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—though whoever has got that will surly have all the rest (knowing right and wrong gives understanding of good and evil—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 (righteous in Crist but not in self—NC); and I bow under the power of indwelling sin, and the knowledge of such holiness which I have learned to desire, only to find out that I have not got it (holiness is imputed, not imparted because of the sin nature, and this suffices us for forgiveness and joyous satisfaction via the Cross—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 (it’s all Christ’s imputed to us—NC). 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 the new life cannot itself impart (it being imputed we cannot claim to be righteous in self—NC). I have got the hungers of this new life—all its holy and righteous desires; but the thing yearned for I have not got (self-righteousness; we want to be righteous in our selves but this can’t be, still possessing the old man, and hence the need for Christ’s imputed righteousness—NC).
It is the desire of my new life. Oh that I could be righteous; but then I am not righteous. 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. But that is not all. When I have got that life, have I got the thing I want (righteousness in myself—NC)? No. I strive, and think, Oh! If I could get more of this holiness, but still I have not got it. I may hate the sin, but the sin is there that I hate (Ro 7:17, 20).
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 we want (Christ’s righteousness imputed—NC); and not only so, but in Christ He gives us both the perfect object (Christ’s righteousness—NC) 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.” It is what we are now (in Christ—NC)! 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.
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 (1Co 1:30) and Life (Col 3:4). He has brought me in, “through faith” (Eph 2:8) 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 through failure or infirmity. 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! If you take yourself by yourself, there is not 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 is the heavenly, such are they that are heavenly;” and this what I am in the presence of my Father. There is no veil: we are to walk in the light, as God is in the light.
—John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
MJS daily devotional for Dec 8
“You might be secretly attempting to correct and improve yourself, and suffering a good deal of private vexation and disappointment on account of the futility of your struggles. It was at a moment when I was utterly discouraged, and ready to give up the whole thing in complete despair, that the Father showed me how I was attempting to work upon the old material which He could only condemn, and had, and that my disgust and despair as to myself were only a feeble echo of His.
“My Father was not looking for any good in me, and had the Lord Jesus Christ before Him, the perfect and infinitely acceptable Object of His heart. And I, in my nothingness, had ceased to look for good in myself, and began tasting the deep joy of being in Christ, and free to have Him as my Object; while as to life, I entered in some degree into the blessedness of knowing that it was ‘not I, but Christ liveth in me.’“ -C.A.Coats http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
The Golden Idol of Freewill by Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy Name, give glory for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake Psalm 115:1
Some expositors have supposed, that this Psalm was penned by the prophet Daniel; on occasion of the miraculous deliverance of Shadrac, Meshac, and Abednego, when they came out, unhurt, from the burning fiery furnace, into which they had been thrown by the command of king Nebuchadnezzar.
And, indeed, there are not wanting passages, in the Psalm itself, which seem to countenance this conjecture. As where we read, at the fourth verse (speaking of the idols of the heathens, and, perhaps, with particular reference to that golden image which Nebuchadnezzar commanded to be worshipped), their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands: they have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they but they see not.
I dare say, that, in such an auditory as this, a number of Arminians are present. I fear, that all our public assemblies have too many of them. Perhaps, however, even these people, idolaters as they are, may be apt to blame, and, indeed, with justice, the absurdity of those who worship idols of silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. But let me ask: If it be so very absurd, to worship the work of other men’s hands; what must it be, to worship the works of our own hands? Perhaps, you may ask, “God forbid that I should do so.” Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence, for salvation, are all acts and very solemn ones too, of divine worship: and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in His sight, whatsoever, you rely upon, and trust in, for the attainment of grace or glory; if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater to all intents and purposes.
Very different is the idea which Scripture gives us, of the ever-blessed God, from that of those false gods worshipped by the heathens; and from that degrading representation of the true God, which Arminianism would palm upon mankind. “Our God [says this Psalm, verse the third] is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” This is not the Arminian idea of God: for our free-willers and our chance-mongers tell us, that God does not do whatsoever He pleases; that there are a great number of things, which God wishes to do, and tugs and strives to do, and yet cannot bring to pass: they tell us, as one ingeniously expresses it: That all mankind He fain would save, But longs for what He cannot have. Industrious, thus, to sound abroad, A disappointed, changing God.
How does this comport with that majestic description, “Our God is in the heavens”! He sits upon the throne, weighing out, and dispensing, the fates of men; holding all events in His own hand; and guiding every link of every chain of second causes, from the beginning to the end of time. Our God is in heaven, possessed of all power; and (which is the natural consequence of that) He hath done whatsoever He pleased: or as the Apostle expresses it, (the words are different, but the sense is the same) “He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11).
Therefore it is, that we both labour, and suffer reproach: even because we say (and the utmost we can say upon the subject, amounts to no more than this: to wit, that) our God is in heaven, and has done whatsoever pleased Him. And do according to His own sovereign pleasure He will, to the end of the chapter; though all the Arminians upon earth were to endeavor to defeat the divine intention, and to clog the wheels of divine government. He, that sits in heaven, laughs them to scorn: and brings His own purposes to pass, sometimes, even through the means of those very incidents, which evil men endeavor to throw in His way, with a mad view to disappoint Him of His purposes. “All things,” saith the Psalmist, “serve Thee” (Psalm 119:91). They have, all, a direct tendency, either effectively or permissively, to carry on His unalterable designs of providence and grace. Observe: effectively, or permissively. For we never say, nor mean to say, that God is the worker of evil: we only maintain, that for reasons unknown to us, but well known to God, He is the efficacious permitter (not the agent, but the permitter) of whatsoever comes to pass. But when we talk of good, we then enlarge the term; and affirm, with the Psalmist, that all the help that is done upon earth, God does it Himself.
I remember a saying of the great Monsieur Du Moulin, in his admirable book, entitled Anatome Arminianismi. His observation is, that the wicked, no less than the elect, accomplish the wise and holy and just decrees of God: but, says he, with this difference; God’s own people, after they are converted, endeavor to His will from a principle of love: whereas they who are left to the perverseness of their own hearts (which is all the reprobation we contend for), who care not for God, nor is God in all their thoughts; these persons resemble men rowing in a boat, who make toward the very place on which they turn their backs. They turn their backs on the decree of God; and yet make to that very point, without knowing it.
One great contest, between the religion of Arminius, and the religion of Jesus Christ, is, who shall stand entitled to the praise and glory of a sinner’s salvation? Conversion decides this point at once; for I think, that, without any imputation of uncharitableness, I may venture to say, that every truly awakened person, at least when he is under the shine of God’s countenance upon his soul, will fall down upon his knees, with this hymn of praise ascending from his heart, “Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but to Thy Name, give the glory: I am saved not for my righteousness, but for Thy mercy and Thy truth’s sake..”
And this holds true even as to the blessings of the life that now is. It is God that sets up one, and puts down another (see Psalm 75:7). Victory, for instance, when contending princes wage war, is all of God. “The race is not to the swift, as swift; nor the battle to the strong” (Ecclesiastes 9:11), as such. It is the decree, the will, the power, the providence of God, which effectually, though sometimes invisibly, order and dispose of every event.
At the famous battle of Azincourt, in France, where, if I mistake not, 80,000 French were totally defeated by about 9,000 English, under the command of our immortal King Henry V., after the great business of the day was over, and God had given that renowned prince the victory, he ordered the foregoing Psalm (that is, the 114th), and part of this Psalm from whence I have read you the passage now under consideration, to be sung in the field of battle: by way of acknowledging, that all success, and all blessings, of what kind soever, come down from the Father of lights. Some of our historians acquaint us, that, when the triumphant English came to those words which I have taken for my text, the whole victorious army fell down upon their knees, as one man, in the field of conquest; and shouted, with one heart, and with one voice, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Thy Name, give the glory, for Thy mercy and for Thy truth’s sake.”
Here's another great sermon by Archibald Brown. It's one of those sermons which is timeless, i.e., it is applicable to one's current situation regardless of what year, decade or millennium it happens to be. Why? Because as Solomon by the Spirit wrote ages ago, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Eccl 1:9) Mr. Brown brings to our minds and souls those things which in his day were under attack, ridiculed and even denied by not just the world but many of the 'established churches' which boasted they were representatives of truth and practical religion. Those things he categorizes as some of the "Essentials/Landmarks" of the faith; biblical Christianity which cannot be moved and which are the foundation of true faith. Hmmm, sound familiar to you? He divides his sermon into two basic parts: those landmarks which are of doctrine, and those landmarks which are of life. He also reveals the attitude of those who are willing and do cast off these landmarks and their end. If you are hoping for an exhaustive list of "fundamentals of the faith", then you will not be satisfied. For, given the limited time which sermons typically occupy, with the exception of many of the Puritans who apparently had no such restraints, , Mr. Brown provides a limited number which cannot and must not be ignored.
You can read this sermon immediately by clicking here: Old Landmarks.
For later reading of this month's article and/or all past Articles of the Month, simply go to The Highway website and click on the "Article of the Month" logo.
A friend and I started doing a study on Genesis 1:1. I have actually never done a deep dive in this particular aspect before; but I have always been taught that Genesis 1:1, is talking about the creation of everything, material and spiritual and although the original readers would not have understood this to be the Trinity. Which is only revealed by progressive revelation, Elohim is referring to the Trinity.
A couple of things we noticed while reading so called experts on the subject. Among Conservative commentators; there are differences of opinions regarding parts of this. A few examples is whether it is talking about the creation of the “material universe”, or both the spiritual and the material universe.
Also, what is meant by the plural Elohim in verse one. Then later in verse 26 “let us”. Some believe that it could mean that because they think Gen. 1:1 is talking about the material universe, rather than the spiritual. Angels were at least present during the creation of the material universe that verse one talks about. They believe the “us” in verse 26 are God’s Devine Counsel; and “the Sons of God” which are angels and is not referencing the Trinity. While others, disagree saying that man was made in the image of God, not angels. Also the plurality cannot be addressing angels, since they are not in view in the “Creation Week”. Here is something my friend took from one side of the issues view.
“The creation of space (“the heaven”), of time (“in the beginning”), and of matter (“the earth”), the Tri-universe, the space/time/matter continuum which constitutes our physical cosmos.”
He also included something he found interesting.
“Mainstream View - Though there has been some debate about the time of the creation of the spiritual realm, most Christians theologians think that it was created at the same time as the material world. The creation of angels, however, is not mentioned in the creation account of Genesis 1–2. It has often been held that Job 38:4–7 and Psalm 148:2, 5 reveal that angels were present at the creation of the material world, which might indicate that they were created prior to the first day of the creation of the material world. This seems to be the view held by at least some theologians in the Renaissance period: John Milton in Paradise Lost, for example, portrays the creation of the angels and the fall of the evil angels as having already taken place when God created the material world. It must be maintained, however, that because they are a part of the created universe and not separate from it, they were not created prior to the universe (understood as the sum total of all created things). Thus, Genesis 1:1–2 describes as much the creation of the spiritual realm as the creation of the material world. Other verses that may refer to the creation of angels include Psalm 33:6, Nehemiah 9:6, and Colossians 1:16. It seems likely, based upon the words of Christ in Matthew 22:30 and Luke 20:36, that all the angels that have ever existed, and which will ever exist, were created at the same time. It would appear that there are an incredible number of angels, as the Scriptures describe their numbers as “innumerable” (Heb 12:22) and as “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands” (Rev 5:11; cf. Deut 33:2; Ps 68:17; Mark 5:9, 15). It is also commonplace in Christian theology to portray the angels as forming a clear hierarchy (Eph 1:21; 3:10; Col 1:16, 21; 2:10; 1 Pet 3:22) and divided into classes.
Haines, D. (2018). The Spiritual World. In M. Ward, J. Parks, B. Ellis, & T. Hains (Eds.), Lexham Survey of Theology. Lexham Press.”
He added, “it would seem strange that all of the created universe fell under the curse but not the angels.”
This is obviously a fairly deep study; however if anyone thinks that have anything that would contribute to this study; I would welcome it.
A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth And the coastlands shall wait for His law. Isaiah 42:3-4
These words do not apply to those who boldly and obstinately resist, nor to those who are fierce and headstrong; for such persons do not deserve this forbearance, but rather must be broken and crushed, as by the strokes of a hammer, by the severity of the word. While he praises meekness, he at the same time shows to whom it is adapted, and at what time and in what manner it ought to be employed; for it is not suitable to hardened and rebellious persons, or to those whose rage sends forth flames, but to those who are submissive, and who cheerfully yield to the yoke of Christ. The word smoking shows that he maintains and cherishes not darkness, but sparks, though feeble and hardly perceptible. Wherever then there is impiety and stubbornness, there we must act with the utmost severity, and exercise no forbearance; but, on the other hand, where there are vices that have not gone beyond endurance, yet by gentleness of this nature, instead of encouraging, we must correct and reform them; for we must always pay regard chiefly to truth, of which he speaks, that vices may not be concealed, and thus acquire a secret corruption, but that the weak may be gradually trained to sincerity and uprightness. These words, therefore, relate to those persons who, amidst many deficiencies, have integrity of mind, and earnestly desire to follow true religion, or, at least, in whom we see some good beginning. It is clearly shown by many passages ( Matthew 12:39 ) how severely Christ deals with despisers; for he is constrained to employ “a rod of iron” to crush those who do not submit to be governed by his shepherd’s crook.
I remember that there were in a populous city two preachers, one of whom boldly and loudly reproved vices, while the other endeavored to gain the favor of the people by flatteries. This fawning preacher, who was expounding the Prophet Jeremiah, lighted on a passage full of the mildest consolation, and having found, as he imagined, a fit opportunity, began to declaim against those harsh and severe reprovers who are wont to terrify men by thunderbolts of words. But on the following day, when the Prophet changed his subject and sharply rebuked wicked men with his peculiar vehemence of style, the wretched flatterer was constrained to encounter bitter scorn by retracting the words which were fresh in the recollection of all his hearers. Thus the temporary favor which he had gained speedily vanished, when he revealed his own disposition, and made himself abhorred by the good and the bad. We must therefore distinguish between the submissive and the obstinate, that we may not abuse that mildness by using it on every occasion. Yet Isaiah declares that Christ’s fortitude will be unshaken, so that it shall surmount every obstacle; for by these words, Till he put judgment, he means that the ministry of Christ will be so efficacious that the fruit of his doctrine shall be manifested. He does not merely say, “Till he shall have made known the will of his Father,” but “Till he establish judgment,” that is, as we formerly said, the proper exercise of government...This must not be limited to the person of Christ, but extends to the whole course of the gospel; for he not only discharged the embassy committed to him for three years, but continues to discharge the same embassy every day by means of his servants. Yet we are reminded that it is impossible for us to discharge that office without being laid under the necessity of suffering many annoyances, and sustaining contests so severe and dangerous, that we shall be almost overwhelmed and ready to abandon everything. Still we must not desist, but persevere constantly in our duty, and run to the very end; and therefore the Prophet testifies that Christ will be so steadfast that he will pursue his calling to the end; and, following his example, we ought boldly to persevere.
The Canadian Trucker Protesters If you are like me, you saw the truckers protest and government response in Ottawa Canada and it caused you great concern.
Talking to American Christians, they also had concerns about this as well. Mainly because things like this have a tendency of setting a presidence even where they live. In my case, although I actually supported in principle what the truckers were trying to do. However, I wanted to be certain I do not cross the line in my own conduct as a Christian. I recently found what I believe is a really good discussion on the Trucker’s Protest.
As I was thinking through what was said, I could not help but think how the same principles that this podcast talked about, also apply to many other areas.
For example, in Romans 13 it talks about how we should obey the magistrate as long as the magistrate is upholding God's truth. As opposed to when the magistrates goes beyond their scope of authority.
In Canada, for example a Bill called Bill C-4 essentially could make it illegal to evangelize the LBGQT+++ people. Obviously, although I expect there to be consequences for disobeying the magistrate. Never the less, for the believer to obey them is disobeying God and fearing man over God.
"Behold, I am vile" (Job 40:4). This was not said by Cain in a remorseful moment after his murder of Abel, nor by Judas after he had betrayed the Saviour into the hands of His enemies; instead, it was the utterance of one of whom God said, "There is none like him in the earth, a perfect (sincere) and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil" (Job 1:8). Was Job justified in using such strong language of self-deprecation? If he was, are Christians today warranted in echoing the same?
When was it that Job declared "Behold, I am vile"? It was when the Lord appeared to him and gave him a startling revelation of His own wondrous perfections! It was when he stood in the all-penetrating light of God’s immaculate holiness and was made to realize something of His mighty power. Ah, when a soul is truly brought into the presence of the living God, boasting ceases, our comeliness is turned into corruption (Dan. 10:8), and we cry, "Woe is me! for I am undone" (Isa. 6:5). When God makes to the soul a personal revelation of His wondrous perfections, that individual is effectually convinced of his own wretchedness. The more we are given to discern the ineffable glory of the Lord, the more will our self-complacency wither.
It is in God’s light, and in that only, "we see light" (Ps. 36:9). When He shines into our understandings and hearts, and brings to light "the hidden things of darkness," we perceive the utter corruption of our nature, and are abominable in our own eyes. While we measure ourselves by our fellows, we shall, most likely, think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3); but when we measure ourselves by the holy requirements of God’s nature, we cry "I am dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27). True repentance changes a man’s opinion of himself."
It is essential that we take a moment to consider the inward conflict of the growing child of God. It may be said, “What if a man knows his sins to be forgiven and more, liberty” (which some call “sanctification,” “deeper life,” etc.), “then, surely, every spiritual desire must be gratified, and thenceforward, till heaven be gained, there can be nothing more to be wished for it.
In things spiritual, as in things natural, when children have grown up to manhood, to ripe age, or, as Scripture says, are “perfect” (1Co 13:10, 11), they do not find that thenceforward there is nothing to do, nothing to suffer. Quite the contrary; in one sense they may be said to begin life only when perfect (mature—NC). Until the great and terrible “I” be held by grace to have been crucified with Christ, the believer can hardly be said to have begun to live the new life in its liberty (possessing salvation but not yet overcoming the “old man’—NC); but liberty obtained, inner conflict is certain to be entered into.
Before we were brought into Christian liberty, the enabling of the indwelling Spirit was not known, but, being delivered from the thrall of the old man, we are in the moral position which should gain the victory day by day. Not that the position itself is victory—it is only the vantage ground for victory; freedom from the domination of sin is obtained by the Spirit (Rom 8:13). Still, it is no little good to know what the vantage ground is, and a greater thing to occupy that ground.
The Spirit of God dwelling within us energizes the desire of the new life which He has implanted in us. He leads to humility, gentleness, and courage, and all in a divine way. We do not mean such qualities apart from the Spirit, which in that case may be merely traits of the Adamic life (the old man mimicking holiness but not genuine—NC).
When our old man stirs us up to desire its old things, the Spirit of God does not remain passive in us, but occasions conflict within: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17). He restrains the believer from doing the things which the flesh likes, and constrains him to do the things which the Father loves, and effects this by acting upon the new man (Eph 3:16). The believer is not, and never will be, free from having sin in him in this world; nor will he be free from the danger of committing any kind of evil: and he is never, practically, safe except when he realizes his weakness, and walks in dependence upon the Holy Spirit (ever safe in salvation, but in need of growth—NC).
Should he say, “I cannot help doing evil,” then he denies the Spirit of God in him as the enablement for righteous living, and remains in the mire of sin. Should he say, “I am holy, or spiritual, or heavenly,” and in his heart think of what he is in himself (halted on the thought of being a sinner—NC), then it is the old man at work in another and more dangerous form, and he has denied the Spirit of God in His ability to produce spirituality, and heavenly-mindedness. This last is worse than the first, for the first is unbelief in God and the last is belief in himself (Gal 6:3—NC). The truth is, there is constant conflict proceeding within the growing child of God, and the Spirit is continually restraining from evil, as well as leading to good (retaining salvation while growing in Christ (Eph 4:15—NC).
The flesh in its pride would say, “I can live to God by means of law-keeping and religious observances”; and the flesh in its lusts would say, “I am safe for eternity, and thus can live for myself.” The new life the Father has given us has no affinity for either the one or the other of these evils, and the Spirit of God opposes the flesh in each.
– Henry Forbes Witherby (1836-1907)
MJS daily devotional excerpt for Oct 20
“Faith is dependence upon the Father. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. And self-dependence only comes to its end, with most of us, when sorrow, suffering, affliction, broken plans and hopes bring us to that place of self-helplessness where we throw ourselves upon our Father in seeming utter helplessness and defeat. And only then do we find that we have learned the lesson of faith; to find our tiny craft of life rushing onward to a blessed life of fruitfulness and service undreamt of in the days of our fleshly strength and self-reliance.”—Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896)
It is of the utmost importance, in the study of Scripture, to distinguish between God’s moral government of the world (esp. concerning Israel, still and will always be “God’s people”—NC), and the specific hope of the Church. The entire body of Old Testament prophecy, and much of the New, treats of the former, and in so doing, presents a subject of commanding interest to every Christian.
It is interesting to know what God is doing, and will do, in all the nations of the earth—interesting to read His thoughts about Tyre, Babylon, Nineveh and Jerusalem; about Egypt, Assyria and the land of Israel. In short, the entire range of OT prophecy demands the prayerful attention of every true believer. But, let it be remembered, we do not find therein contained the proper hope of the Church (only for Israel—NC).
How could we? If we have not there the Church’s (Christians—NC) existence directly revealed, how could we have the Church’s hope? Impossible. It is not that the Church cannot find there (among Israel—NC) a rich harvest of divine moral principles (e.g. the Decalogue—NC), which she may most happily and profitably use. She undoubtedly can; but this is quite another thing from finding there her proper existence and specific hope (new heaven instead of new earth—NC).
Yet, a large portion of the OT prophecies has been applied to the Church (which do not apply—NC); and this application has involved the whole subject in such a mist and confusion, that immature minds are turned away from the study (exegeses of Israel’s eschatology—NC). Hence in neglecting the study of prophecy (which most is of Israel, 90% of the Bible being Jewish centered—NC), they have also neglected that which is quite distinct from prophecy, properly so called—even the hope of the Church. Which hope, be it well remembered, is not anything which God is going to do with the nations of the earth, but to meet the Lord Jesus in the clouds of heaven, to be forever with Him and forever like Him.
Many may say, I have no head for prophecy. Perhaps not, but have you a heart for the Lord Jesus? Surely, if you love Him you will love His appearing, though you may have little or no capacity for prophetic investigation. An affectionate wife may not have a head for her husband’s business matters, but she has a heart for her husband’s return—she knows his footstep and recognizes his voice. The most unlettered saint, if only he has affection for the Person of the Lord Jesus, can entertain the most intense desire to see Him; and this is the Church’s hope.
Paul could say to the Thessalonians, “Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1Thes 1:9, 10). Now, evidently, those Thessalonian saints could, at the moment of their conversion, have known little, if anything, of prophecy, or the special subject thereof; and yet they were, at that very moment, put into the full possession and power of the specific hope of the Church (eternal life—NC)—even the coming of the Son.
Thus it is throughout the entire New Testament. There, no doubt, we have prophecy—there too, we have God’s moral government; but, at the same time, numberless passages might be adduced in proof of the fact, that the common hope of Christians in apostolic times—the simple, unimpeded and unencumbered hope—was, the return of the Bridegroom. May the Holy Spirit revive “that blessed hope” in the elect, and “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Tit 2:13; Luk 1:17).
—Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896)
MJS daily devotional excerpt for Nov 12
“How much there is that is called spiritual that is but flesh! How many of the Lord’s people are seeking to touch the living God and fail to find Him and to satisfy their heart-hunger for true fellowship with Him. Theoretically we believe in His presence, but we find only a mere stirring of emotions. We are told of the Spirit’s power, but we see results produced by showmanship, oratory, and emotionalism. We are counseled to depend upon the Spirit, but in practice dependence is really on human wisdom, ability, personality and programs. We do not get through, behind all that is of man, to touch the living God.” -A.H. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
One Nation Under God’s Judgement- The Promotion of Tolerance & Perversion In America.
I am sharing this broadcast, because I for one found it very helpful; even if it just got me thinking through the issues. I believe more conversations must be had, especially between Christians that know what is happening in society is against God and His Word. However, may not understand in practical terms how to navigate the storms, which I believe are “God’s judgement”. I hope others take the time to watch this broadcast and hopefully give their 2 cents.
One of the things, among many that made me think. Is how they talked about how the local Church should become involved in teaching how to become involved.
Surely, it would suffice us to see the Father, but that would not be faith, and if one cannot be satisfied without seeing Him yet, one will never be satisfied; because it would not be faith that sees Him, but our flesh! We should be most encouraged just to know that the Father is ours and we are His, and there is no greater exhortation, no greater faith than knowing the Father—until we see Him!
Of course seeing Him now would be also encouraging, but it would not be worth losing that greatest part of our faith, but it would be the proof of Him without faith. Faith first (this life)—then the proof, which increases our satisfaction in seeing Him after the time of faith (faith will be no more). Phillip told Jesus that if He would show them the Father it would satisfy them (Jhn 14:8); but he was coming from a heart that needed proof. Not for faith in Christ, but more evidence for faith in Christ, for “Jews require a sign” (1Co 1:22), but the Lord Jesus had given enough evidence for faith in Him, and desires that our faith in Him will be rewarded when we do finally see the Father and the blessed Lord Jesus (Jhn 20:29) at the “translation” (Heb 11:5 - rapture).
He wants us to see the Father through Himself (Jhn 14:9) for increased faith (believing there is a Father without having to see Him, as they would have liked). Seeing the Father will be the last thing on faith’s menu. The Father is the reason for all things and therefore must be the last proof to see, but not before the time. As we can see it is mostly about faith, and seeing God through seeing the Lord Jesus is the greatest of faith. We are God’s, and He gives us to His Son; but we are still the Father’s—by sonship in Christ—still God’s children, i.e. child-ship.
God said “no man can see” Him “and live” (Exo 33:20; Jhn 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:14–16; 1 John 4:12). But seeing Jesus is as seeing the Father, for they are the same in everything, but are in different authorities. This answers to Jesus being “the fullness of the Godhead (Father) bodily,” and “the express image of His (Father) person” (Col 2:9; Heb 1:3).
Faith is all we have to go on, and thus it is the second most important virtue after “love” (1Co 13:13); and is why it is that “faith which worketh by love” (Gal 5:6). It is sensible to see why God desires that we wait last to see Him (He did not show Himself to anyone)—saving the most important for last. It was God who sent the Son, and it is God Who manifested the greatest love. He could have come in His Son’s place, but that would not have been the most sacrificial! NC