Santa Clara, CA
| RASA ~ Duncan Campbell ~ STEADFASTNESS IN CONDUCT|
[b]Let us not sleep, as do others[/b]
There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, "To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse." Christian enquired, "Brother, where shall we begin?" And Hopeful answered, "Where God began with us." Then Christian sang this song--
"When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither, And hear how these two pilgrims talk together; Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise, Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes. Saints' fellowship, if it be managed well, Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell."
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take "sweet counsel" with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open--the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them--a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=category&cid=7]C.H. Spurgeon [/url]
| 2004/7/21 22:22||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Random Article: Thomas Watson|
[u][b]Comfort & Joy: The Mourner's Privilege[/b][/u]
Mourning is one way to solid joy. "The sweet wine is that which comes out of the wine-press of the eyes," says Chrysostom. The soul is never more enlarged than when it can weep. Closet tears are better then court music. The soul of a Christian is most eased when it can vent itself by holy mourning. David who was the great mourner in Israel was the sweet singer in Israel. "My tears were my meat" (Psalm 42:3). "The tears of the penitent," says Bernard, "are sweeter than all worldly joy". A Christian thinks himself sometimes in the suburbs of heaven when he can weep. When Hannah had wept, she went away and was no more sad. Sugar when it melts is sweetest. When a Christian melts in tears, he has the sweetest joy. When the daughter of Pharaoh descended into the river, she found a babe there among the reeds; so when we descend into the river of repenting tears, we find the babe, Jesus, there who shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. Mourning goes before comfort as the lancing of a wound precedes the cure. The antinomian talks of comfort, but cries down mourning for sin. He is like a foolish patient who, having a pill prescribed him, licks the sugar, but throws away the pill. The libertine is all for joy and comfort. He licks the sugar but throws away the bitter pill of repentance. If we have true comfort, we must have it in God's way and method. Sorrow for sin ushers in joy: "I will restore comforts to him, and to his mourners" (Isaiah 57:18). The true sunshine of joy is that which comes after a shower of tears. We may as well expect a crop without seed, as comfort without gospel-mourning.
Observe that God keeps His best wine till last. First He prescribes mourning for sin and then gives the wine of consolation. The devil does quite the contrary. He shows the best first and keeps the worst till last. First, he shows the wine sparkling in the glass, then comes the biting of the serpent. (See Proverbs 23:32). Satan sets his dainty dishes before men. He presents sin to them colored with beauty, sweetened with pleasure, silvered with profit, and then afterward the sad reckoning is brought in. He showed Judas first the silver bait, and then struck him with the hook. This is the reason why sin has so many followers, because it shows the best first. First, the golden crowns, then comes the lion's teeth. (Revelation 9:7,8).
Observe, gospel tears are not lost; they are seeds of comfort. While the penitent pours out tears, God pours in joy. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Psalms 126:5). It was the end of Christ's anointing and coming into the world, that He might comfort them that mourn (Isaiah 61:3). Well then may the apostle call it "a repentance not to be repented of" (2 Corinthians 7:10). A man's drunkenness is to be repented of; his uncleanness is to be repented of; but his repentance is never to be repented of, because it is the inlet to joy. "Blessed art they that mourn, for they shalt be comforted." Here is sweet fruit from a bitter stock. Christ caused the earthen vessels to be filled with water, and then turned the water into wine (John 2:9). So when the eye, that earthen vessel, has been filled with water, then Christ will turn the water of tears into the wine of joy. "Holy mourning", says Basil, "is the seed out of which the flower of eternal joy grows."
Reasons why the mourner shall be comforted:
Because mourning is made on purpose for this end. Mourning is not prescribed for itself, but that it may lead on to something else, that it may lay a train for comfort. Therefore we sow in tears that we may reap in joy. Holy mourning is a spiritual medicine. Now a medicine is not prescribed for itself, but for the sake of health. So gospel-mourning is appointed for this very end, to bring forth joy.
The spiritual mourner is the fittest person for comfort. When the heart is broken for sin, now it is fittest for joy. God pours the golden oil of comfort into broken vessels. The mourner's heart is emptied of pride and God fills the empty with His blessing. First, the comforts of God's Spirit are laid in deep conviction: "And when He (that is, the Comforter) is come, He shall reprove (or, convince) the world of sin" (John 16:7,8). Why does conviction go before consolation? Conviction fits us for comfort. By conviction the Spirit sweetly disposes the heart to seek after Christ and then to receive Christ. Once the soul is convinced of sin and of the hell that follows it, a Savior is precious.
| 2004/7/22 23:48||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Random Article: Thomas Watson|
The comforts of the Spirit are humbling. The more water is poured into a bucket, the lower it descends; the fuller the ship is laden with sweet spices, the lower it sails. The more a Christian is filled with the sweet comforts of the Spirit, the lower he sails in humility. The fuller a tree is of fruit, the lower the branch hangs. The more full we are of "the fruit of the Spirit, joy and peace" (Galatians 5:22), the more we bend in humility. Those who say they have comfort, but are proud, who have learned to despise others and have climbed above ordinances; their comforts are delusions. The devil is able, not only to "transform himself into angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), but he can transform himself into a comforter. It is easy to counterfeit money, to silver over brass and put the king's image upon it. The devil can silver over false comforts and make them look as if they had the stamp of the King of heaven upon them. The comforts of God are humbling. Though they lift the heart up in thankfulness, yet they do not puff it up in pride. The comforts reserved for the mourners are "filling comforts" "The God of hope fill you with all joy . . ." (Romans 15:13). "Ask . . . that your joy may be full" (John 16:24). When God pours in the joys of heaven, they fill the heart and make it run over. "I am exceeding joyful . . ." (2 Corinthians 7:4).
The comforts which God gives His mourners are infinitely, transporting and ravishing. So delightful are they and amazing, that they cause a jubilation which, as some of the learned say, is so great that it cannot be expressed. Of all things joy is the most hard to be deciphered. It is called "joy unspeakable." (1 Peter 1:8). You may sooner taste honey than tell how sweet it is. The wine of the Spirit can sweeten the waters of Marah. They who are possessed of these heavenly comforts can gather grapes of thorns, and fetch honey out of the lion's carcass. They are strong consolations indeed, that can stand it out against the fiery trial, and turn the flame into a bed of roses. How powerful is that comfort which can make a Christian glory in tribulations! (Romans 5:3). A believer is never so sad but that he can rejoice. The bird of paradise can sing in the winter.
The comforts that God's mourners have are heart-quieting comforts. They cause a sweet acquiescence and rest in the soul. The heart of a Christian is in a kind of discomposure, like the needle in the compass; it shakes and trembles till the Comforter comes. Some creatures cannot live but in the sun. A Christian is even dead in the nest, unless he may have the sunlight of God's countenance. "Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit" (Psalm 143:7).
The comforts of the Spirit are abiding comforts. As they abound in us so they abide with us. "He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever" (John 14:16). Worldly comforts are always upon the wing, ready to fly. They are like a land-flood, or a flash of lightning. All things here are transient, but the comforts with which God feeds His mourners are immortal. "Who hath loved us and given us everlasting consolation" (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Though a Christian does not always have a sunbeam of comfort, yet he has a dawning of it in his soul. He always has a ground of hope and a root of joy. There is that within him which bears up his heart, and which he would not on any terms part with. Behold, then, the mourner's privilege, he shall be comforted. David who was the great mourner of Israel, was the sweet singer of Israel. The weeping dove shall be covered with the golden feathers of comfort. Oh, how rare and superlative are these comforts!
| 2004/7/22 23:50||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Random Article strikes again|
[b]A Simple Prayer[/b]
"I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25).
I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, "The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, "Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon." "It is impossible," I said. "Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray."
I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. "Mr. Mueller," I said, "do you know how dense this fog is?" "No," he replied, "my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life."
He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. "First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it."
I looked at him, and he said, "Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone." I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.--Selected
"If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine,
In the sweetness of our Lord."
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=category&cid=512]Mrs. Charles E. Cowman[/url]
| 2004/8/8 14:39||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
Re: Random Article strikes again
Brother it strikes to much for me! I read some titles and know I should read it.. here is one I just procured...
[b]Blurred Goals and Spiritual Impediments[/b]
Like a doctor with a sick patient whose disease eludes diagnosis, religious leaders have for some years been aware that there is something seriously wrong with evangelicalism and have yet been unable to lay their finger upon the precise trouble. The symptoms they have discovered in abundance, but the cause back of them has been hard to locate. Mostly we have spent our time correcting symptoms, having all the while an uneasy feeling that our remedies did not go deep enough. Knowing that a disease that cannot be identified invariably calls out a flock of untrained experts to analyze and prescribe, we yet risk a pronouncement upon the condition of evangelical Christianity in our day, and we believe we may not be too far from the truth. The trouble seems to be a disorder of the spiritual nerve system which we might, for the lack of a proper term, call dual orientation. Its dominant characteristic appears to be a cross up among the nerve ganglia of the soul resulting in an inability to control the direction of the life. The patient starts one direction and before he knows it he is going another. His inward eyes do not coordinate; each one sees a different object and seeks to lead the steps toward it. The individual is caught in the middle, trying to be true to both foci of the heart, and never knowing which he would rather follow. Evangelicalism (at least in many circles) is suffering from this strange division of life-purpose. Its theology faces toward the East and the sacred Temple of Jehovah. Its active interests face toward the world and the temple of Dagon. Doctrinally it is Christian, but actually it is pagan mentality, pagan scale of values and pagan religious principles.
"Mostly we have spent our time correcting symptoms" - that struck a cord with me that we are just maintaining and treating symptoms when as in Ravenhill's words we 'need to die' [b]small[/b] sacrifices, consecrations, faith, discipline [u]will not[/u] cut it in an age when there need to be jurassic measures taken, we need to be lost in the purposes of God. We need a new standard, we need to walk holy, We need to be filled with the spirit of God afresh and allow Him FULL control of our lifes. Hearing a sermon by Keith Daniel recently really ministered to me where he said the only question the world is crying out in their hearts today is "We would see Jesus, sir?" People don't want to hear more preaching and theology they want to see Jesus in our words, actions and lifes, they want to see holiness and something different then there bankrupt way of living. We need to set a standard and allow the world to see we are different! "We will not win the world by being like the world, the world will win YOU!" - Keith Daniel
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/8/8 19:31||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Random Article strikes again|
[b]Let Us Keep To The Point[/b]
My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honour to Christ in my own person by fearless courage.
My Utmost for His Highest. "My eager desire and hope being that I may never feel ashamed." We shall all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point He has asked us to yield to Him. Paul says - "My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest." To get there is a question of will, not of debate nor of reasoning, but a surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender on that point. An overweening consideration for ourselves is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it that we are considering others. When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only - My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.
My Undeterredness for His Holiness. "Whether that means life or death, no matter!" (v.21.) Paul is determined that nothing shall deter him from doing exactly what God wants. God's order has to work up to a crisis in our lives because we will not heed the gentler way. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him, and we begin to debate; then He produces a providential crisis where we have to decide - for or against, and from that point the "Great Divide" begins.
If the crisis has come to you on any line, surrender your will to Him absolutely and irrevocably.
| 2004/8/14 22:55||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Random Article strikes again|
[b]Today's Sleeping Giant[/b]
Solemnly and slowly, with his index finger extended, Napoleon Bonaparte outlined a great stretch of country on a map of the world. "There," he growled, "is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world." That sleeping giant was China. Today, Bonaparte's prophecy of some one hundred and fifty years ago makes sense.
Today Lucifer is probably surveying the church just as Bonaparte did China. One can almost behold the fear in his eyes as he thinks of the Church's unmeasured potential and growls, "Let the Church sleep! If she wakes, she will shake the world." Is not the Church the sleeping giant of today?
Some years ago the newspaper headlines carried the story of a young Chinese student who "flunked" his exams here in America. So humiliated was he and so withered by anticipated scorn that for three years the youth hid in the belfry of a church and became skin and bones. Because of his shame, he froze in winter and blistered in summer under that church's thin roof. As today's Church of Jesus Christ thinks about the day of reckoning that is surely coming, oh that a holy fear would come upon her (even if it drives her to extremes) in order to arouse her from her present paralysis!
Consider Samson's fall. He didn't get drunk; he didn't commit murder; he didn't steal. Samson fell simply because he succumbed to the natural, and fell asleep.
That one small act put him into captivity,
made a false god popular,
and scattered the forces of the true and living God.
If even yet you feel a hangover of the old interpretation that the Samson of the Bible is a distant relative of Hercules or Atlas (famed in mythology for carrying the world on his back), then think again. Samson was no human monstrosity. He was no super-edition of a Goliath. If Samson had been a colossus, then why did Delilah ask the question, "Wherein lieth thy great strength?"
Let the final word be from the Word of God itself, for in telling the story of men mighty in faith, the writer to the Hebrews says: Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson,... who through faith ... stopped the mouths of lions" (Heb. 11:32-33). Only two men in Scripture stopped the mouths of lions--Daniel and Samson. But no giant could single-handedly, as Samson, "put to flight the armies of the aliens," or toy with opposing armies.
Here, Samson slays a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass;
there, he kills another thirty men.
Here, he takes the gates of Gaza for a ride;
there, he tears a lion like paper.
To add insult to injury, the Spirit's comment is "he had nothing in his hand."
Note well, yea, read for yourself the whole story of the secret of this mighty exploiter, this more-than-conquering believer: "The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon him. " Everything in the story adds up to this staggering fact: Supernatural power was upon Samson.
Now turn back ten chapters in this wonder book of Judges and have a little peep into the life of Gideon. Surely as a boy, Gideon had heard from his father the hair-raising stories of a mighty Deity. In Judges 6, Gideon is older, and while threshing corn, is fearing an attack of the Midianites. For seven years, the once liberated slaves of Pharaoh had again become captives. Dens and caves were their homes. No longer were they able to sing the Lord's song.
It must have sounded like a fairy tale when that angel appeared to Gideon and informed him, "God is with thee, thou mighty man of valor." Yet he shot back the answer, "If God be with us, where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?" This answer makes clear that Gideon was expecting some supernatural evidence. To him, the seal of the Lord's presence would be something that could not be rationalized.
Alas that today there is more evidence of religious sensation before our eyes than evidence of spiritual regeneration and supernatural phenomenon! Not many Christians today can forget the fact that the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, but we seem to have lost sight of the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defeated the roaring lion of hell, and therefore every anointed Samson or Gideon or church can also slay the lion of hell. Though wicked men are doing wickedly, God's promise to us is that "the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits" (Daniel 11:32).
This much is sure:
If we could merit revival by fasting, there would be many martyred by starving.
If we could organize revival, we would pool our thinking to outwit the powers of darkness.
If we could buy this elusive revival with the mammon of unrighteousness, we could get a score of what we call Christian millionaires to underwrite the thing for us.
If we could blast the devil from this present world, we would pledge the politicians for an atom bomb.
God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost.
This is a plea for the return of the supernatural; but I must also give this a word of explanation. For a decade, all over this land there has been a ministry of the miraculous (more or less), and thank God for all who honor Him and remain faithful. But having said that, here is a plea for sane thinking and a spiritual evaluation of the evangelistic field. To a large degree, have we not substituted seeing for hearing? In Acts, Philip the evangelist could have transferred the Ethiopian eunuch to a city seething with revival fever where the eunuch could have seen "the lame leap like an hart and the tongue of the dumb sing." Instead, he pitched right into the Word of the living God, and beginning at the same Scripture preached unto him Jesus. We need the miraculous but we also need Christ-centered teaching. Our crucified, exalted Christ must have preeminence over all other slants of truth, for while the Church is languishing, the world is perishing. "Awake, awake, put on strength, 0 arm of the Lord..." (Isaiah 51:9)
Again let me say, Samson's size was not the secret of his strength. The fact that he was the same size after he backslid negates the idea that he was a giant. His only external peculiarity was his long locks, uncut because he was a Nazarite. Nor had his long hair in itself any abnormal power. Samson's secret was obedience. As long as Samson trod the straight and narrow path of obedience, he was invincible.
Let us remember, too, that Samson, who began in the Spirit, fell into the flesh, and so had a prison term to bring him to his senses. Finally, by one last mighty miracle, he finished in the Spirit. Backslider, this is a word for your recovery, for God can restore the years that the cankerworm and the caterpillar have eaten. He who is able delights in mercy.
Samson's final act of power was the crowning achievement of a spectacular lifes work. After he had slipped out from under the harness of obedience, he was forced into separation from the world in a prison. Once an army trembled at his very sight; later a single boy came to lead the blinded Samson into the temple of Dragon, the fish-god. How the mighty had fallen! Yet now, God took this "weak thing" into a temple full of lords of the Philistines and set him between the pillars. "Samson took hold of the pillars ... the one with his right hand and the other with his left ... and he bowed himself with all His might" (judges 16:29-30) Holy jealousy gripped him. Mighty as he had been in other things, Samson now proved mightiest in prayer: "Lord, strengthen me ... this once!' (vs. 28) Would to God that every professed believer in the whole of Christendom would borrow this prayer and mean it. Then with dramatic conclusion, Samson sealed the doom of many more of the enemies of God in his dying than in his living.
Is this the dying hour of this dispensation? Many say it is. Some Christians have already hung their harps on the willows, and yet others seem to delight in speaking of the Church's present lapse as a proof of divine inspiration. But I myself believe that if the Church will only obey the conditions, she can have a revival any time she wants it. The problem of the Church is the problem in the garden of Gethsemane-sleep! For while men sleep, the enemy, sows his seed through his cults. Lest men sleep the sleep of eternal death, 0h arm of the Lord, 0h Church of the living God, awake!
If the church is going to attain to her potential in this last hour, it is apparent that we are going to have to dust off an old word that many of us have forgotten is in the English language -- DISCIPLINE! To some, this word discipline will have a monastic flavor, for it smells of the Middle Ages or throws onto the screen of the mind a picture of an unwashed hermit or a hollow-eyed anchorite. Be not deceived. Every smart "top brass military expert has arrived there because he wore the harness of discipline. Leonard Bernstein in his music-talks holds his baton like a magic wand over mesmerized million because of discipline. This brings to mind the words of the poet:
The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward through the night!
If any man wants to write a bestseller, let him attempt a book on How to be a Saint in Six Easy Lessons. Such a writer would be fishing with bait that this generation of believers wants; but I, for one, would not swallow it.
In a brilliant sermon called "Discipleship," G. Cambell Morgan says, "Jesus Christ could speak to the sorrow-burdened heart of humanity words so full of mother-love and father-love as to make men crowd and press round Him. On the other hand, He could suddenly speak words that flashed and scorched and burned until men drew back in astonishment." Bracketed in the last group would be these two commands: "Take my yoke upon you" and "My disciple, take up your cross and follow me." Both of these words imply discipline.
When we sing in a sunlit church "Oh to be like Thee; Oh to be like Thee," we get weepy and feel an emotional lift. But permit this simple challenge:
Do we really mean 'Oh to be like Thee' -- like the Christ of God, who was a man of discipline?
Do we really mean 'Oh to be like Thee' -- fasting alone in the desert?
Do we mean Oh to be like Thee' to touch the depths of prayer that make us cry, 'All Thy billows are gone over me.'
Do we mean 'Oh to be like Thee' -- to become habituates of the fastness of the prayer chamber?
Do we mean 'Oh to be like Thee' -- in a will like His, for He said,
"I always do the will of my Father." Is that not discipline?
The religious sentimentalist who sings "Just a closer walk with Thee" but walks close to the ungodly and sits with the blasphemers, is not taken seriously in either heaven or hell. Be very sure, friend, that this vile world is not "a friend to grace to help on to God." We need to pray the Father to put some blood into this "water" that runs through our veins. Our Simon-like natures need the Upper Room fire to clean us out and the discipline of the Spirit to shape us into soldiers.
Twenty-five years of discipline in a crows nest of an office up behind his church in Chicago brought about a Dr. A. W. Tozer, who produced a book, The Pursuit of God. This in turn produced on the ocean of spiritual teaching waves that lap their way to the ends of the earth.
After I spoke at a session in the Bible School of Wales, Mrs. Rees Howells called me for a private talk. We stood on the veranda of her home overlooking beautiful Swansea Bay I can see her finger upheld as she said, "Many talk of my husband's buying this place with a shilling (fourteen cents) in his pocket. What they forget is that he prayed twelve hours a day for eleven months to know the mind of God." Brethren, that's discipline!
Today, immediately when one gets out of step with a nearby Christian, he is considered a legalist. Just remember, in "that great day of Judgment" when we must an stand before His throne, no man will be ashamed he was dubbed over-spiritual, though many will weep, groan, and "suffer loss" because of lack of discipline. Discipline is a harness by which we enable the Spirit to get the best out of our frail humanity. The Apostle Paul was a disciplinarian like his Master:
He disciplined his body: "I keep my body under."
He disciplined himself to loneliness: "All men forsook me."
He disciplined himself to scorn: "We are fools for Christ's sake."
He disciplined himself to poverty: "We suffered need."
He disciplined himself to rejection: "We are despised."
He disciplined himself to death: "I die daily."
He disciplined himself to suffering: "Persecuted, but not forsaken."
May this be our prayer, "Oh Lord, I bow my neck to Thy yoke!"
Since the hour Adam first rose to his feet, man has not stood, as today, between such potential and such peril. America is still the richest nation in the world. It is a mighty crucible into which refugees of almost all modern nations are poured. It has far more Bible schools than any other nation. In these Bible schools is dedicated manpower. Here, too, is wealth to get this manpower to the ends of the earth, and here is linguistic ability unmatched in the annals of time.
Even the gathering at Pentecost had not the potential, humanly speaking, that this vast nation has. Do you wonder, then, that from every angle, hell has America under cross fire? This mighty land is cursed with blessings . I fear that unless she awakens, repents, and puts on the whole armor, of God, she will be blessed with cursings. Already other nations are in the slavery of oppression. Can America and Britain long remain free? Unless we are to have the war of wars that will usher us into the night Of nights and the judgment of judgments, we must have the revival of revivals. Pale, pathetic, palliating preaching must be driven from the church like the idols it promotes. It is time for the church to cry again, "Where is the God of Elijah?"
Ambrose Fleming called the resurrection of Jesus Christ "the best attested fact in history" Yet at Easter time, vain effort is made to rationalize the stupendous event of the Resurrection in order to try to save face before pseudo-intellectualism, which boggles at the fact that the Lord of glory died and rose again, triumphant over death, over hell, and over the grave. Who, then, can dispute the following biting statements of Murdo MacDonald in his book, The Vitality of Faith: "Ever since the Renaissance, men have been trying to water down the Christian creed. Give us a religion purged of everything that defies logic, a religion stripped of the supernatural and emptied of miracle, a religion that is smooth and palatable and rationally acceptable-this has been the popular cry" Surely the church, weak in heart and courage, has gone out of the way to oblige.
The doom of this decaying civilization is spelled out in our crowded divorce courts, our all-time high of alcoholics and drug addicts, the number of illegitimate births or the number of abortions. A Gallup poll shows that these days most people accept lying as part of everyday business. Virtue is scorned.
Truth lies fallen in the street!
Somewhere in the archives of the British Admiralty at Whitehall, London, they have the record of a fine piece of maritime strategy. Ships of five nations were anchored in a bay in the South Pacific. A fierce storm was gathering offshore. The British captain decided to run, not away from the storm but into it. Everything available was battened down. Out crashed the ship into the boiling seas-pitching, tossing, rolling, and shuddering. Indeed, she did everything but go down. A couple of days later, buffeted but not broken, she returned to the port to find the ships of the other nations piled up on the beach.
The storm of the ages is about to break. Let the church call its crew to a new dedication. Remembering that Christ is at the helm, and with Christ's Crest as our ensign, let us run into the storm. After the storm, we, too, shall return-to see upon the shores of time the battered, piled, wrecked, hell-inspired ideologies of the hour.
| 2004/8/27 7:11||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Random Article strikes again!|
[b][u]The Cross and the Flesh[/u][/b]
1.) COULD THE FLESH SPEAK as it faces the Cross, it would be forced to use the language of one, Amiel, (as recorded by Amy Carmichael). After he had received at the hands of his doctors the verdict which was to him the arrest of death he said, "On waking, it seemed to me that I was staring into the future with wide-startled eyes. Is it indeed to me that these things apply? Incessant and growing humiliation, my slavery becoming heavier, my circle of action steadily narrower? What is hateful is that deliverance can never be hoped for, and that one misery will succeed another in such a way as to leave me no breathing space, not even in the future, not even in hope. All possibilities are closed to me, one by one."
To the flesh the Cross is God's verdict, God's "arrest of death." Paul traveled a long road to learn "that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.' "Is it indeed to me," cries the awakened believer, "that these very things apply?" It does seem to take a long time to learn that the mind of the flesh "is enmity against God." It is therefore "not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." The verdict has gone forth, the sentence executed. The only cure is condemnation, crucifixion, death with Christ. The flesh with all its foul brood has been put to the hanged man's doom. To the accursed tree, Christ nailed the flesh with "the affections and lusts." There, Christ reversed all the processes of nature; the old life was terminated to make room for the new, for death can never inherit life. And "the mind of the flesh is death."' The flesh has about it "the smell of infernal associations. It stinks." Since its mind is already death, God sent it to its own place--the Cross.
In speaking of "the flesh" as contrary to "the Spirit," Scripture refers to the whole of human nature in its fallen condition. We read of the wills of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, the mind of the flesh, the wisdom of the flesh, the purposes of the flesh, the confidence of the flesh, the filthiness of the flesh, the workings of the flesh, the warring of the flesh, the glorying of the flesh. Scripture mentions those who walk according to the flesh, after the flesh, make a fair show in the flesh. Man's emotions, his reasonings, his powers--all his thinking and willing and energy--are under the lordship of the flesh. The flesh must go to the Cross. It must be made to face the fact and made to say that "deliverance can never be hoped for, all possibilities are closed to me in such a way as to leave me no breathing space, not even in the future, not even in hope. It is to me these very things apply." The Cross seizes hold of man's fleshly self-life, and carries it to judgment, a judgment so final that it spells death.
| 2004/9/5 10:54||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Random Article strikes again!|
2.) Amiel indeed felt it "difficult for the natural man to escape from a dumb rage against" such an inexorable arrest. It is worse than difficult; it is impossible. But with God, the impossible becomes possible. Those who have been born again have gone through this judgment in the person of Christ. To the unbeliever, God says, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." But to us He says, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit." We are assured of this that "they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." And as we yield ourselves continually unto God, as those who are alive from the dead, we experience that liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. The word of assurance is that, "if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, (and he seems about to say to the Holy Spirit; but he turns to say) not to the flesh, to live after the flesh" (Rom. 8:11, 12). The flesh has been judged and our position is "in the Spirit."
Even though the believer has emerged from the muddle and mixedness of Romans 7 through Paul's command "reckon ye also yourselves to he dead indeed unto sin," the fact remains that he will discover many ways in which self seeks satisfaction through the as-yet-unredeemed spheres of his being. The flesh, the body, all "our mortal coil" is evidently still present in Romans 8. That chapter presents many ways in which mortification must set in. The victorious believer will become aware of many forms of self which must yet be dealt with. We shall discover: In our service for Christ, self-confidence and self-esteem; in the slightest suffering, self-saving and self-pity; in the least misunderstanding, self-defense and self-vindication; in our station in life, self-seeking and self-centeredness; in the smallest trials, self-inspection and self-accusation; in the daily routine, self-pleasing and self-choosing; in our relationships, self-assertiveness and self-respect; in our education, self-boasting and self-expression; in our desires, self-indulgence and self-satisfaction; in our successes, self-admiration and self-congratulation; in our failures, self-excusing and self-justification; in our spiritual attainments, self-righteousness and self-complacency; in our public ministry, self-reflection and self-glory; in life as a whole, self-love and selfishness. The flesh is an "I" specialist.
| 2004/9/5 10:57||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Random Article strikes again!|
3.) These are but a few of the multiple forms of "the flesh" to be discovered and taken to the Cross. "In the Palace of Wurtzung there hangs a hall of glass. It is called the Hall of a Thousand Mirrors. You enter--a thousand hands are stretched out to meet you, a thousand smiles greet your smile, a thousand eyes will weep when you weep; but they are all your hands, your smiles, your tears. What a picture of the selfish man! Self all round, self multiplied, and he is deceived" (Mantle). It is of God's wisdom that we should not be burdened with the discovery of these many forms of the flesh life all at once. Although emancipated at the life-center of our redeemed beings through the indwelling and infilling of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, we are still in a fight--albeit on the victory side. Vast areas of the flesh must yet be crucified. We must become Christ-like. As an old black Christian in Africa put it: "The Cross of Christ condemns me to become a saint." We left Egypt "in haste." Let Egypt leave us "with a vengeance." Look no more that way. Not deliverance but death lies in that direction. "Their horses are flesh and not spirit." Expect not to "run with the hare and hunt with the hounds." Calvary's floods of death are between us and that world. We have been crucified with Christ. There let us stand. Be consistent. Why halt between two opinions? Why be double minded? Why make provision for the flesh? Why not pay your last respects to the flesh? We are debtors, thank God, not to the flesh to live after the flesh. You are His? Then be His. Be what you are. Be out and out. Obey God. When God says, "Pluck out," don't try to salve your conscience with prayer. When God says, "Cut off," crying will not do.
We are largely creatures of habit. By birth we are selfish, and by long practice we have lived to please ourselves, We have long been debtors to certain fleshly tendencies. We have settled down perchance (wicked notion) that it must be ever thus. There are certain Canaanites that "would dwell in the land." They have chariots of iron. Let us set out a few of the more common and subtle forms of the flesh which are manifest "hangovers" in many Christians.
| 2004/9/5 11:00||Profile|