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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
Charlestown, R.I. US
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Recent Posts
Dispensational Description
by NetChaplain - Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:58 PM
Coach Wins Case
by jta - Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:16 AM
There is a Fountain ~ William Cowper
by Rick Bates - Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:35 PM
First Work, Sins—Second Work, Sin!
by NetChaplain - Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:09 AM
Nicene Creed Question
by jta - Mon Jun 27, 2022 8:28 AM
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Dispensational Description NetChaplain Yesterday at 05:58 PM
There was never a time that God did not bring Israel back to Himself for fellowship after chastising them, due to His promises to Abraham (Deu 7:8). They often fell out of fellowship with Him, and are presently “fallen” out of fellowship with Him (Ro 11:11), but have never been out of union with Him! Therefore, there is yet a time and place when Israel in general will return to permanent fellowship with Him (as a people of God but not as children of God); and senseless would it be to conceive that God would abandon His people Israel, a union which has been established now for nearly 3300 millennia (1300bc; giving of the Law to Israel – 2000ad present time).

Dispensational Description

The term “dispensation” used in the Word of God (1Co 9:17; Eph 1:10; 3:2; Col 1:25) signifies a certain ordered administration for a certain period of time (e.g. the dispensing of the Law of Moses and of the Gospel of Christ are not the same method of operations, yet have the same goal, just performed in different manners, i.e. Law brought forgiveness but not renewal—NC). It may be called an economy, or the management of an organized system. In a larger and more general sense it is used to describe any period of time wherein God operated toward man in a particular manner. In a broader sense we might consider the following.

a) He first place man in an earthly paradise, but he was no sooner there that he sinned, and thereby died unto God. b) After the sin in Eden came expulsion from that Garden, and man (in a general sense—NC) was left to his own way (i.e. until the giving of the Law, which began with the Decalogue—NC). This in a strict sense could not be called a dispensation, for man was left to himself; but for our purpose we shall consider it as a special period. Here man showed himself to be utterly lawless—so much so that God destroyed all except Noah and his family with the Flood.

c) After the flood, God put government into the hands of man, and decreed, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen 9:6); but then man turned to idolatry. See Romans 1 for the manner in which they turned to the worship of that which their hands made—images made like to men, to birds, to quadrupeds, to creeping things (or back to the serpent). d) Out of this prevalent condition of idolatry which came in when man gave up the traditional knowledge of God acquired through Noah’s posterity, God called the man Abraham and made a covenant with him; but he soon denied his wife and had to be reproved by a heathen (Gen 12:18; Gen 12:19).

e) After God’s allowing Abraham’s descendants to be enslaved in Egypt, He sent the man Moses to bring them forth; but ere long the children of Israel said, “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” f) At this time the Israelites had covenanted to obey which God would speak, and put themselves under the conditional agreement of keeping God’s Law (Exo 19:8). While Moses was away receiving the Words of God for them, they made the golden calf. g) God raised up the priesthood for Israel, but, as soon as it was instituted, it failed; and two of Aaron’s sons died the first day for offering “strange fire” (Lev 10:1, 2). It was more or less set aside in the days of aged Eli, for his sons had corrupted the people.

h) Afterward, God raised up a king David, “a man after His own heart.” But for a long time he was hunted and his life endangered, and his son Solomon brought idolatry into his own family circle (1Kings 11). After that, the kingdom was divided; and God had compassion on His people and sent messenger after messenger unto them, until the sins of Manasseh made judgement on them imperative. God brought a remnant back in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, but the prophet Malachi describes the sad condition into which that remnant sank. j) Finally, God sent His only Son, saying (in typology—NC), “They will reverence My Son,” but Him they cast out and slew. This is a very brief outline of man’s pathway of failure from the first Adam to the Last Adam.

In this period which we live, God has been dealing in great grace and beseeching men to be reconciled to Him (2Cor 5:20). The Gospel first went forth from an ascended and glorified Christ to the Jews, or, as John Bunyan called them, “Jerusalem sinners.” The message was to begin in the very place where the Lord was crucified. Then the book of Acts outlines the carrying of the message from Jerusalem and Judea to Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. Acts 1:8 is in substance a table of contents of Acts.

After Stephen’s death, the scenes began to change, for Israel has now rejected the Gospel sent down from heaven in the power of the Holy Spirit. From place to place through Acts, the Jews were given the Gospel first (“to the Jew first” - Rom 1:16; 2:10); but when they rejected it, it was then given to the Gentiles until, at length, in the last chapter, the sentence of judicial blindness (Acts 28:26), foretold by the prophet Isaiah (6:9), was place upon them; and Paul said to them, “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it” (v 28).

We are now living in the end of the period of God’s special grace to the Gentiles; it is spoken of as “the fullness of the Gentiles” in Romans 11:25.Their fullness will come in when the Lord calls His Church home to be with Himself. For this blessed moment we wait. God has been visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (Acts 15:14), but they are a people destined for heaven. We should, however, keep in mind that in the Church of God there has always been a saved remnant of the Jews. At the first (Acts 2:47) only Jews or Jewish proselytes were brought into the Church. Already a man had been saved (Acts 9) who was to be the Lord’s special messenger to the Gentiles.

Strictly speaking, the Church period is not a dispensation in the sense of an administration of God’s way on earth, but a gathering out of a people for heaven; however, we shall consider it as a special period of God’s way while He makes known His purpose and plans not only for them, but also for the earth. He has treated us in this age as His “friends” (Jn 15: 14, 15). Perhaps we should consider the Church period as merely a long parenthesis in God’s ways “for” the earth (i.e. but not “on” the earth, for it is my belief that Christ and his will rule the new earth from the new heaven, but not dwell on it—NC).

When the Church has been translated to heaven, then God’s ways (of which Israel will be the center on earth) will begin to unfold, and a time is to follow, called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7). He (remnant of Israel) will be saved “out of it,” like Noah was saved out of the Flood, while the Church has been promised by the Lord that it will be kept out of the hour of it—altogether kept from the time of it (Rev 3:10), as Enoch was taken away before the Flood came. For the “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (the nation Israel—NC) will also be “the great tribulation” which “shall come upon the whole world.”

After the Rapture of the Church, apostasy of both Christendom and Judaism will mount up to their peaks to receive the judgements already decreed. The spirit of apostasy has been at work as a mystery since the days of Paul, for he speaks of “the mystery of iniquity” (2Thes 2:7); and John wrote that there were already many “antichrists” (1Jo 2:18). But the thing, although far advanced, will not be full blown until we are taken from the scene. Then there will be the attempted complete overthrow of all reverence for God, and even the mention of His name. It will be man in daring infidelity who will blaspheme God. Man will be deified, but overthrown in the end. Apostate Christendom and apostate Judaism will perish, while a remnant will be saved for the Kingdom.

—Paul Wilson (1899-1966)

MJS devotional for June 30



One hears much today about “body life,” with its emphasis upon New Testament gathering, rather than Christ-centered growth. The Body is meant to manifest the Head, and that necessitates spiritual members. -MJS

“Where there is no Cross there is no life, and no ministry of life. The object of suffering is that there may be a full and abundant ministry. . . . We are not to invite trouble, nor by austerity to ill-treat our bodies. The Holy Spirit Himself takes responsibility for our experience, leading us in paths where we encounter, in body, heart, or spirit, that measure of ‘the dying of Jesus’ that will mean enrichment of our ministry.”

“There are many today who seem to think that it is all or largely a matter of the order, technique, and form, and if we are to return to the ‘New Testament’ form or order of churches all would be well. The fact is that, while certain things characterize the N.T. churches, the Word does not give us a complete pattern according to which churches are to be formed!

“There is no blueprint for churches in the N.T., and to try to form such churches is only to create another system which may be as legal, sectarian and dead as others. Churches, like the Church, are organisms which spring out of life, which life itself springs out of the Cross of Christ wrought into the very being of believers. Unless believers are crucified people, there can be no true expression of the Church.” -T. A-S.

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Re: Coach Wins Case jta Yesterday at 12:16 PM
I'd say these are completely different situations.

The Pharisees prayed publicly to gain the favor of other people. This man appears to have prayed to glorify God, in a culture that openly hates Him, probably knowing full well there would be strong pushback, but loving God enough to do so anyway.

As should we all.
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What's New on The Highway website? Jump to new posts
Introductory Essay to "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ" Pilgrim Yesterday at 10:12 AM
This month's article is a very special one for me personally. It sealed my conscience in regard to my being a "black sheep" in my first church and as a new believer who embraced what we call the "Doctrines of Grace". It also motivated me to seek out and read Puritan works, and what the Protestant Reformation was really all about. And most importantly, it made me realize just how indispensable reading God's inspired Word was as a source of truth and knowing the God who had reached down and dragged me out of the pit in which I once lived.

J.I. Packer is the author of this "Introductory Essay" which is probably one of the best of Packer's writings. He shows that John Owen's treatise "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ" is a masterpiece which covers nearly ever facet of the Lord Christ's atonement in detail. And, he exposes the fallacy of the view that Christ died for all yet secured the salvation of anybody. The actual treatise is found in Volume 10 of Owen's "Works" which is a worthwhile challenge to read through as is much of what Owen wrote. I have little doubt that most everyone will truly enjoy Packer's Introductory Essay and perhaps many will be moved in a similar manner by the Spirit to develop a love for the Puritan works but most importantly, to see either for the first time or by renewal the riches of God which is contained in the Bible.

You can read this month's article by clicking here: Introductory Essay to John Owen's "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ".

Or, you can read it at a more convenient time by visiting The Highway website and click on the Article of the Month logo.

In His service and grace,
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There is a Fountain ~ William Cowper Rick Bates Tue Jun 28, 2022 10:35 PM
There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains!

The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
and there may I, though vile as he
wash all my sins away!

Dear dying Lamb, Your precious blood
shall never lose its power;
till all the ransomed church of God
be saved, to sin no more!

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Your flowing wounds supply;
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die!

When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I'll sing Your power to save!
(William Cowper, 1731-1800)
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First Work, Sins—Second Work, Sin! NetChaplain Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:09 PM
Upon our initial receiving of salvation, our eternal guiltless position in Christ is established, but the conforming of our lifestyle is immature! Thus, the sole issue ever to arise in the Father’s care for us is the progression of our walk, “even as He walked” (1Jo 2:6). This was summed up in the doing of the Father’s will (Jhn 5:30), which is the same for the saints—by the Spirit using the Life of Christ in us via the new nature. This does not design the intention of sinless perfection, but “growing up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). Just remember, everything we now encounter is not only foreknown by the Father, but has also been fashioned to “work” for “good” to us; by lesson or expression!

First Work, Sins—Second Work, Sin!

It usually happens, when God is exercising a soul, that He revives it a little; then it falls back again into a dejected state: just as a man who is in danger of drowning rises to the surface and takes a breath, without which he would perish, and then sinks again, for he is not yet on firm ground where he can breathe naturally. So God gives the soul what revives it and it falls back again, until the work is thoroughly done.

When the soul is really delivered, it does not think of its condition, save to judge itself when that is necessary—a very important thing in itself. When the prodigal son found his father, he had not to think whether he would be received or not, nor about his condition, nor whether he was deceiving himself in thinking that he was on the right road. On the way, such questions might well arise; but, once with the father, he had only to think of what the father really was for him, and the way of the father’s acting showed this. So we hear no more of the prodigal son, but of the father, and of what he did.

I do not believe that when people have really got out of Romans Seven they get back into it. One may have truly received forgiveness of sins and had joy; but self is not yet known, and it is necessary to know oneself to be delivered (i.e. not from guilt but from dominion of sin—NC). People are often deceived on this point. The initial joy was well-founded, but it was not deliverance: this joy flows from the forgiveness of sins and not from deliverance from the dominion of sin. Romans up to the eleventh verse of chapter five speaks of the former, sins; from the twelfth verse of chapter five to the end of chapter eight, of the latter, sin.

Having spoken of the joy of forgiveness which you experienced, after having acknowledged everything, God permitted the depression that might know that there was a further work to be done. You are easily elated, and you have lived rather too much on feelings. Now you must come to realize what being in the presence of the Father means. It is not that your joy was not real and true, but that there is more work to be done. Even if some are hard towards you, God uses it for your good. I do not question your sincerity nor your salvation; but God would have us not only say, “We must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ,” but add, “I am manifested to God.” Be much more before Him.

The difference between the condition of Romans seven and Christian liberty is, that in the former case the person has drawn the conclusion from what he is, to what God will be; in the latter, having a real experimental knowledge of himself, and having learned, consciously, that in us good does not exist, we understand first, that we depend upon what God is. Second, that having died to sin, fully condemned in the death of Christ, we are in Him before the Father. Third, Christ being in us, we hold or reckon ourselves for dead, and the power of the Spirit of life enables us to realize this (Rom 6:6-11, and 2 Cor 4:11; Col 3:3).

You are not there yet, but God is working in you to bring you there. The outward humiliation was needful for you, and you must remember that. But in every case, the inward work must be done. The conflict will go on indefinitely; but, until we are delivered, sin has dominion over us; when we are delivered, Christ is our strength. Constant dependence and watchfulness are necessary; we must watch and pray lest we enter into temptation; but then, instead of sin having dominion over us, the strength of the Lord is there.

—John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)

MJS daily devotion for June 17

“In order for our Father to be satisfied with us, He placed us in His Son. In order for us to be satisfied with our Father, we “rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). –Miles J Stanford

“On what ground is our faith tested? It is on the ground of our very relationship with God and God’s attitude toward us. The concentration of the enemy is upon that point—to interfere with our link with God.

“What is our link with God? It is this—the Lord Jesus Christ, as the answer to God and to Satan for us. It will never be what we are in ourselves. If you are expecting a day to come when in virtue of what you are in yourself you can satisfy God, you are destined to an awful disillusionment. The day will never come when we can satisfy God in ourselves, not even more or less.”

“How could there be any doubt about the believer’s perfect security if his position in the Lord Jesus were realized? It would be impossible. Can He change? Or will God say to Him, I cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once again if standing for them, is He on probation? Is His work completely done, or still to do?” - Frederick William Grant (1834-1902.)
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Re: Nicene Creed Question jta Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:28 PM
Reformed Baptist here (1689 LBC); I skimmed through the article and found it quite good.

It makes the excellent but oft-overlooked point that words and concepts need to be understood in context, including the context of the times in which they were written. I think we intuitively understand this in the context of Biblical exegesis and hermaneutics, and also, by necessity, anytime the word "Catholic" comes up. But it's a broader and more general point that would help us better understand not only the history of the Church, but history in general.

An unfortunately U.S.-specific, but nonetheless illustrative example: "regulate" meant almost the opposite of what it did when the Constitution was written, of what it does today. So one cannot appeal to the Constitution for authority to do things like restrict gun ownership or interstate commerce or free speech. It was written to protect those things, not to grant a totalitarian power to restrict them.
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Theology Discussion Forum Jump to new posts
Re: Preachers of old jta Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:50 AM
If it's our choice, then how can it be Grace?

The many folks who say stuff like this simply do not (yet?) know Grace.

But I still pray that some of them will, after being properly taught and discipled.
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Devotional Jump to new posts
The Spiritual Profit of Larger Submission to God's Providences... Pilgrim Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:34 AM
Larger Submission to God's Providences

It is natural to murmur when things go wrong; it is supernatural to hold our peace (Leviticus 10:3). It is natural to be disappointed when our plans miscarry; it is supernatural to bow to His appointments. It is natural to want our own way; it is supernatural to say, "not my will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42). It is natural to rebel when a loved one is taken from us by death; it is supernatural to say from the heart: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).

As God is truly made our Portion, we learn to admire His wisdom and to know He does all things well. Thus the heart is kept in "perfect peace" as the mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Here, then, is another sure test: if your Bible study is teaching you that God's way is best, and causing you to submit unrepiningly [without complaint, unhappiness, or discontent] to all His dispensations, if you are enabled to give thanks for all things (Ephesians 5:20), then are you profiting indeed.

More Fervent Praise for God's Goodness

Praise is the outflow of a heart which finds its satisfaction in God. The language of such a one is, "I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1). What abundant cause have God's people for praising Him! Loved with an everlasting love, made sons and heirs, all things working together for their good, their every need supplied, an eternity of bliss assured them - their harps of gladness ought never to be silent. Nor will they be while they enjoy fellowship with Him who is "altogether lovely."

The more we are "increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10), the more shall we adore Him. But it is only as the Word dwells in us richly that we are filled with spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16) and make melody in our hearts to the Lord. The more our souls are drawn out in true worship, the more we are found thanking and praising our great God, the clearer evidence we give that our study of His word is profiting us.

A.W. Pink Profiting From the Word - Chapter 2: The Scriptures and God
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Christians are born again of another spirit chestnutmare Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:30 AM
Christians are born again of another spirit, and are different from the rest of the world. They naturally have different attitudes and beliefs that the world shuns. It is the spirit of a true godly man to prefer God in all other things in heaven or on earth.

~ Jonathan Edwards
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