Divine Sugar Sticks for August 2001
What's the background behind Sugar Sticks? Click here to find out.
Wednesday, August 1, 2001
“Who Did Not Spare His Own Son But Delivered Him up for Us All, How Shall He Not With Him Freely Give Us All Things,” Romans 8:32
Here is Divine encouragement. Here is also Christian
“Who Delivered Him up for us All,” Romans 8:32
There was a moment in which God, in His absolute, eternal, infinite, and
perfect essence, had to make a crucial decision. What He chose is, for us,
the ultimate encouragement.
“God Spared Not His Own Unique Son But Delivered Him up for us All,” Romans 8:32
God could not love us for ourselves. The only human being He could love
was the only sinless Man who ever lived.
“On behalf of us all.” The preposition is “HUPER.” And the Son
chose to take our place, submitting to utter humiliation and indescribable
“Freely (Graciously) Give us the All Things”
The verb “CHARIZONAI” means “to give graciously, to give beneficially,
to give in Grace. We might even translate it to Grace out.
Infinite Energy and Power Belong to God, Psalm 8:3
He does not sleep. He never gets tired. After billions of years, He is
still not worn out and He never will be. And we need to adjust to that.
“All Things Exist for the Glory of God”
Exodus 33:18; Psa 19:1; Isa 6:3; Matt 6:13; Acts 7:2; Rom 1:23, 9:23; Heb
1:3; 1 Pet 4:14
“Therefore Having Been Justified by Faith, Let us Have Peace With God Through Our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1
God’s purpose for our lives has been stated in some detail – blessing,
blessing, and more blessing. The hortatory subjunctive mood in the Greek in this
verse expresses a command which encourages and enjoins voluntary compliance.
“For is by the transgression of one (Adam’s original sin), the death ruled that one (Adam), much more they who receive in this life the righteousness of God, much more they shall rule through the One, Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:17
In one sentence Paul spans the entire function of Divine justice as God’s
point of contact with us. The complete plan of God is summarized from the fall
of man – reiterated in every human birth, where the old sin nature rules by
spiritual death – all the way to eternity future, where members of the royal
family will rule with Christ forever.
“Abraham Believed in God and it Was Counted Unto Him for Righteousness,” Genesis 15:6
Abraham said yes to the Gospel while residing in the city of Ur, before he
moved to Haran and then into the land. Over 500 years after Abraham’s death,
Moses wrote the book of Genesis and under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration,
explained Abraham’s salvation in context with a later event in his life.
“Abraham Believed in God and it Was Counted Unto Him for Righteousness,” Gen 15:6
We all enter salvation in exactly the same way, through faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ. Abraham knew Him as “ADONAI.” Moses wrote that Abraham
believed in “JEHOVAH” because that was the name by which God revealed
Himself to Moses.
Genesis 15:6, “Abraham Believed in God and it was Counted Unto Him for Righteousness”
The Hebrew verb “CHASHHAB,” translated “counted,” means to impute or
to credit something to someone. The meaning is underscored by Paul using the
Greek verb, “LOGIZOMAI,” which was used as an accounting term meaning “to
impute or credit something to someone’s account.
“Being Found in Him Not Having Our Own Righteousness, But the Righteousness of God Which is by Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 3:9
You may have noticed that God did not take you to Heaven the moment you
believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 16:31.
“The Grace of God That Bringeth Salvation Has Appeared to All Men,” Titus 2:11-12
The Grace pipeline is insulated completely by the essence of God. Even
though you live in the devil’s world and have the old sin nature resident in
your body, the Grace pipeline runs through friendly territory all the way. God’s
justice does all the work, and Divine righteousness has all the merit.
“For Which I am an Ambassador in Bonds, That Therein I Might Speak Boldly as I Ought to Speak,” Ephesians 6:20
The function of the ambassador follows only after the function of the priest. Advance in the Word of God means eventual advance in production, and maximum production comes only in spiritual maturity.
The ambassadorship is evidently related to the confidence in the
communication of the Word of God, Eph 6:20. Once we know the Word, we can
steadfastly declare God’s Plan both in word and in deed, assured that
our purpose in life is upheld by the power of God. Our vocation is not
jeopardized even by the most concerted satanic attacks or by the most adverse
circumstances. “I am an ambassador in bonds.”
Thursday, August 2, 2001
“Your Father is the Devil,” John 8:44. “He is a Murderer From the Beginning.”
Satan does not always appear as an “angel of light.” The dark side of his strategy calls for terror, violence, confusion. If he cannot control mankind by one tactic, he always has another.
No depravity or treachery is beneath him. The rules of the angelic conflict call for each man to exercise his self determination on the Earth till God removes him. But Satan never plays by the rules unless doing so happens to further his own ends.
He is the original murderer, determined to destroy man’s volition if unable to control it. John 8:44. The Justice of God must restrain him. 2 Thes 2:7. And periodically God judges the accumulated results of his varied activities. Gen 6:1-7, 15:16, Lev 26:14-31.
Satan’s antithetical methods of operation are employed not only by his human emissaries, 2 Cor 11:13-15, but also by his vast, highly-organized, well-led army of angelic subordinates, known as demons. Eph 6:10-12.
Satan does not lead a mob. He understands authority. In fact, he is a tyrant who wants to superimpose his authority over God’s. Satan orders some of the demons operating on the Earth to be eloquent and magnetic in order to deceive people of culture and enlightenment.
Many smart Germans who were not impressed, who were even repelled, by the emotionalism of Hitler’s national socialist party were nevertheless drawn in by his demonic charisma.
Satan the Deceiver
Other demon organizations are charged with confusing and enslaving the simple, the emotional, the ignorant. Such people are impressed by weird, extranatural phenomena of telepathy, mind reading, and disembodied spirits associated with certain Hindu sects.
By the voodoo victim’s ritual sacrifices of himself without any symptoms of pain, by the Sudanese dervishes, who with bullets in their heads and in their hearts continued to charge the British formations. By the human sacrifices of children in the phallic cult and by the ecstatic manipulation of the vocal cords among some modern holy rollers, demons can unlawfully violate the dormant faculties of those unbelievers who permit the mentality to lapse into disuse and who are therefore ruled by emotions.
Only unbelievers can be demon possessed, in which case the demon enters and controls the body. But believers in certain categories of negative volition can come under the demon influence or demon obsession in which the demon controls the soul.
Satan has ruled the world since the fall of man, but he has never yet succeeded in controlling his own domain, whether through the drawing-room-type of demon activity or through the more startling types, Satan’s ultimate objective is to conquer, to control.
“Stop Placing Your Members as Weapons of Wickedness, Under Order to Sin, But Place Yourselves Under Order to God as Those Who Are Alive From the Dead, and Your Members as Weapons of Righteousness to God,” Romans 6:13
Placing the members of your physical bodies under orders to God, includes reprogramming your mind. At the new birth, the power of your old sin nature was broken, through the imputation of God's righteousness and eternal life.
Add to this the simultaneous baptism of the Holy Spirit, and for the first time your soul is in a position to break free from the influence of the corrupted physical computer. By the intake of the "Word of God" new information is fed into your brain so that it is programmed in accordance with the Plan of God for your life. Only the Word of God in the soul can fulfill experientially what was accomplished positionally at the moment of salvation.
Through perception of the Word of God, you can be free from both rulers under which you were born. The Word of God makes all the difference.
Works will not reprogram the brain. Witnessing, prayer, giving money to a church, none of these things will do the job. “The renewing of the mind.” They are legitimate. Indeed they are commanded, under the right circumstances, with the proper motivation, at the right time. Eph 2:10.
But they do not change the computer. There is only one way to change the computer so that it becomes a weapon of righteousness to God. And that is by feeding it something greater than Satan’s policy and the sin nature’s modus operandi. You must constantly feed it new information, the Word of God.
“For I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; For it is the Power of God Unto Salvation to Everyone that Believeth, to the Jew First and also to the Greek, for Therein is the Righteousness of God Revealed,” Romans 1:16-17
Paul was the greatest Jew who ever lived, with the possible exception of Moses, and of course not considering the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Without a doubt, Paul was the greatest Roman. Both during his lifetime and century upon century thereafter, down to this present moment, his influence far exceeds any other citizen of SPQR. Some secular scholars consider him to be the last greatest intellect in history.
Through his intake of the Word of God he exploited the Grace of God to the maximum and God blessed him with the most complete knowledge of the Word of God that any believer has ever possessed.
His incisive mentality, his occupation with Christ, his vigorous capacity for life as a mature believer in the Lord Jesus Christ made him objective, enthusiastic, and eminently prepared to tackle any situation life could offer.
When a genius of Paul’s stature begins to explain why he is so strongly motivated, we are compelled to sit up and take notice, An aspect of his motivation is brought to light as he, the foremost Apostle, reveals the mental attitude of a communicator of the Word of God.
His attitude should be shared today by ever pastor-teacher, and likewise, by every believer regardless of his spiritual gift.
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!”
“I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ,” Romans 1:16
The Greek compound verb EPAISCHUNOMAI, combines the preposition EPI (over and above), with the verb AISCHUNO, to be ashamed. With the negative, the compound literally means to not be ashamed, to be above being ashamed.
In other words, Paul never hung his head regarding anything or anyone with whom or with which he was associated. Lack of such embarrassment means freedom from subjectivity, and can indicate that negative volition is absent as well.
When a person is so subjective, weak, or cowardly that he worries about the opinion of others, afraid they might ridicule him, or think him a little strange, he does not know enough of the Word of God to come out of the rain.
Children who are ashamed of their parents, and parents who are ashamed of their children, fall into this category, as does the person who is ashamed of his background, occupation, and lack of education.
We all have something of which we could be ashamed, yet our lives are to be free from shame and guilt. The Grace of God cures these cancers of the soul through confession of sin and the constant function of growing in Grace.
Paul is therefore not describing an immature believer. Anyone with a guilt complex can work himself up emotionally to overcome his natural reticence and do great things for God.
But only the mature believer knows what it means to be supremely blessed of God and only he who has the poise from spiritual growth to know that the opinions of people are insignificant and inconsequential compared to God’s thinking expressed in the Word of God.
He knows furthermore, that He does not have to prove anything to anyone, but he is designed to live his life as unto the Lord.
“I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ," Romans 1:16
The word Gospel is the Greek word EUAGGELION, which is often misunderstood. We think of the Gospel as being the salvation message of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross. That is the technical meaning of the word. But that is only a part of its overall connotation.
EUAGGELION means Good News, news of victory, or good fortune, referring to something of intrinsic value.
The Good News includes the entire Word of God, only a small part of which applies to the unbeliever. Which aspect of the Word of God is in view will be indicated by the context.
Paul is not ashamed of any Doctrine, but in Rom 1:16 he narrows down the field to that information which is necessary to bring an unbeliever to the point of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We know this from the explanatory clause that follows. The phrase “of Christ” in the King James version is not in the original text.
Paul explains why he is not merely unashamed of the Good News, but is proud of it and even boastful. 1 Cor 1:31, 2 Cor 12:5, Gal 6:14.
“For it is the power of God to everyone who believeth.”
Paul asserts dogmatically and unqualified fact that there is a certain portion of the Word of God that results in eternal salvation for those who believe it.
The Gospel is therefore called, “the power of God.”
“I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the Power of God Unto Salvation, to Everyone Who Believeth,” Romans 1:16
When you communicate the Good News to an unbeliever, you explain the simple message of salvation. You are actually declaring God’s ability to bless, God’s ability to provide. The meaning of DUNAMIS, power, throws salvation back on the actual capacity and character of God Himself.
This is actually what Jesus Christ was doing as He spoke in John 3:16 to Nicodemus. Our Lord was explaining the Gospel. But in reality He was talking about the ability of God, God’s capacity, God’s essence.
Could He come right out with an enthralling discourse on His own Divine attributes, which were the same as those of the Father and the Holy Spirit? Could He go into detail with this uninformed unbeliever about motivation within the Godhead? That might have been a feast for a mature believer, but it would have left poor Nicodemus starving!
If the Pharisee was to be saved, simple language was needed, thus the Lord Jesus Christ used the anthropopathism of love. He compared God’s thinking to love and left it at that.
“God so loved the world.”
Both John 3:16 and Romans 1:16 Teach the Same Subject – the Good News of Salvation
The Gospel is “the Power of God,” the ability and the capacity of Divine essence to guarantee that believers, Rom 1:16, “that believers should not perish but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.
Paul comes out and identifies which attribute of Divine essence is involved – love, whereas Christ merely represented this Divine attribute in language of accommodation when evangelizing a religious unbeliever.
And what does Jesus Christ’s statement, “For God so loved the world,” point to in the actual essence of God? Which Divine attribute produces the action in saving us?
After assuring that both Jews and Gentiles of Divine impartiality, “to the Jew first and also to the Greek,” Paul gives us the answer.
Friday, August 3, 2001
“But as it is Written, Eye Hath Not Seen, Nor Ear Heard, Neither Hath Entered Into the Mind of Man, the Things Which God Hath Prepared for Them That Love Him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9
We are spiritually blind. We cannot discover God’s character or personality. But into our darkness shone the Grace of God.
He has revealed Himself. When we respond positively to God consciousness, God is responsible to provide Gospel information whereby we can believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thus enter into an eternal relationship with God.
God has revealed Himself in the Bible, the Mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16. The Gospel is one category of the Word of God. Toward us, God has “magnified His Word above His Name,” Psa 138:2.
The Doctrines of the Word of God resident in our souls are the only means by which we can know Who and What God is and thus come to respect and love Him. Only through learning the Mind of Christ, the Word of God, can we accord Him the recognition and honor and glory that He deserves.
“The Things Which God Has Prepared for Them That Love Him”
How does God enable us to understand what is normally beyond our comprehension? How does He accomplish the seemingly impossible task of communicating His Spirit, infinite, perfect essence to our temporal, finite, imperfect minds? How does He give us the capacity to receive “the things which God has prepared for them that love Him?”
Our darkness is perhaps darker than you realize. The unbeliever, called “the natural man,” lacks a human spirit. 1 Cor 2:13-16. Spiritually dead, he is simply not equipped to understand spiritual phenomena.
Even the simple Truth of the Gospel would elude him were it not for the convincing or convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity must stand as a Substitute for the missing human spirit in order to make the Gospel clear and understandable. Gen 6:3, John 6:44, 16:7-11, 2 Pet 2:21.
Only then can the unbeliever make a decision to accept or reject the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.
The Believer Has a Spirit, Soul, and Body, 1 Thessalonians 5:23
At the moment of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new believer acquires a human spirit as part of the Grace apparatus for perception. 1 Thes 5:23. The Grace apparatus for perception is the nonmeritorious system by which every believer can learn the whole realm of Doctrine and grow spiritually regardless of his education, background or I.Q.
In growing in Grace, God provides every step, from the Word of God resident in His own mind to the Word of God resident in the believer's soul. He furnishes the Bible Itself, the spiritual gift of a pastor-teacher, the local Church as the classroom where the Word of God is taught, the privacy of each believer's priesthood, which allows him to be objective as he learns the Word of God.
The human spirit in conjunction with the soul, completes the “inner equipment” which is needed to convert the Word of God from something merely comprehended into something thoroughly understood and useable for both spiritual advance and application to life.
Even Acquiring a Human Spirit Does Not Enable Us to Understand God
God the Holy Spirit, Who takes an active role leading up to our salvation, and Who provides certain blessings connected with salvation itself, must continue after salvation in His imperceptible, behind-the-scenes work of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. John 16:12-15.
At salvation, the Third Person of the Trinity personally takes up residence in our bodies, 1 Cor 6:19-20. From His permanent headquarters in our bodies, the indwelling Spirit seeks to control the soul.
The Bible describes the believer under the Holy Spirit's silent, energizing control as being “spiritual,” Gal 5:16; “filled with the Spirit,” Eph 5:18; “walking in the Spirit,” Gal 5:16.
Growing in Grace can only function under the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The filling of God the Holy Spirit is therefore the link between salvation and the eventual understanding of the Word of God. That constitutes spiritual maturity.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is mandatory for both the intake and the application of the Word of God to your personal experience.
God Has Provided Remarkable Assets so That we Might Learn the Truth About Him
But even with all of these, we are yet not out of the dark. God had to design in the Scriptures Themselves a very simple approach to a complex and advanced Doctrines of the Word.
For the sake of clarity therefore, when describing the character and the function of infinite God, the Bible often resorts to language of accommodation. In other words, to make certain that thoughts, policies, decisions, and actions are lucidly explained, God takes into account our inherent limitations and basic ignorance.
He graciously describes Himself as having human feelings, human passions, human thoughts, human anatomy, even human sins, in order to communicate things to us for which otherwise we would have no frame of reference.
Of course, God possesses none of these characteristics. He uses them as teaching aids, known as anthropomorphism and anthropopathisms. Derived from the Greek word “ANTROPOS” – “man” plus “pathos” – a function of the soul with an outward manifestation. An “anthropopathism” credits to God some human emotions, thoughts, or mental attitude sin. From “MORPHOS” – “body,” an “anthropomorphism” depicts God as having some physical characteristic of man.
Both categories are figures of speech, not descriptions of God's true nature or essence.
Proverbs 6:23, “But Whosoever Committeh Adultery With a Woman Lacketh Understanding; He That Doeth it Destroyeth His Own Soul”
Have you ever looked at this verse, not in a general sense, but in a specific sense, and that is to those in leadership in our country who fall under this condemnation? In the last 50 years that I am aware of, I have seen a long list of members in the Senate and House of Representatives and even in the White House, who have destroyed their souls, which would eliminate them as being worthy of leadership in our country.
Here is the Biblical description of leadership as it should exist. “I will sing of the mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord, I sing.” This is recognition of the Lord first.
Then a personal application based on recognition of the Lord. “I will behave myself wisely, in a perfect way. O when will Thou come unto me?” “I will walk within my house with a perfect mind.” “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes. I hate the work of them that turn aside. It shall not cleave to me.”
And then David decides who he will appoint as members of his cabinet. “A froward mind shall depart from me. I will not know a wicked person.” “Whoso prively slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off. Him that hath a high look and a proud mind will not I suffer.”
Here is the cabinet he will choose. “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.”
Those he will not appoint. “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”
What will he do with these evil leaders? “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord,” Psa 101:1-8.
P.S. “He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” This seems to be up to date.
In 1917 Theodore Roosevelt warned about this very thing.
God Loves Himself! Love is Internal!
God needs no object to love, because He is the Object. “He is the Rock. His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of Truth without iniquity, just and right is He,” Deut 32:4.
“He loves righteousness and justice,” Psa 33:5. “For the Lord loves justice,” Psa 37:28. “For I the Lord love justice,” Isa 61:8.
God's self-love should not surprise you. In His infinite knowledge, He knows Himself to be totally beyond comparison, to be totally worthy of admiration to an infinite degree in every possible sense. He claims all glory for Himself simply in the interest of absolute Truth.
If He did not recognize His own incomparable greatness and demand all glory, something would be wrong. He would either have to be ignorant of His own attributes or unimpressed with the most tremendous of all Truths, the fact of His infinite glory.
If He did not love Himself, there would be no reason for us to love Him. But He does love Himself, and through the accumulation of the Word of God in our souls, we must follow suit. In fact, He commands us to learn what He already knows and has always known about His own essence.
“For who hath come to know the Lord's mind, who shall instruct Him? We keep on having the Mind of Christ,” the Word of God, 1 Cor 2:16.
“Grace be Multiplied Unto Thee”
“We have received His Grace heaped upon Grace.”
The Grace of God is often defined as “unmerited favor” – not an inaccurate definition, but an oversimplified one and one which permits believers to easily confuse Grace with sentimentality.
Far from being sentimental, God's Grace toward mankind is rooted in His essence. Since His attributes are perfect, nothing He does for us in Grace is ever less than perfect, nor does it ever compromise His Divine nature.
Let us point out this characteristic in every category of Grace. “Saving Grace” removes the condemnation of spiritual death under which we are born and places us into a permanent blessing relationship with God. The Doctrine of propitiation explains how the work of Christ on the Cross satisfied the uncompromising justice of God on our behalf and shows how God provides salvation without compromising His essence.
“Grace be Multiplied Unto You”
“Logistical Grace” keeps us alive and enables us to grow spiritually, even though we live in the devil's world. Based on Who and What He is, God has established certain objectives for us in the angelic conflict. In general, He keeps us on Earth after salvation to learn the Word of God. This gives us the capacity to possess and enjoy fantastic Divine prosperity. Blessing is the objective.
If we are to seize this objective, this tactical victory in the spiritual combat of life, we require a great deal of provision and support – Bible teaching, the air we breathe, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, friends.
Logistical Grace is indispensable in fulfilling the Plan of God. Thus, it is totally consistent with the essence of God.
Saturday, August 4, 2001
The Essence of God!
God's essence might manifest certain characteristics in one situation but others in a different situation.
The Lord Jesus Christ displays His awesome omnipotence as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. John 1:3, Heb 1:2, 10.
Omniscience and sovereignty come into prominence when we study the Doctrine of Divine Decrees. Rom 8:28-30, Eph 1:4-6.
The existence of the Canon of Scripture emphasizes yet other attributes, especially His veracity. Psa 138:2.
And when He sustains us through all the uncertainties and instabilities of life, His “immutability” stands out. Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5, 8.
In every case, no matter which attribute is reflected, God's total, indivisible Person is completely involved.
The Essence of God!
No Divine attribute can be bypassed, overlooked, or violated in anything God does. His right hand always knows what His left hand is doing.
God does not put aside His sovereignty when He manifests His veracity. He does not switch back and forth between omnipotence and omniscience. He does not ignore His righteousness and justice in order to deal with us strictly out of love.
God never has the slightest trouble keeping His attributes straight. One never compromises another, even when He deals with us imperfect, sinful, fallen man, and especially when He bless us. He is not lowering Himself to our imperfect level thus destroying His own perfection. The reason He can bless us is because one of His attributes stands guard, as it were, over all the rest.
The justice of God is the guardian of God's essence in all that He does toward imperfect creatures.
Sunday, August 5, 2001
“And He Shall Judge the World in Righteousness. He Shall Minister Judgment to the People in Uprightness,” Psalm 9:8
Divine justice can never be corrupted because it always functions according to the standard of fairness found in God's perfect righteousness. Justice is the watchdog over God's entire essence and righteousness is the watchdog over His justice. Absolute righteousness is the key to the character of God. All else depends on it.
If He did not have absolute righteousness, God would not be God. But He does have it. He has always existed as God, and there never was a time when He did not exist as God. Righteousness is at the very core of His being. God cannot tolerate less than His own perfection. What the righteousness of God demands, the justice of God must perform.
If righteousness rejects something, justice condemns it. If righteousness approves, justice blesses. Righteousness rejects sin, therefore justice condemns sin.
Righteousness rejects human good because, being relative, it falls short of the absolute standard of Divine good, therefore justice condemns all our legalism, religiosity, human works, and self righteousness.
Righteousness likewise rejects evil and justice totally condemns it.
God's righteousness approves of the perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Righteousness also approves of His perfect work on the Cross in payment for our sins. Therefore, justice blesses anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Justice accomplishes this.
It is the fairness of God that bestows upon every believer the amazing blessings associated with what we call our “eternal salvation” – the many things we receive at the point of salvation.
Here is a definition to note and to remember.
Grace is the policy of the justice of God for blessing mankind.
“Therefore the Lord waits to be Gracious unto you, and He is on high to have compassion on you, for the Lord is a God of blessing and justice. How blessed are those who wait for Him,” Isa 30:18.
“God waits,” literally, is tapping His foot, waiting for you to trust Him.
Human Volition is the Spoiler
When Eve was tempted, she failed to resist the subtleties of Satan because sometime between her creation and her fall she had lost respect for authority. She had rejected all authority but her own.
Instead of responding, she had begun to react. And having turned her back on Adam's leadership and protection, she demonstrated a complete lack of common sense. She started talking to a stranger, Satan, as though he was an old friend. She should have recognized Satan's cynical innuendoes as being anti-Biblical and immediately told Adam.
But no, she rejected her husband's authority. Adam was not the only authority over her, however. The authority designed to protect her was the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God that He communicated.
Even though she had been attending Bible class every morning in the garden, she had stopped concentrating. She apparently resented the Lord's teaching, especially His prohibition of the tree.
“Your desire, Eve, shall be towards him and he shall rule over you.”
“But of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Thou Shall Not Eat of it, for in the Day That Thou Eatest Thereof, Thou Shall Surely Die,” Genesis 2:17
The Hebrew verb “MUTH,” “to die,” is doubled so that a literal translation would read., “dying you will die.” As an idiom, it actually indicated the intensity of death. Spiritual death is in view.
“The wages of sin is death,” Rom 6:23.
The subsistence pay of sin, which includes total condemnation from the justice of God.
The woman's rejection of the Lord's authority was clearly demonstrated in her conversation with Satan. She leapt at the prospect of becoming as smart as God.
Furthermore, given an opportunity to comment on a principle found in the Word of God, Satan flattered her by asking, and she gave the wrong interpretation. Christ had taught her, “Thou shalt not eat of it.” But in her vanity, she added to the Word of God.
“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die,” Gen 3:6.
... “Neither Shall Ye Touch it,” Genesis 3:6
She distorted the Lord's Words when she said, “I cannot eat or touch the forbidden fruit.” She added to the Truth by suggesting that the tree was somewhat poisonous, which it was not. She evidently believed that it was, however. For after eating, she carried around the fruit as if to mock the Lord.
If her soul had been saturated with the Word of God, she would have been impervious to flattery. But instead, her soul was filled with vanity, which actually drew in Satan's false compliments. She was deceived by being flattered.
Her vanity was not sinful because the only sin possible in the garden was disobedience to the Divine prohibition. But she set herself up for the fall by rejecting every authority designed to protect her. She cast aside the awe and respect that hold together true love.
Wanting to be a “free spirit,” she ended up spiritually dead.
“His banner over me was love.”
“I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine.”
“My desire is toward him.”
“Whom the Lord Loveth He Chasteneth and Scourgeth Every Son Whom He Receiveth,” Hebrews 12:6
Throughout Eve's temptation by the serpent, the woman's point of contact with God was His attribute of love. Why could not love sustain her in her crisis? The answer to the question points out the justice of God.
Love can only do one thing and that is to bless. It has no dynamics in a negative situation Love provided the Word of God in the garden. But where negative volition rejected the authority of the Word of God, love was helpless.
But justice is a different story. The justice of God is free to bless or punish. Justice is a much stronger motivator to resist temptation than is the love of God.
Love requires Adam's and the woman's positive volition. Justice can function equally well toward positive or negative volition, toward believer or unbeliever, for blessing or for cursing. The Bible frequently communicates this dual function of Divine justice.
“For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth and skins alive with a whip ever son that He receiveth,” Heb 12:6.
“Whom the Lord Loveth He Chasteneth”
Love is in view here.
The Fall of Man and the Grace of God!
Eve rejected love as her point of reference with God. She disregarded every system of authority that God had designed to protect her from her own vanity. She succumbed to flattery.
She was deceived by Satan. She ate from the forbidden tree, and immediately she became spiritually dead. The warning “dying you will die” came true. Her personal sin had two instantaneous results:
Her condemnation from the justice of God.
The Fall of Man and the Grace of God
Eve was the first spiritually dead person in the human race. She naturally wanted to share her new-found situation with her husband. So she took the fruit to Adam.
There Adam stood, the ruler of the world, the original perfect man, the man of genius intellect, the man whose soul was saturated with the Word of God. He faced the choice of perfection with God in the garden versus spiritual death with the woman outside the garden. In full knowledge of what he was doing, he took the fruit of her hand and deliberately sinned.
His wife may have been deceived by Satan into disobeying God, but not so Adam. Just like her, however, when he ate of the fruit, he too, immediately acquired a depraved nature, which we call the old sin nature, and became spiritually dead.
Choice: Fallen woman out of the garden or the Unique Member of the human race, the God-man, in the garden. How many times has that choice been made?
The Fall of Man and the Grace of God!
At the fall, Adam and the woman came under a new system. No longer perfect, their new, depraved condition demanded something greater – the justice of God. Justice was called for, and justice immediately went into action.
Justice always takes action in one of two ways. It is either blessing or cursing. The policy of Divine essence is quite simple. The righteousness of God demands, and justice executes. Under the policy, righteousness demanded something at the fall of man.
“What shall we say then, shall we continue in slavery to the old sin nature that Grace may increase? Definitely not,” Rom 6:1-2.
Let us stop and think this over for a moment. The garden was characterized by perfection. And the period after the garden is characterized by Grace. Under perfection, Grace was impossible, but under imperfection, Grace becomes imperative.
Now what was it that carried man over the line from perfection to Grace? You might quickly answer that sin brings us to the point of needing Grace. This is absolutely false. Sin never advances the plan of God in any way. Sin brings man to the point where he needs condemnation and judgment, not Grace.
God's righteousness sees sin and demands that man be condemned. Justice immediately condemns us. This is the action that qualifies us for Grace, an action performed not by us at all but by the justice of God.
The Fall of Man and the Grace of God!
Grace is designed for the undeserving. And once condemned by the justice of God, we are totally undeserving. That is how we come into line for Grace. This becomes a principle of God's justice. Cursing always precedes blessing. Condemnation precedes justification.
God offers saving Grace only to those who need saving. He would never waste Grace on those who were not condemned. He could never send His Son to the Cross unnecessarily.
Therefore, at the fall, God immediately condemned Adam. He did so by imputing Adam's original sin to his newly-acquired sin nature, resulting in his spiritual death.
This is what we call a real imputation. “In Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive.”
“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Rom 5:12.
“For Adam was First Formed, Then Eve. And Adam Was Not Deceived, but the Woman Being Deceived Was in the Transgression,” 1 Timothy 2:13-14
These verses come from a context describing authority. The statement that Adam was created first refers to his position of responsibility as the federal head of the human race. But he is further responsible for our condemnation because when he sinned, he knew exactly what he was doing.
The woman was taken in completely by the smooth line that Satan handed her. She did not know what she was doing. Of course, ignorance is no excuse. Before God, she was just as guilty and just as spiritually dead as Adam.
But the only sin that can be imputed to mankind for condemnation is a sin of cognizance. Therefore, even though Adam was not the first sinner in the human race, his sin, not the woman's, is imputed to us for condemnation.
“As by one man's sin, sin entered into the world,” Rom 5:12.
This is the principle of imputation. Adam's sin. Also holds true of the old sin nature. Adam's old sin nature, not the woman's, becomes our old sin nature because he was the head of the human race and because he sinned in cognizance.
The sin nature, however, is not transmitted to us by imputation. It is transmitted genetically.
Monday, August 6, 2001
Genesis 2:7, “God Breathed Into His Nostrils the Breath of Life and Man Became a Living Soul”
The first imputation at physical birth, like all
imputations from God, is a permanent
arrangement. The breath of life resides in the soul forever. Even when your soul
leaves the body in physical death, your life is still in your soul.
There is no such thing as soul death or soul sleep.
The Imputation of Adam’s Sin, Romans 5:12
In the same manner that human life is imputed to the soul, the second real
imputation occurs as a result of Adam’s deliberate sin in the garden.
Born Physically Alive and Spiritually Dead
Adam’s original sin plus Adam’s sinful trend equals spiritual death. But
these two factors come to us in different ways.
“Blessed is the Man Unto Whom the Lord Imputeth Not Iniquity,” Psalm 32:2
David, who lived in the age of Israel, after the Mosaic Law had been given,
rejoices in knowing that personal sins are not imputed to anyone but Jesus
Christ. This is the Doctrine of unlimited atonement from the standpoint of
We Can’t Sin Like Adam Sinned!
Adam’s first sin falls into two categories:
If Adam’s sin as a personal sin had been imputed to Adam, he would have gone directly to the Lake of Fire – the end of the human race. If our personal sins were imputed to us, we would go to the Lake of Fire. We cannot bear our own personal sins and survive.
Only the impeccable Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, totally acceptable to
the righteousness of God, totally undeserving of judgment Himself, could pay the
penalty for personal sins. Only the Lord Jesus Christ could rescue us from
the brink of Divine eternal judgment.
All the personal sins of mankind were set aside for the greatest of all moments in history. Those three hours on the afternoon of the Passover in A.D. 30, when the Lord Jesus Christ bore the sins of the whole world and was judged in our place. That was the imputation that turned cursing into blessing and condemnation into salvation.
Only One Sin of Mention!
One sin, and one sin only, therefore, condemns the whole human race. If you
think God condemns you for your own sins, you have listened too long to the
legalist who is shocked by a half a dozen kind of overt sins.
“For All Have Sinned and Come Short of the Glory of God”
God condemns all of us alike for Adam’s one sin, and transferred all our
sins to Christ on the Cross. To anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ,
God imputed His righteousness and eternal life.
“In Adam All Die,” 1 Corinthians 15:22
We can only thank God that in His matchless Grace of His justice He
condemned us for Adam’s first sin. We can only stand in awe of Him for His
magnificent action on our behalf. Far from being unfair to us, God’s
imputation of Adam’s sin to our sin natures at birth is totally to our
Tuesday, August 7, 2001
“Nevertheless death ruled from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a type of Him who was destined to come,” Romans 5:14.
The epoch from Adam to Moses is Paul’s illustration to legalistic Jewish
believers of a principle that applies equally to all ages, spiritual death rules
in every generation of human history. Actually, we are born under two rulers
who came to power when Adam sinned.
The Rule of Satan as the “God of This World”
Satan’s arrogant ambition is to become, by his own efforts and great intellect, “like the Most High God,” Isa 14:12-14.
He promotes the improvement of his kingdom, the Earth. He seeks to
displace God and to create a counterfeit Millennium before Christ
returns. Were Satan to succeed, he would force God to welsh on His promises
regarding the true Millennium, proving God a liar with no integrity. Satan would
thus win the angelic conflict by default, and would avoid serving his just
sentence, eternity in the Lake of Fire. Matt 25:41, “Hell is prepared for
Satan and his angels.”
Satan the God of This World!
Satan’s attacks often come in the guise of a calm, engaging,
drawing-room-type of attractiveness. He knows that life depends on how people
think. He sponsors “good” anti-God thought, Isa 47:10-11, Micah 1:12,
Col 2:8, 2 Thes 2:7-11, “He blinds the minds.”
Satan as an Angel of Light!
The system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can
incorporate into it, and be consistent with the things he aims to accomplish.
Galatians 4:4, “But When the Fullness of Time Was Come God Sent Forth is Son Made of a Woman”
Like all members of the human race, however, the mother of Christ’s humanity, the virgin Mary, was born spiritually dead. She was not immaculate, sinless, or perfect. Nor was she, in the most ludicrous blasphemy of all, “the mother of God.” Eternal God has no source, no origin, and no mother.
Mary was a sinner in need of a Saviour. Her body was a body of
corruption. Her genes and her chromosomes carried the old sin nature, as do
Genesis 3:15, “The Seed of a Woman”
Through the centuries religion has abused Mary, elevating her far above
her rightful position. She is often overrated and even worshipped as the
embodiment of ideally pure womanhood, in contrast to Ishtar, Aphrodite,
Venus, and others who are also worshipped, but as ideally sensuous womanhood.
Just because religion has abused her is no reason to overlook this woman’s
noble character and personal integrity.
The Sign of a Virgin
The prophet Isaiah prophesied that the virgin would be a sign, a miraculous
event, Isa 7:14.
“By One Man (Adam) Sin Entered Into the World”
At the instant when the justice of God would normally impute Adam’s
original sin to the newly born infant, Christ, no such imputation was
Wednesday, August 8, 2001
“He Made Him to be Sin For Us, Who Knew No Sin, That We Might be Made the Righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21
When the sins of mankind where charged to the impeccable humanity of the Lord
Jesus Christ, the justice of God had to take action. He judged the Lord Jesus
Christ, God’s judgment of our sins in Jesus Christ, including Adam’s first
sin, wiped our slate clean. We need only to accept this Divine action in our
behalf through nonmeritorious faith in the One who took our place.
“If God be For Us, Who Can be Against Us?” Romans 8:31
No imperfection in us escapes ultimate judgment. No blessing comes to us
apart from the Grace of God.
“If God be For Us, Who Can be Against Us?” Romans 8:31
There is only one way in which God can be “for us.” Avoiding
inconsistency, and compromise, He acts according to the principle of Grace. That
becomes an axiom. Divine justice can only bless Divine righteousness.
“Being Found in Him, Not Having Our Own Righteousness, But the Righteousness of God Which is by Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 3:9
As this fact sinks in, it becomes an astounding revelation. The
righteousness of God in you! God loves righteousness and He loves His
righteousness in you. And His righteousness in you qualifies you for Heaven.
Partakers of the Divine Nature
Each member of the Trinity infinitely esteems His own incomparable Person and
totally loves the other two Persons of the Godhead. The love in God’s
essence loves God’s essence.
Romans 5:16, “And Not as it Was by One That Sinned, so the Gift: For the Judgment Was by One to Condemnation, But the Free Gift is of Many Offences Unto Justification.”
Here Paul gives us a short comparative clause to reiterate the contrast
between the first and Last Adam. Then Paul expands on this contrast, stockpiling
information to be used next which comes up in a conditional clause in the next
Romans 5:16, “Justification”
In the singular, “DIKAIOMA” means a right act in the fulfillment of a
legal requirement, a sentence or pronouncement of justification. From the
judgment of many sins at the Cross comes this one act of justification. At
birth justice acts against us to pronounce us condemned. At salvation justice
acts on our behalf to appoint us righteous. Rom 5:19.
Thought for the Day!
Whenever you are afraid of the dark, or your children are afraid of the dark,
remember what the Lord Jesus Christ did when it was dark!
Genesis 15:6, “Abraham Believed in God and it Was Counted Unto Him for Righteousness”
Abraham is the model of justification. His vindication not only demonstrates
the mechanics of salvation, but proves as well that salvation follows the
same pattern in both the Old and New Testaments – both before and after
the giving of the Mosaic Law.
The Baptism of the Spirit
In reality with no fanfare or emotional folderol, God the Holy Spirit
places each Church Age believer into union with Christ at the moment of
salvation. Gal 3:26-28, 1 Cor 12:13. This is an actual, as opposed to a
ritual, identification and we become bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.
The Royal Family of God
Many lines of nobility and many titled families have existed in human
history. But the ultimate system of royalty is unique. Established by God
Himself, its members are united with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
We are being taught today that all people are equal, that the poor are
inherently virtuous, and that being a peasant is honorable, that any kind of
real superiority should arouse a sense of guilt, that the successful owe a debt
to the unsuccessful.
The Royal Family of God
The list is awesome
Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, John the baptist, the great Jewish
generals of the Tribulation, the spiritual giants of the Millennium.
At the Moment of Salvation God the Holy Spirit Places us in Union With the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:13
As He is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, and
retroactively, as He was on the Cross. This is called current positional truth
and retroactive positional truth.
Thursday, August 9, 2001
“Who Convinceth Me of Sin?”
Christ was impeccable when He came to the Cross. He had no old sin nature,
which means not only that He had never sinned, but also that He had never
committed a thought, word, or deed of human good or evil. Throughout His
life He totally rejected the policy of Satan and totally adhered to the Plan of
“Not of Works” “Dead Works” “Wicked Works”
Rejected, but not judged, good and evil remain at large in the angelic
conflict. But never think for a moment they will not be judged. No production
of the old sin nature ever escapes Divine judgment.
“He That Believeth Not Shall Not See Life But the Wrath of God Abideth on Him,” John 3:36
A person who rejects Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour says in effect
he prefers to stand in God’s final judgment courtroom with human righteousness
rather than with the Judge’s own righteousness imputed to him. What a tragic
“There is no Condemnation to Them That Are in Christ Jesus Our Lord,” Romans 8:1
In contrast to the unbeliever, the believer will not stand before the Great
White Throne. Only rejection of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour puts a person
on the docket of that tribunal.
“Therefore We Have Been Buried Together With Him Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Unto His Physical Death,” Romans 6:4
Christ’s physical death is analogous to separation from the old sin nature,
and the finality of His burial is like divorce. Similar to a woman who breaks
free from the tyranny of a bad marriage, believers reject (separate) from and
divorce the old sin nature, the old man.
“The Old Man” – “The Ex-Husband”
We are constantly faced with his advances, to which we can say yes or no. Rom
6:11-13. Whenever we sin or perform acts of human good or evil, we have
“In Order That as Christ Has Been Raised up From the Dead (Spiritual and Physical) by the Glory of the Father, Even so We Should Walk in Newness of Life,” Romans 6:4
In union with the glorified Christ as He is seated in the place of highest
honor, Psa 110:1, Heb 1:13, 10:12, we share all that He has and is.
We share His destiny. Eph 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Rom 8:28, 30, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.”
We share His Sonship. Gal 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim 2:11, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.”
We share His heirship. Rom 8:16, 17, “The Spirit Itself beareth
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then
heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with
Him, that we may be also glorified together.”
We share His royalty. 2 Pet 1:11, “For so an entrance shall be
ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.”
We share His eternal life. 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God.”
The Believer’s Double Portion!
As members of the royal family of God, we actually possess a double
portion of God’s righteousness and God’s eternal life. The Father’s
righteousness is imputed to us, as it is to believers of all dispensations in
order to set up the Grace pipeline. But in addition, through the baptism of the
Holy Spirit, and union with the Lord Jesus Christ, we also possess the
righteousness of the Second Person of The trinity. 2 Cor 5:21.
“That We Should Walk in Newness of Life,” Romans 6:4
“That we should walk.” It is in the subjunctive mood, indicating
“The Flesh Lusts Against the Spirit and the Spirit Against the Flesh, and They Are Contrary One to the Other,” Galatians 5:17
The believer’s soul is the battleground in the angelic conflict. And the
believer’s own volition determines which side wins in his life.
The Indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Indwelling of God the Holy Spirit
A distinction we must keep in mind is the difference between the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ,
And these become self evident when we continue to grow spiritually.
The Sealing Ministry of God the Holy Spirit!
The sealing ministry of God the Holy Spirit at salvation emphasizes our
security. “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ (the baptism of
the Holy Spirit) and anointed us (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) is God; Who
also sealed us,” 2 Cor 1:21, 22.
Friday, August 10, 2001
The Healing Ministry of the Apostle Paul!
Paul once healed the sick at will. Acts 19:11-12. This was a supernatural
calling card that established his authority in a new locale as being a
communicator of the Word of God. Rom 15:19.
Likewise, in 2 Tim 4:1, 2, the great apostle passed the colors of local
Church leadership to a Pastor-Teacher, Timothy. The gift of apostleship with
its supreme authority over more than one local congregation was not perpetuated.
Spiritual gifts were sovereignly bestowed by God the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor
12:11, “Severly as He wills.” The gift involves a special ability in a
particular field. Which gifts are given to which believers is strictly a
Divine prerogative. No one has any say as to which gift he receives, and
certainly no one ever earns or deserves it.
The gift of evangelism functions outside the local Church toward unbelievers. Acts 1:8, Rom 15:20.
Believers with the gift of helps and government serve as deacons and accomplish the various administrative tasks delegated to them by the Pastor-Teacher for the efficient operation of the local Church. Acts 7:3.
If God doesn’t promote you, you are not promoted. Psa
“Three Groans,” Romans 8:18-27
In this passage we have a discourse on undeserved suffering. And it is structured around “three groans.”
The “groans” of nature and of God the Holy Spirit are vital and interesting subjects, which lead us to a familiar principle found in Rom 8:28, “All things work together for good.”
The customary present tense of “STENAZO,” “to
groan,” denotes what habitually occurs or what is reasonably expected to occur
when the believer is given undeserved suffering. The pain is real. Suffering, to
be suffering, must hurt. But its purpose is not to persecute you, not to trap
you, not to distract you from your blessings, nor to enslave you to the
suffering and, being unearned, not to punish or discipline you.
“Fret Not Thyself Because of Evildoers, Neither be Thou Envious of the Workers of Iniquity,” Psalm 37:1
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of
him who prospereth in the way, because of the man that bringeth wicked devices
to pass,” Psa 37:7.
“The Lord Hath Made All Things for Himself, Yea Even the Wicked for the Day of Destruction,” Proverbs 13:4
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ remembers that no matter what the
source of the unbeliever’s prosperity, his lack of capacity destroys any
possibility of enjoying what he has. Often the only reason the Lord keeps an
unbeliever alive is to serve as a test or a training aid for advancing the
believer. That is not exactly the highest Christian calling. Despite all
appearances, therefore, the unbeliever is certainly no one to envy.
Why do Christians Suffer?
The contrast between external surroundings and the inner wealth of Divine
Viewpoint only intensifies the believer’s occupation with the Lord Jesus
Christ. It makes more vivid all the believer’s spiritual blessings.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Undeserved suffering is designed to intensify the believer’s focus on
the fantastic future rewards of Heaven. Such a focus developed under
pressure and carried over into periods of prosperity stabilizes the believer in
life. The anticipation of eternity motivates the believer to persistently,
continually pursue greater and greater knowledge of the Word of God. As contrary
it may seem at first glance, underserved suffering in time is actually a down
payment on eternity where suffering is impossible, Rev 21:4.
“For Our Light Affliction, Which is But for a Moment, Worketh for us a Far More Exceeding and Eternal Weight of Glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:17
Another reason for underserved suffering with regard to the justice of God is that in the midst of wonderful things, the pain of underserved suffering serves as a reminder of the Grace of God. The Truth dawns on you, and you say, “I am not going to be under this pressure forever.” All the blessings I receive on Earth come from God, and He alone will be the Source of even more blessings in the future.
Underserved suffering gets your attention.
Once it gets your attention it reminds you that you have a glorious future.
Thus the believer does not scramble to escape the pressure. He does not go on a
frantic search for happiness. He does not make excuses to his friends. He does
not run out and explain the situation to those who malign him. He takes the
suffering as it comes, as from the Lord.
Romans 8:24, “For We Are Saved By Hope”
|Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities of the five-city Canaanite confederacy in the Arabah Valley, Gen 13.|
|The five-city states of the Philistines founded as Greek colonies on the coastal plain even prior to Abraham’s arrival in the land figure heavily in the history of Israel.|
|Rome, too, began as a city-state which, like Athens, absorbed everything around it and eventually became an empire.|
A single ruler might control several cities, as did Herod the great when he
died, and Augustus confirmed his will. Many city-states of the Levant were
bequeathed or imputed to their heirs. Several of these cities are known in
Scripture such as Gadara and Caesarea Philippi. A city represented great
authority and wealth for its ruler.
Thus, the growing believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is given 10, 20, or 100 cities at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ is depicted as receiving immense wealth.
A city represented great authority and wealth for its ruler. The Lord
Jesus Christ will grant you a personal estate measured in billions of light
Vast tracts of space will become your eternal domain, entailing unheard of riches, and the rulership over those believers who, minus rewards of their own, will live within its realms. Heb 11:10, 16, 13:14.
Military decorations in ancient Rome were a little different from those of today. They were far more remunerative! And Paul knew all about them.
As a prisoner in daily contact with Roman soldiers, he learned a great deal
about their personal and professional aspirations. But that is not where he
first learned about the army’s crowns. It required no special experience to
know their significance. What they meant was common knowledge throughout the
Not only Paul, but Peter, John, and James, as well found it natural to illustrate the Grace of God with Roman crowns. Most Christians today are aware that crowns are mentioned in the Bible. “Will there be many stars in my crown?” is a line from a hymn – long on enthusiasm but short on accuracy.
A king’s crown might be embellished with a star or two, called “a DIADEMA,”
but our eternal rewards are depicted as the “STEPHANOS,” the “wreath”
worn on the heads of Roman heroes.
Paul distinguishes “three crowns” and these three decorations for “spiritual valor” do not express everything that believers will receive at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they represent a system of awards that carry with them a wide variety of eternal blessings.
|”The wreath of righteousness.”|
|”The wreath of life.”|
|”The wreath of glory.”|
This wreath is available to all who fulfill the potential of imputed righteousness. Paul mentions it in the final chapter he wrote before his execution. 2 Tim 4:7-8.
The believer’s occupation with Christ is crystallized and stabilized in
the “no man’s land” of Grace testing through which the believer must
This wreath is awarded specifically for using and applying the Word of God in the midst of underserved suffering. James 1:12.
This is the highest decoration which is related to the gift and function
of the pastor, even though all believers can win it by attaining the Grace
of God. Rev 2:10.
The pastor is delighted that those who listen to his teaching day after day
and year after year are motivated by an enthusiasm for the Word of God that
parallels his own.
He anticipates the pleasure of presenting the members of his congregation at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus Christ and of watching them receive fantastic riches and vast sections of Heaven and untold eternal blessings. Phil 4:1, cf 1 Thes 2:19-20, 1 Pet 5:4.
God wants us to use the Word resident in our souls. And Satan and the forces
of evil want to prevent us from using it. One of Satan’s favorite ploys for
making the Word of God resident in our souls to be inaccessible is to create
fear – especially fear of death.
A believer who succumbs to fear cannot think clearly, and in order to think, he must bring his fear under control. A personal or national disaster, with the anxiety it engenders, is a complex situation. If an unsettled and frightened believer is to regain mental stability and poise, he must reduce his life to the utmost simplicity.
Then, reoriented and thinking clearly once again, he can turn around and handle the complex situation with the Word of God. For such contingencies God provides a step-by-step technique for overcoming fear and for rapidly recovering mental stability. By following this procedure, the believer can apply the Word of God he knows before the opportunity has passed, before he fails the test.
Faith resting in the Promises of God is the technique which the believer uses in pressure situations. He reaches out with his faith and claims a Biblical Promise. The rest is the moment-by-moment rest which is described for us in Heb 4:1.
The only thing we have to fear is failure to claim the Promises of God,
which, promises, put to rest our fears.
The believer’s faith first takes hold of a Promise, then he begins to think in terms of principle, and ultimately to Doctrinal conclusions. This technique for overcoming Satan’s “fear-panic ploy” is presented for us in Rom 8:28-32. These verses supply the Divine resources that the believer needs, when sudden disaster, whether personal or collective, throws him temporarily off balance.
Rom 8:28 presupposes a long and persistent intake of the Word of God. The believer in view has learned all the pertinent Doctrines with hope. He knows the essence of God, and the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are familiar with all the things that God is
working together for the good. They understand the Doctrine of election, the special privileges of the royal family of God, and the details of God’s predetermined plan.
But all this wealth of Doctrine in their souls is entirely useless in the crisis if the “fear-panic-ploy” blocks out its application. Just as concentration is necessary to learn the Word of God, so also the same concentration is necessary to draw upon the Word of God in your soul.
A person must be able to concentrate if he is able to apply the Word of God to his experience. Instead of intake, the Word of God is moved out to meet the demands of the moment. And this can only happen when the mind is stabilized.
Imagine yourself in an airplane cruising at 35,000 feet. You are all strapped
in and comfortable, reading a fascinating book or enjoying the cloud formation
below, when an explosion suddenly rocks the plane. An engine is blown. There is
fire outside the windows.
Now that is a sudden disaster. No matter how mature a believer you are, your first reaction is going to be fear. Why? Because you are human. As the plane goes into a stall your stomach is in your throat. You feel cramped and confined. Everyone is in shock. People begin to whimper and someone screams. Fear becomes contagious. The specter of death and total helplessness ignite uncontrolled panic.
All the Word of God in your soul is useless because rational thinking has been wiped out. Amid the hysteria, your concentration is simply not working. When the chips are down, what is the difference between cowardice and courage?
The brave man thinks under pressure whereas the coward does not. One of the greatest of all virtues in life is the ability to think clearly in a crisis.
That is the stuff of aristocracy. Being afraid is normal, but succumbing to fear and failing to control fear is absolutely unnecessary.
Here is where Romans 8:28 comes in!
Romans 8:28 is not only a principle to understand, but it is a promise to
claim. If you are a believer, the fact is that God works all things together
for good for you. Therefore, this terrifying plane ride is something that He
is going to do for you for your benefit and for His own glorification.
That is the promise you need in order to stabilize your mind. And if the fear ploy keeps seizing your soul, just keep claiming Romans 8:28. Claim it until it sticks and you begin to retain your mental poise by seeing this sudden disaster from the Divine Viewpoint. And don’t just repeat the words like a magical chant.
When it says, “claim a promise,” it means think of what the promise means. “All things do not work together for good” – that is wishful thinking and self-deception.
The true Doctrine is that “God works all things together for good” and that makes all the difference in a pressure situation. Everything depends upon the One who is working.
In a crisis, in the grip of fear, you must quickly focus on the ability and the character of the Lord.
First God imputed human life into your soul because He had a plan for your
life. And that plan goes on and just because an airplane is hurling to the
ground does not mean that God has changed His game plan.
The imputation of Adam’s sin proves that God has a plan for your life. God went to the trouble of imputing someone else’s sin to you, so you could qualify for Grace, while saving up your sins for the Cross.
The only explanation for such a thing is that He has a plan for your life. The potential possibility of salvation, the Gospel, and the hope, the expectation of salvation, begins to define that purpose.
If God meted out justice against His own Son, God will certainly mete out justice to you. And since you have His righteousness, His justice means blessings. Perfect God is bound by His own perfection to give you special blessings.
It begins to dawn on you as the airplane plummets to the ground, that God is responsible for keeping you alive and that God is the One who decides when it is your time to depart from this life.
The entire situation is in His hands. He always has everything completely under control. By the time you begin to recover your poise, your concentration has started to pull out the Word of God stored in the mentality of your soul.
There you are sitting in a burning, spinning airplane, as a believer having a ball, thinking even with people screaming and falling apart all around you, if the Lord is going to take you home, fine. Who is afraid to go home?
You have eternal life irremovably imputed to you, and that special blessings
from God’s justice glorify Him in time. Dying Grace is the final category of
blessings in time.
Again you realize the Truth. The plane crash glorifies the Lord. You are using the assets of the Word of God in your soul to make this roller coaster ride the most fantastic experience of your entire life.
Potential calls to mind, if God can bless me with such amazing stimulation and clarity of mind in a plane crash, certainly He has indescribably wonderful things for me in the perfect circumstances of Heaven.
The Word of God pertinent to Heaven stimulates hope. You confidently, dogmatically, immovably, know that in a few seconds you will meet the Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face.
But if this airplane is not the Lord’s means of bringing you home, you will survive. And that is fine, too. The plane will recover a glide, safely crash-land, and deposit you on terra firma.
You will find yourself looking up into the sky you just fell through and you will know again that God has a plan for you. And this will have been one more of life’s wonderful experiences.
Whenever you face danger, you will either go to Heaven or continue your life as a believer. But whichever way it goes, so what! What difference does it make?
The Lord has the option and all you do is grab Romans 8:28 and keep your thinking clear. God works all things together for good.
Tuesday, August 14, 2001
In a plane crash, even from a high altitude, you might not have time to get
past establishing your mental stability. But in a crisis that gives you more
time – like terminal cancer, a special loved one has died, you have lost your
life’s savings, you are a prisoner of war – further Divine assets are
Romans 8:38, 39, is a step-by-step logical procedure to stimulate concentration. In other words, after claiming Romans 8:28 and removing the fear panic ploy, what next? You start a system of logic, a step-by-step check list in Romans 8:31-32 which becomes a standard procedure to use whenever any kind of disaster or pressure, great or small, creates fear and cuts off objective thought.
Claim a promise that stabilizes your mind.
God works all things together for your good.
Use logical concentration on:
Foreknowledge – God thought about me in eternity past
Predestination – God has a plan for me since eternity past
Election – God chose me for the privileged part of His plan
Justification – God can bless me now
Glorification – God will bless me in Heaven
Reach Doctrinal conclusions
If God is for us, who can be against us? If God delivered up His own Son on behalf of us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?
Romans 8:28-32 – You begin with the fact that God works “all things” together for your good.
And you end up with God freely giving you “all things.”
The predetermined Plan of God calls for us to gain our motivation and
spiritual momentum from the Word of God. This momentum and motivation is
designed to function under all circumstances, disasters included.
As the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ remembers this, His concentration begins to pick up speed. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,” Isa 46:9-10.
Despite negatives or opposition from men or angels, despite all the disasters of life in the devil’s domain, God is so wise, just, and powerful that He makes everything work together to accomplish His good pleasure. And Romans 8:29 continues with a long range view of what God’s good pleasure really is.
Put Isa 46:9-10 on the door of the bedroom where there may be a person suffering with a long, drawn-out terminal condition. Something for them to concentrate on and be comforted by.
This refers to the resurrection body, but conformity begins in time.
At salvation we were placed into union with Jesus Christ and thus became
members of the royal family of God. This is positional sanctification.
To positional sanctification is added experiential sanctification. As the Word of God renews our minds, our thinking is conformed to the thinking of the Lord Jesus Christ through learning the mind of Christ.
The process is completed when ultimate sanctification occurs for the royal family of God at the Rapture. Then “we will be conformed to the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is the Father’s Plan, not our human efforts, that make us like the
Lord Jesus Christ. From the moment God knew we would believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ, that is, from eternity past, it has always been God’s
predetermined plan that we should have resurrection bodies.
This fact inserted here “in the recovery checklist” begins to piece together the big picture. The objective for “eternity future” was established in “eternity past” as an absolute certainty.
Whether a believer advances to maturity or becomes an evil negative believer, he will still receive a resurrection body. This illustrates the Grace and the impartial justice of God upon which we totally depend.
In spite of tragedies that may beset us, despite even our own failures, “Underneath are the Everlasting Arms,” Deut 33:27.
There is a much greater purpose behind God’s predetermined objective than
simply to give to every believer a new, beautiful, indestructible, and perfect
body. God decreed a resurrection body for you in order to establish an affinity,
a system of antecedence. Your resurrection body is marvelous in itself, but God
wants to use it as a target for imputing eternal blessings, which are even finer
Predestination, therefore, as the second item on the crisis recovery checklist, reminds us of an awesome potential God has given us and sets the stage for perfect confidence in time. And what is the confidence?
What is that stabilized mental attitude that the believer recovers after he controls the fear panic ploy? Hope ... Even in a shocking disaster the believer can have absolute confidence that at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ the justice of God will impute eternal blessings and rewards to His resurrection body.
The final end is secure.
How does this apply under the pressure of the moment? When the believer has
stabilized his mentality by claiming Romans 8:28, he runs through the checklist,
beginning in Romans 8:29 and quickly calls to mind God’s guaranteed long-range
From that solution he works back. If God will provide the resurrection body and ultimate sanctification, regardless of personal failures or successes, obviously there is a solution to the short-range problem at hand.
The next item on the check list carries on from the phrase, “that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren.” God’s plan calls for the battlefield royalty of our Lord to be fulfilled in the royal family.
”And whom He predestined, these same ones He also elected to privilege,” Romans 8:30.
The verb “KALEO,” to call, to summon, invite, elect, is from the same root “KLETOS.” The elect used in Romans 8:28 connotes the Church Age believer’s royalty. Used technically here, “KALEO” means elected to privilege.
Notice the logical sequence so far in this recovery procedure. We were in the mind of God in eternity past.
|Foreknown – we were in the Plan of God in eternity past.|
|Elected – our royalty, the holy station in life to which we are elected, 2 Tim 1:9 demands that we keep up our spiritual momentum, even when victimized by the fear panic ploy.|
We should conduct ourselves like the aristocrats that we are, and because our royal privilege is a Grace privilege, we should follow the honor code principle that we never earn or deserve blessings from God.
“And whom He predestined these same ones is also elected to privilege,” Romans 8:30.
When we have been victimized by the fear panic ploy, we are not called
upon to have a guilt complex about it or feel sorry for ourselves, or try to
make up for our failure.
Fear is a sin, and restoration simply says, name the sin to God and move on. The Word of God, not sinless perfection, is our spiritual momentum.
The pressure situation calls for thinking. We must waste no time in breast beating. Our thinking must be objective, not subjective.
Instead of remorse, the content of our thoughts must be that God has a special purpose for us on Earth, that this purpose is related to winning the angelic conflict. That we are alive to be blessed, and that God alone provides the blessings in the midst of any disaster that might come our way.
Concentration on right thinking, right motivation, right decisions, right action, even under the worst possible conditions.
Wednesday, August 15, 2001
This is familiar ground. And familiar ground is exactly what we need in a pressure situation.
The verb “DIKAOO” is usually translated “to be justified” and
justification is a stamp of approval. God imputed His righteousness to us and
then turned around and declared us righteous. We possess the central
attribute of the essence of God – the principle of His essence. And He
recognizes that we possess something that belongs to Him. That is what
justification is. But the purpose of justification is that we might be
If God could accomplish the most difficult thing in declaring sinful man righteous, it follows with greater reason that He can accomplish the less difficult task of imputing His blessings to His own righteousness in us.
In a crisis, what should immediately strike the believer is that this particular pressure situation is actually the blessing of underserved suffering being imputed to Divine righteousness in Him.
The manifestation of God’s glory secures the highest glory for His
creatures. When He can impute special blessings to us, we have reached the
total fulfillment of spiritual progress that is spiritual maturity.
After attaining the lofty goal we, thankfully we never run out of potential, we continue to advance in maturity by continuing to take in the Word of God. Blessings become greater as we advance, but maximum blessing in time is still only the beginning. The infinitely greater blessings of eternity glorify God forever.
Tragically, this, the whole purpose of God’s plan, is overlooked by modern Christianity. The conversion of Earth’s blessings and prosperity into Heaven’s rewards is how we glorify God and He in us.
This is decreed in eternity past to be His Plan. We are not alive primarily to work for God. Working is merely a result of having followed His Plan.
The extent to which most believers are out of step with the Plan of God almost defies description. Their lack of resources for a crisis is utterly tragic. The Bible tells us how to get in step and stay in step, and how to store up Divine operating assets:
|”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”|
|Confession of sin as needed.|
|Keep learning the Word of God.|
It begins with a backward glance into eternity past. It ends in present time
with anticipation of eternity
If we were in God’s thoughts billions of years ago, we were in His Plan. If in His plan, in the privileged royal family, if elected to privilege ...
The first imputation of justification is the basis for blessings in time. If the blessings of time are imputed to the righteousness of God in us, then we have a guarantee of blessings in time, a guarantee of blessings forever.
Here we are in a hopeless disaster, but then again, here we are in the middle of God’s amazing plan. We know where we are, from whence we came, and where we are going. We know and love the One who is in complete control.
With stability of mind restored, with the Word of God flowing through our souls through renewed concentration, we can deal with the problem at hand with calm and confident objectivity.
The Doctrinal conclusion we reach allows us to be in complete control. There
is only one possible conclusion. It is stated emphatically, without verbs,
simulating the staccato thoughts of a person stabilizing in a catastrophe.
”If God for us, who against us?” Rom 8:31. The Plan of God is greater than any possible opposition.
”God for us” sums up foreknowledge, predestination, election, justification, and glorification. God’s essence guarantees His Plan. God’s justice carries it out.
There is no authority higher than the justice of God.
When we are moving with the momentum of God’s Plan by adjusting to His justice, “God is for us” and He has no rivals.
If in a pressure situation you are still afraid after seeing this principle
that “God is for us,” you are not yet a mature believer. But don’t be
We all start out immature with scanty Biblical resources in our souls. God still has a Plan for your life. You simply need to understand that fact more thoroughly so you will be better equipped to meet the next crisis when it comes.
Failing a test should be a sobering reminder of the need to keep on learning the Word of God.
What is it that says God “is not for us?” Arrogance, self-pity, self-righteousness, shock, emotion, panic, disorientation to the Truth. When you persist in being afraid in a pressure situation, you are saying in effect that God cannot handle the situation and your fear becomes blasphemous.
You are maligning God’s character.
Billions of years ago, before Adam, before angels, before the universe was
created, when nothing existed but God alone, God knew Himself. He knew His own
strength, His own wisdom, His own love, His own integrity. He has always
known Himself to be unlimited, perfect, totally admirable, and immutable.
In His self-knowledge, He knew, should He create angels and men, that He would be able to control the entire situation no matter how cataclysmic the disasters of history or of anyone’s personal life.
What’s more, He knew that in every circumstance He would demonstrate His character and be glorified through it all.
Your unchecked fear expresses ignorance of God and His Plan. The Truth is that God is infinite, without peer, and that the solutions He provides are infinitely greater than the problems they solve.
This should be all anyone needs in order to stabilize in a difficult situation. But God provides another Doctrinal, Biblical conclusion designed to gird up the believer’s stability to think clearly under pressure. This conclusion adds specific details to the general conclusion of Rom 8:31. And that is, “Who did not even spare His own Son, but delivered Him over on behalf of all of us, how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?” Rom 8:32.
“God who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him over on behalf of us all, how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?” Rom 8:32.
These two arguments motivate the believer. There is hope despite our
present ignorance, despite our old sin natures, despite living in the devil’s
world. There is a good reason to strive for the goal.
Rom 8:32 reiterates clear line thinking that we meet in Rom 5:12-17.
Not only are fear and panic put aside, but the objective, Grace prosperity, is made dramatically clear, encouraging us to face the pressure situation with the Word of God and to keep moving in the Plan of God.
Look at this verse for a moment. Do you see what is here? Divine essence, the
character of God is written all over this verse.
The verb “PARADIDOMAI” means to “deliver over” as a judge delivers over a condemned criminal to the executioner. We have seen the thinking of the judge, “DIAKAIOSUNE THEOU,” the righteousness, the justice, the essence of God.
When disaster or unexpected pressure stings us into a status of non-thinking, the recovery technique jogs our memory, reminding us of another “crisis.” There was a moment in which God, in His absolute, eternal, infinite, and perfect essence, had to make a critical decision. What He chose is for us – the ultimate encouragement.
The Father had to decide whether or not to judge His beloved Son. It was an awesome far-reaching decision. But in eternity past, God made up His mind, ”to not spare His own unique Son.”
And in A. D. 30 He carried out that decision. The Cross has always been a fact in the Divine Decrees. And for the past 2000 years, it has also been a fact of history.
The only human being God the Father could ever love was the only sinless Man
who ever lived. We deserved judgment, but God decided to demonstrate His own
glory through blessing us, not through judging us.
The genius of Divine essence went to work. The Father chose to impute every human sin in the Lord Jesus Christ for judgment “on behalf of us all.”
And God the Son chose to take our place, submitting to utter humiliation and indescribable torture. We are left speechless by what has been accomplished for us. But judgment and humiliation are not the final goal.
If God did the most difficult thing in judging His Son for sins that were not His own, then with greater reason, when the same relentless justice turns upon us, it will not stop short of blessing those who have accepted the completed work of the Cross.
In the dramatically understated words of Rom 8:32, “How shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?”
The verb “charizomai” means to give graciously, to give in Grace. We
might even translate it,” to Grace out.” God had Graced you out!
From the moment of salvation, God surrounds us in Grace. And what is Grace? Have we suddenly switched from justice to love? Has sentimentality taken over? Certainly not.
Grace is the policy of Divine justice in blessing us. Because of justice, specifically because justice “Graced us out” by imputing God’s righteousness to us, God can and does love us with perfect love.
Righteousness and justice must be satisfied before God is free to love us, and righteousness and justice were satisfied on the Cross by the Person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and now God is free to love us.
Justice handled our worst. Justice can hand us God’s best without skipping a beat. Justice … God is fair.
“For I testify that they have a zeal for God, but not as a result of knowledge. For not knowing the righteousness of God and by seeking to establish their own righteousness, they have not been obedient to the righteousness of God,” Rom 10:2-3.
This is referring to the Jews of Paul’s generation. Paul was describing his
own countrymen in A.D. 58. They were already locked in the arrogance syndrome
that necessitated the Holocaust of A.D. 67-70.
Although Jewish unbelievers are in view, this passage applies as well to Christians in this country who are full of zeal, but not full of the Word of God. This apostasy has pushed the United States of America to the brink of national judgment.
Wherever we look in Christianity today we find people building their lives on “the sands of human righteousness” instead of on the “solid ground of God’s righteousness in them.”
One of the major reasons for doing this is that the believer is trying to orient to God through His love instead of through His justice. With the arrogance natural to human beings, believers feel they must do something to deserve God’s love.
And that is a complex problem and not a simple one. That is the premise of Christian superficiality which becomes the tragedy of Christian negative volition.
One thing imputed righteousness does is to eliminate any possibility that human righteousness can ever be acceptable before God.
Too many believers today have set up a selective standard of
righteousness, and by keeping that standard, they are smugly satisfied with
their own lives. But they live a lie. They live a blasphemy by being
contented with their own righteousness while degrading the absolute
righteousness of God.
They construct a beautiful edifice, not realizing that they are building a jail. They lock themselves up in a cell of comfortable falsehood.
Life is meaningful and full of definition and purpose except for the people who shut themselves off in their own self-righteousness, isolated from the Truth of God.
Often these are wonderful, attractive people. But the difference between those who build on human righteousness is not that one group is attractive and the other unattractive. Indeed, the dividing line is between cognizance and ignorance of the imputation of Divine righteousness.
Do not confuse yourself by using the wrong set of standards. Whether or
not believers are fine, upright, admirable people is not the criterion.
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not blessed of God because they are
wonderful, loving, and kind. As appreciated as those traits are, unbelievers
can possess them. Whereas believers can have abrasive personalities and may be
God evaluates believers not for overt characteristics, but for the Word of God in their souls. 1 Sam 16:7. The standard is such that we must leave the judging to God. There is no place for mutual admiration societies in which we flatter those who share our strengths and malign those in authority or those whose weaknesses we do not share.
It is easy to compare ourselves favorably with the obvious failures of others, to be critical and impatient. But none of us is perfect. We will sin as long as we live. Although sin is never excused, sin is not the issue.
God cannot bless us because we simply stop sinning or because we are very righteous in some respects. We could all use a little more human righteousness, but our righteousness is not the issue either.
The issue is God’s righteousness.
”We are found in Him, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness of God which is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Phil 3:9.
Self-righteousness comes from arrogance. And arrogance resides in all of
us to some extent. It is the most basic, most awful, and best disguised of all
We can spot its obvious manifestations in others, but we never seem to see it in ourselves. Furthermore, we fail to see the arrogance in those who flatter us or who display some special intelligence or charm.
Yet attractive, wonderful people with hidden arrogance can distract us from the Word of God. The Word of God must have its first priority.
The Truth of the Word of God is our only hope. We are hopeless and helpless without it. The Word of God is our contact with ultimate reality.
In this regard, high intelligence, even genius, is no help. The perceptive ability of the mind is not the important thing. What is essential is the content of the mind.
If the Word of God, established Truth, does not reside in the soul, falsehood will fill the vacuum. And when it does, a high I.Q. becomes a liability, having the power to draw in much evil.
This is the story of many liberals who have brilliant minds, yet whose souls are blacked out to the Truth in both temporal and spiritual matters. The Truth is not in them.
With an untrue frame of reference, they cannot comprehend basic principles of establishment. Spiritual Truths are out of the question.
Thursday, August 16, 2001
How can we as believers be “obedient to the righteousness of God?” We must learn that we have His righteousness, 2 Cor 5:21, Phil 3:9, and that we have possessed it since the moment of our salvation, Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5.
We must understand that we cannot improve it. When the righteousness
of God is in focus, the weak believer stops looking at the strong believer with
a critical attitude. And the strong believer does not treat the weaker believer
with contempt and intolerance.
The inevitable conflicts of self-righteousness are solved by recognizing that God’s righteousness resides in every believer. And the justice imputes to righteousness exactly what God deems right.
The only reason why any of us is alive and sustained in this life is that we have His righteousness in us. God’s essence is responsible for us every day of our lives. He provides the day, the food, shelter, and clothing, the chance to grow through testing – everything.
He supplies whatever we need, and all this moment-to-moment support is imputed from the justice of God. God can only impute blessings and special blessings only to His own righteousness. Every thing we have is by courtesy of the essence of God.
|Grace is not a line of teaching which merely excuses our failures.|
|Grace is not sentimentality.|
|Grace is not a demand for human works.|
|Grace is not vague or inscrutable.|
Much beautiful lip service to Grace only obscures the essence of God. Grace
is the total fairness of God’s blessings.
When Grace is taught as being some inexplicable, wonderfully nebulous Divine sentiment, the reputation of the one teaching is established, but the reputation of God is ignored.
The Grace of God is clear cut. Our complicated opinions are of no account. We must adjust to God’s opinion. And what is His opinion? It is as simple as it is awesome. There is a perfect irresistible affinity between God’s righteousness in us and the tremendous blessings of His justice.
As we persist in learning the Word of God we conform our thinking to His. The Word of God renews out minds. Life gradually takes on a remarkable perspective.
We develop the capacity of soul to enjoy special blessings far greater than anything we could possibly deserve. We are relieved from the impossible effort and strain of earning the approbation of God because His essence gives and His essence receives. God’s essence blesses God’s own essence.
All glory belongs to God. There is no need for us to intrude with our
self-important complications. We are brought along only as beneficiaries. As
we realize that our lives must be built upon the Solid Rock of Divine
righteousness, we are motivated to continually submit ourselves to Bible
As we learn the Word of God, what comes to shine most brightly in our souls is the sum of God’s glory – our magnificent Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, we have nothing.
With Him we have “all things.” Rom 8:32, Psa 84:11, Rom 8:28.
Essence is derived from the Greek adjective “OUSIA,” meaning, “being or
substance.” Essence means inner or intrinsic nature, true substance, a
person’s qualities or attributes. These essential qualities are invisible in
many cases, manifest in some.
Essence implies being or substance. We are thus dealing with the fact that God exists and that certain qualities or attributes belong to His essence.
At no point does the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ feel His limitations more than when confronted with the responsibility of understanding and giving due recognition to the essence of God. On the other hand, never could any subject be as vitally interesting.
God in Grace has revealed Himself. And what is revealed of God’s essence is revealed to be understood. The believer can and must master the information God has provided regarding His attributes.
This is a study of God’s essence, which is no longer taught – Who and what God is.
Since God is a Spirit, His attributes are invisible to the naked eye.
His qualities cannot be perceived by empiricism or by rationalism. They can be understood, however, by the third system of perception, non-meritorious thinking called “faith.” The believer is totally dependent upon Divine revelation from the Canon of Scripture to understand the invisible, immaterial, infinite, unlimited essence of God.
There is no frame of reference in our character or in the life of anyone we know, or in the entire human race, that can help us understand or even properly illustrate the perfect character of God.
It is totally beyond us, and while there is a parallel between the soul of man and the essence of God, the parallel is limited.
The essence of God is unseen. God’s essence is real. Man’s essence is real. Divine essence has many attributes such as sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, and veracity.
Man’s soul has attributes such as self-consciousness, mentality, volition, emotion, conscience.
God’s being is invisible and real, with attributes, beyond that there is no parallel between Divine essence and the human soul.
The study of Divine essence is essential for knowing Who and What God is.
When confronted with the essence of God, Moses was commanded to remove his
shoes because he stood on holy ground, Ex 3:5.
The Doctrine of Divine essence recognizes the existence of the Godhead in three Persons, each Person having identical essence or attributes, in the same amount from eternity past.
|God the Father – 1 Cor 8:6, Eph 1:3.|
|God the Son – John 10:30, 14:9, Col 2:9|
|God the Holy Spirit – Isa 11:2, Ex 31:3, Isa 6:8, 9, cf Acts 28:25, 26, Jer 31:31-34, cf Heb 10:15-17.|
Therefore, God is one in essence, three in Person. The oneness of God,
called His glory, is His essence or character, John 10:30.
All the attributes of Divine essence are present in God, but all are not always manifest at the same time. This is illustrated by light. All colors of the visible spectrum are resident in a ray of white light, but different colors are individually seen under different circumstances of reflection and refraction.
The study of the essence of God is a clear declaration against all cults.
The correlation between the essence of God and the Trinity. The fact that God
exists in three Persons is documented in Scripture. Isa 48:16, John 10:30, cf
Psa 110:1, 2 Cor 13:14, 1 Pet 1:2.
When emphasizing essence, however, the Bible says that God is “one” Being, a descriptive adjective meaning one in essence, the concept of Divine personality.
Mankind has personality because he is made in the image of God. That is, having real but invisible attributes, which of course are not the same as God’s attributes.
In constructing man, God wrapped a body around a real person, which is the sum total of His invisible attributes called simply, the soul.
The statement that “God created man in His own image,” Gen 1:27, is often misunderstood and distorted. Man is not “born” in the image of God. He was ”created” in the image of God. There is a vast difference.
Adam was created with a soul and a human spirit, without an old sin nature.
Since the fall of Adam, we are born without a human spirit, but with an old sin
nature, so that we are totally incompatible with the essence of God.
With each person possessing an old sin nature and thus being inherently hostile to really the essence of God, there is no “dignity in man,” no “brotherhood of man.” All are included under the Doctrine of the total depravity of man.
Man’s personality is based on the essence of his soul. The soul with its
characteristics is internal. The personality is external. Personality is a
manifestation of how the soul functions.
There are may people in the human race, but they all have the same essence. We might say that mankind is one in essence, but multitudinous in personality. The Trinity is one in essence, but only three in personality.
While mankind is possessed of the essential elements of personality and is capable of their normal exercise within a limited sphere, God is the Source and the Embodiment of these essential elements which He possesses in the sphere of infinity and to an unlimited degree.
Nearly every page of the Bible asserts the personality of God, from the manifestation of various combinations of His attributes throughout the Word of God.
God designs, God executes, and empowers. These are activities of His personality. God speaks of Himself as “I.” Therefore, He is self-conscious and eternally Himself.
God thinks, makes decisions, and feels. Again, these are activities of the Person of God. The superstructure of His essence, in other words, God has attributes, but God is a personality.
Friday, August 17, 2001
There are two categories of Divine attributes – absolute and relative.
While God is infinite and absolute in every sense of the word, His
“absolute” characteristics are those outside our frame of reference which
belong to the nature of God apart from His connection with creation.
His “relative” attributes can be understood, as least in part, because they are “related” to such items in our frame of reference as time, space, creation, and moral beings.
God is absolute. We are relative.
Certain aspects of His attributes are totally beyond human comprehension. Nevertheless, there is revelation regarding them. In technical, theological terms, God’s absolute attributes are intransitive, primary, and incommunicable, while His relative attributes are transitive, secondary, and communicable.
The true Theistic concept of the universe is that the universe, having its
source from God Himself, is composed of material and immaterial. Matter is
material, but God is immaterial.
”God is a Spirit,” John 4:24. His essential being is a spiritual entity. “Spirit” means “breath,” something invisible but real. It therefore means that God is invisible but real.
The Creator is immaterial, a spirit. In contrast, His rational creatures are a combination of material and immaterial, body and soul, 2 Cor 4:7, 16.
This does not keep God from being even more real than are visible material things. It is a fact that He is a “Spirit.” The conclusion is that God is “life.”
God is life. Jer 10:10, John 1:4, John 14:6, 1 Thess 1:19.
God lives. He does not possess life as we do – life that began at some point and has a terminus down the line.
There never was a time when God did not live. He has always existed. His life is called “eternal life.” Eternal life has no beginning and no end. In contrast to the life of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, technically called, “everlasting life.” which has no end but began at the moment of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
All life is from God. But all life is not of God, does not belong to Him, as Pantheism claims.
The eternal life of God is imparted to all who believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ. John 3:16, 18, 36, 10:10, 14:6, 20:31, 1 John 5:11-13.
Jesus Christ “is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” John 14:6. He is life. Never was there a time when He, in His Deity, did not exist. Eternal life has always resided in Him. ”This is the record. God has given unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life. He who has not the Son has not life,” 1 John 5:11-12.
Furthermore, as the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Source of all life. Heb 1:2.
God the Father is also the Source of life – not from the standpoint of creation, but the One who breathes “the spark of life” into the fetus when it emerges from the womb at birth.
Moreover, God the Holy Spirit is the Source of life as the Agent of regeneration and as the One who places each Church Age believer into union with Christ at the moment of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 12:13. By the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, the eternal life of the Lord Jesus Christ becomes our eternal life.
Thus, the Members of the Trinity are related to life in specific, different ways that never clash and are totally compatible with the operation of the Godhead.
God is Personality because He lives and has certain attributes. But His
personality never emerged or developed. It has always been perfect, and it
is manifest both in blessing and cursing. We learn to adjust to the
Personality of God by applying the Word of God, the Mind of Christ, under all
circumstances. It is important that we adjust to the fact that God is a
Person, a Personality.
God’s Personality is always consistent. He does not change – immutability. God is not going to adjust in the least to our personalities. We adjust to Him. God is infinite Personality. We are finite personality. The Infinite never adjusts to the finite.
God’s personality connotes self-consciousness and self-determination. God recognizes Himself to be a Person. He says “I, even I” many times in Scripture, and as such He acts rationally.
Animals are conscious, but not self-conscious. They have determination but not self-determination.
Man is a person possessing – to a limited degree – self-consciousness and self-determination. We are therefore capable of having a definite and permanent relationship with God on the basis of Grace after the barrier is removed.
In contrast to man, God is infinite Personality. His absolute will and
absolute perfection characterizes His motivation and design as well as
execution. Eph 1:9, 11.
It is inevitable, therefore, that even the wrath of mankind, as well as anything man does to adjust to God, will praise God.
Psa 76:10, in the statement, “the wrath of man will praise Thee,” the word “thee” is a singular, personal pronoun, referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, since the Lord Jesus Christ is the manifest Person of the Godhead. He is the One glorified by creatures. It is He who became man.
God is in an absolute degree all that constitutes Personality. He is Himself, and He knows Himself to be beyond comparison with any other being. He has absolute self-respect, which is a part of His Divine love.
Saturday, August 18, 2001
God is without boundaries or limitations.
He unites all those perfections which belong to His character. Since His perfect personality comes from His essence, His perfect attributes overflow from His essence into His personality undiminished.
In other words, even though all His perfection coalesces into His personality, no Divine characteristic is in any way limited by being related to the other Divine characteristics.
Furthermore, space is no boundary to Him. Neither is time. These are simply boundaries to which we are related to as His finite creatures and which we understand.
God is infinitely perfect. He cannot be tempted, nor can He sin. Sin has boundaries, standards, and measures. But God is beyond standards and measures, and therefore cannot sin.
God cannot tempt anyone to sin, but He can recognize sin in us.
God cannot be complicated with ignorance or absurdities any more than with
temptation, sin, or the approval of sin. All these roads dead-end into
We have ignorance and we are often complicated with absurdities through ignorance of the Word of God. We become enmeshed in evil. The absurd is emphasized in legalism.
In addition, all kinds of sin eventually become absurdities as well as carnalities. Absurdities are fantasies, and God is never involved in fantasies. He is totally related to reality without having even the minutest area of ignorance. He has a great sense of humor, but it too is perfect and does not fall back on absurdities.
If you are ever going to understand the infinity of God and how far above us and beyond us He is, you must understand that He is free from ignorance and absurdities. In His infinity there is no ignorance to overcome.
He never had to learn anything because He always knew everything there is to know. That is impossible for us to fully comprehend because we had to learn everything we know, whether by the easy way – paying attention to instruction – or the hard way – by suffering from our own mistakes.
The ignorance we face daily is something God has never experienced and never will. This will come out in greater detail as one of God’s relative attributes – omniscience.
Ex 33:18, Psa 19:1, Isa 6:3, Matt 6:13, Acts 7:2, Rom 1:23, Heb 1:3, 1 Pet
Apart from this fact, they would not exist. Because of it, they do.
This is not to say that sinful, evil, self-righteous creatures glorify God. We certainly cannot and do not. We can never impress God.
The only thing that impresses God and glorifies God is what God Himself does. We gain from a relationship with Him. He cannot gain from us because His perfect character is infinite with no room for improvement or gain.
Because we are creatures with free will, when we are positive toward the Word of God to the point of spiritual maturity, God is free to do things for us that glorify Him in a fantastic way as we go along for the ride.
God may be self-limited, as in the case of the incarnate Person of the Lord
Jesus Christ, in hypostatic union.
The Greek word “KENOO” used of the Lord Jesus Christ in Phil 2:7 means “to be deprived of the function of Deity.” Under the Doctrine of kenosis, the God-man submitted to the Plan of God the Father by taking on true humanity. He limited Himself, and became the unique Person of the universe.
Now, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only God, equal with the Father and God the Holy Spirit, but He is also true humanity – different from the other Members of the Godhead.
God the Father didn’t take on flesh, and God the Holy Spirit didn’t take on flesh. “No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son of God, He has declared Him,” John 1:18.
”No one cometh to the Father except by Me,” John 14:6.
Infinite energy and power belong to God. Psa 8:3.
He does not sleep. He never gets tired. After billions of years He is still not worn out. And He never will be! We need to adjust to that.
God is compassionate, but He is not absurd. Do not expect Him to sympathize with your lame excuse that you are too tired to take in the Word of God and fulfill your responsibilities in life. When you need energy for doing His will, He provides energy.
By applying what we know of the infinity of God, we can see that God will always provide and that we must therefore carry on no matter how we feel.
God never condones “give-up-it is.”
When you start making excuses, you begin to develop maladjustments to God and the Grace of God.
When we recognize His infinity, we can understand that He works all things
together for good. We can concentrate and draw out from our souls the
principles of God’s Plan and God’s Grace. We can reach Doctrinal conclusions
and take control of any situation we meet.
When we recognize the infinity of His energy and resources, we never construe the action we take or the human energy we exert as a result of claiming the Promises of God to be a means of gaining God’s approbation.
Infinity not only recognizes what God is, but also all that He does. His holiness, His love, His veracity, the Word of Truth. Moreover, all His characteristics require energy and His energy is infinite.
For example, His justice is characterized by infinity so that there is no room for absurdity, for distortions based on sentimentality, or for imperfect motivations.
This all adds up to the fact that all His judicial verdicts and sentences are always true and correct. In fact, reality is the function of God’s justice. Reality is the Divine discipline and the Divine blessing in your life. It is the justice of God dealing with our nation. It is the Divine destruction of certain nations and the Divine blessing of others.
This past week Mrs. Levy, concerning her missing daughter, said publicly,
“I am living in the Book of Job.” I wonder in her reading of the Book of Job
if she ever made any application of the principles found in this following verse
in the Book of Job. Can you?
Job 1:21, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
The Book of Job wrestles with the problem of the meaning of the mystery of sorrow. Whether history or a parable, its worth is the same, as tortured souls have felt for countless centuries and will feel to the end.
Perhaps no picture that was ever painted is grander and more touching than that of the man of Uz. In the antique wealth and happiness of a brighter days, rich, joyful, with his children all around him, living on man’s honour, and walking upright before God. Then came the dramatic completeness and suddenness of his great trial. One day strips him of all, and stripped of all, he rises to a loftier dignity, for there is a majesty as well as an isolation in sorrow.
How many souls, tossed by afflictions, have found peace in these words, “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” I wonder if Mrs. Levy has.
More to follow …
“The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the Name of the
Lord,” Job 1:21.
How many souls tossed by affliction have found peace in these words? How many quivering lips have tried to utter their grave, calm, accents? To how many of us are they hallowed by memories of times when they stood between us and despair?
They seem to say everything that can be said about our trials and our loses, to set forth the whole truth of the facts and to present the whole series of feelings by which good men and women should be exercised.
The first principle is the vindication of sorrow.
”He rent his clothes,” which are the signs and tokens of inward desolation and loss.
It is well worth our while to stay for a moment with the thought that we are meant to feel grief. The Lord Himself was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” God sends sorrows in order that they may pain. Sorrow has manifold uses in our lives and in our souls. It is natural. God set the foundation of tears in our souls.
It is sanctioned by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He wept and He had bidden the women of Jerusalem to weep for themselves and their children.
Christianity does not destroy the natural, and emotions, sorrows, as little of any other. It guides, it controls, curbs, comforts, and brings blessings out of it.
”Sorrow may come at night, but joy will come in the morning.”
This may be something of which Mrs. Levy is going through over her daughter.
More to come …
“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return
thither,” Job 1:21.
The recognition of loss and sorrow as the law of life, which means that all possessions are transient.
The naked self gets clothes and lapped around with possessions. But they are all outside of the soul, apart from its individuality. It has been with them. It will be without them.
Death at the end will rob us of all of them. The inevitable law of loss is fixed and certain. We are losing something every moment. Not only possessions, but all our dearest ties are knit but for a time and sure to be snapped. They go and after a while we go.
The independence of each soul of all of its possessions and relations is as
certain as the loss of them. They may go and we are made naked, but still we
exist all the same.
We have to learn the hard lessons which sounds so unfeeling, that we live on in spite of all loses. Nothing and no one is necessary to us.
All this is very cold and miserable, but it is the starting point of law and necessity. An atheist could say it. It is the beginning of the Christian contemplation of life, but only the beginning.
More to come ...
Sunday, August 19, 2001
“The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
The principle here is recognition of the Lord in the fact that all
possessions are transient.
Now this is a step further in this principle of transient things. To bring in the thought of the Lord makes a world of difference. Losses and sufferings without the Lord have no meaning or purpose.
The tendency of this verse is to look at the second clause, “the Lord hath taken away.” In Job’s case, there were two classes of agencies. Men, the Chaldeans and the Sabeans, and natural causes, fire and wind. But he did not stop with these.
The grand corrective of that tendency lies in the full idea that God is the sole Cause of all. The immanence of Deity in all things and all events is our Refuge for the soul of the crushing tyranny of the reign of the law.
That devout recognition of God in the law is eminently to be made in regard to death, as Job does in the text. “The number of his months is with Thee.”
Death is not any more nor any less under His control than all other human incidents are. It has no special sanctity nor abnormally close connection with His will. But it is no more exempt from such connection than all the other events of life.
Job did not forget the Lord’s gifts even while he was writhing under the stress of his withdrawings.
We so often need sorrow to bear into our souls that we owe all to Him. But
even then, if not before, it is well to remember how much good we have received
of the Lord. And that remembrance should not be sorrow’s crown of sorrow, but
a thankful one.
The final principle that comes out of this verse is the thankful resignation of God’s loving administration of this law.
The last sentence of this verse climbs to the highest of the true Christian idea. It recognizes in loss and sorrow a reason for praise. Why? Because we may be sure that all loss is for our good. Because we may be sure that all loss is from a loving God.
In loss of dear ones, our gain is the drawing nearer to the Lord, in being taught more to long for Heaven. In our relation to them, a loftier love, a hallowing of all the past.
Their gain is in their entrance into Heaven and all the glory they have reached. From Grace to glory.
This blessing of God for loss is not inconsistent with sorrow, but anticipates the future when we shall know all and bless Him for all.
Levy indicates the Levitical priesthood. Cohen indicates the priesthood. Levi means attached to the Lord. The tribe of Levi had no inheritance in the land. Their inheritance was the Lord.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Monday, August 20, 2001
God does not hold the Truth as something He acquired. He is the Truth from
eternity past. The Truth has never been diminished or compromised in Him. God
is the Source of Truth.
Therefore, God is the Source of the Word of God. From the Truth that God is, comes the Truth we have in writing.
“Sanctify them with Thy Word, Thy Word is Truth.”
Every form of knowledge, every Truth, dwells in God in absoluteness, thus the dogmatism of the Word of God. The Divine attributes of Truth guarantee Divine revelation in any form.
Spoken (pre-Canon) or written (Canon), is accurate, perfect, and absolute. Deut 32:4, 1 John 5:20, John 6:32, Heb 8:2.
There is a vast amount of Truth that will not be revealed until we get to Heaven, but whatever God has revealed for us in time is designed to be understood and learned.
If we are to adjust to the Truth of God, we must acquire Truth in our
souls through the daily function of “growing in Grace and in the knowledge of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” 1 Pet 3:18.
We do not naturally possess the Truth within ourselves. We are born liars because the old sin nature resides in us. Rom 3:4. Therefore, whatever integrity we have cannot be compared with the integrity of God.
Although people often adjust to other people by lying, we cannot deceive God. We must adjust to His justice through Truth – the Truth of the Gospel, the Truth of restoration back to fellowship, the Truth of the Word of God.
”God forbid, yea, let God be true, and every man a liar, as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy saying and mighest overcome, when thou art judged,” Rom 3:4.
”Your father, the devil, is a liar, and he is a liar from the beginning.”
Every man is a liar.
As with all the attributes of God, especially His absolute attributes, love
belongs to the being of God. We are speaking of love, not of anthropomorphism
love. God’s love cannot be disassociated from His eternal being.
1 John 4:8, “He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.”
And never is His love diminished or improved. Thus, God is love whether or not He has something or someone to love.
His nature is to bestow Himself, to give of Himself. And His nature remains the same whether or not there is an object for love, whether or not there is an occasion for love.
In other words, billions of years before the creation of the universe, God’s love was not less because there were no objects. And it is not increased after creation.
The explanation for this is that the only object worthy of God’s love is God’s own eternal, unchangeable essence. His love for His essence is revealed in His perfect righteousness.
He never compromises what He loves.
”Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it,” Eph 5:25.
God’s attribute of love is different from human love, which God does not
possess. Even if we understand human love, that is no guarantee that we
understand God’s love.
Divine love in its totality is beyond our comprehension. His love, for example, needs no support, ours does.
Another difference in God’s love – there is no deception, only the inviolable demand of perfect Truth and integrity, while our love is often blind.
Furthermore, where God’s love needs no object, our love is not love unless it has an object.
God’s love is part of His immutable being, in spite of objects or
God does not love us because of who and what we are or are not. He loves us because of who and what He is. Specifically, He loves His own righteousness with an infinite love. And since we possess His righteousness as of the moment we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, He loves us. Gen 15:6, Rom 5:3.
God’s love is also related to His essence. Thus He is very particular about whom He loves and admits into Heaven.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One worthy and only through His merits are we acceptable. This is Grace. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn the love of God, or the right to live with Him forever. We are qualified only by nonmeritorious faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
”We are accepted in the Beloved,” Eph 1:6.
Tuesday, August 21, 2001
Holiness is made up of God’s righteousness and justice. He has had
absolute righteousness and perfect justice from eternity past. Ex 15:11, Ex
19:10-16, Isa 6:3. “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
This holiness is required of men. 2 Cor 7:1, 1 Thes 3:13, 4:7. God is unchanging in His holiness, and He cannot have a relationship with any creature where less than perfect holiness is involved.
God’s holiness is maintained by His will. That is, His holiness is His unchangeable self. And His infinite perfection asserts itself as the highest possible motive, energy, and objective. And His will is the executive of His being.
He must get the green light from His holiness before any relationship with man is possible.
Like all other Divine attributes, eternity applies to the being of God.
Eternal life belongs to the very essence of God.
His eternity means that He always existed, and will always exist. There never was a time when He did not exist. He never had a beginning. No one preceded Him. Nothing caused God to come into existence.
Time is merely His invention for the convenience of His creatures. Because
God is the origin and cause of time, He is not subject to time. Deut 32:40, Psa
90:2, 102:27, 1 Cor 2:7, Eph 1:4, 1 Tim 1:17. He invented it for us, but He does
not need it Himself.
He had to invent time before His attributes became manifest. He has always possessed His attributes, but they were dormant in contrast to the attributes which were and are always active.
Time is the way God manifests His eternity to us. And we adjust to an eternal God by possessing eternal life. Still we continue to think in terms of time and in fact, we cannot live without time.
Both time and space, though without substance, are objects of God’s
If God was gracious and thoughtful enough to give us time, we must give time back to Him. In other words, basic giving in the Christian way of life is giving of time. Whenever we worship in any way, we are giving time to Him. All Christian service, including the giving of money, is secondary.
The primary means of giving time, and the most important phase of worship, is taking the time required to learn the Word of God.
Our eternal life comes in two phases – life on Earth in time and life in Heaven in eternity. Here on Earth, God gives us one day at a time, and we must recognize that a portion of that day belongs to Him for learning the Word of God.
God is not in time. Time is in God. God transcends all creation,
including time. To Him “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years
as one day,” 2 Pet 3:8.
God is logical and therefore does not need to be chronological, Rom 12:2. But He can be chronological if He chooses. For example, time began with creation, and since the successions of history truly exist, God, Who sees according to Truth, recognizes them.
God always accomplishes in time what has to be done in time as part of His great plan. Thus the variations of blessings and adversity that come in our day-at-a-time lives are merely part of an overall plan to bless us in eternity as well to provide security for us and bless us in time.
Time, which is finite, has both succession and duration. Its duration is measured by its successions. For example, the duration of a day is measured by the succession of minutes or hours.
In contrast, eternity which is infinite, has duration only. Duration without succession is still duration. But it is immeasurable. Therefore, God, Who is infinite, is eternal and has duration only. In fact, eternity is infinity in its relation to time. Time is a line of procedure as far as man’s concept is concerned, but eternity is a circle reaching into infinity.
God is not subject to the laws of space. God invented and created space. Space
is large, but not as large as God.
God is the cause of space. He put order into space, which extends for billions and billions of light years. Space is one of the two boundaries God has given to creatures, the other being time.
Between our salvation and physical death, we as believers operate within both space and time exactly as the unbeliever does. When people travel into outer space they find themselves in a “timeless” situation, but they are still in time. We can never escape space or time. Our entire orientation in life is tied to time and space.
For example, when God commands us “to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together” to learn the Word of God, He has to provide us with the means of complying with this order. He gives us time and space so that we can be at “the right place at the right time” to hear the Word of God.
God is eternally present everywhere. The whole of God is in every
place. This is not pantheism, since pantheism denies the Person of God.
God is the total of His essence. Without diffusion, expansion, multiplication, or division, He penetrates and fills the entire universe and everything beyond the universe to infinity. Psa 139:7, Jer 22:23, 24, Acts 17:27.
God is free to be local. He was with Moses on the mountain. Ex 19:20, 24:18. He resided in the Holy of Holies in the temple as the Shekinah glory. Ex 40:14, Lev 16:2.
”He became flesh and tabernacled among us,” John 1:14, while at the same time existing throughout all space and beyond all space.
He knows firsthand our weaknesses, our problems, and our circumstances.
He is personally interested in us every moment we are in time, and He is available to help us immediately.
He is a perfect Counselor.
He always has time for everyone simultaneously.
Omnipresence means He is personally there, an Eyewitness to every activity of our lives and of all human and angelic history.
God is wise. He has perfect wisdom. He knows perfectly and eternally all
that is knowable, whether actual or merely possible.
Everything that has been known or ever will be known, for example, every discovery in the advance of science, has been known to God since eternity past. Never was there a time when He did not know everything that is knowable.
In other words, God could pass any examination on any subject at any time, or all subjects at the same time, and He could have done so in eternity past.
Moreover, God never learns anything because He has always known everything. He knows the end from the beginning.
Psa 33:13-15, 139:1-4, 147:4-5; Prov 15:3; Isa 36:9, 10, 44:28, Mal 3:16, Matt 6:8; 10:29-30; Acts 15:8, Heb 4:3, 1 John 3:20.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Every detail of all creation and history is in God’s mind at all times and always has been from eternity past. This is God’s mentality connected with His infinity.
Therefore, the future is as perspicuous to God as the past. God foreknows the
future, since all events take place according to His counsel – the Doctrine of
Divine Decrees. He foreknows but His foreknowledge is not predestination. He
knows every step you will take, but He never interferes with your volition.
He knows which way we will jump in the function of our free volition in every situation in life. Although He never interferes with free will, God is gracious and all wise, and therefore does not merely sit on the sidelines.
He may determine which choice is made through His gracious influence, for example, through the Word of God resident in the soul of the believer or through His counsel of the variables of life that are beyond human control – often erroneously called fate or luck.
God’s foreknowledge is not subject to development, reasoning,
regretting, or foreboding. His knowledge is always total and perfect, therefore,
it cannot develop beyond what it already is.
God knows all the conclusions as well as all the premises. Therefore, even though He is totally reasonable and rational in all things, He never needs to reason things out.
This also means that we can never second-guess God. There is no way we can improve on His system. We can simply go along with His perfectly wise Plan, which has our best interest in mind. But what if we choose not to follow the Divine course? His Plan goes right along without us.
Satan is the best illustration of what happens to someone who tries to outsmart God. The devil’s entire strategy boils down to an attempt to outsmart, second-guess, and out-maneuver God.
Satan thinks he has a better plan than God’s and wants to put it into effect and take God’s place. The result of Satan’s brilliant but arrogant efforts to improve on the Divine Plan is confusion and evil and we find it in the world today.
Eventually Satan’s rival plan will result in his own destruction in the Lake of Fire forever, Matt 25:41. While believers will never see the Lake of Fire, their imperfect and unwise plans can create misery for themselves and others.
Since God’s thinking is not subject to regrets, foreboding, or depression, all that He knows never makes Him unhappy. If we just knew some of the details God knows, if we could see the future, we would be upset immediately.
Our country is headed downhill. And if we knew what was in store for us as a nation in the next few years, we would be shocked and terribly unhappy about it.
God is all powerful. His power is infinite. He is able to do all
things which are objects of His power within the range of His holy character. That
is, He can do all things which are not self-contradictory or contradictory to
His own nature, for him to do contradictory things would not imply power but
God will never make right wrong. Nor will He act foolishly. He never abuses His power. His power is perfect and beyond our comprehension. Isa 44:24, 2 Cor 4:6, Eph 1:19-20, 3:20, Heb 1:3.
”Christ, the Power and the Wisdom of God.”
If God is limited at any time, it is because of self-imposed limitation consistent with His Plan and essence. God can do all He wills to do but He may not will to do all He can.
God is infinite perfection in veracity and faithfulness, which are expressed
to us in the Word of God.
Thus, His absolute attribute of Truth, under the category of His perfection, is related to man through the attributes of veracity and faithfulness.
Veracity – Psa 33:4, Heb 6:18, Num 23:19.
God honors the Word of God resident in the soul of the believer. This is one of the greatest of all principles to be derived from the Doctrine of Divine attributes.
God is Truth as an attribute. Therefore, He must honor Truth resident in our souls. God honors His Word wherever it is found. Maximum Doctrine in the soul constitutes maturity adjustment to the justice of God. Or, total relationship with the essence of God.
From this it should be obvious why we cannot grow by our works or good deeds. Not even by such normally legitimate work as witnessing, giving, prayer, etc.
As a matter of God’s veracity, spiritual growth can be achieved only by the consistent, persistent intake of the Word of God. Since God honors His Word, His Word in the souls of believers is the only thing that will ever save this country.
Because He honors His Word in our souls, God provides for us and supports
us on Earth during our period of spiritual growth. Thus we are able to
continue in history and continue to grow in Grace, no matter what the historical
climate happens to be.
Even in a period of nation decline and destruction, God faithfully takes care of us. Death cannot touch the believer until God is ready to take him home. Not only is the believer protected in a time of disaster, but one of the blessings to a positive believer is historical impact.
The believer whose soul is saturated with the Word of God, who is fully adjusted to the justice of God, who possesses a total relationship with the essence of God, is like an Atlas supporting the world. This is the case whether known or unknown to those around him.
Mercy is Grace in action.
Mercy is God's infinite love towards the objects of Divine affection. Therefore, category one love is our love toward God.
God’s love is category one love seen from the other side, His love toward us, creatures who possess His own righteousness.
God is absolute good, in contrast to the policy of Satan, which is evil and contains relative good or human good.
Infinite holiness acting towards others is justice. The absolute attribute
of holiness is broken down into attributes of justice and righteousness. Thus,
when Divine holiness is related to us, it takes the form of righteousness, the
principle, or justice the function.
God’s righteousness is perfect, demanding perfect justice. God’s judgments are perfect, demanding perfection. Justice administers the penalty and righteousness demands. That is why God can never become sentimental and eventually let everyone into Heaven.
On the other hand, justice administers the blessings of which righteousness approves.
In righteousness is God’s love for His essence revealed. In justice is God’s hatred for sin revealed.
”Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.”
God is not arbitrary in any way. Essence demands essence. Righteousness
demands righteousness. Justice demands justice. God’s nature cannot change.
Therefore, that which is contrary to His righteousness must be punished, and that which is adjusted to His justice must be blessed.
God must demand and execute punishment both for sin and evil as long as He is what He is. His penalties are not vindictive but vindicative.
With unchangeable sin and evil there is unchangeable condemnation and judgment. Thus, God is proven to be consistent.
In salvation, God provides in Grace all that He demands of the unbeliever.
And through restoration to fellowship, God deals with the sins of the believer.
In Himself, God’s spirituality or personality is supreme. But in relation to man, righteousness and justice are supreme.
Thursday, August 23, 2001
Freedom is not truly an attribute, but sovereignty is. God must be consistent
with Himself. He cannot compromise His essence.
The incarnation and spiritual death of the Lord Jesus Christ was the only way the free will of God, His sovereignty, could provide salvation for man.
In other words, God is free to bless man only when man is adjusted to His justice – first of all at salvation, then at restoration to fellowship, and finally at spiritual maturity.
His affections are the feeling aspect of His consciousness. Anthropomorphisms
ascribe to God human characteristics which He does not possess, but they explain
Divine policy to us in terms of human attitudes.
|Repentance, for God does not really change His mind. Gen 6:6.|
|Hatred, an expression of Divine justice. Rom 9:13.|
|Anger, but God’s judgments are never capricious or based on passion. Rom 1:18.|
|Scorn. Psa 2:4.|
|Benevolence. Rom 8:32.|
|Compassion. Lam 3:22-23.|
|Longsuffering. Num 14:18.|
|Happiness. God is infinitely happy in Himself with absolute freedom
from fear, anxiety, regret, foreboding, or annoyance|
God’s authority is derived from all His attributes. God has absolute
authority over possible things and actual things. Over possible things, God is
sovereign in that He leaves them as merely possible and not actual or destines
them to become actual at a specific point in the future.
In this realm, God renders account to no one. He acts in conformity with His own perfect character and consults no one for encouragement or advice. He is perfect and cannot be less than perfect in any decisions that He makes.
In relation to existing things, God is the final and absolute authority. Psa 145:14, Matt 20:15, 1 Tim 6:15. God delegates and establishes systems of authority in the human race. We call these systems of delegated authority “the laws of Divine establishment.”
Designed for believers and unbelievers alike, these authorities are necessary for the perpetuation of the human race.
For example, each individual holds the authority over himself in the function of self-discipline. This is the mechanics of using his God-given free volition. Likewise, in marriage, the man is the authority over the woman; in the family, the parents are the authority over the children.
Law and law enforcement as well as the military are systems of authority under the principle of national government.
Governments however have no authority to invade the privacy of law-abiding citizens or to regulate their personal lives or legitimate business.
From this you can see the condition of our country today!
The government wields authority as a servant of the people with the
specific limited duties of internal and external protection, along with a basic
amount of administration.
Legitimate government is simply the administration of certain rights which belong to the citizens of the nation, but which has been entrusted to the government for objective, just, and dispassionate execution.
Furthermore, the laws of Divine establishment limit government to the national level and below.
Internationalism gives rulers more power than they can properly handle and freedom cannot be protected.
God as Creator. God gave existence to every creature and to all
things. Therefore, His authority extends over them.
He has the right to save or judge, reward or discipline. This right however, is restricted by His own perfect essence. He is therefore compelled to discipline negative volition under the influence of evil. He is also compelled to bless and reward the positive believer under the influence of the Word of God.
This exercise of authority is always consistent with His own essence and plan. The Creator’s absolute and sovereign ownership of all things is contrasted with the secondary rights which men recognize in the ownership of private property under the laws of Divine establishment.
All the wealth of the world belongs to God. Psa 50:10. Consistent with His will and perfect character, He can give blessings or remove them according to His personal handling of each individual as that person is adjusted or maladjusted to the Divine justice. Job 1:21.
Second fact – God has redeemed us out of the slave market of sin.
He freed us at the Cross, giving us the right to choose for or against His plan of salvation. And subsequently to choose for or against the Word of God. He bought us with a price. Therefore, He has authority over us.
Third fact – God has provided the Word of God. The authority of God is expressed in the Word of God. Our obedience to His authority is related to the amount of the Word of God resident in our souls.
If we go with God’s authority, there are tremendous blessings. If against, tremendous cursing.
Satan has many approaches by which he tries to destroy our understanding of
the character of God.
Polytheism is the belief of a plurality of gods, as in the Phoenician, Greek, and Roman pantheons.
Pantheism is the philosophy that God and the universe are one. That the universe conceived of as a whole is God. It denies the transcendence of God, that God exists outside the universe. This puts boundaries on God.
Pantheism also denies the personality of God, claiming instead that He exists only as the sum total of all the forces and laws of the existing universe.
Pantheism falsely asserts that since God does not go beyond the universe, He did not create the universe.
Materialism is that form of atheism that denies the existence of God and
claims instead that material substance is the basis of and explanation of all
It contends that instead of being imputed by God to our immaterial souls, life is a product of what is material. This is the philosophy of communism, and communism is not dead!
Deism asserts that God is personal, infinite, holy, and the Creator of the universe, but it claims that He personally abandoned His creation when completed. Thus, He intended the universe to be self-sustaining, and self-promoting, by the forces resident in it.
Deism rejects the Word of God and any suggestion that He intervenes in human affairs. As a rationalistic movement of the 17th and 18th centuries, deism’s adherents included Thomas Paine, David Hume, Thomas Jefferson, Edward Gibbon, and Voltaire.
Friday, August 24, 2001
Idealism is a system of thought which contends that the mind is the
only entity and that the material universe is no more than an impression or
illusion of the mind.
Some idealists believe in God but deny His creation of material things. Their philosophy spawns asceticism.
Evolution states that the cosmos had developed from a crude, homogenous material into its present heterogeneous and advanced state by means of its own resident force.
Positivism is a system of thought which accepts as true only what can
be verified by literally pointing to it.
This school of philosophy claims that reasoning is mere redundancy, and it attempts to squeeze all thinking into a system of mathematics. It disregards both God and the human soul.
Monism takes the view that there is only one kind of substance or reality instead of two, e.g., mind and matter, dualism, or more plurality of independent substance, plurality.
Biblical theism is where we stand. The doctrine of the essence of God.
A general outline of the Doctrine.
This is the decision God made in eternity past from His attribute of
sovereignty, which established that certain things would actually come into
being while other things would not. His sovereign choice as to what will
take place in time.
We are so dependent upon God that nothing can ever exist apart from His decision to make it exist.
Many things that occur are results of angelic or human will acting contrary to God’s desires. He nevertheless decided or willed that these things would take place.
Thus He makes our volition truly free. How He could do this without compromising His perfect essence is the story of the justice of God.
An example of something that God willed to exist is you! You are a responsible, rational, freewill individual who lives in the 21st century. You and your freedom, etc. were decreed billions of years ago. You exist today because you are a part of a very old Plan.
The Divine decrees are the eternal Plan by which God rendered certain all
events of the universe, including both angelic and human history, past, present,
God decrees all things as certain to occur. He decided that they would exist. In doing so He did not interfere with angelic or human free will. In fact, He decreed we would have free will.
In giving us volition, He also decreed that our decisions, whatever they might be, would certainly take place, even those that are contrary to His desires.
Being omniscient, He had the good sense to know ahead of time what we would decide and He not only decreed that those decisions would exist, but He also decreed the exact manner, consistent with His essence, in which He would handle our decisions.
The decree of God is the chosen and adopted Plan of all God’s works. The decree of God is His eternal purpose according to the counsels of His will.
Eph 1:9, “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will according to
His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.”
The decree of God is the sovereign choice of the Divine will (His attribute of sovereignty) and mentality (omniscience) by which all things are brought into being and controlled, made subject to His pleasure and producing His glorification.
Isa 46:10, “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure.”
The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit pre-existed everything. No one was above Them. No one originated Them. God has no origin. Anything the Members of the Trinity decided to originate is decided with this concept in mind.
”For Their pleasure,” Eph 1:9, Isa 46:10.
”It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.”
“The Lord our God is one Lord.” Deut 5:4.
”In that day there shall be one Lord and His Name one,” Zech 14:9.
|Number one excludes another.|
|It speaks then of sufficiency, which needs no other; of power, omnipotence.|
|It speaks of independency, which admits no other.|
|And from these thoughts of what abides is perpetual, eternal.|
|It excludes external difference.|
|It speaks of identity, identification.|
|Of concord, of peace.|
“The dream is one,” Gen 41:25.
|It excludes internal difference.|
|It speaks thus of harmony of parts, or attributes. Thus of consistency, congruity, and of righteousness, which is congruity with relationship.|
|Of individuality, one body, limb, branch. In the highest thought of it, personality. In the lowest of life, which is the basis of all that is truly individuality.|
|As an ordinal number, the first, the beginning.|
|In the highest way, true of God as Creator, Life-Giver, Father, and Source of all.|
Headship implies precedence in thought and sovereignty to will, under which together we have counsel, election, promise, Grace.
The fundamental thought is the opposite of the first number.
There is another! It speaks of addition, growth, increase; so of help, confirmation, fellowship.
We have this idea expressed in Ecc 4:9-12.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not easily broken.”
It is a confirmation in the way of testimony. “The testimony of two men is
true.” And the power of this confirmation depends much on the very diversity
of the witnesses.
Take the Old and the New Testament as God’s great witnesses to men.
The Second Person of the Godhead is “the true Witness” and “the Word of God.”
Salvation, help, fellowship, relationship, covenant.
Dependence, humiliation, service, here again the idea of “seconding” assist the thought.
It will be observed how these various meanings unite in Christ, the Second Person of the Godhead, the second Man, and uniting these two natures, the Divine and the human, in His own Person.
The Saviour humbling Himself to death to serve us.
The woman herself illustrates this number, full of contrasts, as she is
dependent upon the man, but his help-meet, “not good for man to be
The type of increase.
Yet through whom came sin, death, and yet through her Victorious Seed, salvation.
Division, contrast, contradiction, opposition, conflict, enmity, the
The mother of a female child was to be unclean two weeks after its birth. Double the time for a man-child.
Death itself is a division, separation, the last enemy.
Yet the death of the Cross in which the conflict between good and evil rose to its height is once again our salvation.
Nowhere is there so great a contrast, such apparent contradiction, as in the Cross.
“He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Three is the number of Persons in the Godhead, of the Divine fullness. Therefore,
and until we reach this, God is not fully manifested.
This is the number of manifestation. It is that of the Spirit that realizes in the creature the Counsel of God. ”When the deep lay over the waste and desolate Earth, the Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the waters.”
When men are born again to God, the Gospel comes to them, not in word only, but in the power and the Holy Spirit.
Without the work of the Spirit there is nothing but outside work. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” That is the third dimension which every saint has.
Three stands for what is solid, real, substantial, for fullness, for solidity. What are length and breadth without thickness?
Three is the symbol of cubic measure, solid measure, solidity, of fullness of realization. The sanctuary, God’s dwelling place, is a cubit, ten cubits in the tabernacle, 20 in the temple, and the final city which the glory of God lightens is a cubit.
”The length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal.”
There the Counsels of God are realized. The holiness He seeks is attained.
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is spirit, soul, and body.
Four is the number of the four corners of the Earth, of
It is the number of the four winds of Heaven, the various and opposing influences of which the Earth is the scene.
Four beasts sum up the Gentile empires, with their sovereignty over the Earth. “Four cherubic living ones watch over it.” Revelation four and five.
The fourth book of the law, Numbers, expresses in the most vivid manner the various thoughts connected with this number.
Four is the first number that allows of simple division, as two is the number which divides it.
The number five speaks of the Grace of God.
Everything in the tabernacle spoke expressly of the Lord Jesus Christ. The
burnt altar, the laver, the table of shewbread, the candlestick, etc. And the
tabernacle’s emphasis was manifested by the number five: five sockets, five
bars, five curtains gathered together, and the dimensions on the linen enclosing
the tabernacle was five cubits by five cubits.
In the cleansing of the leper and the consecration of the priest, blood was put on the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot.
|The ear, which emphasizes the five senses of man.|
|The four fingers with the opposing thumb. The governing part, the two hands, give us the ten, the number of commandments in the two tablets.|
|The foot, a similar division, and the two feet to a similar ten.|
We have the five marks on the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both hands, both feet, and the wound on His side.
Genesis: the age of promise and the birth of Israel.
Exodus: the people redeemed and taken into covenant with God.
Leviticus: their sanctification in lieu of His holiness.
Numbers: their trial in the wilderness.
Deuteronomy: the moral summing up as wisdom for the land.
Spiritually – the Christian side.
Genesis: new creation, life.
Exodus: redemption and fellowship with God through a Mediator.
Leviticus: sanctification through the offering of the Lord Jesus Christ and the work of God the Holy Spirit.
Numbers: testing in the Divine path through the world.
Deuteronomy: the ways and the end of Divine government.
The Books of the Law have a double character, as literal history and as spiritual type.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
Creation is mentioned twice.
First it is the heavens and the Earth.
Second, the soul and spirit of man.
In each case in which it is used, therefore, a new thing is brought into being, not developed out of pre-existing material.
When men are born again, they are “created” in Christ Jesus and have a new Divine nature, which is eternal life.
All things are brought into being and controlled and made subject to God’s
pleasure, Isa 46:10, Eph 1:9.
It is for His pleasure!
We do a variety of things for our pleasure or entertainment. But God’s pleasure, we might say, is somewhat broader in scope.
His perfect happiness is a part of His infinite character. So His pleasure is not impulsive or frivolous.
Nevertheless, He snapped His fingers and billions upon billions of light years of space instantly came into being.
Then He created creatures with free will – beautiful, powerful creatures called angels. Their history is largely undisclosed to us, but eventually, from their own free decisions, some of these creatures got out of line – the fall of Satan and the revolt that began the angelic conflict.
God always knew that some of the angels would revolt. Therefore, in the same instant that He decreed to create the universe and the angels, He also decreed that at a certain point in time He would create another type of creature, man.
Like the angels, God created man with free will designed to share God’s
But man and his progeny would also become the demonstration of the fullness of God’s essence to those angels who had impugned God’s character.
So, for God’s good pleasure, He created Adam. Now long after the fall of Adam, God’s pleasure is our adjustment to the justice of God. Salvation, spirituality, and spiritual maturity free God to bless us.
What the Trinity decided was also for Their glory. God has always existed in perfect glory. Anything He does reflects His glory and results in His glorification.
God does not depend upon us for His pleasure or His glory. He enjoyed these things in eternity past when no one else existed. He is expressing them in us.
We are here as a part of God’s pleasure and glory. Just in case someone asks you, why you are here! Or you may ask yourself.
It is the pleasure of God to permit creatures to exercise free will. We
should have no illusions about ourselves. We are here not to glorify ourselves,
not to impress God. But to line up with His pleasure and glory.
Picture the decree of God as a giant computer. In eternity past God fed facts from His omniscience into the computer. The “facts” include every thought you would ever have, every decision you would ever make, every action you would ever take.
When He decreed, or fed into the computer, the fact that you would exist as a free agent, He also decreed, simultaneously that your every thought, decision, and action would take place.
He fed into the computer the decisions He knew you would make about sin, about confession of sin, about human good and evil, about believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. About walking down the street, about the laws of establishment, about Doctrine, about spiritual production, about everything.
The omniscience of God is the key to understanding the Divine Decrees.
God has three kinds of knowledge.
To be continued … Christ, the wisdom and the power of God.
Most people, even believers, are not interested enough in the Word of God
to take it in on a daily basis.
But, the Lord Jesus Christ, by His Word, caused the universe to come into existence. He spoke it into existence.
By His Word He brought Lazarus back from the dead.
By His Word He calmed the seas and the storms.
At the Second Advent with His Word He will destroy the four spheres of influence at the Battle of Armageddon.
”His word is alive and powerful.”
His Word He “has magnified over His Name.”
”Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
“Thy Word have I hid in my mind, that I may not sin against Thee.”
”Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way, by taking heed unto Thy Word.”
What about you?
Sunday, August 26, 2001
The first seven words describe the original creation. In the second verse you
have the contrast with the first. ”Darkness is on the face of the deep.”
All this shows a state of things quite in accordance with the idea of some cataclysmic overthrow of original creation. The thought of a ruined condition of the Earth succeeding the original creation is to show the new birth of a fallen creature.
Here how truly the ruin and vanity of the natural man are only concealed by the moral darkness which is the result of being away from God.
The Word of God acts in conjunction with the Holy Spirit brought into the presence of God, who is Light by which we are discovered and we become sensible to a lost, ruined condition.
Hebrews chapter 11 has been called “the Westminster Abbey of the Bible”
|The path of faith – Heb 11:1-7|
|The patience of faith – Heb 11:8-22|
|The power of faith – Heb 11:23-40|
|The pattern of faith – Heb 12:1-12|
Here is the faith enabling the saints to realize all the Promises of God. He
has declared Himself in His Word and we believe Him.
Napoleon was once reviewing his troops near Paris, and the horse on which he sat was restive. The emperor thoughtlessly dropped the reins from his hand in the eagerness giving a command and the spirited animal bounded away.
The rider was in danger of being hurled to the ground. A young soldier standing in the lines heaped forward and, seizing the bridle, saved his beloved commander from a fall. The Emperor glancing at him said in his abrupt way, “Thank you, Captain.” The private knowing the peculiarities of his chieftain, looked up with a smile and asked of what regiment sir. “Of my guards,” answered Napoleon and instantly galloped to another part of the field.
The young soldier laid down his musket with the remark, whoever will carry that gun I am done with it and proceeded at once to join a group of officers who stood conversing at a little distance. One of them, a general, observed his self-possessed approach and angrily said what is this insolent fellow doing here?
The insolent fellow answered the young soldier. Looking the other steadily in the eye is a Captain of the guards. “Why man,” replied the officer, “you are insane. Why do you speak thus?”
”He said it,” replied the soldier pointing to the Emperor who was far down the lines. “I beg your pardon, Captain, politely returned the General. I was not aware of your promotion.”
”He said it.” Such is faith’s triumphant answer to every accusation, every doubt, and every fear.
He said it and we believe it.
Monday, August 27, 2001
|“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10.|
|”He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out,” John 6:37.|
|”He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life,” John 6:47.|
|”Beloved, now we are the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is,” 1 John 3:2.|
This is enough!
Led by God the Holy Spirit, we accept this as true, and true for ourselves, the Promises of the Gospel. And we know by the testimony of our Saviour, Who cannot lie, that we have passed out of death into life.
He said it!
|Genesis 32:12, “Thou saidst it.”|
|”Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldst see the glory of God?” John 11:40.|
|”Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief,” Mark 9:24.|
Our life for the present is hid with Christ in God. We know that when
Christ, Who is our Life, shall appear, we too shall appear with Him in glory,
exalted above the angels.
Therefore, amid the temptations of the world, the humiliating displays of the flesh, and the wiles of the devil, we are always ready to give an answer to every man that asketh, a reason of the hope that is in us by pointing upward and exclaiming, “He said it! He said it!”
God the Father is holy. Psa 99:3, “Let them praise Thy great and terrible Name; for it is holy.” Luke 1:49, “For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His Name.”
God the Son is holy. Heb 7:26, “For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” 1 John 3:3, 5, “And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.”
God the Holy Spirit is holy. Psa 51:11, “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
Holiness means separation. Each person of the Godhead demands and declares
our personal holiness.
”Be ye holy, for I am holy, saith the Lord.”
Holiness – separated unto God for all eternity, salvation.
Holiness – the believer separated in time being in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Promises of spiritual growth and progress are attached to holiness. God promises to accomplish great and mighty things for His people once they are set apart and ready for conquest.
Joshua 7:13, 8:1, “Up, sanctify yourselves against the morrow.”
Peter’s personal heart appeal for personal holiness is based upon the holy character of God. ”As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy.” He desires His children to reflect His character.
Further, glorious in holiness. God is not only the Foundation and the
Pattern holiness, but also the Source of our holiness.
What He commands, “Be ye,” He supplies.
It is impossible for us to manufacture this required holiness. But the promise is that the very holiness which He demands, He graciously bestows.
”Give what thou commandest, then command what thou wilt.”
”And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thes 5:23.
Here we encounter an aspect of holiness that we tend to forget in our
congregational worship. While we may not have much sympathy for the rites,
ceremonies, and liturgies in romanish and high church circles, we have to
confess that they seem to have an atmosphere conducive to worship which most
Protestant churches lack.
While we may not countenance robes, vestments, candles, and Latin prayers, we should yet seek to cultivate something of the reverence characteristic of ritualistic churches.
Roman Catholics have no need of notices in the entrance of their churches, asking them to be silent. Are Protestants not guilty of laxity, thoughtlessness, and irreverence when it comes to church behavior? Too often the few minutes before the service begins, the rabble of a market rather than the sanctuary where a Holy God waits to reveal Himself to those who are supposed to be His holy children.
Paul had a pointed word about behaving ourselves in the Church of God.
”But if I tarry long that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God,” 1 Tim 3:15.
Such was the full page announcement in the daily paper the evening before the
great flood. For some 100 years Noah had been preparing the ark and giving
warning of impending flood. But there were no visible signs of a coming
catastrophe and Noah was regarded as rather peculiar. Anyone who could invent a
joke at his expense was well on his way to notoriety.
The paper also carried a statement from the weather bureau assuring the people that there was not a drop of water in sight. While the comic section pictured Noah on top of the ark, pouring water over the edge to make the animals think it was raining.
But scoffers and unbelievers are not confined to Noah’s day. There are many people of our own time who feel that it is an impossible story. Many of these however are led to doubt the fact of the flood through pictures that present the ark as being about the size of a big barn – black, dark and airtight.
But “Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
We will correct some of the erroneous views and show the reasonableness of
the ark as set forth in the Scriptural account.
Since it would be some 120 years from the time the first beam was laid until the ark would float, the kind of material was of utmost importance. God provided for this when He directed Noah to construct it out of gopher wood, which is somewhat similar to our cypress and will not readily decay.
”The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, and the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.”
There are different sizes of cubits, one of which was 25 inches and another 18 inches. Since our purpose is to prove the possibility of all the animals finding room in the ark, we will use the smaller cubit.
Thus, the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
When you measure the ark, having some idea of its length, it is indeed a surprise when you walk off, measure off, 450 feet.
Each person within the Trinity, as we have seen, is described as being holy.
Over 100 times in the Bible the Third Person of the Trinity is designated “the
Why? Well, He came as the promise of a thrice-holy God, Isa 6:3. He represents, “The Holy Son.” He is inherently holy.
”He inspires holy men of God to write the Holy Scriptures.”
And His great task is to transform us into Divine holiness. Every thought of holiness is His alone.
As the Holy Spirit, He is deeply grieved with anything we entertain that is antagonistic to His holy will.
Paul sets forth some of the things that please or pain God the Holy Spirit, Who seeks our sanctification. Eph 4:25-32.
“A window shalt thou make in the ark, and in a cubit shall thou furnish it above.”
Here is a source of great difficulty to many – a window, or light, or open
space is to be finished above.
Does that mean that all these animals are to secure light and ventilation through a small opening in the roof only 18 inches square? Certainly such a thing would be impossible.
Only one dimension of this window is given. It is to be 18 inches and it is to be placed above, that is, an open space, 18 inches wide. It is to run the entire distance around the ark at the top of each story. Thus, giving perfect light and ventilation to the many thousands of animals within.
Tuesday, August 28, 2001
What can the insignia of holiness be upon bills, pots, horses, except that our
Lord expects our commercial and social life to bear the imprint of our
allegiance to Him?
In these modern days when millions of cars have taken the place of horses, we can change the figure and say, “Upon every car, holiness unto the Lord.” Is yours a consecrated car? Toyota? Do you use it in His service and for His glory?
”Holiness on every pot” implies that He is the Lord of your home and of all pots and pans.
The next time you are tempted to grumble about so many dishes to wash, remember that even your kitchen can become a sanctuary if the glory of the Lord is brought into the most commonplace duties.
The trivial round, the common task, will furnish all we ought to ask room to deny ourselves, a road to bring us daily nearer to God.
The principle of being in full-time Christian service.
The Mosaic enactments were necessary to prove that the Jews were a separated
people. By their religious observances, camp life, food, and raiment, they were
conspicuously different from surrounding heathen nations.
Promises of Divine bounty were offered if such a distinction was maintained. Our tragedy is of conformity to this world. Rom 12:1-2.
As those who profess to be followers of a holy God, we are not as distinctive as we should be. Separation from the pursuits of a unholy world are not as marked as the Bible demands.
Is your life different from those around you, who make no claim of being the Lord’s? Complete separation from the world spells power for God.
”Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”
The apostle Peter presents the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal
incentive to personal holiness. As we remember that He may be here at any
moment, do we not find ourselves stirred to seek purity of life? We cannot live
any kind of a life if we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming. John
reminds us of the fact that this is a sanctifying hope.
”Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure,” 1 John 3:3.
The Blessed, Purifying Hope ... the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ for His bride.
”I have espoused you as a chaste bride unto the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Holy conversation” is not speaking about language. But “holy
conversation” means your whole manner of life, which would include our
lips, our language.
With such a Blessed Hope in view, we would more holy be, more like our glorious, coming Lord Whose face we soon shall see.
In his first apostolic miracle, Peter desired it to be known that the lame
man was directly healed by God, not as a result of any commendable virtue
Peter himself possessed.
The bystanders were not to marvel at the miracle, as if Peter’s own character made it possible. Nevertheless, Peter’s life contributed to the miracle. He was the channel of Divine operation and the channel must correspond to the Source.
God’s holy work must be accomplished by holy workmen. All who bear the clean vessel of the Lord must be clean.
”Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
What a vital combination they present! Our life is ever the light of men. What
we are never fails to illumine the minds of others. It is not so much
that we say, but the Divine life pulsating through our whole life that counts
for the Lord.
Let us show forth Thy beauty, Lord Jesus,
Like sunshine on the hills.
Oh, let my life pour forth Thy sweetness,
In joyous sparkling rills.
Here Eliphaz, one of Job’s miserable comforters, comes up with an eternal true Truth.
Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Scholars remind us that the kindred words consecration, dedication,
sanctification, and holiness, all spring from the same root word, and whether
used of persons or possessions, they convey the one idea of separation.
Whether any of the terms are used of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, no separation from evil is involved, for They are sinless.
A priest or other persons are set aside to the service of God whose whole will and desire went with his setting apart.
We are set apart or sanctified unto God when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, our so great Salvation.
We are set apart to the Lord Jesus Christ when we are in fellowship and walking in the Light.
We are set apart unto God when we receive our resurrection bodies and that is ultimate sanctification – minus our old sin natures.
Sanctification as applied to ourselves has a five-fold character –
positional, practical, progressive, prospective, and perfect.
In the passage before us, Paul is dealing with our positional sanctification. By the Cross all believers were eternally set apart by and for God.
”By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all,” Heb 10:10.
”Ye are sanctified in the Name of the Lord Jesus,” 1 Cor 6:11.
From the moment of regeneration, the Christian is reckoned by God holy, or sanctified, set apart.
Accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour we become complete in Him, Col 2:10. ”Saints,” 1 Cor 1:2.
The marvel and the mystery is that God chose us in His sovereignty and the
Holy Spirit sanctified and separated us.
”The sanctification of the Spirit” is associated with the choice we made for the Lord Jesus Christ, the accepting of the Gospel by the individual.
At the moment of salvation, God the Holy Spirit sets you apart unto God. 1 Cor 12:13.
Our standing before God cannot be surrendered, nor in any way altered by our state here below.
Our positional sanctification is that relationship with God into which we enter by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to which our sole title is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 6:11, Eph 5:25-26, Col 1:22.
This is practical sanctification, which involves a daily separation
from evil things and ways. In the Old Testament times, an Israelite might be
positionally sanctified, yet be ceremonially unclean.
A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ under Grace may be complete in the Lord Jesus Christ, but most incomplete as far as holiness in life is concerned, a carnal believer, out of fellowship.
This aspect of sanctification represents our separation from all sinful motives and acts, and also from false teachers, 2 Tim 2:20.
Complicity and conformity with the world and its ways must be shunned. Was not this the burden of our Lord Jesus Christ in His intercession for His own? ”I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one),” John 17:15.
Further we must not strive after holiness of life simply because of promised
blessings accruing from such, but because we belong to a holy God and are
therefore under a solemn obligation to reflect His holiness.
”Be ye holy, for I am holy, saith the Lord.”
The moment God graciously saved us we were instantaneously sanctified in
His sight. But such a transaction did not make us perfectly holy. We were
made partakers of a new nature, for in the Lord Jesus Christ we become a new
In regeneration, however, the old sin nature, the adamic nature with which we are born, was not removed. This nature, the source of sin, remains and will be with us until death or translation at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the dual nature Paul referred to in our passage.
The promise is that God can make us victorious over the old nature by the filling of the Holy Spirit. Eph 5:18.
And there is the steady growth in Grace as a result of our daily obedience to God’s Word, a daily bringing of all our thoughts and ways into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10:5.
“And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring
into the ark.”
Probably the average person would have difficulty in recalling 100 species of land animals, yet there are many hundreds. It has been estimated that there are 290 species of land animals larger than a sheep. This would include such animals as the lion, bear, and the cow.
There are 757 different species of land animals between a sheep and a rat. Such animals include the cat, the rabbit and, the dog. There are 1359 different species that are smaller than a rat. There are some 10,000 species of birds, 2,231 of reptiles and 100,000 insects.
So, we see that Noah had a great number of living creatures to provide for.
Noah entered the ark on the tenth day of the second month of his six hundredth year, and left the ark on the twenty seventh day of the second month of his six hundred and first year. Thus they were in the ark one full year and seventeen days in all.
It is possible?
It was possible for Noah, who found Grace in the eyes of the Lord, to put all
the animals in the ark and care for them. Let us not think that it was
necessary for Noah to take the largest of the species.
There was no need for him to take two elephants weighing two tons each when younger animals would eat less, take up less room, and be easier to care for, and be better fitted for breeding purposes.
We have seen that there are many more of the smaller animals than there are of the larger. The average size of all the animals is about that of a common cat. The government regulations for a chicken house were three square feet for each hen.
We have given each average animal five square feet since we want to be absolutely sure that they will have plenty of room to move about freely.
We don’t know how Noah arranged the ark, but we can say that he put the
animals in the lower deck and the food on the second deck and the four families
on the third.
The lower deck was 33,750 square feet of floor space, making ample room for every animal to have one and two thirds as much floor space as present day government regulations and have several thousand square feet for the birds, reptiles, and insects.
There are over 5,000 cubit feet of space in the second story that could be packed with food.
The 33,000 square feet of floor space on the upper deck could have accommodated some 20 five-room bungalows with clotheslines and sidewalks, making ample room for each family to have their own private quarters.
Of course, they lacked the radio and T.V. to make it modern, but why worry about that when they had a thousand song birds in the rafters to sing to them?
This will be consummated for all believers at the return of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Holiness in its final and eternal form will mean that we shall be
complete in every way – in spirit, soul, and body.
When we see Him, we shall be like Him, as perfectly holy as He is. ”I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness,” Psa 17:15.
”That He might present it to Himself, a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that it should be holy, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,” Phil 3:20-21.
No wrinkles, ladies, in the resurrection body!
What glorious promises these are! To know that when our eyes behold Him, we shall forever be delivered from the trammeling influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil. A perfect holiness will be ours.
Work on, then, Lord, till on my soul,
Eternal light shall break.
And in Thy likeness perfected,
I “satisfied” shall wake.
Among other Christian themes worthy of attention is restoration to Divine favor. Many promises of restoration are ours to claim, if and when, we confess our sin.
|”Return thou backsliding Israel ... For I am merciful. Return I will heal thy backsliding,” Jer 3:12, 22.|
|”I will heal thy backsliding. I will love thee freely,” Hosea 14:4.|
|”A fountain opened ... for sin and uncleanness,” Zech 13:1.|
|”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.|
|”Let Him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon Him,” Isa 55:7.|
|”The Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face away from you, if ye return to Him,” 2 Chr 30:9.|
|”I acknowledged my sin unto Thee ... Thou forgavest,” Psa 32:5.|
The above list comprises a few of the promises of forgiveness and restoration
that God offers His sinning saints.
If we have yielded to temptation and grieved the Lord by our lapse into sin, let us not yield any depressed feeling and say, “What is the use of trying to be a Christian. I have failed the Lord.”
He knows all about you. And while He can never condone your weakness, He has made ample provision for your recovery and victory.
Confess your sins and rest in His Promise of forgiveness.
Psa 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”
Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
Isa 58:12, “And they that shall be of Thee shall build the old waste places: Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and Thou shalt be called, The Repairer of the breach, The Restorer of paths to dwell in.”
Mark 8:25, “After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”
Psa 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake.”
Thursday, August 30, 2001
The 500,000 cubic feet in the second deck could have been partitioned into
great rooms where tons of dried fruit such as raisins, prunes, etc, were stored.
Other rooms were stored with beans, dried corn, and peas. There were great bins
of wheat, oats, and barley while stored in other bins were tons of nuts. Noah
was commanded to take “all food” that is eaten.
A large herd of cows provided many tons of cheese. Acres of cane were made into black strap molasses. There were great bins of apples, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots, while another room held tons of honey. Then the greater parts were filled with hay, clover hay, timothy hay, and a dozen kinds of hay we never heard of.
Noah and his families had access to all of this great store of goods. In addition they could have a different flavor of milk every day in the week.
Cow’s milk on Monday.
Buffalo milk on Tuesday.
Also, different varieties of eggs.
Hen eggs on Monday.
Ostrich eggs on Tuesday.
Goose eggs on Wednesday, etc.
We Should Pray in His Name. “Again I say unto you, That if two of
you shall agree on Earth as touching anything, that they shall ask, it shall be
done for them of My Father which is in Heaven. For where two or three are
gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them,” Matt 18:19-20.
We should avoid vain repetitions. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking,” Matt 6:7.
We should pray in sincerity. “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not
be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogue and in
the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you,
They have their reward,” Matt 6:5.
We should pray with a forgiving spirit. “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father which is in Heaven may forgive you and your trespasses,” Mark 11:25.
We should pray from the soul. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into a closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly,” Matt 6:6.
We should pray according to the will of God. “Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done,” Luke 22:42.
Space forbids collating all verses dealing with the many aspects of prayer.
The Bible is predominantly a book of prayer.
It does not prove the reality of prayer. It is taken for granted that pray does not need proof, but practice. Bible saints had no doubt about God hearing and answering prayer.
Here are a few promises for us to claim and appropriate.
|”If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves and
pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear
from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chr
|”The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call
upon Him in Truth,” Psa 145:18.|
|”Seek ye the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is
near,” Isa 55:6.|
|”Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your request be known unto God,” Phil 4:6.|
|”Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of
God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” 1 Thes 5:17-18.|
|”Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace that we may obtain mercy and find Grace to help in time of need,” Heb 4:16.|
You can add your own promises to this list. There are more if needed.
Add the following to your list which will open your eyes, which you will
discover in some unlikely places.
An old Jewish mystic says that “prayer is the moment when Heaven and Earth kiss together.”
”They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright.” “Prayer is a correspondence fixed with Heaven,” Robert Burns.
”I would not exchange the prayer of your dead wife in by behalf for the united glory of Homer, Caesar, and Napoleon. Could such be accumulated on a living head?” Bryon to a Mr. Shephard.
”He prayeth well who loveth well both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small for the dear God, who loveth us, He made and loveth all,” Samuel Coleridge.
”Battering the gates of Heaven with storms of prayer,” Alfred Tennyson.
”The sure relief of prayer,” William Wordsworth
”Do you wish to find out the really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s prayer,” Napoleon.
”Words without thoughts never to Heaven go,” Shakespeare.
”Even silence itself has its prayers and its longings,” Tasso.
”Prayer will make a man cease from sin or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer,” John Bunyan.
”Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan,” John Bunyan.
”A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Heavenward,” Philip Brooks.
There are more, if needed.
What outpouring of souls the saints of old were capable of. Their language,
so expressive and intense, is a safe guide for us to follow as we approach the
Mercy Seat. Many of these prayers should be memorized and made our own.
”Thou art my Rock, and my Fortress, therefore for Thy Name’s sake, lead me and guide me,” Psa 31:3.
”Search me, O God, and know my mind. Try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psa 139:23-24.
”Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my mind be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer,” Psa 19:14.
John 17:11, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.”
John 17:20-23, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”
Psa 36:5-11, “Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the Heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the Fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light. O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against Me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove Me.”
Psa 51:1-13, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, Thou desirest Truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”
Eph 3:14-21, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of Whom the whole family in Heaven and Earth is named, That He would grant you, according to the riches of is glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Here we have two general principles regarding prayer. Namely, our conception
of, and then our conduct with God. Conduct depends upon conception. It is
only when we know Him that we can trust Him.
Our conception is of a two-fold nature:
|”We must believe that He is,” meaning that He is real.|
|”And also He is a Rewarder of those who accept His reality.”|
Is God real to you? Is yours the reward of seeking Him?
Speak to Him, thou, for He hears.
Spirit to spirit can meet.
Closer is He than breathing
And nearer than hands and feet.
”Lord teach us to pray,” Luke 11:1.
“Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble, Thou wilt prepare their
heart, Thou wilt cause thine ear to hear,” Psa 110:19.
In this gracious promise, three Divine actions are indicated.
The necessary preparation of the mind, in order to approach God in a way
agreeable to Him, is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Too often we rush into
God’s presence and hurriedly express ourselves as if the mercy seat was a
Effective prayer must have correct preparation of mind and soul.
Prayer is an acknowledgment of God’s all-sufficiency and of our dependence
upon Him for all the things that are necessary for our life on Earth. It is
likewise an evidence of our helplessness and insufficiency to help ourselves.
In this Psalm David emphasizes two important factors in true prayer.
Which means that our praying must be done in accordance with His revealed
It is only thus that He promises to hear and answer. 1 John 5:14, 15.
Wherever we are, the Lord is present.
It would be interesting to know where you pray best?
Set times as well as set places contribute to the value of our prayer
life. How often do you pray?
David opened the door into Heaven three times a day.
Praise would be expressed for Divine guidance through the day and rest
sought for the silent hours of the night.
The ideal attitude is to live in the spirit of prayer. Is it as natural and easy for you, even in the busy shopping mall, to turn aside and talk with the Lord as it is to converse with a friend at your side?
Is prayer your native air?
We must notice the vital connection between prayer and the Promises in
general. The latter should always be the basis of all our prayers. For
the Promises as a whole are alike, our warrant for asking and our security
for receiving what we ask.
We must guard ourselves from asking anything that lies beyond the all-embracing scope of God’s promises, for we have no authority to do so.
But we may confidently ask for whatever is included in these Promises which God never fails to fulfill.
”All the Promises of God are yea, and amen, to the glory of God.”
|When praying for deliverance from Esau, Jacob reminded God of His Promises at Bethel and Padanaram. Gen 32:9-12.|
|Twice over Moses pleaded God’s Promises in his intercession for the people. Ex 32:13, Num 14:17-19.|
|David spread the Promises before God and pleaded for His fulfillment. “Do as Thou hast said,” 2 Sam 7:28-29, Psa 119:49.|
|Solomon began his intercessory prayer by asking that the Promise made to David might be verified. 1 Kings 8:25, 26.|
Then it is essential to remember that the Promises of God are given to
stimulate our prayers, not to supercede them. While everything good for us is
promised in answer to believing prayers, nothing is promised apart from it.
Once we are persuaded of the Promises and embrace them, by believing prayer we claim their fulfillment. How our prayer life is enriched when we come before the Lord with some gracious Word of His own in our souls and on our lips. Let us plead the Promises with greater fervor.
The term “Christian,” which came into vogue with the establishment of
Christianity in the world, was originally coined as a nickname. The people of
Antioch watching Christ’s followers and observing how like their Lord they
were, called them “Christ-ians,” meaning followers of Christ.
Such an honored designation occurs thrice in the New Testament in three different settings.
|“The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch,” Acts 11:26.|
|”Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian,” Acts 26:28.|
|”Yet if any man suffer as a Christian,” 1 Pet 4:16.|
When the Lord Jesus Christ was on this Earth, those who received Him and His
Teachings became known as disciples, or learners, or taught ones, and as
such formed His Church.
Did not Jesus Christ have them in mind as part of the Church He said He would build? Therefore, all the Promises He gave His disciples, many of which were fulfilled on their behalf after His ascension, are for the disciples of any age to claim.
Think of the multitudes of saints, who individually have rested and continue to rest in the Promises He gave to His disciples in the upper chamber that He would come again. John 14:1-3.
Here we are, two millenniums after the Lord Jesus Christ uttered so many wonderful Promises when His followers were around Him, still feasting upon a daily realization of them on our pilgrimage to Heaven.
What about the hundreds of Old Testament Promises? Are they also for us in this Christian age? Can we, for instance, personally claim the numerous Promises found in the ancient Psalms?
The Promises of the Psalms are primarily Jewish, but are spiritually true to the Christian experience also, in the sense that they disclose the “mind of Christ,” and the exercise of His mind to those who are perplexed, afflicted, or cast down.
In the study of Promises, we find that they are written for all saints
and likewise written for each of the saints.
Have we not proved what a pleasant and profitable exercise it is to take a specific Promise and plead it at the Mercy Seat?
Often our prayers are pointless, because we do not follow the example of David, the royal Promise pleader, who delighted to direct his finger to some particular faithful Promise and say to God, “Remember Thy Word unto Thy servant in which Thou hast caused me to hope,” Psa 119:49.
We must cultivate the art of singling out Promises suited to our present case, and pressing their heavenly ripeness into our own cup and praise the Most High who has given us such Divine joy from a single cluster of the vintage of His Word.
”Taste and see that the Lord is gracious.”
How single texts shine out before the soul in its hour of darkness, like a
light to each belated traveler!
The lonely widow, the helpless sick, the pining exile, the friendless poor, the feeble old, the fainting and the dying, all lift up their eyes and forget their misery when they think about what the Lord their God had said. “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name. Thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee,” Isa 43:2.
How blessed the saint who thus, in whatever state he may be, has a Divine secret that keeps him always whole-soul and fills him with a joy that is unspeakable and a hope full of glory.
Take the Promises of God as a child of God and place them as your title to the inheritance, and they will be owned. They are your charter and covenant from God Himself.
If we would personally enjoy the Promises, we must see to it that they have a place in our souls. We must take them as the sure Words of One who cannot lie.
We must make “His Words” our “living trust” as no less worthy of our reliance as if He had fulfilled them already.
The worth of any Promise you may plead gathers an additional glory as you
bear in mind “that Heaven and Earth may pass away, but not one Word of your
heavenly Father will fail, til all be fulfilled.”
Further, we must remember, that any Promise or all of them, are not lent to be recalled at any time, but given.
They are not given of favor, nor of any merit, but earnests of Grace, Words of love, not rewards for service.
”He hath given us exceeding, great and precious Promises,” 2 Peter 1:4.
The milk and honey of all the Promises are for you and me, without money
and without price.
Given equally, with royal fullness, to all believers. Not to a happy, selected few among them, the elder sons or favorites of God’s great family. But to all alike, with an impartial hand, as they have shown themselves fitted to receive. There is not a single Promise in all of the Bible that the poorest soul may not plead, if he or she only comes to the Lord.
The Promises of God are exceeding great and precious in their boundless diversity and scope. Human promises can meet but a few needs. Divine promises cover all our needs as their abundance clearly proves.
Let us try to classify a quantity of these Promises according to the manifold phases of life.
If the Lord permits us time, we will bring them to you!
“Grow old together with Me and together with Me you will always be.”
– Signed ... The Ancient of Days
As to all promised personal blessings, there are one or two observations to
bear in mind as to the right application of these varied Promises.
First of all, the majority of them are not to be applied universally, but with limitation, as far as may be for God’s glory and our present good, which in effect are one. All outward things are of such a nature as to be capable of being either good or evil to us, as circumstances vary.
Riches in some circumstances may be useful and valuable, in which case God will bestow them according to His Promise. To others, wealth may prove to be pernicious and destructive, so it is withheld.
Certainly God has promised us good things, but He knows that even temporal good may become spiritual evil, that health in body can result in debility of soul, and the gain of Earth result in the loss of Heaven, the gratification of the present end in the jeopardy of eternity.
Thus it is consistent with His Promises to bless us with earthly blessings to have as the spirit of any given Promise the aspiration in the Promise to …
”Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.”
Prov 3:6, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.”
If we indulge in the wish for temporal good at the hazard of coming short of His honor and glory, then we are not fit to plead any Promise. Temporal mercies, if granted, would only end in our undoing.
There is a Promise prepared for any need or emergency that may arise. We can only expect God to undertake for us if we claim a specific promise “as we acknowledge Him in all our ways,” Prov 3:6.
His “good things” are only added as we seek and put Him first, Matt 6:33.
Grace must be ours to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear. Fear not of any Promise failing of performance, but of our sinful natures.
”Fear lest a Promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of us should seem to come short,” Heb 4:1.
In the Church Age, the right to appropriate the Promises is usually coupled
with Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Does this not imply that only believers in
Christ are recognized as having an interest in the Promises which can only be inherited and obtained through faith?
All these Promises of “God, in Him,” that is our Saviour.
The Father committed to the Son the bounties of His Grace to give to men, and
they can only receive them as they come to Him, all from God is in the Lord
On God’s part they were all given in His Name and it is only through faith in that Name that we can claim particular interest in the Promises and in Christ as being the Pledge of their fulfillment. Coming to Christ, with any particular Promise in mind, we have no need to ask for any security of the verification of any Word of His.
Claiming the promises in the Divinely appointed way, we have the sweet assurance that God will be as good as His Word and undertake accordingly.
Comments about this website? E-mail me.
Page updated 06/26/05 04:55 PM.