The word of God

October 26th, 2010

There is much internal evidence that the Bible is the very word of God. High up on the list of reasons, is that it says about man what man will not say about himself. Book after book has been written about the evil in other men, but try to find a book written that proclaims and condemns not only the evil in others, but also the evil in the writer’s heart, and you will look until you stumble upon the word of God. Untold books have been written by men on the evils of Hitler, but no books outside the word of God have been written that decry the Hitler in each of us. Men were inspired to write what God said of all mankind, about what resides in each of our hearts, AND not only that they wrote about what He was going to do about it! In the first place, you will not find a book written by man that condemns himself, but even further than that you will not find a book that offers hope in such a situation.

What man of his own imagination has written such things as follow about those including himself?

Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Eccl 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Mic 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…

Unlike the Hitler chronicles, these things do not point to a problem or problems only in another, but rather they leave ALL of US (mankind) under condemnation for sin. That in and of itself would be enough to separate this book from the books of men, but the unsurpassed beauty of it is that though it brings condemnation upon all mankind, it doesn’t leave us there! Having begun the condemnation with Romans 5:18 above, let’s continue with the end of it ….even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. We are condemned, yes, but there is a free gift that brings us out of this condemnation to be given those who do nothing but receive it.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 16:31 …Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Imagine that, each of us heinous criminals the like of Hitler, pardoned not by some act or deed of charity done by ourselves, but by faith in the work of another; and this in a world that demands justice. This couldn’t have been a production of man, it simply has to be heaven-sent!

Prov 20:6 Most men will proclaim ever one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

The irreverence of the heart

October 14th, 2010

The heart of man is naturally self-exalting, and spawned by this is a natural irreverence with regards to God.  The heart (not necessarily the lips) of all men shouts ‘we will not have this man to reign over us’, when confronted with the Lord Jesus Christ. Lest those of you who are children of God think this only to be a condition of the lost, I must ask whence cometh your sin? Why do you still sin? I do. I hate it, but I still do, and there is no getting over that fact. So where does it come from?


The commandments are written in a particular order such that all the commandments spring forth from the first which states ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ NO other gods, means that all glory, honour and respect is to be given to God, and not just any god that we have made up in our minds, but rather God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. He and He alone being God simply must have the pre-eminence. Ever since just before the fall was accomplished in deed, man has the spiritual conflict with this. Our evil hearts are so prone to believe that which came forth of the mouth of the serpent, ‘Yea hath God said?’, ‘Ye shall not surely die’, ‘Ye shall be as gods’, that we do so at the expense of the honour which is due to God.


At the very root of who we are we treat God irreverently by doubting Him, by trusting to ourselves, by exalting our thoughts and imaginations against Him, in essence, by ignoring His power and authority, and doing that which is right in our own eyes. Like the citizens in Luke 19, We will not have ‘this man to reign over us’ not just any man, but ‘this man’ God incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ.


This is the root of all sin. In this both the believer and unbeliever are identical, we both have an ever-present irreverence towards God waiting to spring forth in the next available opportunity. What the believer has, that the unbeliever does not have, is the power of the Son of God continually working through the Spirit of God to subdue this irreverence in their hearts. Though I often see in my own heart that the things of God are taken much lighter than they ought to be (and mourn that this be the case), I am thankful that the natural irreverence of my heart has a power working against it from outside of me to bring forth that which brings honour and glory to God, while at the same time continually subduing my natural irreverence. Seeing this battle gives me a real sense of  who I really am and my ever present need of a Saviour, so that for the glory of God I can say with John the Baptist, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’.


Man without a present knowledge of God naturally lifts himself at the expense of God, whereas upon a meeting with God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (regular meetings of this type are the essence and lifeblood of a Christian), man is humbled to see himself as he actually is. ‘Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?’ Prov 20:6 Man in his natural condition wants to take the place of importance through his own professed and proclaimed goodness, however through many means God continually reminds us that the place of importance belongs to Him alone. There can only ever be room for one God!


Keep an eye out for the irreverence in your heart, because whether you see it or not it is there. There are two sights we really need on a regular basis, 1) a sight of who we are 2) a sight of Christ on our behalf. Though the first is an unpleasant sight, seeing it is a good sign, it causes us to look for the second sight without which we will be left to the demise brought about by our own condition. Have you ever looked for a medicine for a sickness you didn’t believe you had?


Mal 1:6 ‘where is mine honour? …saith the Lord of hosts unto you’

The days of Lot

August 9th, 2010

As we see sin abounding around us, we are reminded that as it was in the days of Lot, or as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. You might have heard much about particular prevailing sins of those days, but what may not be pointed out is that one of the features of those days was the lack of fellowship that either Noah or Lot were able to have with other children of God. Both were entirely alone in their immediate environments. Sure Abraham was alive, but he was not where Lot was. Sure Noah had his family, but even his own son Ham turned out to be an enemy of God. The point is, that in the days of Lot and Noah though places of community worship may have been full, they will not have been full of those who trusted God; and as a Christian in these times you must expect the same. Churches could possibly be full, but for prophecy to be true, they simply cannot be full of Christians! Going even further than that, we are obliged to question if there can even be any Christians left in the churches these days?  Those who are Christians may well have all been marginalized out by now! At the very least, fellowship with significant quantities of other believers just will not be available and should not be expected, therefore Christians today are left with finding all of their sustenance in Christ alone, which far from being a bad thing, is the way it has been in generations such as this that have come before us. Noah had his family, and that was it; Lot had his family, and that was it; but even in his family his wife was apostate, and his daughters conceived wicked devices. This was all the godly human fellowship that each of these men had, which amounted to very little. This little human fellowship is what turned each of these men back to seeking out only in the person of Christ, that which will sustain their souls. If we are not experiencing it now, this is what we are to expect to come as the days of Lot and the days of Noah come upon us to the full.


Noah was a relatively unheard preacher of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5); and though carnal with little testimony against sin, Lot was vexed by it (2 Pet 2:8). Neither of these men were well heard nor loved by their generations. Lot did what he could to compromise and paid dearly for it, but even that gained him no fellowship. Neither of these men were loved as famous preachers, both were despised by the multitudes simply because they were children of God. How then do we think we ought to have famous, beloved and well-heard preachers in our day? There might be some generally unknown preachers who are men after God’s own heart out there, but to become famous and beloved in days like unto the days of Noah or Lot one simply cannot preach that which is true. ‘Big name’ preachers of today will have gotten their ‘big names’ by compromise and falsehood.


‘Big names’ have big budgets, and big budgets require big support from men. Neither Noah nor lot had this ‘big support’ because men did not support what they were doing, men condemned it. To have big support to acquire the big budget needed to garner the big name one must be a big ear tickler. Ear ticklers will be popular at this time, but because men are different, there must be different brands of ear ticklers to capture the range of belief systems through the whole spectrum of the seven churches in Revelation. There will be ear ticklers that appeal to Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea, but through it all we are to remember that this is the way it was prophesied to be, and therefore it can be no other way.


These things may concern us but they ought not distress us, they should simply remind us that the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. When you look around and see the evil and wickedness abounding both in and out of the church, know these things: 1) Sin defiles and must ultimately bring this present evil world to its rightful evil end, 2) There is a victory which is found in Jesus Christ alone.


1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The sting of sin (Part II)

July 11th, 2010

The sting of sin for the unsaved really only amounts to a fear of future loss or retribution of some kind or what next, for them there is little fear of present loss associated with sin. At most some will wonder why it is that things seem to be going not so well with them, but for many because sin is delicious to the flesh while being perpetrated, they will simply relish in their sin until their very last days, with little regard to it or its consequences.


For the saved the sting of sin is entirely another matter. The sting of death for the saved has been removed, but the sting of sin still remains. For these future loss or retribution is not so important as present loss of things with eternal value. The sting of sin impedes fellowship with God, it barters discontentment for contentment, it barters sorrow for joy, it barters despair for hope, it barters anxiety for peace, it barters anguish of soul for assurance; in short it wages war against all that is counted valuable to the Christian. A read through the penitential psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) gives evidence to all this. The wicked tend to go around with the idea of how good they are, commending themselves or at least expecting commendation of themselves from others, whereas like David the Christian with a true sight of himself has the best understanding of what he really is, and were it not for the redeeming work of Christ, and the residence of the Holy Spirit in him, there would be nothing of righteousness for him to hold on to. But as all the penitential psalms begin with self condemnation and judgment of self, so they end with pardon received.


Do Christians sin? Yes. But they find no present joy in it, and all that is eternally valuable is attacked, this is the sting of sin for them. It is recognized that all mankind sins and is under the present judgment of sin, however the sin which is the greatest travesty to the Christian is not another’s, but his own. He knows he will die because of it, but that causes him little consternation; the great sting of sin for him is not then what or what next, but what now? He has found this greatest of ailments within himself and gone to the Saviour for the balm of Gilead thus removing the future retribution, but what does he do with his sin now? There is a present sanctification where he puts it away in the power of the blood, but this sanctification is partial at best, and that which remains is still grievous to him. It is that inborn sin nature which he retains and which cannot be gotten rid of until the body dies that causes him such grief. He longs for perfection but cannot find it in himself. THIS is that very thing which throws him back upon Christ, where that sting which was meant to sting has its salve as well!


Sin with its sting and its sting being so grievous, the Lord has provided a balm for sting of sin for the Christian while they remain on earth. We  look beyond this present evil unto the better day which is coming, a day where we will be glorified and without sin for eternity. We can look forward with anticipation to the day when we will be not only with Christ but like Christ, having finally and entirely put off the former things of this world. As the Son of God so beautifully put it in Isaiah, ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.’


Heb 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The sting of sin

July 8th, 2010

 For mankind sin is the sting of death (1 Cor 15:56), meaning that it is sin which gives man his fear of death. Some may be hardened so much as to give themselves the lie that they do not fear death, but when the reality of their own mortality sets in, it will be their sin that robs them of all comfort as they prepare to enter the grave. Sin is the sting of death, but what is the sting of sin? What makes sin sting?


Sin stings because with it comes the unpleasant reality of consequence and judgment for it. For those who know not God, they seemingly sin with impunity most of the days of their lives, their conscience sometimes convincing and other times not convincing otherwise. There will be times when they wonder why ‘bad’ things happen to them and other people they consider ‘good’, but as a whole they care not much to find out the reason these things happen. The reason is that sin stings, and each sting has an unpleasant consequence. As the sin accumulates so do the unpleasant consequences.


One example of the sting of sin is that ‘sin entered the world and death through sin’. Death happens because of sin, and because ‘all have sinned’, all will die. Now sin is so heinous that not only has it caused mankind to die, but all creation has been tainted with sin such that plant and animal-kind will die as well. There is no need for a coroner investigation, the root cause of every death in the history of the world is sin. Deep inside every man realizes this, and it is this which naturally gives each person a fear of death.


Were we perfect we would live forever, but sin has so corrupted creation that sooner or later all in it must die. What gives us the consternation of soul is, then what? This is what imparts the fear of death to all, this is the sting of sin. Sin has caused all of us to die, proving that the effects of it are indiscriminate, and have come upon all, ‘for all have sinned’, even to the very best! We know that there will be an unpreventable day of reckoning for all and realize that we are poor, wretched, miserable, blind and naked. We are without covering, and all will be laid bare before all; that stings.


God also knew that we would be without covering which is why He provided the covering we need in the blood of Christ. Through Christ and only through Him, we can say, ‘O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory?’. In Christ, we know that though we must die because of sin, the sting of sin which is the sting of death, has been removed. We know that because He was raised again, He has completely put away the sin of those who trust Him, just as He said He would. Therefore we can say with all joy, ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’


1 Cor 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The wrath of the Lamb

June 12th, 2010

Strange thing that, “the wrath of the Lamb”. One does not come to expect wrath from a Lamb, yet here it is that very thing which is proclaimed. Wrath has often been connected with God (as in the Father), but seldom connected with the Lamb of God (as in the Son), but the Bible tells us plainly there is a time coming in which ‘the great day of his wrath is come.’ This day will be the day of the wrath of the Son of God. What are the characteristics of this wrath? Unlike the wrath of man, which can often find itself putting forth as much violence as possible, the wrath of God on the earth is always tempered with mercy. For if God were to unleash the full force of His violence, none could stand, but we still hear of men standing in that time, so we must understand this wrath to be tempered with mercy.


What is the purpose of this mercy? First we have to understand the purpose of this wrath. It is not intended to be a destructive wrath, but rather a sifting wrath, reserved for those yet to trust in the risen Christ. They are not yet saved but need to be sifted unto salvation! Sifting of itself is somewhat of a violent process, there is an external mechanism which exerts a force on powdered flour such that the finest of flour individually falls through. No lumps of flour fall through and no other impurities fall through, because the sifting mechanism only allows that which is as fine as flour to pass through. Each particle is rubbed vigorously against another and grated, breaking it down such that it can be made to fall through the sifter. In this same way, mankind will be sifted through the wrath of the Lamb and rescued by the wrath of man, such that the finest of flour will come through.


This time of the wrath of the Lamb is the great sifting of that flour which is left behind. Many new believers will be sifted out of that time period, but none will enter it. Sifting is a process reserved for lumpy flour not yet ready for its final use, and need not be used on that which is fresh. In other words, the wrath of the Lamb is not meant to be for those who are already saved, because he ‘hath not appointed us to wrath’ (1 The 5:9), but rather it is reserved for those who are still His enemies (Nah 1:2). Therefore the fresh flour will be raptured, and the lumpy flour (that not yet made fit for its intended use) will be left behind for its sifting. The Lord knoweth them that are His, and He knows those who are left behind that will be sifted unto His own. He knows these will be delivered unto Him by the wrath of man, such that they through this sifting, will be made meet for the master’s use.


This will be a period of wrath, nevertheless it will be the wrath of the “Lamb” which came to redeem those who were His enemies, making it also a redeeming wrath. His way of redemption is still in effect, He still saves “by grace through faith” such that those that are His from the foundation of the world will not be lost, but will be redeemed. If you happen to find yourself in this time know this: The Lamb that was slain also from the foundation of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ the crucified and risen Saviour, still saves all who come to Him by faith. When you trust Him, you will find yourself subject to the wrath of man whereby you will be delivered from this present evil world, but you shall be saved!


As we watch the world seemingly coming apart at the seams we ought to expect that the wrath of the Lamb is not far off, but as we sorrow over many of the lost, it does us good to remember that though it is wrath, it is the sifting, redeeming wrath of the Lamb which came to seek and to save that which was lost!


Rev 6:16-17 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The Light of the world

March 29th, 2010

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, and in Him is no darkness. He is the only light of the world, and not only of this world but the world to come as well. What need is there of this Light? Light is the opposite of darkness, and sin is commensurate with darkness, therefore light is the opposite of sin. This light is His holiness and perfection which He shines forth to all men. Some are drawn to it, others prefer the darkness and hide from it. In this world, this Light is that which exposes who we really are, and why we really need a Saviour. In the world to come this Light forever shines forth His perfection unto all who have trusted Him.


The sins, sorrows, pressures of this world are darkness, but once let Christ shine His light upon them and they will flee. With no night and His light being ever-present in the world to come, it means that these things will never enter. What a pleasant thought, the things that trouble the Christian now will never enter the world to come. He will have left them to go to another place reserved for him, in the full light and presence of Christ.


These troubles though do not disappear, but rather are stored up for those who have rejected the Light, and preferred the darkness and all that it offers. They will have their wish, but moments into eternity, their wishes will change. They will lament the Light rejected, they will lament the darkness they preferred, yet it will be the very darkness they preferred that torments them.


It is the Light that concerns us though, for the Light is that which gives life, and that which we have cast all our hopes upon. Without this Light we would be destined to walk in darkness all of our days, but because this Light lighteth the way around us, we can see. This sight, both of the Light and the things which the Light lighteth is what gives us hope for today, but especially our hope of the tomorrow of eternity. Have you noticed this Light lighting your way? He has done so for you to recognize the difference between light and darkness, that you may prefer Him, the Light of life. Trust Him today!


I look forward to, and long for the day when the Lamb is the light of the city.


Rev 21:23, John 1:9 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

The definition of repentance

March 2nd, 2010

A great deal is said these days about repentance, but when we read verses like Luke 13:3 etc and see that it is so crucial, what exactly is it? It has been around since the beginning of time and is not something new, there are others before us who have dealt faithfully with this word. A perfectly fitting example is H.A. Ironside in his excellent book “Except ye Repent”


Here are a few quotes:


“Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”


“Repentance is the recognition, the avowed recognition, of God’s estimate of the hopeless character of our hearts till renewed by the Word and Spirit of God. Until one comes to this place there is no further word from heaven for any man, except the sentence of doom.


“Repentance is the sinner’s recognition of and acknowledgment of his lost estate and, thus, of his need of grace.”


Though able to change our minds, or attitudes towards ourselves, by nature we simply do not want to. We are commanded to do something for which it is not possible for us to want to do. This is why the work of the Holy Spirit is required to bring everyone who comes, to repentance. We must have a glimpse of perfection with which to compare ourselves before we will ever look at ourselves as we ought to. It is the work of the Spirit of God to give us that glimpse such that we can see our broken and undone condition. Upon seeing that we are to proclaim with Job, “behold, I am vile”, which is the result of seeing yourself next to the perfection of God. It is not a view that I was vile as is often proclaimed, but that I am vile. It is a present sense of who you really are that is repentance.


Men would fancy that you have to do this, or turn from this or some other such thing, but in reality that is just part of the charade of painting the sepulchre. Until you recognize and fully own the fact that you are plainly without hope in yourself, there can never be hope. You see, repentance is really just the recognition of who we really are, and what strength we have in ourselves to do about it, to which the answer to both is simply “nothing”, and can only be seen when compared to one who is everything. That is why we need a glimpse of Christ. That is what the Holy Spirit gives us. That is what gives us repentance, or a change of mind about who we really are. That is when we are in position to have the salve of the blood of Christ applied to our wounds. That is what causes us to believe on Christ. That is how we are brought into saving faith. That is the repentance that leads to salvation. It is that which, if missing, is what causes us to perish eternally as stated in Luke 13:3.


If this is not present in yourself, ask the Spirit of God to give you a true sight of yourself and sight of the perfection which is found in Christ Jesus, and trust Him to impute His righteousness to you by faith. He was made to be what we are, so that we could be made to be what He is!


2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.





The day of adversity

February 9th, 2010

There is a day of adversity that comes to all, it is a tester of strength, or a revealer of weakness, and is given to us “that man should find nothing after him”. Let me explain.


The Christian is a sojourner, a foreigner, a stranger, to this world, and because this world is not meant to be his home, there will be adversity in it for him. He is opposed to this world and it is opposed to him, and with this opposition comes adversity. He is not alone in feeling the sting of adversity, for there are varying amounts of adversity reserved for everyone. The reaction to adversity is what is different and sets apart not only the Christian from the world, but also defines the strength of the Christian.


When adversity comes upon a wicked man, he is never willingly subject to it, but rails against it as though adversity were never meant to be for him (Psa 10:6). In his adversity, he is like a bell struck by a stick, ever sounding off about this thing that destroys his comfort. Because it is comfort, not Christ that they seek, it is far from the wicked to say with Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He cries out in time of prosperity that he will never be in adversity, and does all that he can to prevent it, thereby becoming even friendlier with this present world. For this reason, the wicked find themselves with less adversity to this world, and more comfort from it, with few ever realizing that it was this very adversity they despised which was being used to cause them to look up to the God of heaven (Eccl 7:14). Most oppose their day of adversity with all their might, and though stayed for a moment, their ultimate day of adversity comes in the full after this world is over; it may tarry, but nevertheless the day of adversity does eventually come to each in all its fullness.


The Christian however, reacts differently in the day of adversity. Rather than ringing like a sounding bell, they are more like a burlap sack when struck with adversity, they yield to it, and make little sound about it, thereby revealing the strength of their union with Christ. They know that this world is not their home, and that they are ‘just a passing through’, therefore their sights are set on higher things than their own present personal comfort. It is this that allows them to say with Job when all comfort is removed, “What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Adversity is one of the instruments of God that He use for the building of faith and character. In some cases adversity is used to tear down a false faith, and in other cases it is used to build up faith on the foundation of Christ. In any case, the day of adversity in this world is temporary and has rest from it (Psa 94:13), for God mixes adversity with prosperity in just the right measure for our good.


The Lord has redeemed the soul of the Christian out of all adversity (2 Sam 4:9), the same of which cannot be said of the wicked, yet in this world there must come a faith-building adversity to the flesh for the good of all mankind. Some seek comfort in the world from it, and others are drawn to Christ by it. Who will you be in your day of adversity? The one who faints (Prov 24:10)? Or the one who considers (Eccl 7:14)?


Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

The death of the righteous

January 31st, 2010

Num 23:10 “….Let me die the death of the righteous , and let my last end be like his!”


None face death with a hope similar to the righteous. Nearly everyone in the world hopes to be counted among the righteous when they die, yet few make any moves to make that be the case. The Bible teaches that there are “none righteous, no not one” (Rom  3:10), yet it also teaches that there are some righteous who have a hope in death that none else can have (Prov 14:32). Whence cometh this righteousness to provide such hope?


The righteousness that justifies is a righteousness that is counted ours and appropriated by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yet some may be justified that may not have the hope in death that they would seek. So what righteousness does one have that gives them this hope? It is an assurance of righteousness imputed which is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to them that have walked with Him and love Him for His very person. These are not self-righteous people, but rather they are Christ-righteous, and have an assurance of such directly from Him. They not only have heard and believed the good news of a Saviour, but they have met Christ this side of heaven, and the meeting with Christ assures them of a future meeting with Him under pleasant circumstances.


The righteous that has hope in his death is him who has met Christ and actually walked with Him. He may have stumbled, he may have fell, but he has walked with the Lord such that he loves and trusts Him with all his heart. Many are like Lot, who yet saved, have not that which is called a deathbed hope. Why? Because they have never really taken the time to walk with Christ. It is in the walk where you learn to trust Him in ALL, and He in turn gives an assurance of imputed righteousness that cannot be taken away. It is this assurance which offers the deathbed hope.


The world will consider you weird, the world will consider you strange, the world will despise you because you are not like them. There is nothing you can do about that, it is just fact. What you can do is use the time when you are hated and despised to grow your walk with Christ even more.


The world has hated the righteous while they are here, yet it is hard to say anything bad about them when they are gone. Why? Because the life of the righteous has been a testimony to the power of Christ. Though none is perfect, one has to raise the standard of judgment so high to condemn the righteous, that they must in the same breath condemn themselves. This is one of the things that causes even the wicked to want to die the death of the righteous. They can say nothing against the righteous that does not also condemn themselves. They know the righteous have laid up in store, treasures in heaven, that cannot be removed. They know that they themselves have not laid up such treasure, and will regret it sometime in the future.


Another reason even the wicked want to die the death of the righteous is that peace that passeth all understanding that the wicked see the righteous have as they face death. The wicked face death in fear or apprehension (Heb 2:15), whereas the righteous face it with joy and hope (Prov 14:32, Phil 1:23). In the righteous, there is a willingness to depart and be with Christ which is far better, that the wicked know nothing about. It is not a dying without hope, it is a hope in death as one that sees across to the other side, just like crossing the river Jordan on the way to the promised land.


Prov 14:32 “…the righteous hath hope in his death.”

The only son of Abraham

January 18th, 2010

Gen 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.


In the Bible are many what we would call contradictory statements, yet each can be fully harmonized as we properly consider what they mean. Take Isaac being referred to as the only son of Abraham for example. We know that Abraham had more than one son, and even that Ishmael was fathered by Abraham before Isaac. So in what sense is Isaac Abraham’s only son.


There are couple of senses, the first being that Isaac was a type of Christ, the only begotten son of God, and to properly typify this, Isaac also must be considered an only son. Knowing of other sons means that Isaac was not an only son by generation, but by the promise. Therefore, Isaac is also typical of the child of God, and as such receives the blessing simply because of the promise of God. As the receiver of the promise which was fathered in Abraham (Rom 4:11), Isaac was then given all that Abraham had (Gen 24:36). Sure Abraham gave gifts to his other children by generation (Gen 25:6), but the gifts were comparatively small in light of that which he had passed down to Isaac, which because it had eternal value was considered ALL (Gen 25:5).


In relation to the type of Christ, Abraham as father was willing to sacrifice his own son even though the covenantal promise of God must come through Isaac (Gen 17:19), thereby believing that God was able to raise him from the dead to fulfill the promise (Heb 11:19). The Lord in mercy took Abraham`s will for the deed and provided Himself a substitutionary sacrifice (Gen 22:12-13). In this the Lord showed that if even a man can be willing to put his own son on the altar, then may God not do much more on the behalf of men?


In relation to the type of the child of God, Isaac is considered an only son when the inheritance is passed out. Sure before the time of the inheritance the children received gifts, but these gifts were temporal, and had no eternal value. Likewise today, in a certain sense God is the Father of all mankind, for without his making us a living soul (Gen 2:7) none of us would live. In this he provides some basic gifts in varying measure to all mankind (yes even to those who hate Him), basic things such as food, water, air, etc. and even some special gifts like happiness, and personal safety; all of which are temporal in nature. They are gifts that can be used now, but are of no use in eternity. The child of God however takes the gifts and continues on to receive the promise by faith, thereby ensuring that when the eternal inheritance is passed out, they will receive ALL that the Father has to give. Being a child of the promise qualifies one to receive the only things of real lasting value. The gifts of earth are temporal, but the ‘ALL’ that is truly valuable that the Father has to give for eternity, is reserved for those who have become the children of God by faith.


It is in this sense Isaac who was considered an only son because of the promise of God, received ALL that his father had to give. It is in this sense that the Christian who though troubled in this world, becomes an heir of the promise in the next world through faith in the Son, and inherits ALL that the Father has to give for eternity!


Gen 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.

The sin of Sodom

January 4th, 2010

Ezek 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.


There is a great deal of the sin of Sodom prevalent in this world of abundance. Many look at the grosser sins of Sodom as that which have defined Sodom, but in reality the sin of Sodom is that which few people may even consider to be sin.


1)       Pride is an obvious one which though not often considered breaking a commandment, is that which caused the devil to fall. He was lifted up in his own imaginations and rebelled against his Creator. Pride is the overwhelming sin of the western world.

2)       Fulness of bread, is one that few will consider sin, yet it is fullness of bread, or having as much to eat as one can desire that spurred on the lust of Sodom. “The poor man searches for meat for his belly, whereas the rich man searches for belly for his meat”, says a wise one. Many people are not eating to live, but rather living to eat. We have so much good food that we must try to find room in our stomach for it, what gluttony! As we come off the back end of this season of gluttony we know that this sin of Sodom abounds!

3)       Abundance of idleness is another that few will consider sin. Having too much time and doing too little in it with regards to survival or eternity. Survival is relatively easy in this day of abundance, easy enough that people believe they have spare time on their hands.  This is why people crave entertainment or hobbies, they see not a need for providing for their and another’s eternity. Sodom cared little about their own soul and for the souls of others, otherwise they would have found that they had not enough time for entertainment. Were the TV invented in the days of Sodom, I am sure it would have been listed. We as a nation have so little to do and so much to eat that fat farms and the like have become a booming business. 200 years ago it was all that people could do to keep the roof on their head, enough food in their stomach and provide for the care of souls. Today it is, where can I find the next thrill/vacation/adventure/pastime etc?

4)       Failing to strengthen the hand of the poor and needy is another of the great sins that Sodom had, albeit a sin of omission this time. We like they, have an abundance of food and idle time, yet lust for more because we are lazy creatures that care little about the needs of others. The word of the day is let us eat drink and be merry while others perish for want of these things. Sodom had too much food, too much idle time and no desire to do anything with it other than satisfy their own lusts. They had little thought of the poor and needy, and even less action in helping them in their situations. Sound like anyone you know?

5)       Haughtiness says, that even though this is so, it’s their problem. I have worked for what I have, and will use it to serve myself because I deserve it. Really? If you knew what you deserved, you wouldn’t be quite so haughty. That pride-induced high look down the nose isn’t fitting for one who thinks so much of themselves. If you can read this, you already have enough to help one who doesn’t. I invite you to come down off of that high horse, and do good to the souls of men, taking your place as a servant.

6)       Committing abomination came naturally to Sodom, just as naturally as it comes to us. We defile the Lord’s day, we look for deals such that the labourer is robbed of his pay, we willingly partake in the evils of the world through entertainment, we lust and covet that which we ought not to, we worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. Yes, these abominations were prevalent in Sodom, and they are prevalent in us. Were we all to take an honest look at ourselves we would consider ourselves Sodomites indeed!

7)       The end of the matter was that Sodom was destroyed for all this, and we know that ‘as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be also in the days of the coming of the Son of man’. Yet we know from Lam 4:6 that which is coming upon the world will be worse than that which came upon Sodom, which, though they were destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven, was bad enough. What then can become of us?


You say this particular thing you are doing isn’t considered ‘a sin’, whereas the fact of the matter is that even taking time to justify yourself in it is a sin, even your best efforts at prayer are sin if not sanctified by the blood of Christ. As a fallen creature you will attempt to justify yourself and your deeds before God, instead of acknowledging your sin. It is sin, all of it, that is why you need a Saviour, that is why I do as well. ‘For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God’.


Nevertheless, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’. Acknowledge your sin, and your need of a Saviour, and trust Christ the Saviour of sinners today.


Acts 16:30-31…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…

The sigh of the times

December 21st, 2009

Ezek 21:5-7 That all flesh may know that I the Lord have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord God.


We live in a world of mixture, and as stated in Ecclesiastes, each thing must come in its time. At present I believe it is a time to sigh. A sigh is very different thing, it can come about from both a yearning or weariness as well as relief. The sigh of the times for a Christian at this time will be a sigh of yearning or weariness. The Christian will have a yearning for the salvation of souls, and a weariness that so few will be found that seek Christ Himself. These desires for souls and for the glory of God will be so intense that all that may be accomplished in most cases is a sigh. Sure we may pray with words, we may speak with words, we may do what other good we can, but historically there repeatedly has come a time in the degeneration of each society that all a messenger of God can muster up is a sigh. I say that we indeed are experiencing the sigh of the times.


Yet it is times like this that the Lord will mark out them that are His. He will specifically “set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof”. Why? Because the sigh of the heart in a Christian breaks forth from a longing for the things of God, much higher than words can express. It comes from the deepest of moving of the Spirit of God, and is that which has been referred to as praying in the Spirit. “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” A sigh for souls and for the things of God is an expression of that close heart relationship that a Christian has with His Maker and Friend. None but God and others who sigh can see it, but a sigh of the heart is the mark which God has set upon His people.


A sigh of the heart is too low for pride which has not yet come to the end of self. A sigh of the heart is for those who have seen the majesty of God and have recognized their comparative littleness. A sigh of the heart before God and men reveals the humiliation of one who has nothing left to say on the matter. Sure there will be situations open for words, but as you long for souls who soundly reject Christ, all that may be left is the sigh of the times.


You may sigh In this time of room to room warfare for the souls of men just prior to the coming of the Lord, but fear not thou Christian, it is simply the sigh of the times.


Ezek 21:6 Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.

The Sceptre of righteousness

December 10th, 2009

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.


Upon the reading of Heb 1:8 (with reference to Numbers 24:17), we come to see that Christ is  typified by ‘a sceptre of righteousness.’ A sceptre is symbolic of the power of a king, the kind of sceptre it is, is dependent on that which the king wants to represent himself. In the case of Christ it is righteousness.


Est 4:11….whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live….


As it was in Esther, the terms of peace with a king come when the king extends his sceptre to you as you approach him. To approach a king without these terms of peace means automatic death, yet there is an amount of uncertainty that the terms of peace will be granted until the approach is made. This is that which makes fear ‘the beginning of knowledge’. Yet as we see in Esther this fear is the beginning of knowledge, yet it is only the beginning of knowledge. The person has been enlightened enough to come to the king for a request or a favour, but they have not yet tasted whether or not the king is gracious, they have not yet come to terms of peace with the king.


Back to Esther. Vashti was beautiful and had everything going for her, except she had not made it to the beginning of right relationship to the king, which was a proper fear. She recognized no personal need to approach the king, therefore she had no desire to approach nor fear of approaching. Whereas to Esther a dire need was made known which magnified her fear, yet it was this same need that caused her to overcome her fear of approaching Ahasuerus. Vashti didn’t fear and didn’t come, whereas Esther feared but came anyway, and that fear was overcome. Which of the two then tasted that the king was gracious to them? Esther! Why? Because the sceptre and terms of peace associated with it was only extended to her. Did her fear of the king remain the same after she tasted that the king was gracious? No. It was changed, and made perfect in love.


Likewise when coming to the King, we approach with great need and conviction upon a knowledge of our own need of righteousness, which causes a fear of approaching a perfectly righteous God. To those who have come this way of being humbled by their own need of righteousness, the Sceptre of righteousness as the terms of peace is extended to them, all that is left is for them to reach up and touch it. Christ is that sceptre, He is the bridge of peace between God and man and it is His righteousness which is extended to man as the terms of peace between God and man.


To those who fear not God as Vashti feared not, this Sceptre and the terms of peace that come with it will be withheld, but to those who only fear God, I tell you that I have tasted that the Lord is gracious, and that He will extend His righteousness to you. Don’t stand before the throne in abject fear, but reach out by faith and touch Christ, who Himself is the ‘Sceptre of Righteousness’ extended to you, and have your fear made perfect in love.


1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

The preaching of the Cross

November 29th, 2009

1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


As with most things of God, the preaching of the Cross is so high above that which the natural man can grasp, they consider it foolishness. Yet “unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” It is a strange dichotomy, that some will think of such a thing as so high, and others will think it so low. There is room for an enlightened but unconverted crowd in the middle to whom the preaching of the Cross is neither entire foolishness nor yet actual power, but the intent of the verse is to emphasize the polar opposite of value of the Cross between those who are saved and those who are lost. These two groups are diametrically opposed in their thinking with regards to the cross of Christ. The question is why?


The answer is that through the fall, man became entirely opposed to God. Were it not that God pursued man, the Cross would have remained as foolishness to us all. But God is faithful, and in His pursuit of man through enlightening, convicting of sin, of unrighteousness and of judgment to come, He brings many to the Cross, thereby reconciling them to Himself. One simply cannot see the beauty of the Cross until they have been brought to nothing in and of themselves, but it is this bringing to nothing that the natural man is so hostile towards, it is that he cannot see himself as nothing which in turn causes him to oppose the very preaching meant to do him good! Preaching can happen till one is blue in the face with nary a conversion, but let the Holy Spirit move upon a person in resurrection power, and conversion can happen without preaching. At other times, God is pleased to use “the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The question that arises at this point is, with such a stout reaction of opposition to the Cross by the natural man, how then  is the great divide from lost to saved, to be crossed? (No pun intended)


The answer is that it is simply a work of God, and the highest work of God, to bring a lost sinner to the Cross to be reconciled to Himself. He must tear down that which man trusts, making way for man to trust the work of redemption done by Christ on the Cross. Those who trust much in themselves must have much torn down, and those who trust little in themselves must have little torn down. This is why the thieves, drunkards, murderers, and harlots of the world are brought into the kingdom of God before those who are considered respectable, they have learned to trust much less of self making way for more trust of Christ. The sooner we all learn that, the better!


God may use human means to bring about particular circumstances, but ALL the glory for the salvation of souls belongs to God alone. We may rejoice at the news of another soul brought into right fellowship with God through Christ, but ALL glory in the matter belongs to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This deferring of ALL glory from self to God in all things, is what makes the natural man reel at the thought of the Cross. It diminishes who he is in his own mind, and because of this he will prefer to consider the Cross to be foolishness rather than be saved by it.


There is power in the cross of Christ, power to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Far from being foolishness, there is power to save you for eternity, and power to keep you eternally saved!


1 Cor 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


If you haven’t already, will you go to the Cross of calvary and cast ALL your hope on Christ today?

The power of God

November 18th, 2009

In nothing is the power of God made more manifest than in the preaching of the cross of Christ for the salvation of men. The Napoleon’s and Alexander’s of the world have conquered much through force and through sword, but such conquering is not enduring, nor can it be because it conquers everything EXCEPT the will of man. The conquering of the will of man through the cross alone, is the highest display of the power of God, exceeding even that of creation. In redemption through Christ, the will of man is conquered not by sword nor by force, but by mercy and grace. What grace conquers, it keeps conquered! Can you imagine the power required to cause someone to love you, that has previously despised you? Immense! Yet even the hardest of hearts can be melted at the thought of a crucified Saviour suffering on their behalf.  This act of redemption is the highest display of the power of God and apart from this cross, mankind has never been able to conquer in such a manner. There are utopic dreams of it, but it has never been actualized in any lasting degree. Power such as this belongs only to the cross of Christ.


So hard is the heart of man, the greatest miracle that ever was, is the salvation of a single soul. For this soul to be conquered not by force, but by grace and mercy, reveals the absolute power of God. The gods that mankind have invented, must do their conquering with force as a man would do, but so high is the conquering of grace above that of force, that it cannot even be the invention of man. The whole idea of salvation by grace absolutely has to be sent from God!


When you go out this week, think on Christ the Saviour who bore your sin debt on the cross. REALLY think about it, dwell on Christ the substitute who died on the cross on your behalf for as much time as you can. The whole idea may sound as foolishness in the beginning, but let grace do its work and soon you too can’t help but know the power of God!


1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The sufficiency of Christ

November 8th, 2009

The question of the day is: Is Christ alone enough? Or rephrased, does Christ alone supply enough for you to be a Christian? The obvious answer is yes, but how exactly does this play out in each of our lives?


Many will say that we need the word of God also, which we love and thirst for when it is available, but what of those times when it is not? Do we then cease to be Christians? Are we disobedient to God because the word of God has been withdrawn from us? There have been many suffering Christians who have never even seen the word of God let alone read it. Does this make them less of a Christian? Absolutely not! In the modern era alone I can think of those in prison camps or behind the walls of a dictator somewhere who have not been allowed to read the word of God. For these, access to the word of God has been prohibited, yet they flourish as Christians. Why? Simply because Christ alone is sufficient.


It is the same with other things like family, or reputation, or health, or wealth, or fellowship, or even prayer. Throughout time God has seen fit to withdraw these things for one reason or another from those who are His. It is in these times that those who are His learn what it truly means when it is said that Christ alone is sufficient. In time, at least something considered indispensable is withdrawn from the Christian, sometimes it is more than one, and odd times even many of the above things have been withdrawn from those who are His. It is in these times where Christ makes the choicest of fruit amongst His people. He teaches them that He alone truly is sufficient, and that He being ever with them, they shall never perish.


About the closest man gets to having everything withdrawn is in the dungeon, yet even there God is there in prayer, but if you think about it for just a moment, there is only ONE to whom ALL of these things have been withdrawn at the same time, and that is Christ when He was on the cross. And this He did for thee…


2 Cor 12:9 ….My grace is sufficient for thee….

The command of assembly???

October 26th, 2009

This PRIVILEGE, though beautiful when it exists has not always existed.


Throughout history, the privilege of assembly of saints has been both granted and withdrawn from the Lord’s people, by the Lord Himself. This privilege has been both exercised and denied in places like Russian prison camps etc. Even the Russians learned that when the privilege of assembly was withdrawn, the Lord’s people grew stronger.


Many today treat this privilege of assembly as though it were the 11th commandment, and thereby give evidence that their life is in the church, not in Christ Himself. They treat it as though the attending of church fulfills a commandment of the law, and thereby attain some level of personal righteousness by it. Make no mistake people, just as it is a privilege and not a command, to fellowship with God through prayer; so to assemble with saints is a PRIVILEGE and not a COMMAND. What you need to be prepared for as we near the return of Christ is the withdrawal of this privilege, and all the more as we see it being withdrawn today. Those who make the privilege of assembly into a command, are merely doing their duty to turn the sheep back in toward the wolves. The wolves are in the pen!


When assembling is looked upon not as a privilege but as a command, you can know that the time is near for the coming of Christ. For having failed in the preventing of worship, Satan turns again to the commanding of worship as he did in the time of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 3:4-6). At such time in the future, it will cost you your head NOT to assemble for worship (Rev 13:15). It will no longer be a privilege to assemble with brothers in Christ, but rather it will be a command to assemble for the worship of the beast. His horns will trimmed such that you cannot see them, his ugliness will be masked with beauty, he will be turned to a real fellowship kind of guy for just the purpose of receiving worship. This assembly will take place in churches, cathedrals, mosques; it will be facilitated by pastors, priests, imams; and will be all alike for the worship of the beast.


These things must be well set up before the removal of the saints through rapture, so that those who remain in the church will be easily beguiled into following their instructions. The table is set….


Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The overcoming of evil

October 13th, 2009

An interesting thing happened to me recently. There was a day when this verse was impressed upon me very strongly, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom 12:21. And then it happened, I was overcome of evil, I said something I shouldn’t have said. How was this to happen when I was so ‘prepared’ beforehand?


The Lord often lets us fall, and that for many a reason. Sometimes it is to humble us, other times it is to remind us that all power to resist sin comes from Him, still other times it is that He can make His power and glory known. Whatever the reason behind this one was, it didn’t end in the first half of the verse. I was overcome of evil, but now what? I was left to overcome evil with good. Aside from, but part of, making peace with God in the matter, I must do what I could to undo what I had said. I must expose it for the evil it was and soundly renounce it to all parties involved. Pride would be overcome with humility, and in that way the evil could be overcome with good. To justify the speaking would have added to the evil, but to condemn the evil specifically when it is mine, overcomes the evil for good.


It is one thing to let the evil into the nest, it is another thing to let it get comfortable there, because it tends to invite friends. When an evil comes in to your nest, and it will come in, expose it and thrust it out with all power given to you under heaven.


Again I condemn the evil, both thought and spoken.


“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom 12:21


The modes of justification

October 4th, 2009

The Bible speaks of two modes of justification. The first is how we may be justified before God, which is solely by faith. God sees and knows EVERYTHING about us including our faith. He knows whether we trust Him or not, He knows whether we are His children or not, because He can see whether we trust that the blood of Christ has truly cleansed us from all iniquity, or whether we do not. It is this which justifies us before God and it is this justification before God which is spoken of In Romans 3:28 “…a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”, which simply means we are at peace with God, having our sins blotted out by faith in Christ.


The second mode of justification is that in which God is justified before men. Once saved, a Christian generally doesn’t leave this world, God has them stick around for a while, so by the things they do they can justify God to other men. Faith in Christ is to be accompanied by a change in men which is used of God to make Himself and His power known to other men. It is to cause men to inquire, “You were that, but now you are this, whence cometh this power to change?” To which the answer is, “To God be the glory, I have been washed by the blood of His Son.” This change is to produce the works referred to in James 2:28 “…I will shew thee my faith by my works”., for which one man shows another man of what substance his faith is, thereby justifying or making God real to his fellow man. God needs not see these things for a man to be justified before Him, however for the Christian to make God real to mankind, other men must see evidence of the work of God done in the hearts of those who profess Him.


There are masquerading fools in each case, some hanging fruit on a dead tree to give the appearance of life, and others who care not about life at all. The only one fooled in each case is the fool himself.


Christian, you are justified solely by faith apart from any work on your behalf, and you justify God before men by what you do with that faith.


Rom 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”


James 2:18….I will shew thee my faith by my works.


The hope of the promise

September 28th, 2009

Unlike the promises offered by men or wealth, or fame, there is a real genuine hope offered by the promise of God. Being fully able to deliver that which He has promised, and being unable to go back on the promise, the promise of God is a surety of the highest sort. It is this that offers a hope like no other, a hope which cannot be extinguished. Do you have this hope?


It comes with believing God, and like Abraham ‘being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform’. To believe the God who made the promise, and trust that He is able to perform it is the definition of faith! Do you have this faith?


God has written many things in His word, do you believe them? Do you trust them? Your hope will be in accordance with the measure of your belief and your trust. The doubter’s hope will perish, the truster’s hope will flourish. Take God at His word for this blessed hope which is found in Christ.


Here are some promises

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


Acts 16:30-31…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…


Trust them, and you too will know ‘the hope of the promise made of God’ -Acts 26:6.

The occupation of man

September 5th, 2009

Man has one, and nought but one thing to be occupying himself with in this lifetime. He is to ‘prepare to meet thy God’, everything else is just noise and distraction. The problem is that the thought of this meeting can be very grievous to those who are not prepared.


This meeting  happens in part in this lifetime, that is ‘now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face’. God may meet us in the here and now, and give us a true sight of who we are, and why we need Him, yet a visual sight of His very person is not afforded to us in this present body. For that we must wait until we stand before Him with our resurrected bodies. The resurrected body, whether prepared for damnation or glorification is the only body that can stand before God in all His glory. Even then, to look upon Him will be as to stare directly into the sun, the sight will be too magnificent for our senses to receive, and will cause some of us to bow our heads for the overwhelming glory of it, and others will bow their heads for the overwhelming shame caused by it.


‘Prepare to meet thy God!’ Has there ever been a more valuable instruction given? For meet Him we must, there will be no getting out of it. The question that is to be settled is ‘Will we meet Him as friend or foe?’, that is the great question afforded to all of mankind. Some try to reason away His existence to clear their consciences of the fact of this great meeting, others tend to religion as a salve for the conscience, still others simply don’t care. Yet meet Him we all must! For every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Some will do it out of love towards Him, and others will do it out of the overwhelming knowledge of impending damnation for rejecting Him. Either way meet Him we must, and bow we must. Therefore the thought of this meeting should cause us to occupy ourselves in this lifetime with preparing to meet God in the next.


If your mind is occupied with the very person and work of Christ, you will find that to be good for preparation; to be occupied with anything else you will find does not help you when your time comes to meet Him.


What is it that has you occupied? The thought of meeting God, or is it something else?


Amos 4:12…prepare to meet thy God…

The discernment of saints (Part 2)

August 11th, 2009


1)       The first thing to be used for the discerning of saints is heresies. Heresies are the friends of the saints, they are to help us know who are of us and who are not. Were there not abundant heresies out there it would be even more difficult determining who are brethren and who are not (1 Cor 11:19).


2)       The next thing to be used for the discerning of saints is “What think ye of Christ?” Not so much in regards to heresies, but rather how does one think of Him personally. Some refer to Him as Master, which in every incident in scripture is a sign of unbelief in whole or in part. Those in this group often refer to themselves as slaves, and know not that  “thy maker is thine husband.” Others play the harlot with their husband and have many lovers among the world, the flesh and the devil. Not so of the saint, who though they may fall through weakness of the flesh, yet they hate it and their love however feeble, is still for Christ alone. Christ is the Husband of His bride, and His bride will receive Him and love Him as such.


3)       Another thing to be used for the discerning of saints is a humbling. Has the person been humbled? Note: It is not “are they humble?”, but rather “have they been humbled?” When one has been met by God, it leaves them humbled. When one has been humbled they talk not about their practical holiness, nor their value before God, they simply take the lowest place among men and leave any inviting to a higher place to Christ (Luke 14:8-11). Similar to Isaiah who declared “Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” The reason he said this follows, “for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Or as Job states, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” A sight of the King leaves no room for exaltation of self, and one willingly takes their place among the lowest of men. Those who claim to be humble, have never been humbled, for a claim of humility is not needed in the humbled.


4)       Another thing to look for is If one has any comfort in any sin, whether lying, adultery, fornication, formality, morality, hypocrisy. Note: The saved can commit nearly any sin that a lost person can, yet they cannot have peace in it, nor can it be a defining characteristic of themselves. It is possible for one to have the comfort caused by ignorance of the sin as David did, but once the sin is exposed, like David, the saint can have no comfort in it.


5)       Being unable to discern a child of God is a quality of the lost, who being lost, have no discernment (Prov 17:15, Jonah 4:11)


6)       Next we are to keep an eye out for the obvious bruised reeds and the smoking flax, for which one needs the utmost wisdom and guidance of the Spirit of God. “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” To exercise this we reserve compassion for the bruised reed, and fear of judgment for the smoking flax, and see with which response it is met. Look not only on outward actions or professions to determine the brotherhood of any, but especially these, for their outward signs may well be contrary to their inward birth.


7)       Those led of the Spirit of God will be found to be walking by faith, not by sight. They may be called to do things against both caution and reason, and will generally be found swimming upstream in the current of their surroundings. They will be considered foolish (1 Cor 2:26-29) yet in their workings will be found the wisdom of God (1 Cor 2:11-14).


8 )       People who are led of a certain spirit will recognize and prefer others led by that same spirit. Those led of the spirit of the world will prefer others led of the spirit of the world; those led of the spirit of whoredoms will prefer others led of the spirit of whoredoms; those led of the spirit of religion will prefer others led of the spirit of religion; and those led of the Spirit of God will prefer others led of the Spirit of God. Fellowship with others led of the same spirit as yourself will not be awkward, but comfortable, even preferable. In this way, those who are led of the Spirit of God will be able to discern others who are led of that same Spirit (1 John 4:5-6).


There are others as well as I am sure you will find, the point of the matter is that the child of God is meant to know who his brethren are, and is meant to judge rightly.


Prov 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.

The definition of a carnal Christian

August 3rd, 2009

I needed to take a pit stop and go into this before Part II of “The discernment of saints”


1 Cor 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


What is at issue here is the definition of a ‘carnal Christian’. The best definition of which is: A Christian who needs to, or prefers to, drink from another man’s spiritual bucket.


Instead of going to the well which is found in Christ, these men considered themselves to be in a good state because they referred to their status by the human teacher preferred; whether Paul or Apollos, (or Calvin, or Wesley, or Luther, or whomever besides the Holy Spirit). And for that Paul refers to them as carnal; for their preference of drinking from the bucket of men rather than the living waters flowing forth from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.


Refer to other men if necessary, but if we allow their thoughts (whether good or bad) to rattle around all alone unchecked in our heads, THAT is what defines us as carnal! Too lazy to press on after and slay our own spiritual meat, that we may chew the cud on it. A spirit that prefers that other men present the truths of God to us. A cup not full enough that it runneth over, but one that requires overflow from another cup to fill it, is the clearest definition of a carnal Christian.


By that definition, was Solomon carnal? No. Did Solomon live in sin? Yes. Was Solomon comfortable in his sin? No. Was he grieved by it? Yes. Did he go to the well which is found in Christ? Yes. Through all his sin, Solomon fits the mainstream definition of a carnal Christian, yet having wisdom above all men, he does not fit the true definition of a carnal Christian. What Solomon did have was a very tumultuous battle against the old nature that he put on display as an example for the rest of us, and poured forth his wisdom from it, to the glory of God.


Compare that to King Saul, Judas, and the rich young ruler, who outwardly did many things right, and gave much evidence of submitting to the lordship of Christ, yet through their sin of morality the damnation of each is most obvious.


Take heart, there is such a thing as a carnal Christian, the difficulty has always been the definition.

The discernment of saints (Part 1)

July 27th, 2009

We hear much talk from professing Christians about one not being able to discern the salvation of another; but these same people tell us we should have fellowship with the saints, and ought not fellowship with those who are not saints. We also live in a time when there are as many lost people inside the church as outside it, so if we are ever going to have fellowship with the saints but we are told not to discern who are saints and who are not saints, what is a Christian to do?


First off, this lack of discernment is a quality of the lost, they simply ‘cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand’ and though they profess Christ they want to bring you into the same predicament they are in. With lack of leading of the Spirit, they willingly and openly ‘justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!’ This wrong judgment is not made in every case for then they would have perfect judgment, even though it would be perfectly wrong! But for the most part due to their lack of leading of the Spirit of God these professing Christians are not able to tell the difference between those who are in Christ and those who are not.


As a whole, the saints are meant to know who are their brethren and who are not. Not having perfect attention to the Spirit, we also may not have perfect judgment in this regard, and in such cases it may be better to refrain from judgment. To believe someone is saved when they are not, and to believe someone is not saved when they actually are, makes one ‘abomination to the Lord’  (Prov 17:15).  In these cases we know that we are to’ judge righteous judgment’, and it requires more than a carnal man can do. Many people think a saint is discerned by practical holiness, yet because this holiness is imitated so well by lost (Matt 19:18-20) is that where we are to look? No. The Bible gives evidence that a saved person can and has committed nearly any sin that a lost person can. Are we to look at the profession? No, mere professions are vain. With so many bruised reeds and smoking flaxes among the saints, where and in what manner are we to look for them?




Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.


The direction of Christ

July 20th, 2009

Many a person will stand and call out to others to ‘come to Christ’, but is that the way it was meant to be proclaimed? Not particularly. I believe it is better to proclaim to ‘GO to Christ’, and here is why:


Far be it from me or any preacher to ever tell anyone to ‘come to Christ’; as though the way to Him either stops at, or must pass through either of us; as though we held some infallible position between them and Him. What I must tell you is not to COME which may cause you only to seek to be where I am, but to ‘GO to Christ’ as though you not only do not have to come to Christ through me, nor some infallible way I have invented, but rather that you may have to go quite a distance around me to get to Him. Too many treat salvation as though they have the lock on the door. That is not the way it is. Those who most loudly proclaim the ownership of the lock are those least likely to have it. Those who put systems and theologies of men in place or exalt particular denominations or forms as though they had the key to life, are the least likely to know Christ personally and know nothing yet as they ought to know. It is Christ that is to be exalted, and any message that bears not its ‘GO to Christ’, is no message ‘FROM’ Him. To be the gospel message, the hand must always point  to Christ, at the expense of man and traditions of men.


The Sardisian may be to the left of Christ, the Ephesian to the right, the Philadelphian in front and the Pergamosian in the back, Christ may be approached from many a direction. The grand importance is not the direction you approach Christ from, but rather the Christ whom you approach. Each may have their ideas as to who He is, and what He came to do, but any that exalt man (self) or the systems of men (direction to Christ) at the expense of Christ only prove they are pointing not to Christ at the center.


From one vile wretch to another vile wretch, I leave you with this. However it is you must get to Him, please just …….‘GO to Christ’!


Mark 6:56 …and as many as touched him were made whole.

The perception of self

July 15th, 2009

There is a terrible lukewarmness about this time as prophesied, but what exactly does it look like? Rev 3:17 teaches that the main characteristic is a false perception of self. Many will claim the riches of Christ who will not claim their own poverty of spirit. They will make much noise about how they are Christ’s and will receive all His riches, yet they will not admit that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. They may lukewarmly take the title of sinner, yet refuse to own all which that means. It means the nature which we possess despises God, it means not only do we have NOTHING good in who we are but we are nothing of which God consists, it means we are opposed to God to our very core, in short it means we are ENTIRELY ungodly.


Now God imparts His nature on top of those who He claims as His children, but these children recognize that this nature is not of themselves, it is God’s who will give to whomsoever He will. With this new nature imparted we can turn Godward, yet with our old nature remaining (the only one we are allowed to claim as us) we are to be constantly reminded we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We are never to disown who we truly are, for doing so is the mark of lukewarmness. It is to be as the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not as other men are (Luke 18:11). This is why the drunkards and harlots will enter the kingdom of heaven before most who profess the name of Christ. They actually feel their own condition right to the core, they know who they are!


I see the corruptions in the world today, I see how far opposed to God the world is, and I look in my own heart and realize that I am exactly like other men are, and were it not for the restraining grace of God, their thoughts/words/deeds might be mine.


We may be granted ability to forsake gross outward sin, we may be granted restraining grace for a season to try us, for us to see where our hearts really are, but what do we see because of it? Has the eye salve been applied, that we may see that we are ENTIRELY ungodly? Or are we lukewarm in our perception of self?


Rev 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.


Heed the warning thou lukewarm professor, Christ is speaking to US.


The title of ‘sinner’

July 13th, 2009

Every man, both saved and unsaved are to properly take the title of sinner, but what exactly does this mean? It goes kind of like this.


I am a sinner by title not just occupation. For example if I was a welder, that would be my occupation, but my occupation can change, however my title remains ‘Mister’ and can’t change because that is the way I was born. Likewise, I am a sinner by nature because that is the way I was born. Even if saved, my occupation with sin may have been changed to occupy myself with better thoughts and actions, but my title remains. A casual look reveals that I see enough sin in my very nature (without even considering my actions) to remember that I will always retain that old title of ‘Sinner’. Why? Because that is the way I was born.


Now some may say, but what about the Mrs., her title has been changed from Miss? Good point. Her title is now ‘Mister’s’, that is, she is titled after the man to whom she has married. The problem is when you type her blood and other associated things, you find that it matches the family she came from rather than the husband she married. Though she is now the ‘Mister’s’ through marriage, she sheds not the characteristics she was born with. She may now live and work in a different household, but she never loses the physical characteristics that defined her. Why? Though she is the ‘Mister’s’ by marriage, she is still the ‘Miss’ by birth.


I am a sinner by title, because that is the way I was born. I may change the things I occupy myself with, and even come into the marriage relationship with Christ, but until I shed this body, I don’t lose my original title. Through marriage to Christ I may be referred to as a ‘Saint’, but ‘Sinner’ is the way I was born and is the title that defines who I am.


“A sinner is a precious thing,

The Holy Ghost hath made him so…”


When one sees himself as a sinner it is a blessed work of the Holy Ghost in conviction.


If you see yourself as a sinner and have rightfully taken the title of sinner, then be of good cheer “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”

The sin/sins of man

July 7th, 2009

We are born in sin, with a sin nature, and do nothing but sin and we do this in the presence of a most holy God who requires absolute justice. What then allows us to even to live?


We look for the answer in 1 John 2:2 ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ Though not all are saved, the Bible teaches there is a sense in which Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, I believe this is that sense. Christ’s sacrifice was required to allow mankind to even continue to live, making the way even possible for the time when the application of His blood could be made to those who would receive it. This verse talks of ‘sins’ not ‘sin’. ‘Sins’ are individual events by which we offend God, ‘sin’ is why we do it. IE Lying falls under the category of ‘sins’ whereas our depraved nature is ‘sin’. ‘Sin’ is the cause, ‘sins’ are the effect. The ‘sins’ of the whole world were judged on the cross allowing us to even live, yet apart from the application of the atonement of Christ by the Holy Spirit, there will have been no application made for our ‘sin’. In fact though our ‘sins’ have been judged to allow us even the possibility of temporal life, ‘our sin remaineth’ until glorification. In the meantime a new nature with new desires is imparted to those who truly trust Christ. It is with this new nature that we battle the old one with mixed victories and defeats. This ongoing battle with ‘sin’, is made manifest in our ‘sins’.


1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


If we say we have no ‘sin’, (that is no sin nature or propensity to sin) we deceive ourselves, for it is our very ‘sins’ (the effects of our sin nature) that should make our resident ‘sin nature’ obvious.  With the new nature imparted the Christian should not desire to live in the old nature, yet with the remnants of the old nature still there, the Christian is still very prone to fall into ‘sins’. Know this: It is your ‘sin’, that causes your ‘sins’.


But praise the Lord, ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’

The paradox of God

July 1st, 2009

Anyone who has ever opened a Bible will be familiar with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is a great promise to those who have received it, unfortunately it can be a stumblingblock to those yet to receive it. For the latter they see the bloodshed in the world and cruel suffering and can’t imagine that God loves this world. The reason is they can’t see the corresponding doctrine throughout scripture that goes along this line, “For the world so hated God, yet were permitted to kill and destroy, that the depravity of man might be made manifest to all”


When you see the cruelties of this world it is meant to cause you to look above it for relief. This world has nothing to offer the person seeking truth and righteousness. The love of God gives you the opportunity to look to another for the things that can’t be found in mankind. Without the eternal sacrifice of Christ complete with His resurrection and ascension to glory, we would have nothing above this world to look to, and would be left to continue to ponder its cruelties. But thanks be to God that He loved us and sent His Son to reconcile us to Him, and raised Him from the dead, thereby giving hope to those who trust Him.


It takes a lot of love to satisfy one’s own requirement for absolute  justice, in fact it takes nothing less than absolute love. The love of God is absolute, but ever the gentlemen, He’ll not force you to receive it. Is it possible to refuse it any longer?


Gal 2:20 …the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


Rev 1:5 “… him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”