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Congregation Conversation
Saturday, 25 July 2015

IN MY STUDY TODAY SOMHOW I GOT OFF ONTO A RABBIT TRACK ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINKDOM OF HEAVEN.. I WONDERED IF I EVER KNEW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO OR EVEN IF THERE WAS ANY DIFFERENCE.

AFTER SOME STUDY I FOUND OUT THAT THEY ARE THE SAME WITH A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE. "Distinct" can be used to mean "different", but it is a "stronger" word and stresses that two things are not just different from each other, but that they have recognizable differences which make them unique and of different kinds.

For instance... My house can be separated into four distinct spaces. vs. My house can be separated into four different spaces.

I KNOW THAT WE ARE TO PRAY '”THY KINNGDOM COME” IN THE LORDS PRAYER BUT WHAT AM I PRAYING ABOUT WHAT KINGDOM, GOD OR HEAVEN OR BOTH?

I DO SEE THAT THERE IS SOME OR EVEN MUCH CONFUSION BEING TAUGHT ABOUT THE TWO TERMS. IT SEEMS THAT MANY ARE TRYING TO BRING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN INTO EXSISTANCE THROUGH MAN'S AND ORGANIZATIONS EFFORTS. THIS SEEMS TO BE AN AGE OLD EFFORT THAT STARTED AFTER THE LAST DECIPLE JOHN THE BELOVED DIED. THE CHURCH WAS ORGANIZED INTO TWO UNIVERSAL CHURCHES ONE IN ROME AND ONE IN CONSTANTINOPLE, TURKEY.

I BELEVE THAT THE SCRIPTURES REVEAL THAT GOD HAS DESIRED TO SET UP A VISIBLE KINGDOM SINCE THE CREATION OF MAN AND HE GAVE HIM DOMINION. (GENESIS 1:26-28) MAN FALL AND SATAN REGAINED DOMINION AND SET HIMSELF UP AS “THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD” (MAT. 4:8, JOHN 14:30)

WHEN GOD CALLED ABRAHAM. HE ONCE AGAIN SOUGHT TO SET UP A THEOCRATIC KINGDOM ON THE EARTH RULINF AND REAIGNING THROUGH MOSES, JOSUA AND HE TRIED SEVERAL TIMES BUT MAN FALED AND THE KINGDOM WAS POSTPONED.

SO HE SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND JOHN HE BPTIST ANNOUNCED THAT THE 'KINGDOM IS AT HAND' (MAT 3:1-2) WHEN JESUS MANIFESTED HIMSELF TO ISRIEL, HE MADE THE SAME ANNOUNCEMENT (MAT 4:1, 7-23) AND COMMISIONED THE TWELVE (MAT 10:7)When Jesus manifested himself to Israel. he made the same announcement (Mat. 4: 1 7-23) and
Commissioned the Twelve (Mat.10:7).

Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah when He first came because the religious rulers of Israel were only looking for a political Messiah King who would make Israel the ruling kingdom of the world. (See Jeremiah 23:5, Psalms 48:2.) They were expecting a warrior leader who would deliver them militarily from the Romans and the rest of the heathen. They were expecting carnal deliverance. Because of their hardened hearts, and their legalistic and ritualistic zeal for works, they were blind to their need for spiritual deliverance and the true righteousness of God, which must be born into the heart. That is what led them to ask this of Jesus:
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
(Luke 17:20-21


The Scriptures teach a distinction between the Kingdom OF HEAVEN AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

THE KINKDOM OF GOD IS THE REIGN OF GOD IN THE UNIVERSE OVER ALL OF HIS CREATED BEINGS, AND INCLUDES TIME AND ETRNITY, HEAVEN, AND EARTH. IT IS SPIRITUAL ANDE “COMES NOT WITH OBSERVATION (LK17:20-21). IT CAN ONLY BE ENTERED BY BEING “BORN AGAIN” (JOHN 3:8)
“THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT MEAT AND DRINK; BUT RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, AND JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT” (ROMANS 14:17)

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS SPOKEN ONLY IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW MENTIONED 32 TIMES. NOTE, THIS IS NOT SPEAKING OF THE PLACE CALLED HEAVEN WHERE THE RIGHTEOUS SINTS DWELL.

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN'S CHARACTERISTICS ARE DESCRIBED IN THE TWELVE PARABLES IN MAT 13:1-50; 18:3-35; 20:1-16; 22:1-14; 25:1-30.

THE KINDOM OF HEAVEN WAS THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND INCLUDES EVERYONE WHO PROFESSES TO BE A PART OF CHRISENDON. IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN , THERE IS A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND EVIL, WHEAT AND TARES, WISE VIRGINS, AND FOOLISH VIRGINS.

IN THE MILLENNIUM, THE KINDGDOM OF HEAVEN (1 COR. 15:24-28), IT WILL BE CONSUMED BY THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

DISTICTION BETWEEN --

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

1 -HAS A BEGINNING (LK 1:32-35

2 -IS DISPENSATIONAL (1 COR 15:24-28

3 -IS EXCLUSIVE (REV 5:10)

4 -IS POLITICAL. (ISA: 9-7

5 -INCLUDES ALL WHO PROFESS
CHRIST (MAT. 13-24-30

6 -MEN ARE NEVER TOLD TO SEEK.

KINGDOM OF GOD
1- HAS NO BEGINING OR ENDING. (LK 17:20

2- IS ETERNAL (REV 11:15

3- IS ALL INCLUSIVE (COL. 1:16

4- IS SPIRTUAL (ROM. 14:17)

5- INCLUDES ALL WHO TRULY KNOW HIM (JN. 3:3-5)

6- MEN ARE TO SEEK (MAT. 6:33)

Because the Lord used the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" interchangeably in places in the four Gospels, some Christians think they are one and the same. They will be, but not until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when He rules the world for a thousand years on the throne of His father David (His father in the flesh, His human side) at Jerusalem. Again:
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
(John 18:36)
If you rightly divide the Bible, you will see that Jesus was preaching about two ( components of the Kingdom. He preached that the political kingdom (Kingdom of Heaven) was coming, and if the Jews had accepted Him after His death and resurrection, He would have come back and established it after seven years of tribulation, as foretold in the prophecies:

The story of the whole Bible from the very beginning until the end is about the spiritual battle for the Kingdom. The eventual triumphant ruler of that Kingdom, both in the literal world and over the spiritual forces, will be the KING of KINGS, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of the Living God of Israel, who first came as a Lamb, but is soon coming as the Lion of Judah.

Bob Furlin's photo.

Posted by rjlo at 7:59 PM EDT
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How to live a victorious Christian life.



Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,[a] 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:19-21

Repentance is a change of mind.

The message of the gospel is change. Forgiveness of sin, pleasing God, eternal life all hinge on change/ repentance.



Repentance is "a change of mind" - a decision, a choice, a determination of the heart, a deliberate exercise of the will - in which one determines to act differently in the future than he has in the past.

"Repentance" - "a change of mind: as it appears in one who repents of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done ... esp. the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds ..."

Jonah 3:4-10 - When Jonah preached, the people of Nineveh gave heed, were sorry, and turned from their evil ways (vv 8,10). "Turn" and "return" are common Old Testament words meaning "repent." Jesus said these people "repented" at the preaching of Jonah (Matthew 12:41).

Matthew 21:28-32 - A son refused to work for his father, but later repented and went. He "changed his mind." Jesus applied this to sinners who repented at John's preaching in contrast to priests would not repent. 

 

John 8:3-11

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”



He forgave here with a condition, go and sin no more.

The change of mind required by the gospel is repentance of sin. This involves changing ones mind about sin - making up ones mind to cease practicing sin and to become obedient to God.

Luke 24:47 - Those who are not God's children should be taught the need for repentance and remission of sin. What they need remission of is what they need to repent of: sin! [2 Tim. 2:25,26; Matt. 9:13]

Acts 8:22 - Likewise, Christians who sin need to be taught to repent of their wickedness. [Luke 15:7,10; 17:3,4; 2 Cor. 12:21]

Repentance is a decision to cease sinning and begin serving God instead.

[Ezekiel 14:6; Deuteronomy 30:2,8,10; Jeremiah 8:4-6; 3:7,10-14; 25:3-7; 36:3,7; 2 Kings 17:13; Zechariah 1:3,4; 2 Chronicles 30:6-9; 1 Samuel 7:3,4; Revelation 2:5. Like hearing, faith, obedience, etc., repentance may refer to a specific decision to obey or may generally include all that a person does to be saved.]

Before one repents they must acknowledge that they have sinned.

“ For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Psalm 38:18

- “I will declare my iniquity.” We must admit it as a fact and be sorry for their sins.

One who covers his sins will not prosper. In order to have mercy, he must confess and forsake it.

Malachi 3:7 “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”

- When confronted about their sins, some people refuse to admit guilt. They ask, "What sin? What do I have to repent of?"

Before one will change his life, he must decide to change (repent). Before he decides to change, he must recognize that he has been guilty. As long as a person defends his practice and refuses to admit error, he has not repented.

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

; 1 Kings 8:47 - “Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness.”

; 2 Chronicles 6:24-39; 7:14; Acts 19:18 - “And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.”

James 5:16 - “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Jeremiah 3:12f; 8:4-6; 5:3; 44:4,5; Jonah 3:8,10; Amos 4:6-11; Luke 15:18,21; 17:3,4; Psalm 32:5 - “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

Leviticus 26:40]



Simply admitting one has sinned is not enough. Some people know they have sinned but don't care, or at least don't really regret what they did.

Psalm 38:18 - “I will declare my iniquity and be in anguish for my sin.”

Joel 2:12,13 - “Turn to God (repent) with weeping and mourning. Tear your heart, not your garment. God wants, not mere outward expressions of grief, but sincere sorrow. We must sincerely wish we had never done the act.”

2 Corinthians 7:10 - “Godly sorrow leads to repentance unto salvation.” One who does not repent cannot be saved, and he cannot truly repent without sorrow.

James 4:8,9 - Sinners must mourn and weep.

A person may admit he did wrong and may even stop committing the sin, but that does not prove he regrets what he did. He may think it was justified under the circumstances, but he simply has no reason to do it again.

For example, a couple may live together without marriage then get married; they are no longer committing fornication, but that does not prove they regret the fornication committed before marriage.

To be saved one must repent. But He will never truly repent until he knows and admits he was wrong and is truly sorry.

[Psalm 34:18; 51:17; 31:10; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; 22:12-14; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 31:19; 5:3; 6:26; Jonah 3:5-8; Matthew 26:75; 11:20; 2 Chronicles 34:27; Ezra 10:1]



It is also possible for a person to know he is wrong and be sorry without really making up his mind to change. Some people have the idea that repentance just means being sorry - if they just admit they were wrong and say they are sorry, everything is forgiven.

But repentance is a decision to change and develop a proper attitude.

We can never please God till we develop a proper state of mind.

Proverbs 4:23 - Keep your heart diligently because out of it are the issues of life. People do wrong because they chose to do wrong. In order to start doing right, they must change their mind and decide to do right - repent.

The mind is where we decide what we will do. This is why our state of mind is so important.

Romans 6:17,18 - One who is a servant of sin needs to be made free from sin and become a servant of righteousness. To do this, he must obey God "from the heart." You cannot obey from the heart until you have decided in your heart to obey. That decision to do right is repentance.

Joel 2:12,13 - Repentance must involve the heart - the inner man. We can never please God till we get our heart right. That happens in repentance. When people know what God wants but will not do it, they lack repentance. (They may also lack faith, love, etc., but one thing they definitely lack is repentance.)

[1 Kings 8:33-36,46-50; 2 Chronicles 6:24-39; 7:14; Ezekiel 18:31; Jeremiah 24:7; 2 Kings 23:25; 1 Samuel 7:3,4]



To Receive God's Forgiveness one must repent.

2 Peter 3:9 - God is not willing for men to perish but wants all to come to repentance. The alternative to repentance is perishing! [Luke 13:3,5]

Acts 2:38 - Repent and be baptized for remission of sins.

Ezekiel 18:21-23,27,28,30-32 - Wicked men must turn from evil and do right or they will die (spiritually). God does not want us to die. He is willing to forgive, but first we must be willing to change. Before we can change, we must decide to change - that is repentance.

The gospel emphasizes repentance because repentance is essential to changing our attitudes and our life. Until we are willing to change our lives, God is not willing to forgive our sins!

If you have sinned, you must admit the sin and be sorry. Then you must make up your mind to change. Have you done so, or are you just expecting everything to be forgotten because you said you were sorry? Forgiveness comes only after a decision to change!

[Ezekiel 33:10-19; 2 Timothy 2:25,26; Romans 2:4,5; Acts 3:19; 8:22; 5:31; 17:30,31; Revelation 2:5,16,21-23; Luke 3:8,9; 24:47; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Kings 8:46-50; 2 Chronicles 6:24-29; 7:14; Joel 2:12-14; Jeremiah 36:3,7; Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 11:20-24; 21:28-32]



Quit Practicing Sin change your conduct.

Repentance is a decision to change. After receiving forgiveness, one must follow through and make the changes he decided to make.



Acts 26:20 - After forgiveness men must do works worthy of repentance. [Luke 3:8-14; Matthew 3:8]

Ezekiel 18:21-32 - To avoid death, the wicked must turn from evil and do right and keep God's statutes.

Matthew 21:28-31 - The ultimate question, in the story of the two sons, was which of the two did the will of the father. The son who was right was the one who eventually went and did what he was supposed to do.

Proverbs 28:13 - We prosper, not by hiding our sins, but by confessing and forsaking them.

This is where many members of the church fail. They profess that they want forgiveness, then are baptized or pray for forgiveness, but never follow through and change. They want forgiveness but not change.

There is a difference between repentance and the fruits of repentance. Sometimes people go through the motions of baptism (or public confession), but do not truly repent. These people will never truly be forgiven until they first truly repent.

Other people really did repent and intended to change their lives, but never followed through. These people may have been forgiven the first time but now are back in sin. They need to repent again and this time produce the fruits of repentance.

[Genesis 44 cf. Genesis 37; Luke 13:5-9; 15:19; Ezekiel 33:10-19; Revelation 2:5; Deuteronomy 30:2; 2 Kings 17:13; Jonah 3:8,10; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:1; 18:8,11; 44:4,5; 25:3-7; 35:15; 2 Chronicles 30:6-9; 1 Samuel 7:3,4]



Luke 15:17-24 - The story of the prodigal son sums it up well. The younger son wasted his inheritance in riotous living (vv 13,30). He came to be in need and "came to himself" (vv 14-17). [The story does not use the word "repent," but the parallel stories do in vv 7,10.]

* He acknowledged his error: "I have sinned" (v18).
* His sorrow was implied by the fact he no longer believed himself worthy to be called a son (v19).
* He then decided to go back to the father (vv 18,19). This decision is repentance. (Cf. vv 7,10)
* He met the conditions of forgiveness by confessing his sin to the father (vv 20,21).
* He left the practice of sin (vv 20,21).
* He offered to make restitution by being just a servant of the father, not even a son any longer (vv 19,21).

The gospel is a message of change. Sinners can change. We all can change.

Note the attitude of the father when the son did return: vv 20,22-24. Truly there is joy in heaven among the angels when a sinner "repents" (vv 7,10).

 







 


Posted by rjlo at 8:49 AM EDT
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Sunday, 12 July 2015

ARE WE IN THE BEGINING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION?
SOME WRITE THAT THE FIRST SEAL IN REVELATION CHAPTER 6 HAS BEEN OPENED.

NO WE ARE NOT IN THE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.  BECAUSE THE CHURCH OF THE REDEEMED IS STILL HERE - “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7
                         AND
THE CHURCH DOES NOT APPEAR IN REVELATION AFTER CHAPTER 4. “AFTER this I looked (represents the time after the Churches, or in other words after the Rapture), and, behold, a door was opened in Heaven (gives John the ability to see what is taking place there): and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me (is actually the Voice of Jesus, harking back to Rev. 1:10); which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter (after the Rapture of the Church).


THE NET IS FULL OF ARTICLES AND BOOKS BY WRITERS THAT WATCH THE CURRENT HEADLINES AND TRY TO MATCH THEM WITH SCRIPTURE.  THEY TALK ABOUT THREE FUTURE WARS.

1 - A yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy in the form of a petition to God found in Psalm 83
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head.  They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones.  They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah”
    I HAVE A HARD TIME BELIEVING THIS IS A FUTURE WAR, I BELIEVE IT IS just A PRAYER BY ASAPH  FOR GOD TO JUDGE THE ENIMIES OF ISRAEL, but who says I am the final authority on this.


THE FIRST RESURECTION/RAPTURE IS THE NEXT GREAT EVENT AND IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME.

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”  Matthew 24:27

Revelation 20:4-6: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Though not explicitly called “the first resurrection” in these passages, here are two other passages that speak of the event referred to as the rapture:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)

Even before the rapture, God can come for any one of us at any time:

 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”  (Matthew 24:42, 44)

2  - THE WAR OF GOG/MAYGOG

3 -  ARMAGEDDON

I DO NOT BELIEVE AS I ONCE DID THAT THESE TWO EVENTS ARE ONE AND THE SAME. 
Differences between the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the battle of Armageddon (Har Megiddo):

1. Ezekiel 38-39 – God puts hooks in the jaws of Gog (probably a demon king possessing a Russian leader) to bring him down from the North against the land of Israel to take a spoil.
Armageddon – Demons come out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet and they deceive the kings of the earth and lead all nations to come against Jerusalem to kill all Jews and oppose Jesus at his coming (Zec 12 – 14; Rev 16:14 ; Joel 3:1) .
The nations of Ezekiel 38:1-6 are:
The Nations of Ezekiel 38: 1­ 6


The Ancient Nations                    The Modern Nations

The land of Magog                       Russia
Meshech and Tubal                      Somewhere in Russia
Persia                                             Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan 
Gomer                                            Eastern Europe
Togarmah                                       Southeastern Europe – Turkey
“Many peoples with thee”            Various other nations allied to Russia
                                                                                                       
2. Ezekiel 38-39 – Fire and earthquakes fall on the army. The weapons are knocked out of their hands. The bones of the army are buried after 7 months at a specific location by trained professionals.

Armageddon – The flesh of the armies that come against Israel are dissolved and slain from the sword of the mouth of Jesus. There is no mention of any burial of the bones.

3. Ezekiel 38-39 – The army falls on the northern mountains of Israel they never reach Jerusalem.—–
Armageddon – The army falls in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2) and blood runs up to the horses bridles the length of Israel (Rev 14:20).

4. Ezekiel 38-39 – Occurs when Israel is living securely in peace and safety with none to make them afraid.
Armageddon – Occurs at the end of the tribulation when Israel has already fled to the mountains of Jordan for protection from the Antichrist.

5. Ezekiel 38-39 – Some nations aligned with the West protest the invasion and obviously are not involved.
Armageddon – All nations are involved.

6. Ezekiel 38-39 – No mention of a religious or spiritual figures it just mentions Gog, men and nations.
Armageddon – Occurs after Satan is cast out of heaven unto the earth and the incarnated Beast Antichrist and his False prophet visibly reign upon earth.

7. Ezekiel 38-39 – 1/6 of the army survives and is driven north into Russia.
Armageddon – The whole army is destroyed.

8. Ezekiel 38-39 – The nations immediately surrounding Israel are not included
Armageddon – The nations around Israel are said to be included.

9. Ezekiel 38-39 – The world acknowledges that the God of Israel destroyed the invaders and God of Israel is magnified in the eyes of the nations.
Armageddon – The world thinks the Antichrist is God and dares to come to battle against the God of Israel and His coming King that everyone on the earth has have been clearly told is coming at this point.

10. Ezekiel 38-39 – The purpose is to bring Israel to repentance so that they acknowledge their God and so God can display and magnify Himself in the eyes of all the nations.
Armageddon – The purpose is to deliver Israel from the Beast, bring judgment on the Beast and the False Prophet and all the Gentiles armies that follow them. They will not have Jesus  reign as King on earth so they will be destroyed by Jesus at His coming.

11. Ezekiel 38-39 – No prior signs are mentioned Israel is living securely
Armageddon – Occurs after wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The moon is turned blood red and the sun is darkened and people fear what they see coming upon the earth.
12.  Ezekiel 38-39 – the leader of the armies name is Gog, the name adds up to 12 in Hebrew Armageddon – The Beast is the leader his name adds up to 666.

Many people equate the two, or include the first as part of the second. But there are many differences that make these conclusions quite improbable.
First there is the time element involved. While no time is specified for the Battle of Gog and Magog, most evangelical, premillennial, pre-Tribulational scholars place it at or near the beginning of the Tribulation.
The Battle of Armageddon takes place at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 16:16; 19:11-21).

Second, the participants of the conflicts are different. In the Battle of Gog and Magog, a great power to the north (possibly Russia or one or more former “southern-tier” Islamic Soviet republics) will move against Israel, along with specific nations, mostly Islamic and in the Middle East or northern Africa (Ezekiel 38:1-6). The Battle of Armageddon will include representative armies from all nations of the world (Joel 3:2; Zechariah 14:2).

Third is the direction of the attack. Since the Battle of Gog and Magog is led by a great power to the north of Israel, and some of its allies are from that direction as well, the attack will come primarily from the north (Ezekiel 38:15). Since the Battle of Armageddon involves all the nations of the world, they will come from all four directions.

Fourth, there is the purpose for the attack. The Battle of Magog’s objective is “To take a spoil, and to take a prey” (Ezekiel 38:12). Perhaps some of the attackers, several of which are virtually landlocked, will seek a warm-water port in Israel. Others may seek some of Israel’s mineral deposits, such as are purported to be in the Dead Sea. At Armageddon, the intent is to totally eliminate Israel once and for all (Zechariah 12:2-3) and later, to oppose Christ Himself who returns to fight on behalf of Israel (Revelation 19:19).

Fifth, the leaders of the attack are also different. At Gog and Magog, the leader will be Russia or another former Soviet republic (Ezekiel 38:3). At Armageddon, it will be the Antichrist, who, by that time, will be the undisputed world leader (Revelation 19:19).

Finally, the casualties will be disposed of differently. At Gog and Magog, the dead will be buried (Ezekiel 39:12-15). At Armageddon, the dead will be left on the field of battle, to become food for birds of prey (Revelation 19:17-21).

However, despite all of these differences, we should point out one similarity, and that is the outcome. In both cases, God will win and will gain victory on behalf of His people, Israel. After the great victory at Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 39:1-7), one would think that the unregenerate world would get the message. But only a few years later, on an even larger scale, the world will again gather its forces against Israel and against the Lord at Armageddon. The old adage will be proven again: the one thing people learn from history, is that they don’t learn from history.


Posted by rjlo at 2:41 PM EDT
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ARE WE IN THE BEGINING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION?
SOME WRITE THAT THE FIRST SEAL IN REVELATION CHAPTER 6 HAS BEEN OPENED.

NO WE ARE NOT IN THE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.  BECAUSE THE CHURCH OF THE REDEEMED IS STILL HERE - “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7
                         AND
THE CHURCH DOES NOT APPEAR IN REVELATION AFTER CHAPTER 4. “AFTER this I looked (represents the time after the Churches, or in other words after the Rapture), and, behold, a door was opened in Heaven (gives John the ability to see what is taking place there): and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me (is actually the Voice of Jesus, harking back to Rev. 1:10); which said, Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter (after the Rapture of the Church).


THE NET IS FULL OF ARTICLES AND BOOKS BY WRITERS THAT WATCH THE CURRENT HEADLINES AND TRY TO MATCH THEM WITH SCRIPTURE.  THEY TALK ABOUT THREE FUTURE WARS.

1 - A yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy in the form of a petition to God found in Psalm 83
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head.  They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones.  They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah”
    I HAVE A HARD TIME BELIEVING THIS IS A FUTURE WAR, I BELIEVE IT IS just A PRAYER BY ASAPH  FOR GOD TO JUDGE THE ENIMIES OF ISRAEL, but who says I am the final authority on this.


THE FIRST RESURECTION/RAPTURE IS THE NEXT GREAT EVENT AND IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME.

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”  Matthew 24:27

Revelation 20:4-6: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Though not explicitly called “the first resurrection” in these passages, here are two other passages that speak of the event referred to as the rapture:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)

Even before the rapture, God can come for any one of us at any time:

 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”  (Matthew 24:42, 44)

2  - THE WAR OF GOG/MAYGOG

3 -  ARMAGEDDON

I DO NOT BELIEVE AS I ONCE DID THAT THESE TWO EVENTS ARE ONE AND THE SAME. 
Differences between the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the battle of Armageddon (Har Megiddo):

1. Ezekiel 38-39 – God puts hooks in the jaws of Gog (probably a demon king possessing a Russian leader) to bring him down from the North against the land of Israel to take a spoil.
Armageddon – Demons come out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet and they deceive the kings of the earth and lead all nations to come against Jerusalem to kill all Jews and oppose Jesus at his coming (Zec 12 – 14; Rev 16:14 ; Joel 3:1) .
The nations of Ezekiel 38:1-6 are:
The Nations of Ezekiel 38: 1­ 6


The Ancient Nations                    The Modern Nations

The land of Magog                       Russia
Meshech and Tubal                      Somewhere in Russia
Persia                                             Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan 
Gomer                                            Eastern Europe
Togarmah                                       Southeastern Europe – Turkey
“Many peoples with thee”            Various other nations allied to Russia
                                                                                                       
2. Ezekiel 38-39 – Fire and earthquakes fall on the army. The weapons are knocked out of their hands. The bones of the army are buried after 7 months at a specific location by trained professionals.

Armageddon – The flesh of the armies that come against Israel are dissolved and slain from the sword of the mouth of Jesus. There is no mention of any burial of the bones.

3. Ezekiel 38-39 – The army falls on the northern mountains of Israel they never reach Jerusalem.—–
Armageddon – The army falls in the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2) and blood runs up to the horses bridles the length of Israel (Rev 14:20).

4. Ezekiel 38-39 – Occurs when Israel is living securely in peace and safety with none to make them afraid.
Armageddon – Occurs at the end of the tribulation when Israel has already fled to the mountains of Jordan for protection from the Antichrist.

5. Ezekiel 38-39 – Some nations aligned with the West protest the invasion and obviously are not involved.
Armageddon – All nations are involved.

6. Ezekiel 38-39 – No mention of a religious or spiritual figures it just mentions Gog, men and nations.
Armageddon – Occurs after Satan is cast out of heaven unto the earth and the incarnated Beast Antichrist and his False prophet visibly reign upon earth.

7. Ezekiel 38-39 – 1/6 of the army survives and is driven north into Russia.
Armageddon – The whole army is destroyed.

8. Ezekiel 38-39 – The nations immediately surrounding Israel are not included
Armageddon – The nations around Israel are said to be included.

9. Ezekiel 38-39 – The world acknowledges that the God of Israel destroyed the invaders and God of Israel is magnified in the eyes of the nations.
Armageddon – The world thinks the Antichrist is God and dares to come to battle against the God of Israel and His coming King that everyone on the earth has have been clearly told is coming at this point.

10. Ezekiel 38-39 – The purpose is to bring Israel to repentance so that they acknowledge their God and so God can display and magnify Himself in the eyes of all the nations.
Armageddon – The purpose is to deliver Israel from the Beast, bring judgment on the Beast and the False Prophet and all the Gentiles armies that follow them. They will not have Jesus  reign as King on earth so they will be destroyed by Jesus at His coming.

11. Ezekiel 38-39 – No prior signs are mentioned Israel is living securely
Armageddon – Occurs after wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The moon is turned blood red and the sun is darkened and people fear what they see coming upon the earth.
12.  Ezekiel 38-39 – the leader of the armies name is Gog, the name adds up to 12 in Hebrew Armageddon – The Beast is the leader his name adds up to 666.

Many people equate the two, or include the first as part of the second. But there are many differences that make these conclusions quite improbable.
First there is the time element involved. While no time is specified for the Battle of Gog and Magog, most evangelical, premillennial, pre-Tribulational scholars place it at or near the beginning of the Tribulation.
The Battle of Armageddon takes place at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 16:16; 19:11-21).

Second, the participants of the conflicts are different. In the Battle of Gog and Magog, a great power to the north (possibly Russia or one or more former “southern-tier” Islamic Soviet republics) will move against Israel, along with specific nations, mostly Islamic and in the Middle East or northern Africa (Ezekiel 38:1-6). The Battle of Armageddon will include representative armies from all nations of the world (Joel 3:2; Zechariah 14:2).

Third is the direction of the attack. Since the Battle of Gog and Magog is led by a great power to the north of Israel, and some of its allies are from that direction as well, the attack will come primarily from the north (Ezekiel 38:15). Since the Battle of Armageddon involves all the nations of the world, they will come from all four directions.

Fourth, there is the purpose for the attack. The Battle of Magog’s objective is “To take a spoil, and to take a prey” (Ezekiel 38:12). Perhaps some of the attackers, several of which are virtually landlocked, will seek a warm-water port in Israel. Others may seek some of Israel’s mineral deposits, such as are purported to be in the Dead Sea. At Armageddon, the intent is to totally eliminate Israel once and for all (Zechariah 12:2-3) and later, to oppose Christ Himself who returns to fight on behalf of Israel (Revelation 19:19).

Fifth, the leaders of the attack are also different. At Gog and Magog, the leader will be Russia or another former Soviet republic (Ezekiel 38:3). At Armageddon, it will be the Antichrist, who, by that time, will be the undisputed world leader (Revelation 19:19).

Finally, the casualties will be disposed of differently. At Gog and Magog, the dead will be buried (Ezekiel 39:12-15). At Armageddon, the dead will be left on the field of battle, to become food for birds of prey (Revelation 19:17-21).

However, despite all of these differences, we should point out one similarity, and that is the outcome. In both cases, God will win and will gain victory on behalf of His people, Israel. After the great victory at Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 39:1-7), one would think that the unregenerate world would get the message. But only a few years later, on an even larger scale, the world will again gather its forces against Israel and against the Lord at Armageddon. The old adage will be proven again: the one thing people learn from history, is that they don’t learn from history.


Posted by rjlo at 2:40 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

 

 

THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB

A MARRIAGE WILL TAKE PLACE. THE CHURCH (TRUE BELIVERS), 'THE BRIDE OF CHRIST' AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL BE OFICCIALLY MARRIED IN HEAVEN. AT THAT TIME WHEN THE EARTH IS GOING THROUGH THE LAST PHASES OF TRIBULATION, BABALOYN HAD JUST FALLEN (REVELATION 18).

IT IS AFTER THE RAPTURE (1ST RESURRECTION) AND FOLLOWS THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST WHERE THE SAINTS WILL BE REWARDED FOR THEIR FAITHFUL SERVICE. (1 COR. 10-15; 2 COR. 5:10)

THE CHURCH WILL ENJOY A HEAVENLY WEDDING AND THEN A FIEST.

THE EVENT WILL LAST FOR ONE YEAR THEN THE BATTLE OF ARMEGEDON AND THE THE DRAGON, THAT OLD SERPENT, WHICH IS THE DEVIL, AND SATAN WILL BE BOUND FOR A THOUSAND YEARS.

NOW WHERE DOES IT SAY THE SUPPER WOULD LAST ONE YEAR. A TYPE IS FOUND IN THE OLD TESTIMENT; “When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.” (Deuteronomy 24:5) THE SAINTS ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.

THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB IS A THEME THAT THE LORD JESUS TALKED ABOUT, IN MANY OF HIS STORIES AND PARABLES. HE SPOKE OF MARRIAGE SUPPERS, THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS (MATTHEW 25) HE SPOKE OF THE PREPERATION FOR THE COMING BRIDEGROOM. IN MATTHEW 22:1-14 HE APOKE OF THE PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE OF THE KING'S SON. AT THE FESTIVAL OCASSION THE KING SENT OUT SERVANTS TO INVITE PEOPLE TO THE BLESSED EVENT.
THE BRIDEGROOM IS THE “KINGS SON” OF MATTHERW 22;1-14, THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF.
IN JOHN 3:29 LONG AFTER JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD INTRIDUCED JESUS AS “THE LAMB OF GOD” WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD (JOHN 1:29).
John was asked to identify himself. He made it clear that he was not the Christ; in John 3 v.29 he referred to Christ as "the bridegroom," to himself as "the friend who attends the bridegroom [and who] waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice." Clearly Christ is here referred to as the Bridegroom as well at the Lamb. Thus, Christ is the Bridegroom at the marriage of the Lamb.

THE BRIDE is found in Ephesians 5 v.32. The Apostle Paul, speaking to husbands and wives of their relationship together, likens the husband to Christ and the wife to the Church., He sums it up in v.32 by saying, "This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church," clearly indicating that the perfect picture of the relationship between the Lord Jesus and His Church is that of a bride and a bridegroom.
Therefore when a person accepts Jesus Christ, he or she becomes a member of the Church, the true invisible Church, and is automatically espoused or engaged to Christ. This engagement will be finalized at the marriage of the Lamb.

PLACE YOUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED AND YOU WILL PARTICIPATE IN THIS GREAT EVENT.

(REVELATION 20:1-6)
“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

(Revelation 19:1-20)

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


Posted by rjlo at 7:44 AM EDT
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Monday, 1 June 2015

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Posted by rjlo at 9:27 AM EDT
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Sunday, 31 May 2015

 

 

Matthew 5:1 - 5:48

 

 

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

 

2 Matthew Chapter 5

 

3 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

4 Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

5 Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 

6 Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

7 Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

8 Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

9 Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

10 Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

 

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

 

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

 

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

 

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

 

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

 

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

 

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

 

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

 

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

 

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

 

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

 

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

 

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

 

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also.

 

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

 

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

 

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?

 

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 



 

The word Beatitude is not found in your Bible. It simply means blessing and comes from the Latin word Blessed. There is a definite progression in theses verses. They show how the person begins with his or her own sense of sin, and finally becomes a child of God and the results that then follow. Note that these verses deal with attitudes - what we think in our heart, our outlook on life. Beatitudes – the The word Beatitude is not found in your Bible. It simply means blessing and comes from the Latin word Blessed. There is a definite progression in theses verses. They show how the person begins with his or her own sense of sin, and finally becomes a child of God and the results that then follow. Note that these verses deal with attitudes - what we think in our heart, our outlook on life. Beatitudes - the attitudes that ought to be in our lives if we are true Christians. We are on this account, to exhibit them to others. The conclusion is that we shall be able to do this only! as our lives are yielded to our Lord.

 






 

"Poor in Spirit" (V.3)

We must be empty before we can be full. The opposite of this self-sufficiency. Our sufficiency is not of ourselves (
2 Corinthians 3:5) The world promotes self-sufficiency, yet God dwells with the person whose hart is broken (Isaiah. 57:15). This does not mean false humility or cowardice; it means a proper attitude towards self, realizing how weak and sinful we are apart from Christ. Compare the two men in  Luke 18:9-14.

"Mourn" (V.4)
This is sincere sorrow for sin! our sin, and the sins of others. How careless we are about sin! We excuse it, yet god hates it, and sin breaks Gods heart. Beware of the sorrow of this world (
2 Corinthians. 7:8-10). Peter mourned with Godly sorrow and was forgiven; Judas had remorse - the sorrow of this world - and he took his life.

"Meek" (V.5)

Meekness is not weakness! Jesus was meek (
Matthew 11:29), yet he drove the changers from the temple. Moses was meek (Numbers 12:3), yet he judged sinners and even faced Aaron with his sin. Meekness means not asserting my own rights, but living for the glory of God. Christians are to show meekness (Ephesians. 4:1-2; Titus 3:2). We are prone to be self-willed.

"Hunger And Thirst" (V.6)

A true Christian has an appetite for spiritual things. Ask people what they desire and you will know what they are like.

"Merciful" (V.7)

This is not legalism, but mearly the working of the Biblical principal of sowing and reaping. If we show mercy, because Christ has been merciful to us, then mercy will come back to us (
Luke 16:1-13; James 2:13; Proverbs 11:17). We do not earn mercy, but we must have hearts prepared to receive it.

"Pure In Heart" (V.8)

Not sinlessness (
1 John 1:8) but the truth within (Psalms 51:6). It means a single heart, not divided between God and the world.

"Peacemakers" (V.9)

Titus 3:3  describes this world at war, Christians have the Gospel of peace on their feet (Ephesians. 6:1-5), so that wherever they go, they bring peace, This is not "Peace at any price", for holiness is more important than peace based on sin (James 3:7-13; Heb. 12:14). Compromise is not peace, but Christians should not be contentious as they contend for the faith.

"Persecuted" (V.10 - 11)

Not that we should be accused "Falsely". We should never be guilty of deliberately asking for persecution. If we live Godly lives, suffering will come! notice the rewards: We are in the same company as Christ and the Prophets, and we shall be rewarded in Heaven. 
2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:15

"Rejoice" (V.12)

"Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in Heaven; for so they persecuted the Prophets who were before you".
The world will go on persecuting those who trust, and live their lives for Christ. Men do not like to be reminded, or convicted of their sins, all those who bring the light of Christ into the world do just that. And until Christ returns to judge the world, persecution will follow those who truly believe.

"Closing Thoughts"

Here in the USA we know nothing of persecution, so far! we have been very fortunate. And instead of rejoicing we cry and moan when some small objection, or obstacle falls in out path - as if it shouldn't be. While in other countries of the world, men and woman live under oppressive, and exceedingly evil governments. These people lay down their lives daily because of their faith, and testimony for Christ.
They well know, and understand what persecution is, and what the penalty for their faith could very likely be. But yet they rejoice, and glory in Christ. Should we not be exceedingly ashamed when we moan and cry over small matters, in view of what these folks suffer, "I think so". Please remember them in your prayers, no matter what the nation, language, or color of their skin, they are still your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

 


Posted by rjlo at 9:37 AM EDT
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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Bob Furlin's photo.

Why is the 2nd day of creation not called good?

BECAUSE THERE ARE AT LEAST THREE HEAVENS talked about in the Scriptures.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”

The first heaven talked about here is the atmosphere, air, or clouds.
“The clouds poured out water; The skies gave forth a sound; our arrows flashed here and there. The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightning's lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.” (Psalm 77:17-18)

“Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind;” (Psalm 104:2-3)
The Earth's atmosphere is about 300 miles (480 km) thick, but most of the atmosphere (about 80%) is within 10 miles (16 km) of the surface of the Earth. There is no exact place where the atmosphere ends; it just gets thinner and thinner, until it merges with outer space.

The reason God did not call the atmosphere (air) GOOD it possibly was because as soon as the firmament was established. The disembodied spirits of the pre-Adamic world along with Lucifer (the Devil) “the prince and power of the Air” (Ephesians 2:2) immediately occupied that space.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) the Darby translation says - “because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against principalities, against authorities, against the universal lords of this darkness, against spiritual [power] of wickedness in the heavenlies.”

Praise God Jesus Christ and Him crucified has defeated Satan “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven (third heaven) with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
Second heaven or the starry place “For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” (Isaiah 13:10; “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:” (Isaiah 14:13)

Third Heaven where God dwells “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 1I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”(Isaiah 14:12-14); I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless the LORD, ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalm 103:19-22)

SO: The FIRST heaven: This refers to the atmosphere. For instance, in Genesis 1:20, the birds fly in the “expanse of the heavens.”
The SECOND heaven: This refers to outer space. For instance, in Genesis 1:17, God placed the stars and planets in the heavens.
The THIRD heaven: This refers to the dwelling place of God beyond the universe. Solomon told God, “Heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You” (1 Kings 8:27). Since God is beyond the universe, he must dwell in some spiritual place outside of it. This must be what Paul had in mind by calling this place the “third heaven.” While Jewish interpreters during the time of Paul split the heavens into five, seven, and even ten different divisions, The Apostle Paul kept it simple. He calls this place the “third heaven” to differentiate it from the atmosphere (the first heaven) and from outer space (the second heaven).

 

 


Posted by rjlo at 11:06 AM EDT
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Monday, 25 May 2015

 

 

 IN LIGHT OF CURRENT EVENTS IN THE WORLD TODAY AND ESPECIALLY LAST FRIDAY IN GENESIS 2:18 THE TWO WORDS "HELP MEET" CAUGHT MY ATTENTION.

I ALWAYS READ THIS AS HELP MATE, SO I DID A LITTLE WORD STUDY AND FOUND OUT THAT HELP MEET IS COMPOSED OF TWO HEBREW WORDS “EZER” AND “K'ENEGDO”

EZER IS TRANSLATED AS – “TO SAVE”, “TO RESCUE”, “TO BE STRONG”, AND “SAVIOR”.

...

THE WORD K'ENEGDO APPEARS ONLY ONCE IN THE BIBLE AND THAT IS IN GENESIS 2:18. TANSLATED IT MEANS “MEET FOR”, “FIT FOR”, “AGAINST”, AND “IN FRONT OF”, OR “OPPOSITE”.

ONE WRITER PUT IT THIS WAY THAT “HELP MEET” MEANS, “THAT EVE WAS NOT DESIGNED TO BE EXACTLY LIKE ADAM BUT TO BE HIS MIRROR OPPOSITE. POSSESSING THE OTHER HALF OFTHE QUALITIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND ATTRIBUTES WHICH ADAM LACKED.”

THIS STUDY COULD GO ON AND WOULD SURLY BE AN INTERESTING SUBJECT IN A BIBLE STUDY CLASS. A STUDY OF THE HEBREW WORDS FOR GOD ESPECIALLY “El Shaddai” WOULD SURLY COME IN PLAY IN THIS STUDY.

MY CONCLUSION AS FAR AS IT WENT IS THAT GOD INTENED FOR IT TO BE A MAN AND A WOMAN TO FORM A UNION TWO MIRROR OPPOSITES NO OTHER UNION CAN PRODUCE “LIFE”.

 

                    The Real Meaning of the Term "Help Meet"


One of the most frequently misunderstood terms in the bible is the term "help meet" in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 2:18 it says, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

The common way in which the term "help meet" is interpreted is to mean that God gave Adam a helper who was worthy of him. Eve, unlike the other beasts of the earth, was "appropriate for" or "worthy of him". This understanding of the term "help meet"is not really correct. The term, in it's original Hebrew, means something much more profound and powerful. When we really understand what God was saying to Adam we come to see Eve's role and the role of women on this earth in a much different light.

In Hebrew the two words that "help meet" are derived from are the words "ezer" and the word 'k’enegdo".
Ezer which is commonly translated as "help" is really a rich word with a much deeper meaning. In her book Eve and the Choice Made in Eden, Beverly Campbell explains,

“According to biblical scholar David Freedman, the Hebrew word translated thee into English as “help” is ezer. This word is a combination of two roots, one meaning “to rescue”, “to save,” and the other meaning “to be strong.” Just as the roots merged into one word, so did their meanings. At first ezer meant either “to save” or “to be strong,” but in time, said Freedman, ezer “ was always interpreted as ‘to help’ a mixture of both nuances.”

Diana Webb in her book Forgotten Women of God also clarifies this word by explaining,

"The noun ezer occurs 21 times in the Hebrew Bible. In eight of these instances the word means “savior”. These examples are easy to identify because they are associated with other expressions of deliverance or saving. Elsewhere in the Bible, the root ezer means “strength.... the word is most frequently used to describe how God is an ezer to man. "

For example the word "ebenezer" in 1 Samuel 7:12 is used to describe the power of God's deliverance. "Eben" means rock and "ezer" means "help" or "salvation". Ebenezer therefore means "rock of help" or "rock of salvation". The root "ezer" is the same word that God used to describe to Adam who Eve was. She was not intended to be just his helper or his companion, rather she was intended to be his savior, his deliverer.

The other part of the term "help meet" which is commonly translated as "meet for" or "fit for" is the word "k’enegdo". It is hard to know exactly what the word k’enegdo means because it only appears once in the entire Bible. Yet Diana Webb explained that,

"Neged, a related word which means “against”, was one of the first words I learned in Hebrew. I thought it was very strange that God would create a companion for Adam that was “against” him! Later, I learned that kenegdo could also mean “in front of” or “opposite.” This still didn’t help much. Finally I heard it explained as being “exactly corresponding to,” like when you look at yourself in a mirror."

Eve was not designed to be exactly like Adam. She was designed to be his mirror opposite, possessing the other half of the qualities, responsibilities, and attributes which he lacked. Just like Adam and Eve's sexual organs were physically mirror opposites (one being internal and the other external) so were their their divine stewardship designed to be opposite but fit together perfectly to create life. Eve was Adam's complete spiritual equal, endowed with a saving power that was opposite from his.

I've pondered a lot about this clarification of Eve's role and how it is that she has been given a saving power equal but opposite to Adam's saving power. As I've thought about it I realized that while women do much to help and assist men in their stewardship they have been given a stewardship that is uniquely theirs and which is every bit as important as men's stewardship.

Women are "saviors" to men by the fact that they give them life and nurture them towards the light of Christ. By conceiving, creating and bearing mortal bodies women make it possible for God's children to start on their mortal journey and have the opportunity to become perfected. Without women there would be no gateway into this world and no opportunity for progress or exaltation. In addition, by being willing to sacrifice ( their very lives if necessary) to bring children into this world women demonstrate the true meaning of charity. From the very first breath a child takes he or she has been the recipient of charity and unconditional love. This is a powerful gift that a mother gives her child and it will be her love which will first reminded the child of God and points him or her towards Christ. Each woman, regardless of her ability to give birth, is a savior to mankind when she loves men and nurtures a child closer to Christ. (I've mentioned more about this concept in my post The Importance of Birth and Infertility and the Scriptural Promise).

Even Adam, whose physical body was not created by a daughter of Eve, was saved and delivered by a woman. For it was through a woman, Mary, that Jesus Christ came to conquer the bonds of death and sin and atoned for Adam's transgression. Without a woman to bear the body of Christ mankind would have been lost and fallen forever and Adam's work and purpose on the earth would have been meaningless. Mary was the gateway that made Christ's work possible and her nurturing the catalyst for his success. Even though Eve didn't give physical life to Adam she literally saved him from spiritual death by opening the way for the Savior and Redeemer to come into the world. Salvation, in the form of Christ, literally came to the earth through a woman.

This perspective on Eve is so powerful for me. It is so different from what we normally hear about her and about women's roles in the world. I love what Beverly Campbell concluded her remarks about the term "help meet" with. She said,

"Thus, it seems that through imprecise translation, our understanding of the powerful words used originally to describe Eve’s role have been diminished. As a result, our understanding or Mother Eve has also been diminished. Suppose we had all, male and female alike, been taught to understand Genesis 2:18 as something like the following, “It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a companion of strength and power who has a saving power and is equal with him.”"

I know that understanding the real meaning of the term "help meet" earlier in my life would have made a huge difference in how I understood my role and mission as a woman. I think that if I had caught the vision of who we are as women and what a marvelous stewardship the Lord has given us I wouldn't have wasted so many years and so much energy being angry that I couldn't have a man's stewardship. I realize now that true power come when men and women realize that they have been blessed with different gifts, abilities and stewardship's and truly work together as equal partners to help each other be successful. The basic truth is that men and women need each other and it is only when they are united, body, soul and mind, that God's work moves forth. We are nothing without each other and nothing without Christ.

“It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him a companion of strength and power who has a saving power and is equal with him.”

How different our world would be if men and women really understood that!
 
http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/2010/11/real-meaning-of-term-help-meet.html 

Posted by rjlo at 3:05 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 May 2015 3:10 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

 

HAVE WE ENTERED INTO THE EARLY PART OF THE TRIBULAION?

 

 

Recently this question is being asked by many ministries thru-out the nation and world. Naturally the every day bad news headlines trigger such speculation.

There are many difference in the theology of Christians in the country and worldwide There are many doctrines associated with denominations and some of them are a uniting force and some cause separation. There is one doctrinal teaching with many opinions and it is 'the timing of Christ's return for the saints in relation to the seven year tribulation' .

I believe and know that if one is in Christ and has their faith in the shed blood of Jesus then be of good cheer for your Lord has not destined you for his wrath. We will be in the first resurrection (Raptured) and with our Lord taking part in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb during this time period.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (Thessalonians 4:16)

The Church is clearly mentioned and addressed in the book of Revelation prior to the tribulation (chapter 1-3). Jesus addresses the then current churches in Asia specifically, having them representative of all the churches throughout the ages. Immediately the next chapter (4) switches to the a door standing open a voice like a trumpet and the lord saying to John the apostle “ come up here “and I will show you things which must take place after this. The message of Jesus to the Philadelphia church, who are the faithful and true remnant in the last days will be kept from the hour of trial coming upon the whole earth. He said, ' and I have set before you an open door which no man can shut.” Now this door is opened in Heaven, and the voice is as a trumpet, “Come up here. “ This appears to be the Rapture of the Church in the Book of Revelation or at least in type. The trumpet in I Corinthians 15:52 also gives the last call to the Church also saying, “Come up here.” I’m not saying this is definitely it, but very well could be.

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” ( I Corinthians 15:52)

The anti-christ will only be revealed or made known after the Rapture of the Church. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 tells of the Church being taken out of the world or Raptured.

"And now ye know what withholds (this speaks of the Church) that he (the Antichrist) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (the Church) who now letteth will let, until he (the Church) be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”

One may get confused by referring to the Church as a he but the True Church is referred to “the Body of Christ” in Romans 12:5, “one body” in 1 Corinthians 10:17, “the body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 12:27.

Some say that the he is referring to the Holy Spirit but if the Holy Spirit is taken out who is it that convicts of sin and saves during the tribulation? There are those that are saved during that time consider the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and 14.

The true church could not be present through the persecutions of the seventieth week and be lukewarm. The true church seems to be concluded with the Philadelphia church, which is removed from the earth before the tribulation begins according to the promise of Revelation 3:10.The false church which is left behind will become part of the one world religious system she is separated by the rapture.

1 Thess.1:9 mentions the wrath to come in the future. The believers are delivered from the future wrath against the world, just as in Noah's day.

Jesus promises assurance to the church of Revelation 3:10: “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth. This testing will include “all power” and lying signs, wonders and miracles to deceive all who dwell on the earth."

After the tribulation runs its course the Church is mentioned again in chapters 19-22. But through chapters 6-18, which describe the tribulation period, the Church is not even mentioned once, as if she does not any longer exist. This begs an answer of where is the Church? Since in the chapters dealing with events prior to and after the tribulation she is mentioned and addressed. Outside the book of Revelation the scripture shows that any passage dealing with the tribulation the church is not mentioned. Those who find the church as a participant in the tribulation can only argue from silence. The book of Revelation shows Israel and the saints outside the church as participants in the judgments on earth. it is impossible for anyone to find a tribulation passage and to show that the church is a present along with Israel. Nowhere does the Book of Revelation speak about any divine preservation for the Church. The only divine preservation is for Israel and the 144,000 who are sealed with a mission. The saints mentioned are not church saints.

Praise God – it is Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by rjlo at 9:53 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2015 2:41 PM EDT
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Monday, 18 May 2015

 

 

 

CREATION

 

 

Genisis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” this verse has caused much debate about the subject over the ages.

 

Faith is the answer - “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

 

It takes faith to believe in any 'scientific theory or hypothesis'. When studying electronics and its basics our teacher told us that we would just have to believe the theory of 'electron flow and current flow'. He said if we would have to accdept it by faith as he could not fully explain the process. He said that if we did not accept it an keep questining that we would have problems throuout our training. He proved to be right as those who kept questing all along the way either failed or received low scores.

 

This can also apply to Genesis 1:1 because it is God's first and final reply to the question mankind has asked for ages concerning the origin of the Universe in the dateless past. If one can accept the First verse of the Bible, they will have no problem believing the rest of the Book!

 

 

 

The Creation

 

By

 

James Weldon Johnson

 


 

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely--
I'll make me a world.
Blacker than a hundred midnights

 

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,

 

Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That's good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That's good!

Then God himself stepped down--
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas--
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed--
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled--
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That's good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I'm lonely still.

Then God sat down--
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I'll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen.Amen.

 


 


 

REV. C.H. Spurgeon wrote - “In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion.”

 

 "The power of the Holy Ghost."—Romans 15:13.

 

POWER is the special and peculiar prerogative of God, and God alone. "Twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God." God is God; and power belongeth to him. If he delegates a portion of it to his creatures, yet still it is his power. The sun, although he is "like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race," yet has no power to perform his motions except as God directs him. The stars, although they travel in their orbits, and none could stay them, yet have neither might nor force, except that which God daily infuses into them. The tall archangel, near his throne, who outshines a comet in its blaze, though he is one of those who excel in strength, and hearken to the voice of the commands of God, yet has no might except that which his Maker gives to him. As for Leviathan, who so maketh the sea to boil like a pot, that one would think the deep were hoary; as for Behemoth, who drinketh up Jordan at a draught, and boasteth that he can snuff up rivers; as for those majestic creatures that are found on earth, they owe their strength to him who fashioned their bones of steel, and made their sinews of brass. And when we think of man, if he has might or power, it is so small and insignificant, that we can scarcely call it such; yea, when it is at its greatest—when he sways his sceptre, when he commands hosts, when he rules nations—still the power belongeth unto God; and it is true, "Twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God." This exclusive prerogative of God, is to be found in each of the three persons of the glorious Trinity. The Father hath power; for by his word were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them; by his strength all things stand, and through him they fulfil their destiny. The Son hath power; for, like his Father, he is the Creator of all things; "Without him was not anything made that was made," and "by him all things consist." And the Holy Spirit hath power. It is concerning the power of the Holy Ghost that I shall speak this morning; and may you have a practical exemplification of that attribute in your own hearts, when you shall feel that the influence of the Holy Ghost is being poured out upon me, so that I am speaking the words of the living God to your souls, and bestowed upon you when you are feeling the effects of it in your own spirits.
We shall look at the power of the Holy Ghost in three ways this morning. First, the outward and visible displays of it; second, the inward and spiritual manifestations of it; and third, the future and expected works thereof. The power of the Spirit will thus, I trust, be made clearly present to your souls.
I. First, then, we are to view the power of the Spirit in the OUTWARD AND VISIBLE DISPLAYS OF IT. The power of the Sprit has not been dormant; it has exerted itself. Much has been done by the Spirit of God already; more than could have been accomplished by any being except the Infinite, Eternal, Almighty Jehovah, of whom the Holy Spirit is one person. There are four works which are the outward and manifest signs of the power of the Spirit; creation works; resurrection works; works of attestation, or of witness; and works of grace. Of each of these works I shall speak very briefly.
1. First, the Spirit has manifested the omnipotence of his power in creation works; for though not very frequently in Scripture, yet sometimes creation is ascribed to the Holy Ghost, as well as to the Father and the Son. The creation of the heavens above us, is said to be the work of God's Spirit. This you will see at once by referring to the sacred Scriptures, Job 26, 13th verse, "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." All the stars of heaven are said to have been placed aloft by the Spirit, and one particular constellation called the "crooked serpent," is specially pointed out as his handiwork. He looseth the bands of Orion; he bindeth the sweet influences of the Pleiades, and binds Arcturus with his suns. He made all those stars that shine in heaven. The heavens were garnished by his hands, and he formed the crooked serpent by his might. So, also, in those continued acts of creation which are still performed in the world; as the bringing forth of man and animals, their birth and generation. These are ascribed also to the Holy Ghost. If you look at the 104th Psalm, at the 29th verse you will read, "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth." So that the creation of every man is the work of the Spirit; and the creation of all life, and all flesh-existence in this world, is as much to be ascribed to the power of the Spirit, as the first garnishing of the heavens, or the fashioning of the crooked serpent. But if you look in the first chapter of Genesis, you will there see more particularly set forth that peculiar operation of power upon the universe which was put forth by the Holy Spirit; you will then discover what was his special work. In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath, and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder. The only name you could give to the world, then, was that it was a chaotic mass of matter; what it should be, you could not guess or define. It was entirely "without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." The Spirit came, and stretching his broad wings, bade the darkness disperse, and as he moved over it, all the different portions of matter came into their places, and it was no longer "without form, and void;" but became round, like its sister planets, and moved, singing the high praises of God—not discordantly, as it had done before, but as one great note in the vast scale of creation. Milton very beautifully describes this work of the Spirit, in thus bringing order out of confusion, when the King of Glory, in his powerful Word and Spirit, came to create new worlds:—

 

"On heavenly ground they stood; and from the shore
They viewed the vast, immeasurable abyss,
Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,
Up from the bottom turned by furious winds
And surging waves, as mountains, to assault
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole.

 

"Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou deep, peace,
Said then the Omnific Word; your discord end.
Then on the watery calm,
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid mass."

 


This you see, then, is the power of the Spirit. Could we have seen that earth all in confusion, we should have said, "Who can make a world out of this?" The answer would have been, "The power of the Spirit can do it. By the simple spreading of his dove-like wings, he can make all the things come together. Upon that there shall be order where there was naught but confusion." Nor is this all the power of the Spirit. We have seen some of his works in creation. But there was one particular instance of creation in which the Holy Spirit was more especially concerned; viz., the formation of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a woman, and made in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet, the power that begat him was entirely in God the Holy Spirit—as the Scriptures express it, "The Holy One of Israel shall overshadow thee." He was begotten, as the Apostles' Creed says, begotten of the Holy Ghost. "That holy thing which is born of thee shall be called the Son of the Highest." The corporeal frame of the Lord Jesus Christ was a master-piece of the Holy Spirit. I suppose his body to have excelled all others in beauty; to have been like that of the first man, the very pattern of what the body is to be in heaven, when it shall shine forth in all its glory. That fabric, in all its beauty and perfection, was modeled by the Spirit. "In his book were all the members written, when as yet there were none of them." He fashioned and formed him; and here again we have another instance of the creative energy of the Spirit.
2. A second manifestation of the Holy Spirit's power is to be found in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. If ye have ever studied this subject, ye have perhaps been rather perplexed to find that sometimes the resurrection of Christ is ascribed to himself. By his own power and godhead he could not be held by the bond of death, but as he willingly gave up his life he had power to take it up again. In another portion of Scripture, you find it ascribed to God the Father: "He raised him up from the dead:" "Him hath God the Father exalted." And many other passages of similar import. But, again, it is said in Scripture that Jesus Christ was raised by the Holy Spirit. Now, all these things were true. He was raised by the Father Because the Father said, "Loose the prisoner—let him go. Justice is satisfied. My law requires no more satisfaction—vengeance has had its due—let him go." Here he gave an official message which delivered Jesus from the grave. He was raised by his own majesty and power, because he had a right to come out; and he felt he had, and therefore "burst the bonds of death: he could be no longer holden of them." But he was raised by the Spirit as to that energy which his mortal frame received, by the which it rose again from the grave after having lain there for three days and nights. If you want proofs of this you must open your Bibles again, 1 Peter 3:18. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit." And a further proof you may find in Romans 8:11—(I love sometimes to be textual, for I believe the great fault of Christians is that they do not search the Scriptures enough, and I will make them search them when they are here if they do not do so anywhere else.)—"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
The resurrection of Christ, then, was effected by the agency of the Spirit! And here we have a noble illustration of his omnipotence. Could you have stepped, as angels did, into the grave of Jesus, and seen his sleeping body, you would have found it cold as any other corpse. Lift up the hand; it falls by the side. Look at the eye; it is glazed. And there is a death-thrust which must have annihilated life. See his hands: the blood distills not from them. They are cold and motionless. Can that body live? Can it start up? Yes; and be an illustration of the might of the Spirit. For when the power of the Spirit came on him, as it was when it fell upon the dry bones of the valley, "he arose in the majesty of his divinity, and, bright and shining, astonished the watchmen so that they fled away; yea, he arose no more to die, but to live forever, King of kings and Prince of the kings of the earth."
3. The third of the works of the Holy Spirit, which have so wonderfully demonstrated his power, are attestation works. I mean by this—works of witnessing. When Jesus Christ went into the stream of baptism in the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and proclaimed him God's beloved son. That was what I style an attestation work. And when afterwards Jesus Christ raised the dead, when he healed the leper, when he spoke to diseases and they fled apace, when demons rushed in thousands from those who were possessed of them, it was done by the power of the Spirit. The Spirit dwelt in Jesus without measure, and by that power all those miracles were worked. These were attestation works. And when Jesus Christ was gone, you will remember that master attestation of the Spirit, when he came like a rushing mighty wind upon the assembled apostles, and cloven tongues sat upon them; and you will remember how he attested their ministry, by giving them to speak with tongues as he gave them utterance; and how, also, miraculous deeds were wrought by them, how they taught, how Peter raised Dorcas, how he breathed life into Enticus, how great deeds were wrought by the apostles as well as their Master—so that "mighty signs and wonders were done by the Holy Ghost, and many believed thereby." Who will doubt the power of the Holy Spirit after that? Ah! Those Socinians who deny the existence of the Holy Ghost and his absolute personality, what will they do when we get them on creation, resurrection, and attestation? They must rush in the very teeth of Scripture. But mark! It is a stone upon which if any man fall he shall be bruised; but if it fall upon him, as it will do if he resists it, it shall grind him to powder. The Holy Spirit has power omnipotent, even the power of God.
4. Once more, if we want another outward and visible sign of the power of the Spirit, we may look at the works of grace. Behold a city where a soothsayer hath the power—who has given out himself to be some great one, a Philip enters it and preaches the Word of God; straightway a Simon Magus loses his power and himself seeks for the power of the Spirit to be given to him, fancying it might be purchased with money. See, in modern times, a country where the inhabitants live in miserable wigwams, feeding on reptiles and the meanest creatures; observe them bowing down before their idols and worshiping their false gods, and so plunged in superstition, so degraded and debased, that it became a question whether they had souls or not; behold a Moffat go with the Word of God in his hand, hear him preach as the Spirit gives him utterance, and accompanies that Word with power. They cast aside their idols—they hate and abhor their former lusts; they build houses, wherein they dwell; they become clothed, and in their right mind. They break the bow, and cut the spear in sunder; the uncivilized become civilized; the savage becomes polite; he who knew nothing begins to read the Scriptures: thus out of the mouths of Hottentots, God attests the power of his mighty Spirit. Take a household in this city—and we could guide you to many such—the father is a drunkard; he has been the most desperate of characters; see him in his madness, and you might just as well meet an unchained tiger as meet such a man. He seems as if he could rend a man to pieces who should offend him. Mark his wife. She, too, has a spirit in her, and when he treats her ill she can resist him; many broils have been seen in that house. And often has the neighborhood been disturbed by the noise created there. As for the poor little children—see them in their rags and nakedness, poor untaught things. Untaught, did I say? They are taught and well taught in the devil's school, and are growing up to be the heirs of damnation. But some one whom God has blessed by his Spirit is guided to the house. He may be but an humble city missionary, perhaps, but he speaks to such a one: "Oh!" says he, "come and listen to the voice of God." Whether it is by his own agency, or a minister's preaching, the Word, which is quick and powerful, cuts to the sinner's heart. The tears run down his cheeks—such as had never been seen before. He shakes and quivers. The strong man bows down—the mighty man trembles—and those knees that never shook begin to knock together. That heart which never quailed before now begins to shake before the power of the Spirit. He sits down on an humble bench by the penitent; he lets his knees bend, whilst his lips utter a child's prayer; but, whilst a child's prayer, a prayer of a child of God. He becomes a changed character. Mark the reformation in his house! That wife of his becomes the decent matron. Those children are the credit of the house, and in due time they grow up like olive branches round his table, adorning his house like polished stones. Pass by the house—no noise or broils, but songs of Zion. See him—no drunken revelry; he has drained his last cup, and, now forswearing it, he comes to God and is his servant. Now, you will not hear at midnight the bacchanalian shout; but should there be a noise, it will be the sound of the solemn hymn of praise to God. And, now, is there not such a thing as the power of the Spirit? Yes! And those must have witnessed it, and seen it. I know a village, once perhaps the most profane in England—a village inundated by drunkenness and debauchery of the worst kind, where it was impossible almost for an honest traveler to stop in the public house without being annoyed by blasphemy; a place noted for incendiaries and robbers. One man, the ringleader of all, listened to the voice of God. That man's heart was broken. The whole gang came to hear the gospel preached, and they sat and seemed to reverence the preacher as if he were a God, and not a man. These men became changed and reformed; and every one who knows the place affirms that such a change had never been wrought but by the power of the Holy Ghost. Let the gospel be preached and the Spirit poured out, and you will see that it has such power to change the conscience, to ameliorate the conduct, to raise the debased, to chastise and to curb the wickedness of the race, that you must glory in it. I say, there is naught like the power of the Spirit. Only let that come, and, indeed, everything can be accomplished.
II. Now for the second point, THE INWARD AND SPIRITUAL POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. What I have already spoken of may be seen; what I am about to speak of must be felt, and no man will apprehend what I say with truth unless he has felt it. The other, even the infidel must confess; the other, the greatest blasphemer cannot deny, if he speaks the truth; but this is what the one will laugh at as enthusiasm, and what the other will say is but the invention of our fevered fancies. However, we have a more sure word of testimony than all that they may say. We have a witness within. We know it is the truth, and we are not afraid to speak of the inward spiritual power of the Holy Ghost. Let us notice two or three things wherein the inward and spiritual power of the Holy Ghost is very greatly to be seen and extolled.
1. First, in that the Holy Ghost has a power over men's hearts. Now, men's hearts are very hard to affect. If you want to get at them for any worldly object, you can do it. A cheating world can win man's heart; a little gold can win man's heart; a trump of fame and a little clamor of applause can win man's heart. But there is not a minister breathing that can win man's heart himself. He can win his ears and make them listen; he can win his eyes, and fix those eyes upon him; he can win the attention, but the heart is very slippery. Yes! The heart is a fish that troubles all gospel fishermen to hold. You may sometimes pull it almost all out of the water; but, slimy as an eel, it slippeth between your fingers, and you have not captured it after all. Many a man has fancied that he has caught the heart, but has been disappointed. It would take a strong hunter to overtake the hart on the mountains. It is too fleet for human foot to approach. The Spirit alone has power over man's heart. Do you every try your power on a heart? If any man thinks that a minister can convert the soul, I wish he would try. Let him go and be a Sabbath School teacher. He shall take his class, he shall have the best books that can be obtained, he shall have the best rules, he shall draw his lines of circumvallation about his spiritual Sebastopol, he shall take the best boy in his class, and if he is not tired in a week I shall be very much mistaken. Let him spend four or five Sabbaths in trying; but he will say, "the young fellow is incorrigible." Let him try another. And he will have to try another, and another and another before he will manage to convert one. He will soon find "it is not by might nor power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." Can a minister convert? Can he touch the heart? David said, "Your hearts are as fat as grease." Aye, that is quite true; and we cannot get through so much grease at all. Our sword cannot get at the heart, it is encased in so much fatness; it is harder than a nether millstone. Many a good old Jerusalem blade has been blunted against the hard heart. Many a piece of the true steel that God has put into the hand of his servants has had the edge turned by being set up against the sinner's heart. We cannot reach the soul, but the Holy Spirit can. "My beloved can put in his hand by the hole in the door, and my bowels will move for sin." He can give a sense of blood-bought pardon that shall dissolve a heart of stone. He can

 "Speak with that voice which wakes the dead
And bids the sinner rise;
And makes the guilty conscience dread
The death that never dies."

 


He can make Sinai's thunders audible; yea, and he can make the sweet whisperings of Calvary enter into the soul. He has power over the heart of man. And here is a glorious proof of the omnipotence of the Spirit that he has rule over the heart.
2. But if there is one thing more stubborn than the heart, it is the will. "My lord Will-be-will," as Bunyan calls him in his "Holy War," is a fellow who will not easily be bent. The will, especially in some men, is a very stubborn thing; and in all men, if the will is once stirred up to opposition, there is nothing can be done with them. Free-will somebody believes in. Free-will many dream of. Free-will! Wherever is that to be found? Once there was Free-will in Paradise, and a terrible mess Free-will made there; for it spoiled all Paradise and turned Adam out of the garden. Free-will was once in heaven; but it turned the glorious archangel out, and a third part of the stars of heaven fell into the abyss. I want nothing to do with Free-will, but I will try to see whether I have got a Free-will within. And I find I have. Very free will to evil but very poor will to that which is good. Free-will enough when I sin, but when I would do good, evil is present with me, and how to do that which I would I find not. Yet some boast of Free-will. I wonder whether those who believe in it have any more power over persons' wills than I have? I know I have not any. I find the old proverb very true, "One man can bring a horse to the water but a hundred cannot make him drink." I find that I can bring you all to the water, and a great many more than can get into this chapel; but I cannot make you drink; and I don't think a hundred ministers could make you drink. I have read old Rowland Hill, and Whitefield, and several others, to see what they did; but I cannot discover a plan of turning your will. I cannot coax you, and you will not yield by any manner of means. I do not think any man has power over his fellow-creature's will, but the Spirit of God has. "I will make them willing in the day of my power." He maketh the unwilling sinner so willing that he is impetuous after the gospel; he who was obstinate now hurries to the cross. He who laughed at Jesus now hangs on his mercy; and he who would not believe is now made by the Holy Spirit to do it, not only willingly, but eagerly; he is happy, is glad to do it, rejoices in the sound of Jesus' name, and delights to run in the way of God's commandments. The Holy Spirit has power over the will.
3. And yet there is one thing more which I think is rather worse than the will. You will guess what I mean. The will is somewhat worse than the heart to bend, but there is one thing that excels the will in its naughtiness, and that is the imagination. I hope that my will is managed by Divine Grace. But I am afraid my imagination is not at times. Those who have a fair share of imagination know what a difficult thing it is to control. You cannot restrain it. It will break the reins. You will never be able to manage it. The imagination will sometimes fly up to God with such a power that eagles' wings cannot match it. It sometimes has such might that it can almost see the King in his beauty, and the land which is very far off. With regard to myself, my imagination will sometimes take me over the gates of iron, across the infinite unknown, to the very gates of pearl, and discover the blessed glorified. But, if it is potent one way, it is another: for my imagination has taken me down to the vilest kennels and sewers of earth. It has given me thoughts so dreadful, that, while I could not avoid them, yet I was thoroughly horrified at them. These thoughts will come; and when I feel in the holiest frame, the most devoted to God, and the most earnest in prayer, it often happens that that is the very time when the plague breaks out the worst. But I rejoice and think of one thing, that I can cry out when this imagination comes upon me. I know it is said in the Book of Leviticus, when an act of evil was committed, if the maiden cried out against it, then her life was to be spared. So it is with the Christian. If he cries out, there is hope. Can you chain your imagination? No; but the power of the Holy Ghost can. Ah, it shall do it! And it does do it at last, it does it even on earth.
III. But the last thing was, THE FUTURE AND DESIRED EFFECTS; for, after all, though the Holy Spirit has done so much, he cannot say, "It is finished." Jesus Christ could exclaim concerning his own labor—"It is finished." But the Holy Spirit cannot say that. He has more to do yet: and until the consummation of all things, when the Son himself becomes subject to the Father, it shall not be said by the Holy Spirit, "It is finished." What, then, has the Holy Spirit to do?
1. First, he has to perfect us in holiness. There are two kinds of perfection which a Christian needs: one is the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus; and the other is, the perfection of sanctification worked in him by the Holy Spirit. At present corruption still rests even in the breasts of the regenerate. At present the heart is partially impure. At present there are still lusts and evil imaginations. But, oh! My soul rejoices to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which he has begun; and he shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect in the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing. And is it true that this poor depraved heart is to become as holy as that of God? And is it true that this poor spirit, which often cries, "O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this sin an death!" shall get rid of sin and death? I shall have no evil things to vex my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace. Oh happy hour! May it be hastened! Just before I die sanctification will be finished; but not till that moment shall I ever claim perfection in myself. But at that moment when I depart, my spirit shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit's fire. It shall be put in the crucible for its last trying in the furnace; and then, free from all dross, and fine, like a wedge of pure gold, it shall be presented at the feet of God without the least degree of dross or mixture. O glorious hour! O blessed moment! Methinks I long to die if there were no heaven, if I might but have that last purification come up from Jordan's stream most white from the washing. Oh! To be washed white, clean, pure, perfect! Not an angel more pure than I shall be—yea, not God himself more holy! And I shall be able to say, in a double sense, "Great God, I am clean—through Jesus' blood I am clean, through the Spirit's work I am clean too!" Must you not extol the power of the Holy Ghost in thus making us fit to stand before our Father in heaven?
2. Another great work of the Holy Spirit, which is not accomplished, is the bringing on of the latter-day glory. In a few more years—I know not when, I know not how—the Holy Spirit will be poured out in a far different style from the present. There are diversities of operations; and during the last few years it has been the case that the diversified operations have consisted in very little pouring out of the Spirit. Ministers have gone on in dull routine, continually preaching—preaching—preaching, and little good has been done. I do hope that perhaps a fresh era has dawned upon us, and that there is a better pouring out of the Spirit even now. For the hour is coming, and it may be even now is, when the Holy Ghost shall be poured out again in such a wonderful manner, that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased—the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when his kingdom shall come, and his will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven. We are not going to be dragging on forever like Pharoah, with the wheels off his chariot. My heart exults, and my eyes flash with the thought that very likely I shall live to see the outpouring of the Spirit; when "the sons and the daughters of God again shall prophesy, and the young men shall see visions and the old men shall dream dreams." Perhaps there shall be no miraculous gifts—for they will not be required; but yet there shall be such a miraculous amount of holiness, such an extraordinary fervor of prayer, such a real communion with God, and so much vital religion, and such a spread of the doctrines of the cross, that every one will see that verily the Spirit is poured out like water, and the rains are descending from above. For that let us pray; let us continually labor for it, and seek it of God.
3. One more work of the Spirit, which will especially manifest his power—the general resurrection. We have reason to believe from Scripture, that the resurrection of the dead, whilst it will be effected by the voice of God and of his Word(the Son), shall also be brought about by the Spirit. The same power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies. The power of the resurrection is, perhaps, one of the finest proofs of the works of the Spirit. Ah! My friends, if this earth could but have its mantle torn away for a little while, if the green sod could be cut from it, and we could look about six feet deep into its bowels, what a world it would seem! What should we see? Bones, carcasses, rottenness, worms, corruption. And you would say, Can these dry bones live? Can they start up? Yes! "In a moment! In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, the dead shall be raised." He speaks; they are alive! See them scattered! Bone comes to his bone! See them naked; flesh comes upon them! See them still lifeless; "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain!" When the wind of the Holy Spirit comes, they live; and they stand upon their feet an exceeding great army.
I have thus attempted to speak of the power of the Spirit, and I trust I have shown it to you. We must now have a moment or two for practical inference. The Spirit is very powerful, Christian! What do you infer from that fact? Why, that you never need distrust the power of God to carry you to heaven. O how that sweet verse was laid to my soul yesterday!

 

"His tried Almighty arm
is raised for your defense;
Where is the power can reach you there?
Or what can pluck you thence?"

 


The power of the Holy Spirit is your bulwark, and all his omnipotence defends you. Can your enemies overcome omnipotence? Then they can conquer you. Can they wrestle with Deity, and hurl him to the ground? Then they might conquer you. For the power of the Spirit is our power; the power of the Spirit is our might.
Once again, Christians, if this is the power of the Spirit,
why should you doubt anything? There is your son. There is that wife of yours, for whom you have supplicated so frequently; do not doubt the Spirit's power. "Though he tarry, wait for him." There is thy husband, O holy woman! And thou hast wrestled for his soul. And though he is ever so hardened and desperate a wretch, and treats thee ill, there is power in the Spirit. And, O ye who have come from barren churches, with scarcely a leaf upon the tree, do not doubt the power of the Spirit to raise you up. For it shall be a "pasture for flocks, a den of wild asses," open but deserted, until the Spirit is poured out from on high. And then the parched ground shall be made a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; and in the habitations of dragons, where each lay shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And, O ye members of Park Street! Ye who remember what your God has done for you especially, never distrust the power of the Spirit. Ye have seen the wilderness blossom like Carmel, ye have seen the desert blossom like the rose, trust him for the future. Then go out and labor with this conviction, that the power of the Holy Ghost is able to do anything. Go to your missionary enterprise; go to your preaching in your rooms, with the conviction that the power of the Spirit is our great help.
And now, lastly, to you sinners:—What is there to be said to you about this power of the Spirit? Why, to me, there is some hope for some of you. I cannot save you; I cannot get at you. I make you cry sometimes—you wipe your eyes, and it is all over. But I know my Master can. That is my consolation. Chief of sinners, there is hope for thee! This power can save you as well as anybody else. It is able to break your heart, though it is an iron one; to make your eyes run with tears, though they have been like rocks before. His power is able this morning, if he will, to change your heart, to turn the current of all your ideas; to make you at once a child of God, to justify you in Christ. There is power enough in the Holy Spirit. Ye are not straightened in him, but in your own bowels. He is able to bring sinners to Jesus; he is able to make you willing in the day of his power. Are you willing this morning? Has he gone so far as to make you desire his name; to make you wish for Jesus? Then, O sinner! Whilst he draws you, say, "Draw me, I am wretched without thee." Follow him, follow him; and, while he leads, tread you in his footsteps, and rejoice that he has begun a good work in you, for there is an evidence that he will continue it even unto the end. And, O desponding one! Put thy trust in the power of the Spirit. Rest on the blood of Jesus, and thy soul is safe, not only now, but throughout eternity. God bless you, my hearers. Amen.

 

 

 



Posted by rjlo at 5:03 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 May 2015 5:13 PM EDT
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

COVENANT

 

 


Posted by rjlo at 10:23 AM EDT
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Saturday, 16 May 2015

                THE HEAVENLY RAINBOW

 

 Rainbow

 

A SERM DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON IN1914

 

 

“And there was a rainbow around about the Throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Revelation 4:3. 
 “A RAINBOW!” “A rainbow around about the Throne!”

I have a notion concerning this rainbow, that it was a complete circle. In the 10th Chapter the Apostle tells us that he saw “another mighty angel with a rainbow upon his head,” which could hardly have been the semi-circular arc we are accustomed to see in the sky in times of rain and sun- shine. It must have been, I should imagine, a complete ring.   I stood, two years ago, on a little wooden bridge in the village of Handeck on the Swiss side of the Grimsel Pass, and looked down upon the roaring torrent beneath. The waterfall, breaking itself upon enormous rocks, cast up showers of foam and spray. As I looked down, the sun shone upon it and I saw a rainbow such as I had never seen but once before in another place upon a similar occasion. It was a complete circle around the fall, then another one and within it a third— three wheels within wheels, consisting of all the delightful colors of the rainbow, from the timid violet up to the coura- geous red! There was no mistake about it. They were complete rings that seemed to go right round the torrent, like great belts of sapphires, emeralds and chalcedonies. The ring was trebled as it shone before me. I stood and wondered at the sight. Then these very texts came to my mind, “a rainbow around about the Throne,” and, “I saw a mighty angel, who had a rainbow upon his head.”   It seems to me that John had such a sight before him—a rainbow which entirely surrounded the Throne of God. If it is so, I shall not, I think, be accounted fanciful if I draw a moral. In this world we only see, for it is all we can see, one- half of the Eternal Covenant of God’s Grace . That one upward arch of Divine masonry is all that we see here. The other downward half, on which the one which we see rests, namely, the eternal decree, the purpose, the resolve of Infinite Sove- reignty—that is out of sight as yet. We cannot discern it. Earth comes between the horizon and bounds it. But when we shall get up yonder and see things as they are, and know even as we are known, then the Covenant will be seen by us to be a complete circle, an harmonious whole—not a broken thing, not a broken arc, or a semi-circle, as it seems to be now— but, like Deity itself, perpetual, everlasting, complete, perfect, eternal! It may be true to the figure—it certainly will be so in fact. What we know not now, we shall know hereafter and possibly this very emblem is here used to set forth to us that while we see the Glory which God has made manifest, we do not and cannot, at present, see the eternal purpose it- self, except as far as we judge of it from its grand results. Oh, it is delightful to think of going up yonder if for nothing else than knowing more of Christ, understanding more of Divine Love, drinking deeper into the mystery of godliness through which God was manifest in the flesh! Surely, if we know but little, that little knowledge has set us thirsting for deeper draughts and we are waiting for the time when we shall drop the veil which parts us from spiritual realities and shall see them face to face, needing no longer to view them as in a glass, reflected darkly!   I want you to notice three things which these words suggest, “There was a rainbow around about the Throne.” First— Divine Sovereignty never oversteps the bounds of the Cove nant, but is rainbow-hedged with a wall of fire around about the Throne. In the second place— Divine Government springing from Sove reignty—the Throne of God is always regulated by the Covenant—there is resp ect at all times to the Covenant of Grace in everything that Jehovah does . Thirdly— in the Covenant of Grace the predominant quality is Grace—“it was in sight like unto an emerald,” which I will further explain indicates that loving kindness and tender mercy towards men always shine radiant in the Covenant . First, then, “there was a rainbow around about the Throne.”   I. DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY NEVER OVERSTEPS THE BOUNDS OF THE COVENANT.  

 “There was a rainbow around about the Throne”—as though the rainbow hedged the Throne of God—belted it, girt it round about. God’s Sovereignty must, of necessity, be absolute and unlimited. He made everything and as nothing existed before God, or independent of God, He had a right to make what He pleased and to make all that He did make after His own will and pleasure. And when He has made, His rights do not terminate, but He still continues to have an altogether unlimited and absolute power over the creatures of His hands. He claims the right for Himself. “Has not the potter power over the clay to make of the same lump one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?” God has the power to create and the power, afterwards, to use that which is created for the purpose for which He has made it. “Shall I not do what I will with My own?” is a question which the Almighty may well ask of all His creatures who would dare to bring Him to their bar and blasphemously rejudge His judgment, snatch from His hands the balance and the rod and seek to set themselves up as censors of the Holy One! Whenever men say, “How can God do this?” and, “How shall He do that?” it should always content us to answer, “No, O man, but who are you that replies against God?” for whether we will have it or not, still God has said it and He will stand to it. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”—so then, it is not of him that wills nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy!   But as one Truth of God is always to be taken in its relation to another Truth and not to be isolated from its natural kindred, it is a delightful consideration that God, in His absolute Sovereignty, never does violence to any of His other attributes and, above all, never does violence to the Covenant . The Covenant still surrounds the Sovereignty and practi- cally hedges it within its bounds!   God is practically, as far as we are concerned, bound by His own Revelation of His own Character. He has been pleased to tell us that He is just and that He is the Lord God, merciful and gracious. In a few words, He has given us the sum of Himself by saying that, “God is Love.” When a man says concerning himself, “I have a right to do as I like, but I am generous as well as just,” you feel sure he will exercise the right which he claims in a manner according to and consis- tent with his own statement of what he is. And if he has rightly estimated his own character, he will give bountifully and pay honorably. Rest assured, then, that God’s Sovereignty never will prove Him to have misrepresented Himself, or to have deceived us! When He says that He is just, He neither can nor will act unjustly towards any creature He has made. There was never a pang or a pain inflicted arbitrarily by God. God never pronounced a curse upon any man unless that man had clearly and richly earned it by his sin! No soul was ever cast into Hell by God’s Sovereignty. God takes counsel with Himself, but He stoops not to caprice. How comes the hapless creature, then, to this dread torment? Sin brings the sinner into a ruined state— justice pronounces the sinner’s doom. Sovereignty may let that doom stand. What if it moves not to avert the issue? Justice it is that pronounces the curse. Be assured, Man, however much you may kick against the Doctrine of Election, you have no reason to do so! Whatever that Doctrine may involve, it is not possible but that God must and will act towards you in a way so strictly just that when you, yourself, come to discover it in eternity, you will not be able to complain, but be compelled to stand speechless!   Moreover, God has been pleased to assure you that He is Love—that He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. Now, whatever Sovereignty may decree, you may rest assured that the decree will be in consonance with the fact that God is full of mercy, grace and truth. I know some of you set up the decree of God like a huge monster before you. You paint a horrible picture, as though the visage of Him that speaks to you from Heaven were cruel and pitiless. But that picture is drawn by your perverse imagination—it is not God’s portrait of Himself, for He says, “As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, but had rather that he would turn unto Me and live.” God mocks not when He says, “Turn you, turn you; why will you die, O house of Israel?” That is honest emotion which God feels over a sinner who ruins himself when He cries, “How can I give you up? How shall I set you as Admah? How shall I make you as Zeboim? My heart is moved; My repentings are kindled together!” God wills not the death of a sinner, but had rather that he should turn unto Him and live! So He, Himself, assures us and, Sovereign as He is, yet He still remains both just and gracious forever—and let us not doubt it for a moment! The rainbow, the rainbow of His own glorious attributes of mercy always surrounds the Throne of God!   It is equally certain, taking another view of this subject, that God’s Sovereignty never can by any possibility run counter to the promise which He Himself has made. God has a right to do as He wills with His own, but when He once, in His Sovereignty, chooses to make a promise, He would be unfaithful if He did not keep it—and it is not possible that He
 
can be unfaithful, for none of His Words ever did fail, or ever shall! He has been true to the very jots and tittles of all that He has, Himself, declared. Never in any case has any man been able to say that God has spoken in secret, and said to the seed of Jacob, “Seek you My face,” in vain. I want every unconverted person here to be careful to note this Truth of God. Whenever you find a promise in God’s Word, do not let the thought of Predestination scare you from it. Predestination can never be contrary to the promise! It is not in Election, or Reprobation, or in any Doctrine that asserts Divine Sove- reignty to make the promise of God to be of no effect! Take a promise like this—“He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved.” If you believe, and if you are baptized, you have, then, God’s Word for it—you shall be saved! Be sure of it— that stands fast! Heaven and earth may pass away, but that Word shall not fail you. God will keep His Word of Truth with you and at the Last Tremendous Day you shall find that since you believe, God will save you!   Take another—“Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Then, if you call upon the name of the Lord—that is if with hearty, earnest prayer, you cry to God and if with your whole soul you take Him to be your All-in- All, calling upon His name as the heathens do upon their gods when they avow themselves to be their followers—if you do this, you shall be saved! Now, I beseech you, remember that no decree can possibly run counter to this. You say, “What if the decree shall destroy me?” Man, His promise is the decree! The promise of God is His eternal purpose, writ- ten out in black and white for you to read. So far from the counsel of eternity being contrary to the Revelation in time, the revelation in time is nothing more than a transcript of what God resolved to do from before the foundation of the world! Take any promise you will. Let it be this, if the others seem to miss you—“Come now, let us reason together; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as wool.” Now, your sins are as scarlet, and you are willing to come and rea- son with God and you find that when He reasons with you, He tells you that you must rest in the blood of Jesus, leave your sins and depend wholly upon Christ. Well, now, after you have done, you have God’s Word for it that those scarlet sins of yours shall be “whiter than snow.” Well then, they must be so! It is not possible that anything unknown to you should come in and make void the promise which is known. I will read that verse I just mentioned again, “He has never spoken in secret, and said to the seed of Jacob, Seek you My face in vain.” God has not said behind your back what He has not said to your face! He has said, “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.” He has said, “Oh, you thirsty, come and drink.” He has said, “Whoever will, let him come and take of the Water of Life freely.” There is nothing in that myste- rious roll, which no human eye has ever seen, that can be in conflict with the golden promises which gleam in the Book of God’s Word upon every needy sinner that comes and trusts in the Lord! There is a rainbow around about the Throne. Sovereignty never gets out of the circle of the promise.  Oh, child of God! Your heavenly Father, in His Sovereignty, has a right to do with you, His child, as He pleases, but He will never let that Sovereignty get out of the limit of the Covenant! As a Sovereign, He might cast you away, but He has promised that He never will—and He never will! As a Sovereign, He might leave you to perish, but He has said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” As a Sovereign, He might suffer you to be tempted beyond your strength, but He has promised that no temptation shall happen to you, but such as is common to man, and He will, with the temptation, make a way of escape! Let no dark thought ever cross your mind that, perhaps, towards you He will deal arbitrarily. It is not so. He will carry out His purpose to you—and of that purpose He has already informed you by telling you that you are His, His adopted child and you shall be His forever and ever! In the second place—  II. THE RULING GOVERNMENT OF GOD IN THE WORLD ALWAYS HAS RESPECT TO THE COVENANT OF GRACE.   It is so in great things. He set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the children of Israel. When you read God’s Word, Egypt comes upon the stage—Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome. Yet what are they but a sort of background? They come and they go, for all their secular grandeur, as mere accessories. The central figure is always the Election of Grace—the people of God—for the rest, they are merely the plowmen and the vinedressers for the Lord’s own people. Sometimes these nations are nursing fathers. At other times they are sharp rods. Whichever they may be, they are mere instruments. The Bible speaks of them as so much scaffolding for the building of the living temple in which the mercy of God shall be displayed! Whenever you read, or hear people talk about prophecy, you may depend upon it that Inspiration has not been given to tell of Louis Napoleon, or any other earthly Sovereign. It is not the history of Prussia, Russia, or France that the heavenly Apocalypse unveils. The whole Book is written for His people—it gives us the history of the Church—but it does not give us the history of anything else! The way to read the Book, if you do read
4 The Heavenly Rainbow Sermon #3412
4 www.spurgeongems.org Volume 60
it, is with this central thought in your minds—that God has not revealed to us anything concerning Assyria, Babylon, Greece, or Rome for their own sakes—but He has referred to them because they happen to have a connection with the history of His Church. That is all, for He has chosen Jacob to Himself and Israel to be His peculiar treasure. My Brothers and Sisters, I believe that when kings and potentates meet in the cabinet chamber and consult together according to their ambition, a Counselor whom they never see pulls the strings and they are only His puppets. And even when armies meet in battle array, when the world seems shaken to and fro with revolutions and the most stable thrones quiver as though they were but vessels out at sea, there is a secret Force working in all. The end and drift of these momentous actions is the bringing out of the chosen race—the salvation of the blood-bought company and the glory of God in the redeeming of the world unto Himself! When you read the newspaper, read it to see how your heavenly Father is managing the world for the good of His own children! All else—be it the disposal of a throne, the settlement of a political question, or the winning of a boat race—all else, I say, are minor things compared with the interests of the Election of Grace! All things are revolving and cooperating for good. They are working together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to the purpose of His Grace. By them He will make manifest throughout the ages unto the angels and the prin- cipalities, His manifold wisdom!   Now, as this is the case in the great, it is equally so in the little . In all your smaller affairs, God always governs with respect to the Covenant. Your worst afflictions are still meant for your good, for this is one clause in the Covenant, “Surely in blessing, I will bless.” When you come to the worst, even should that happen to be at the close of life, you will find that God has still kept within Covenant engagements. Hear what David said upon his bed of pain, “Although my house is not so with God, yet”—oh, gracious, “yet”!—“yet has He made with me an Everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” You have lost your property—it is a sad thing for you to come down in the world, but this always was in the Covenant. Have you never read it? “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have over- come the world.” Lately, when you have been in prayer, you have had but little comfort—and when you have read the Word of God, it has not seemed to gleam with delight to you, but rather the Book has seemed dark. Well, well, that is in the Covenant! Did I not read it to you? “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent.” Per- haps you have been backsliding. It is sad that it should be so. And now you have lost much of your enjoyment and you are exceedingly cast down. But did you ever read it, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways”? Do you not know it to be a promise from God—“If his children err from My commandments, then will I visit their transgressions with the rod; nevertheless, My Covenant will I not take away from him, nor suffer My loving kindness to fail”? You are only receiving, now, what God has promised to give to you!   Look upon these things as tokens that God is faithful. We are told in the Covenant God made with Noah, that “seed- time and harvest, summer and winter shall never cease.” Now, the snow has fallen today, and it is bitterly cold. But, my Brothers and Sisters, it was in the Covenant that the winter should not cease. No doubt when the harvest comes, and the summer laughs with joy, we shall say, “How good God is and how true He has been to His Covenant, that there should be a harvest and a summer!” Ah, but when the seed is cast into the cold soil and the frost covers it, you ought to be equal- ly grateful to the faithfulness of God, for this, too, is one part of the promise! If He did not keep one part, you might be afraid that He would not keep the other! Just so is it spiritually . Your troubles are promised to you. “In the world you shall have tribulation.” You have got your troubles. “As many as He loves, He chastens.” You have got the chastening. Be, therefore, thankful that you have another proof of the Divine Faithfulness towards you. There is a rainbow around about the Throne of God, and let the Throne decree what it may! The scepter is never stretched beyond the boundary of Covenant Love. It is impossible for God to deal towards His people contrary to the spirit which breathes in the two Im- mutable things in which it is impossible for Him to lie, and by which He has given strong consolation to those who have fled for refuge to the hope which is set before them in the Gospel . Our third point is—  III. IN THE COVENANT OF GRACE, REPRESENTED BY THE CIRCULAR RAINBOW, LOVE AND GRACE ARE ALWAYS CONSPICUOUS.   The emerald, with its green color, is always taken to represent this green earth and the things which concern the dwellers therein. And it has always been viewed as a type of mercy. It is a soft and gentle color, the most agreeable to the eyes of all the colors, the vibrations of light caused by it being found to be more suitable to the optic nerve than the vi- brations of any other color. Scarlet and such bright colors, the emblems of justice and vengeance, would soon destroy the
 
eyes. White, the emblem of purity, cannot long be endured. Those of us who have crossed lofty mountains covered with snow have had to suffer as long as we have been there, from snow-blindness. The human eyes would soon cease to perform its functions if the earth were long covered with snow and if we had nothing to relieve the eyes. Green is the color that suits mankind and it represents the mercy, the tenderness and the benevolence of God towards mankind.   Whenever you read the Covenant, read it in the light of the emerald. I have sometimes thought that some of my Brothers and Sisters read it in another light. I think I have heard prayers which, if translated into plain English, would run something like this—“Lord, we thank You that we are elected. We bless You that we are in the Covenant. We bless Your name that You are sending sinners down to Hell, cutting them off and destroying them, but we are saved!” I have sometimes thought I have caught in such prayers an air of complacency in the damnation of sinners, and even a little more than that—I have fancied I have seen in certain hyper-Calvinists a sort of Red Indian scalping knife propensity— an ogre-like feeling with respect to reprobation—a smacking of lips over the ruin and destruction of mankind! As to all of which, I can only say that it seems to me to be “earthly, sensual, devilish.” I cannot imagine a man, especially a man who has the spirit of Christ in him, thinking of the ruin of mankind with any other feeling than that which moved the soul of Christ when He wept over Jerusalem, crying, “How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings!” Let no one imagine that the spirit of Calvinism is a spirit of hostility to universal humanity! It is not so! It is a perversion and a caricature of the expositions of Calvin and Augustine—and of the Apostle Paul and of what our Master preached—to represent us as thinking with complacency of the ruin of any one of the human race!   My Brothers and Sisters, when I have sometimes heard statements made about the fewness of those who will be saved at the last, I have thought that surely the rainbow around about the Throne of the God whom such people worshipped must have been scarlet in color. It could not have been “in sight like unto an emerald.” There must have been a predo- minance of vengeance in it and not of mercy! Why, I firmly believe that at the last it will be found that there are more in Heaven than in Hell, for when the great winding up of the drama shall come, Christ will in all things have the preemi- nence! Now, alas, there are few that find the narrow road while broad is the gate of Hell and many there are that go in that way. We are in the minority, now, but when I think of the countless hosts of little children, elect of God, who have gone from their mother’s breasts to Glory, not having passed through actual sin, but being bought with precious blood, I can see a vast multitude that belongs to Christ! And when I look forward to that brighter age when the nations shall flock to the feet of Christ, and tens of thousands and hundreds of millions shall sing His praises from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, I rejoice to think that then the Lord Jesus Christ will see of the travail of His soul and will be satisfied—and it is not a little that will satisfy Him! I have sometimes thought with a certain good Divine, that when the King comes to end His reign, there will be found no more in prison in comparison with the great number of His crea- tures, than in any well ordered government. At any rate, let us hope so. We have no right to speak positively where we have no positive declaration. But it is significant that there is always a prominence given in Scripture to the grace, the mercy, the goodness and the loving kindness of God. Surely Scripture would not tell us this unless it would also seem to be so in the universal Providence of God. I believe that in the rainbow, the emerald will be the most conspicuous, and that Divine Grace will be “in Heaven the topmost stone,” for it “well deserves the praise.” And now, in conclusion, my dear Friends—  IV. LET ME MAKE ONE OR TWO PRACTICAL REMARKS.   Let me exhort you all to understand the Covenant, of which the rainbow is the symbol . I am sorry to say that there are many professors who do not know what the Covenant means. I have been told that there are pulpits where the word, “Covenant,” is scarcely ever mentioned, so that the congregation really do not know what the Covenant of Grace means. Now, the old Scotch Divines and our own Puritan forefathers were of opinion that the two Covenants are the very es- sence of all theology. When a man gets a clear view of the Covenant of Works and sees how it was made with Adam, and broken, and how it involved our ruin—and then gets a clear view of the Covenant of Grace made with the Second Adam, the conditions of which are all fulfilled by Him, so that the Covenant cannot be broken by us—and that all the provi- sions of that Covenant are made sure by His having fulfilled His Suretyship and Sponsorship on our behalf. When a man gets a hold of these two things, why, he cannot be an Arminian. It is impossible! But he must keep pretty near to those grand old Doctrines which we call the Doctrines of Grace. If any man says to me, “What is the one thing which I have to learn to be a sound preacher of the Gospel?” I think I would say, “Learn to distinguish between the Covenant of Hagar,

which is Sinai in Arabia, and the Covenant of Sarah, which is the Covenant of the New Jerusalem, which is of promise. The distinction between works and Grace, between debt and gift, between the works of the Law and the abounding lov- ing kindness of the Lord our Lord.” May I ask young members of the Church to read the Scriptures upon this point and to ask their older friends to instruct them in the matter of the Covenant? It is such an important point that I would press it very earnestly. I hope you do not wish to go to Heaven like those of whom the Savior speaks, and who enter into life lame, or maimed, or having but one eye. Oh, no, but seek to clear away ignorance! That the soul is without knowledge is not good. Get a clear view of these things, for by so doing you will be comforted, you will be strengthened, you will be sanctified!   But if you do understand the Covenant, have a constant regard to it . There is a sweet prayer, “Have respect unto Your Covenant.” We pray that to God. Well, He does have respect to the Covenant. He has the symbol of it all around His Throne! He cannot look anywhere without looking through His Covenant. He sees us, He sees the world, He sees all things through that rainbow which is around His Throne. He sees all human affairs through the medium of the great Mediator, the Covenant Angel, the Lord Jesus. Well now, what you ask God to do, and what He does, do for yourselves! Have respect unto the Covenant. Do you ever think of the Covenant? Some, I am afraid, do not think of it by the month together and yet the Covenant—oh, Brothers and Sisters—it is a casket full of wealth! It is a fountain full of crystal streams! It is the Heaven out of which the manna falls! It is the Rock out of which the living waters flow—the Rock, Chr- ist, who is the essence of the Covenant to us! Live upon the Covenant in life and let it claim your last accents in the mo- ment of death! Rejoice in this Covenant of Grace all day! Live upon the choice morsels which God has laid up in store for you in it. The Covenant! The Covenant! Oh, keep your hearts, keep your thoughts, keep your eyes constantly on it!   And oh, get comfort from the Covenant ! Do not merely think of it, but really lay hold upon it. You are in covenant with God! It is not a question with you, as a believer in Christ, whether God may keep you and bless you and cause His face to shine upon you. He will do so! He cannot do otherwise, if I may use such language concerning Him, because though He is free, yet He has bound Himself by His promise! He has bound Himself by His oath! He has put Himself with- in the limit of the rainbow and out of that He cannot, and will not go! It encircles His Throne and Himself. You may go up to His Throne humbly but still go there with boldness. You do not come like a common beggar. You do not knock at the door as a man does at your door, a chance beggar asking for charity. You have got a promise! Come, then, as a man goes into the bank who has got a bank-bill that is dated and now the day is come for it to be paid! Go to God, making mention of the name of Jesus, with the humble boldness with which a child asks of its own loving parent what that parent has often promised to bestow. Let the comfort of the Covenant be continually yours!   And if you have this comfort, never, never be so base as to indulge hard thoughts of God . It is very easy for me to say this to you, but it will not always be so easy for you to practice it. Ah, Friends, we think we can take God’s will and be submissive to it and acquiesce in it—but when it presses hard upon us—then is the proof. When a man gets into the fin- ing-pot and the crucible is put into the fire, they will show what faith he has! Ah, it is hard when you get a heavy stroke, when you are told that such-and-such an one who is very dear to you will die before long, or when you know that you, yourself, have a fatal disease—it is then hard to say, “The Lord lives, and blessed be my Rock!” Or, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, and blessed be His name.” It was admirable in David, that when he began one of his mournful Psalms, he knew that he was going to groan a good deal, so he said, “There is one matter we will set right before we get out of trim. Truly God is good to Israel.” That is settled. He puts that down as the first thing when he gets into the box as a witness. He says, “I am confused, today, and tumbled up and down in my wits, but before I say anything, I have to say this one thing—I solemnly declare before men, angels and devils—God is truly good to Israel! As for me, my feet had well-nigh gone, my steps had almost slipped,” and so on—but he begins with that. Now, settle that, settle that in your soul! Put that down like an anchor, right deep in the sea—come winds, come waves, come hurricanes—God is good! God is faithful! God will keep His Covenant! Every dark and painful line meets in the center of His Love. It must be right. Never let your soul be envious of the wicked when you see their prosperity, but still rejoice in your God and let Him do as He wills!   If you do know anything about the sweetness of the Covena nt, when you meet with a poor child of the house of Israel, tell him about it. And as you do not know who he may be, te ll everybody about it! There may be one of your Brothers or Sisters with whom you are to live in Heaven sitting next to you in the pew. Since I mentioned last Sunday 

night that there was a young person who had been here for two years and nobody had ever spoken to her, I have had a letter from a young man to say that he is in the same case. Oh, dear! You know how I told you on Sunday night that I was ashamed of some of you, but I did not know in which part of the chapel you were and, therefore, as I did not know who it was, I could not be ashamed of you, but get you to be ashamed on your own account! Now, you see, there are two cases, and I am afraid if we get more testimony, it would go to ever so many places in the Tabernacle. Do not let it be so! Let each one pluck up heart and say unto his fellow, “Know the Lord.” Let each man say to his neighbor, “Have you tasted the sweetness?” Who finds honey and eats it all? You ought to say, like the Syrian lepers, “This is a day of good tidings; if we tarry here, perhaps mischief will befall us; let us go even into the camp of Israel and let us tell them of this thing.” Spread abroad the good news! Who knows how many you may bring to my Master’s footstool, to their salvation and to your own comfort and joy?   
 
   Blessed is he that reads and understands the prophecy of this Book. We have no difficulty in knowing to what city this great Babylon refers, for the Church of Rome, in the plenitude of its wisdom, has taken the title to itself in attempt- ing to claim that Peter was the first bishop of Rome! They quote the text, “The church that is in Babylon salutes you”— that church, they say, being the church in Rome! Therefore Rome is Babylon! Besides, the whole of the 18th Chapter gives such a description as can only apply to her and she must, and shall, come to her end!   Verses 21-24. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millst one, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city, Babylon, be thrown down and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsm en of whatever craft he is, shall be found anymore in you; and the sou nd of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in you, And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you. And the voice of the brideg room and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of Prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth .   REVELATION 19:1-10.  Verses 1-4. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, praying, Alleluia, Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are His judgments: for He has judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornicati on, and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hands. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever. And the four and tw enty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sa t on the Throne, saying, Amen: Alleluia. For the overthrow of a monstrous system of error gives delight to all holy spirits—and chiefly to those who stand nearest the eternal Throne of God!  5-6. And a voice came out of the Throne saying, Praise our Go d, all you His servants, and you that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as th e voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! The harlot church is put away! The true Church is introduced, fully arrayed in perfect holiness, ready for the consummation of her own joy and her master’s—her last delight.  7-10. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: fo r the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was grante d that she should be arrayed in fine linen , clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he said unto me, Write, Ble ssed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him, and he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. If John made a mistake, because the saints in Heaven are all so like their Mas- ter, it is well that the mistake was at once corrected, for angel worship, or the worship of saints, is to be avoided by all saints! And God’s Word about it is, “See you do it not.” It is said that we should certainly pay reverence to holy men that are now with God, but see you do it not! Indeed, here among men, the same kind of idolatry is sought to be kept up, and the preacher is arrayed in garments to make him distinct from the people, as though he were something better or different  from them and not their fellow servant! But, for all this, let us hear the voice which says, “See you do it not. I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.” Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.


Posted by rjlo at 12:12 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

This is where we are as a Nation or at least this is where we are heading. Every two-bit dictator from the maniacs in North Korea and Iran to the butcher in Cuba and all in-between thumb their noses at us.

We give away our land, resources, jobs, freedoms, treasure, technologies, and business to those who do not have our best interest in mind

Bob Furlin's photo.

 


Posted by rjlo at 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:08 AM EDT
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Thursday, 23 April 2015

                               A "MODEL" PRAYER

The Lord's Prayer is meant to be our "model" prayer. It was given to us as an example of the way in which we are to pray. It is not meant to be repeated and Jesus said:- “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Matthew 6:7

It is not to be used as a mantra, a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities. A commonly repeated word or phrase, especially in advocacy or for motivation.

Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God our Heavenly Father. The prayer is a model of praise, worship, and trust in Him. Prayed properly it will build faith and trust in our God and saviour. If we continue to open our spiritual ears and eyes, God is able to come into communication with us, nd we into harmony with him.


WORSHIP

Notice the way the Lord starts out this model prayer, this example for us of how to pray. Notice the very first statement of this prayer could be summed up in one word: worship!

The Lord's Prayer reveals to those who would seek it, some very important statements about the way God would have us approach him when we come before the throne of grace seeking answers to our petitions.

"Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name."

"Hallowed be thy Name" is the first of the seven petitions in the prayer (the first three address God, the second four are prayers related to our needs and concerns).

If the whole "Lord's Prayer" is to serve as an example, then we should take particular notice of this first (and probably most important) lesson offered. And that is, whenever we approach the throne of the all-powerful and all-mighty God, we should approach it with words of praise and worship on our lips.

Matthew Henry's Commentary : “Hallowed be thy name. It is the same word that in other places is translated sanctified. But here the old word hallowed is retained, only because people were used to it in the Lord's prayer. In these words, (1.) We give glory to God; it may be taken not as a petition, but as an adoration; as that, the Lord be magnified, or glorified, for God's holiness is the greatness and glory of all his perfections. We must begin our prayers with praising God, and it is very fit he should be first served, and that we should give glory to God, before we expect to receive mercy and grace from him. Let him have praise of his perfections, and then let us have the benefit of them. (2.) We fix our end, and it is the right end to be aimed at, and ought to be our chief and ultimate end in all our petitions, that God may be glorified; all our other requests must be in subordination to this, and in pursuance of it. "Father, glorify thyself in giving me my daily bread and pardoning my sins," &c. Since all is of him and through him, all must be to him and for him. In prayer our thoughts and affections should be carried out most to the glory of God. The Pharisees made their own name the chief end of their prayers (Mt 6:5, to be seen of men), in opposition to which we are directed to make the name of God our chief end; let all our petitions centre in this and be regulated by it. "Do so and so for me, for the glory of thy name, and as far as is for the glory of it." (3.) We desire and pray that the name of God, that is, God himself, in all that whereby he has made himself known, may be sanctified and glorified both by us and others, and especially by himself. "Father, let thy name be glorified as a Father, and a Father in heaven; glorify thy goodness and thy highness, thy majesty and mercy. Let thy name be sanctified, for it is a holy name; no matter what becomes of our polluted names, but, Lord, what wilt thou do to thy great name?" When we pray that God's name may be glorified, [1.] We make a virtue of necessity; for God will sanctify his own name, whether we desire it or not; I will be exalted among the heathen, Ps 46:10. [2.] We ask for that which we are sure shall be granted; for when our Saviour prayed, Father glorify thy name, it was immediately answered, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

GOD'S WILL

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

After we have come before God with praise and worship, the next step in ur praying should be determining the will of God. And this is tremendously mportant. How many times we get into trouble because we don't first seek God's will!

Far too often all we know is our "wants", not God's "will". We know we ant something. The only thing that fills our consciousness is our desire or the object or result. It really doesn't matter if it is what God wants or not. We want it and that's all that matters. It may not be good for us at the time, or it may be something diametrically contrary to God's plan for our life. As long as we want it, nothing else matters. Despite our outhings and protestations, God knows that in our hearts we aren't really committed to the thought that we don't want it if he doesn't want it.

Albert Barnes on "Thy Kingdom Come: “Thy kingdom come. The word kingdom here means reign. Mt 3:2. The petition is the expression of a wish that God may reign everywhere; that his laws may be obeyed; and especially that the gospel of Christ may be advanced everywhere, till the world shall be filled with his glory.”

How much trouble would we avoid if we would honestly seek the face of he Lord before we go before him with a request. How much better in many ases, if we would merely take our problems before him, and ask for olutions to them, rather than going before him with a solution we have etermined is the proper one. If we would learn to pray in this manner, we ould never have to start out with the oft-proclaimed but seldom-meant tatement, "Lord if it is in they will ..."

In a sense, we can maintain a very compatible prayer life with God without ever using that phrase. In the first place, an overwhelming number f situations are well covered in Scripture. There are very few things we an bring before God in which he hasn't already demonstrated his will. For xample:

If I go before him requesting salvation for someone, I don't have to say, "If it is in your will, Lord." Scripture tells us that God "is not illing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Therefore there is no question of God's will in this matter. The only will that interferes with the accomplishment of salvation is the will of the person resisting God's desire for him to come to repentance.

If I therefore go before him and say, "Lord, save so-and-so if it be your will," such a prayer would be a faithless prayer, or insulting to God, or at least revealing of my lack of knowledge in things he has given me to now in Scripture. I therefore just say, "Lord, I am presenting so-and-so yo you for salvation." Now God's hands are free to deal with that person in whatever way he chooses to bring him to repentance and salvation.

Another example of this is in the area of praying for healing.  Scripture reveals to us in a number of places that it is God's will that we are healed. We are told in Matthew that Jesus took our informities and bare Our sickness. James said the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise them up. The psalmist tells us, "He forgiveth all our niquities and healeth all our diseases." When the leper came he said, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me whole." And Jesus said, "I will."

Therefore we know that God wants to see us healed. There is no reason or us to go before God and say, "Lord I am asking for healing, if it be our will." Such a prayer is erroneous, unscriptural, and self-defeating.  Too often, I feel it is done defensively and in lack of faith. Perhaps some feel it gives off an impression of humility and sancitity. In truth though, it is false humility. And how must our heavenly father feel when we present ourselves and ask his will concerning something he has already clarified many times?

Now we can ask his will in regard to the method of the healing or the time of the healing. There's nothing wrong with this. But there is definite error when we go before God and ask whether he would prefer to see us healthy or not.

Another area where God has spoken out very clearly regarding his will is n the area of prosperity. It is God's will for his children to be prosperous. How they become prosperous, however, is another matter. Or the egree of properity we might aspire to could cause us problems. But there s no question about God's basic desire to see his children prosper, since he makes his attitude clear in a number of places in Scripture.

We can therefore go before God and pray for prosperity, and we can seek is will in regard to the method for us to acquire the prosperity. But it ould be patently insulting for us to first inquire whether he wants us to e prosperous. God makes it clear to anyone willing to put in some time in earching Scripture that he wants us to have joy, health, peace, security, and so forth.

Of course, there is a question of how we are to acquire these very desirable situations. When we go before him seeking improvement in any of hese areas, we should diligently seek his will as to methods, directions, iming, and so forth. These are variables from time to time and from person o person. What might be the perfect route for one person, might be the orst possible avenue for someone else.

We should alwlays desire his will for our lives. We should continually be searching for that will. Only his will is the perfect way for our lives.
Why then, take second best (or less), by seeking out some alternative route, hen all we have to do is go before him and dedicate our lives to the one est way he has determined for us?

OUR NEEDS AND CONCERNS

Matthew Henry on "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" Give us this day our daily bread. Because our natural being is necessary to our spiritual well-being in this world, therefore, after the things of God's glory, kingdom, and will, we pray for the necessary supports and comforts of this present life, which are the gifts of God, and must be asked of him, Ton arton epiousion--Bread for the day approaching, for all the remainder of our lives. Bread for the time to come, or bread for our being and subsistence, that which is agreeable to our condition in the world (Pr 30:8), food convenient for us and our families, according to our rank and station.

 


Every word here has a lesson in it: (1.) We ask for bread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance; we ask for bread, not dainties, not superfluities; that which is wholesome, though it be not nice. (2.) We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread out of other people's mouths, not the bread of deceit (Pr 20:17), not the brad of idleness (Pr 31:27), but the bread honestly gotten. (3.) We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us not to take thought for the morrow (Mt 6:34), but constantly to depend upon divine Providence, as those that live from hand to mouth. (4.) We beg of God to give it us, not sell it us, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must be beholden to the mercy of God for their daily bread, (5.) We pray, "Give it to us; not to me only, but to others in common with me." This teaches us charity, and a compassionate concern for the poor and needy. It intimates also, that we ought to pray with our families; we and our households eat together, and therefore ought to pray together. (6.) We pray that God would give us this day; which teaches us to renew the desire of our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed; as duly as the day comes, we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we could as well go a day without meat, as without prayer.

Matthew Henry on "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, This is connected with the former; and forgive, intimating, that unless our sins be pardoned, we can have no comfort in life, or the supports of it. Our daily bread does but feed us as lambs for the slaughter, if our sins be not pardoned. It intimates, likewise, that we must pray for daily pardon, as duly as we pray for daily bread. He that is washed, needeth to wash his feet. Here we have, A petition; Father in heaven forgive us our debts, our debts to thee. Note, Our sins are our debts; there is a debt of duty, which, as creatures, we owe to our Creator; we do not pray to be discharged from that, but upon the non-payment of that there arises a debt of punishment; in default of obedience to the will of God, we become obnoxious to the wrath of God; and for not observing the precept of the law, we stand obliged to the penalty. A debtor is liable to process, so are we; a malefactor is a debtor to the law, so are we. Our hearts' desire and prayer to our heavenly Father every day should be, that he would forgive us our debts; that the obligation to punishment may be cancelled and vacated, that we may not come into condemnation; that we may be discharged, and have the comfort of it. In suing out the pardon of our sins, the great plea we have to rely upon is the satisfaction that was made to the justice of God for the sin of man, by the dying of the Lord Jesus our Surety, or rather Bail to the action, that undertook our discharge.

An argument to enforce this petition; as we forgive our debtors. This is not a plea of merit, but a plea of grace. Note, Those that come to God for the forgiveness of their sins against him, must make conscience of forgiving those who have offended them, else they curse themselves when they say the Lord's prayer. Our duty is to forgive our debtors; as to debts of money, we must not be rigorous and severe in exacting them from those that cannot pay them without ruining themselves and their families; but this means debt of injury; our debtors are those that trespass against us, that smite us (Mt 5:39,40), and in strictness of law, might be prosecuted for it; we must forbear, and forgive, and forget the affronts put upon us, and the wrongs done us; and this is a moral qualification for pardon and peace; it encourages to hope, that God will forgive us; for if there be in us this gracious disposition, it is wrought of God, and therefore is a perfection eminently and transcendently in himself; it will be an evidence to us that he has forgiven us, having wrought in us the condition of forgiveness.

 

Albert Barnes on "Lead us not into temptation" “And lead us not into temptation. A petition similar to this is offered by David, Ps 141:4 "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity." God tempts no man See Jas 1:13. This phrase, then, must be used in the sense of permitting. Do not suffer us, or permit us, to be tempted to sin. In this it is implied that God has such control over us and the tempter, as to save us from it if we call upon him. The word temptation, however, (Mt 4:1) means sometimes trial, affliction, anything that tests our virtue. If this be the meaning here, as it may be, then the import of the prayer is, "Do not afflict or try us." 

Matthew Henry wrote - “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This petition is expressed, Negatively: Lead us not into temptation. Having prayed that the guilt of sin may be removed, we pray, as it is fit, that we may never return again to folly, that we may not be tempted to it. It is not as if God tempted any to sin; but, "Lord, do not let Satan loose upon us; chain up that roaring lion, for he is subtle and spiteful; Lord, do not leave us to ourselves (Ps 19:13), for we are very weak; Lord, do not lay stumbling-blocks and snares before us, nor put us into circumstances that may be an occasion of falling." Temptations are to be prayed against, both because of the discomfort and trouble of them, and because of the danger we are in of being overcome by them, and the guilt and grief that then follow.”

Albert Barnes on "Deliver us from evil"

“Deliver us from evil. The original, in this place, has the article-- deliver us from THE evil--that is, as has been supposed, the evil one, or Satan. He is elsewhere called, by way of eminence, the evil one, Mt 13:19, 1Jn 2:13, 14, 3:12. Deliver us from his power, his snares, his arts, his temptations. He is supposed to be the great parent of evil, and to be delivered from him is to be safe. Or it may mean, deliver us from the various evils and trials which beset us, the heavy and oppressive calamities into which we are continually liable to fall.”

 

The Power and The Glory

"The power and the glory" is part of the doxology that falls at the end of the Lord's prayer.

Matthew Henry - “It is a form of praise and thanksgiving. The best pleading with God is praising of him; it is the way to obtain further mercy, as it qualifies us to receive it. In all our addresses to God, it is fit that praise should have a considerable share, for praise becometh the saints; they are to be our God for a name and for a praise. It is just and equal; we praise God, and give him glory, not because he needs it--he is praised by a world of angels, but because he deserves it; and it is our duty to give him glory, in compliance with his design in revealing himself to us. Praise is the work and happiness of heaven; and all that would go to heaven hereafter, must begin their heaven now. Observe, how full this doxology is, The kingdom, and the power, and the glory, it is all thine. Note, It becomes us to be copious in praising God. A true saint never thinks he can speak honourably enough of God: here there should be a gracious fluency, and this for ever. Ascribing glory to God for ever, intimates an acknowledgement, that it is eternally due, and an earnest desire to be eternally doing it, with angels and saints above, Ps 71:14.”

“By power, that energy by which the kingdom is governed and maintained. By glory, the honour that shall redound to God in consequence of the maintenance of the kingdom of grace, in the salvation of men." - Adam Clarke

 




Posted by rjlo at 5:03 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 24 April 2015 10:48 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Born again Christians beware of “wolves in sheep clothing”


“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)


“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” 2 Timothy 4:3


“Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14


Rick Warren starts a church-based campaign against mental illness. I pray for him and his wife and the loss of a son because of a mental problem but ---- but he has turned to the world system and the demon inspired philosophy, of Bertrand Russell one of the founders of analytical philosophy, a school of thought that uses scientific methods to solve philosophical problems and which tends to dominate in the US and UK in contrast to the existentialism and Marxism found in mainland Europe. One of his best known popular works is Why I Am Not a Christian.

British
(1872-1970)



See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which

depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Col. 2:8


Warren declared “There is no shame in seeing a psychiatrist.”If my back is broken, I go to a back doctor, If my brain isn’t functioning right, I go to a brain doctor.”

“Warren’s approach is very similar to cognitive therapy.” said T.M. Luhrmann, a Stanford anthropologist and author of 'When God Talks Back' - Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship With God.”

Warren has invited Simpson to speak at today’s Saddleback conference on Mental Health and the Church. Another speaker will be Steve Pitman, board president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Orange County He cared for his seriously mentally ill brother for years.

Religious leaders, he said, need to get educated. Many people with mental illness will come first to a pastor, priest, rabbi or imam, but “most of those leaders are not trained to work with the mentally ill,” he wrote on the NAMI website.


I wonder who is going to be declared mentally ill?


The Church has swallored hook line and sinker that Secular psychology and psychiatrists plus the book “The Purpose Driven Life” is the answer.


No, it is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.”


Many will disagree with me on my stance on this but by Warrens's own actions: Chrislam’s Rick Warren is Partnering With Mosques To Teach That God And Allah Are The Same"

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=8961


Once again Born again Christians be not decieved.


Posted by rjlo at 3:15 PM EDT
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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Brick or Stone 

 

 

http://rjlo.tripod.com/brickorstone.pdf

 


Posted by rjlo at 1:48 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 April 2015 2:13 PM EDT
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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Bob Furlin's photo.


Posted by rjlo at 10:35 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

1 Chronicles 29:10-20  David's Prayer

Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.


Posted by rjlo at 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 March 2015 4:29 PM EDT
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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Bob Furlin's photo.


Posted by rjlo at 12:05 PM EST
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