Hello Dear Sister,
It does ones heart good to see and hear the truth.
Oh yes, His Word is truth, and profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly
furnished unto all good works.
How refreshing, to walk out the door this morning
on my way to do what our Lord has called me to do.( Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Tim. 4:2).
Thanks Annie, His doctrine is so wonderful!
Have a wonderful day, In His Love, :-)
| 2006/4/23 8:15||Profile|
| Re: What if ???|
[b]"He that is not zealous against error, is not likely to be zealous for Truth." J.C. Ryle [/b]
What if, for these last 2000 years, there were no one who stood in defense of complete and sound doctrine ? Or stood against heresies ? Or stood against cults and the occult that constantly tries to enter the Church ?
What if ?
Many gave their very lives for this cause, yet some even here would say -- NO NEED - DON'T GO THERE - DON'T BRING UP DOCTRINE - LET'S JUST 'LOVE' - DON'T BRING UP THE ABOMINABLE THINGS TRYING TO ENTER THE CHURCH - "WE'RE NOT TO LOOK INTO WHAT THE PAGANS ARE DOING" - BUT WHAT IF THE PAGANS HAVE ALREADY ENTERED THE CHURCH AND BLINDING SHEEP [b]BECAUSE OF PEOPLE TOO COWARD OR COMPROMISING TO "WATCH" OVER THE FLOCK."[/b]
When "Christians" SNARL, when they hear the Term Doctrine - then you know we've got problems. Huge problems.
Well, enough from me right now .... here's Spurgeon and Ryle instead.
[b]Charles Spurgeon on Doctrine.[/b]
If you say that any one part of the truth is unimportant, you do as good as say - to that extent the Holy Spirit has come upon an unimportant or valueless mission. You perceive it is declared that he is to teach us "all things"; but if some of these "all things" are really of such minor importance, and so quite non-essential, then surely it is not worth while disturbing our minds with them. And so to that degree, at any rate, we accuse the Holy Spirit of having come to do what is not necessary to be done; and I trust that our minds recoil with holy repulsion from such a half-blasphemy as that..
[If more understood this] they would surely study a great many things that they overlook now, and I think they would not be so apt to excuse their own need of diligence in the school of Christ, by saying:
"Well, there are some all-important doctrines; we have studied them, and that is enough."
Thou will not say this if thou art an obedient disciple, for do you not know that the ministers of Christ have received a commission to teach all things that Christ has taught them, and do you think that our commission is frivolous and [annoying]? Do you think that Christ would bid us teach thee what it is no need of thee to learn, or, especially, that the Holy Ghost would himself come to dwell in the midst of his church and to teach them all things, when out of those "all things" there are, according to thy vain supposition, some things that were quite as well,
if not better, left alone? . . .
There is a tendency, among us all, I suppose, to choose some part of the truth, and attach undue importance to that, to the neglect of other truths. It is a grave question if this is not the origin of various divisions which are to be found in the Church of Christ - not so much heresy, as the attaching of disproportionate importance to some truth, to the disparaging or neglecting of others equally necessary.
Some brother speaking to me the other day, declared of a certain truth,
"You cannot have too much of a good thing." Whereupon I remarked, that a nose was a good thing, but it might be possible so to exaggerate it that you would spoil the beauty of the face; a mouth is a good thing, and yet it may be very possible to have such a mouth that there would be no particular beauty about the visage, for the beauty of the man consists in proportion, and the beauty of divine truth consists in the proportion in which every part of it is brought into view. Now, there be some who exaggerate one feature, and some another.
There are some brethren who are fond of what is called "the high side" of doctrine. I am fond of it, too, very fond of it, but there is a temptation to bring that out, and to neglect, perhaps, the practical part of the gospel, and to ease into the background, possibly, the invitations of the gospel, and those truths which concern our usefulness in the world. Then, on the other hand, there are some who are so enamored by "experience" that nothing but experiential truth will suit them; they must be always harping upon that one string, and they look down with contempt upon those who hold fast doctrinal truth, which is very wrong, and shows that they have not yet been led into all truth. ...
[b]It is all truth, and not some truth, that the Holy Spirit comes to teach.
To teach his children truth in all its harmony, truth in all its parts, truth indeed, as a whole. But it may be said, "There must be some truths which are not so essential as others!" That is granted. There are some truths that are so vital to salvation and peace with God, and there are some others that do not vitally concern the regeneration and conversion of the soul, and upon these men may be in error, and yet not risk their souls for all eternity. But still, even these [less vital] truths are part of the whole body of truth, and the body cannot do without its head, its heart, though it might lose a limb. Yet is that a reason why I should chop off a limb, or consent to have it maimed, because I could still exist without it? I could exist without an eye; shall I not, therefore, mind being blinded? . . .
All truth must be necessary for you and for me, or else the Spirit of God would not have come to teach it to us, and that while we may give more prominent importance to the greater and more vital truths, yet there is not one truth in Scripture to which we are allowed to say,
"Be still, be quiet, we do not want you." [/b]
Brethren, how many of you would be happy if you did but study doctrinal truth! You go lean and starved through the world, because your minister does not preach the doctrines of grace, and does not give you the full weight of the truths of the sovereign grace of God. Still, if you but studied them for yourselves, you might yet have a bright eye, and an elastic, bounding footstep, and rejoice in the everlasting love of God, which never leaves his people, but preserves and glorifies them in the end.
--Charles Spurgeon, The Great Teacher and Rememberancer
[b]That idea about "non-essentials" is wicked and rebellious.[/b] Cast it from you; go without the camp. [b]Be particular in every point[/b]. To the tiniest jot and tittle seek to obey your Master's will, and seek his grace that you may walk in the way of his commandments with a perfect heart. But then, if you do walk according to this rule, others will say, "You are so bigoted".
Thus reply to them: "I am very bigoted over myself, but I never claim any authority over you. To your own Master you stand or fall, and I do the same".
[b]If it be bigotry to hold decisive views about God's truth, and to be obedient in every particular, as far as God the Spirit has taught me, if that be bigotry - all hail bigotry! - a most hallowed thing.[/b]
--Charles Spurgeon, The Tabernacle - Without The Camp
Anything that is in the Word of God and has the stamp of His approval,
I tremble at. Someone once said to an old Puritan, "Some have made such [allowances] in their conscience, can't you make a little [exception] in yours? [b]There is no reason why you should be so precise"; but the other replied - "I serve a precise God." [/b]
--Charles Spurgeon, Living Temples For The Living God
Do not follow a part of his orders, and neglect the rest. The Lord Jesus must be received as a whole, or not at all. [b]Do not say "This is non-essential", for such a speech is flat rebellion. I do not believe in any words of our Lord being non-essential.[/b] They may not be essential to our salvation, but every word of Christ is essential to our spiritual health; neither can we disregard the least of his precepts without suffering loss through our disobedience.
Be very careful that you follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth; no other kind of walking is safe in such a world as this. Do what he bids you, as he bids you, and it shall he well with you.
--Charles Spurgeon, Blessed Promises For Dying Outcasts
There is a man in the world, whose views are not quite in consistency with Scripture. He says, "Well, it does not matter it is a little thing, a very little thing." Yes but that little wrong thing leads to a great wrong thing. The sinner's path is down hill, and when you take one step in violation of Scripture precept, your next step is not only easy, but seems even to be forced upon you. Doubt election, you will soon doubt perseverance, and you may soon come to deny redemption.
Where did the errors of the church of Rome come from? Were they all born in a day? No, they came by slow degrees. ... [b]If you tamper with one truth of Scripture, he that tempts you to meddle with one, will tempt you to tamper with another, and there will be no end to it, till, at last, you will want a new Bible, a new Testament, and a new God. There is no telling where you will end when you have begun.[/b]
--Charles Spurgeon, Importance of Small Things In Religion
Let us hold God's truth, but not with a slippery hand. If a doctrine be true, let us grip it [tightly], though the earth shake or the heavens fall. Christian men, [b]where there is a love for God's truth, God will bless his Church;[/b] but because this is a time-serving age, because we have not come out plainly with those things which distinguish us from each other, because we have paid too much deference to each other's views, and have not boldly declared the great truths of his Word. - these are the reasons why God has to some extent deserted us. You say, "I do not see so much [value] in doctrines, after all." Then you will not see much blessing. I love so much what I believe to be true, that I would fight for every grain of it; not for the "stones" only, but for the very "dust thereof."
[b]I believe that we ought not to say that any truth is non-essential;[/b] it may be non-essential to salvation, but it is essential for something else. Why! you might as well take one of the jewels out of the Queen's crown, and say it is non-essential, but she will be Queen all the same! Will anyone dare to tell God that any doctrine is non-essential?
Oh gracious Spirit, hast thou written what is non-essential?
Hast thou given me a Book respecting which I say, "My father and mother believed it all, but it is not necessary for me to believe it"? God has given me a judgment; am I to follow in the wake of other people, thinking I shall be sure to be right and that God will never ask me what I was? An easy kind of religion is this! It was not so in the days of good old John Bunyan and Berridge; they sang a far different song. But now people are saying,
"I can listen to So-and-so and So and-so" - men who contradict one another. We cannot think [highly] of people, who can hear opposite opinions, and yet believe both to be correct. We cannot expect much growth unless you hold the truth, and take pleasure in the stones of Zion, and, "favor the dust thereof," - every atom of [the truth].
--Charles Spurgeon, Zion's Prosperity
[b]A Time for Truth, Courage, Humility and Contrition
...admire the bear - by Charles Spurgeon
We must defend the faith. For what would have become of us if our fathers had not maintained it? If confessors, Reformers, martyrs and Covenanters had been indifferent to the name and faith of Jesus, where would have been the Churches of today? Must we not play the man as they did? If we do not, are we not censuring our fathers? It is very pretty, is it not, to read of Luther and his brave deeds? Of course, everybody admires Luther! Yes, yes. But you do not want anyone else to do the same today. When you go to the Zoological Gardens you all admire the bear. But how would you like a bear at home, or a bear wandering loose about the street?
You tell me that it would be unbearable and no doubt you are right. So, we admire a man who was firm in the faith, say four hundred years ago. The past ages are a sort of bear-pit or iron cage for him. But such a man today is a nuisance and must be put down. Call him a narrow-minded bigot, or give him a worse name if you can think of one. Yet imagine that in those ages past, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and their compeers had said, The world is out of order. But if we try to set it right we shall only make a great row and get ourselves into disgrace. Let us go to our chambers, put on our night-caps and sleep over the bad times and perhaps when we wake up things will have grown better.
Such conduct on their part would have entailed upon us a heritage of error. Age after age would have gone down into the infernal deeps and the infectious bogs of error would have swallowed all. These men loved the faith and the name of Jesus too well to see them trampled on. Note what we owe them and let us pay to our sons the debt we owe our fathers. It is today as it was in the Reformers days. Decision is needed. Here is the day for the manwhere is the man for the day? We who have had the Gospel passed to us by martyrs hands dare not trifle with itnor sit by and hear it denied by traitors who pretend to love it but inwardly abhor every line of it.
The faith I hold bears upon it marks of the blood of my ancestors. Shall I deny their faith, for which they left their native land to sojourn here? Shall we cast away the treasure which was handed to us through the bars of prisons, or came to us charred with the flames of Smithfield? Personally, when my bones have been tortured with rheumatism, I have remembered Job Spurgeon, doubtless of my own stock, who in Chelmsford Jail was allowed a chair because he could not lie down by reason of rheumatic pain. That Quakers broad-brim overshadows my brow. Perhaps I inherited his rheumatism. But that I do not regret if I have his stubborn faith which will not let me yield a syllable of the Truth of God.
When I think of how others have suffered for the faith, a little scorn or unkindness seems a mere trifle, not worthy of mention. An ancestry of lovers of the faith ought to be a great plea with us to abide by the Lord God of our fathers and the faith in which they lived. As for me, I must hold the old GospelI can do no other. God helping me, I will endure the consequences of what men think my obstinacy.
Look you, Sirs, there are ages yet to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation and another and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to His Truth today. We have come to a turning point in the road. If we turn to the right, maybe our children and our childrens children will go that way. But if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to His Word. I charge you, not only by your ancestry but by your posterity, that you seek to win the commendation of your Masterthat though you dwell where Satans seat isyou hold fast His name and do not deny His faith.
God grant us faithfulness for the sake of the souls around us! How is the world to be saved if the Church is false to her Lord? How are we to lift the masses if our fulcrum is removed? If our Gospel is uncertain, what remains but increasing misery and despair? Stand fast, my Beloved, in the name of God! I, your Brother in Christ, entreat you to abide in the Truth of God. Conduct yourselves like men, be strong. The Lord sustain you for Jesus sake. Amen.[/b]
The quote is from the sermon, "Holding Fast The Faith" [The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol 34, preached on Feb 5, 1888--at the nadir of the "down-grade"].
| 2006/4/23 20:12|
| Re: Where is all this leading to ?|
[b]"He that is not zealous against error, is not likely to be zealous for Truth." J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle said it well, over a 150 years ago, when he remarked:
"We live in an age when men profess to dislike dogmas and creeds, and are filled with a morbid dislike to controversial theology.
He who dares to say of one doctrine that 'it is true,' and of another that 'it is false,' must expect to be called narrow-minded and uncharitable, and to lose the praise of men ... The danger is real, great, and unmistakable.
Never was it so needful to say, Be not carried about (with divers and strange doctrines)"
Warning #5 to the Church
All Kinds of Strange Teachings by J. C. Ryle
"Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them" (Hebrews 13:9)
The text which heads this paper is an apostolic caution against false doctrine. It forms part of a warning which Paul addressed to Hebrew Christians. It is a caution just as much needed now as it was eighteen hundred years ago. Never, I think, was it so important for Christian ministers to cry aloud continually, "Do not be carried away."
That old enemy of mankind, the devil, has no more subtle instrument for ruining souls than that of spreading false doctrine. "A murderer and a liar from the beginning. . . .your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Outside the Church he is ever persuading men to maintain outrageous customs and destructive superstitions. Human sacrifice to idols, gross revolting, cruel, disgusting worship of abominable false deities, persecution, slavery, cannibalism, child murder, devastating religious wars--all these are a part of Satan's handiwork, and the fruit of his suggestions. Like a pirate, his object is to "sink, burn, and destroy." Inside the Church he is ever laboring to sow heresies, to propagate errors, to foster departures from the faith. If he cannot prevent the waters flowing from the Fountain of Life, he tries hard to poison them. If he cannot destroy the remedy of the Gospel, he strives to adulterate and corrupt it. No wonder that he is called "Apollyon, the destroyer."
The Divine Comforter of the Church, the Holy Spirit, has always employed one great agent to oppose Satan's plans. That agent is the Word of God. The Word expounded and unfolded, the Word explained and opened up, the Word made clear to the head and applied to the heart. The Word is the chosen weapon by which the devil must be confronted and confounded. The Word was the sword which the Lord Jesus wielded in the temptation. To every assault of the Tempter, He replied, "It is written." The Word is the sword which His ministers must use in the present day, if they would successfully resist the devil. The Bible, faithfully and freely expounded, is the safeguard of Christ's Church.
I desire to remember this lesson, and to invite attention to the text which stands at the head of this paper. We live in an age when men profess to dislike dogmas and creeds, and are filled with a morbid dislike to controversial theology. He who dares to say of one doctrine that "it is true," and of another that "it is false," must expect to be called narrow-minded and uncharitable, and to lose the praise of men. Nevertheless, the Scripture was not written in vain. Let us examine the mighty lessons contained in Paul's words to the Hebrews. They are lessons for us as well as for them.
1. First comes the broad warning. "Do not be not carried away by all kinds of strange teachings."
The meaning of these words is not a hard thing to understand. "Be not tossed back and forth," the Apostle seems to say, "by every blast of false teaching, like ships without compass or rudder. False doctrines will arise as long as the world lasts, in many numbers, with varying minor details, in one point alone always the same--strange, new, foreign, and departing from the Gospel of Christ. They do exist now. They will always be found within the visible Church. Remember this, and do not be carried away." Such is Paul's warning.
The Apostle's warning does not stand alone. Even in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount there fell from the loving lips of our Savior a solemn caution: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves" (Matthew 7:15). Even in Paul's last address to the Ephesian elders, he finds time to warn his friends against false doctrine: "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them"
Note what the Second Epistle to the Corinthians says: "I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ"
(2 Corinthians 11:3). Note what the Epistle to the Galatians says: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel." "Who has bewitched you?" "After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" "How is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles?" "You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!" "I fear for you." "Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
(Galatians 1:6; 3:1, 3; 4:9, 10, 11; 5:1).
Note what the Epistle to the Ephesians says: "No longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching" (Ephesians 4:14). Note what the Epistle to the Colossians says: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:8). Note what the First Epistle to Timothy says: "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith" (1 Timothy 4:1). Note what the Second Epistle of Peter says: "There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies" (2 Peter 2:1). Note what the First Epistle of John says: "Do not believe every spirit. Many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Note what the Epistle of Jude says: "Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men have secretly slipped in among you" (Jude 1:3, 4). These things were written for our learning.
What shall we say about these texts? How they may strike others I cannot say. I only know how they strike me. To tell us, as some do, in the face of these texts, that the early Churches were a model of perfection and purity, is absurd even in Apostolic days, its appears, there were abundant errors both in doctrine and practice. To tell us, as others do, that pastors ought never to handle controversial subjects, and never to warn their people against erroneous views, is senseless and unreasonable. If we did this then we would have to ignore most of the New Testament. Surely the dumb dog and the sleeping shepherd are the best allies of the wolf, the thief, and the robber. It is not for nothing that Paul says, "If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 4:6).
A plain warning against false doctrine is especially needed in the present day. The school of the Pharisees, and the school of the Sadducees, those ancient mothers of all mischief, were never more active than they are now.
--Between men adding to the truth on one side, and men taking away from it on the other.
--Between those who bury truth under additions, and those who mutilate it by subtractions.
--Between superstition and infidelity.
--Between Roman Catholicism and neology [New Theology].
--Between Ritualism and Rationalism.
Between these upper and lower millstones the Gospel is near being crushed to death! Strange views are continually propounded by pastors about subjects of the deepest importance. About the atonement, the divinity of Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, the reality of miracles, the eternity of future punishment, about the Church, the ministerial office, the Lord's Supper, Baptism, the confessional, the honor due to the Virgin, prayers for the dead. About all these things there is nothing too outrageous to be taught by some ministers in these latter days. By the pen and by the tongue, by the press and by the pulpit, the country is incessantly deluged with a flood of erroneous opinions. To ignore the fact is mere blindness. Others see it, even if we pretend to be ignorant of it. The danger is real, great, and unmistakable. Never was it so needful to say, "Do not be carried away."
Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous. There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their "earnestness" makes many think they must be right. There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides. There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties. There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong. There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense. There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work. There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly, and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself "as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians
11:14). There is a wide-spread "gullibility" among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man. All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, "Do not be carried away!"
If any one should ask me, What is the best safeguard against false doctrine?--I answer in one word, "The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied." We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: "Diligently study the Scriptures" (John
5:39). If we want a weapon to wield against the plans of Satan, there is nothing like "the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God." But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently, and prayerfully. This is a point on which, I fear, many fail. In an age of hurry and activity, few read their Bibles as much as they should. More books perhaps are read than ever, but less of the one Book which makes man wise to salvation. The Roman Catholic Church and new theology could never have made such havoc in the Church in the last fifty years, if there had not been a most superficial knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the land. A Bible-reading congregation is the strength of a Church.
"Diligently study the Scriptures." Mark how the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles continually refer to the Old Testament, as a document just as authoritative as the New. Mark how they quote texts from the Old Testament, as the voice of God, as if every word was given by inspiration. Mark how the greatest miracles in the Old Testament are all referred to in the New, as unquestioned and unquestionable facts. Mark how all the leading events in the Pentateuch are incessantly named as historical events, whose reality admits of no dispute. Mark how the atonement, and substitution, and sacrifice, run through the whole Bible from first to last, as essential doctrines of revelation. Mark how the resurrection of Christ, the greatest of all miracles, is proved by such an overwhelming mass of evidence, that he who disbelieves it may as well say he will believe no evidence at all. Mark all these things, and you will find it very hard to be a Rationalist! Great are the difficulties of unbelief: it requires more faith to be an unbeliever than a Christian. But greater still are the difficulties of Rationalism. Free handling of Scripture--results of modern criticism--broad and liberal theology--all these are fine, swelling, high-sounding phrases, which please some minds, and look very grand at a distance. But the man who looks below the surface of things will soon find that there is no sure standing-ground between ultra-Rationalism and Atheism.
"Diligently study the Scriptures." Mark what a conspicuous absence there is in the New Testament of what may be called the Sacramental system, and the whole circle of Ritualistic theology. Mark how extremely little there is said about the effects of Baptism. Mark how very seldom the Lord's Supper is mentioned in the Epistles. Find, if you can, a single text in which New Testament ministers are called sacrificing priests, or the Lord's Supper is called a sacrifice, or private confession to ministers is recommended and practiced. Turn, if you can, to one single verse in which sacrificial vestments are named as desirable, or in which lighted candles, and pots of flowers on the Lord's Table, or processions, and incense, and flags, and banners, and turning to the east, and bowing down to the bread and wine, or prayer to the Virgin Mary and the angels, are sanctioned. Mark these things well, and you will find it very hard to be a Ritualist! You may find your authority for Ritualism in garbled quotations from the Fathers, in long extracts from monkish, mystical, or from Popes; but you certainly will not find it in the Bible. Between the plain Bible, honestly and fairly interpreted, and extreme Ritualism there is gulf which cannot be passed.
"If we would not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings," we must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Diligently study the Scriptures." Ignorance of the Bible is the root of all error. Knowledge of the Bible is the best antidote against modern heresies.
Now "strengthening of the heart" is one of the great wants of many professing Christians. Especially is it longed after by those whose knowledge is imperfect, and whose conscience is half enlightened. Such persons often feel in themselves much indwelling sin, and at the same time see very indistinctly God's remedy and Christ's fullness. Their faith is feeble, their hope dim, and their consolations small. They want to realize more tangible comfort. They fancy they ought to feel more and see more. They are not at ease. They cannot attain to joy and peace in believing. Where shall they turn? What shall set their consciences at rest? Then comes the enemy of souls, and suggests some shortcut road to establishment. He hints at the value of some addition to the simple plan of the Gospel, some man-made gimmick, some exaggeration of a truth, some flesh-satisfying invention, some improvement on the old path, and whispers, "Only use this, and you shall be strengthened." Plausible offers flow in at the same time from every quarter, like quack medicines. Each has its own patrons and advocates. On every side the poor unstable soul hears invitations to move in some particular direction, and then shall come perfect strength.
"Come to us," says the Roman Catholic. "Join the Catholic Church, the Church on the Rock, the one, true, holy Church; the Church that cannot err. Come to her bosom, and rest your soul in her protection. Come to us, and you will find strength."
"Come to us," says the extreme Ritualist. "You need higher and fuller views of the priesthood and the Sacraments, of the Real Presence in the Lord's Supper, of the soothing influence of daily service, daily masses, confession to priests, and priestly absolution. Come and take up sound Church views, and you will find strength."
"Come to us," says the violent Liberationist. "Cast off the traditions and rules of established Churches. Enjoy religious liberty. Throw away forms and Prayer-books. Join our party. Cast in your lot with us, and you will soon be strengthened."
"Come to us," say the Plymouth Brethren. "Shake off all the bondage of creeds and Churches and systems. We will soon show you higher, deeper, more exalting, more enlightened views of truth. Join the brethren, and you will soon be strengthened."
"Come to us," says the Rationalist. "Lay aside the old worn-out clothes of unfruitful schemes of Christianity. Give your reason free scope and play. Begin a freer mode of handling Scripture. Be no more a slave to an ancient old world book. Break your chains and you shall be strengthened."
Every experienced Christian knows well that such appeals are constantly made to unsettled minds in the present day? Who has not seen that, when boldly and confidently made, they produce a painful effect on some people? Who has not observed that they often beguile unstable souls, and lead them into misery for years?
"What does the Scripture say?" This is the only sure guide. Hear what Paul says. Heart strength is not to be obtained by joining this party or that. It comes "by grace, and not by foods." Other things have a "show of wisdom" perhaps, and give a temporary satisfaction "to the flesh."
(Colossians 2:23). But they have no healing power about them in reality, and leave the unhappy man who trusts them nothing bettered, but rather worse.
A clearer knowledge of the Divine scheme of grace, its eternal purposes, its application to man by Christ's redeeming work, a firmer grasp of the doctrine of grace, of God's free love in Christ, of Christ's full and complete satisfaction for sin, of justification by simple faith, a more intimate acquaintance with Christ the Giver and Fountain of grace, His offices, His sympathy, His power, a more thorough experience of the inward work of grace in the heart, this, this, this is the grand secret of heart strength. This is the old path of peace. This is the true panacea for restless consciences. It may seem at first too simple, too easy, too cheap, too commonplace, too plain. But all the wisdom of man will never show the heavy-laden a better road to heart-rest. Secret pride and self-righteousness, I fear, are too often the reason why this good old road is not used.
I believe there never was a time when it was more needful to uphold the old Apostolic prescription than it is in the present day. Never were there so many weak and worried Christians wandering about, and tossed to and fro, from want of knowledge. Never was it so important for faithful ministers to set the trumpet to their mouths and proclaim everywhere, "Grace, grace, grace, not foods, establishes the heart."
From the days of the Apostles there have never been a lack of quack spiritual doctors, who have professed to heal the wounds of conscience with man-made remedies. In our own beloved Church there have always been some who have in heart turned back to Egypt, and, not content with the simplicity of our worship, have hankered after the ceremonial fleshpots of the Catholic Church of Rome. To hear the Sacraments incessantly exalted, and preaching played down, to see the Lord's Supper turned into an idol under the pretext of making it more honorable, to find plain worship overlaid with so many newfangled ornaments and ceremonies that its essentials are quite buried, how common is all this! These things were once a pestilence that walked in darkness. They are now a destruction that wastes in noonday. They are the joy of our enemies, the sorrow of the Church's best children, the damage of English Christianity, the plague of our times. And to what may they all be traced? The neglect and the forgetfulness of Paul's simple prescription: "Grace, and not foods, strengthens the heart."
Let us take heed that in our own personal religion, grace is all. Let us have clear systematic views of the Gospel of the grace of God. Nothing else will do good in the hour of sickness, in the day of trial, on the bed of death, and in the swellings of Jordan. Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, Christ's free grace the only foundation under the soles of our feet--this alone will give peace. Once let in self, and forms, and man's inventions, as a necessary part of our religion, and we are on a quicksand. We may be amused, excited, or kept quiet for a time, like children with toys, by a religion of "foods." Such a religion has "a show of wisdom." But unless our religion be one in which "grace" is all, we shall never feel strengthened.
In the last place, I proceed to examine the instructive fact which Paul records. He says, "Ceremonial foods are of no value to those who eat them."
We have no means of knowing whether the Apostle, in using this language, referred to any particular Churches or individuals. Of course it is possible that he had in view the Judaizing Christians of Antioch and Galatia, or the Ephesians of whom he speaks to Timothy in his pastoral Epistle, or the Colossians who caused him so much inward conflict, or the Hebrew believers in every Church, without exception. It seems to me far more probable, however, that he had no particular Church or Churches in view. I rather think that he makes a broad, general, sweeping statement about all who in any place had exalted ceremonial at the expense of the doctrines of "grace." And he makes a wide declaration about them all. They have got no good from their favorite notions. They have not been more inwardly happy, more outwardly holy, or more generally useful. Their religion has been most unprofitable to them. Man-made alterations of God's precious medicine for sinners, man-made additions to Christ's glorious Gospel, however superficially defended and plausibly supported, do no real good to those that adopt them. They confer no increased inward comfort; they bring no growth of real holiness: they give no enlarged usefulness to the Church and the world. Calmly, quietly, and mildly, but firmly, decidedly, and unflinchingly, the assertion is made, "Ceremonial foods are of no value to those who eat them."
The very history of our own times bears a striking testimony to the truth of Paul's assertion. In the last twenty-five years some scores of clergymen have seceded from the Church of England, and joined the Church of Rome. They wanted more of what they called Catholic doctrine and Catholic ceremonial. They honestly acted up to their principles, and went over to Rome. They were not all weak, and illiterate, and second- rate, and inferior men; several of them were men of commanding talents, whose gifts would have won for them a high position in any profession. Yet what have they gained by the step they have taken? What profit have they found in leaving "grace" for "ceremonies," in exchanging Protestantism for Catholicism? Have they attained a higher standard of holiness? Have they procured for themselves a greater degree of usefulness? Let one of themselves supply an answer. Mr. Ffoulkes, a leading man in the party, within the last few years has openly declared that the preaching of some of his fellow "Perverts" is not so powerful as it was when they were English Churchmen, and that the highest degree of holy living he has ever seen is not within the pale of Rome, but in the quiet parsonages and unpretending family-life of godly English clergymen! Intentionally or not intentionally, wittingly or unwittingly, meaning it or not meaning it, nothing can be more striking than the testimony Mr. Ffoulkes bears to the truth of the Apostle's assertion: "Ceremonial foods do not profit" even those who make much ado about them. The religious system which exalts ceremonial and man-made ritual does no real good to its adherents, compared to the simple old Gospel of the grace of God.
Let us turn now, for a few moments, to the other side of the picture, and see what "grace" has done. Let us hear how profitable the doctrines of the Gospel have proved to those who have clung firmly to them, and have not tried to mend and improve and patch them up by adding, as essentials, the "foods" of man-made ceremonies.
It was "grace, and not foods," that made Martin Luther do the work that he did in the world. The key to all his success was his constant declaration of justification by faith, without the deeds of the law. This was the truth which enabled him to break the chains of Rome, and let light into Europe.
It was "grace, and not ceremonial foods," that made our English martyrs, Latimer and Hooper, exercise so mighty an influence in life, and shine so brightly in death. They saw clearly, and taught plainly, the true priesthood of Christ, and salvation only by grace. They honored God's grace, and God put honor on them.
It was "grace, and not ceremonial foods," that made Romaine and Venn, and their companions, turn the world upside down in England, one hundred years ago. In themselves they were not men of extraordinary learning or intellectual power. But they revived and brought out again the real pure doctrines of grace.
It was "grace, and not ceremonial foods," that made Simeon and Daniel Wilson and Bickersteth such striking instruments of usefulness in the first half of the present century. God's free grace was the great truth on which they relied, and continually brought forward. For so doing God put honor on them. They made much of God's grace, and the God of grace made much of them.
The list of ministerial biographies tells a striking tale. Who are those who have shaken the world, and left their mark on their generation, and aroused consciences, and converted sinners, and edified saints? Not those who have made asceticism, and ceremonials, and sacraments, and services, and ordinances the main thing; but those who have made most of God's free grace! In a day of strife, and controversy, and doubt, and perplexity, men forget this. Facts are stubborn things. Let us look calmly at them, and be not moved by those who tell us that daily services, processions, incense, bowings, crossings, confessions, absolutions, and the like, are the secret of a prosperous Christianity. Let us look at plain facts. Facts in old history, and facts in modern days, facts in every part of England, support the assertion of Paul. The religion of "ceremonial foods" does "not profit those that are occupied therein." It is the religion of grace that brings inward peace, outward holiness, and general usefulness.
[b]Let me wind up this paper with a few words of practical application. We are living in an age of peculiar religious danger. I am quite sure that the advice I am going to offer deserves serious attention.
(1) In the first place, let us not be surprised at the rise and progress of false doctrine. It is a thing as old as the old Apostles. It began before they died. They predicted that there would be plenty of it before the end of the world. It is wisely ordered of God for the testing of our grace, and to prove who has real faith. If there were no such thing as false doctrine or heresy upon earth, I should begin to think the Bible was not true.
(2) In the next place, let us make up our minds to resist false doctrine, and not to be carried away by fashion and bad example. Let us not flinch, because all around us, high and low, rich and poor, are swept away, like geese in a flood, before a torrent of Catholicism. Let us be firm and stand our ground.
Let us resist false doctrine, and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us not be ashamed of showing our colors and standing out for New Testament truth. Let us not be stopped by the cuckoo cry of "controversy." The thief likes dogs that do not bark, and watchmen that give no alarm. The devil is a thief and a robber. If we hold our peace, and do not resist false doctrine, we please him and displease God.
(3) In the next place, let us try to preserve the old Protestant principles of the Church, and to hand them down uninjured to our children's children. Let us not listen to those faint-hearted Churchmen who would have us forsake the ship, and desert the Church in her time of need.
(4) In the last place, let us make sure work of our own personal salvation. Let us seek to know and feel that we ourselves are "saved." The day of controversy is always a day of spiritual peril. Men are apt to confound orthodoxy with conversion, and to fancy that they must go to heaven if they know how to answer Catholic Priests. Yet mere earnestness without knowledge, and mere head-knowledge of Protestantism, alike save none. Let us never forget this.[/b]
THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE.
| 2006/4/23 20:20|
| Re: Correct Doctrine?|
[b]If we are looking for correct Doctrine, we need go no farther than the Old King James Bible. If we are looking for false Doctrine, The Cathoic Bible, as well as all of the newer versions of the Christian Bible will suffice, even the "New King James" qualifies as false doctrine as well![/b]
"[b]The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the GREEK NEW TESTAMENT sometimes called TEXTUS RECEPTUS, or the RECEIVED TEXT[/b]. It is that Greek New Testament from which the writings of the apostles in Greek have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. During the dark ages the Received Text was practically unknown outside the Greek Church. It was RESTORED TO CHRISTENDOM BY THE LABORS OF THAT GREAT SCHOLAR ERASMUS. It is altogether too little known that the real editor of the Received Text was Lucian. None of LUCIAN'S enemies fails to credit him with this work. Neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the apostles, wrote the Greek New Testament.
However, LUCIAN'S DAY WAS AN AGE OF APOSTASY WHEN A FLOOD OD DEPRAVATIONS WAS SYSTEMATICALLY ATTEMPTING TO DEVASTATE BOTH THE BIBLE MANUSCRIPTS AND BIBLE THEOLOGY. [u][b]ORIGEN, of the ALEXANDRIAN COLLEGE (whatever good has come out of Egypt?), made his editions and commentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying.[/b][/u]
LUCIAN'S UNRIVALED SUCCESS in verifying, safeguarding, and transmitting those divine writings left a heritage for which all generations should be thankful."
The Bible that you pick up to read and study is of the utmost importance in regards to your Christian walk and proper understanding of doctrine. Like 2nd Timothy tells us "15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18. Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."
If we pick up the Catholic Bible, or the newer versions (NIV, NASB, New King James, etc.) we will find doctrine that has been provided by the Minority Text (Also called the Alexandrian text)that is watered down, doctrine created by Origen. 'Minority Texts' are also known as the Alexandrian Texts because they were produced in Alexandria in Egypt. The Minority Texts were rejected by the early Christians and also by all the Protestant Reformers of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Reformers, who were well aware of the existence of the Minority Texts, considered them unfit for translation purposes. These are very important points to bear in mind. Why did the early Christians and the Protestant Reformers reject the Minority Texts?
The answer is:
The Minority Texts were the work of unbelieving Egyptian scribes who did not accept the Bible as the Word of God or JESUS as the SON of GOD!
The Minority Texts abound with alterations, often a single manuscript being amended by several different scribes over a period of many years; something the Aaronic priests and Masorites would never have tolerated when making copies of the Scriptures.
The Minority Texts omit approximately 200 verses from the Scriptures. This is equivalent to 1st and 2nd Peter. Pause and consider that stunning fact!
The Minority Texts contradict themselves in hundreds of places.
The Minority Texts are doctrinally weak and often dangerously incorrect.
Yet, startling as it may sound, virtually every modern English Bible relies on the Minority Text as its underlying New Testament text in preference to Textus Receptus! Isn't that an amazing revelation? What brought about this almost incredible switch from the reliable Textus Receptus, beloved by the early Christian church and the Protestant Reformers, to the corrupt minority text favoured by the Roman Catholic Church?
It is important that you find out soon: because the modern "Bible" you may be faithfully studying every day is really nothing more than a counterfeit posing as the Word of God! If it is any consolation to you, do remember that I was equally in the dark and totally devastated by my findings.
Modern translations abound with misleading footnotes, which do little else but cast doubt on the King James Version. Examples are:
The Hebrew of this line is obscure.
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain -
Other ancient mss add
Other ancient mss omit
Other ancient mss read
Other ancient mss insert
Some early mss read
The most ancient authorities omit John
7:53 - 8:11
The best manuscripts omit this verse.
(e.g. Matt.17:21, 18:11, 23:14, Mark
7:16, John 5:4)
Some of the most ancient authorities
bring the book (Mark) to a close at the
end of Mark 16:8
Many mss do not contain the remainder of
this verse. (e.g. Acts 8:37)
Many ancient authorities read
Not found in most of the old mss.(e.g.
I will not analyse these footnotes, simply because there are scores of them scattered throughout the modern translations and each has a slightly different slant. However, one thing they all have in common: and that is, they ALL cast doubt on the accuracy of the Authorised King James Bible! By implication they all claim to be more accurate and reliable than the King James Version.
In the preface of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) we read this misleading statement. "Yet the King James Version has grave defects." Oh how subtle is Satan, how evil and how sinister! The stunning fact is: the very opposite is true. The King James Version is infinitely more accurate and reliable than ANY modern English translation on the market today. And that is why for nearly 400 years it has had - and continues to have - the blessing of the Almighty God upon it: something no modern version or translation can come anywhere near. Most, after a decade or two, disappear from the book shops, only to re-appear some years later with a few alterations under a new name.
How did it happen that the Minority Text supplanted the trustworthy and respected Textus Receptus which triggered the great Protestant Reformation during which tens of thousands of true believers perished by flame, famine and torture? Who is behind this dangerous deception that has engulfed the Christian Church? Do you know? Do you care? Is it important? Does it really matter?
I most certainly didn't know. But I do believe that it is vitally important that every believer know that Satan is behind it: not any particular Church, its leaders or its members - but the great enemy of souls! He is behind every deception ever aimed at the human race and millions, in and out of the church, believe his lies.
Dear Brother and Sister in the Lord--this is of the utmost importance. Time is short, and the days are becoming darker and darker. The False Church-Rome and Catholicism are awaiting the false profit. The problem is, that the Christian Church is asleep, and is reading & studying the equal to the Catholic bible, and is not aware that Christ is coming again, at the rapture, to get His Bride, the Church very soon. many in the Christian body will enter the Tribulation with the false Church, headed by the False Prophet. At the very best they will be Tribulation saints, and at the very worst will take the mark of the beast!
Determine this day who you will serve!
| 2006/4/24 1:31|
I think that MeAgain meant to use this thread as a means of reprinting sections of relevant articles as she feels led.
Quote:Again, I have trouble with such comments being printed as fact -- when they are simply slanderous assumptions and opinions. But for the sake of the purpose of this particular thread, please try to keep all of your [i]KJV-only[/i] rhetoric to one of the many, many threads about the KJV.
If we are looking for correct Doctrine, we need go no farther than the Old King James Bible. If we are looking for false Doctrine, The Cathoic Bible, as well as all of the newer versions of the Christian Bible will suffice, even the "New King James" qualifies as false doctrine as well!
By the way, MeAgain, I have enjoyed many of these posts.
| 2006/4/24 1:44||Profile|
| Re: Two Great R. A. Torrey Messages.|
First man chosen by D.L. Moody to teach at Moody's Institute and later take over Moody's Evangelism Crusades when Moody suddenly died.
[url=http://www.freewebs.com/ratorrey/Ten%20Reasons%20Why%20I%20Believe%20the%20Bible%20Is%20the%20Word%20of%20God.htm][b]Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God.[/b][/url]
Profitable Bible Study
R. A. Torrey[/b]
There are many profitable methods of Bible Study. There is something, however, in Bible study more important than the best methods, that is, the fundamental conditions of profitable study. He who meets these conditions will get more out of the Bible, while pursuing the poorest method, than will he who does not meet them, while pursuing the best method. Many a one who is eagerly asking, "What method shall I pursue in my Bible study?" needs something that goes far deeper than a new and better method.
[b]1. The first of the fundamental conditions of the most profitable Bible study is that the student must be born again. [/b]
The Bible is a spiritual book, it "expresses spiritual truths in spiritual words" (1 Corinthians 2:13), and only a spiritual man can understand its deepest and most characteristic and most precious teachings. "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). Spiritual discernment can be obtained in but one way, by being born again. "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" (John 3:3).
No mere knowledge of the human languages in which the Bible was written, however extensive and accurate it may be, will qualify one to understand and appreciate it. One must understand the divine language in which it was written as well, the language of the Holy Spirit. A person who understands the language of the Holy Spirit, but who does not understand a word of Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic, will get more out of the Bible than one who knows all about Greek and Hebrew and cognate languages, but is not born again, and, consequently, does not understand the language of the Holy Spirit. It is a well-demonstrated fact that many common men and women who are entirely ignorant of any knowledge of the original tongues in which the Bible was written have a knowledge of the real contents of the Bible, its actual teaching, in its depth and fullness and beauty, that surpasses that of many learned professors in theological faculties.
One of the greatest follies of the day, is to get unregenerate men to teach the Bible because of their rare knowledge of the human forms of speech in which the book was written. It would be as reasonable to set a man to teach art because he had an accurate technical knowledge of paints. It requires esthetic sense to make a man a competent teacher of art. It requires spiritual sense to make a man a competent teacher of the Bible. The man who has esthetic discernment but little or no technical knowledge of paint would be a far more competent critic of works of art than a man who has a great technical knowledge of paint but no esthetic discernment; and so the man who has no technical knowledge of Greek and Hebrew but has spiritual discernment is a far more competent critic of the Bible than he who has a rare technical knowledge of Greek and Hebrew but no spiritual discernment. It is exceedingly unfortunate that, in some quarters, more emphasis is laid on a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew in training for the ministry than is laid on spiritual life and its consequent spiritual discernment.
Unregenerate men should not be forbidden to study the Bible, for the Word of God is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses in the New Birth (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18); but it should be distinctly understood that, while there are teachings in the Bible that the natural man can understand, and beauties which he can see, its most distinctive and characteristic teachings are beyond his grasp, and its highest beauties belong to a world in which he has no vision. The first fundamental condition of the most profitable Bible study is, then, "You must be born again." You cannot study the Bible to the greatest profit if you have not been born again. Its best treasures are sealed to you.
[b]2. The second condition of the most profitable study is a love for the Bible.[/b]
A man who eats with an appetite will get far more good out of his meal than one who eats from a sense of duty. It is good when a student of the Bible can say with Job, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12), or with Jeremiah, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty" (Jeremiah 15:16). Many come to the table God has spread in His Word with no appetite for spiritual food, and go mincing here and there and grumbling about everything. Spiritual indigestion lies at the bottom of much modern criticism of the Bible.
But how can one get a love for the Bible? First of all, by being born again. Where there is life there is likely to be appetite. A dead man never hungers. This brings us back to the first condition. But going beyond this, the more there is of vitality, the more there is of hunger. Abounding life means abounding hunger for the Word. Study of the Word stimulates love for the Word. The author can well remember the time when he had more appetite for books about the Bible than he had for the Bible itself, but with increasing study there has come increasing love for the Book. Bearing in mind who the author of the Book is, what its purpose is, what its power is, what the riches of its contents are, will go far toward stimulating love and appetite for the Book.
[b]3. The third condition is willingness to do hard work.[/b]
Solomon has given a graphic picture of the Bible student who gets the most profit out of his study, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:1-5). Now, seeking for silver and searching for hidden treasure means hard work, and he who wishes to get not only the silver but the gold as well out of the Bible, and find its "hidden treasure," must make up his mind to dig. It is not glancing at the Word, or reading the Word, but studying the Word, meditating on the Word, pondering the Word, that brings the richest yields.
The reason why many get so little out of their Bible reading is simply because they are not willing to think. Intellectual laziness lies at the bottom of a large percent of fruitless Bible reading. People are constantly crying for new methods of Bible study, but what many of them wish is simply some method of Bible study by which they can get all the good out of the Bible without work. If someone could tell lazy Christians some method of Bible study whereby they could put the sleepiest ten minutes of the day, just before they go to bed, into Bible study, and get the profit out of it that God intends His children shall get out of the study of His Word, that would be just what they desire. But it can't be done. Men must be willing to work, and work hard, if they wish to dig out the treasures of infinite wisdom and knowledge and blessing which God has stored up in His Word.
A business friend once asked me in a hurried call to tell him "in a word" how to study his Bible. I replied, "Think." The Psalmist pronounces that man "blessed" whose "delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). The Lord commanded Joshua to meditate on it day and night, and assured him that as a result of this meditation, "you will be prosperous and successful" (Joshua 1:8).
Of Mary, the mother of Jesus, we read, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). In this way alone can one study the Bible to the greatest profit. One pound of beef well chewed and digested and assimilated will give more strength than tons of beef merely glanced at; and one verse of Scripture chewed and digested and assimilated will give more strength than whole chapters simply skimmed. Weigh every word you read in the Bible. Look at it. Turn it over and over. The most familiar passages get a new meaning in this way. Spend fifteen minutes on each word in Psalm 23:1 ("The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want."), or Philippians 4:19 ("My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."), and see if it is not so.
[b]4. The fourth condition is a will wholly surrendered to God.[/b]
Jesus said, "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own" (John 7:17). A surrendered will gives that clearness of spiritual vision which is necessary to understand God's Book. Many of the difficulties and obscurities of the Bible rise wholly from the fact that the will of the student is not surrendered to the will of the author of the Book. It is remarkable how clear and simple and beautiful passages that once puzzled us become when we are brought to that place where we say to God, "I surrender my will unconditionally to You. I have no will but Yours. Teach me Your will." A surrendered will will do more to make the Bible an open book than a university education. It is simply impossible to get the largest profit out of your Bible study until you do surrender your will to God. You must be very definite about this.
There are many who say, "Oh, yes, my will, I think, is surrendered to God," and yet it is not. They have never gotten alone with God and said intelligently and definitely to him, "O God, I here and now give myself up to You, for You to command me, and lead me, and shape me, and send me, and do with me, absolutely as You will." Such an act is a wonderful key to unlock the treasure house of God's Word. The Bible becomes a new book when a man does that. Doing that brought a complete transformation in the author's theology and life and ministry.
[b]5. The fifth condition is very closely related to the fourth. The student of the Bible who would get the greatest profit out of his studies must be obedient to its teachings as soon as he sees them. [/b]
It was good advice James gave to early Christians, and to us, "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22). There are a good many who consider themselves Bible students who are deceiving themselves in this way today. They see what the Bible teaches, but they do not follow it, and they soon lose their power to see it. Truth obeyed leads to more truth. Truth disobeyed destroys the capacity for discovering truth. There must be not only a general surrender of the will, but specific, practical obedience to each new Word of God discovered. There is no place where the law, "Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him," is more gloriously certain on the one hand and more sternly unavoidable on the other than in the matter of using or refusing the truth revealed in the Bible.
Use, and you get more; refuse, and you lose all. Do not study the Bible for the mere gratification of intellectual curiosity, but to find out how to live and please God. Whatever duty you find commanded in the Bible, do it at once. Whatever good you see in any Bible character, imitate it immediately. Whatever mistake you note in the actions of Bible men and women, scrutinize your own life to see if you are making the same mistake, and if you find you are, correct it immediately. James compares the Bible to a mirror (James 1:23, 24). The chief good of a mirror is to show you if there is anything out of order about you; if you find there is, you can set it right. Use the Bible in that way. Obeying the truth you already see will solve the mysteries in the verses you do not yet understand. Disobeying the truth you see darkens the whole world of truth. This is the secret of much of the skepticism and error of the day. Men see the truth, but do not follow it--then it is gone.
I knew a bright and promising young minister. He made rapid advancement in the truth. He took very advanced ground on one point especially, and the storm came. One day he said to his wife, "It is very nice to believe this, but we need not speak too much about it." They began, or he, at least, to hide their testimony. The wife died and he drifted. The Bible became to him a sealed book. Faith reeled. He publicly renounced his faith in some of the fundamental truths of the Bible. He seemed to lose his grip even on the doctrine of immortality. What was the cause of it all? Truth not lived and stood for flees. Today that man is much admired and applauded by some, but daylight has given place to darkness in his soul.
[b]6. The sixth condition is a childlike mind.[/b]
God reveals His deepest truths to babes. No age needs more than our own to lay to heart the words of Jesus, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children" (Matthew 11:25). We must be babes if God is to reveal His truth to us, and we are to understand His Word. A child is not full of its own wisdom. It recognizes its ignorance and is ready to be taught. It does not oppose the ideas of its teachers to those of its own. It is in that spirit we should come to the Bible if we are to get the most profit out of our study.
Do not come to the Bible full of your own ideas, and seeking from it a confirmation of them. Come rather to find out what are God's ideas as He has revealed them there. Come not to find a confirmation of your own opinion, but to be taught what God may be pleased to teach. If a man comes to the Bible just to find his ideas taught there, he will find them; but if he comes recognizing his own ignorance, just as a little child to be taught, he will find something infinitely better than his own ideas, even the mind of God. We see why it is that many persons cannot see things which are plainly taught in the Bible. The doctrine taught is not their idea, of which they are so full that there is no room left for that which the Bible actually teaches.
We have an illustration of this in the apostles themselves at one stage in their training. In Mark 9:31, we read, "He was teaching his disciples. He said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.'" Now, that is as plain and definite as language can make it, but it was utterly contrary to the ideas of the apostles as to what was to happen to the Christ. So we read in the next verse, "But they did not understand what he meant." Isn't that amazing? But is it any more amazing than our own inability to comprehend plain statements in the Bible when they run counter to our preconceived ideas?
Problems many Christians find with portions of the Sermon on the Mount would be plain enough if we just came to Christ like a child to be taught what to believe and do, rather than coming as full-grown men who already know it all, and who must find some interpretations of Christ's words that will fit into our mature and infallible philosophy. Many a man is so full of an unbiblical theology he has been taught that it takes him a lifetime to get rid of it and understand the clear teaching of the Bible.
"Oh, what can this verse mean?" many a bewildered man cries. Why, it means what it plainly says; but what you are after is not the meaning God has manifestly put into it, but the meaning you can by some ingenious trick of exegesis twist out of it and make it fit into your scheme. Don't come to the Bible to find out what you can make it mean, but to find out what God intended it to mean. Men often miss the real truth of a verse by saying, "But that can be interpreted this way." Oh, yes, so it can, but is that the way God intended it to be interpreted? We all need to pray often if we would get the most profit out of our Bible study, "Oh, God, make me a little child. Empty me of my own ideas. Teach me Your own mind. Make me ready like a little child to receive all that You have to say, no matter how contrary it is to what I have thought before." How the Bible opens up to one who approaches it in that way! How it closes up to the wise fool, who thinks he knows everything, and imagines he can give points to Peter and Paul, and even to Jesus Christ and to God Himself! Someone has well said the best method of Bible study is "the baby method."
I was once talking with a minister friend about what seemed to be the clear teaching of a certain passage. "Yes," he replied, "but that doesn't agree with my philosophy." This man was sincere, yet he did not have the childlike spirit, which is an essential condition of the most profitable Bible study. But there are many who approach the Bible in the same way. It is a great point gained in Bible study when we are brought to realize that an infinite God knows more than we, that, indeed, our highest wisdom is less than the knowledge of the most ignorant babe compared with His. But we so easily and so constantly forget this that every time we open our Bibles we would do well to get down humbly before God and say, "Father, I am but a child, teach me."
[b]7. The seventh condition of studying the Bible to the greatest profit is that we study it as the Word of God.[/b]
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Church of the Thessalonians, thanked God without ceasing that when they received the Word of God they "accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Well might he thank God for that, and well may we thank God when we get to the place where we receive the Word of God as the Word of God. Not that one who does not believe the Bible is the Word of God should be discouraged from studying it. Indeed, one of the best things that one who does not believe that the Bible is the Word of God can do, if he is honest, is to study it. The author of this book once doubted utterly that the Bible was the Word of God, and the firm confidence that he has today that the Bible is the Word of God has come more from the study of the Book itself than from anything else. Those who doubt it are more usually those who study about the Book, than those who dig into the actual teachings of the Book itself. But while the best book of Christian evidences is the Bible, and while the most utter skeptic should be encouraged to study it, we will not get the largest measure of profit out of that study until we reach the point where we become convinced that the Bible is God's Word, and when we study it as such.
There is a great difference between believing theoretically that the Bible is God's Word and studying it as God's Word. Thousands would tell you that they believe the Bible is God's Word who do not study it as God's Word. Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves four things.
(1) First, it involves the unquestioning acceptance of its teachings when definitely ascertained, even when they may appear unreasonable or impossible.
Reason demands that we submit our judgment and reasonings to the statements of infinite wisdom. There is nothing more irrational than rationalism, which makes the finite wisdom the test of infinite wisdom, and submits the teachings of God's omniscience to the approval of man's judgment. It is the sublimest and absurdest conceit that says, "This cannot be true, though God says it, for it does not agree with my reason." "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?" (Romans 9:20). Real human wisdom, when it finds infinite wisdom, bows before it and says, "Speak what You will and I will believe." When we have once become convinced that the Bible is God's Word its teachings must be the end of all controversy and discussion. A "thus says the Lord" will settle every question. Yet there are many who profess to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and if you show them what the Bible clearly teaches on some disputed point, they will shake their heads and say, "Yes, but I think so and so," or "Doctor -----, or Professor this, our church doesn't teach that way." There is little profit in that sort of Bible study.
(2) Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves, in the second place, absolute reliance on all its promises in all their length and breadth.
He who studies the Bible as the Word of God will not discount any one of its promises one iota. He who studies the Bible as the Word of God will say, "God, who cannot lie, has promised," and will not attempt to make God a liar by trying to make one of His promises mean less than it says. He who studies the Bible as the Word of God will be on the lookout for promises, and as soon as he finds one he will seek to ascertain just what it means, and as soon as he discovers what it means, he will step right out on that promise and risk everything on its full meaning. That is one of the secrets of profitable Bible study.
Search for promises and appropriate them as fast as you find them, which is done by meeting the conditions and risking all on them. That is the way to make your own all the fullness of blessing God has for you. This is the key to all the treasures of God's grace. Happy is the man who has so learned to study the Bible as God's Word that he is ready to claim for himself every new promise as it appears, and to risk everything on it.
(3) Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves, in the third place, obedience--prompt, exact obedience, without asking any questions to its every precept.
Obedience may seem hard, it may seem impossible, but God has commanded it and I have nothing to do but to obey and leave the results with God. If you would get the very most profit out of your Bible study resolve that from this time you will claim every clear promise and obey every plain command, and that as to the promises and commands whose intent is not yet clear you will try to get their meaning made clear.
(4) Studying the Bible as the Word of God involves, in the fourth place, studying it in God's presence.
When you read a verse of Scripture hear the voice of the living God speaking directly to you in these written words. There is new power and attractiveness in the Bible when you have learned to hear a living, present Person, God our Father, Himself talking directly to you in these words. One of the most fascinating and inspiring statements in the Bible is, "Enoch walked with God" (Genesis 5:24). We can have God's glorious companionship any moment we please by simply opening His Word and letting the living and ever-present God speak to us through it. With what holy awe and strange and unutterable joy one studies the Bible if he studies it in this way! It is heaven come down to earth.
[b]8. The eighth and last condition of the most profitable Bible study is prayerfulness.[/b]
The Psalmist prayed, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law" (Psalm 119:18). Every one who desires to get the greatest profit out of his Bible study needs to offer that or a similar prayer every time he undertakes the study of the Word. Few keys open so many strong boxes that contain hidden treasure as prayer. Few clues unravel so many difficulties. Few microscopes will disclose so many beauties hidden from the eye of the ordinary observer. What new light often shines from an old familiar text as you bend over it in prayer! I believe in studying the Bible a good deal on your knees. When one reads an entire book through on his knees--and this is easily done--that book has a new meaning and becomes a new book. One ought never to open the Bible to read it without at least lifting the heart to God in silent prayer that He will interpret it, illumine its pages by the light of His Spirit.
It is a rare privilege to study any book under the immediate guidance and instruction of its author, and this is the privilege of us all in studying the Bible. When one comes to a passage that is difficult to understand or difficult to interpret, instead of giving it up, or rushing to some learned friend, or to some commentary, he should lay that passage before God, and ask Him to explain it to him, pleading God's promise, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt" (James 1:5-6). It is simply wonderful how the seemingly most difficult passages become plain by this treatment.
Harry Morehouse, one of the most remarkable Bible scholars among unlearned men, used to say that whenever he came to a passage in the Bible which he could not understand, he would search through the Bible for some other passage that threw light on it, and lay it before God in prayer, and that he had never found a passage that did not yield to this treatment. The author of this book has had a quite similar experience. Some years ago, accompanied by a friend, I was making a tour of Franconian Switzerland, and visiting some of the more famous zoolithic caves. One day a rural letter carrier stopped us and asked if we would like to see a cave of rare beauty and interest, away from the beaten tracks of travel. Of course, we said, yes. He led us through the woods and underbrush to the mouth of the cave, and we entered. All was dark and uncanny. He discussed greatly on the beauty of the cave, telling us of altars and fantastic formations, but we could see absolutely nothing. Now and then lie uttered a note to warn us to have a care, as near our feet lay a gulf the bottom of which had never been discovered. We began to fear that we might be the first discoverers of the bottom. There was nothing pleasant about the whole affair.
But as soon as a magnesium taper was lighted, all became different. There were the stalagmites rising from the floor to meet the stalactites as they came down from the ceiling. There were the beautiful and fantastic formations on every hand, and all glistening in fairy like beauty in the brilliant light. So I have often thought it was with many a passage of Scripture. Others tell you of its beauty, but you cannot see it. It looks dark and intricate and forbidding and dangerous, but when God's own light is kindled there by prayer how different all becomes in an instant. You see a beauty that language cannot express, and that only those can appreciate who have stood there in the same light. He who would understand and love his Bible must be much in prayer. Prayer will do more than a college education to make the Bible an open and a glorious book. Perhaps the best lesson I learned in a German university, where I had the privilege of receiving the instruction of one of the most noted and most gifted Bible teachers of any age, was that which came through the statement of one who knew him that Professor Dehtzsch worked out much of his teaching on his knees.
http://www.freewebs.com/ratorrey/ or [url=http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/Sermons/TorreyProfitable.html ]Go to the Bible. com[/url]
Edit: Thank you Chris. There are enough version threads. I read all of those threads also. Thanks Stever !
| 2006/4/24 1:50|
I think that MeAgain meant to use this thread as a means of reprinting sections of relevant articles as she feels led.
Quote:Again, I have trouble with such comments being printed as fact -- when they are simply slanderous assumptions and opinions. But for the sake of the purpose of this particular thread, please try to keep all of your [i]KJV-only[/i] rhetoric to one of the many, many threads about the KJV.
If we are looking for correct Doctrine, we need go no farther than the Old King James Bible. If we are looking for false Doctrine, The Cathoic Bible, as well as all of the newer versions of the Christian Bible will suffice, even the "New King James" qualifies as false doctrine as well!
Chris, you never disappoint, and you never change. My "assumptions" that you call slanderous are proven in the body of what I post. For some reason, lack of interest, or something else, I know not what----you never read what I post. And if you do read it, you never respond to it specifically to even try to refute what I have documented.
How can anything that you say in response to what I have posted about a very complex issue, that you refuse to even have dialogue on, be taken seriously?
| 2006/4/25 0:22|
| Re: Pt. 1|
[url=http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/rick_warren_to_speak_at_azusa_street_extravaganza.htm]Warren to speak at Azusa Street Extravaganza in L A[/url]
It is amazing that Rick Warren has been invited to speak at the big Azusa celebration. This celebration is about what happened at Azusa Street which was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Acts 2:4.
As a Baptist preacher, Rick Warren does not believe in this experience and is against it. In his Purpose Driven Life book on pg. 250 he openly says, "There are NO DEFINITIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS in the Bible, so any definitions are arbitrary and usually represent a denominational bias." How can someone have a Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, or even anyone who has ever read the Bible say such an outrageous thing contradicting scriptures. Does he think that know one reads the Bible? The Bible DEFINES THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS in 1 Cor. 12:1-11. "Now CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are DIVERSITIES OF GIFTS, but the same Spirit." "For to one is given by the Spirit THE WORD OF WISDOM; to another THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE by the same Spirit. To another FAITH by the same Spirit; to another THE GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit; To another THE WORKING OF MIRACLES; to another PROPHECY; to another DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another PROPHECY; to another DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES; to another THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will."
[b]Why would Pentecostals invite a man with such contrary beliefs to be a keynote speaker at such a meeting? It is apparent that both sides are using each other. It appears that what happened at Azusa Street is not really the main purpose of this large gathering; otherwise, why would they invite Rick Warren who does not even believe in speaking in other tongues and does not believe that the Bible defines as the Gifts of the Spirit be a speaker there?
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going on here. This is an unholy political coalition between the Pentecostals and non-pentecostals in attempt at uniting Christianity in their unholy, unscriptural coalition. Both sides are using each other to gain influence and power over Christians. They are using Azusa Street to achieve their political agenda. This whole meeting is a pretense and is spiritual harlotry. Loren Davis www.lorendavis.com
Quote Rick Warren:
"The P.E.A.C.E. Plan will be a "revolution" for global Christianity, Warren told the congregation.
I stand before you confidently right now and say to you that God is going to use you to change the world," Warren said. "Some will say, 'That's impossible,' but I heard that line 25 years ago, and God took seven people and started Saddleback Church. Now we have a new vision and a whole lot more people to start with."
"Warren... unveiled the churchs commitment to a new reformation in Christianity and vision for a worldwide spiritual awakening in the 21st Century through the PEACE Plan that he believes will mobilize one billion foot soldiers ... by the year 2020."
"The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences...." Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life
"'The P.E.A.C.E. plan will be a revolution for global Christianity.... Im looking at a stadium full of people who are telling God they will do whatever it takes to establish Gods Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven." Rick Warren
As you saw in Part 2 of this series, Rick Warren's PEACE Plan fits right into the global march toward social solidarity. The widening web of communitarian systems envisioned by Peter Drucker (Warren's mentor) is now embraced by pastors, politicians, rulers, and community leaders around the world. Like Pastor Warren, they all seem to agree that the rising global welfare system requires a worldwide army of "volunteer" servers."
It makes sense! In September 2005, Pastor Warren was invited to speak at the United Nations and at the Council of Foreign Relations -- two powerful organizations determined to unify the world under a new set of social rules and systemic controls. Both pursue a peaceful transformation that would stifle the "divisive" truths of the gospel and conform Christian beliefs to UNESCO's Declaration on the Role of Religion. Both recognize the need to draw churches into their worldwide network of partners and servers. Both realize that Rick Warren -- a most magnetic Pied Piper for their transformational agenda -- can serve their grandiose purposes well. [/b]
| 2006/4/25 5:43|
| Re: Sticking with HIS Word alone.|
[b]What To Do About The False Teacher, Prophet or Anti-Christ Next Door:
The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
by Cassandrah Batya, April 15, 2006
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
- Matthew 7:13 23
The most disheartening aspect of what is happening to The Christian Church is the celebration of those within who are really enemies of The Cross or The Gospel of Christ. Many of these false teachers, prophets and anti-christs never reach celebrity status. The enemy, Satan, is contented to have them do his destructive bidding on a smaller and more personal spiritual scale. Our weaker, less biblically discerned Christian brothers and sisters are often left confused about what to do with acquaintances who are false teachers, prophets or anti-christs.
What I say when fellow Christians seek my advice is this:
Ask the person to support what he or she is saying with specific biblical verses. You should always speak biblical truth and be prepared to give out specific Bible verses to support what you are saying. If the person rejects the truth of the Bible, walk away, pray for that person and leave him or her in The Hands of God. The Bible instructs us to identify false teachers, prophets and anti-christs and then avoid them.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
- Romans 16:17
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
- 2 Timothy 3:5
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his deeds.
- 2 John 1:9-11
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
- 1 Timothy 6:3 - 5
A Christian, who is young or weak in spirit, makes the mistake of arguing his or her point with the dream that the other person will eventually say, You won. The enemy loves this, the more chaos, the better. Arguments not only leave the believer upset and bewildered, but those who witness such events are left confused with doubts regarding what is true Christianity. The enemys goal is to discredit The Word of God by any [and all] means necessary. But our God is not a God of confusion.
For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
- I Corinthians 14:33
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
- Titus 3:9-11
He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked [man getteth] himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
- Proverbs 9:7 - 8
When Our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan, He did not argue with him. Jesus quoted Scripture.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
- Matthew 4:1 - 11
When Michael the archangel contended with the enemy over the body of Moses, he said, The Lord rebukes thee. He did not argue with him.
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
- Jude 1:9
A Christian shouldnt look for common religious ground with an enemy of Christ with the hopes that a friendship will lead the person to Christ. Compromise is not an option. Christians should not agree to any activity which is not founded on sound biblical doctrine, even if the goal is to get the other person to participate in a Christian activity. A Christian should not maintain, nor pursue a friendship or relationship with a heretic. A heretic is anyone one who supports doctrine that contradicts The Word of God, The Holy Bible.
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:16
Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
- Proverbs 17:12
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6: 14 18
Our mission as Christians is to present and spread The Gospel of Christ in words and deeds. The Bible never instructs Christians to argue over biblical doctrine or compromise the Christian faith. The Bible itself does not even argue the point that God is The Creator, it simply states, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
You cannot argue someone into accepting Christ. God gives each of us free will. If anyone rejects any portion of the Bible, he or she is rejecting The Word of God, therefore Christ. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has not only forewarned of the consequence for those who reject His Gospel, but how we as Christians are to respond to them:
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
- Luke 9:5
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
- Matthew 10:14
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
- Mark 6:11
God has equipped every Christian with everything he or she needs to combat the fiery darts of the enemy. Everything a Christian needs to know is in the Bible. But each of us must study it and grow strong in The Word of God. An in-depth knowledge of the Bible, including memorized verses, is invaluable in the battle against false teachers, prophets or anti-christs.
For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- Hebrew 4:12[/b]
| 2006/4/25 23:50|
| Re:Encouragement For the True Shepherds|
These are excerpts from just two of the many books offered on the site below.
I pray you can glean strength for the battle in these and in further searches on the writings of this man.
[b]The Battle For Life
by T. Austin-Sparks [/b]
We are seeking to take a further step in the apprehension of what is related to this great and pressing matter, and are going to deal with the continuation of the conflict, with reference to its nature and its sphere.
We speak in the first place about the individual believer. We must remember that this life of the risen Lord, as linked with the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of life, resides in the very deepest part of our being, in our spirit, or in what the New Testament calls "the inner man". Therefore the most spiritual people will find that the conflict of life rages around and upon their spirit. There is a direct assault upon their spirit in order to get their spirit weakened, shut in and pressed down, so that somewhere in the depths of their being they feel that they are unable to breathe, so to speak. They cannot actually locate it, but they are conscious that right within there is a locking up, a pressing, a hemming in, a suffocating of spirit. One of two things will result. Either their spirit will be pressed out under this weight of spiritual death, and they will go under; or else they will have to call earnestly upon the Lord that they may be strengthened with might by His Spirit into the inward man, and then exercise faith on the ground of their prayer and seek to assert their spirit against this thing.
I am going to say something which may, to some, sound very terrible. It may perplex some, but it may help others. It is this: it is possible for a true child or servant of God, living in true fellowship with Him and walking in the light as far as they have it, to pass through a time of deep and terrible darkness. At such a time it may seem as though the Lord has left them and that Satan has taken His place of government. Prayer seems impossible or useless, and the Bible closed. Evil seems triumphant. The promises of God never to leave nor in anywise to forsake seem to have failed. Things may seem to be even worse than that, and one's salvation may be brought into question. Such has been the experience of some of the most saintly, devoted, and God-used servants of the Lord. Abraham had it (Genesis 15:12). Jeremiah knew it (Jeremiah 20:7). David knew it (Psalm 22). Job knew it. Our Lord Jesus knew it (Matthew 27:46). Dr. A. B. Simpson had this experience near the end of his wonderful life for God. And so it has been with others.
What is the explanation? With all my heart I do not believe that this seeming forsakenness is true, however real it may seem. In many cases it is because those concerned have done so much damage to the kingdom of Satan that he has rallied all his forces to quench their life and testimony. Or it may be that the enemy has discerned the potential value of a life which will be a menace to his interests. But, whether either of these explanations be true or not so, the fact remains that, where the Lord Jesus truly is, the battle for life often assumes most serious forms. Sometimes it is a devastating and desolating experience.
We need to remember that these are spiritual forces, and spiritual forces stand at no physical barriers. We have a soul, a great nervous system. Children of God for many reasons, and very often after a time of pouring out spiritually, will find their nerves are all a jangle, and they feel anything but good and holy. But are you going to say that that means that after all they are not children of God, and that it is all a myth? Do you mean to say that Elijah was no longer the prophet of the Most High when he cast himself under the juniper tree and asked the Lord to take away his life? He was still the servant of God, still as true to God as ever. We are not trying to excuse our weaknesses, but trying to get to the heart of a situation. That does not argue that the Lord has forsaken, that the Lord is not there, and that such are not the Lord's children or His servants. It indicates that the enemy has made them marked men or women because of something he is trying to destroy in the life. If you get into that realm, do not accept the suggestions of the enemy or seek to interpret things in the light of circumstances.
If you do not understand this that we are saying, do not strive after an explanation, and please do not put your own construction upon it. There are some who know what it is to have such an assault upon their being, their physical and nervous life as to make them feel that they are lost. I do not believe that it means that they are lost, and it is because some people accept that suggestion from the tempter that they sink into darkness. Oh, that many of these people who feel this thing upon them could know what we are trying to say, that it is for the spirit to rise up in faith and refuse the argument of the seeming! The seeming is sometimes so terribly real. People who have not suffered sometimes say to us: 'It only seems to be so; it is not really so!' And we reply: 'You do not know what you are talking about! It is more real than anything else to those concerned.' But the Lord will teach us as we go on not to accept that as the final thing. There is something deeper than that. The Lord is deeper than our physical feelings. The Lord is deeper than our soul.
Let me say here what I have said elsewhere. There are times and situations when ordinary lines of communication with a child of God are suspended. They are in a state of unconsciousness. It is useless to speak to them, for they can make no response. But if you pray, so often there is a response, not in words, but deeper than natural consciousness. You touch something deeper; it is the spirit, and spirit responds to spirit. We have known this to happen, even to the point of a hand-squeeze, or a facial glow. It is the mystery of Divine life.
[b]Called Unto the Fellowship of His Son
by T. Austin-Sparks [/b]
I want to bring just three fragments of Scripture together as basic or background to what I feel the Lord wants to say to us this morning. In the prophecies of Isaiah, turn to chapter 6, verse 1: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord." I want to take that last fragment, "I saw the Lord." Then, in the Letter of Paul to the Galatians, let us turn to chapter 1 in verses 15 and 16 and see this clause: "it pleased God, to reveal His Son in me." And then in the Book of the Acts, chapter 26, verse 19, Paul says: "Wherefore, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." I saw the Lord, it pleased God, to reveal His Son in me, and I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
We are getting very near to the end of this time together, and those of us who have had responsibility in ministry are asking the question, "I wonder what the people have seen this week?" What have they really seen, and what are they taking away in them? What have they seen with "the seeing" about which the Bible, and especially the New Testament, has so much to say.
I am not so much concerned, dear friends, with addressing you. You know the difference between being addressed and being talked to. I want to talk to you, and I want to talk to you about this matter of spiritual seeing. I am quite sure that even a small gathering like this one represents different degrees of spiritual seeing. Whether it be the early beginning of seeing, or whether it be the most advanced that a company like this may represent, this matter of spiritual seeing is the most governing thing in all life.
I think you will agree with me that although we think of our time as being perhaps more important than any other time, that is, we think that things have advanced in our time to such a degree as they never were like this before, there have always been times (if this is a time when things have become more developed and advanced), there have always been times when this matter of spiritual seeing was the only hope of the situation.
We are in a time of unspeakable confusion in Christianity. It is in the world, of course, but we are not at the moment concerned with the confusion in the world. We know about that, but in Christendom I think that there never was such a degree of confusion as there is today. There is such bewilderment and almost countless, strange, perplexing developments in Christianity. There is a defeating and defying of every attempt to either explain or cope with them - to understand what they mean.
We have found it here this week - a tremendous amount of confusion. You would not believe what comes from personal conversation. There are questions, endless questions. From the moment you begin to speak and finish your first word, people are asking questions. There are questions about this and that and another thing and all the things that are going on; and even if you have not had their questions, you know quite well that the atmosphere is full of this intrameeting, intrahearing of, intraseeing. There are these questions concerning the things that are going on amongst Christians. This is true, is it not? And the one great paramount necessity is spiritual sight. Shall I use another word, a New Testament word, spiritual discernment.
This was so at the end of the apostolic age. The Letters of John are written because of this confusion and the defeat of the Christian mind to be able to comprehend, understand, define, or explain what was going on. John is saying that there are many antichrists - many antichrists - many false spirits, and many false prophets gone into the earth. The situation was developing then as it has developed so much more in our time. John made it his business in writing his letters to try and indicate to these Christians in their perplexity, the way (the only way) in which they were going to be able to get through all this perplexity without becoming involved, defeated, and led away, led astray.
You know, multitudes of dear Christian people today are just being led away, and I think led astray, by the things that are happening, strange things. It is as in the days of David when his treacherous son, Absalom, rose up to capture the throne and the kingdom. He sat in the gate, and he resorted to all the make-up, polled his wonderful hair and I do not know what else he did to attract attention to himself; and then he put on artificial smiles and words and language, and it says that he captured, led away, the simple people - the simple, the poor simpletons of that day - with disastrous consequences. That was the method, and even Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Very often, unless you have discernment, you cannot tell the difference between various things. Surely, in these days, the great need of the Lord's people is spiritual discernment, spiritual perception, or what I am speaking of as spiritual sight.
Now, you come to this Apostle Paul, and, as we have said, you explain and account for everything in that man as God's servant, as the greatest of His apostles, you account for everything on this one thing as he did, "It pleased God, to reveal His Son in me." He could say, "I saw the Lord." Everything stems from that kind of seeing, an inward revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul had the revelation of Jesus Christ in his heart, and that was his support, his confidence, his strength. That carried him on and carried him through and carried him on to us. No, dear friends, it is not the doctrine of the Person of Christ: it is the revelation of Jesus Christ inside, inside!
Now let us come back to two of the passages which we have quoted. In Acts 26, the Apostle Paul is reviewing the whole of his Christian life and ministry. It only lasted thirty years - thirty years of Christian life, experience and ministry - but what a thirty years. Thirty years not exhausted in two thousand, and we have not got to the bottom of him yet. We have not exhausted him yet.
But here, he is reviewing those thirty years since the Lord apprehended him unto the day that he was standing in the presence of the Roman governors. He is reviewing the thirty years and all that he had learned, all that he had been shown and taught, all that he had come into since he came into Christ, all that the Lord had given him to give unto others. How great! How full it all was in a span of thirty years. Why, some of us have been Christians a good bit more than that, and we have not got a fragment of what he had.
But here, he is reviewing it all, and he is attributing the whole thing to one thing. What happened to him? There was a tremendous revolution that took place right there on the Damascus road, with all that opened up to him at that time, all that began to break upon him and has been breaking on him ever since, the ever growing expansion of Divine revelation. All the traveling and ministry that has been done, he is attributing it all to one thing - to one thing - "It pleased God, to reveal His Son in me." It does not say just to me: it was not just the objective thing on the road to Damascus. You think about that! "I saw a light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun." That is the objective. But when he is speaking about it in the light of what issued from it, what began then and has continued and grown and grown, he does not say it was that "God revealed His Son to me." In essence he says, "Something was done in me. On that day, He started something which has resulted in all this" - "It pleased God, to reveal His Son in me." - When you think of what you have in the Bible throughout, you see it is the result of the same kind of thing.
What do we have from Abraham? "The God of Glory appeared unto our father Abraham." Abraham could say at the beginning of his career, his course, his history, at the beginning and with his going on and growing until his seed was as the sand of the seashore and the stars of the heavens, he could say that at the beginning of this immense thing, "I SAW THE LORD. You ask me how I came into this. You ask me for the explanation of my life, my history, my knowledge at the beginning, I SAW THE LORD."
So did Moses. It says that Moses went up into the mount and "saw the God of Israel" and the Glory; and under his feet it was as "a sapphire stone." "I saw the Lord": that accounted for Moses. "...he endured, as seeing Him Who is invisible." A tremendous life, that of Moses. The principle beneath and behind and over it all was that he "saw the Lord."
Thus, we can go on through the Old Testament and come to the Prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel begins with, "I saw visions of God." I SAW, and so everything in Ezekiel as a representative prophet is "I saw the Lord." Isaiah, you have read it: "I saw the Lord." And so you can go on because the very name " "prophets" was "seers." Seers were men who saw, the seers of Israel, the men who were the eyes of Israel. They were the SEEING for Israel, and that explains all the prophets.
Now we come over into the New Testament. For some time, the greater part of three years and perhaps a little more, there were men in company with Jesus of Nazareth, physically in company with Him. They were at His side, hearing Him, seeing Him walk, and feeling His influence, that magnetic influence of His; and yet, they were not seeing Him. See how near you can get, how much there can be; and yet, there not be a seeing of Him?!
You can go to Palestine today, if you like, you can go to Israel and see it all and not see Him (I do not mean physically). But the disciples were with Him, and they did not see Him until after His resurrection. Then there is a new note, a new excitant note, when you hear them after His resurrection meeting others of their company. "We have seen the Lord. We have seen the Lord." There is something here that was not there all that time before, and that accounted for everything afterward.
Now, you come to this Apostle Paul, and, as we have said, you explain and account for everything in that man as God's servant, as the greatest of His apostles, you account for everything on this one thing as he did, "It pleased God, to reveal His Son in me." He could say, "I saw the Lord." Everything stems from that kind of seeing, an inward revelation of Jesus Christ.
When the apostle said this, that it pleased God, to reveal His Son in him, he was implying that up to that time he was blind. Oh, yes, he had inherited what? He inherited not only nature's blindness, for by nature all men are blind in this sense that they do not have spiritual sight, but he had inherited the curse which Isaiah was commanded to pronounce upon his race. "Go to this people and say to them, seeing you shall not see, hearing you shall not understand: make this people's eyes closed, ears stopped," and Saul of Tarsus had inherited that. "Blindness," he later said, "has happened to Israel." He was a great Israelite - so blind. He was content with his blindness as was Nicodemus; and then the Lord said, "except, except, except something happen to you which gives you an entirely new constitution, with a new faculty of seeing, you shall not see - you shall not see - and you cannot see the kingdom."
That is where Saul of Tarsus was. Let the force of that come to us because we are in a conference, dear friends, where we have had a lot of Bible teaching. From day to day a lot from the Bible has been presented. A lot of doctrine - I do not know how much theology, but I suppose it may be that some of you are going away with your hands fuller of Bible knowledge than when you came.
Well, you will never, never beat Saul of Tarsus on that line. You can never catch up with him on that line, and you will never, never measure up to Nicodemus on that ground. "Art thou a teacher in Israel." A TEACHER IN ISRAEL - if you knew what it required to produce a teacher in Israel - a rabbi was in training from infancy, and how thorough-going that training was in the Old Testament. Well, you say, one had to go a long way in the religious education and a long way in the knowledge of the Bible, the Scriptures; but when you have got there with Nicodemus, Saul of Tarsus, who was a rabbi, and many others of the same class and category, when you have got there, you are still blind - blind, as we say, as bats.
What I am saying is that we must get to this business of spiritual faculty before we finish this conference. We really must face the issue that we have had a lot of Bible teaching. We have had a lot here, and perhaps you have had a lot of it for years. How much of this teaching is in the line of "God has revealed His Son in me?!" Not, "I have got Bible knowledge from the Bible or from the schools or in any way that I have read or heard", but in isolating myself from all that and from all others we should be able to say, 'I am a man, I am a woman, in whom God has revealed by Divine Act, a supernatural act, has revealed His Son in me.'
So the day came - yes, The Day came and I have to say that He revealed that in me. What happened? What happened? I shut myself in my room, and I said, "I am finished with the ministry, finished with preaching, finished with teaching. I am finished." I told the Lord that, and I said, "Lord, unless you do something in me that you have never done before, I am not going on." Something happened to bring me there. There was something in the pulpit, in the Bible class, and in the Bible school. You can guess that something terrific must have happened.
What did it result in? Well, you see, I was the minister of a church, and I was paid a salary to preach and to teach; and whether I had a message from God or not, I had to get one and get one up, and make it up every so often, week by week in order to draw my salary. The crisis came: "I will never preach again. No one will ever get me to preach again, for money or anything else unless I have got a Word from God. I resign this professional business all together and will never appear on a platform or in a pulpit unless there has come a Word from heaven into my heart." I meant it, and I took action on that ground. God also took action on that ground - from that day on, over forty-five years ago, I have never had to find the straw for the bricks, I have had what I call my "open heaven."
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