them. They are all millionaires. Look at me. I am still working on the same salary. I have not accomplished anything.”

What do you mean “You have not accomplished anything?” “You are a Christian, are you not?” And for life to be worth living you have to have a sense of accomplishment. Don’t you realize that every born again child of God has achieved the greatest accomplishment that man could possibly attain in this world? You have accomplished that which mankind has been searching and seeking and striving for ever since the dawn of history.”

What is the motive behind every Christian thought? Every Christian act? And Christianity? What is the motivating thought behind them? What is the impetus of them? What is the source of them? Why do we have Christianity?

Because man is trying to get back to a right relationship with God. That began when God created man in His own image. Then, because of his sin, God drove man from Him. From that day on man has been trying to get back to a right relationship with God.

The greatest accomplishment that man could possibly achieve is to get back in right relationship with God. We find that you and I as children of God have accomplished this.

Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
”Being justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
”Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through faith in His blood.”
”But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

We are now in a right relationship with God and that is the greatest of all accomplishments.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

The Greatest Achievement Afforded Us in This World

God did the most for us when we were enemies and aliens of His. At the point of salvation we accomplished the greatest of all achievements, our so great salvation.

Now that we are His children, He can only do much more for us than He did when we were His enemies. That is the “much more of our great accomplishment.”

Not only do we find that we are in a right relationship with God, but we find in Gal 4:4, ”But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father, wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” We are now sons of God, heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

You talk about accomplishment, this is the greatest accomplishment that man could possibly achieve, to be back in a right relationship with God. People don’t put much importance upon this. But it is the most important thing in the world. How do you stand with God?

Years ago on TV, a leading physicist in the world was brought to our country and was asked, “What do you think is the most important thing in the world for man to strive for today?” ”Well, we know there is a God, and because there is a God, don’t you think that He is the most important thing?” Newspapermen looked at each other and couldn’t say a thing because, after all, God is the most important thing.

“Wars and Rumours of War Till I Come”

Rev 20:2 says that Satan causes war on Earth with all of its horrors, for when he is bound, war ceases, and when he is loosed, war is resumed.

Matt 24:6, “Ye shall have wars and rumours of wars.”
Mark 13:7, “Wars and rumours of wars.”
Luke 21:9, “Wars and commotions.”
Luke 22:36, “He that hath no sword let him sell ...”
Rom 13:4, “For he beareth not the sword in vain.”
1 Cor 14:8, “Who shall prepare himself to the battle.”
Matt 12:29, “Entereth a strong man’s house, bind the strong man.”
Luke 11:21, “A strong man keepeth his palace.”

Rev 20:7-8, “And when the 1000 years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the Earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

The word “battle” is literally the word “war,” the Greek word “POLEMON.”

Christ knew what he was talking about when He said “there would be wars and rumors of war till I come.”

Despite the war on war, and the League of Nations, and the United Nations, we still have war, even more than before. They can’t stop war from happening. There will be a war, even after the Millennium – a perfect environment – is brought in. Why?

”From whence cometh wars and fightings among you?”
”Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?”
”Ye lust and have not.” “Ye kill, and desire to have and cannot obtain.”
Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

As long as there are people with old sin natures, there will be war.


God, “EL,” “ELOHIM,” means the Almighty One, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Science has proved conclusively that this great cosmos of ours, this great universe of ours, is a finite universe. They have found that scientifically.

Of course, the Bible has been teaching it for a thousand years, but they have just discovered it in the past few years. That means as one great scientist said, “Because the universe is a finite universe, we know for certain now that there must be a great infinite God.”

Don’t you think then that the most important thing for you and for me is to get to a right relationship with God? When we look down through the ages, we see man striving, fighting wars over it, spending billions and billions of dollars, man agonizing, man doing everything under the sun hoping to get back in right relationship with God.

But only we who are putting our trust in the Lord are in right relationship with God.

The Creator, Saviour, Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the Truth, and the Life, and no man cometh to the Father except by Me,” John 14:6.

God counts faith for righteousness today.

The Principle of Imputed Righteousness!

“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.

When you trust the Lord, you are recognizing within yourself your complete dependence upon God. And when you do that, God counts that for righteousness. That means rightness with Him.

Therefore, He declares you righteous. He gives you His righteousness. Therefore, you are in a right relationship with God, which is the greatest accomplishment that man can achieve or ever has achieved since the dawn of man’s history.

People talk about the atomic bomb. They talk about nuclear physicists who have accomplished great things. What is that? When they die, they close their eyes here, and they leave it all behind.

The greatest thing in the world is for man to get back to a right relationship with God so that when he passes on out of this old world, he goes straight home to be with the Lord.

That is number one. Being children of God. Gal 3:26, Heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and God watches over us and supplies our needs.

Yes, there must be first a sense of accomplishment. And we who are children of God have accomplished the greatest achievement that man could possibly attain, and that is getting back in right relationship with God.

“Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind,” Philippians 3:13

“Remember Lot’s wife.” She never did reach safety. She never did reach the place that God intended her, because she looked back at the place where Lot’s mistakes and her’s were made. She looked back.

That is the trouble today with so many of God’s children. They are not enjoying the Christian way of life as they should be. They are not getting anything out of prayer. They are not getting anything out of their relationship with God because they keep looking back at the place of their mistakes.

When the children of Israel were delivered across the Red Sea, they whined and cried every time that trouble came in on the horizon. And they said, “Why didn’t you let us stay in Egypt?” Leaks and garlic. They kept looking back. Out of six hundred thousand footmen, only two went into the Promised Land. The ones who looked back never reached the Promised Land.

Let’s stop looking back and looking on. Looking unto Jesus. Let us look forward and let us look up. Forget your mistakes. And thank God He has made it possible for me to forget my mistakes of yesterday so that I can press on.

There can be no joy in the soul of anyone, no one, so long as he looks back. Let us look forward. Do not let your life today be influenced by your sins of yesterday.

“Where There is No Vision, the People Perish”

In order to have a life worth living, there must be a sense of purpose in life. In Prov 29:18 we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The word “perish” means to go to pieces. “Where there is no vision, My people go to pieces.” That is the trouble with so many people today, they don’t have a vision.

God has a purpose for each and everyone of you.

Eph 2:8-10. “For by Grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before ordained that we should walk in them.”

The phrase “unto good works” is literally, for the purpose of good works. God has a definite purpose for everyone that was saved. What is it? You tell me what your work is and I can tell you.

”Well I don’t have any work. I am just a housewife.” You don’t have any work? You are just a housewife?

That is one of the greatest works we have in this world. You can glorify your heavenly Father by raising your children, by guiding them properly, with the help of your husband.

Husbands you also fulfill God’s purpose for life which we find in Isa 43:27 that man was created for His glory. You can glorify God in your work by being just in your dealings toward man and being faithful and loyal to your employer,

Children, you glorify God by fulfilling God’s purpose for you in honoring your mothers and your fathers.

Man’s primary purpose for life is to glorify God. So life can really be worthwhile living if you trust the Lord completely, not only for eternity, but for your present life.

Sins in the Book of Jude!

We are told to keep ourselves from things which will defile the name of our Lord, that would hurt our witness, that would cause people to question our salvation, and hurt our standing before God.

There are several sins He warns us to be watchful of:

First, the sin of unbelief as exampled by the children of Israel.
Second, the rebellion of the angels against God.
Third, in Sodom and Gomorrah immorality and lasciviousness.
Fourth, the arrogance of those who spoke against dignitaries and knew not what they were speaking about.
Fifth, Cain’s envy and hatred.
Sixth, greed and covetousness in Balaam
Seventh, rebellion against the leadership of God in Korah.

We are told to keep ourselves from those. And then comes the great question, “How can we??”

It is very easy to have lack of faith. It is very easy to be a little bit arrogant now and then and a little self-righteous. It is easy to be envious and covetousness. Sometimes it is easy to rebel against God’s leadership. God puts a man in a Church and we don’t like the way he combs his hair, or we don’t like some sermon or message he has given, so we rebel against him. Forgetting that God put him there because God places the pastors in the Churches. How can we be certain we are not going to do these things?

In the 19th and 20th verses he gives us the instructions. “They be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the spirit.” ”But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”

How can we strengthen ourselves in the faith? The most important thing is, “Learn of Me and you will find rest for your soul.”

A Promise of the Lord in 1 Peter 3:12

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous.” That means those who are putting their trust in the Lord.

”And His ears are open to their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against that do evil.”

Notice that “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous.” You and I have been declared righteous. What do we find in Rom 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

God counts faith for righteousness ... not works.

If you are trusting the Lord, you have been declared righteous. God has given unto you His righteousness and you are ever in His eyes. His eyes are ever upon you. If His eyes are on you, He is thinking of you. Not only does He see you, but he thinks of you.

”And His ears are open to your prayers.” God will hear your prayers. This is a statement that I believe just as much as I believe John 3:16, if you have put your trust in the Lord. If you are depending upon Him for your salvation, then you are safe in His hands. His eyes are upon you. He says that Himself.

He is thinking about you. He is listening to you. It is sometimes hard to get this gracious Truth into your mind, but it is wonderful when we understand it.

Thursday, May 17, 2001


While the national and international conditions may becoming adverse to what we feel that they should be, yet remember that the Lord is not dealing with the nations today.

As far as the nation is concerned, He is “calling out” people out of the nations. That is where the word “Church” comes from, the word “EKKLESIA” meaning “a called-out body.”

The Holy Spirit is pleading with people to come to the Lord. They are forming the one body, “the body of Christ,” the true Church. We are then sealed in Christ. God has us in His hands. And when we are bowed down in great sorrow, God will not let us go.

We find in Isa 41:10, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness ... For I, the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear thee not, I will help thee.”

We are safe in His hands. Because He is dealing with individuals now, His mighty power is not being utilized to direct nations. We are in the “times of the Gentiles,” or man’s day.

People say “If the Lord is what you say He is, why does He permit these wars?” Man is incapable of governing himself. But he doesn’t think so. Man is incapable of maintaining a peaceful prosperity because there is hatred and jealousy in them.

If God would enter in and direct the affairs of man, then man would feel that he is directing things himself. Therefore, man would not recognize any need for God.

Any thinking man that would look back at history would certainly understand his need for God. But we who have turned to God do not have to worry, because we are safe in His hands. There is no power in Heaven or Earth that can take us out of that great power which is directed towards holding us. John 10:28-29.

“Fear Not” – Exodus 14:13

To you who have problems to face, to you who are going through trying times, the Lord’s message is, “Fear not.” He tells you to stop worrying. Be still in your soul.

Did you ever stop to realize that every time the Lord is mentioned to those who put their trust in Him, the first exhortation is “Fear not”? The message of our Lord’s birth was heralded with “Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy.”

There should be no room for fear in the mind of a child of God. And there will be no fear in the mind of the child of God if he will keep his mind on the Lord. It is only when one looks at trouble that fear comes into one’s mind.

When one looks at the Lord, fear leaves. There is “no fear in love.” When we are conscious of God’s love, there is no fear in our minds.

Don’t exert yourself. Be calm. Stand still and turn your troubles over to the Lord. Then you will see that the Lord will work for you. ”Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”

The “salvation of the Lord” embodies more than the salvation of one’s soul from hell. That in itself is wonderful. But “the salvation of the Lord” embodies much more than that.

It includes “God’s watch care” over you. He knows what you are going to go through. He knows your needs better than you know them. When the time comes, you will see that “His salvation” for which you have placed yourself in His hands, embodies salvation from other things.

So, if you have a very difficult situation confronting you, turn it over to the Lord and let Him go to work for you. His salvation not only embodies preservation of the soul from hell, but also preservation of the soul from trouble and distress.

Assurance, Security, Confidence, Courage

To you who question your salvation,
To you who feel it is possible for you to lose what the Lord has done for you,
To you who believe that God thinks more of sin than He does of the Cross of Christ,
To you who feel that there is more power in man’s sin than there is in the blood of Christ shed on Calvary’s Cross,

Let us see what the Lord has to say.

John 6:37, “All that the Father hath given me shall come unto Me and him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”

Now that is a blessed Scripture for preachers and for Sunday School Teachers. You may feel that you are inadequate. You may feel that you fail the Lord because someone hasn’t accepted Christ through your message or lesson.

All that the Father gives to the Lord goes to Him. And you can’t prevent it.

I have more faith in the power of God than I have in my weakness or yours. God is able to reach through an indifferent pastor and a cold formal service, and touch the soul of some lost soul and save him.

”For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again in the last days,” verse 44.

”I shall give unto them life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hands,” John 10:28-29.

This should help you to have assurance of your salvation.

We Are Invited To:

”Taste and see that the Lord is Gracious.”

It is based on this principle: “Christ tasted death for every man.”

The taste of death provides a taste of Grace.

Friday, May 18, 2001

When Solomon Died!

1 Kings 11:42, “And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was 40 years. And Solomon slept with his father.”

Have you ever stopped to realize that Solomon, the greatest, mightiest, wealthiest, and wisest of all kings of Israel was the most disastrous failure in Israel’s history? Why? What happened at Solomon’s death?

Immediately there was a rebellion against the house of David because of Rehoboam. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, didn’t do what the elders of Israel advised him to do, so we find in 1 Kings 12:19, “So Israel rebelled against the house of Israel unto this day.”

Immediately after Solomon died, there was a division in the house of Israel. The ten tribes of Israel turned and rebelled against Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, which was of the house of David. They made Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s enemies, king.

”Then Jeroboam built Sheckem in Mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord of Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord, even unto Rehoboam, king of Judah.”

He was afraid that if the people were permitted to worship at Jerusalem, the ten tribes that had rebelled against the house of David would turn back and follow Rehoboam, the rightful king, and slay Jeroboam the usurper.

So what did Jeroboam do?

”Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

Jeroboam set one in Bethel and the other in Dan and the people began to worship idols. They even made priests of the lowest of the people which were not sons of Levi.

So we see that after the death of Solomon, Israel rebelled against the house of David. Judah was the only tribe that stayed with Rehoboam. The others wanted a king, so they made Jeroboam king.

Was Solomon a failure or wasn’t he? All of Solomon’s life he was so magnificent in his array and he built a tremendous standing army. He raised Israel up to a wonderful nation, but through the magnificence of Solomon, Israel lost the vision of God. All they could see was their own greatness. And not the Grace of God.

“Whom Having Not Seen, Ye Love,” 1 Peter 1:8-9

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Notice the first phrase again. “Whom having not seen, ye love.” In other words, while we have not seen Him face to face, yet we love Him because we know that He first loved us. We find that in 1 John 4. We love Him because He first loved us and He proved His love to us by what He did. He gave His life on Calvary’s Cross, bearing our sins, that through His death, we might have eternal life.

We can’t help but loving the Lord, realizing what He gave up for us. The price that He paid – His own life. He came down here to people who didn’t want Him, but that needed Him.

A lot of people unfortunately don’t want the very thing that they need the most. All mankind needs our Lord. A lot of people don’t want Him. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need Him.

When we realize what He did, we can’t help but love Him.

”In Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” There is one of the greatest Truths of all.

Notice associated with the word “believing” we find the word “joy.” There can be no joy in a Christian’s life unless there is faith in the Lord. We cannot enjoy the Christian life unless we have faith. We cannot help but worrying unless we have faith. If we would just have faith in our Lord and His love for us, then we wouldn’t have any fear at all.

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torments. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

God’s perfect love for us should cast out fear, but it won’t unless we believe. Stop a moment and meditate on this. Peter said, “We are in heaviness of heart, because of many trials, and testings.” Yet he says, “They are only for a season.” And we need them or they wouldn’t happen to us.

The Lord loves us. He loves you and me, and He is almighty. We are safe in His hands, so that anything that comes into your life is permitted by Him. And because He loves us, anything He permits is for our good or He wouldn’t have permitted it.

But regardless what comes into our lives, we can have joy if we will just trust Him.

“Not With Wisdom of Words”

Business, government, warfare, athletics, labor. Paul, the scholar, draws from them all as he seeks to make clear the message of God.

In business it may be a “title deed,” “the credit and debit side of the ledger,” “the forfeiture of what was thought to be a gain,” “the earnest money paid in the transference of property,” the receipt “paid in full,” “a last will or testament or broken contract.”

In warfare, it is the soldier, his weapons, his armor, his shield, his wages.

In government, the common wealth, its citizens, their responsibilities and privileges, appear in the apostle’s writings.

In the world of labor, the slave and the skilled artisan, the finished product. The possibility that a piece of work my be returned by the employer, rejected because of failure to meet specifications, all become illustrations which Paul uses.

In athletics, the race course down which the runners speed, the crown of oak leaves that graces the brow of the winner, the desperate agonizing efforts of two wrestlers, the concerted team work of one group of athletes against another group, the Greek stadium with the watchers intent upon the outcome, the judge’s stand, all become for Paul illustrations familiar to the public of the Roman world, and because familiar, an ideal medium by which to preach the Gospel.

Paul, the scholar, the man of books, trained in the Greek schools, yet spoke and wrote the language of the average man when he preached the Word of God.

Paul’s Use of a Business Term

Heb 11:1, “Faith is the substance.”

He uses a business term when he speaks of faith as the “title deed” of things hoped for.

The word “substance” being translated from a Greek word used in legal practice for a title deed.

When he warns the Hebrews against the act of renouncing their professed faith in the Messiah and going back to Old Testament sacrifices after have been led along by God the Holy Spirit in His pre-salvation work.

He says that renunciation would be like the act of a man breaking a contract which they had made. Heb 6:6, for they would be breaking the contract which they had made with the Holy Spirit in allowing Him to lead them on towards Christ. The words, “fall away” being the ones referred to here.

The Believer as the “Servant” of the Lord

When Paul desired a word that he would give to the ordinary reader of the first century, what the Christian system of teaching included with respect to the individual believer’s relation to his Lord as a “servant,” he searched the whole vocabulary of the laboring man for the proper term. He had a choice of six words, all speaking of one who serves.

  1. One referred to a person captured in war, or kidnapped and sold as a slave.
  2. One spoke of a household servant. Rom 14:4, 1 Pet 2:18.
  3. Another was used as a designation of a servant in official capacity with emphasis upon his activity in the service. John 2:5, 12:26, Rom 13:4.
  4. Another referred to servants who were court officers. Matt 26:58.
  5. Yet another word, Heb 3:5, spoke of a servant who was an attendant upon someone, the emphasis being upon the fact that his services are voluntary, whether as a freeman or as a slave.

But Paul chose none of these.

The word that the Holy Spirit led him to use in found in Philemon 16. Onesimus was the slave of Philemon. He was one bound to him, one born into slavery, one bound to his master in a permanent relationship which only death could break, one whose will is swallowed up in the will of his master, one who is devoted to his master even to the disregard of his own interests.

Saturday, May 19, 2001


Paul borrows from the language of the soldier and of war. The ”instruments” we are to put at the service of the Lord in Rom 6:13 are referred to by the Greek word as weapons. The word was used of implements of war, either offensive or defensive – harness, armor, the heavy shield used by the Greek foot soldier. Its use here gives one the idea of two armies, Satan’s and God’s, with the believer in God’s army.

The word “wages” in Rom 6:23 is from a Greek word which means “cooked meat.” At Athens it meant “fish” and it came to mean the “provision-money” which Rome gave its soldiers.

The same word is used in 1 Cor 9:7, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges??”

Wages or Provision-Money

As the Roman soldier received provision-money with which to sustain life so that he could fight and die for Caesar, so the unsaved receive provision-money from sin, spiritual death – the wages of sin – so that they can serve it, then physical death, and finally banishment from the presence of God for all eternity.

Neither receives wages, only sustenance enough to enable him to serve his master.

Accoutrements of Warfare

In Ephesians 6 we have the accoutrements of warfare:


All illustrations which Paul took from the marching legions of Rome.

See his reference to the expected endurance of a soldier in 2 Tim 2:3 and to the man in verse 4, who raised an army for military purposes.

In 2 Cor 2:14 in the words “causeth us to triumph” and in Col 2:15 in the word “triumphing” we have another instance where Paul draws from the first century life.

The translation should read “leadeth us in triumph” and “leading them in triumph.” The word referred to a victorious general, home from the war, leading a triumphal procession through the streets of Rome. The captives and spoils of war would have preceded him, and he would follow in a chariot with a slave holding over his head a jeweled crown. Then would come the victorious army.

Paul’s readers were all conversant with all this. They would understand his illustrations as well.

In 2 Cor 2:14 it is God who leads Paul in a triumphal procession as His captive, by means of whom the knowledge and fame of the victor is made manifest. He rejoices that he has been so used of God.

In Col 2:15 our Lord, through His victory over the hosts of evil, is enabled to lead them in a triumphal procession as His captives. In 2 Cor 10:4 Paul again uses the illustration of war and of a fortress.


As to Paul’s use of terms taken from the language of government, we have Phil 1:27 and Phil 3:20.

In the first passage, the words “Let your conversation be” are from a word which refers to the duty of citizens to the commonwealth in which they lived. The second “conversation” is translated from a Greek word meaning “commonwealth.”

The illustration is taken from the fact that the city of Philippi was a Roman colony, its citizens possessing roman citizenship, with its privileges and responsibilities.

So the Philippian saints are citizens of Heaven, to live a heavenly life in that colony of Heaven, far from their commonwealth itself.

Literally, “Only conduct yourselves as citizens as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.”

Literally, “For the commonwealth of which we are citizens has its fixed abode in Heaven.”

The Olympics

The frequency with which Paul refers to the Greek athletic games far surpasses his illustrations from any other single department of first century life.

The Greeks were an athletic-minded people. Paul, himself, though a son of Hebrew parents who maintained their Jewish separation even to the point of refusing to read their Scriptures in the Septuagint translation (Acts 6:1, Phil 3:5), yet did not wash his hands of his Hellenistic training before his fellow countrymen when he admitted that he was a native of the Greek city of Tarsus, for he used the milder of the two Greek adversatives. Acts 22:3.

He was influenced greatly by his Greek training and he could not deny it. Part of that Greek culture included a familiarity with and interest in athletics.

It is significant that when writing to the Romans, he uses terms borrowed from warfare, but his epistles to the Corinthians and Philippians, which were to churches composed of Greek Christians, and those to Timothy whose father was a Greek (Acts 16:1), abound with illustrations from the Greek games.

The great apostle was chosen by God for his Greek background as well as for his Jewish training. Truly he was the apostle to the Gentiles and his Greek training played no little part in his ministry to them.

The Greek Athletic Games

Paul’s references to the Greek athletic games, so well known even in the Roman period, having such a background of history, in the time when Greece was at the height of its glory. We have the following:

Both the Christian life, Phil 3:7-16, and Christian service, 1 Cor 9:24-27, are illustrated by the stadium games and desperate agonizing efforts put forth by the Greek athletes in their endeavor to win.

Paul visualizes the stadium crowds intently watching the contest. He speaks of the garland or crown of oak leaves placed upon the winner’s brow.

Sunday, May 20, 2001

A Classic Passage on the Greek Athletic Games

One of the classic passages in which Paul refers to the Greek games is 1 Cor 9:24-27. The “Isthmus of Corinth” was the scene of the “Isthmian Games,” one of the four great national festivals of the Greeks.

During the period of the writing of the Pauline epistles, these games were still being celebrated. Paul was familiar with similar scenes in Tarsus and in all of the great cities of Asia Minor, especially at Ephesus.

The word “race” in this passage is from a Greek word which comes over into our language in the word “stadium” and “stade.” The “stade” was a race course 606-3/4 feet long. The word came to mean a “race” because the track at Olympia was exactly the number of feet in length.

Here Paul uses the figure of a race to illustrate the life of Christian service. ”Striving for the masteries” is from a Greek word which refers to an athlete contending or striving in the games.

”Temperate” is from a word occurring only here and in 1 Cor 7:9. Here it refers to ten months of preparation and training, and the practice in the gymnasium immediately before the games under the direction of the judges who had themselves been instructed for ten months in the details of the games.

The training was largely dietary. Epictetus says “Thou must be orderly, living on spare food, abstain from confections, make a point of exercising at appointed times, in the heat and in the cold, nor drink cold water or wine at hazard.”

A Racing Technique From Paul

Phil 3:13-14, we catch a glimpse of Paul’s knowledge of racing technique. He uses the illustration of a “runner pressing toward the mark for the prize.” That is literally, “Pursuing down toward the mark for the prize.” You could see him flashing down the race course. “He forgets the things which are behind.” The word is a strong one, “completely forgetting.”

Paul knew that the moment a Greek runner would think of men behind him, the thud, thud, of their pounding feet, his speed would be slacked. So, he presses home the lesson that when a child of God thinks of his past failures, the things he should have done and failed to do, the things which he did which he should not have done, his onward progress in the Christian way of life is hindered.

When a Christian has made things right with God and fellow man, the proper technique is to completely forget them.

“Looking Unto Jesus”

In Hebrews 12:1-2, Paul visualizes the stadium crowds, and the runners set themselves for a race which they know will be a long grind and a real test of endurance. But they run entirely oblivious of the thousands of onlookers; their attention is diverted from every consideration except that of running the best possible race.

We get that from the words “looking unto.” The word “looking” has a prefixed preposition, which implies abstraction. That is, the person is concentrated upon one thing to the total exclusion of anything else.

It is “looking off or away to Jesus,” as the Greek runner looks away from everything else and with eyes fixed upon the goal sees not the cheering crowds or even his own opponents. To turn his head ever so slightly toward the tiers upon tiers of spectators means that his speed would be lessened. And he himself will be just that much behind.

What a lesson for Christians! The minute we turn our eyes toward our fellow man and take them from our Lord, our pace is slackened.

Pride, discouragement, envy, the desire for praise, these and other evils incapacitate the Christian “runner” as he looks at men instead of keeping he eyes upon the Lord.

Shadow Boxing!

The word “fight” in 1 Cor 9:26, 27 is from a Greek word which means “to fight with the fists.”

He speaks of the Greek boxer who “beats the air.” We call that “shadow boxing,” that is, he practices without an adversary. Or, he might purposely strike into the air in order to spare his adversary or the adversary might evade his blow, and thus cause him to spend his strength on the air.

But Paul says that he is not like the Greek boxer in these respects. In his conflict with evil, he strikes straight and does not spare.

Monday, May 21, 2001

“Keep Under” – 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

The words “keep under” are from a word which means “to strike under the eye” or “to give someone a black eye.”

When we think that the Greek boxers wore a pair of fur-lined gloves covered with cowhide, which was loaded with lead and iron, one can imagine the punishment to which the recipient of the blows is subjected.

If a Christian would be as energetic against and unsparing of evil in his life as the Greek boxer was of his opponent, and would strike with the same devastating force, sin would soon be cleared out of his life.

What “softies” we Christians are with regard to sin in our lives. How we sometimes cherish it, pamper it, play with it, instead of striking it with a mailed fist of the Holy Spirit-inspired hatred of sin and refusal to allow it to reign as king in our lives.

As we consider this illustration of a boxer which Paul uses, we must remember that boxing among the Greeks was not the degraded form of pugilism such as we have today with all its attendant evils and associations. But it was part of the great program of the stadium athletic games which included foot races, discus throwing, wrestling, and other forms of athletics engaged in by athletes of splendid physique, expending their last ounce of energy, not for a money prize, but for a simple garland of oak leaves which would fade in a few days.

“Castaway” – 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

The word “castaway” is from a technical word used in the Greek games referring to the disqualifying of a runner because he broke the training rules. He was barred from competing for the prize.

Paul was apprehensive, that, if he did not live a life of separation from the world, if he did not live a victorious life over sin, God would disqualify him. That is, take away from him his position as Apostle to the Gentiles.

A Christian sometimes wonders, after years of fruitful service, why he should so suddenly see his usefulness gone, and his life powerless and without the joy of the Lord. The answer lies in the words, ”Disqualified, broke training rules.”

Paul refers to this same matter of obeying training rules in 1 Tim 4:7-8 and 2 Tim 2:5, where he says that if a Greek athlete is to be awarded the victor’s garland, he must strive lawfully, that is live up to the requirements prescribed for the preparation which the athlete makes and the life which he lives while engaged in athletic competition.

He warns Timothy regarding this and then in 2 Tim 4:8 uses the illustration borrowed from the act of the judges at the goal awarding the victor’s crown to the winning athlete.

So will Timothy some day, like Paul, receive a crown of righteousness from the Lord Jesus Christ.


There are passages which the background of the Greek games is not so evident in the English translation. For instance, in Phil 1:27, “Striving after” and Phil 4:3, “Labored with” are from a Greek word used of athletes contending in concert with one another against the opposition for the prize offered at the athletic games. The root of the word that comes into English is our word “athlete.”

In Rom 15:30, “Strive together” is from a Greek word which refers to the concerted action of a group of athletes working in harmony against opposition. The Greek word comes into our language in the word “agony.” What a plea this is for unity among the saints and the expenditure of agonizing effort in contention against one another.

In Phil 1:30, “conflict;” Col 2:1, “conflict;” 1 Thes 2:2, “contention;” 2 Tim 4:7, “fight;” Heb 12:1, “race” are all from the noun whose root gives us the word “agony,” referring in the Greek to the contests in the Greek athletic games.

Col 1:29, “striving;” 4:12, “laboring;” 1 Tim 6:12, “fight;” 2 Tim 4:7, “fought” are all from the verb whose root comes into English in the word “agony” and the meaning of which is “to contend in the Greek games for a prize.”

Here we have instances where first century Christians were striving in concert for the faith of the Gospel where some had labored with Paul in the extension of the Gospel. Where others were exhorted to strive in concert with Paul in prayer, where still others were having conflict, that is, were enduring persecution and the case of Paul where he fought the good fight.

All these varied activities of the Christian life being referred to by the two Greek words used of an athlete engaged in the intense competition of the games even to the point of physical agony.

“I Have Finished My Course”

The word “course” is from the Greek word meaning “a race course,” and here used in connection with foot races. It is the “cinder path” of college athletic fields.

The word “finished” means to come to an end. It is in the perfect tense in the Greek, which speaks of a past-completed action with present existing results.

Paul, awaiting martyrdom in Rome, looks back upon his life as a runner who, having won his race, is resting at the goal and is looking back down the cinder path over which he has sped to victory. He sees the race as over, and its results, “the STEPHANOS,” the crown of righteousness awaiting him.

The same tense is used when the Lord stated, “It is finished.” It is finished in the past with results that go on forever.

A Soldier, An Athlete, and A Farmer

2 Tim 2:3, 4 – Paul uses the illustration of a soldier.
2 Tim 2:5 – Paul uses the illustration of an athlete.
2 Tim 2:6 – Paul uses the illustration of a farmer.

The words in verse 5, “strive for masteries” are from a word which comes into our language in the word “athlete.” It means to exert one’s self in a contest as an athlete for a prize or reward.

Is crowned with a victor’s crown.” The same verb is used in Heb.2:7, 9 where we see the Son of man, made for a little time lower than the angels, now in His glorified state, crowned with the garland of victory.

We Are All the Children of God By Faith in Christ Jesus

We have a personal relationship with God the Father through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are sons of God and heirs with God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.

We have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is individual and private and intimate. Others may enhance our relationship with Christ, but our relationship with Christ is unique. We should cherish it and protect it because it is most valuable.

Don’t let anything come between your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ because it is the most important relationship in life.

Have you ever, personally, quietly, told the Lord Jesus Christ that you loved Him?? I don’t mean in a group, or a church assembly, or holding up your hands and saying, “Oh how I love Jesus.” But quietly, peacefully, say, “Lord, I love you!”

You will be surprised of the results.

Try it you will like it, but don’t fake it. Remember Who it is that you are telling that you love. He knows.

“Thought it Not Robbery”

Phil 2:5, “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

The word “thought” in the original language refers to a judgment based upon facts. The word “robbery” is from a Greek word which has two meanings. “A thing unlawfully seized,” and “a prize or treasure to be retained at all hazards.”

The context decides which meaning is to be used here. If our Lord considered that equality with God in the expression of the Divine essence was not a thing to be unlawfully seized, then He would be asserting His rights to the expression of Deity, for He would be claiming this as His rightful prerogative.

But to assert one’s right does not partake of humility. But if He did not consider this expression of His Deity a prize or treasure to be retained at all hazards, He would be showing a willingness to relinquish His Divine rights, which is the essence of humility.

Paul is setting forth our Lord as an example of humility. Therefore, the second meaning is the one to be taken here.

“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

The Greek word for “forsaken” is a composition of three words: ”to leave” ... “down” ... “in” ...

The first has the idea of forsaking one.
The second suggests rejection, defeat, helplessness.
The third refers to some place or circumstance.

The total meaning of the word is that of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness in the midst of hostile circumstances.

The word means, “to abandon, desert, to leave in straits, to leave helpless, to leave destitute, to leave in the lurch, to let one down.”

All these meanings were included in that awful cry that came from the lips of the Son of God as He was about to die for lost humanity.

You don’t get all that in the translation of our English word “forsaken.”

Psalm 22 Was Uttered on the Cross by Our Lord Jesus Christ

Verses 1-6, speaking of His abandonment by Deity.
Verses 7-13, telling of the ridicule to which He was subjected.
Verses 14-18, describing His physical sufferings.
Verses 19-21, being His prayer for resurrection.
Verses 22-31, constitute His praise for answered prayer even before the prayer for resurrection was actually answered.

This would make a good Bible study and message.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

When our Lord cried out, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me? Why hast Thou left Me hopeless, destitute, in the lurch? Why hast Thou let Me down?”

These words were addressed to God the Holy Spirit. All through our Lord’s life as the man Christ Jesus, He lived in dependence upon God the Holy Spirit. That was His normal life on Earth.

The words “Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan and was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness,” Luke 4:1, are characteristic of our Lord’s entire life.

No prayer our Lord ever uttered but was energized by the Holy Spirit. No temptation He ever overcame but He did so in the power of the Holy Sprit. No miracle He ever performed, but it was done through dependence upon God the Holy Spirit. No thought ever passed through His mind, no word ever left on His lips, but it was originated by God the Holy Spirit.

But now! When He needed the help of the Holy Spirit most, in the midst of His direst need, the Holy Spirit left Him helpless, destitute. He left Him in the lurch. He left Him down in a set of circumstances that were antagonistic, frightful, terrible.

He was abandoned by Heaven, spurned by Earth, laden with man’s sin, suffering the excruciating anguish of crucifixion. And He suffered all alone.

The same sin offering that forbade the inclusion of frankincense, forbade the provision of oil. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. No oil in the flour speaks of the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit’s sustaining presence at the Cross. Prophetic.

“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

Not only did God the Father and God the Holy Spirit abandon the man Christ Jesus on the Cross, but God the Son now turns against Himself.

It was as if a man of high ideals who had lived an exemplary life should at its close be guilty of a loathsome deed. From the exalted position of His high idealism, He looks down upon Himself, loathes and repudiates Himself.

Our Lord as the Son of God – holy, spotless – repudiated His own humanity now laden with sin not His own.

The moral sense of His own Deity revolted against His own humanity, as the representative of sin. Hear His words “But I am a worm,” Psa 22:6. “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of Mine head, therefore My heart faileth Me,” Psa 40:12.

In Him, as He hung on the Cross, was the fulness of Deity. He was forsaken of the fulness of Deity. That is the meaning of that terrible cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Does the unbeliever have even a small conception now of what the Lord Jesus Christ suffered for them? He would have endured it all for you alone if you were the only lost soul in the universe.

Does such love touch you? Do you see your own sinfulness and lost condition in view of all this?

”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.

A Soul Winner’s Adornment!

In 1 Pet 3:1-5 we have the case of Christian women of the first century seeking to win their unsaved husbands to the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

These husbands are of the non-persuadable type that will not listen to reason. Obstinacy, stubbornness, and inflexibility are here personified. We see this in the use of the words “obey not,” which come from a Greek word literally meaning “non-persuadable.”

The word “if” represents a fulfilled condition. There were such cases in those days as there are in such instances today.

The Christian wife is exhorted to be in subjection to her unsaved husband in order that he might, without a word, be won by the behavior of the wife.

”Behavior” is from a Greek word rendered “conversation,” the latter having changed its meaning since the A.V. was translated. There is no definite article before the second use of the word “Word.”

No one has ever been won to the Lord Jesus Christ apart from the Word of God. Peter is exhorting these wives who have given the Gospel to their husbands time after time, to stop talking about it and instead live the Gospel before them. If the husband is so obstinate as to refuse to listen to her, well then, the next best thing is to keep quiet and let the Gospel speak through a Christian life. He may refuse to listen to her words, but he cannot but see the Lord Jesus Christ in her life.

That is how I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.

Soul Winner’s Adornment – Part Two – 1 Peter 3:1-5

As the Christian wife seeks to live her life before her husband, the apostle warns her that she must not depend upon “outward adornment” in her effort to win her husband to the Lord.

Her adornment must come from within, from a mind pervaded with the beauty and fragrance of Jesus Christ. Thus it is the presence of Jesus Christ in the life of the soul-winner which the Holy Spirit uses to attract sinners to Christ. Not the adornment one puts on.

This is the principle that Peter brings before us in verses 3 and 4. The word “adornment” is from the Greek word “COSMOS.” It means literally, “an ordered system.” It speaks of that which is congruous and fitting. A Christian worker’s clothing should be in keeping with simplicity, purity, and beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit-filled life.

What one wears on the outside of the body should be an expression of the mentality of the soul. “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.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Soul Winner’s Adornment – 1 Peter 3:1-5

The Holy Spirit speaks of three parts of a Christian woman’s adornment – the way she wears her hair, the jewelry she puts on, and the apparel she selects.

First, she is not to depend upon the plaiting of her hair in an effort to win her husband to the Lord. Reference is made here to the extravagant and costly excesses to which women of the first century went in hair adornment.

Quoting from an early manuscript we have this, “The attendants will vote on the dressing of the hair as if a question of reputation or of life were at stake. So great is the trouble she takes in quest of beauty, with so many tiers does she load, with so many continuous stories does she build up high on her head. She is as tall as andromache in front. Behind she is shorter. You would think her another person.”

Thus, extravagant excesses and intricate artificiality of hairdress are forbidden the Christian woman as adornment – not the emphasis in witnessing.

Second, the wearing of gold is forbidden. The word “wearing” is from a Greek word which means literally, “to hang around” as one hangs ornaments around a Christmas tree. The wearing of jewelry is not forbidden here. But the gaudy, conspicuous, extravagant, obtrusive display of the same as adornment. This is not the emphasis in witnessing.

Third, dependence upon apparel is forbidden. The purpose of clothing is for the protection of the body. The purpose of apparel is for the adornment of the person. That which is forbidden is the donning of apparel for the purpose of making ourselves pleasing in the eyes of the unsaved so that we may win them to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

The emphasis is on the Spirit-filled life of the wife.

The Soul Winner’s Adornment – 1 Peter 3:1-5

Why does not dependence upon outward adornment help us to win souls to the Lord Jesus Christ??

  1. First, it is because the Holy Spirit does not use the styles of the world in winning a soul to the Lord, as He seeks to work through the believer.
  2. Second, it is because such an elaborate display satisfies the lust or desire of the eyes of the unsaved one whom we are seeking to win. When a Christian thus appeals to the fallen nature of the sinner, she cannot at the same time appeal to him to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. Third, it is because such a display destroys the personal testimony of the soul winner. We may be fundamental in our Doctrine, and yet defeat the power of the Word we give out by modernism of our appearance.

The unsaved person will say, what you appear to be on the outside speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying. For these reasons no dependence must be placed upon outward adornment as we seek to win the lost.

The Holy Spirit convicts of unbelief in Christ – adorned with a meek spirit.

“Courteously” – Acts 28:7 and “Courteous” – 1 Peter 3:8

Both are from a word made up of “PHILEIN” and a Greek word speaking of the “faculty of perceiving and judging.”

The courtesy spoken of here is the rare and beautiful combination of a total soul rapport, “PHILOS,” and the tactful and delicate sense of perception and judgment which should be a part of every Christian’s spiritual equipment.

There are four words for love in the Koine Greek language of the New Testament – AGAPE, PHILOS, STORGE. The fourth is not found in the Bible, which is EROS.

God so loved the world – AGAPE, a mental attitude.
Men love darkness – AGAPE, a mental attitude.
STORGE is friendship, like family.
PHILOS is a total soul rapport.


The term "KURIOS" means “Lord.” It was used of a Divine title of the emperor. It is also the official title of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This Greek word “KURIOS” is the translation in the Septuagint of the august title of God in the Old Testament, “JEHOVAH.”

The term “lord” was understood to be a title which included within its meaning of “master” the idea of Divinity. It was a Divine title.

These facts throw a flood of light on Paul’s assertion, 1 Cor 8:5-6, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in Heaven or in Earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many), But to us there is one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.”

These words are set in a context in which Paul is pleading for separation from the pagan Greek mystery religions. He cites the example of the Christian’s separation from the cult of Caesar, arguing that if the Corinthian Christians have thrown off their allegiance to the Caesar so far as worshipping him is concerned, they ought also to separate themselves from any participation in the Greek religious practices.

The Practice of Deification

The Lord referred to the practice of deification of the emperor when He said in Luke 24:25, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.”

The meaning of the word “lordship” here is not merely that the emperor rules as an absolute autocrat, but that he rules as an “emperor-god.”

In answer to the question of the Herodians, Matt 22:15-22, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” He said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

The question was fully answered. The words, “and unto God the things that are God’s” is a protest against “emperor worship.” Taxes should be paid to Caesar, but no worship should be accorded him. To be worshipped is the prerogative of God.

“My Lord and My God”

Thomas exclaimed. John 20:27, “My Lord and my God.” This was enough to involve him in serious trouble with the Roman authorities had they known of it. For he was acknowledging Jesus of Nazareth as his Lord and his God instead of Caesar.

Polycarp, who lived A.D. 156, was confronted with the question by the Roman official. “What is the harm in saying ‘lord Caesar’?” Because he refused to acknowledge Caesar as lord, he was martyred. When he was martyred, he quoted Eph 2:8-9 – his dying words.

Festus in Acts 25:26 said regarding Paul, “Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord.” His “lord” was Caesar – “lord” in the sense that Festus recognized Nero, who was then Caesar, as the “emperor-god” to whom worship was due.

”Caesar is KURIOS.” No! “Christ is KURIOS.”

The Imperialistic Challenge of Christianity

Phil 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of things in Heaven, and things in the Earth, and things under the Earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The terms “THEOS,” god, and “HUIOS THEOU,” “son of god,” were both used in the cult of Caesar and were titles of the emperor.

Our Lord claimed oneness in essence with the Father. John 10:30. He said, “Before Abraham came into existence, I am,” John 8:58.

He claimed to be “the Son of God,” John 9:35-38, and accepted worship as the Son of God, thus demonstrating the fact that His position as Son of God made Him a Co-Participant in the essence of Deity. This was in startling contrast to the claims of the then ruling emperor, and our Lord knew it.

Luke 22:25 shows His accurate knowledge of the customs, political practices, and happenings of His day, when He speaks of those who exercise authority over the people as being called “benefactors.” The term “benefactor” was an honorable title given to princes and other eminent men for valuable services rendered to the state.

The emperor was also given the title of “overseer.” He was the “overseer” of his subjects in that he was charged with the responsibility of caring for their welfare.

The same term “Overseer” is given to God the Father, 1 Pet 2:25, where the word meaning, “overseer” is translated “bishop,” “EPISKOPOS.” Peter, in writing his epistle, must have been conscious of the imperialistic challenge of Christianity when presenting the God of Christians as “Overseer of their souls,” refusing to acknowledge the overseeing care of the emperor-god.

Thursday, May 24, 2001


Another title given the emperor was “Basileus,” or “king.” Some monarchs used the title “king of kings” and our Lord claimed the title in relation to His distinctive position as “the Messiah of Israel.”

The Jews recognized this as directly opposed to the imperial position of Caesar as king. Not that there were no kings in the empire ruling under the authority of the world-Caesar, but the Jewish leaders understood Old Testament Truth well enough to know that our Lord’s claim to the position of King over Israel involved world dominion, which at once struck at the throne of Caesar.

They tried to use this as a means of involving Him in difficulties with Rome, for they said to Pilate, John 19:12, “If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend. Whosoever maketh Himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”

They had accused Him of forbidding them to pay taxes to Caesar, which was a lie, and claiming to be the Anointed of God, which was the Truth, Luke 23:2.

Upon our Lord’s acknowledging the fact that He was a King, Pilate turned to the Jews and said “I find no fault in this Man,” Luke 23:3-4. One look at Jesus Christ was enough to convince Pilate that He was not a dangerous character, and he dismissed from his mind any disposition to treat our Lord’s claim seriously.

Had Pilate taken our Lord’s claims at their face value, his position as a representative of Caesar would have demanded that he deal with the case before him in no hesitant manner. When Pilate said to them in John 19:14, 15, “Behold your King.” The Jews who hated and despised the Roman yoke and the emperor who ruled them cried in a false patriotism, ”We have no king but Caesar.”

The King Eternal

Paul, after he had faced Nero as the prisoner of the Roman Empire and had been liberated, wrote the following to Timothy, 1 Tim 1:17, 6:15, “Now unto the King Eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glory and honor for ever and ever. Amen.”

”Which in His times He shall show Who is the blessed and only Potentate, “the King of kings and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”

Again, the great apostle, having been snatched from the jaws of death at the hands of Rome, puts himself within reach of the long arm of the empire when he denies the supremacy of the emperor in things spiritual.

“SOTER” – Saviour

Not only did the emperor have the titles of lord, son of god, overseer, and king, all of which where titles of our Lord also, for He was given the title of “SOTER,” Saviour.”

At least eight of the emperors carried the title “saviour of the world.” For the most part, the Roman world was well governed and policed. Roman laws were administered in equity. The Roman roads caused travel and commerce to flourish. And the Roman peace made living conditions bearable and in some instances pleasant. Thus the emperors were the “world-saviours.”

Now comes Christianity with its imperialistic announcement. Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.”

But this Saviour’s name was Jesus, One who would save them from the sins, which they loved and from which they did not want to be separated. What motive would they have in transferring their allegiance from a “world-saviour” who gave them the comforts of life and at the same time allowed them to go on in their sin, to the Lord Jesus Christ, especially, when all allegiance to this new Saviour could very well result in their crucifixion by Rome?

And yet for the first 300 years of the Church’s history, tens of thousands willingly embraced this new Saviour and went to a horrible death. How can you explain this?

The only answer is that the “supernatural power” of God was operative in their souls. The Samaritans said, John 4:42, “We have heard Him ourselves and know that this indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

It took Grace to say that, for they realized that should this come to the ears of Rome, they would be charged with treason.

The Coupling of Titles

In 1 Tim 1:1 Paul refers to the “commandment of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” coupling the titles “God” and “Saviour” together as they are in “the cult of the Caesar.”

In the same epistle, 4:10, he speaks of God as the Saviour of all men. Here Paul uses the word “Saviour” in its sense of “preserver.” The word “SOTER” is not limited in meaning to the salvation of the individual in a spiritual sense, but it is also used of the healing of the body as in the case of the woman who was healed of a physical ailment. Matt 9:21-22.

The words “whole” and “made whole” are from the word, “SOTER.”

The Roman emperor claimed to be the saviour of the world in the sense of “preserver,” and Paul claims this office for God, Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. That is exactly what the Roman emperor claimed to be.

No wonder that Rome recognized in Christianity a formidable enemy. No wonder the Roman writer, Tacitus, says of Christianity, “This destructive superstition repressed for a while again broke out, and spread not only through Judaea where it originated, but reached this city also, Rome, into which flow all things that are vile and abominable and where they are encouraged.”

Paul uses the words “God our Saviour” in Titus 1:3. Here the Saviour of the believers is in a spiritual sense. Paul applies the title “Saviour” to our Lord in his second epistle, 1:11, adding the title “Lord,” which was also claimed by the emperor.

Jude closes his book with the words, “To the only wise God, our Saviour.” Again a conscious assertion of the preeminence of God over all the claims of earthly sovereigns.

At Evening

Through the day Thy love has spared us.
Hear us before the hour of rest.
Through the silent watches guard us,
Let no foe our peace molest.

Christ, Thou our Guardian be
Sweet it is to trust in Thee.

Pilgrims here on Earth and strangers,
Dwelling in the mist of foes.
Us and ours preserve from dangers
In Thy arms may we repose.

And when life’s short day is past
Rest with Thee in Heaven at last.


Another term found in the Christian system and which was used by the Roman emperors was “ARCHIEREUS,” meaning “high priest.”

The emperors were called “PONTIFEX MAXIMUS” in the east. The name was the Latin translation of the Greek “ARCHIEREUS.” This was in contrast to the arrogance, cruelty, and wickedness of the Roman emperor who was recognized not only as lord, son of god, god, saviour, but also as high priest.

We have the words of Paul, “Seeing then that we have an High Priest that is passed through the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession, for we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need,” Heb 4:14-16.

The primary contrast here is undoubtedly between the Aaronic high priest and our Lord as High Priest, but the background of the Roman imperialism seems to be in the picture also. The Roman emperor was PONTIFEX MAXIMUS, a high priest upon a high throne of the Caesars.

But our Lord Jesus Christ is a High Priest who, now seated upon a throne of Grace, will some day as High Priest in the Messianic kingdom occupy the throne of David in Jerusalem. As Zechariah says, “He shall be a Priest upon His throne,” Zech 6:13.

Friday, May 25, 2001


Turning now to words used in a technical sense in the cult of Caesar with reference to the people instead of the emperor, we have the expression, “friend of the emperor,” which was an official title in the imperial period. What a flood of light this throws upon our Lord’s Words.

”Ye are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you, henceforth I call you not bondslaves, for a bondslave knoweth not what his lord doeth, but I have called you friends,” John 15:14-15.

As our Lord knew of the Roman custom of calling a servant of the state a benefactor, Luke 22:25, so He knew of this custom of certain ones being called “friends of the emperor.”

There was a real point to His Words and they were not lost upon His disciples. Think of what faith this involved on His part and theirs.

The King of kings was on His way from the upper room where they had celebrated the Passover together for the last time, to His crucifixion and death, the rejected King of Israel.

Yet in all the dignity of His royal position as King of the Jews in the Davidic dynasty, He said, “I have called you friends.” Yes they were friends of the Emperor who would be raised from the dead, ascend into Heaven, and some day come back to this Earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.


Another official title was “bondslave” – “DOULOS of the emperor.” There were imperial slaves all over the Roman world. There was an honor in even being a bondslave of Caesar.

Paul must have been conscious of the analogy when he wrote, “Paul, a bondslave of Christ Jesus,” Rom 1:1. It was an honor in the Roman world to be a bondslave of the emperor. What an exalted privilege to be bondslave of the King of kings!

”Their were slaves in the house of Caesar.”


In 2 Cor 5:20 Paul calls himself, editorial “we” are ambassadors for Christ. The Greek word is “PRESBEUO,” a technical term used of the emperor’s legate, namely, the one who speaks for the emperor.

Paul was a spokesman on behalf of Christ. The word is used also in Eph 6:20 and in Luke 14:32, in the latter text appearing in the translation as “ambassage.” The word clearly refers to the imperial service of Caesar and in the Scriptures the imperial service of Christ in which the saints are engaged.

Thus did Christianity parallel the imperialism of Rome.

An ambassador represents someone else, not himself.


The imperial secretary used the technical expression “PEPISTEUMAI,” which meant “I am entrusted,” the qualifying word being added which would designate the matter with which he was entrusted.

Paul as an imperial secretary of the Lord Jesus Christ entrusted with the writings of the epistles which bear his name, uses the same technical phrase current in the Roman world at that time.

The word is used in Gal 2:7, “committed;” 1 Cor 9:17, “committed;” 1 Thes 2:4, “Put in trust;” 1 Tim 1:11, “committed to my trust;” and in Titus 1:3, “committed.”


The correspondence of the imperial secretary was designated by the technical expression “HIERA GRAMMATA,” literally, “sacred writings.”

It was used of imperial letters and decrees. The expression “THEIA GRAMMATA,” literally, “Divine writings” was used of imperial letters. Imperial ordinances were referred to as “Divine commandments.”

This shows clearly how completely the religious or ecclesiastical position of the emperor made its influence felt throughout the affairs of state.

Alongside of all this we have Paul using the same expression, “HIERA GRAMMATA” in 2 Tim 3:15 in the words “Holy Scriptures.”

Here the writings of the Old Testament are put over against the imperial decrees of Caesar, which latter had not only government but also religious significance.

New Testament writings were looked upon by the early Christians in the same way.


The word “EUAGGELION,” or “good news” or “good tidings” was used in a profane sense of any piece of good news. But it also had a sacred connection as when it was used to refer to the good news of the birthday of the emperor-god. At the accession of Caesar to the throne, the account of the event was spoken of as “EUGGELION,” “good tidings.”

See the parallel in the imperialistic announcement by the angels. “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord,” Luke 2:10-11.

How all this gives further point to Paul’s words. “I am ready to preach the good news to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is the power of God resulting in salvation, to everyone who believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Paul was expecting to come to Rome where the “good news” of the emperor found its reality. That emperor who was called lord, son of god, god, king, saviour, and high priest, and he was to announce the true Lord from Heaven who was the Son of the eternal God, yes, very God Himself, coming King of kings, Saviour of the believer, and High Priest who by His atoning death on Calvary’s Cross paid for sin and put it away.

He was to announce this good news, this Gospel, for that is what the word “Gospel” means, right in the stronghold of emperor worship. But he was not afraid to do so, for he knew it was of Divine and of supernatural origin and would accomplish that whereunto it was sent.

“I Will Keep Him in Perfect Peace Whose Mind is Stayed on Me,” Isa 26:3

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The Cross of Christ whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of the Lord, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace with sorrows surging round?
On the Lord’s bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Christ’s keep we are safe and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Christ we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Christ has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough, Earth’s struggles soon shall cease.
And Christ shall call us to Heaven’s perfect peace.

Saturday, May 26, 2001

“Looking Unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Our Faith”

I look to Thee in every need
And never look in vain.
I feel Thy strong and tender love
and all is well again.
The thought of Thee is mightier far
Than sin, and pain, and sorrow are.

Discouraged in the work of life
Disheartened by its load.
Shamed by its failures or its fears
I sink beside the road.
But only let me think of Thee
And then a new soul springs up in me.

Thy calmness bends serene above,
My restlessness to still.
Around me flows Thy quickening life,
To nerve my faltering will.
Thy presence fills my solitude,
Thy providence turns all to good.

Embosomed deep in Thy dear love
Held in Thy Word, I stand.
Thy hand in all things I behold
And all things in Thy hand.
Thou leadest me by unsought ways
And turn my mourning into praise.


The Greek inscriptions throw a flood of light on the New Testament. One of the current expressions in the first century was the word “PAROUSIA,” which was used in the East as a technical expression for the “royal visit of a king or emperor.”

The word literally means “the being beside,” thus “the personal presence.” The “PAROUSIA” of the king must have been well known to the people, for there were special payments and taxes to defray the cost of the festivities on that occasion.

All over the world, advent coins were struck, after a “PAROUSIA” of a king. Advent sacrifices were offered at these “PAROUSIAI,” a papyrus manuscript speaks of contributions given for a crown of gold to be presented to the king at his “PAROUSIA.”

A papyrus found among the wrappings of the mummy of a sacred crocodile, speaks of the requisition of corn to help defray the expense of the “PAROUSIA” of a king, which was being collected from the peasants by the village headman and the elders.

These “PAROUSIAI” were noted for their special brilliance. New eras in the history of mankind were proclaimed at the “PAROUSIA” of a sovereign. Advent coins, the word “advent” being the Latin equivalent of the Greek for “PAROUSIA,” were struck and became official coinage of the empire.

Solemn sacrifices were offered in the king’s presence. Monuments were erected, the day of the visit was designated “a holy day” as the pagan world designated the “PAROUSIAI” of its sovereigns by their number, so the Christian system has its “three PAROUSIAI” of the King of kings and Lord of lords, twice to the Earth and once between these advents, into the air.

“PAROUSIA” – Part Two

The word “PAROUSIA” is translated “coming” in our English text. In relation to the “coming of our Lord into the air to catch His bride, the Church,” 1 Thes 4:13-18. The coming of the Lord to the Earth to Israel to set up His millennial kingdom, and the coming of the Anti-Christ to establish his worldwide kingdom during the Tribulation, 2 Thes 2:1, 8, 9.

The Christians of the first century felt the parallelism between the “PAROUSIA” of the reigning emperor and the “PAROUSIA” of Christ. In the case of the Rapture, it will be a royal visit of the Bridegroom into the atmosphere of this Earth to receive His bride, the Church, to Himself and to take her with Him to Heaven.

In the case of the return of the Lord to this Earth, it will be the royal visit of the King of kings and Lord of lords who comes from the royal line of David, who will dethrone the Anti-Christ and set up the throne of David.

In the case of the Anti-Christ, it will be the coming of the wild beast. The Greek of Rev 13:1-8, as a king to assume absolute authority as world dictator, occupying Satan’s throne for a brief space of seven years.

“Parallelism of PAROUSIA”

Notice again, if you will, the parallelism which exists. As the royal visit of a Roman emperor was marked by elaborate and brilliant festivities, so our blessed Lord’s “PAROUSIA,” both when He comes “for His bride” and when He comes to the Earth “with His bride” to reign as King of kings, will be accompanied by a heavenly splendor that will far outshine the displays of the earthly sovereigns.

As the “PAROUSIA” of the Roman emperor brought in a new era, so the “first advent” of our Lord ushered in a new era, both dispensationally and for the world at large. As advent coins were struck at the “PAROUSIA” of a royal emperor, so our money is dated according to our Lord’s first advent.

But note the contrast:

Solemn sacrifices were offered before earthly sovereigns who were worshipped as gods. Whereas our Lord, in His first advent, was “Himself the sacrifice” that paid for sin.

”Every eye shall see Him.”

“PAROUSIA” Passages

Other Scriptures where the word “PAROUSIA” occurs and in which it has the meaning of the royal visit of a sovereign.

1 Cor 1:7, 15:23; 1 Thes 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23; James 5:7; 2 Pet 1:16, 3:4, 12; and 1 John 2:28.

Such was the imperialism of Christianity in the first century that it clearly saw the parallel between the “PAROUSIA” of an earthly sovereign and the “PAROUSIA” of the Lord Jesus Christ and at the same time the rival claims of each.

These Christians were not afraid to give allegiance to the lowly Carpenter from Nazareth, the travel-worn itinerant Teacher who was rejected by His own people and nailed to a Roman Cross. They were convinced that He was what He claimed to be – God the Son, incarnate in humanity. They were not intrigued by the Roman purple, the armies of the empire, the far-flung colonies.

Their souls responded to the unique beauty of the meek and lowly Christ, and to the fragrance of His person. He was the King of glory and they would rejoice in His “PAROUSIA.“

Sunday, May 27, 2001

An Exegetical Study of the Power of the Christian Life

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works glorify God in the day of visitation,” 1 Pet 2:11-12.

The words “dearly beloved” are from a Greek word AGAPE which speaks of God’s love in John 3:16 and Rom 5:5, where the same word is used referring to the love expressed at Calvary in the giving of His Son and shed abroad in our hearts by God the Holy Spirit. Peter is reminding the believers to whom he is writing that they are divinely loved ones, divinely loved by God. What a comfort that is to the sorely tempted soul.

The word “beseech” is from a Greek word which was used in the sense of I ask, beseech, exhort, urge. I beg of you, please. Think of the infinite condescension of God, who when asking something of His blood-bought children, does not command but instead says I beg of you please.

The word “strangers refers to a person living alongside of some one else. It speaks of a temporary home.

The word “pilgrims” is the translation of a word literally meaning “to live alongside of the natives in a foreign land.” Christians are living in the midst of unsaved people in territory ruled over by Satan, for he is the god of this age. The believers’ home is in Heaven. He sings, I am a stranger here within a foreign land. My home is far away upon a golden strand. Ambassador to be of realms beyond the sea, I am here on business for my King.

Living in the midst of a foreign population representing our Sovereign, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are exhorted by God to abstain from fleshly lusts. “Abstain” is literally “hold yourselves back from.“Lusts” is confined today in its meaning almost entirely to an immoral desire. The Greek word means simply a strong desire. And in our context it refers to a strong desire coming from the old sin nature.

”Which” is literally “which are of such a nature,” the character of these cravings is emphasized. “War,” which is from a Greek word which was used in various ways “to lead a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war, or battle, to carry on a campaign.” These evil cravings are carrying on a campaign against the Christian.

The word “against” is from a Greek word whose root meaning is “down.” We get a picture of these evil cravings, hurling themselves down upon our souls in a campaign designed to cause their downfall.

”Conversation” today refers to the interchange of words between two or more persons. When the Authorized Version was made, it meant what the Greek word means from which it is translated, namely “behavior or manner of life.”

”Having” in the Greek emphasizes actions going on steadily and so we translate by the word “holding.”

”Honest” is from a Greek word meaning “good.” There are two words in the Greek meaning “good.” One means, “inner intrinsic goodness.” The other means, “outer goodness,” namely the expression of this inner goodness as seen by the eye. Our Lord used the second word when He said in John 10:11, “I am the Good Shepherd.” A sheep knows its shepherd not by what is in the shepherd’s heart, but by what he can see of the shepherd.

So, it is the beautiful fragrance of our Lord’s Person that attracts His sheep and by which they know Him. Peter uses the same word. It is the beauty and fragrance of the Christian’s life which the unsaved see, not what is in his heart. The Bible they read is your life.

The word “whereas” is literally “in which” and refers to the Christian life the believer is exhorted to live. The unsaved speak evil of the goodness of a Christian, defaming him as an evil worker. But the Christian is exhorted to hold his manner of life steadily beautiful in goodness so that the world may defame that beautiful life, many lost sinners beholding it, that is, viewing it carefully, might be led to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, having been attracted to Him by the Christian life of the believer.

The word “visitation” is translated from the same Greek word rendered “overseer” in Acts 20:28; “bishop” in 1 Tim 3:1; “visitest” in Heb 2:6, and refers to the act of overseeing the spiritual welfare of another. It refers here to the time when God shall become the Spiritual Overseer of their souls, and that will be when the unsaved person appropriates the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.

God’s Word testifies to the power of the Christian life, for it is able to lead an unsaved person to the place where he has the desire to know the Lord Jesus Christ and the simple Gospel story will tell him how he can be saved.

Someone has said that the greatest power in the universe next to the power of God, is the power of a life definitely subject to God the Holy Spirit, exhibiting the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An example of expository exegetical Bible teaching …

Monday, May 28, 2001

Right-Man, Right-Woman!

The voice that breathed in Eden
That earliest wedding day,
The primal marriage blessing,
It has not passed away.

Still in the pure espousal
Of Christian man and maid,
The Holy Three are with us,
The threefold Grace is said.

Be present, awesome Father
To give away this bride.
As Eve thou gave to Adam,
Our of His own pierced side.

Be present Son of God
To join their loving hands,
As You did bind two natures
In Your eternal hands.

Be present Holy Spirit
To bless them as they kneel.
As Thou, for Christ the Bridegroom
The heavenly Spouse dost seal.

O spread Thy pure wings over them
Let no ill power find place,
When onward to thine altar
Their hallowed path they trace.

To cast their crowns before Thee
In perfect sacrifice,
Till to the home of gladness
With Christ’s own bride they rise.


It surprises one to see how much of the life and speech expressions of the first century are reflected in the statements found in Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.

The writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 2:13, constantly draw from contemporary life as they seek to bring to man the message of God. To understand something of the first century life and its use of words is to have a clearer understanding of the message they bring. That is why knowledge of the Greek language and a study of the early manuscripts, is of great help in the explanation of the New Testament.

The one English word, “crown,” is used to translate two Greek words, each of which speaks of a different kind of crown, both of them being in common use in the first century in connection with the daily life of the people. To understand their difference and significance as they are related to the local customs, is to come into a fuller, clearer appreciation of those passages in the New Testament which contain them.

One of the Greek Words for Crown is “STEPHANOS”

It was the crown given to the victor in the Greek athletic games, the runner who first crossed the goal, the athlete who hurled the discus farthest, the wrestler who pinned his opponent to the mat.

It was given to the servant of the state whose work deserved to be honored. It was worn at marriage feasts. A “STEPHANOS” was therefore a symbol of victory, of deserved honor, and of festal gladness. The crown was woven of oak leaves, of ivy, of parsley, of myrtle of olive, of violets, of roses.

The inscriptions give us concrete evidence of its use. The emperor Claudius acknowledged the “golden STEPHANOS” sent him by the worshipful gymnastic club of nomads on the occasion of his victory over the Britians. An inscription of A.D. 138-161 may refer to this club where “allowances” are made to an athlete on account of his “athletic STEPHANOS.”

The word was used in the sense of a reward rather than a crown. An inscription of 2 B.C. speaks of “PETEURIS” who promotes a reward “STEPHANOS” of five talents of copper, on account of some special service.

The verb form of the noun “STEPHANOS” is found in a manuscript of 257 B.C. in which a certain “HIEROKLES” writes to “ZENON” regarding a boy who is “ZENON’S” nominee in the athletic games. “I hope that you will be crowned, i.e., victorious through him.”

Today a Crown is Just a Crown

The English word usually brings to our minds the picture of a large golden crown set with jewels such as is or was worn by the crowned heads of Europe. But to impose this conception upon the passages in the New Testament where the word “STEPHANOS” is found, is to misconstrue and at the same time lose some precious Truths.

But when the first century scholar found that word in the Holy Scriptures, he recognized it as a word familiar to him by reason of its association in the ordinary secular life by which he was always surrounded.

Thus he understood the full implication of this secular word brought over into the sacred text of the new faith that was sweeping the Roman Empire. This ability to understand a word like this was not merely confined to the native Greek-speaking population of the empire. For the Roman world was as to its culture, predominantly Grecian. The Greek language was the international language. There was more Greek spoken than Latin.

The other word translated “crown” is “DIADEMA,” from which we get our word “diadem.” The Greek word is derived from a verb meaning “to bind around.” It referred to a blue band of ribbon marked with white which the Persian kings used to bind on a turban or tiara. It was the kingly ornament for the head and signified royalty.

A “STEPHANOS” is therefore a victor’s crown. Whereas a “diadema” is a royal crown. We will study these passages in which each is found.

“All” ... “You All”

Psa 145 we find some of the attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psa 145:8, “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” Literally, “great in mercy.”

Certainly we find One that we can depend on. One that we can expect to understand us. One that we may go to in time of need. Expecting help because we know that He is “gracious, full of compassion,” meaning He suffers with us. “Slow to anger and is of great mercy.”

We find He is One we can depend on. And we find that we have the right to go to Him expecting help.

Psa 145:9, another attribute. “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Christ is no respecter of persons!

Notice that great invitation to the individual in Matthew. “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He said “all” – not come unto Me those of a particular group. This is to all. God is irrespective of persons.

It is your need that brings Christ close to you. He loved us and wants to help us.

Psa 145:14, another attribute. “The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.”

In a moment of weakness we can depend upon the Lord. He is the Almighty One. He is the One that we can go to. He is the all-important One. He will do for us everything that we need.

Psa 145:18, “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in Truth.”

Whenever you are in a need, your need brings the Lord close to you. Your cry of need brings God close to you, just as the cry of your child in need brings you close to that child. He will help you because He loves you.

He is full of compassion. He is gracious and of great mercy.

Psa 145:19, “He will fulfill the desires of them that fear Him. He will also hear their cry, and will save them.”

You can depend upon the Lord. Not only does your cry of need bring Him to you, but it also guarantees that He will help you.

”The Lord preserveth all them that love Him, but all the wicked will He destroy. My mouth shall sing the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His Holy Name for ever and ever.”

What a wonderful blessing it is that God has given us this permission to go to Him in hour of need. As long as we keep our minds on Him, He is going to keep us in perfect peace. Therefore, like the psalmist says, we should praise Him continually.


Tuesday, May 29, 2001

A Christian “STEPHANOS”

The apostle Paul, in 1 Cor 9:24-27, is speaking of Christian service in a context of Christian service that takes in the entire chapter.

In verse 21 he is using the “foot races” held in the Greek athletic games as an illustration of the activity of a Christian in his work for the Lord. He uses the same illustration borrowed from contemporary life in Phil 3:7-14, where he speaks, not of Christian service, but of progress in the living of a Christ-like life.

He says that the Greek athletes run a race in order to obtain a corruptible “STEPHANOS” of oak leaves that soon will whither and fade. But he speaks of a “STEPHANOS” which a Christian receives as a reward for his services, as an incorruptible crown.

Then he tells us that “he buffets his body” and makes it his slave in order after preaching to others he might not be a castaway. The word “castaway” comes from a Greek word which means “to be put to the test, and after being tested, to be rejected because of not meeting that test.”

Paul draws this word from the “Greek games” where it was a technical expression meaning “to disqualify a runner from competing for the STEPHANOS because he broke the training rules.”

If Paul did not practice what he preached, he would be disqualified, not allowed to compete for the crown given to those who rendered Christian service.

The first century reader, having this historical background of the Greek games in his mind, would interpret this passage correctly. He would understand that Paul was not speaking of his eternal salvation here, for rewards are in view, and salvation is a gift.

The same can be said of Phil 3:7-14 where sanctification is referred to, not justification. It is the victor’s crown won through Christian service which Paul wants to win.

You have to understand the passage in the time in which it is written.

A Precious Promise!

”The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,” 1 Pet 3:12. If His eyes are upon you, He sees you. He is thinking about you, and He will answer your prayers. ”And His ears are open unto their prayers.”

You and I have been declared righteous at the point of salvation. “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.

”But to him that worketh not, but believeth in Him, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Rom 4:5.

If you have trusted in Christ as your personal Saviour, you have been declared righteous. God has given you His righteousness which qualifies you for Heaven.

You are safe in His hands and His eyes are upon you. God said that Himself, you can take this to the bank. All this in exchange for our righteousness, which is filthy rags in His sight. Isa 64:6.

Thinking … “As a Man Thinketh in His Mind, So is He … ”

Phil 2:6 literal translation, “Who, Jesus Christ, pre-existing in the essence of God, in Grace thinking, thought it, Deity, not a treasure retained being equal with God.”

Christ our Celebrity did some thinking. Remember – the meaning of a word is determined by its first use in context.

”Thinking” was used in verse 3 of this passage for Grace thinking. Here we are learning something else about the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only are His thoughts infinite, but He thinks about you and me in the terms of Grace. This means there was never or ever will be one believer who has earned or deserved anything from God.

His Grace thinking towards us indicates that He is the only Source of blessing. If you have anything that is wonderful, worthwhile, or valuable, it is because Jesus Christ is ultimately the Source. No matter what intermediate agency may be involved. This gives Him all the honor and glory.

One fact that characterizes the believer who has the capacity to appreciate the celebrityship of Jesus Christ is that to him the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is more important than anything else in the world. Who and what the Lord Jesus Christ is.

Philippians 2:6, Christ Thought it Not Robbery

In Grace thinking, He thought it not a treasure or a prize to be retained. The treasure here is Christ’s Deity – His equality with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

There is nothing greater or more valuable than the essence of Deity. Yet He did not consider His Deity more important than our souls!

The very nature of Deity precludes the fact that any member of the Trinity could be judged for sin.
Eternal life can never be born or die.
Righteousness and justice cannot have anything to do with sin.
Omnipresence cannot be reduced to one point – the Cross.
Immutability cannot change.

Therefore, since nothing can be subtracted from Deity, something must be added. To be able to go to the Cross and pay the penalty for sin, Deity must also become true humanity.

Jesus Christ was so occupied with us in eternity past that He did not consider His equality with the other members of the Trinity a treasure to be clutched and retained so as to hinder the Father’s plan of salvation.

Hebrews 12:2, “For the Joy That Was Set Before Him”

There never was a time when Jesus Christ was not occupied with you. You were “the joy” of Heb 12:2, that occasioned His incarnation and His substitutionary death on the Cross with all its shame and pain.

You were in His thoughts when all the Grace blessings were provided in eternity past.

It is important for you to realize that you now have the privilege of occupation with Him, Col 3:10-11.

When you reach this stage, the celebrityship of Jesus Christ will be a reality in your life.

Although you will have tremendous capacity to enjoy all the blessings that God will pour into “your cup,” they will seem insignificant compared to the One who gave them.

”Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Occupation With Christ!

“Looking unto Jesus” ... “They saw no man but Jesus only.”

  1. The basis for occupation with Christ is the consistent daily intake of the Word of God. Jer 9:24, “That He understandeth and knoweth Me.”
    Eph 3:17-19, “That Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith” ...
  2. With the Word of God as the working Object of faith, the believer has maximum category one love response toward God, therefore he is called a “friend of God,” PHILOS THEOS, literally, Lover of God, James 2:22-23.
  3. Occupation with Christ is based upon the glorification of Christ, that is His resurrection, ascension, and session. Col 3:1-2.
  4. Occupation with Christ is the standard operating procedure for the Christian way of life. It is the normal Grace life. Heb 12:1-2.
  5. Occupation with Christ is beautifully illustrated by the Doctrine of Right-Man/Right-Woman. 1 Cor 11:7-12, Eph 5:25-32.
  6. The function of growing in Grace is the believer’s response to Christ’s love to the Christian in time. In other words, Christ initiates love to the believer through the Word of God. 1 John 4:19.
  7. The sealing of the Holy Spirit, which occurs at salvation, guarantees an eternal love relationship between Jesus Christ and the believer. Eph 1:11-14.
  8. Occupation with Christ includes total dependence on Grace provision. Psa 37:4-5.
  9. Stability, confidence, inner happiness, and capacity for life are related to occupation with Christ. Psa 16:8-9.
  10. Occupation with Christ is the basis for blessing in suffering. 2 Cor 12:9, 10.
  11. Occupation with Christ is based on the believer’s entrance into maturity. “Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord,” Psa 25:15, cf 141:8.

The Sustaining Ministry of the Holy Spirit to the Humanity of Christ!

  1. This ministry of the Spirit was prophesied in the Old Testament. Isa 11:2, 3, 42:1, 61:1-3.
  2. The Holy Spirit was given without measure to the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:34.
  3. The Holy Spirit sustained Christ during His earthly ministry. Matt 12:18, Matt 12:28, Luke 4:14, 15, 18.
  4. The ministry of the Spirit discontinued during the time when Christ was bearing our sins on the Cross. Psa 22:1 – prophetic. Matt 27:46 – historical.
    When Christ said, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He was addressing the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Who sustained Him was Deity. Since Deity could have nothing to do with sin, the Holy Spirit forsook the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ during the three hours He was bearing our sins.
  5. The Holy Spirit had a part in the resurrection of Christ. Rom 8:11, 1 Pet 3:18.
  6. The present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Spirit in the Church Age are related to the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 7:39, 16:14.

Christ’s humanity was sustained by God the Holy Spirit. So does our humanity need to be sustained by God the Holy Spirit.

The Humiliation of Christ in Relation to “KENOSIS”

  1. The veiling of the preincarnate glory of Christ; in taking upon Himself humanity, Christ gave up the outward appearance of God.
  2. The union of eternal God with unglorified humanity is the “hypostatic union.”
  3. Christ did not use His Divine attributes independently of the Father’s plan, but relied on the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. Matt 4:1-2, 4.
  4. The greatest point of humiliation of Christ was bearing our sins. 2 Cor 5:21, 1 Pet 2:24. This anticipates Phil 2:8.

Although Christ was always Deity, He became true humanity. His two natures are contrasted in John 1:1, 14 and Isa 9:6. The Child, humanity of Christ, is born. The Son, Deity of Christ, is given.

”Likeness” is HOMOIOMA and has the connotation more of “similarity.” This Greek word is used because Christ was not absolutely like us. He was different in that He did not have an old sin nature, and He possessed a human spirit at birth.

No man could see Jesus Christ in the flesh and tell that He was different from any other human being. No man could see His inner perfection or Deity. It had to be understood through the Word of God.

This was the problem of the Pharisees and other religious Jews. They saw only His humanity and refused to accept Him as Messiah. The same problem exists today with many.

Therefore, the hypostatic union is a pivotal Doctrine which must be understood and mastered before you can appreciate the celebrityship of Christ.

The Necessity for the Humanity of Jesus Christ

  1. To be our Saviour. Luke 2:11, Phil 2:7-8, Heb 2:14-15.
  2. To be the Mediator. Job 9:2, 32, 33, 1 Tim 2:5-6.
  3. To be our High Priest. Heb 7:4-5, 14-28, 10:5, 10-14.
  4. To be the King. 2 Sam 7:8-16, Psa 89:20-37.

There is a gap between Deity and humanity. Therefore, only someone who is equal with both parties can mediate the reconciliation.

A priest must always be a human being for he represents human beings before God. God the Father made a promise to David that he would have a Son who would reign forever. God keeps His Word. Luke 1:32-33.

Deity cannot go to the Cross. Divine essence is not subject to death or change. God is eternal and can’t die, and God can’t change.

When Christ Spoke, Who Was Speaking?

Everything Christ spoke during the incarnation came from one of three sources. This explains why there are no contradictions in anything that Christ said.

  1. From Deity. John 8:58, “Before Abraham was I am.” His humanity did not exist eternally, His deity did.
  2. From humanity. John 19:28, “I thirst.” Deity cannot thirst, and notice Deity did not give His humanity a glass of water. Here is an example of KENOSIS.
  3. From hypostatic union. Matt 11:28, John 14:6, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes unto the Father but by Me.”

”Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavily laden, and I will give you rest.”

The Attributes of Jesus Christ

  1. Attributes which are true or the result of His whole Person.
    All three attributes – God, man, hypostatic union – are necessary for Christ to be our Redeemer. Therefore, Redeemer is an attribute true of His whole Person.
  2. Attributes true only of His Deity, but the whole Person is the subject. John 8:58, when Jesus Christ said, “Before Abraham was, I am,” He was speaking from His whole Person. The attribute of eternity applies only to the Divine nature or Deity.
  3. Attributes true only of His humanity, but the whole Person is the subject. John 19:28 when Christ said, “I thirst” He was speaking from His whole Person, but only humanity can thirst. This classification disappeared after resurrection, ascension, and session because of the freedom from the limitations of KENOSIS.

The Uniqueness of Christ’s Death

The humiliation of Christ reached its peak at the Cross.

In Phil 2:8 “obedient” means that He recognized the authority of the Cross and the Father’s plan. The Cross is the place where Christ had to submit or there would have been no salvation.

The Cross, therefore, was His objective and it represented authority. The obedience was not to the Cross itself, but to His spiritual death on the Cross.

Although Christ knew that He would be judged for the sins of the world, He was still willing to be submissive, to the extent of death.

”Death” is “THANATOS” in the Greek, and almost without exception this word refers to spiritual death. Most people think when He says that “Christ died for our sins,” Rom 5:8, 1 Cor 15:3, it refers to His physical death.

”It is finished” – yet He was alive. He was speaking. He kept saying “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” The answer, “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.

Upon the completion of bearing our sins in His own body, 1 Pet 2:24, He said, “TETALESTAI.” It’s a perfect tense of “TELEO,” meaning it is finished in the past, with the result that it keeps on being finished forever. Salvation was completed before He died physically.

Physical death was no problem. He simply dismissed His Spirit. It was painless. The horrible agony was spiritual death.

While many thousands of people were crucified by the Romans during S.P.Q.R. (Senatus Populusque Romanus), no one ever died as Jesus Christ died. He died twice on the Cross.

The Person was unique and the work was unique. His death was unique.

The Exalted Christ – Philippians 2:9

“Because of which the God has bestowed optimum exaltation and graciously bestowed the highest office.”

The physical death of Christ was necessary for His physical resurrection, as He could not go back to Heaven in a body of corruption.

Therefore, because of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, God the Father, the Author of the Divine plan of Grace, has highly exalted and glorified Christ. This is a reference to the resurrection, ascension, and session of Christ.

God the Father has also graciously bestowed the highest office on Jesus Christ ... “Given Him a Name.”

”Name” – “ONOMA,” plus the definite article, is an idiom which means office, rank, and dignity. It is a maximum expression of the celebrityship of Jesus Christ.

”The highest office above every office” is King of kings and Lord of lords. Rev 19:16.

The Doctrine of the ascension describes the celebrityship of Christ in His resurrection body.

Thursday, May 31, 2001

Thought for the Day!

How Moses Solved the Mid-East Crisis!

“And it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown that he went out unto his brethren and he spied and Egyptian smiting a Hebrew one of his brethren.”

”And when he saw there was no man, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand,” Exodus 2:11-12.

The Doctrine of the Mental Attitude!

“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.”

  1. Every believer faces the inner conflict of Divine Viewpoint vs. human viewpoint. Isa 55:7-9.
  2. The mental attitude determines both the life and character of a person. Prov 23:7.
  3. The Divine Viewpoint mental attitude is commanded in 2 Cor 10:4-5 and this can be fulfilled only by the daily function of growing in Grace.
  4. Since the Word of God is the mind of Christ, such intake of the Word of God under growing in Grace shapes the mental attitude. 1 Cor 2:16, Phil 2:5.
  5. The inner happiness of maturity produces the capacity for the Divine Viewpoint of life. Phil 2:2.
  6. God’s plan, operation Grace, calls for a new mental attitude. Rom 12:2, Phil 2:5, 2 Tim 1:7.
  7. A part of Divine Viewpoint is confidence, which results from knowing the Word of God. 2 Cor 5:1, 6, 8.
  8. Stability is a mental attitude. Isa 26:3, 4, Phil 4:7, 2 Thes 2:2.
  9. Giving is a mental attitude. 2 Cor 9:7.
  10. Love is a mental attitude in the soul, therefore capacity for love is resolved in the soul rather than in the sexual functions of the body. 1 Cor 13:5.
  11. Human viewpoint mental attitude is called “worldliness.” Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:2.
  12. Evil is something you think rather than something you do. Doing results from thinking. Matt 9:4, Gal 6:3.
  13. Mental attitude sins produce self-induced misery. Prov 15:13.
  14. Salvation is obtained by the mental attitude – “With the mind man believeth unto salvation,” Rom 10:10.

The Doctrine of Impeccability!

  1. Christ did not have an old sin nature by birth, nor did He commit sin during the incarnation. Heb 4:15, 1 Pet 1:19, 1 John 3:5. The only way Christ could have acquired a sin nature was the same way Adam acquired one, through volition.
  2. This does not imply that Christ was not tempted. He was tempted in the area of His humanity, Heb 4:15, far beyond anything thing we could ever understand. This is why His temptations in Matt 4:1-10 were unique.
  3. As with Adam in innocence or sinlessness, all temptation to the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ came from without. Neither had an old sin nature. Adam was created without one. But Christ was born without one. Because we have a sin nature, our temptations come from within and from without. We are tempted with mental attitude sins from within and with overt sins from without.
  4. All temptations to Christ had to come through His human nature. The human nature of Christ was temptable, but, the Divine nature was not temptable. James 1:13.
  5. Christ resisted the greatest of all temptations in Gethsemane. Matt 26:39, Mark 14:35, 36, Luke 22:42. The first Adam failed the volitional test, but the Last Adam passed it with flying colors.
  6. In Matt 4:1-10 Christ resisted the temptation to use His Divine attributes and thus act independently of God the Father. He could have turned the stones into bread through His omnipotence, but His humanity under the filling of the Holy Spirit, verse 1, refused.
  7. Because of the hypostatic union, the Doctrine of impeccability demands categorizing.
    A. The humanity of Christ, temptable and peccable.
    B. The Deity of Christ, not temptable and not peccable.
    C. The hypostatic union, temptable but impeccable.

    A piece of copper wire may be bent or broken, but when it is welded to a steel bar, it cannot be bent or broken. The wire is analogous to the humanity of Christ, the steel to the deity of Christ.
  8. It was possible for the humanity of Christ during the incarnation to suffer physical limitations that have no moral aspects, such as weakness, fatigue, sorrow, hunger, thirst, righteous indignation, or death. But none of these sufferings presented complications that in any way affected His immutable holiness.
  9. Hence, was according to Latin phraseology.
    ”Posse non pecarre” – able not to sin.
    ”Non posse pecarre” – not able to sin.

Christ is God, and God is never the source of evil under any circumstance. Evil stems from both angelic and human volition, but never from Divine sovereignty.

“HUPARCHO” – Another Grace, Greek, Word

“Who pre-existing in the essence of God in Grace thinking thought it not a treasure retained being equal with God,” Phil 2:6.

”HUPARCHO” means that Jesus Christ always existed. There never was a time when He was not God. He is eternal. He never grows old.

What is a celebrity? A role model? Someone who has status in life? Someone with human talent? What is happening to celebrities in the human race? They deteriorate, they lose their ability and their popularity, they grow old and their glamour fades. They die.

Did you ever see a football player ten years after he was washed up as a professional? Three hundred pounds of flab. Have you ever seen a movie queen after her heyday? If she is working, she is playing character roles.

A true celebrity is perfect.

A believer with any knowledge of the Word of God would never make a celebrity of a human being. Our True Celebrity is perfect. He has neither a beginning nor an end. Rev 1:8.

“MORPHE” – Another Grace, Greek Word

“Took on Him the form.” The word rendered “form” in the English is “MORPHE.” It does not refer to an outward shape, but to inner character or essence.

From eternity past Jesus Christ possessed sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, immutability, and veracity. He has never changed His essence for anyone or anything.

”I am the Lord. I change not.” His character remains intact, and will continue to do so throughout time and eternity.

”Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever,” Heb 13:8.

The True Celebrity of Christianity knew every person in the world from eternity past. He has always known every need, every problem, every heartache, every frustration in your life. He has gone through the entire angelic conflict without being inconsistent or unstable in any way.

That is our Celebrity!

”In the beginning (which was not a beginning) there always existed Jesus Christ (HO LOGOS) and the LOGOS was face to face with God, the LOGOS was God,” literal translation of John 1:1.

No one can enter into occupation with Christ or appreciate His character until He understands that Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, the Doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ is necessary.

A Great Promise!

“The eternal God is my Refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut 33:27.

Notice three things about this promise.

First, the words “eternal God.”
Second, “underneath.”
Third, “everlasting arms.”

The words “eternal God” mean the God of the beginning. “In the beginning, God (ELOHIM) created the Heavens and the Earth.” The eternal God is the God of the beginning.

Second, this is the only time the word “underneath” is used in the English Bible and it means “bottom.” No one can get so low that “underneath “ will not be the “everlasting arms.” The eternal arm, portraying the eternal power of God of the beginning. The great God of creation that brought into being everything is our precious Lord.

Now we find that He is our Refuge, being convinced that the eternal God, our precious Lord and Saviour, Who created the Heavens and the Earth, will have His everlasting arms (speaking of His power) to protect and to save, underneath us, being convinced that He is our Refuge, should free our souls from fear.

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