This month's article will be a 'burden' to some due to its length. Yes, in our contemporary society which has had its mind numbed with 15 second sound bites rather than full news reports... and where in far too many churches sermons are 20 minute friendly talks interspersed with 'uplifting' musical ditties, a sermon from our forefathers will be painful. However, be that as it may, I for one will not be transformed into this world's lack of interest in the things of God and I pray there will be many of the same mind who, although struggle to keep the faith (who doesn't?), will receive Rev. Ralph Erskine's sermon, "The Father's Love to the Son, and Depositing All Things into His Hand, A Strong Encouragement to Faith". Thus, the length and depth of Erskine's words are actually the cure for what ails us... strange how that works. Interesting enough, this sermon was delivered before the administration of the Lord's Supper where the call for poor needy sinner's is given to come to the Table to receive the elements of Christ's sacrifice and love for them who labour and are heavy laden. Some, perhaps many even in the 1700's experienced those things which weigh us down in our own day, not excluding doubts about faith, or even fear for our very souls as we contemplate life after death. This is pastoral preaching at its best! Read it and be blessed by the knowledge of Christ's love and power to save lost and/or tired souls to the uttermost.
I just read the Rumble link and it immediately reminded me of an unpleasant conversation I recently had.
In particular, in that conversation the name Rothschild as well as Rabbinical Judaism was brought up. This person claimed that the Jewish holocaust is a horrible myth, that never happened and that the Rothchild’s were in on it.
When I stated that it was not a myth, and that even people like German General Schindler, as well as many others tried to stop these things from happening. I got out out of the conversation when they called me a “red herring”.
Hmmm…. That feels like a passive aggressive way of either dismissing everything I posted or implying you’re not very interested in my premise. Either or neither position is fine. However, I am not denying the Holocaust nor did the rumble audio. Which part of the link brought you to that unpleasant conversation? The case is for secret societies and elite control. Many Jews are being sacrificed. COVID tyranny ravaged Israel. So this is not a case for ethnic cultural or religious supremacy. This is a few men playing god and leading a confused and depraved mass of humanity. Who do you think is (ultimately & patiently) running not just Israel, US, and Australia but also Canada and many other countries. The JEWS are not the problem.
You are probably right about German General Schindler. You can’t view veiled history like you would a disqualified theologian. We have to compare sources and match various corroborated reports to get to the truth of a heavily controlled and guarded narrative. I’m not “this person” nor am I trying to be. I prefer not to keep being led back to the house of Rothschild but that’s where even numerous secondary sources take me. https://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=FedReserve&C=5.0
I will admit that the audio uses a little rough and generalizing language (maybe of the age and general bias) but it doesn’t negate info that can be corroborated pretty close even by legacy media sources.
Nothing is more valuable to God than His children, which are in the same significance as Himself, giving us His Son as He did! There’s no doubt that they mean more to Him than the angels, for it was for those in Christ that He made them “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” The Christian is why God created and sent His Son. It’s all for them in their service and fellowship with Him. Shouldn’t any child be as valuable to their father? Being a child of God is the most unique and valuable blessing in Him, as valuable to Him as His Son, Whom He gave; and is why the Father gave His Son instead of Himself, because He wanted to give what meant the most to Him. NC
Our Great High Priest regards us a valuable—because His eyes have rested on us—beautiful and worthy of His admiration. In another connection we have the same principle. The Bridegroom says to her who bewails that she is black (e.g. sorry for the sinfulness—NC), “Thou art all fair, My love (says Jesus—NC)”; and it is at the time when she in conscious of her blackness that she is told so. The German philosopher said the more that he knew of men the more he liked dogs: probably we all have such feelings at times.
The more we know of one another and ourselves the more marvelous does that love seem which could not only suffer for us, but could set such a value upon us. How to account for it? Who can? Who can explain love and the ways of life? When the mother of the Gracchi said (the Gracchi were Roman brothers who tried to reform Rome's social and political structure to help the lower classes—NC), in the 2nd century BCE, “These are my real jewels,” pointing to her children, did she think them valuable because she had suffered and labored for them, or because it really gave her pleasure to look upon them—or both?
Gems are the most valuable and beautiful things the earth contains. As valuable as the rare metals, but are more beautiful; as beautiful as the flowers, and they are more durable. But, after all, what are they, what is their origin? There is a well-known passage is a modern writer where he traces the course of the common mud or slime, composed of clay is gradually developed into a sapphire, the sand into an opal, the soot into a diamond; and this is not mere poetry but common scientific fact.
The diamond is indeed “crystallized carbon,” glorified-soot. It is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. How have they been thus transformed so that they adorn the king’s crown, the queen’s coronet, and the high priest’s breastplate? By the power of the Most High working mysteriously by means of heat and flood, of pressure, of darkness and light. When picked up from the dust the work is not yet done: they have to pass through the discipline of cutting and grinding. The lapidary bends over them on the revolving lathe and makes them scream as he touches them here and there. He hurts them a good deal, but he will not harm them. They will shine with a more beauteous luster presently.
What a sense of security this gives! Those who possess gems protect them with the greatest care. The gem may perhaps be in a poor environment, like the rich ruby which the Russian Peter (the Great—NC) took from his pocket in a piece of crumbled paper and handed it to King William; or unpolished as the Kohinoor (one of the largest cut diamonds in the world—NC), before the Iron Duke took it to his mistress he took it to the lapidary to be cut and ground. It is too valuable to be uncared for. The Duke would sit by, never letting the gem out of his sight till a new facet was cut, and then would carefully wrap it up in a silk handkerchief and take it away till the morrow.
Even such a care protects, even such a value is set upon the children of God. The Heavenly Lapidary bends over the crude misshapen stones as they move on the revolving wheel of life, and He touches them with many a sharp instrument and polishes them with their own dust. But He will neither harm them Himself nor let anyone else do so; and He says, “They shall be Mine in that day when I make up My jewels” (Mal 3:17).
—J C Bayley
MJS daily devotional excerpt for May 31
“Two things mark spiritual growth; one is a deeper sense of the sinful old nature, the other is a greater longing after the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinfulness is discovered and felt as the power of the Holy Spirit increases; for many a thought and act passes without pain to the conscience where the Lord Jesus is less before the soul, which will be refused and condemned as the knowledge of the Lord increases in spiritual power within.” - James Butler Stoney (1814-1897) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2023/05/31/
How often have you needed the encouragement that comes from the Word of God? Of course there’s nowhere to go to get the type of encouragement it gives! It may not be immediate (but sometimes could be) but it eventually gives direction and purpose to the believer who continues to think on the Lord Jesus enough. One of the most encouraging Scripture passages, if not the most encouraging, is Romans 8:28, which partially states, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” What works good to those who love God? Everything! There’s nothing that is not somehow used by God to make whatever occurs in our lives (little or big) to be used by Him for our “good.” It’s my understanding that all that happens is supposed to happen, or it wouldn’t have happened; and of all that happens, God uses for our good.
When we direct our attention to this truth long and often enough, it can only start encouraging us, and we’re again on our joyful way in the Lord Jesus—for being eternally saved! This means more than any kind of deliverance through which we are always and eventually rescued. When we want to keep making this our primary encouragement (salvation), it can’t but eventually take form in our thoughts and hearts. Why isn’t this encouragement quick to take? It’s because we need a little soaking first, for time to learn more dependence on God in everything!
Whoever termed the phrase “it’s all good,” said something that has great value to the believer in Christ—per Romans 8:28—which means the same. Even when we can’t see or notice the deliverance right away, one thing is for certain, deliverance is inevitable! This reminds me of something that was wisely said, that “the lost need saved, and the saved needs delivered.” The believer in Christ has the main need of “encouragement,” that’s all (if you believe salvation is “irrevocable” - Rom 11:29); for we presently possess every single thing we need to be encouraged and joyful in the Lord Jesus (Eph 4:15; Phl 4:4).
One primary key to rejoicing in the Lord is to remember that He is more important to us than mother, father, brother, sister, friend or self; that way nothing can interrupt our concertation on Him for the much-needed encouragement (Mat 10:37)!!
So you think a primary emphasis of the verse is to establish and verify a homoerotic relationship between David and Jonathan? You sound like a very nice man, but that is a pretty weak and projected application. The deep bond between these two men that is being conveyed (1 Sam. 18:1 KJV "the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David") is not a sexual one. It makes not the slightest sense in context all things considered. That is a modern hijacking of what is being described. If their relationship was thus there would be much scandal and call for further scriptural support and clarification on the matter. Sorry, you are highly delusional on this point. It’s the nicest way I can say it. Not to hurt your feelings. You have a nice little formula conceived but I don’t have to try to make some biblical case for a point that has not been established. The burden of proof is on you to usurp 2000 years of biblical authority and your attempt is silly.
The phrase “Kingdom of Heaven” occurs only in the Gospel of Matthew, where it is found thirty-one times. What does it mean? Here is a failure of the interpretation of the Word of God; most of the error and confusion around us springs from the false conception of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is generally taught and understood that the term Kingdom of Heaven means the Church, and thus the Church is thought to be the true Kingdom of Heaven, established on the earth, and conquering the nations and the world.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not the Church, and the Church is not the Kingdom of Heaven. This is a very vital truth. When our Lord speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven up to the twelfth chapter of Matthew He does not mean the Church, but the Kingdom of Heaven in its Old Testament sense, as it is promised to Israel (Mat 5:3, 10—NC), to be established in the land, with Jerusalem for its center, and from there to spread over all the nations and the entire earth (kingdom of heaven on earth; Thy kingdom come to earth, earth becomes like heaven but is not heaven—NC).
What did the pious, believing Jew expect according to the Scriptures? He expected (and still expects) the coming of the King Messiah, who is to occupy the “throne of His father David” (Luk 1:32; Rev 3:7—NC). He was expected to bring judgment for the enemies of Jerusalem, and to bring together the outcasts of Israel (Isa 11:12—NC). The land would flourish as never before; universal peace would be established; righteousness and peace in the knowledge of the glory of the Lord to cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.
All this on the earth with the land, which is Jehovah’s land (Hosea 9:3), as fountain head, from which all the blessings, the streams of living waters flow. A temple, a house of worship for all nations was expected to stand in Jerusalem, to which the nations would come to worship the Lord. This is the Kingdom of the Heavens as promised to Israel and as expected by them. It is all to be on the earth.
The Church, however, is something entirely different! The hope of the Church, the destiny of the Church, the reigning of the Church (Luk 22:30; Rev 20:4—NC) are not earthly but heavenly (in heaven reigning with Christ—NC). Now the King long expected has appeared, and He preached the Kingdom of the Heavens having drawn nigh, that is, this promised earthly kingdom for Israel. When John the Baptist preached, “Repent ye, for the Kingdom has drawn nigh” (Mat 3:2), he meant the same. It is all wrong to preach the Gospel from such a text and state that the sinner is to repent and believe in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (only the Jews were being called to salvation at the time, the Gentiles weren’t called until Paul - Act 13:46).
A very well-known British teacher of spiritual truths gave not long ago in this country a discourse on the mistranslated text, “The Kingdom of God is within you,” and dwelt largely on the fact that the Kingdom is within the believer. The context shows this is erroneous; the true translation is “The Kingdom is among you”; thas is, in the Person of the King.
Now if Israel had accepted the testimony of John, and had repented, and if they had accepted the King, the Kingdom would have come, but now it has been postponed until Jewish disciples will pray again in preaching the coming Kingdom, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.” That will be after the Church has been raptured (translated - Heb 11:5—NC) to the heavenly places (Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6).
MJS daily devotional excerpt for May 25, 2023
“Believers are not occupying their position! At best, most are trying to attain a victorious position by means of prayer, Bible study, commitment, re-consecration, surrender, and so forth. But the answer is simply to abide where we have already been placed—in our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Abide above, and keep looking down!” –Miles J Stanford
“Our Father has taken us over Jordan and placed us in Canaan, but the reality of it is never known until by faith we accept the fact on the basis of having died with Christ, and that therefore heaven is our place, and we know it to be our place now; and that this side is not our place, and we know that it is not.
“The more we abide in the Lord on the other side, the less disappointed we will be here, for when we are there we import new joys and new hopes into this old world, from an entirely new one, and we therefore in every way surpass the inhabitants of this lost world.” -James Butler Stoney (1814-1897) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
Secondly, there is a conformity to this rule. If you would be blessed, there must be a sincere, constant, uniform obedience. The will of God must not only be known but practised. Many will conclude that God’s law in the theory is the only direction to true blessedness; but now, to take it for their rule, to keep close to it, not one of a thousand doth that.
1. Then, sincere obedience is required: ‘Blessed is the undefiled in the way.’ At first hearing of these words, a man might reply, Oh, then, none can be blessed, if that be the qualification; ‘for who can say, My heart is clean?’ Prov. xx. 9. I answer—This undefiledness is to be understood according to the tenor of the second covenant, which doth not exclude the mercy of God and the justification of penitent sinners: Ps. cxxx. 3, 4, ‘If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, who shall stand? But there is mercy with thee.’ There is no escaping condemnation and the curse, if God should deal with us according to strict justice, and require an absolute undefiledness. Well, then, this qualification must be understood, as I said, in the sense of the second covenant; and what is that? Sincerity of sanctification. When a man doth carefully endeavour to keep his garments unspotted from the world, and to approve himself to God; when this is his constant exercise, ‘to avoid all offence both towards God and man, Acts xxiv. 16, and is cautious and watchful lest he should be defiled; when he is humbled more for his pollutions; when he is always purging his heart, and doth endeavour, and that with success, to walk in the way of God,—here is the undefiledness in a gospel sense: Ps. lxxxiv. 11 ‘The Lord will be a sun and a shield,’ &c. To whom? ‘To those that walk uprightly.’ This is possible enough; here is no ground of despair. This is that will lead us to blessedness, when we are troubled for our failings, and there is a diligent exercise in the purification of our hearts.
2. A constant obedience. Wicked men have their good moods and devout pangs in the way to heaven, but they are not lasting. They will go with God a step or two. But it is said, ‘He that walketh in the law of the Lord.’ A wicked man prays himself weary of prayer, and professeth himself weary of holiness. A man is judged by the tenor of his life; not by one action, but as he holdeth on his way to heaven, Job xxvii. 10. Many run well for a while, but are soon out of breath. Enoch walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years.
3. A uniform and an entire obedience: Exod. xx. 1, ‘God spake all these words.’ He commandeth one thing as well as another, and conscience takes hold of all. To single out what pleaseth us is to make ourselves gods.
A servant does not choose his work, but the master. A child of God is uniform in one place as well as another, at home and abroad, in all the passages of his life, in prosperity and adversity, ‘whether he abound, or whether he be abased,’ Phil. iv. He is not like Ephraim as ‘a cake not turned;’ but there is a uniformity. Doth he make conscience of piety and worship, and will he not make conscience of honesty and just dealing with men? Will he make conscience of his actions, and will he not of his words? He doth not give up himself to idle speech and vain discourse. A hypocrite is best when he is taken in pieces, but a sincere man is best when he is taken altogether. A Christian is always like himself.
The Lord Jesus revealed two distinct lines of truth. In the first, He presented Himself as Israel’s Messiah and called upon that nation for their long-predicted national repentance, in which He also declared the character of His earthy kingdom rule (Millennium—NC), and Himself as the Fulfiller of the great Messianic purposes (of which the Messianic ministry is over and all must now come to Jesus as the Lord and not the deliverer from earthly troubles—NC). At that time He said of Himself, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24). In sending out His disciples He commanded them, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 10:5, 6).
In the second, when Israel’s rejection of Him became apparent, He began to speak of His departure and Second Advent, and of a hitherto unannounced age which should intervene in which the Gospel should be preached in all the world to Jew and Gentile alike, and His disciples whose messages has before been restricted to Israel alone, were then commissioned to declare the glad tidings to every creature. A slight comparison of His farewell address to Israel— “. . . hated of all nations” (Mat 23:37; 24:9; 25:46), and with His farewell word to those who had believed on Him to the saving of their souls (Jn 13:1-17:26) will disclose the most evident distinctions between Israel and the Church. Such contrasts could be drawn from the Gospels almost indefinitely, and without these distinctions in mind only perplexity can characterize the one who reads with attention.
In His death and resurrection the same two different objectives are discernible. To Israel His death was a stumbling block (1Co 1:23), nor was His death any part of His office as King over Israel (Christ’s death will not be applied to Israel’s deliverance, most of them not believing in Him—NC)—“Long live the King!” Yet in His death Israel had her share to the extent that He dealt finally with the sins committed aforetime, which sin had been only covered (but not taken away—NC) according to the provisions of the Old Testament atonement (Ro 3:25 - for the Jews who believed in God, the punishment of their sins were overlooked through “shadows” of Christ’s Blood in the antitype of animal sacrifices, which provided forgiveness - Num 15:24-26, hence—“through the forbearance of God”—NC).
By His death the way was prepared for any individual Jew to be saved through faith in Him; and by His death a sufficient ground was secured whereon God will yet “take away” the sins of that nation at a time when “all Israel shall be saved” (sins covered and forgiven, but not taken away, until they see Him - Heb 10:4; removing sin has to do with the inability of the old man not having “dominion” over a soul - Ro 6:14; sin not having dominion doesn’t mean the sin is gone but that it can no longer cause you to want to sin, for as long as we have the sin-source – “the old man,” we will still sin, but now it’s never our desire to sin - Ro 7:17, 20, which means everything because this is where God wants us and He keeps us there - Phl 2:13—NC). However, the nation Israel sustains no relation to the resurrection of Christ other than that which David foresaw, namely, that if Christ died He must be raised again from the dead in order that He might sit on David’s throne (Ps 16:10; Acts2:25-31). Over against that, it is revealed that Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it (Eph 5:25-27), and that His resurrection is the beginning of the New Creation of God, which includes the many sons whom He is bringing into glory (Heb 2:10).
In that New Creation relationship the believer is in the ascended Christ and He is in the believer (Jhn 14:20). This twofold unity establishes an identity of relationship which surpasses all human understanding. It is even likened by Christ to the unity which exists between the Persons of the Godhead (Jn 17:21-23 – Christians are the most important beings after the Trinity—NC). By the baptism of the Spirit (Mat 3:11), wrought, as it is for everyone when one believes (1Co 12:13), the saved one is joined to the Lord (1Co 6:17; Gal 3:27). By that union with the resurrected Christ he is made a partaker of His resurrection Life (Col 1:27), is translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13), is crucified, dead and buried with Christ, and is raised to walk in newness of Life (Rom 6:2-4; Col 3:1), is now seated with Christ in heaven (Eph 2:6), is now a citizen of heaven (Phl 3:20), is forgiven all trespasses (Col 2:13), is justified (Rom 5:1), and blessed with every “spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3).
This vast body of truth, which is but slightly indicated here, is not found in the Old Testament, nor are the Old Testament saints ever said to be related thus to the resurrected Christ (must believe in Christ before seeing Him—NC). It is impossible for these great disclosures to be fitted into a theological system which does not distinguish the heavenly character of the Church as in contrast to the earthly (new earth—NC) character of Israel.
—L S Chafer
MJS daily devotional excerpt for May 17
“There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.” –MJS
“The story of Job shows clearly that it is God who sets the limit to the extent of the devil’s activities and power. From the human viewpoint the Cross looks like a colossal failure. In it the victory of the power of evil seemed complete. But ‘the weakness of God is stronger than men’ or the enemy, and by the power of weakness having ‘spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it’ (Col. 2:15).” –C J McNight
“Satan, as it were, is God’s scavenger, and all he can do is to remove out of your life those things that mar your joy, your growth, and your service.” –MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
"America’s men have the power to transform this country for the better. Want to curb the epidemic of child poverty? Get a father to start contributing to his wife and children. Want to address the cataclysm of youth violence? Put a father in the picture. Men can help bring peace and order to a nation wracked by crises. They can change the destiny of their families and whole neighborhoods. Their power, once tapped, can be a mighty and world-shaping thing.
Power alone, though, isn’t enough. Power only becomes true strength, a force for good, when it’s used in the right ways, for the right reasons. What we need is a guide, a roadmap for what it means to be a good man.
And for that, we should turn to the faith of our fathers.
In the same breath that the left attacks traditional manhood, they attack traditional faith as well. That’s no coincidence. Faith and manhood are linked, because for centuries men have looked to faith, to the Bible, to understand who they are and what they can be. In this time of turmoil, our ancient faith can guide us again."
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28
If God’s providence ordains all things that come to pass according to the immutable law of His purpose, then what necessity is there for prayer? We cannot by our most fervent prayers alter God’s decrees. Divine providence does not only ordain what outcomes shall come to pass, but also by what means, what causes, and in what order they shall flow. Prayer is a means to bring to pass that which God has determined shall be. Prayer does not incline God to bestow that which before He was not resolved to give but prepares us to receive that which God will not give otherwise. Here is another way to say that: Prayer is a means by which we may submit our will to receive that which He has preordained would be according to His wisdom to provide the outcome that would bring the highest glory to Him.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Eph 5:25-30).
What a wondrous unfolding of the tender love of the Lord Jesus for the Church! What a blessed revelation of the nearness and sacredness of the union subsisting between them. Here we see enacted in the Last Adam that which is so beautifully typified in the first. The first Adam was head of creation, but he was alone, with no help meet (fit) for him.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2:18-24).
The Last Adam has gone through all that is here divinely prefigured in the first. He, too, was alone; the Head, by God’s anointing, of everything; but as long as He lived, He abode alone. The deep, deep sleep of death passed by God’s ordinance upon Him; and now, having fallen into the ground (buried - Jhn 12:24) and died, He can “bring forth much fruit.” But what was the first-fruit of this deep sleep? God has formed out of His very self, bone of His bones and flesh of His flesh, the Bride, the object to which His heart can cleave, which He can take to be one with Himself. Can He hate it? Surely not, it is “His own flesh,” and as such He “nouriseth and cherisheth it” (Eph 5:29 – the Lord Jesus made the saints to be His bones and flesh—NC).
Truly He is the Head, but does He class His Bride with the subjects over whom He reigns by God’s anointing? Was Eve in the same relationship with Adam as the creation over which he ruled (yes, she was “mother of all living” - Gen 3:20—NC)? No less is the Church in the same relationship with Christ as the other subjects of His dominion. He is Head to the Church, and Head over all things. But to the Church He is Head as the husband is head of the wife; to all things else He is Head as a king is head over his subjects (Christ reigns over everyone except the Church, who reigns with Him, as the Head does not reign here but guides and directs - 2Ti 2:12; Rev 20:6—NC). Adam was head to Eve, but Eve was the partner of Adam in his leadership over creation. In like manner Christ is Head to the Body, but the Bride is the consort (associate—NC) of Christ in His headship over all things.
This shows us the difference between millennial and Church blessings. The millennial saint (Jews who believe in God the Father - Jn 14:1—NC) will enjoy every advantage that a redeemed earth can yield under Christ’s government. The believer now is set in a groaning creation (Rom 8:22), in a world “lying in the wicked one” (1Jo 5:19), and is called to be a partaker of Christ’s sufferings. But the millennial saint will only know Christ as a gracious sovereign, as the Anointed of God carrying our His thoughts of blessing to the earth. The believer now knows the Lord Jesus as his Life—he is at present the sharer of His sufferings, and when He comes in His glory, he will be the sharer of His throne. Such is the faithful Word. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him” (2Tim 2:12). “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev 3:21).
Where is anything like this stated of the millennial saints (who will only have the new earth and will be only a “people of God,” but no sonship in Christ—NC)? Take the most favored people during that blessed epoch (God’s dealings of blessings with Israel—NC), and mark what is said about them (Israel—NC). “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luk 1:33). Christ will reign, then, over Israel as King. The Church, on the other hand, reigns with Christ (being “Head” of the Church is not ruling but guiding and teaching—NC). He is never called King of the Church, but of Israel. Reigning with Him, on the contrary, is never ascribed to Israel, but to the Bride.
The Bride of Christ, then, occupies a higher place than either the Old Testament or the millennial saints. The “just men made perfect” (Heb 12:23 – not “perfect” as in Christ but complete in the “shadows” and types that represented His Blood through animal sacrifices; “just men” were OT believers in God—NC), however blessed their lot, are not brought into that nearness of relationship which is accorded to the “Church of the firstborn,” the first-fruits if His redemption toil. The millennial saint, too, surrounded with all that ministers to delight here below, with the law written in his heart, and rejoicing in all the blessings of the new covenant (Jer 31:31; Eze 36:27 – Israel’s new and final covenant with God—NC), will never be in the same sacred intimacy, the same hallowed oneness with the Lord Jesus, into which the feeblest of His Body is now brought.
In heavenly glory we see the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, in all the perfect beauty she will possess when He shall “present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27). “And to her was granted she should be arrayed in fine linen, white and clean, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (we have Christ’s righteousness – Rev 19:8).
But now while still in the world, liable to contract defilement, or to be led away into false paths by the subtle craft of Satan (from which God always bring us back—NC), the Bride requires the constant, tender watchfulness of her risen Head, to cleanse and guard her (2Th 3:3; Jde 1:24—NC). And how does He meet this daily want? Should she contract defilement by the way, He comes in to sanctify and cleanse with the “washing of water by the Word” (cleansing speaks only of the Blood of Christ, for nothing else can wash away sins - Psa 51:2)—NC). Should she be in danger of wandering through the false suggestions of Satan, He sends His faithful apostle to lift up the voice of earnest and affectionate expostulation, recalling her to her blessed place of privilege and warning her against the snares of the deceiver.
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2Co 11:2, 3). How exquisitely tender the love of Christ for His Bride as brought out in this passage!
Not less beautiful is the figure in which Scripture describes His mode of nourishing and cherishing her, exhorting believers to “grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:15, 16). Love is what builds it up, love flowing from the Head, and causing it to grow up “into Him.”
With the living Word of God as our authoritative source, with the Spirit of God to unfold its wisdom to our hearts, and with a single eye to walk in obedience to His divine guidance, the path through this tangled labyrinth will be found. We have long since exhausted our own resources; but we have not, and we never shall have, exhausted our Father’s.
— Thomas Blackburn Baines (1832-1891)
MJS daily devotional excerpt for May 11
“Some say, ‘I want to feel that I am strong.’ What we need is to feel that we are weak; this brings in Omnipotence. We shall have a life of feeling by-and-by in the glory; now we are called upon to lead a life of faith. What believer but knows from the experience of the deceitfulness of his own heart, that, had we power in ourselves instead of in Christ, we should be something. This is what God does not intend.”
“The very essence of the condition of a soul in a right state is conscious dependence. Now one may use the fact of completeness in Christ to make one independent. Two things are implied in dependence: first, the sense that we cannot do without God in a single instance; and, secondly, that He is ‘for us.’ In other words, there is confidence in His love and power on our behalf, as well as the consciousness that without Him we can do nothing.” -J.N.D. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
As I read this; I was reminded of a video I watched.
Tom, thanks for the link; I did watch that 41 minute video. I do not identify with that. They seemed to claim the name "Baptist", but they are not the historic Baptists who believe in separation of Church and State. When Ted Haggard, who was actually the President of the National Association of Evangelicals was exposed, I checked the list of denominations making up that organization. Knowing that group actually elected Ted Haggard I knew I was NOT an evangelical, especially after seeing the member denominations. I had in earlier years rejected the label "fundamentalist" to describe myself and then I later rejected the label "evangelical" for myself. Neither word is in the Bible and I must go by the common understanding of the words and I am NOT either of those. It depends on definition, but I surely would not attend a church where people raise their hands in some idea of physical worship, or have rock bands on the stage, and I do not condemn homosexuals for having a loving relationship nor the woman who has an abortion in the first trimester.
That 41 minute video seems to indicate that the only biblical understanding is, that a human being, a person, exists from conception and they want to put that into civil law. That viewpoint is not THE Christian viewpoint alone. I find that the typical fundamentalist/evangelical views on homosexual males and abortion are man-made theological constructions not based on clear statements of scripture. They are read into the scriptures.
There is a book you can read online, "Baptist Principles Reset", a 1902 Edition book. In one chapter they address the question of the "Blue Laws" in the State of Virginia and they get into the question of religious liberty. The chapter on that starts on page 298. I agree with this earlier Baptist view.
Page 298, I cannot do a copy-paste on this so I can't text out a copy so you must read it online. I hold to the older Particular Baptist 1646 Confession and the Baptist instance on separation of Church and State, so I don't use the name Baptist for myself in this day.
On the matter of homosexual males, I find the Britannica article on Lawrence v. Texas revealing as it gave the arguments and the last two sentences sum it up well. If you can read the entire article, the link is: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lawrence-v-Texas
"A vice president of Focus on the Family, a conservative organization, attacked the court for continuing to pillage “its way through the moral norms of our country.” What both sides agreed upon, but reacted to far differently, was the belief that Lawrence would be the opening wedge in a campaign to constitutionalize same-sex marriage."
I disagree with both and find each extreme. The simple fact, after a false police complaint caused police to enter the house, of two males merely having sex is not in the Bible, so I find no basis for the moral condemnation; but, I see nothing in that ruling to justify redefining marriage to suit an anomaly of sexual nature found in such a small minority.
It’s a very distracting thing, to walk without our own righteousness, but this tests our humility in the fact that we have “the old man,” and that we are willing to endure whatever it takes to be right with God, and have Him for our own. We know it is more than well worth of knowing sin and being forgiven, in order to know His righteousness and holiness and love. To know something just by words, or just knowing about something, is a far cry from knowing something through experiencing it and becoming a part of it! No matter how this all sounds, I find there is much importance in knowing that having to endure the sin nature is surly worth all involved, in order to be as God wants us to be.
He knew we would have to deal with the sin nature (old man) in His way, so that experiential-knowledge in Him could have its way. Regardless of all things, the way everything is going is how God knew it would go; and by the fact that He is allowing it so, manifests that it is how He chose it all to be, or He would have chosen a different way to do it all! It’s obvious He wants everything done only one way—and that way is the way it is going. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous” (1Jo 3:7). “He that doeth righteousness is he that being convinced of the insufficiency of his own righteousness, and of the excellency and suitableness of Christ's righteousness, renounces his own, and submits to His” (John Gill). NC
Salvation is a deliverance wrought by the divine work on the Cross, so as to bring us out of one position into another. It is true we are morally changed, but we want more than that (morality has only to do with interaction between men and is not necessarily godliness; one can be morally good but not godly, but one godly will be morally good—NC). But supposing I have the new life, with its desires after holiness, what is the effect? It gives me the consciousness of all the sin that is in me. I want to be righteous, but then I see that I am not righteous (within myself, because of the indwelling old man or sin nature—NC); and I bow under the power of indwelling sin (not intentional sin but unavoidable sin—NC), and of the knowledge of such holiness which I have learned to desire, only to find out that I have not got it (my own righteousness—NC).
I say, what is the good of my knowing holiness in this way, if I have not got it? It is no comfort to me. Here we have been speaking of God’s righteousness; but when I look, I find I have no righteousness. Where can I find a resting-place for my spirit in such a state as this? It is impossible; and the very effect of having this new life, with all its holy affections and desires after the Lord Jesus, brings me to the discovery of the lack of what this new life cannot itself impart (self-righteousness—NC). I have got the hungers of this new life—all its holy and righteous desires; but the thing yearned for (self-righteousness—NC) I have not got.
It is the desire of my new life. I say, Oh that I could be righteous; but then I am not righteous (within myself—NC). In that way the Father meets us with a positive salvation. He meets us and quickens us into the desire and want of holiness, giving us a new life and nature capable of enjoying it when we get it. But that is not all. When I have got that new life, have I got the thing I want? No, I strive, and think, Oh! If I could get more of this holiness, but still I have not got it. I may hate sin, but the sin is there that I hate (the sin-source, the old man—NC).
I may long to be with my Father, to be forever in the light of His countenance, but then I see that I have got sin, and know that the light of His countenance cannot shine upon my sin; I want a righteousness fit for His presence, and I have not got it. It is thus God meets us at the Cross. He not only gives the life and nature that we want, but He gives us the thing that we want (Christ’s righteousness—NC); and not only so, but in Christ He gives us both the perfect Object and Life.
We have borne the image of the first Adam, in all the consequences of his sin and ruin, and we shall bear the image of the Last Adam. But the Father lays down first this great truth for our hearts, “As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly” (1Co 15:48). It is what we are now! There I find what my heart as quickened by God wants; and I learn what blessedness is in Christ, by whom the Father has revealed it to us. He has given us a righteousness in the Lord Jesus, who is the blessed accepted Man in the presence of the Father (the Father gives all, in that a righteousness in Christ is more infinitely blessed than a righteousness of our own—NC).
Now, as regards my soul and eternal life, the Father has come and brought us into this position, making the Lord Jesus to be my “righteousness” and “my Life” (1Co 1:30; Col 3:4). He has brought me in, by faith and in the truth of my new life, into this wondrous position in Christ. The realization of it is another thing, and may be hindered (temporarily—NC) through failure or infirmity (trials—NC). You begin to search, perhaps in yourself, and find such and such a thought contrary to Christ. But I say, That is the old man (unintentionally sinning, yet in the light of continuous forgiveness - 1Jo 1:9. The Father knows that this is the sin nature and not us in our new nature - Rom 7:17, 20—NC). If you take yourself by yourself, there is no righteousness before God, and therefore you cannot stand an instant in the Father’s sight. I must look at the Lord Jesus to see what I am, and I say, “As the heavenly, such are they that are also heavenly”; and this is what I am in the presence of my Father. There is no veil: we are to “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1Jo 1:7 – to me walking in the light is knowing you are forgiven in spite of the old man’s sins—NC).