Sugar Sticks for July 2001
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Sunday, July 1, 2001
Is the Spiritual Life Necessary?
There are three things that will prevent us from being disciples of the
of possession of this world’s goods.
Our devotion, loyalty to Christ, must come ahead of devotion to our
family. Our ambition for Christ must supercede ambition for self.
We should not lay up treasures for ourselves on Earth. Rather, let us lay up
treasures for ourselves in Heaven. That is the sensible thing to do because
we are going to spend more time in Heaven than we will be able to spend on
God said if we do not do these things we cannot be His disciples.
We cannot have the spiritual life and that is the cost.
Is the Spiritual Life Necessary?
Our Lord tells us in Luke 12:22-31, we are to take no thought, or not to
be anxious, or worry, about our lives, that is, what we eat or put on our
bodies, because He will provide all these things when we seek first the kingdom
of God, or put Him first.
There is nothing wrong with money or possessions, but these possessions and
money should be used to glorify the Lord. If we are using money to lay up
treasures for ourselves, we are putting money first, and we cannot serve God and
mammon – the God of abundance.
Paul instructing the Church tells us in Phil 4:19, “But my God shall supply
all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
So, our primary goal in life should be to seek things of Christ first, and if
we do, God will supply our needs. This is not saying that we shouldn’t
protect our loved ones if we can. Everyone who can should protect his loved
ones. Of course, there are those who don’t. But the Lord tells us if we
don’t provide for our loved ones, we are worse than infidels, unbelievers.
We should provide for the necessities of life.
But accumulating abundance for ourselves and neglecting to use our money to
glorify the Lord is wrong, We cannot have the spiritual life as long as we
covet possessions for ourselves.
”In the latter days perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of
pleasure, lovers of money, lovers of self, more than lovers of God.”
Is the Spiritual Life Necessary?
“So likewise, whomsoever be he of you that forsaketh not all that he hath,
he cannot be My disciple.”
Here we find that we must be willing to forsake all that we have, speaking of
possessing this world’s goods. If we put possession of this world’s goods
first, we cannot be His disciples. We cannot walk the spiritual life, a life
motivated by God the Holy Spirit, if we are selfish. We covet possessions for
ourselves rather than desiring to help others.
Our Lord reveals very plainly our attitude toward the world’s goods in Matt
6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth where moth and rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for
yourselves treasures in Heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there
will be your heart also.”
Verse 24, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and
love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You
cannot serve God and mammon” – meaning gods of abundance, a pagan god.
This is not criticizing abundance, It is just to point out that man’s life
does not consist of the abundance of things which he possesses.
Is the Spiritual Life Necessary?
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My
Our ambition for self has to be second to our ambition for the Lord.
The phrase “bear his cross” has to do with ambition for self. As long as
I am seeking to make a place for myself in this world, as long as I am seeking
power for myself, I cannot be my Lord’s disciple. Because I am putting myself
first, not the Lord.
Ambition for self must come second. I cannot walk the spiritual life, I cannot
live the life motivated and energized by God the Holy Spirit as long as I am
seeking a place of power and prominence in this world for myself.
My life is a life motivated by selfishness, by the flesh, instead of a life
motivated by God the Holy Spirit. A lot of people fulfill the letter of the law,
but remember we find that ”the letter of the law killeth” and “it is the
Spirit that quickeneth.”
My devotion to Christ must come first, and my ambition must be taken off of
self and placed on the Lord. Our drive must not be to seek a place of prominence
or power for ourselves, but rather should desire to seek a place of prominence
for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Cost and the Value
When we ask ourselves the question, “Is spiritual life necessary?” we
must be able to estimate the cost of spiritual life and the value of spiritual
Let us consider the true meaning of these words of our Lord. Luke 14:25-33. In
the 26th verse we find that our devotion to the Lord must come first. ”If any
man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife and children, and
brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”
If a man allows love for his loved ones, or love for his own life, to
conflict with his loyalty to Christ, he cannot be our Lord’s disciple.
God doesn’t tell you not to love your family because he says just the
opposite. This is not a contradiction. The word “hate” used here does
not mean what we use the same word today to imply. It means to disregard as far
as loyalty to Christ is concerned.
Our devotion to Christ must come first. If our love for loved ones supercedes
our loyalty to Christ, we cannot be Christ’s disciple. We cannot have the
spiritual life. To have a life dominated and influenced entirely by God the Holy
Spirit is to lead the spiritual life.
There are many people today trying to obey God’s Word and live the spiritual
life. They are trying to force themselves to be spiritual. But spiritual life
must begin in the soul. It must begin with devotion to Christ. Man looks from
without, but God looks within the soul of man. Decisions begin in the mentality
of the soul and in the volition of the soul.
The spiritual life is the life that is energized by God the Holy Spirit, not
the life motivated by what we think we should do or what we think other people
expect of us.
“JEHOVAH NISSI” – The Lord is My Banner – July 4th Special – Part
- Israel’s enemy. Who are the Amalekites?
The Amalekites are the descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau. We
are told it in Genesis 36:12. Then they were direct descendants of Isaac.
Yet they became the persistent and hereditary enemies of Israel, “a thorn
in the flesh,” and a constant menace to their spiritual and natural life.
Balaam calls them the first of the nations, Num 24:20, that is to
oppose Israel. They were a numerous and powerful people. It might have
been expected that, as closely related to Israel as they were, they would
have afforded help instead of opposition. Yet they opposed Israel in a most
mean and cowardly way.
Years later Moses called upon Israel to “Remember what Amalek did unto
thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt, how he met thee by the way,
and smote the hindermost of thee, all that were feeble behind thee, when
thou wast faint and weary, and he feared not God,” Deut 25:17-18.
God had bidden him write in a book the words, “For I will utterly put out
the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven.” And “JEHOVAH hath
sworn that Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to
generation,” Exodus 17:14-16.
For “the face of JEHOVAH is against them that do evil, to cut off their
memory from the Earth.”
“Jehovah Nissi” – The Lord is My Banner – The Amalekites –
- Centuries later the Samuel came to king Saul with a
commission from JEHOVAH “to utterly destroy the Amalekities with all their
possessions so that not a trace of them or theirs should be remain,” 1 Sam
The failure of king Saul to carry out to destroy the Amalekites, 1 Sam 15:2,
3, led to his own rejection and death, 1 Sam 15:26-28. When he lay mortally
wounded on the battle field of Mount Gilboa, a young man, a stranger, came
to him. Saul urgently requested this young man to put an end to him for he
knew he could not live, and did not wish to fall into the hands of his
conquerors while yet alive. 2 Sam 1:1-16.
By the bitter irony of a just retribution, this young man was “an
Amalekite.” The sinful thing which Saul had spared, now returned to slay
Not until the days of king Hezekiah was the command finally carried out that
“the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped were smitten,” 1 Chr 4:43.
This is no doubt one reason why Hezekiah was favored by JEHOVAH.
Yet it is highly probable that Haman, who a thousand years after Moses,
almost accomplished the total destruction of all the Jews in Persia. As told
in the book of Esther, “Haman the Agagite,” as he is called is a
descendant of king Agag of the Amalekites, whom Ssaul in his foolish
disobedience sought to spare alive.
The Amalekites were at that time living with their flocks and herds in the
vicinity of Rephidim. Moved by suspicion, jealousy, and fear, they resented
the presence of such a multitude of strange people in the wilderness and
were determined to prevent their passage through it. Thus they opposed the
purpose and plan of God. They had first carried on a sort of harassing,
guerilla campaign against Israel. Then apparently they came out against them
in pitched battle.
Next time: Israel’s triumph and JEHOVAH NISSI, the Lord is my Banner.
The Value of the Spiritual Life!
What will we gain?
First of all, we will have peace, and what a blessing that is! Remember
the legacy our Lord left to His disciples, to you and to me, as He was
leaving this world to be with His Father. ”Peace I leave with you, My peace I
give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27.
There is the legacy our Lord left to His children, to you and to me. We will
have that peace if we will live the spiritual life.
Second, we find the joy of answered prayer. Certainly we need that!
“And in that day ye shall ask of Me nothing. Verily, verily I say unto you,
whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto
have ye asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may
be full,” John 16:23-24.
Third, we find assurance. How we need that! God’s children today are in
great need of assurance. Paul had assurance. “For the which cause I also
suffer these things, nevertheless,
I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is
able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against the day,” 2 Tim
Paul didn’t worry about anything and the reason why Paul didn’t worry was
that he had nothing to worry about because he knew Whom he believed.
The Value of the Spiritual Life!
Forth we have satisfaction. We will have a satisfied life, and what a
blessing that is!
Psa 36:7-8, “How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God, therefore the
children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. They shall be
abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house and Thou shalt make them
drink of the river of Thy pleasures.”
There we find a satisfied life.
Is there anything else you need? Well, the Lord will supply that, too. “Come
unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My
yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall
find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light,” Matt
All of us need rest and we have it when we live the spiritual life.
Wise Men Still Seek Him!
From the eastern mountains
Pressing on they come,
Wise men in their wisdom
To His humble home.
Stirred by deep devotion
Hasting from afar,
Ever journeying onward
Guided by a star.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
There their Lord and Saviour
Meek and lowly lay,
Wondrous light that led them
Onward on their way.
Ever now to lighten
Nations from afar,
As they journey homeward
By that guiding star.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
Thou who in a manger
Once hast lowly lain,
Who dost now in glory
Over all kingdoms reign,
Gather in the heathen
Who in lands afar,
Never have seen the brightness
Of Thy guiding star.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw Thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
Gather in the outcasts
And whoever has gone astray,
Throw Thy radiance over them
Guide them on their way.
Those who never knew Thee
Those who have wandered far,
Lead them by the brightness
Of Thy guiding star.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw Thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
Onward through the darkness
Of the lonely night,
Shining still before them
With Thy kindly light.
Guide them Jew and Gentile
Homeward from afar,
Young and old together
By Thy guiding star.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw Thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
Until every nation
Whether bond or free,
Neath Thy starlight banner
Lord, follows Thee.
Over the distant mountains
To the heavenly home,
Where no sin or sorrow
Evermore shall come.
Light of light that shineth
Before the world began,
Draw Thou near, and lighten
Every soul of man.
Monday, July 2, 2001
“TETELESTAI” – “It is Finished,” John 19:30
”It is finished!” Christ hath known,
All the life of men wayfaring,
Human joys and sorrows sharing,
Making human needs His own.
Lord, to us Thy life renewing
Lead us where Thy feet have trod,
Till, the way of Truth pursuing,
Human souls find rest in God.
”It is finished!” Christ is slain,
On the altar of creation,
Offering for a world’s salvation,
Sacrifice of love and pain.
Lord, Thy love through pain revealing,
Purge our passions, scourge our vice,
Till upon the tree of healing,
Self is slain in sacrifice.
”It is finished!” Christ our King
Wins the victor’s crown of glory,
Sun and stars recite His story,
Floods and fields His triumph sing.
Lord, whose praise this world is telling,
Lord, to whom all power is given,
By Thy death, hell’s armies quelling,
Bring Thy saints to reign in Heaven.
“JEHOVAH NISSI” – The Lord is My Banner! – July 4th Special – Part
Strange to say, there appears to be have been no fear or confusion among
Israel in such a crisis. Perhaps the recent miracle of the water from the rock
had overawed them and inspired them with confidence and trust. Perhaps it was
easier to fight a tangible foe of flesh and blood after the terrors of the
wilderness with its hunger and thirst and weariness. At any rate, no hint is
given of alarm or confusion.
Moses calmly orders Joshua to chose men and go out and fight Amalek. These
enemies of God’s people, the masters of this peninsula of Sinai, thought, no
doubt, to prevail easily over this newly-freed slave rabble without supplies,
without arms, without knowledge of the country. For Israel was indeed an
ill-equipped, ill-disciplined, inexperienced mob going out against a well-armed
and experienced foe. But Amalek little knew the secret source of the calm and
courage of God’s people.
Two other factors, at least, must have contributed to this confidence. The first
is the man Joshua, whom Moses chose to lead the expedition. A man of inflexible
purpose, of indomitable courage, an able leader and soldier. His name had
originally been Hoshea, a prince of the tribe of Ephraim, Num 13:8. Hoshea means
to give deliverance or help. But in Num 13:16 we read that Moses changed
his name from Hoshea to Joshua, which means JEHOVAH is help or salvation.
Whether this change was before or as a result of this event we do not know, but
he must have been a man to inspire confidence and courage. We know he was a man
of faith, for he with Caleb, were the only two of the 12 spies who brought back
an encouraging report of the Promised Land they were sent to spy out.
The second factor was, of course, Moses himself, now vindicated and honored in
the eyes of the people after smiting the rock with his rod to bring the waters
gushing out of it. In order to encourage Joshua and his men, Moses promises to
take his position upon a hill with his rod, the rod of God, in his hand. In the
account we are told that as long as Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed,
and when his hand was lowered, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were
supported and Israel was finally victorious and the defeat of Amalek complete.
That is how the name JEHOVAH NISSI came into being. The Lord is my Banner!
“JEHOVAH NISSI” – The Lord is My Banner! – July 4th Special – Part
Moses standing upon a hill with uplifted hands has generally been thought of
as interceding with God for the vindication of God’s cause in the victory of
His people. This factor of intercession suggested by upraised hands was no doubt
present and important in Moses’ attitude. But there was something much more
important than that.
For in Moses’ hand was the rod of God, the God-given rod, the wonder-working
rod, the rod which brought the terrible plagues upon Egypt, which opened a path
through the Red Sea for the deliverance of Israel, and brought the waters
closing down in destruction upon God’s enemies.
It was the rod of God’s mighty hand and outstretched arm, the rod of “ELOHIM.”
And how significant is this use of the Name denoting His creative glory,
indicating His might, sovereignty. This is the general Name of God, the Name
especially used in relationship to the nations, represented here by Amalek, as
distinguished from “Jehovah” in relationship especially to Israel.
Then it is the “ELOHIM” here, with the definite article, the only ELOHIM,
denoting whether Amalek acknowledged it or not, He was God.
”It is the rod, as the banner of God” which brought the victory. What then
was the meaning of Amalek’s success when it was lowered and Israel’s success
when it was raised?
It was to sharply emphasize and deeply impress upon Israel’s warring
soldiers and her watching anxious host, “That upon God alone depended and to
Him belonged the victory.” That under His raised banner victory was always
assured. No matter what the odds then, for in Moses’ own words, “Five
should chase a hundred and a hundred should chase ten thousand,” Lev 26:8. That
rod was the symbol and pledge of His presence and power and working.
A banner in ancient times was not necessarily a flag such as we use nowadays.
Often it was a bare pole with a bright shining ornament that glittered in the
sun. The word here for “banner” means to glisten among other things. It is
translated variously, pole, ensign, standard, and among the Jews it is also a
word for miracle.
”As an ensign or standard, it was a signal to God’s people to rally to
Him.” It stood for “His cause, His battle.” It was a sign of deliverance,
of salvation, as we shall see by the use of the word for the pole on which the
brazen serpent was raised in the wilderness.
It is the word used by the psalmist as “lift up” in the expression, “Lord,
lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us,” Psa 4:6.
So, “Joshua,” that is, “Jehovah is salvation,” the rod of ELOHIM held
aloft. In Moses’ upraised hand as God’s banner over them, and the light of
His countenance upon them, these were Israel’s victory.
Next the welfare of the saints and JEHOVAH NISSI.
Phil 3:12-14, “Not as though I already attained, either were already made
perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am
apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching
forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
- Wherein we make progress.
A. In our views of the excellence of Christianity.
B. In our love to God and Christ.
C. In holiness.
D. In heavenly mindedness.
- The necessity of this progress is seen.
A. In the frequency with which the Christian life is compared to a warfare
and a race.
B. In the urgent commands of God.
C. In the nature of Christianity to which progress is indispensable.
- The means.
A. A firm belief that Divine influences may be obtained at all times, and to
the full extent of our wants, by humble, earnest prayer.
B. Constant application of the Word of God.
C. A continual view of the Cross.
D. A constant vision of the prize.
E. A study of eminent examples.
“Not by Works of Righteousness Which We Have Done!”
Notice here the reality of salvation!
We find that salvation is totally unmerited!
All through the ages, man has shown his need and longing for a salvation and his
earnest desire to be right with God. But, unfortunately, man ever sought to
accomplish this end by his own unaided efforts. It was through the desire to be
independent that man fell.
Almost ever since that day, man has tried with the same independence of God to
get back to the Divine presence. That is, of course, impossible. We remember
that sin affects every part of the moral man, therefore, we know if man is to be
saved, it has to be done outside of his works.
All mankind is divided into two classes – those who try to win God’s favor
by merit, or work, and those who are utterly distrustful of self and human
merit, who say, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the Cross I cling.”
There are two classes that began right outside of the Garden of Eden with Cain
“According to His Mercy He Saved Us”
We find also that salvation is Divinely merciful
Salvation, if it is to be effectual, must of necessity be Divine. It must
be the work of God and no one else. This is the burden of Christianity.
”Salvation is of the Lord”
God our Saviour is one of the most remarkable titles of the Divine Being. It
is of His mercy alone that salvation has been brought to man.
There is nothing in man to merit it or deserve it. But God, in His own mercy,
came to our rescue and saved us in Christ with an everlasting salvation. That is
a Truth that we must ever be conscious of. There is nothing in man to merit
salvation. There is nothing in man that deserves salvation.
But God, in His own mercy, came to our rescue and saved us in Christ with
an everlasting salvation. Man didn’t cry out to God to send His Son.
Mankind was against God when He sent His Son.
It was the need of man that touched the heart of God. God in His Divine mercy
sent His Son that we might have everlasting salvation.
“By the Washing of Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Spirit”
Another thing we find in Titus 3:5 is that salvation is absolutely complete.
He saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
In these words we are told very plainly of the perfection of God’s salvation.
It starts with regeneration, which is the gift of God’s new life, which
accomplishes the washing and cleansing of forgiveness. We are a new creation. We
are now “born of God.” We are of His household. The whole picture has
”Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” That has to do
|We are now of the family of God.|
|We are in the household of God.|
|We are now children of God.|
|We are heirs of God.|
|We are joint-heirs with Christ.|
|We belong to Him. It is complete.|
We are a new creation. We are no longer in the old creation. The old man that
was born of earthly parents died with Christ. We become a new creation in
Christ. We are an entirely new creation. Certainly we can see here that it is
He saved us by the washing of regeneration.
July 4th – Independence Day!
Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ever within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign stand?
If so there breathe, go, mark him well,
For him no minstrel raptures swell,
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim.
Despite those titles, power and pelf,
The wretched, concentrated all in self.
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprang
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
Titus 3:6, “Which He Shed on us Abundantly Through Jesus Christ our
We find in this verse that salvation is gloriously “abundant.” How
we need to be ever conscious of that blessed Truth.
God’s gifts are always in abundance. God’s salvation is poured on us in
wealth and abundance to meet every need. Yet many of us, I am afraid, have lost
sight of that blessed Truth. That His salvation for you and me meets abundantly
ever need that might come into our lives.
”And we have received Grace upon Grace,” literally, “Grace heaped upon
|There is salvation from the ignorance of sin through the Divine
|There is salvation from the guilt of sin through the Divine
|There is salvation from the bondage of sin through Divine redemption.|
|There is salvation from the defilement of sin through Divine holiness.|
|There is salvation from the weakness of sin through Divine power.|
|There is salvation from the degradation of sin through the Divine
|There is salvation from the enmity of sin through Divine fellowship.|
In the life to come, salvation from the very presence of sin is the crown
and culmination of God’s marvelous provision.
Tuesday, July 3, 2001
Titus 3:7, “That Being Justified by Faith …”
Notice the experience of salvation. What does it do for us in our personal
experience? That is important. We have seen that God is the Author of our
salvation. Now notice what it does for us in our personal experience.
First it gives us a new position. – ”Being justified by faith.”
Justification means the restoring of the position that man lost through sin. It
is the reinstatement of man to the position that man held before the fall. But
even more than that, it implies the removal of the guilt of sin.
It implies the removal of the condemnation of sin. It is the Divine
righteousness covering the sinner and the Divine Grace regarding that sinner as
righteous in the eyes of God’s Holy Law.
God declares us righteous. When He declares us righteous, we know then that
the guilt of sin has been removed, the condemnation of sin has been removed,
separation caused by sin has been removed. We have been restored in right
relationship with God. The new position is the position we stand before God,
without sin or guilt, because God has declared us righteous.
It is wonderful to recognize the Truth that we can go straight into the presence
of God without fear of condemnation because He has justified us by His Grace.
|Yes, the guilt of sin has been removed.|
|The condemnation of sin has been removed.|
|The separation caused by sin has been removed.|
And now we stand righteous in the eyes of God and in the eyes of God’s
“That Being Justified by His Grace, We Should be Made Heirs,” Titus 3:7
Secondly, salvation not only give us a new position, but it also gives us
a new privilege.
What a glorious privilege is this to be heirs already enjoying in part the
wealth of God’s Grace and the heritage of His mercy and faith.
Too few of us, I am afraid, recognize that Truth. Too many of God’s children
today feel that it is only when they get to Heaven that they can enjoy the
privilege of this position of being in the family of God. Consequently, they
lose the sense of the value of their salvation today. They lose the blessedness
that God wants them to have. We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings
in Christ. But how many of us recognize that Truth?
The privilege of prayer, the privilege of knowing that we are under His eye at
all times, under His protection, the privilege of knowing that we are His sheep
and He is our Good Shepherd ever watching to guide us and supply our needs.
To watch over us, help us, guard us, and protect us are spiritual blessings we
can enjoy now. Few are conscious of the blessedness of knowing He is our
High Priest interceding for us.
We don’t have to die before we enjoy the privilege of our new position in
Christ. We should enjoy it today. And the thing that makes it possible is faith.
Faith is essential to enjoy the salvation we have, just as faith is essential
to mankind in this world today. Every human being has faith in something. If
we are going to enjoy the Christian life as God wants us to, we must have faith.
”The just,” those that have been justified, “shall walk” and live “by
“That Being Justified by His Grace, We Should be Made Heirs According to
the Hope of Eternal Life,” Titus 3:7
Salvation not only gives us a new position and a new
privilege, but it also gives us a new possession. It is eternal life. Eternal
life in connection with Christianity means the personal experience with God.
John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only True
God and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.”
The greatest possession of Divine life takes place not when we die, but now.
John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word, and
believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into
condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.”
We find the words is past from death unto life. We already have that new
So, you see the salvation of God, which is merciful, which is complete, which is
abundant, gives us a new position which automatically gives us a new possession.
“Made Heirs According to the Hope of Eternal Life,” Titus 3:7
Here we find hope. It gives us a new prospect of life. It gives us hope. Here
is one thing that a lot of us lose sight of. Hope in the New Testament is
always associated with the Lord’s coming, “the Blessed Hope.”
That is one of the reasons I feel there are so many Christians today that do not
have hope of eternal life. There has been removed from the teaching and
preaching that they hear Sunday after Sunday, the coming of our Lord. Any one
who truly has faith in the coming of the Lord has that hope.
So, as we look over these verses, we think of the Author of salvation. We see
His Divine Grace, His Divine philanthropy, His Divine mercy. Then we can
certainly place Him as the Foundation of our trust and the assurance of our
When we recognize the reality of salvation, we realize it is entirely
unmerited. It is Divinely merciful. It is abundantly complete and gloriously
When we meditate and realize it gives us a new position, which gives us a new
privilege, which gives us a new possession, which results in a new prospect of
life, we have the hope of eternal life.
And all of this is yours, if you will just believe.
“Let Everyone Purpose in His Own Mind What He Should Give”
Here we come with gladness
Gifts of love to bring,
Praising Him who loves us,
Christ our Saviour-King.
Small may be the offering,
But the Lord will use
Every gift we bring Him,
None will He refuse.
More and more for Christ
May we gladly give.
Giving, giving, giving,
Is the only way to live.
July 4th and Christian Soldiers!
Oft in danger, oft in woe,
Onward, Christian, onward go.
Bear the toil, maintain the strife,
Strengthened with the Bread of life.
Onward, Christian, onward go,
Join the army, and fight the foe.
Will ye flee in danger’s hour?
Know ye not your Captain’s power?
Let your drooping hearts be glad,
March in heavenly armor clad.
Fight, not think the battle long
Victory soon shall tune your song.
Let not sorrow dim your eye
Soon shall every tear be dry.
Let not fears your courage impede
Great your strength, if great your need.
Onward then in battle move,
More than conquerors ye shall prove.
Though opposed by many a foe,
Christian soldiers, onward go.
“They have taken away my Lord and I know not where they laid Him. And
when she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing and knew
not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman why weepest thou? Whom
Her sorrow was so tremendous that it blinded her to her Lord. She was
right with Him, looking at Him, yet her sorrow blinded her to the glory of God
which was in our Lord.
And Jesus saith unto her, “Why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She supposed
Him to be the gardener.”
She didn’t even recognize Him because her sorrow blinded her to the point, “She
said unto Him, Sir, if Thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid
Him and I will take Him away.”
Here is the answer! Jesus said unto her, “Mary.” What happened then?
“She turned herself and said unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say 'Master'.”
She was so blinded by fear, by sorrow, because she loved the Lord that she
didn’t even recognize her Lord when she saw Him face to face.
What had to happen? She had to hear the Lord speak to her personally,
We are the same. “Lazarus, come forth.”
Personal Relationship/Personal Study
When we study the Word of God, we must remember the Lord is speaking to us
personally. Look at it personally. Don’t look at it in the abstract.
God is speaking to you. It is directed to you. These promises are written for
When you hear the Lord’s voice speaking to you personally, in His Word, you
are going to find, like Mary, sorrow is going to leave. And you are going to see
the glory of the Lord.
There is going to be an understanding, because He is the Light of this world. Your
Bible is God’s Word to you. When you read it, do you hear His voice
speaking to you? Instructing you? Giving you light of understanding?
”The entrance of Thy Word giveth light.”
Well, you should, for the entrance of His Word gives us light as we find in
Psalm 112:4-8, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He
is Gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man showth favour,
and lendeth: He will guide his affairs with discretion (that is, with judgment).
Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting
remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed,
trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he
see his desire upon his enemies.”
There is one other thing we find Christians being blinded to, and unable to
see the glory of the Lord. And that is self. Have you ever stopped to
realize that an unselfish man, an unselfish Christian, is a Christian who always
has understanding? Now what kind of man is that here spoken of in Psa 112:4?
That is the man, the upright man, in “whom there ariseth light in darkness.”
An unselfish man is a man with understanding.
”The Lord God is a Sun and a Shield, and He gives Grace and glory, and there
is no good thing He will withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
”Those that sat in darkness have seen a great Light.”
”I am the Light of the world.”
“I Am the Light of the World”
Christ came that we might have the abundant life, a life free from
distress and anxiety. But to have that, we must have understanding. What is
Jesus Christ said, “I am the Light of the world.” We are the children of
Light. The world, the darkness, rejected the Light. But we are children of
Light. Therefore, we have the capacity to understand.
But there are three things that blind us to the Light of the glory of the Lord.
- First – fear. We see that in Peter, and the servant of Elisha.
- Second – sorrow. No one can question that Mary loved the Lord, but her
sorrow in not finding the Lord blinded her to her Lord when she saw Him face
to face. She had to hear the Lord speak to her directly. Peter had to
see Him resurrected before he could believe.
- Third – selfishness will blind us to the glory of the Lord. We need to
see our Lord risen, seated at the right hand of the Father and hear His
voice in His Word speaking directly to us.
”Thy word is a Light unto my path.”
”Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.”
“Meditate in the Word Day and Night, Neither Turning to the Left or the
Right, and Thou Shall Prosper Withersoever Thou Goest”
It is so important for you to read the Word of God and meditate on It, and
hear God’s Word spoken to you by a Pastor-Teacher.
When you hear or read the Word of God, if you are a child of God, God’s
sheep, you can hear and recognize the voice of our Lord in His spoken Word or
when you read His Word. When the Word of God enters into your mind, it gives
light and understanding. It dispels darkness.
So, the answer for today’s darkness is to hear the voice of our Lord in the
Word of God and let the Word of God dwell in us richly, as we are told in Col
3:16, so it can dispel the darkness and give us understanding.
It is only through the entrance of God’s Word in our minds that we can have
this Light for today’s darkness. The only way God’s Word to enter is for
us to read and hear the Word of God.
We must recognize His voice in His Word, whether it is spoken to us, or we
read it. When we do this, we will have Light for today’s darkness. Because the
Light dispels the darkness, we won’t fear because the love of God will be
perfected, or made perfect, in us because we believe and trust His Word.
”Perfect love casteth out fear.”
When we do these things, we will surely be able to face each day of the coming
year saying, “Yes, it is wonderful to be a Christian.”
Wednesday, July 4, 2001
“Learn of Me and Ye Shall Find Rest for Your Souls”
The big question!
How can we find satisfaction with Christ and have this “perfect peace of
mind in Christ?” Isa 26:3.
The answer is found in our Lord’s first invitation to the individual man which
is found in Matt 11:28-29 where he says, “Learn of Me and ye shall find
rest for your souls.”
Now everyone knows that you can’t completely trust someone whom you know
nothing at all about. Consequently, the great need for the Christian is to
learn more of the Lord Jesus Christ as He promised in the 11th chapter of
It is through our learning of Christ in His present relationship with us who
are born-again believers that we can have peace of mind and rest for our souls
and to be perfectly satisfied with Him.
“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,” John 8:12
For the person who is really interested in knowing the Truth – what is the
right thing? what is the right interpretation? Is there any way in which he can
Is there any standard? Yes, there is and we find it in John 8:12. The word
“Light” refers to that which reveals, that which gives understanding and
knowledge. ”You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” Light
is that which reveals.
Darkness in Scripture refers to lack of understanding, confusion, and
”I am the Light of the world.”
There is a prophecy regarding our Lord in Isa 42:5, “Thus saith the Lord, He
that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the
Earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people
upon it, and Spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord hath called thee in
righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a
covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles; to open the blind
eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in
darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord: that is My Name: and My
glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.”
That was prophesied that when the Lord would come, He would be that which
would reveal to the Gentiles and all the nations. “I am the Light of the
”He lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” “The entrance of Thy
Word giveth light.”
Luke 2:25, “For Mine Eyes Have Seen Thy Salvation Which Thou Hast Prepared
Before the Face of All People, a Light to Lighten the Gentiles and the Glory of
Thy People Israel.”
So we find Simeon, a devout Jew, filled with the Holy Spirit, recognized when
he saw this Child, Jesus Christ, that He was the One who would give
understanding to the nations. Jesus Christ Himself said, “He said, I am the
Light of the world.” John 8:12.
He said, “I Am” – absolute status quo. The understanding that God
gives to man if he is willing to follow the Lord.
Remember this – any interpretation of any Scripture that contradicts the
life of the Lord Jesus Christ is false. The Holy Spirit does not contradict
the life of the Son of God.
In other words, the Word of God never contradicts the life of the Son of God.
If any one has an interpretation, even though he may have an arrangement of
words that seem to substantiate his opinion, if it contradicts the life of
Christ, it is wrong.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall
not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.” Or the Light of My
life, the Light of eternal life.
”I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall any
man pluck them out of My hand,” John 10:28.
1 Peter 2:25, “For Ye Were Sheep Going Astray, But Are Now Returned
Unto the Shepherd and Bishop of Your Souls.”
Heb 13:21, “Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead, our Lord
Jesus Christ, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, from the blood of the
Notice, “that Great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now
can’t you say with David, “The Lord is my Shepherd?” Won’t you make
Him your Shepherd? He is and He wants to be. By authority He is your
Shepherd. Why shouldn’t you?
Every thing a shepherd should be toward his own sheep, our Lord is to us, if we
will let Him. He is kind. He is affectionate. He is concerned about you. He is
interested in you.
He has the authority to help you, the ability to feed you, and to supply your
needs. He can guide you. He is devoted to you. And He is gentle. Now why
don’t you try it?
”All we like sheep have gone astray, and we have turned each one to our own
way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
“I Am Come That They Have Life, and They May Have it More Abundantly”
You know you became a child of God through trusting the death of Christ on
the Cross for your sins. And He gave you everlasting life then and there.
Christ didn’t just come to give you life without end. He came to give you
abundant life. He tells us so Himself in John 10:10.
This abundant life is eternal life and it embodies so much more than just
life after death. That is great and wonderful in itself, but God has so more for
you and He has it for you right now while you are here on this Earth.
He has abundant life for you and He wants you to be enjoying it now. But you
“must” apprehend this life abundant through believing, having faith in His
blessed Word to you, just as you apprehend life after death through
believing, having faith in the Promise He gave you in John 3:16, “God so loved
the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Remember, When You Were Born of God, You Became a Spiritual Being, Capable
of Understanding the Spirit of the Word of God
Because you are indwelt with God the Holy Spirit, you must partake of
God’s Word to grow and mature into a spiritually healthy child of God.
You must feed on His Word by reading it, by meditating on it, believing it,
trusting it, partaking of it by faith, and be exercised by it. The Word of God
is God’s letter to you. It is God speaking to you. Obey it, be exercised by
Another thing you must do is to commune with God and that is pray. Talk to
your heavenly Father. Just as God’s Word is food for your soul, so is prayer
in the very atmosphere of the soul, the breath of the soul. So the child of
God should live in prayer. Pray without ceasing, we are told.
You must partake of the spiritual food of God’s Word and breath the proper
Another thing that is most important to your spiritual health is fellowship
with God’s people around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. God tells His
people, “Do not forsake the gathering together of yourselves like those
without hope,” Heb 10:25.
This pertains to fellowship as well as worship. We need to have fellowship
with other Christians around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ if we are to
have a healthy Christian life, the abundant life that Christ came to give us.
Matthew 4:4, “Man Cannot Live by Bread Alone, But by Every Word That
Proceedeth Out of the Mouth of God”
Luke 4:4, “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Heb 2:3, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.”
We are instructed in the Word of God what the Lord wants us to do. If we
neglect to do these things, we soon will become weak, sickly, anemic, and if we
remain in that condition long, we will soon stop breathing (praying) and we will
die spiritually. This doesn’t mean that you will be lost and go to hell,
but your spiritual life will become such a low ebb that you will not enjoy your
You will become completely self-centered. You will be inactive in your church
life and all activities will be pushed aside. You will become like unto one dead
spiritually, and you will start showing all the symptoms of one suffering from
spiritual malnutrition. Some of the symptoms are self pity, fault finding,
selfishness, complaining about your lot in life – a life completely void of
spiritual vitality. You will have no radiance, no joy of salvation.
How pitiful it is to get into that state, and all because of the lack of feeding
daily on the Word of God and communing with Him, not living a prayer life in
constant communion with your heavenly Father, and fellowship with God’s people
around the Person of our Savior who died for you.
”My people are destroyed because of the lack of knowledge.”
Colossians 3:16, “Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly”
The cure or the answer for those who are suffering spiritual malnutrition
is meeting daily with your heavenly Father in Heaven and reading His Word,
feeding upon it, partaking of it so that it becomes the very essence of your
Let the Word work in your life. Let your life be exercised by it. His Word is
life. It is real and it will change your life, change your attitude, change your
outlook on life completely.
In short, it will make you become a spiritual, healthy, well-adjusted child of
God, full of joy and peace, able to overcome the burdens and trials of life.
Because the Word of God is called “sound Doctrine,” literally, “healthy
You will enjoy the abundant life that Christ came to give you. It is yours. Why
not have it today? Partake of it by faith in the whole Word of God today. To
do this you must read the Word of God, feed upon it, and fellowship in prayer
Remember, “man shall not live by bread alone.” That means physical bread
only, “But man shall live by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of
The problem in our age is spelled out in Scripture, “In the latter days,
men will not endure sound Doctrine.”
So, there is a sickness in the land, the sickness of the lack of a healthy
Christian life without the Word of God. “There is no balm in Gilead.”
“There is a famine in the land, a famine for the Word
“Study to Show Thyself Approved, a Workman That Needeth Not to be Ashamed,
Rightly Dividing the Word of God.”
If you aren’t feeding your soul on God’s Word, and in communion, in
prayer with Him, and fellowship with God’s people around the Person of the
Lord Jesus Christ, you aren’t exercising your Christian life.
You aren’t actually living a full Christian life. You are just
existing in your Christian life. You are missing so much of the beauty and
the wonder of the abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give you.
Why don’t you start, start today to really live the abundant life He wants you
to have? Start feeding your soul on God’s precious Word and living a life of
We are told to pray without ceasing. This means to live our lives in a spirit
of prayer or communion with our heavenly Father daily and when we feed upon
God’s Word and live in communion with Him, we will be in fellowship with Him
and also with others of God’s children who are spiritually like-minded as we
We will be serving our Lord with joy and gladness of soul instead of being sick
from spiritual malnutrition. We will be happy, active, rejoicing people, serving
and praising God and singing hymns and making melody in our minds to the Lord.
“Jealousy is as Cruel as the Grave”
Prov 6:34, “For jealousy is the rage of a man, therefore, he will not spare
in the day of vengeance, he will not regard any ransom, neither will he rest
content though thou givest many gifts.”
You cannot, it is unfortunate, but you cannot reason with a jealous man or
woman. It doesn’t make any difference what you give them, they are
jealous. Jealousy is “Christian cancer.” It starts out and eats and eats
until it destroys a person’s whole joy of salvation.
Jealousy! God deliver us from jealous people!
After all, was that not the basis of the Pharisees antagonism against the
Lord Jesus Christ? Did they not want to slay Him? Basically because of religious
jealousy? ”For envy they sought to kill Him.” They saw the common people
going after Him and therefore they took council together that they might slay
It is hard today to make people understand that the acts of jealousy not only
hurt others, but they destroy their own well-being.
If there is one thing we should fear as Christians, if there is one thing we
should ask the Lord to deliver us from, it is the taint of jealousy because we
know that a jealous person is unhappy.
Yes, Jesus Christ was the mark of those who were jealous of Him.
“Jealousy is as Cruel as the Grave”
Psa 109:4, “For my love they are my adversaries, but I gave myself unto
Because of his love for the Lord, maybe David didn’t coincide, or was not in
full agreement with the methods of worship that had been laid down by those
He loved the Lord and because of his love for the Lord, then they were his
adversaries. He had done nothing but good for them. There are people who have
helped other people in trouble, but then they get jealous, and then they turn
upon them. That happens to all of us one time or another. What you do is as
David did here. You pray for them and you realize that they hurt themselves a
lot more than they hurt you.
It was because of David’s love for the Lord. We find Christians, too, we find
groups of Christians, and individuals who are continuously hurt and lied about
and brought into embarrassing situations for one reason and that is because
they love the Lord.
Others feel that they have embarked on a strange course because what they do,
they do to the glory of the Lord, and therefore it is bringing conviction on the
other soul. But you know the Lord recognized that and if you have been
greatly hurt recently or perhaps not so recently, maybe a year ago, the hurt
that you have is the hurt that our Lord had. It is a hurt that many of God’s
children have had down through the ages. It is one thing that we can expect.
“JEHOVAH NISSI” – The Lord My Banner – July 4th Special – Part
The welfare of the saints!
A. Israel – our example.
Israel’s experience of battle is the analogy of our own spiritual warfare.
Amalek represents the forces of this world order which stand opposed to
JEHOVAH in all ages, the rulers and the princes of this world who have lifted up
their standard against the Lord and against His anointed.
Exodus 17:16, “JEHOVAH hath sworn that JEHOVAH will have war with Amalek from
generation to generation.” Literally, “For there is a hand upon or against
the throne of JEHOVAH, JEHOVAH will have war against Amalek from generation to
”It represented the world which lieth in the wicked one,” 1 John 5:19.
Its characteristics are “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
pride the pattern of life,” 1 John 2:16.
Amalek was a grandson of Esau, who despised spiritual things and “preferred a
mess of pottage” to a spiritual birthright. He was the first enemy to appear
to a redeemed people. Israel had just been redeemed and baptized in the cloud
and in the sea. They had partaken of that spiritual meat, represented by the
manna, and drunk of that spiritual Rock, which was Christ as represented by the
waters of Horeb.
The newly-born believer at once finds the old man of the flesh confronting
him in sharp contrast and opposition to the new man of the Spirit within him. “For
the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these
are contrary the one to the other,” Gal 5:17.
The apostle Paul declared that in the flesh there is no good thing, Rom
7:18, and regarded it as a law in his members warring against his mind and
seeking to bring him into captivity to itself, Rom 7:23.
It is this flesh and its lusts which are to be crucified in those who are
Christ’s, His redeemed. Gal 5:24.
Thursday, July 5, 2001
“He That Liveth and Believeth on Me Shall Never Die”
Man’s greatest fear today is death.
The reason death is the greatest fear of man is that in the beginning
“man was driven away from God.” Therefore, eternal life has been denied
the man of this creation. After Adam and Eve had sinned we find, “So He drove
out the man and he planted at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubim and a
flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life,”
Gen 3:21 ff.
God told Adam the day he ate of the tree he would surely die, here it is. God
drove Adam and Eve from Him. He separated man from Himself. There is death.
It means “separation from.” The Greek word is THANATOS.”
We find the Greek word “HAGIASMO,” which means sanctification, separated
unto. But “THANATOS” means separated apart from, or away from.
So, in the beginning when man sinned, God drove man from Him and man died
spiritually. Man comes into this world to die. The end of man is death. Man
”It is appointed man once to die, and then the judgment,” Heb 9:27. Man is
appointed once to die.
Now, in Rom 6:3-8 and in 1 Thess 4, we find that some men will die in Christ.
Those who have accepted Christ as their personal Saviour have been created a new
creation in Christ, and are in the body of Christ, the true Church, the bride of
Then there are those who reject Christ who will die in their sins. We find that
in John 8:1 and 2.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “A New Creation in Christ”
When you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you are then created a
new creation in Jesus Christ. In 2 Cor 5:17 we find that being in Christ is
being a new creation. We are now heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
We are of the household of God. We have been born of God.
Now you have eternal life, because you are “in Christ.” According to Romans
6, we have been partakers of His death, burial, and resurrection. When Christ
died on the Cross, He was buried, then He rose again, the first of many
When you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you become partaker of
His death because He died for you. You become partaker of His death because
you are buried with Him, Romans 6, and you have been raised with Him.
Now, because He died and was buried and rose again, He is the Resurrection and
the Life. There is no separation from God for His children, to those who have
accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. There is no separation from
God. There is no reason for it.
The barrier was the sin of man. But Christ died for that sin. He died for sin
and He died unto sin. Then He was raised to live in unbroken relationship with
”Reckon yourselves also dead unto sin and alive unto God,” Rom 6. When our
Lord died and was buried and rose again, He rose the first of many brethren. He
rose the last Adam, the second man, in a new creation.
Now when we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, His death, burial, and
resurrection are credited to us. We are then born a new creation in Christ. That
new creation will never be separated from God.
When we close our eyes here, we go straight home to be with the Lord. “He that
liveth and believeth on Me shall never be separated from Me.”
“Separation From God”
There is nothing that will separate a child of God from God. Lots of times we
feel because we are going through troubles, difficulties, because we have been
hurt, we have been weak and are going through a certain amount of chastisement,
we feel we are not close to God. That God has forsaken us. No! No!
God has not forsaken us.
Rom 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” “Shall
tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword?” Verse
37, ”Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved
Verses 38-39, ”For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is your answer!
“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”
Don’t look for the day when your loved ones will be resurrected. He or she
has already been resurrected.
In Eph 2 we find that our place is in Heaven. There is a day coming when our
bodies will be resurrected, and changed, and fashioned like unto His glorious
body. That is true.
But we ourselves are not separated from God, the real you, the soul. When our
bodies wear out and are put in the grave, we go home to be with the Lord. When
we close our eyes, we will open them up there. Why? Because Christ is the
Resurrection and the Life.
My Lord died for me. He was buried for me. He was raised for me.
Because I am in Christ, I have been partaker of His death, burial, and
resurrection because He is the Resurrection and the Life.
If we are in Him, we have been through the resurrection and we have eternal
life. We shall never be separated from Him. Believers need to get this.
“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”
Our great need in times of sorrow, in times of bereavement, in times of that
nature is to put our minds on Christ, recognizing that He is the Resurrection
and the Life.
Don’t put your mind on what your loved one did or what he didn’t do. Is he a
Christian? Has he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour? If he has, then
that loved one is home with the Lord right now. When he or she closed their
eyes here, they immediately went home to be with the Lord, “which is much
better,” as Paul says.
Now, let us ask ourselves a question. You have recently lost a loved one. Would
you want to call them back from Heaven down to this old sin-cursed Earth where
there is sin, greed, and selfishness? Where the body wears out and becomes
painful and hurt? Do you want to call them back from Heaven down here? Do you?
Of course not.
Now, to sorrow is natural. You sorrow because you lost a loved one. But they
haven’t lost anything. They have gained everything. “For me to die is
They are home with the Lord. Why? Because Jesus Christ said, “I am the
Resurrection and the Life. He that liveth and believeth on Me shall never be
separated from Me.”
What a blessing that is. Aren’t you glad you are a Christian?
”We sorrow not as others which have no hope.”
“For if we believe that Christ died and rose again, then them that sleep in
Christ will God bring with Him.”
“The Skillfulness of His Hands” – Pierced Hands
David was called a prince, or shepherd, of Israel. Notice one of the
characteristics of a good shepherd.
Psa 78:70-72, “He chose David also His servant, and took him from the
sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young He brought him to feed
Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So He fed them according to the
integrity of His mind, and guided them by the skillfulness of His hands.”
In other words, here we find the shepherd, “ROHI,” the one who is
interested in you, loves you, and who has the authority to help you. He also
feeds according to the integrity of His mind.
Our Lord is never unfaithful. He is never partial toward any. Please remember
that His mind is right. Therefore, He will supply your needs, because the
feeding was according to the integrity of His mind.
Secondly, “He guideth them by the skillfulness of His hands.” He guides
us the right way. He is concerned about us. He is interested in us. He has
the authority. And with that authority he has ability.
So, therefore, because His mind is right, He supplies our needs, and He
guides us in paths of righteousness. He will guide us the right way.
How to Have Fellowship With God
“Lord who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy
One of the most important Psalms in the Bible is this 15th Psalm, because the
question is asked the Lord by David, “Who is it that can have fellowship with
Of course, we all know that we cannot have fellowship with God unless we are
born again. But we find here several statements that the Lord gave David. It
would be good for all of us to meditate on them.
First, one is to have a right attitude toward God. ”He that walketh uprightly,
and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the Truth in His mind.”
A man’s mind has to be right. “As a man thinketh in his mind, so is
he.” The life of a man reveals the condition of his mind.
If you want to know whether or not a man is true in mind or whether he is
dependable, look at his life. If his mind is right, then his life will be
right. If his life is not right, his mind cannot be right.
”Guard your mind with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”
If his life is not right, his mind cannot be right. You cannot divide the two. A
man’s life is a true expression of the true condition of his mind. A man’s
actions are motivated by his thoughts.
If we are going to have fellowship with the Lord, the first thing we find
here that our minds have to be right with the Lord. If we are born again and
make mistakes, which we all do, we should confess our sins to the Lord. He will
forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and restore us to fellowship.
This is what is meant by walking uprightly.
Confessing our sins from our mind shows that our minds are right and we are
true. Confess is “HOMOLEGEO,” meaning having the same mind.
“JEHOVAH NISSI” – The Lord My Banner
A. Welfare of the saint.
The sphere of conflict is wider than that of the individual. Amalek may also
be said to stand for the kingdoms of this world and their enmity to and attacks
upon the people of God, against Israel of old and against the Church now. The
world is enmity to God. “The kingdoms of the world have not become the
kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rev 11:15.
There is a usurper upon the throne of these kingdoms, the same one who opposes
and exalts himself above all that is called God, 1 Thes 2:4, who once tempted
the rightful King with the offer of these kingdoms if He would fall down and
worship him, Matt 4:8-9.
Amalek is simply the firstfruits of the heathen, the beginning of the Gentile
power and hostility to the people of God, representing the kingdom of darkness
as against the kingdom of Light, of evil against Good, of a lie against the
God is represented especially as “JEHOVAH of hosts,” “as lifting up a
standard against the nations,” of which Amalek is a type.
”Lift up a banner upon the high mountain ... I have commanded My sanctified
ones, even them that rejoice in My highness, the noise of the multitude in the
mountains, like as of a great people, a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of
nations gathered together, the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle
... I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity,”
Isa 13:2-4, 11; Jer 51:12, 27.
But behind every outward manifestation, the conflict is essentially
spiritual, for the gates of hell are ever assaulting the Church. “We
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the ruler of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in
high places,” Eph 6:12.
It is interesting even in our day how may wars are attributed to “spiritual
wickedness in high places,” i.e., the Mid-East, Ireland, etc.
John 15:17, “These Things I Command You, That Ye Love One Another”
Now love, of course, is evidence of a Divine life. When there is no love,
there is no Divine life.
”The love of God is shed abroad in our minds by means of the Holy Spirit.”
“The fruit of the Spirit is love.”
Christ said, “If the world hate you, you know that he hated me before it hated
you.” “If you were of this world, the world would love its own, but because
you are not of this world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Those are the ones who are unregenerate, and, of course, unfortunately, there
are many religious people today who have never really put their trust in the
Lord and been born again. There is a great deal of antagonism against others who
Christ said, “Remember the Words that I said unto you, The servant is not
greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute
Now why did they persecute the Lord Jesus Christ? For jealousy. That was
all. They were afraid they were going to lose their power. They were afraid
of this Man, Jesus Christ, because He was tearing down the structure in which
they had built their sense of self-righteousness, self exaltation, and pride.
Friday, July 6, 2001
“Jealousy is as Cruel as the Grave”
“But this cometh to pass, that the Word might be fulfilled that is written
in their law, they hated Me without cause,” John 15:25.
It is one thing to know about the Lord and it is another thing to know the
Lord. There are a lot of people today who know a great deal about the Lord,
but they do not know the Lord.
They can tell you that He died on Calvary’s Cross for the sins of the world.
They can tell you that He was crucified, buried, and rose again. They can tell
you that He ascended up into Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the
Father, and they can tell you that He is coming back to His Church, His bride,
one of these days, and that He is coming back with them to reign on the Earth.
They can tell you all that. They can tell you that He performed miracles while
upon Earth because they know all the stories about the Lord, but they don’t
They can’t tell you what He is doing in their lives in bringing peace and
comfort when they are in sorrow. They have no consciousness of a “living
They know about Him, but they don’t know Him. A person who knows the Lord
is never critical of anyone else. “But this cometh to pass that the Word
might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without cause.”
They were just jealous of Him.
Maybe your heart is heavy and your mind is confused. One of the most
confusing things that will ever come into your life is when you find out that
people in churches are jealous of other people in the church.
You can’t understand it and it racks your brain. Why should that be? After
all, we are all sinners saved by Grace. Why should they be jealous of one
another? Why should they talk about one another?
They were all sinners saved by Grace. You can’t understand it, and
there are many today who feel just the same way.
“They Hated Him Without Cause”
Heb 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with
His own blood, suffered without the gate.”
”Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him without the camp bearing His
They hated Him without a cause. But He had to draw away. He was crucified
outside the gate. He had to go outside the camp. The camp is the place that
bears the name of Christ.
But something has come in between them and Christ. I wonder if there are not
many today who have been unkindly discussed and hurt because they have gone
without the camp, bearing the reproach of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
”They hated Him without a cause.”
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try
you, as some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice inasmuch as ye are
partakers of Christ’s sufferings, that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye
may be glad also with exceeding joy if ye be reproached for the name of
Christ, happy are ye. For the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon
you. On their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.”
So, if you are going through trying times because of unfair criticism or
misrepresentation of the facts, or deliberate lies about you, it is from those
who are carnal, and the basis cause is because they are jealous.
”Jealousy is as cruel as the grave.” “They hated Him without a cause.”
Jealous, just jealous. That is all.
You have taken your stand for the Lord and you have exhibited love for others.
You have helped others and those that don’t are confused, and they become
jealous, and then persecution enters in.
Well, rejoice because the Spirit and glory of God rests upon you. They that
are doing it are speaking evil of God, but on your part He is being glorified.
”They killed Him because of envy.”
“But Let None of You Suffer as a Murderer, or as a Thief, or as an Evildoer,
or as a Busybody, in Other Man’s Matters.”
How we need to emphasize that today!
We don’t have to discuss much about the murderer or thief or evildoer, but
there are many people who misunderstand their so-called persecution. They say,
“It is my cross to bear.” All it is, is the result of sticking their
noses into other people’s business. “Or as a busybody in other man’s
That is another thing you find today. People wanting to know everything about
other Christians. It is none of their business. They like to pry into other
peoples lives. Why do they do that? How much money do they make? How much do
they give? That is none of their business. That is between them and the Lord.
”Don’t suffer as a busybody.” “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let
him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on his behalf.”
If you are going through a trying time, broken hearted because of unfairness on
the part of others, don’t worry. What did David do? “I give myself unto
prayer,” Psa 109. That is the answer. You don’t retaliate, pray. Don’t
talk to others about it. Talk to the Lord about it.
If you have been lied about and if you have been hurt by others, don’t tell
others about it. Tell it to the Lord and not to other people, because you are
doing identically the same thing as they do.
You are only lowering yourself down, getting on their level. The more you
meditate upon it, the more disturbed you get and the first thing you know, you
find your whole day ruined.
Talk to someone about it and you have a heartache. Talk to the Lord about it
and you will have peace.
”They hated Him without a cause.”
The Joy of Answered Prayer!
John 16:23, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing, Verily, verily,
I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it
to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name. Ask and ye shall receive that
your joy may be full.”
Through continued prayer we find we have joy – the joy of prayer, the
joy of answered prayer.
What a contrast between the joys of answered prayer by talking to our
heavenly Father about the things instead of a broken heart by talking to man
Don’t talk to people, talk to the Lord. “Be careful for nothing, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made
known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall guard
your minds through Christ Jesus.”
Don’t be anxious about anything, but pray about it. Don’t
be disturbed about anything, but pray about it.
If you pray about “everything,” you will not be anxious about
So, if you talk to the Lord about it, you will not only have joy, but you will
Notice here the approach in prayer. You pray to your heavenly Father in the Name
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“He Was Hated Without a Cause”
If you have been hurt, and this has been true in my own life and in thousands
of others with whom I have talked in private consultation, when you are hurt by
someone, don’t talk to anyone about it, talk to the Lord.
Pray more and the more you pray, the more joy you have. And the more you
pray, the more peace you have.
So, the answer to the troubled soul of being persecuted by your friends is
David said, “But I gave myself to prayer.”
“My own friend has lifted up his heal against Me.” “He was hated
without a cause.”
”So Christ went without the camp.”
“You Are His Own!”
John 6:41, “No man cometh to Me except the Father draweth him.”
In the Old Testament, God speaking of drawing men to Himself says in Jer 31:3,
“With loving kindness have I drawn thee.” And again in Hosea 11:4, he says
that “He draws men with bands of love.”
Now this study is for God’s people alone, those who have been drawn to the
Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing here for the unsaved.
If you have been drawn to Christ, as you read this study, please meditate on the
blessedness of the work of God, remembering that if you have been drawn to
Christ, it is not of yourself. If you have been drawn to Christ, it is by the
loving kindness of God.
Psa 36:7, “How excellent is Thy loving kindness, O God, and because of
Thy loving kindness, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy
As believers, we have nothing to boast about, nothing to be self-righteous
about. If we are saved, if we have come to Christ, it is because God the Father
has drawn us to Him in His loving kindness.
We have nothing to boast about. We have nothing to become self-righteous
about, but of how much we have to be thankful for and when we understand the
state and condition we were in before God the Father, in His loving kindness,
drew us to Christ, it should surely humble us to the point where we should be
forever grateful and thanking God every day that He drew us to Christ. Now we
have nothing to boast about.
The work of God to man is all of God’s Grace, His loving kindness.
”By Grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God …”
”Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Eph 2:8-9.
“For by Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them,” Eph 2:8-10.
Did you know that before God the Father drew you to Christ, you were
without hope, separated from God, dead in trespasses and sins and by nature
children of wrath? Without hope of ever having anything better than an eternity
spent separated from God in everlasting punishment?
Jeremiah had a clear vision of mankind’s state and God’s Grace and mercy to
man when he said, “It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed.”
How thankful we should always be and mindful that our salvation is not of
ourselves, but by the Grace of God and that salvation is not of ourselves.
”But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Rom 4:5.
”Abraham believed in God and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” Gen
”He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Cor 5:21.
“All That the Father Giveth to Me Shall Come to Me,” John 6:37
“No man can come to Me except the Father, which sent Me, draw him,” John
”You are His own.”
We must be conscious of the fact that in our salvation we have nothing to
boast of ourselves. If we are saved, we have been drawn to Christ by God the
Father and we have been given to Christ by Him. ”God the Father gives the
We can see if we have come to Christ it is because the Father drew us to Him and
the Father gave us to Him.
”You are His. You are His very own.”
John 17 is the portion of Scripture that is known by all commentaries as the
Holy of Holies of the New Testament because it is “the Lord’s prayer.” It
is the prayer of our Lord as High Priest, our Mediator, our Representative
This prayer came from the very depth of the soul of the Son of God. He prayed
for you and He prayed for me. When you ask people to pray for you, do you know
the Lord Jesus Christ prayed for you? How gracious is that!
Yes, Christ prayed for His own. He prayed for His own who have to live
here in the world with the spirit of Satan, the evil one, exhibiting hate and
wickedness all around them. He prayed for us and put us in the hands of God
the Father for safekeeping.
He prayed that God the Father would keep us from evil. “He prayed for
us before we were born,” the beauty and the depth of meaning, the preciousness
of this wonderful prayer uttered by the lips of our Lord.
It contains volumes. It is the breadth, the width, the depth, and the height of
this prayer that never has been completely taken in by the soul of man.
And it is impossible that this prayer of the Son of God could get unanswered
by God the Father.
How unfortunate we call the prayer in Matthew “the Lord’s prayer,” when
there the Lord is teaching the disciples how to pray.
“You Are His Own!”
Acts 20:28, “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock
over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of
God.” The word “feed” is “shepherd.” “Which He hath
purchased with His own blood.”
The Church – each as an individual in the true Church belongs to our Lord
Jesus Christ, in a peculiar way, a peculiar way in that we belong to Him as His
All who believe down through the ages and all in the future ages to come
belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. But not in the way the Church belongs to Him.
The Church is His body. The Church belongs to Him in a very precious and
different way. The Church are those who came to Him during the Church Age and
are His own body, His bride, His love gift from God the Father.
Yes, you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has purchased you with His own
“You Are His Own”
Acts 20:28, “You have been bought with His own blood.”
You, as a believer, belong to Him, in a peculiar way, meaning a way that is
different. You belong to Him. You are His bride. You will some day be joined
or wedded to Him to ever be with Him, and how He loves you!
In John 17 is His prayer for you and for me. In this wonderful prayer, He
commits you and me unto the Father’s hands for safekeeping while we must live
here on this Earth as ambassadors for Him.
Our security rests upon the Father’s faithfulness to His Son, the Lord
Jesus Christ. When we get this Truth into our minds by means of the Holy Spirit,
how can we ever doubt our salvation or question our security?
We are safe in the hands of God our Father.
1 Pet 1:5, we are told that “we are kept by the power of God.”
We are kept because our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Who became our High
Priest, and is now our High Priest on the right hand of God the Father, prayed
for us and put us in the safekeeping of God, His Father, and Who is our heavenly
Father also, and we are kept by His power.
The wonderful security of those who are His very own.
You are His very own. God gave you to Him. You are God the Father’s love
gift to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are told in Titus 2:14, “He gave Himself
for us that He might redeem us from all iniquities and purify unto Himself a
peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
We are not a queer people, but a peculiar people in that we belong to Him in a
very different way. We are His body, His bride, and we are zealous of good
That it why it is wonderful to be a Christian. This Truth, you are His own,
should make you love the Lord Jesus Christ more and more as you meditate on Him,
and the great love He has for you.
You can say hallelujah now!
Isa 1:5, “Why should ye be stricken anymore? Ye will revolt more and move, the
whole head is sick and the whole mind faint.”
Isa 1:6, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness
in it. But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores, they have not been closed
up neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
That, no heart transplant or kidney transplant can ever cure.
There are many of God’s children who have “spiritual infirmities” and
there is a good understanding in the Word of God as to the cause, which also
explains the remedy. People are being taught by many today that the great need
of humanity is to learn to know yourselves better. Well, the better I know
myself, the less faith I have in myself.
The great need now and always has been is to learn more about the Lord Jesus
Christ. But not many people, not even God’s children, are occupied with
learning of the Lord.
They try to learn more about themselves. They kid themselves, and they even get
to the point where they feel superior or they feel that they are the masters of
their destiny. How silly, how futile this is! Yes, even some Christians get to
feeling this way. So they go to some “shrink” to learn more about
Yes, there are many of God’s children who, just like the heathen, do not know
the Lord. They are suffering “spiritual infirmities” simply because they do
not really know or rightfully understand the blessedness of their estate, their
position as one of God’s children.
”Learn of Me and you will find rest for your souls.”
1 Cor 11:30, “For this cause many are weak and sickly and many
2 Chr 39:16, “But they mocked the messengers of God and despised
His Word and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against
the people till there was no remedy.”
Prov 29:1, “He, that often being rebuked, hardened his neck, shall suddenly be
destroyed, and that without remedy.”
Eph 1:3, “Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
Notice carefully the wording of this passage. It doesn’t mean He is going
to bless us with all spiritual blessings. He says He hath blessed
us, meaning He has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings.
It is good to notice also, that He doesn’t say with some spiritual
blessings, but it says with all spiritual blessings. Now that is a
wonderful Truth. We have all spiritual blessings at our disposal and we have
them now. We don’t have to wait till we die to enjoy them.
Then why do Christians suffer spiritual infirmities? Spiritual
malnutrition. The reason is simply that they have not partaken of the spiritual
food God has prepared for them.
This is exactly why Christians are under nourished, sickly, immature, and not
fully developed, because they do not partake of the food that contains the
spiritual blessings that God has for them and wants them to have and enjoy to the fullest.
You know your physical body must be nourished. It needs nourishing food, and if
you don’t partake of the proper food, you become under nourished. You suffer
from physical malnutrition and a person in this condition never enjoys life to
the fullest. If they continue on in this unhealthy, weak, sickly condition, they
soon stop breathing.
They die physically for lack of proper nourishment and so it is with the child
of God. They are God’s children through the new birth. They are Spirit-born
children. They have been born into the family of God by faith in the Lord Jesus
Christ. They are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and they are spiritual beings,
and they need spiritual food for their soul.
The Word of God is the food of the soul. They need to partake of the Word of
God and obey it and be exercised by it. This then is a Biblical picture of an
under-nourished child of God.
Most Christians are on a diet.
Saturday, July 7, 2001
Deut 8:3, “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
An Old Testament passage on the cause of spiritual infirmities. The reason
Christians are sick in spirit is because they have not been partaking of
God, our heavenly Father, said in Deut 8:3, “Man cannot live by bread alone,
but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God doth man live.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Example, quoted this Scripture to Satan when
Satan tried to tempt our Lord in the wilderness. He said in Matt 4:4 and Luke
4:4, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Christ, our Representative Man, lived by the Word of God and was exercised by
Christians, the Word of God is the only food for the soul of the people of
God. Christians can partake of other food, but they will never become spiritual
maturity or spiritually self-sustaining, healthy Christians, unless they partake
of God’s Word.
Read it. Partake of it. That is, take it into your mind, your innermost
being by faith, and be exercised by it. You need to read the Word of God,
meditate on it, accept it by faith, and obey.
When you read the Word of God, feed your soul upon it by believing it and
trusting the great promises in it, believing them, trusting them, being
exercised by them. That is acting upon them, taking them into yourself by faith.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Remember, faith in God’s Word comes by hearing the voice of God in His Word.
We read in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the
Word of God.”
Remember, God cannot lie. He is the One who gives you these promises. They are
for you, as a child of God. Apprehend them into your own mind through simple
child-like faith. To do this, you must read God’s Word, hear His voice
speaking to you personally.
”The entrance of God’s Word into our minds gives us light and
understanding,” Psa 119:130. This means light and understanding for us to live
In God’s Word there is life and help for you. If you will only
partake of it, you will be able to say with the psalmist, “My soul is
satisfied and my mouth shall praise Him with joyful lips.”
”With the mind man believeth unto salvation and with the mouth confession is
”Search the Scriptures, for in Them They speak of Me and in Them you have
“A Salvation Tract”
When I first became a believer, there were many “Heaven tracts” passed
out which were instrumental in leading people to the Lord. But today I don’t
see hardly any of them anymore.
That is why I use a free ticket to Heaven,
which has been effective in my personal witness to the unbelievers.
There is a Heaven tract also in Scripture.
Dan 6:25, “Then the king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and
languages that dwell in all the Earth, peace be multiplied unto you.”
Dan 6:26, “I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom, men tremble
and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is a living God, and steadfast
for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed and His dominion
shall be even unto the end.”
Dan 6:27, “He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in
Heaven and in Earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
Do these verses remind you of a similar proclamation? Nebuchadnezzar was still
an unbeliever when he passed legislation demanding loyalty to God. Dan 3:29, Darius
just saved made the same mistake. Yet both these rulers had reached the same
conclusion about the true and living God. Dan 4:34-37, cf Dan
Daniel’s deliverance led to the removal of those people who had been not only
anti-Semitic, but also negative to the Lord. In addition, his own testimony led
to the conversion of Darius. After these events had transpired, the
king “wrote” (peal, perfect of KETHAB) his brief declaration.
Nebuchadnezzar and Darius both addressed their message to their subjects
throughout the confines of their vast empires, in all the Earth. The
decree applied to all regardless of race, language, or geography.
More to follow on the Heaven tract!
“The Heaven Tract” – Part Two
The tract opened with the salutation “Peace.” As used here, “peace”
is more than a greeting. It connotes the principle of “reconciliation” as it
was then revealed in Isa 35:5, 11, and later set down in Eph 2:16.
Had Darius limited himself to a simple statement of the manifestation and
greatness of God’s Grace in his own salvation and in Daniel’s deliverance,
everyone in the kingdom would have benefited from this declaration of the
Gospel. But like so many new believers who possess much zeal but little or no
knowledge of the Word of God, Darius interfered with the convicting ministry of
God the Holy Spirit, and tampered with the Grace structure of God’s plan of
The salutation is followed by the preamble. “I make a decree.” The word
order in the Chaldean reads, “From before me is appointed a decree.” This
new legislation had obviously been designed to rectify the errors of the old,
yet both were equally bad, for they violated the concept of “individual
volition and free will.”
Darius’ impetuous declaration was the result of subjective rather than
objective thinking. Because he had accepted the Lord, he now attempted
the forced conversion of his people. By his demand that “men tremble and fear
before the God of Daniel,” the king amalgamated religion and state in
direct contradiction to the Word of God. Prov 24”:21, cf Matt 22:21.
It is true that some believers turn to the Lord when they are frightened half to
death. But although it has been tried in various eras, forced conversion can
never be accomplished through legislation.
More to follow ...
“Heaven Tract” – Part Three
Salvation is entirely the work of God from its inception to its execution
– from the convicting ministry of God the Holy Spirit, John 16:7-11, to
If evangelism is conducted according to God’s plan, it must be on the basis of
a recognition of personal volition. In the presentation of the Gospel, volition
must never be coerced. Every person must be free to accept or reject Christ
as their personal Saviour. John 3:18, 36.
Furthermore, the king’s command that believers be afraid of their Lord was
utterly ludicrous. Love and fear are mutually exclusive, 1 John 4:18. So,
any way you look at it, this was another ill-contrived piece of legislation.
Does that sound familiar?
In spite of the king’s ignorance of the Word of God at that time, the Lord
Himself had become very real to Darius and he reiterated, “He is the living
God.” This is quite a statement for someone who had once worshipped an entire
pantheon. His testimony that “Christ is ever steadfast” was his recognition
of the immutability and eternal reign of the King of kings.
”Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever,” Heb 13:8.
Certainly Daniel had conveyed to Darius the lesson that the fearful image
of Nebuchadnezar’s dream had taught. Whereas nations and empires come and
go, the kingdom of God, which reaches beyond the boundaries of time and
space, is never destroyed.
“A Heaven Tract” – Part Four
Dan 6:27, “He delivereth and rescueth and He worketh signs and wonders in
Heaven and in Earth, Who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the
This verse affirms that Darius had personally accepted Jesus Christ as his
personal Saviour. The king’s explicit vocabulary indicates that he
distinguished between spiritual and physical deliverance.
”Delivereth” is the peil, participle of the Chaldean word, “SHEZAB,”
and means to deliver, or to rescue. ”Rescueth” is the hiphil, participle of
the Hebrew verb, “NATSAL,” which has the very same meaning, to
deliver or to rescue.
It should be remembered that this portion of the Book of Daniel, which is Daniel
2:4 through Daniel chapter 7, was recorded in the Chaldean or eastern Aramaic
language. Since this section deals primarily with Gentile nations, God the Holy
Spirit saw fit to use a Gentile language. The latter part of the Book of Daniel
specifically concerns the Jews, hence, the Hebrew language resumes in Daniel
The Holy Spirit makes no mistakes in His choice of words set down in the
Scriptures, Prov 30:5, and we should be keenly aware of their importance. It
is significant therefore, that amidst all this Chaldean, we find one Hebrew
The first word translated “delivereth” denotes the king’s cognizance of
his spiritual deliverance, i.e., his salvation. Jesus Christ alone saves for
all eternity. Acts 4:12, no other name.
The Hebrew word “rescueth” speaks of physical deliverance in time, so real
to the king who had personally witnessed God’s deliverance of Daniel. By
using both words, Darius in effect acknowledges his faith in the God of the
Before completion of the Canon, “signs and wonders” were the means God chose
to warn of coming discipline, and to authenticate the declaration of the Gospel.
Darius obviously took the miracle of Daniel’s deliverance from the lions’
den as the sign God used to bring about his own salvation.
Now this tract of Darius’ would be a good Bible story when you teach about
Daniel in the lions’ den in Sunday School.
Sunday, July 8, 2001
The name “ADONAI” is translated in our Bibles by the word “Lord” in
small letters only, the first of which is a capital, i.e., “Lord.”
Used as a name of God, “ADONAI” occurs probably some 300 times in the Old
Testament. It is significant that it is almost always in the “plural” and
“possessive,” meaning “my Lords.”
It confirms the idea of the Trinity as found also in “ELOHIM,” and
this is still further confirmed by the fact that the same is used of men some
215 times and translated variously “master,” “sir,” and “lord,” but
for the most part, “master” as throughout Gen 24, where Eliezer, the servant
of Abraham speaks of “my master Abraham.” And over and over again says,
“Blessed be JEHOVAH God of my master Abraham.”
It is important to notice, too, that the same word, “ADONAI,” is translated
a number of times by the word “owner,” but used of men it is always in the
singular form, “ADON.” Only when used of God is it in the plural.
The suggestion of the Trinity in this name is still more strikingly
confirmed by its use in Psalm 110 in these words, “The Lord said unto My
Lord,” or “JEHOVAH said unto ADONAI, sit Thou on My right hand till I make
Thine enemies Thy footstool.”
The Lord Jesus Christ in Matt 22:41-45, Peter in Acts 2:34, 35, and Heb 1:13,
10:12,13 refers this striking passage to Himself.
How significant that David speaking of but one Member of the Trinity should use
here not only the plural, “ADONAI,” but the singular form, “ADONAI.” “JEHOVAH
said unto my ADONAI,” that is to Christ the second Person of the Trinity.
The name “ADONAI,” while translated “Lord,” signifies ownership or
mastership, and indicates the Truth that God is the Owner of each member of
the human family and that He consequently claims the unrestricted obedience of
The expression “Lord of lords” in Deut 10:17 could be rendered “Master of
masters,” an illustration of this name as a claim upon man’s obedience. And
service is found in Malachi 1:6. “A son honoreth his father, and a servant his
master. If I then be a Father, where is Mine honor? And if I be a Master,
where is My fear? saith JEHOVAH of hosts.”
In Job 28:28 it is declared that the fear of “ADONAI,” the Lord, the
Master, is wisdom.”
Next time, the use of this word in the Old Testament.
The use of the word in the Old Testament.
The use of this name “ADONAI” in the Old Testament plainly reveals the
relationship which God sustains toward His creatures and what He expects of
The first occasion of its use is with the name “EL-SHADDAI,” is with Abraham
in Gen 15:2. In the first verse of the chapter it is written “after these
things” that is, after his rescue of Lot and his military achievement of the
defeat of the four kings and their armies, where it is revealed that Abraham
himself was “lord or master,” “ADON” of a large establishment.
”After these things the Word of JEHOVAH came unto Abram in a vision saying,
Fear not, Abram, I am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great Reward.”
Abram then makes his reply addressing God as “ADONAI-JEHOVAH,” an
acknowledgement that JEHOVAH is also Master. Certainly Abram knew what
this relationship meant, perhaps better than we nowadays understand it, for
those were days of slavery. Lordship meant complete possession on the one hand,
and complete submission on the other.
Abraham himself sustained the relationship of master and lord over a very
considerable number of souls. Therefore, in addressing “JEHOVAH” as
“ADONAI” he acknowledged God’s complete possession of and perfect right to
all that he was and had.
But even Abraham, thousands of years ago, understood by this more than mere
ownership, more than the expression and imposition of an arbitrary or capricious
will. Even in those days the relationship of master and slave was not
altogether or necessarily an unmitigated evil.
The purchased slave stood in a much nearer relationship to his lord than the
hired servant, who was a stranger and might not eat of the Passover or the holy
things of the master’s house, but the purchased slave, as belonging to his
master, and so a member of the family, possessed this privilege. Ex
12:43-45, Lev 22:10-11.
The slave had the right of the master’s protection and help and direction. In
the absence of seed, a slave, Eliezer, is heir to Abraham’s entire household.
So the psalmist well puts it, ”Behold as the eyes of his servant look unto the
hands of their master, and as the eyes of the maiden unto the hand of her
mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God,” Psa 123:2.
”The eyes of all wait upon Thee and Thou givest them their meat in due
season,” Psa 145:15.
As “ADONAI” or master or lord, God says to Abraham, “Fear not, Abram, I am
thy Shield and exceeding great Reward.” He can depend upon the faithfulness of
And, we are bondslaves of the Lord.
The Prosperity of a Grace Believer!
Dan 6:28, “So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the
reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
The aphel, perfect of “TSELACH” means, “to be caused to prosper.” By
using the verb form, the Lord shows us a glimpse of the Grace blessings He
alone provides for the spiritual believer in time.
The Lord more than amply supplied all the details of life for this believer who
had consistently been faithful to His Word. Never again would Daniel suffer
trials and tribulations as he did in the past. Although we do not know the exact
age of Daniel at his death, we are told that he lived at least into the third
year, 534 B.C. of the reign of Cyrus the great of Persia. Dan 10:1.
If we fix the probable date of Daniel’s birth as 620 B.C., we can estimate
that he lived 87 years, and possibly longer. Not only were the remaining years
of his life full to overflowing with God’s Grace blessings and riches, but
Daniel’s desire to see his people, the Jews, restored to their own land came
to fruition. Scripture records that in the first year of his reign, 536 B.C.,
Cyrus permitted the Jewish captives to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the
temple. 2 Chr 36:22, 23, Ezra 1:2, 3.
What a challenge to contemplate that every believer can reach the objective
of spiritual maturity whereby Grace blessings are continually realized.
God provided Grace beyond measure for Daniel, and what He did for Daniel, He
can do for you, for me, or for any other believer. The key
that unlocks the door to Grace and the accomplishments of the Divine
requirements is the Word of God resident in the soul. Moreover, the daily intake
of the Word is your best preparation for every exigency of life.
Not once did Daniel compromise the Grace of God. So commendable was the
production of his spiritual maturity that God the Holy Spirit included
Daniel’s heroics in the New Testament roll of honor among the exploits of
greatest believers of the past.
”Who, by means of the Word of God resident in the soul, conquered kingdoms,
accomplished Grace righteousness, attained Divine promises, and shut the
mouth of lions,” Heb 11:33.
The Divine citation for Daniel’s bravery in the line of duty makes the
narrative of Daniel chapter six, far more than an epic, emblazoned between the
lines is this testimony. The Word of God really works. May its effect become
manifest in our lives.
What is Greatness?
Suppose a believer lives his life without confessing his sins for a long
period of time. What happens if he does not operate on the principle of 1 John
1:9? What can he expect?
We have the principle of Divine discipline from Heb 12:6. The story of the
prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 gives a New Testament example of sin, discipline,
confession of sin, and restoration to fellowship. But what about the Old
Testament believers? How did they handle sin?
”Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets
us. And let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Heb 12:1.
”The great cloud of witnesses” are the outstanding believers of the Old
Testament, the hall of fame of Hebrews chapter eleven.
We are surrounded by great people of the past, and we should know something
about them. They were not perfect. They were not “holier than thou.” They
were not without sin. They were great on the basis of using God’s Grace, on
the basis of using confession. They “bounced back” when they failed.
Just as we must “lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets
us” – our own area of weakness – so did they.
David said, “I acknowledge my sin to Thee.”
“Maybe Yes and Maybe No – The Third Class Condition
In 1 John 1:6-10 we have a series of third class conditions.
We should pause for a moment and review what is meant by “if” in the Greek.
Every time you have “if” in the Greek, it introduces the conditional clause
and represents one of four things:
- A first class condition – and it is true.
- A second class condition – and it is not true.
- A third class condition – maybe yes, maybe no.
- A fourth class condition – I wish it were true, but it isn’t.
Suppose a young man is about to pop the question to a sweet young thing –
you can see how old I am! He says, “If you will marry me, I will buy you a
brand new car.” Now that is simple in the English, but in the Greek it could
mean one of four things.
If that sentence is in the first class condition what is their status? She had
already agreed to marry him, so the car is forthcoming.
”If you will marry me” – second class condition – I will buy you a
brand new car. This time she has already refused him. He is just dangling the
car up there to rub it in a little bit, to make her feel bad that she missed
If the outcome is still in doubt, the third class condition would say “If you
will marry me – maybe you will and maybe your won’t – I will buy you a
brand new car.” Now the car is bait.
Finally, the fourth class condition. “If you will marry me – I wish you
would but you won’t – I will buy you a brand new car.” Now he is bitter
So, you see the Greeks expressed something different every time they used
the word “if.”
”If we confess our sins (third class condition – maybe we will and maybe we
won’t), He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from
all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.
1 John 1:6, 1 John 1:7, and 1 John 1:8 are all also third class conditions.
“For That Which I Do, I Allow Not, For What I Would, That Do
I Not, But What I Hate, That Do I,” Romans 7:15
Paul describes what it is like on the inside when the old sin nature controls
the soul of the believer. If you have had a course in Shakespeare, this is
probably very clear, but if you have not, this is possibly a little confusing to
The real problem is that we have the verb “do” three times.
- The first “do” is the word “KATERGAZOMAI” in the Greek, and it
means “something on the inside working its way out.”
- The second time the word “do” occurs, it is the Greek word “PRASSO,”
which means “to practice.”
- The third word for “do” is “POIEO” and this is the only word that
means “to do.”
You can immediately see what a problem we have here. I have never figured out
why the translators couldn’t come up with a better translation of this
particular passage. We will go through verse 15 so that you can better
understand what carnality really is.
”For that which keeps working out of me (sin), I do not understand.” The
word “allow” means “to understand.”
Here I am, a Christian, and I have received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal
Saviour. I am born again. God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of me, and I am a
priest, I am an ambassador for
Christ. I have all these wonderful blessings, including eternal life and sins
forgiven and blotted out. ”As far as the east is from the west, so far hath
He removed our transgressions from us,” Psa 103:12.
Yet in spite of these marvelous assets of the Christian life, “Still I find
working out of myself and I don’t understand it.”
Paul says, “For what I desire, that I do not practice.” Paul desires to
honor the Lord, but this is not what he is practicing. ”But what I hate,
namely sin, that I am doing.” That is carnality.
2 Samuel 12:13, “And David Said Unto Nathan, I Have Sinned Against
And Nathan said unto David, “The Lord also hath put away thy sin. Thou
shalt not die.”
David didn’t say as our modern Christians say, “I feel terribly sorry for
what I have done.” “I regret every bit of it.” “Therefore, I am
Not on your life! Please notice how specific David was. “I have sinned
against the Lord.”
From this point on David was judged through members of his family. The
chastening principle of Heb 12:6 is presented in Psa 38:1-18.
Scourging is the fourfold payment which David made starting in 2 Sam 12, with
the death of the child born of adultery. In chapter 13:1-14 his son, Amnon,
raped David’s daughter, Tamar, with a result that another son, Absalom,
murdered Amnon in chapter 13:22-29. Chapters 15 through 18 record the rebellion
of Absalom, the son whom David loved so much. All of this discipline finally
terminated in 2 Sam 18:33 when David heard of the death of Absalom. He said,
“Oh my son, Absalom, my son, my son, Absalom. Would God I had died for thee. O
Absalom, my son, my son.”
The first part of chapter 19 continues the account of the terrible agony and
weeping of David. “He paid fourfold over a period of years. He came
to the place where God’s discipline became unusually heavy, as heavy as it can
be without taking him out of this life.
Remember all of this discipline came to David when he was back in fellowship.
I don’t believe he could have taken it while out of fellowship. Confession
of sin is the only thing that can turn cursing into blessing.
This will give you an idea about what God thinks of adultery.
Anthropopathisms Ascribe to God Human Characteristics
- For example – repentance. But God does not really change His mind.
- Hatred – an expression of Divine justice. Rom 9:13.
- Anger – But God’s judgments are never capricious or based on passion.
- Scorn. Psa 2:4.
- Benevolence. Rom 8:32.
- Compassion. Lam 3:22-32.
- Longsuffering. Num 14:18.
- Happiness – God is infinitely happy in Himself with absolute freedom
from fear, anxiety, regret, foreboding, or annoyance.
God’s affections are the feeling aspect of His consciousness.
Monday, July 9, 2001
“He Made Him to be Sin for Us, Who Knew No Sin That We Might be Made
the Righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21
You may have noticed that God did not take you to Heaven the moment you
accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Why didn’t He?
You were just as saved in the first instance as you ever will be. You were fully
qualified to go to Heaven. You possessed His righteousness and were
So, why the delay? Why are we left in the devil’s world? Because
God has a purpose for your life!
He imputed His righteousness to you with a particular goal in mind. The
ultimate objective is God’s own pleasure and glory, but the immediate
objective is your blessing.
You are alive to be blessed. Imputed
righteousness is the believer’s first blessing from the justice of God,
because it is the basis for all subsequent blessings. It is the foundation for
superabundance, over-riches, and advantages beyond imagination. Matt 6:33.
When God pronounced you justified, He meant among other things, qualified
for blessing. Thus in giving you His righteousness, He constructed a
pipeline through which to bless you. Its origin is His justice, its terminus,
“His righteousness” in you.
”And be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the
law, but that which is through the faith in Christ, “the righteousness of God,
which is of God by faith,” Phil 3:9.
“The Lord Loves Righteousness"”
Even though we live in the devil’s world and have the old sin nature
resident in us, the Grace pipeline runs through friendly territory all the way.
God’s justice does all the work and Divine righteousness has all the merit.
You never earn or deserve anything that God pours through
the Grace pipeline.
All Divine blessing is a matter of Grace. God does not
need your help. You cannot lend Him a hand.
No human being, no angel, no system, no organization, can ever break through
the Grace pipeline and take credit for what God does. The devil and all the
forces of evil cannot penetrate, nor can the lusts and trends of your old sin
God blesses you only because His perfect standards are met, that is, only
because you produce Divine righteousness. He never blesses you for what you
He does not bless you because of your scintillating personality, your talent, or
your human energy. He does not bless you because you tithe or memorize
Scripture, or witness to ten people every day, or speak in tongues, or “give
up for the Lord’s sake” something that you enjoy.
To do so, He would have to throw away His absolute integrity, lower Himself
to the level of mankind, and stop being God.
For anyone to expect Divine blessing in consideration for such things would
be humorous were it no so blasphemous.
When God blesses you, He has to do all the work. He, and not you, must be
glorified in the angelic conflict. He built the Grace pipeline. He makes it
work. When He blesses you, it is always for the same reason. You possess the
principle of His integrity – Divine righteousness imputed.
Divine justice is then free to bless only Divine righteousness.
”The Lord loves righteousness.”
“For Which I Am an Ambassador in Bonds, That Therein I May Speak Boldly to
Make Known the Mystery of the Gospel,” Eph 6:20, 2 Cor 5:20
Anything you might possibly do outside of the Grace pipeline always bounces
off. Legalism certainly has no place in the plan of God. But even when you do
what the Bible commands – prayer, witnessing, giving, Christian service,
morality – your works are still outside the channel for blessing. Not even
legitimate production can earn you an ounce of Divine blessing in time or
True production is itself a blessing. Bona fide Christian function simply
consists of the opportunities that God gives us to fulfill our royal
Eph 6:20, “For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
2 Cor 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to
God” – ambassadors for Christ.
Here we must “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” 2 Tim 2:15.
Every member of the royal family of God wears two hats: he is both royal
priest and royal ambassador. He must know when to wear each hat.
Confusion on this element leads to a false modus operandi that makes spiritual
advance impossible and blasphemy a way of life.
Three Orders of the Priesthood!
A priest is a member of the human race who represents the human race or some
portion of it before God. He operates for man’s benefit. Since he functions in
the sphere of spiritual phenomena, he must receive a spiritual appointment.
To even qualify for such an appointment he must partake of the nature of
those whom he represents, or for those for whom he officiates.
Therefore, the Second Person of the Trinity had to become true humanity in
order to become our High Priest and provide our salvation. Christ is our Royal
Priest forever. Heb 5, 6, 10. He represented us to God when He offered
Himself on the real altar, the Cross. Although He propitiated the Father on
behalf of all men, all men do not belong to His priesthood. Heb
7:14, “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe
Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”
There are three orders of priests.
- Previous dispensations were characterized by specialized priesthoods. Num
16:3, Lev 8:21, 22:1-16, so that most believers who lived in those
periods were not priests at all. First in the age of the Gentiles, the
patriarch of the family was also the family priest representing the members
of his household.
- The family of Aaron, from the tribe of Levi, represented the nation of
Israel. In the functions of the Levitical priesthood God illustrates, in
shadow form, many wonderful lessons regarding the future work of the coming
- The third priestly order is the royal priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ,
not limited to a few individuals. Our priesthood is universal. Every
member of the royal family of God is appointed at salvation to represent
himself before God.
In Christ we are a kingdom of royal priests forever. 1 Pet 2:5, 9, Rev 1:6,
5:10, 20:6. Under the perfect High Priest, the priesthood of the Church Age
is superior to the former specialized orders. Heb 7.
The Difference Between All Believers Being Priests and All Believers Being
||Before the world
|Learns the Word of God
||Interacts with others
“So Then Every One of Us Shall Give Account of Himself to God,” Romans
In this life we plug along, we plod, we become involved in routine, we take
in the Word of God today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next, or we should.
We meet all kinds of tests, distractions, and problems, but we keep going,
keep on concentrating, keep on keeping on, one day at a time.
There is no flash in the pan, no special recognition, no fanfare. The years pass
and suddenly life is over. Then comes the big question – What did we
Just as salvation has an issue – “What do you think of Christ?” Matt
22:42, so life after salvation has an issue – “What do you think of the Word
What we think is what we are.
The plan of God has seen fit for us to share the thinking of the Lord Jesus
Christ and to utilize His Divine orientation to reality in our walk through this
If the Lord Jesus Christ is important, then what He
thinks is more important than anything else in life.
But what has been important to us? When we come the end of the road, we will see
a switch signal from positive volition to negative volition as we have
fluctuated in our attitude toward the Word of God. No human being with an old
sin nature will have a perfect record. No one will have followed a straight
path. But the question will be, what has predominated?
Have we been positive to the Word of God or consistently negative? How far
has our positive volition carried us? Have we cracked the maturity barrier? Have
we persisted in learning the Word of God one day at a time, day after day?
We cannot emphasize the gravity of this question. Because when we stop to
think how easy it is for people to get away from the Word of God, and how
difficult it is to be consistent in growing in Grace, the importance of this
issue becomes emphatic.
”Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God.”
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
“For Adam Was First Formed, Then Eve. And Adam Was Not Deceived, But the
Woman Being Deceived Was in the Transgression,” 1 Tim 2:13-14
These verses come from a context describing authority. The statement that
Adam was created first refers to his position of responsibility as the federal
head of the human race.
But he is further responsible for our condemnation because when he sinned, he
knew exactly what he was doing. The woman, taken in by the smooth line that
Satan handed her, did not know what she was doing.
Of course, ignorance is no excuse before God. She was just as guilty and just as
spiritually dead as Adam. But the only sin that can be imputed to mankind for
condemnation is a sin of cognizance.
Therefore, even though Adam was not the first sinner in the human race, his
sin, not the woman’s, is imputed unto us for condemnation.
These principles related to what is imputed, Adam’s sin, also hold true of
the target, the old sin nature. Adam’s old sin nature, not the woman’s,
becomes our old sin nature because he was the head of the human race and because
he sinned in cognizance.
The old sin nature however is not imputed to us by imputation. It is transmitted
genetically. Interesting when it comes to genes.
Why God Taps His Foot!
“And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be Gracious unto you,
therefore will he be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a
God of judgment (justice): blessed are all they that wait on Him,” Isa 30:18.
Even though God cannot immediately give you special blessings, the
righteousness of God in you still demands that you be blessed during the interim
between salvation and maturity. Therefore, “The Lord is tapping His
foot.” The Hebrew word for “wait” – waiting to bless you. He supports
and sustains you with His Grace.
Some of this support simply keeps you alive in the devil’s world. You need
air, food, shelter, clothing, and a guardian angel. But most important, you
need what He provides for your spiritual advance. The completed Canon of
Scripture, fellowship, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the prepared
Pastor-Teacher, the local Church where the Word of God is taught, transportation
to Bible class, maybe a tape recorder or a radio, or some other means of hearing
the Word of God in the absence of a local pastor.
God supports different people in different ways. One believer might have
stimulating and loyal friends. His transportation might be a Buick. His
food, steak. Another might be alone, and he might ride a bicycle and
occasionally splurge on a TV dinner. Whether you travel by Buick or bicycle
God gave that transportation so that you can get to Bible class.
The Necessity for the Death of Jesus Christ
When Paul desires to explain the necessity of the death of Christ in order
that the New Testament might become effective, he uses the illustration of a
will not being effective “until the death of the life of the testator,” Heb
When he tells us in Rom 8:17 that as of heirs of God we are also joint-heirs
with Christ. He draws from the Roman law which made all children, including
adopted ones, equal heirs. Think of it, equal
heirs with Jesus Christ!
Should He wish to assure believers that they will receive their glorification,
He uses the business term “earnest,” a down payment in kind, guaranteeing
the full payment of the rest. Eph 1:14, the Holy Spirit is the Down Payment
in kind, His indwelling being part of our salvation.
“The Light (Speaking of the Lord) Shineth in Darkness and the Darkness
Comprehendeth It Not,” John 1:5
One thing we all must have is understanding. We need to see God as He really
is. Remember this, the darkness of the world doesn’t like to the glory of
God. That is John 1:5.
In other words, the darkness of the world doesn’t understand the brightness
of the glory of the Lord. Also, John 3:19, “He that believeth on Him is
not condemned, but he that believeth not on Him is condemned already because he
hath not believed in Name of the only Begotten Son of God, and this is the
condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather
than the light because their deeds were evil.”
The world not only doesn’t understand the Light, but the world doesn’t
want the Light.
In Matt 27, when the world rejected Christ and crucified Him, immediately
darkness came over the world. In other words, the world rejected the Light for
Listen, we are children of Light, as we find in 1 Thes 5:14. We have the
capacity to understand the Light. Then why don’t we? Why don’t we
understand the brightness of the glory of God revealed to us?
Why don’t we understand, “I am the Light of the world”?
Wednesday, July 11, 2001
“God Bless America!”
This is a famous expression of politicians, and they gain applause and praise
from those to whom they speak. But it is more than a gesture.
There are certain requirements in order for God to bless our nation.
”Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” ”And the people He hath
chosen for His own inheritance,” Psa 33.
We find that happy, blessed, or happinesses, is the nation whose God is the
Lord. When we look around and see the sorrow, confusion, and race being pitted
against race, capital against labor, we wonder what this is all about.
We find this condition because we have forgotten God. The very foundation of
our nation was built on prayer. When the little group on the Mayflower came to
land, the first thing they did was to offer prayer unto God.
Down through this nation’s history we find great spiritual giants of prayer. Every
time this nation was in a crisis, God had a remnant that cried out unto Him.
God’s Promises are sure. He has kept His promises until this nation has become
the greatest in the world. When the Constitution was being written, Benjamin
Franklin said, ”It is written in the Word of God that
one cannot build a house without asking for help from God.” How can we
expect to build a nation without His help??
And then they all knelt and prayed for Divine guidance, and we know the result.
Now we find ourselves forgetting God. God is no longer the God of the nation.
There are many other gods. There are gods many.
People are talking about the evils and the ills of our nation. People who should
be praying are talking about the mistakes, they have lost the true vision. What
can we do to bring this nation to God? God’s Word tells us very plainly what
to do, but we have forgotten it.
”If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves and pray,
and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chr 7:14.
“God Bless America”
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” Psa 33.
God will answer prayer. The responsibility is for the Christian not to go out
and condemn man, but it is our responsibility to first
humble ourselves. Those who have the right to ask of God are the ones to
blame, not those who know not God. Here is a Promise and God is
forever the same.
First there must be a humility and then a prayer. 2 Chr 7:14. Prayer
expresses helplessness and complete dependence upon the Lord. A man or woman
who recognizes their dependence upon the Lord prays.
We are too concerned with our own righteousness, our own Church attendance,
and the things we are apparently doing for the Lord. Consequently,
we have lost the sense of need and we do not pray.
As we pray, we are to seek His face, then we are to turn from our wicked ways
– the ways of self-righteousness, condemnation, and hypocrisy. Then God
promises to hear from Heaven.
First comes forgiveness. Then He will heal our land. If we want our nation
back with God, if we want prosperity and spiritual freedom where God is
recognized, we must humble ourselves, cry unto Him, seek His face, turn
from our wicked ways, and then God promises to hear our prayers and forgive us
Then we can say, Blessed is our nation because God is our Lord.
“Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor and Are Heavy Laden and I Will Give You
Rest,” Matt 11:28
The first invitation that the Lord gave to the people after leaving, speaking
to Israel is found in this verse. We find that the Lord said, “The just shall
live by faith.” He also said, “The just shall not walk by sight, but by
If we are going to have a rest for our souls and it is a heritage that God
intends for everyone of His children to have. We must “learn of Him” and
then “walk by faith.”
When we say “walk by faith,” what do we mean? The first thing we find
to have rest for our souls is to “learn of Him” and have faith in His
faithfulness. Too many of us are influenced by our weak faith and we
contribute to God this same feeling.
2 Tim 2:13, “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful. He cannot deny
The very first thing we must have is faith in God’s faithfulness. The
trouble with too many of us today is that so few people recognize the power of
God because God’s children do not depend upon the faithfulness of God. Thereby
preventing God from working with them.
The very first step for having rest in our soul is to have faith in God’s
faithfulness, and you will find that if you will depend upon Him, ”He is the
same yesterday, today, and forever.” What He did for anyone He will do for
you. He will deliver you out of the trouble you are in regardless of how
helpless and hopeless you may feel.
Regardless of how dark tomorrow may seem to you, if you will depend upon Him,
He cannot deny Himself. He abides faithful You must have faith in God’s
faithfulness in order to have rest for your souls. If we do, God will
perform miracles for us.
”Great is Thy faithfulness. His compassions are renewed every day.”
“No Man Can Serve Two Masters, For Either He Will Hate the One and Love
the Other, or Else He Will Hold to the One, and Despise the Other. Ye Cannot
Serve God and Mammon.”
The word “mammon” is a Syrian word which means “riches” – “the
desire or appetite for riches.” There is a great contrast in those who want
to serve the Lord and those who “serve the god of riches.”
In those who serve the Lord, there is humility. And for those who are a slave
to their appetites for riches, there is pride.
Those who serve the Lord must “walk by faith.” Those who serve the god of
riches “walk by sight.”
“Where our treasure is, there our heart is also.” The one thing you
desire the most is your treasure.
”Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon Earth, where moth and rust doth
corrupt and where thieves break through and steal.” Now it does not say lay
not up treasures on Earth, it says we should not lay up treasures on Earth for
In the first place, a man should care for and lay up in store for his family so
that if anything happens to himself, the family will be taken care of. We find
in the New Testament that he that does not do this is “worse than an
”Lay not up for yourselves.” What does that mean? It means we should not
live a life that is self-centered.
”But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven.” A person who is only
concerned about obtaining things for himself is a person who is laying up
treasures for himself on Earth. But those who are concerned with others and
want to help others, are laying up treasures in Heaven. They are serving the
Lord, not the god of riches.
”Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other
things will be added unto you.”
“Some Trust in Chariots and Some in Horses, But We Will Remember the Name
of the Lord Our God,” Psa 20:7
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses.” That means man-made
instruments, and horses are man-controlled power.
Unfortunately today we find that there are many of God’s children that
are trusting in man-made things rather the Lord. There are many who are not
God’s children, who are trusting these also. But many of God’s children,
because of wrong associations, are putting their trust in the things made by man
and that is unfortunate.
The most unfortunate of all are those who have been blinded by men who put their
faith and trust in the things that man controls. I wonder how many of you
believe you are all right because you are a member of some Church. It is good to
be in Churches. There is a place for the Church, but it is not the first
The thing we need to do is trust only in the Lord. So it says, “But we will
remember the Name of the Lord our God.”
There are many taking great pride in the things made by man, and because they
are associated with that particular man-made thing or power, they think they are
We who say that the Lord saveth His anointed and that He will hear us, we will
remember the Name of the Lord our God. We are only mindful of God’s Name
… God’s Promises, God’s power.
It is then we will find that the ones who are putting their trust in man-made
instruments are brought down and fallen. There are many of us in a time of
weakness or trouble who are unable to have the joy of salvation or peace in
their hearts because they trust in what man has made.
But we who remember the Word of the Lord can stand in the face of adversities
because we know the Lord saveth His anointed and heareth us from His holy place.
When we trust in the Lord, we are helped. But when we trust in the
things of man, we are disappointed.
“Rufus” – Paul You Know. Peter You Know. But What About Rufus?
“And they compelled one Simon, a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the
country, the father of Alexander, and Rufus, to bear His Cross,” Mark
Mark mentions Simon’s two sons when he writes his account of the crucifixion
30 years later and by that time they had become quite well known. Rom 16:13, “Salute
Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.” Simon’s wife is
also mentioned as being a great believer.
Here we have an amazing family which many do not know about. This is never
taught in Sunday School or from our pulpits.
Simon was a Jew observing the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ as He hung upon
the Cross. He came to one conclusion – that Jesus Christ was the Son of the
Living God, “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” John
He understood that “the blood of Christ keeps on cleansing from all sin,” 1
John 1:7, and right then and there personally trusted in Him. After going back
to his own home, he led his two sons and his wife to the Lord, all of whom
became prominent in the early Church.
There were those observing the death of Christ that day who could look at Him
objectively, who were qualified because they were not prejudiced and these came
to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was truly God, the unique Person of the
universe, the God-man, and therefore, the only Way of salvation.
Simon was the first of three individuals mentioned who received Jesus Christ as
“And as They Came Out (the Procession to Golgotha), They Found a Man of
Cyrene, Simon by Name, Him They Compelled to Bear His Cross,” Matt 27:32
Simon of Cyrene, like many other Jews, longed for the day when he could leave
Libya and the city of Cyrene, and come to Jerusalem during the Holy Week. The
festivities started with the Passover, and included the feasts of Unleavened
Bread, Firstfruits, followed by Pentecost, covering a period of over 50 days.
Simon’s desire was realized, for he was in Jerusalem during this time. He was
standing on the street as the procession came by with the Lord Jesus Christ
staggering under the weight of His Cross.
It was not because He was weak, but because He had been so badly tortured and
beaten that He could no longer carry the heavy burden up the hill. As the
Roman soldiers walked along in their column of fours, they saw this man standing
there, undoubtedly in utter amazement at the spectacle.
They immediately grabbed the man, Simon, forcing him to carry the Cross. This
was a most unusual sight. A dignified, prominent businessman from a Roman
province in North Africa suddenly caught up in the midst of a procession
following the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ as He staggered up the hill to
Golgatha and forced him into becoming a part of the entourage. Simon observed
every detail of what happened on the Cross. He marked well the uniqueness of
this One whose place he had taken on the march to the crucifixion.
As a result of his observation, he became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ
and when he returned to Libya, to the city of Cyrene, he told his family about
”Look to Me and live.”
“The Wages of Sin is Death” – Spiritual Death, Romans 6:23
Physical death is not the penalty for sin. Adam died physically 930 years
after he sinned. Therefore, the physical death of Christ was not the payment
for sin. Physical death is a result of spiritual death.
When Christ hung upon the Cross, He suffered both deaths. As He bore the sins
of the entire human race, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit forsook Him, Matt
27:46, The spiritual death of Christ was the payment for our sins, since the
penalty of sin for the man is spiritual death, Christ must pay the penalty with
His spiritual death.
Psa 22:2, 3, “O My God, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest Me not, and in
the night season and am not silent, but Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest
the praises of Israel.”
The intense suffering of His spiritual death on the Cross is amplified as
Christ’s shrieking is followed by another cry, very likely one that others
could not hear.
While Jesus Christ was bearing the sins of the world, even though He was the
High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek, His prayers could not be
Because He was taking your place and mine. He was providing salvation for you
and for me. Separated from God by sin, the human race was under the condemnation
of spiritual death. Jesus Christ was taking our place, the
place of separation, that He might bring us to God.
Thought for the Day!
Christ thought more of us
than He did
to endure the shame of the Cross.
”For the joy that was before Him.”
Thursday, July 12, 2001
“But I Am a Worm, and No Man, a Reproach of Men, and Despised of All
People,” Psa 22:6
The word for “worm” is a very rare Hebrew word used for a special kind of
worm, which, with thousands of other of the same species, was placed into a huge
vat, crushed to extract the blood, and used to make the most beautiful crimson
dye in the ancient world. This is the color of royalty. The robes of the
kings were dyed with this brilliant crimson.
When Jesus Christ said, “I am a worm,” it was to indicate that He was
being crushed that you and I, when we trusted in Him might wear the robe of a
King. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the very righteousness of the Son
of God credited to their account at the moment of salvation. This is the King’s
2 Cor 5:21, “For He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might
be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
“I Will Greatly Rejoice in the Lord, My Soul Shall be Joyful in My God,
for He Hath Clothed Me With the Garments of Salvation, He Hath Covered Me
With the Robe of Righteousness,” Isa 61:10.
Jesus on the Cross was a “reproach of men.”
Psa 22:6, “A reproach of men” “and despised of the people.” Here is
a reference to the fact that “His visage was completely destroyed,” Isa
Psa 22 continues to describe the terrible events of the Cross, relating much of
the agony of that moment. We read of the vile epithets hurled at Him by the mob,
of the merciless treatment He endured at their hands.
Jesus Christ Prayed for Our Forgiveness Before He Was Judged for Our Sins
“And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they
crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the
left, then He said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,”
Before He was judged for our sins, He prayed for our forgiveness.
Now these people had slapped Him, beaten Him, spit upon Him, lied about Him,
ridiculed Him, and scourged Him. These were the ones who cried, “Crucify Him,
Crucify Him.” They had pushed the Cross into an upright position, standing
around to mock and to laugh and to ridicule.
Yet the first thing Jesus Christ uttered on the Cross was a prayer for His
He opened His public ministry with prayer, according to Luke 3:21, and He closed
His public ministry with prayer.
After all, He is the “High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedek,”
Psa 10:4, Heb 5:6, 10.
And God the Father answered the prayer of God the Son.
“Father Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do,” Luke 23:34
At this point, Jesus Christ could no longer minister to the poor and needy
and the sick and lame and the blind, for He was now confined to a Cross. But
while He could not come down from the Cross, at the same time He provided for
our salvation. He still had the power for service.
This should be a great encouragement to you as a believer in the Lord Jesus
Christ as you meditate on these words. ”Father forgive them for they know not
what they do.”
Now, if because of physical confinement you are not able to get out and
proclaim Christ as you would like to, then this is a significant Truth for you.
Because one of the greatest avenues of service and opportunity that any believer
could ever have is through the avenue of prayer.
“Father Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do,” Luke 23:34
When Jesus Christ cried, “Father forgive them,” He was praying for the
lost, for those who were bound for hell.
His prayer was answered later. For when we compare Acts 2:36-41 with Acts 3:17
and Acts 4:4 we realize something of the meaning of this prayer. At least 8,000
people were saved when Peter preached, but it was an indirect result of
Christ’s prayer on the Cross.
Many of the remarks that Jesus Christ made came from His hypostatic union,
the two natures of Christ as the God-man. Some came from Deity only. When He
said, “I and the Father are one” and “I have the power to forgive sins,”
He was speaking from His Deity.
When He said, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will
give you rest,” He was speaking from His hypostatic union, both natures at
There were other times when He was speaking from His humanity, as here on the
Cross. In His humanity He is our Royal High Priest, for a priest must be a
Therefore, as the God-man and High Priest, He was praying for those that were
lost. He set us a tremendous example, one we as royal priests should use every
day. 2 Pet 2:9, Rev 1:6 – royal priests and kings.
“Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do,” Luke 23:34
Christ’s prayer on the Cross brings out another very important factor –
the blindness of the human heart (the mind).
”They know not what they do.” Those who crucified Him were ignorant of
the Word of God and the plan of God. They did not recognize the God-man. They
did not recognize the Saviour of the world. They did not realize that here was
the One who was being judged for their sins, that He was taking their place,
that He was providing their salvation.
Yet the Lord Jesus Christ had made it plain many times. “I am the
Resurrection and the Life. He that believeth on Me though he were dead, yet
shall he live,” John 11:25.
”I am the Light of the world. He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the Light of life, John 8:12.
There was no excuse for their ignorance. “The Light of the glorious
Gospel” had shined unto them. Jesus Christ in His Grace, was
not willing that any should perish and He prayed for them.
But the “human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,”
Jer 17:9, literally, incurably sick.
”If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of
this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the Light of
the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God should shine unto
them,” 2 Cor 4:3, 4.
“Forgive Them They Know Not What They Do,” Luke 23:34
Man’s greatest need is the need for the forgiveness and cleansing of
”The penalty of sin is spiritual death.”
Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us,” Rom 5:8.
He took our place. He was judged for our sins. His prayer on the Cross is
still being answered.
”He came unto His own, and His own received Him not, but as many as received
Him, to them gave He the power to have eternal life.”
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged, railed on Him, saying, If
Thou be the Christ, save Thyself and us,” Luke 23:39.
Matt 27:44 adds that both of the thieves turned against the Lord Jesus
Christ. Both rejected Him. Both railed on Him and blasphemed against Him. ”The
thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth.”
But one of the thieves became observant and “repented” (METANOEO), that is,
he completely changed his attitude. He had a complete reversal of mental
attitude, not in regard to sin, but
in regard to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
”But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing
thou are in the same condition? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due
reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto
Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto
him, Verily I say unto thee, Today thou shalt be with Me in paradise,” Luke
- First of all that Jesus Christ was a perfect Man.
- That Jesus Christ was sinless.
- He had done absolutely nothing wrong.
- He recognized His Deity, also.
- For he used the title for Deity, “Lord,” which is “KURIOS”
- There was nothing he could do for his salvation.
- He was nailed to the Cross.
- He could not join anyone’s church.
- He could not go through the ritual of baptism.
- He could not weep in front of an altar.
- He could not raise his hand.
- He could not walk down an aisle.
He was dying. He was helpless, but he turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for
help, and he went exactly to the right Person. He also recognized even though
Jesus Christ was hanging on a Cross, even though He too was dying, that Jesus
Christ had a kingdom.
The Lord Jesus Christ responded to his statement of faith, by promising him a
place in Paradise or Abraham’s bosom, the abode of all the Old Testament
saints. Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and was
resurrected in the age of Israel.
These two thieves on the Cross picture the world today. One believed in Jesus
Christ and was eternally saved. The other rejected Him and was eternally lost.
”He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth
not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John
The world is divided by its attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your attitude towards Him determines your future.
Friday, July 13, 2001
Jesus Christ Never Called Mary “His Mother”
“Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s
sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw
His mother, and the disciples standing by, whom He loved, He said unto His
mother, Woman behold thy Son,” John 19:25-26.
We can imagine the anguish in a mother’s heart, watching her Son slowly and
painfully die. She must have been torn with terrible grief.
But Jesus Christ never called her mother. He always addressed her as
“woman,” “GUNE.” He sought to emphasize that she was the mother of
His humanity. But she was not “the mother of God.”
Anticipating some of the great dangers that would come in the future to her
place in the plan of God, He was always careful to avoid the title of mother.
”Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour the
disciple took her unto his own home,” John 19:27.
Here are the words of responsibility! Jesus Christ did a marvelous and
wonderful thing, fulfilling the law which said, “Honour thy father and thy
mother,” Ex 20:12.
While He was on Earth, Jesus Christ was very careful to obey the law in every
point. He condemned the Pharisees who failed to do so. He condemned them on
occasions for the “KORBAN” gimmick. Mark 7:10-12.
Even in His dying moment, when He was in the midst of terrible agony and
pain, He took time to think of the one who was the mother of His humanity and to
make provision for her.
We see here a beautiful picture, even in the end, of how Jesus Christ
fulfilled the law in every detail.
How Jesus Christ Loved the Scriptures!
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished that
the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst,” John 19:28.
It is wonderful to realize how the Lord Jesus Christ loved the Scriptures as
they existed and how His life in His humanity centered in them. Oh, that we
might have the same attitude toward the Scriptures! That we might have the joy
and the realization and the reverence, the absorption and the interest that the
Lord Jesus Christ had in the Scriptures.
The first great lesson from this phrase is the importance of the Word of God.
All the information we have concerning the Son of God is found in the Word of
God. 2 Cor 2:16. The thirst of Jesus Christ indicates His humanity, for Deity
does not thirst.
Again, it focuses our attention on the importance of the humanity of Jesus
Christ, for Deity alone could not suffer the penalty of sin.
These words remind us not only of His physical suffering, but also of the
fact that He is a man as well as God.
“I Thirst,” John 19:28
This is a reminder of the fact that Jesus Christ is our Royal High Priest
forever, for in order to qualify as a priest, He had to become a man. As
Deity He cannot be in the priesthood, but as a man, He is the Royal High Priest
and we as the children of God form a kingdom of royal priests, for every
believer is a priest. 1 Pet 2:9, Rev 1:6.
You and I as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have the right to go before the
throne of God and offer prayer, Heb 4:16.
You and I have the right to confess our sins directly to God the Father in order
to get back in fellowship, 1 John 1:9, because we are royal priests forever in
the same order, the order of Melchisedek, who was both a king and a priest.
“I Thirst,” John 19:28
The cry, “I thirst” is also a reminder that Jesus Christ is the only
Mediator, 1 Tim 2:5.
Whoever is the Mediator between God and man must be equal with both parties in
the mediation. As the God-man He is equal with the Father and with mankind.
He draws the Father and humanity together.
The humanity testifies to the fact that God the Father keeps His Word. God
the Father promised unconditionally to David that he would have a Son who would
reign forever. This means that God the Son must take upon Himself true humanity,
and that true humanity must be in the royal line of David. He was truly man, the
Son of David, the fulfillment of that promise.
He will return to keep that promise in full. His humanity guarantees that we
have a Saviour – a royal High Priest, a Mediator, and a King.
The King of kings and Lord of lords who will return to this Earth to reign
forever and ever.
“When Jesus Had Received the Vinegar, He Said, It Is Finished, and He
Bowed His Head and Gave up His Spirit,” John 19:30
When the Lord Jesus Christ uttered the words “It is finished,” He
evidenced the fact that salvation was complete.
Nothing could be taken away from it, and above all, nothing could be added to
it. It was purely a matter of Grace. No one has ever deserved this salvation.
And there never will be any member of the human race who deserves something as
wonderful and as marvelous and precious as the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus
Consequently, when He said, “It is finished,” He made it very clear that
to add anything to the finished work of salvation is sheer blasphemy, and that
is why the Scripture reiterates over and over again, ”He that believeth on the
Son hath everlasting life.”
Faith is the absence of works. Faith is the absence of
merit. Faith is dependence entirely on someone else for salvation. There is no
advantage to human good activities such as believe and repent, believe
and confess, believe and join a church, believe and walk down an
aisle, believe and be baptized, believe and do, do, do.
None of these things make your salvation more real, for Jesus Christ said, “It
is finished” – finished in the past with results that go on forever.
How dare anyone add anything to the Word of God!
“When Jesus Had Therefore Received the Vinegar, He said It is Finished and
He Bowed His Head and Gave up His Spirit,” John 19:30
There is something here that is even more important as far as this phrase is
concerned. The sin problem is solved. Sin is no longer the issue in the human
Jesus Christ was judged for our sins. He bore every sin that has been or ever
will be committed. We cannot say to someone today, “You must give up your sins in order to be
If sin is no longer the issue, what is the issue? What think ye of Christ? Will
you receive Him as your personal Saviour? Will you trust in Him?
At the last judgment, the Great White Throne, no one will be judged for their
sins. Rev 20:12-16.
The Scripture is clear to point out that all who stand there do so because they
have rejected Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They will be judged according
to their works, never according to their sins.
The sin problem is once and for all solved, for sins cannot be judged again. If
you reject Him, you must stand on your own merits.
As an unbeliever you have two appointments – one to die
physically, and one to stand before the Great White Throne and be judged for
your works which you chose in preference to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on
At the judgment bar of God it will be demonstrated that no amount of works can
measure up to perfect righteousness of Christ which a person must have in order
to fellowship with Him in eternity.
The only responsibility of the human race, the only means of appropriation, is
personal faith in Jesus Christ, the One who uttered those marvelous Words of
”It is finished.”
Saturday, July 14, 2001
Immediate Repercussions of the Cross!
“And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to
bottom,” Matt 27:51.
Immediately following Christ’s death several miracles took place.
The veil of the temple hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
This veil was an elaborately woven fabric of 72 twisted braids of 24 threads
each. It was 60 feet long and 30 feet wide. It was impossible to tear it with
human hands either from top to bottom or from bottom to top.
God Himself split the veil of the temple to indicate
that the barrier between man and God was removed by the work of Christ on the
We know from a study of the tabernacle as well as from the Book of
Hebrews that the veil represented His body, His humanity.
It was by the rending, the deaths, both spiritual and physical, of the Lord
Jesus Christ that makes it possible for you and me to have fellowship with God
in time and in eternity.
”Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood
of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the
veil, that is to say, His flesh,” Heb 10:19-20.
That is why Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life and
no man cometh unto the Father but by Me,” John 14:6.
Another Repercussion Immediately Following the Cross
“And the Earth (Palestine) did shake and the rocks rent,” Matt 27:51. So
great was the Earthquake that the rocks were literally split in two.
”And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
and came out of the graves after His resurrection and went into the holy city
and appeared unto many,” Matt 27:52-53. This miracle occurred after the
resurrection but was a repercussion of the Cross.
Here is the transfer of the Old Testament saints from Paradise, Abraham’s
Bosom, to the new Paradise in Heaven. Eph 4:8, 2 Cor 12:1-4.
Certain saints received their bodies to function as witnesses after the
resurrection of Christ, just as Lazarus had done before the resurrection. These
believers functioned in the same manner as the two witnesses will do in the
Tribulation, Rev 11:3-12.
This is resuscitation rather than resurrection. For after their ministry of
witnessing is completed, they will eventually die and their bodies will return
to the grave, while their soul and spirit will enter into the presence of the
In the case of a genuine resurrection, it is not necessary to open the
Another Repercussion Immediately Following the Cross!
“Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching Jesus saw the
earthquake and those things that were done, they feared greatly saying, Truly,
this was the Son of God,” Matt 27:54. The salvation of the centurion.
The centurion was a soldier, an officer in the Roman army. Officers are trained
to observe, to think logically, and to think logically under pressure.
It is interesting how many times the Bible records the incident of a military
man who received Christ. For example, in Matt 8:13. “And Jesus said unto the
centurion, Go thy way and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”
In the Book of Acts, a Roman centurion was the first Gentile to have a Church in
The religious crowd around the Cross would have nothing to do with the Son of
God. But this centurion, who was in command of all the troops on the hill, put
the religious crowd to shame. He observed that this was no ordinary crucifixion.
The chief priests and the scribes and the Pharisees ridiculed, but here was a
man who observed the uniqueness of Christ and received Him as his personal
The centurion was the third person mentioned who was saved on that hill that
day. Only one religious person, and religion was certainly represented,
accepted Christ – Simon of Cyrene.
There were many immoral people there – people who enjoyed watching torture,
who enjoyed watching someone suffer – yet only one immoral person was
recorded to have accepted the Lord, and he was a gangster, one of the thieves.
The Glories of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“Whom He hath appointed Heir of all things,” Heb 1:2.
”Appointed” is literally, once and for all appointed. “He” is God the
The first glory of Christ actually refers back to eternity past, for it is in
the aorist tense in the Greek meaning, “once and for all appointed.”
Billions and quadrillions of years ago, long before man or angels were
created, Jesus Christ was made Heir of all things. This is a part of the Divine
Decrees found in Psalm 2:7-8 when in the Plan of the Father, Jesus Christ was
appointed Heir of all things that will survive in the eternal state.
Heirship comes through Sonship. Generally speaking, you cannot become an heir
unless you are either adopted or the real son of someone.
Believers are by adoption, Gal 4:5, and regeneration, the sons of God. ”For
ye are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” Gal 3:26.
”But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His Name,” John 1:12.
We are not sons of God because we are born physically into this life. We are
not sons of God because we have joined a Church. We are sons of God because we
are born again and the only way to be born again is to receive Jesus Christ
personally as your Saviour, John 3:3, 15.
“Heirs of God”
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if
so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together,” Rom
”To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away,
reserved in Heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto
salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time,” 1 Pet 1:4-5.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have trusted Him for
your salvation, you are an heir of God. You are an heir of an inheritance which
is incorruptible, which can never be changed, and which can never be taken away
from you, no matter who tries.
You have an eternal inheritance all because of relationship with the Person of
the Lord Jesus Christ. At the moment of salvation God the Holy Spirit puts us
into union with Christ, 1 Cor 12:13, thus bringing us into relationship with the
Lord Jesus Christ and with the Father through Him. Union with Christ is the
basis for this relationship.
Christ is the Heir of all things also reminds
us that Christianity is not a religion. Religion is man seeking the approbation
of God by man’s works. But Christianity is a relationship with God, apart from
Christianity is what God has done for sinful man, not what man can do for
God. Everything necessary to bring sinful man into relationship with God has
been provided through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
If you have trusted in Jesus Christ, you are an heir of God, a spiritual
millionaire. You have riches that cannot be removed or taken away from you and
you can face life with true orientation and perspective. You have the assurance
that your life now has a purpose no matter who you are, what you are, or where
Psalm 90:10, “The Days of Our Years Are Threescore Years and Ten; and if
by Reason of Strength They be Fourscore Years.”
Old age or growing older is nothing to be ashamed about. It is nothing to
make you think or anyone else think that you no longer have a purpose for your
life. There may be a little snow on the roof, but there is still fire in the
The longer you live the greater is the testimony. It is a testimony of the
Grace and love and provision of our Lord. The length of years in which He
has sustained us and provided for us and given us the strength to overcome many
years of trials and heartaches and sufferings.
How long has the Lord provided for you? How long did the Lord provide for
Threescore and ten and if by strength, His strength, fourscore.
The next time you see an old person, don’t laugh, but say to yourself, ‘If
it wasn’t for the provision of the Lord and the strength of the Lord, that
person would no longer be here.’
How many Christmases have you celebrated the birth of our Saviour?
Sunday, July 15, 2001
Blueprinter of the Ages!
“By Whom also He made the worlds,” Heb 1:2, literally, “ages.”
This is not referring to the universe and the galaxies about us, but to the
dispensations or the ages designed by God for time. It is true that the Lord
Jesus Christ created the universe as we find in Col 1:16 and Heb 1:10, but
here the Lord Jesus Christ is the One who “blueprinted the ages.”
Paul talks about “ages past” in Eph 3:5, as well as in Col 1:26 and in Eph
2:7 he mentions, “ages to come.” From these we know that we live in “an
Even though you may not be familiar with these dispensations, they do exist.
A dispensation is a period or category of human history expressed in terms of
Dispensations constitute “the Divine interpretation of history.” God is
working out His will through these epochs of history, so regardless of whether
we understand them or not, they do exist, and there is a Divine plan, even for
God the Father, the Author of the plan, designed the dispensations around the
Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Blueprinter of the Ages!
Heb 1:2, “By Whom also He made the ages.”
There is a purpose for everything that happens. There is a reason for our
existence. There is a reason why today every believer is a royal priest, why
every believer is indwelt by the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as God the Holy
Spirit. There is a reason why every believer has been made an ambassador for the
Lord Jesus Christ.
This is a complete study in itself, and all of it centers about the age in which
we live. Each age demonstrates that the human race, through its own modus
operandi, has the only solution to man’s problems in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He not only “blueprinted ages past and ages to come,” but He is Himself
the Focal Point of every age.
There are many lessons to be learned from the various dispensations. One is that
“perfect environment” is not the solution to man’s problems. How many
times have you said and heard, “If we only had a perfect environment,” “if
we only had this or that, then everything would be wonderful”?
As a matter of fact, this is often the approach of politicians today. Sooner or
later they promise “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”
gimmick. Or, more Social Security for the aged, more unemployment insurance for
the unemployed, better conditions for everyone. Man continually today strives
for so many things because he has been brainwashed by psychologists and others
into believing that improved environment will make him happy.
This is untrue as anything can be. Perfect environment
is not the answer to man’s problems. Regeneration is!
The Blueprinter of the Ages!
Heb 1:2, “By Whom also He made the ages.”
Even though this nation is on the decline today, we still have a wonderful
environment and still the people are not happy. They are not satisfied.
Suicides, drug addiction, and alcoholism are at all time highs.
The more material prosperity people gain, the less happiness they seem to
have. The standard of living here is higher than in any other part of the world,
and perhaps in any other time in history. Yet there is little real happiness.
Happiness comes in one way only, and that is by
personal relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and by claiming
the Grace Promises that He has for us after salvation through the Word of God.
In the first part of the age of the Gentiles, the period of innocence, there was
perfect environment, but it did not satisfy man. Perfect environment does not
bring man closer to God.
Under the worst conditions the world will ever know, the extreme violence of the
Tribulation, the most difficult and hazardous of all times, and under the best
conditions the world will ever know, the Millennium, and the Millennial reign of
the Lord Jesus Christ over a world of perfect environment, men will still
turn their backs on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regardless of external conditions, man will always have the free will to
accept or reject Jesus Christ, God’s solution to his internal desolation. In
the Tribulation, the worst time in history, evangelism reaches an all time high.
The Essence of God!
“Who being (absolute existence) the brightness of His glory,” Heb 1:3.
We know from John 1:18, John 6:46, 1 Tim 6:16, and 1 John 4:12 that no one
has ever seen God the Father. All we know about the
Godhead, we know through the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the
manifestation of the Godhead.
The word “brightness” means effulgence, or shining forth. Jesus Christ is
“the shining forth” of God.
Actually this particular Greek word for “shining forth” is a technical
term denoting radiation in the sense of light from an original source that
increases as it moves into space. ”A flashing forth” might better describe
In like manner, the more we know about the Lord Jesus Christ, the greater His
glory becomes. Glory refers to the Divine essence as in Rom 3:23, “We all
come short of the glory of God.”
Christ is therefore, the “flashing forth of Divine essence.”
The Revealer of God!
Heb 1:3, “And the express image of His Person,” God’s essence.
”Express” in the Greek is “exact.” And because Christ is the exact
image of God, He is the Revealer of God.
What we know about the Father we know from the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s
love, God’s Grace, His judgment, can only be known through the Person of the
Lord Jesus Christ, the visible Member of the Godhead.
”No man has seen God at any time, the Only Begotten Son, which is in the bosom
of the Father, He hath declared Him,” John 1:18.
The words “Only Begotten Son” – the word for “Son” here is “THEOS,”
which is literally, “the Only Begotten God.”
The Sustainer of the Universe!
“And upholding (sustaining) all things by the Word of His power,” Heb
Here is an amazing thing. Not only is Christ the Revealer of God, but it the
same verse it declares that He is the “Sustainer of the universe.”
This poses quite a problem. If you know much about the universe, you are aware
that numerous galaxies, hundreds of thousands of solar bodies, the planets, and
the stars exist. And if you realize that there are literally billions of them
spaced millions of light years apart, all moving at rapid rates of speed, then
you are cognizant of the tremendous traffic problem in space. What keeps them
from colliding? What keeps this universe from utter chaos?
The more you know about outer space, the more you realize that Someone must have
His finger on the traffic pattern. Someone must hold all of this together, and
that Someone is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is further
discussed in, Col 1:17, “By Him all things consist (are held together).”
If it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ sustaining us through the law of
gravity on this globe, we would not be able to stay on the ground. We would
float around in space as the astronauts have demonstrated.
Yet more than just simply sustaining the universe, Jesus
Christ redeemed the universe.
The Redeemer of Mankind!
“When He had by Himself purged our sins,” Heb 1:3.
This is the most astounding and marvelous of all glories. How is it that the
One who created the universe, the One who is the Revealer of God, the One who is
the Sustainer of the universe, the One who is omnipotent and omnipresent, this
great God, the eternal King, the everlasting Sovereign, could come to this Earth
and take upon Himself the form of inferior man?
Why did He become humanity? Why did He become incarnate?
There could be only one answer – because He loved you and me.
We will never comprehend the humanity involved in the Sovereign of the
universe in becoming a man. But we do understand the reason for it. His love
for us sent Him to the Cross.
He had to provide purging or cleansing of sin, for sin keeps us from God.
Therefore, He by Himself paid for our sins. He solved the sin problem. The Lord
Jesus Christ took our place, dying in our stead.
“But God Commendeth His Love Toward Us in That While We Were Yet Sinners,
Christ Died for us. Much More Then, Being Now Justified by His Blood, We Shall
be Saved From Wrath Through Him,” Romans 5:8-9.
Those who have accepted His substitutionary sacrifice have the positive
assurance that there is no eternal judgment for them.
Relationship to God can never be lost for, “There is no condemnation to
them that are in Christ Jesus, Rom 8:1.
Since Jesus Christ has done all the work necessary, all
that is required of us to appropriate salvation is faith. Any other means would
be an insult to the Son of God. To add anything to faith would be
tantamount to saying that His work was not efficacious, that it was not
The only thing that man does for salvation is believe. Accept what the Saviour
has already done. And by doing so, Jesus Christ receives the glory.
”This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him.”
”He is the propitiation, the satisfaction, for our sins.”
The Glorified Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Heb 13.
When Jesus Christ sat down, He was not sitting down as God. It is true
that Jesus Christ is God. And as God, He is omnipresent. Therefore, always in
the presence of the Father.
He has eternal fellowship with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, and is
equal with Them.
There never was a time when the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the essence of
Their Deity, did not exist or did not have fellowship together. But the One
who sat down at the right hand of the Father was different from the Father and
from the Holy Spirit. He became man.
When He sat down in the throne room, He had just come from Earth where He had
provided our salvation. In order to provide this salvation, there had to be some
change in God the Second Person. These changes encompass what is called the
Eternal God had to become true humanity. It was man who sinned. It must be a
man who pays the penalty for sin. Who was qualified in all of humanity to
pay for sin?
All of those in Adam’s race, and we are all in Adam’s race, are born
spiritually dead, we are born with three strikes against us –
|Imputed sin, the sin of Adam imputed to the human race, Rom 5:18.|
|The sin nature inherited from Adam, Rom 5:12.|
|And personal sin.|
Therefore, none of us is qualified to purchase our own freedom from the
slave market of sin or to cleanse anyone else from sin.
The Glorified Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ
“He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Heb 1:3
The greatest and most magnanimous person who ever lived is not qualified to
die for the sins of the world. None of the religious teachers, many of whom
today are objects of worship throughout the world, are qualified to pay the
penalty of sin.
Not one of them is qualified to bring us into the presence of God. Only Jesus
Christ is qualified, for in His humanity, He was without sin, personal, imputed,
Jesus Christ is perfect. He went to the Cross as a perfect man. He died there
for you and for me as a sinless man.
”He made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Cor 5:21.
Yes, Jesus Christ is different. He is God and He is man in one Person for
ever. He is different from all other members of the human race because of His
Deity. And He is also different from the other Members of the Godhead because He
is true humanity.
The greatest issue this world has ever known is: Did this
Jesus who died on the Cross, rise from the dead? The salvation of the human race
depends on that answer.
The Word of God settles it once and for all. Yes, He did, literally and
physically. Luke 24:39. His work on the Cross was vindicated in the eyes of the
Father by His resurrection.
But that was not the end of it. Essential as the Cross and Resurrection were,
important as it was for Him to be seen after the resurrection, yet, even this
was not sufficient, for until “a man” can stand in the presence of God, no
member of the human race can stand in the presence of God.
Because one Man stands there, any man can stand there.
Monday, July 16, 2001
“And when He had spoken these things, while they
beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while
they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by
them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing
up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, so
shall come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven,” Acts 1:9-11.
So the disciples were given that Word of consolation by angels. But in the
meantime, Jesus Christ, in a resurrection body, was passing through the realm of
Satan, “the prince of the power of the air,” Eph 2:2. As the God-man
He was facing a very serious crisis, for on that occasion Satan undoubtedly put
his entire demonic organization into the fight doing everything in his power to
keep Christ from coming into the presence of the Father.
Today we live in an age when Christians do not understand the importance of
the Word of God, but it is very clear that Satan understood, for there is little
doubt that he exerted tremendous pressure to keep the Son of God from moving
toward the Throne Room. We do not know how long it took. Perhaps just a
second, or maybe longer, but Jesus Christ arrived victorious!
Heaven was opened wide. The Father ushered Jesus Christ into His presence and
said “sit down.”
”But to which of the angels said He at any time, ‘Sit on My right hand until
I make Thine enemies Thy footstool’?” Heb 1:13.
“The Lord Said Unto My Lord, Sit Thou at My Right Hand Until I Make Thine
Enemies Thy Footstool,” Psalm 110:1
When the Father said “sit down” to Jesus Christ, He was not saying it to
His undiminished Deity, but to His humanity. By virtue of the fact that
Deity is omnipresent and neither sits nor stands, we know it was the humanity
of Jesus Christ which was told to
This was the first time in the history of the universe that a man was ever
told to “sit” in the presence of the Holy, Just, and Righteous God. Do
you see the significance of this dramatic moment? Do you recognize how important
it was that the Father said, ”Sit Thou at My right hand.”
This is complete acceptance. This is the conclusion of the Doctrine of
propitiation. This is the Father saying, “I am satisfied with this Man!”
The acceptance of Jesus Christ as a Man meant the acceptance of His
sacrifice, and therefore, the acceptance of all those who seek entrance into the
presence of the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. “Accepted in the
”This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him.”
The Superiority of Jesus Christ!
“Being made (having become) so much better (more prominent) than the angels
as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they,” Heb 1:4.
Having presented in one sentence the transcendent glory of the Person of the
Lord Jesus Christ, Heb 1:3, this passage goes on to develop His superiority.
The angelic creation is used as a norm, for they are the highest of all created
beings. God is superior to angels. Man was created vastly inferior, but
becomes positionally higher than angels at the point of salvation through union
with Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, and experientially superior
at the Rapture when the Church Age believers receive their resurrection bodies.
Although angels were created superior to the human race, in the realm of His
humanity Jesus Christ became superior to angels by means of His ascension
and session at the right hand of the Father. In His glorified body, He has
obtained, or inherited, a better Name, a supremacy of character over angels,
because the Father said to Jesus Christ, “Sit Thou at My right hand.”
We as believers who are joint-heirs with the Son, also inherit the supremacy
of Christ. Heb 1:5-13 reveals seven ways in which Christ is superior to
Superior in His Relationship!
“For unto which of the angels did He say at any time, 'Thou art My Son.
This day have I begotten Thee',” Heb 1:5 – the day of the incarnation.
This is a quotation from Psa 2:7 and is a part of the Eternal Decrees, which
were a declaration made by God the Father in eternity past.
”Son” is used in the New Testament only for Christ as a Member of the human
race, and for those regenerate members of the human race in union with Him, who
are the body of Christ. ”We are all the sons of God by faith in Christ
Although angels are known collectively as “sons of God” in the plural, Gen
6:2, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7, they are never individually or personally called “a
”And again I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son,” Heb 1:5.
The last half of this verse is a quotation from 2 Sam 7:14. We understand the
words “Father” and “Son” form a part of the language of accommodation.
They are words of relationship in the human race, and while they do not
adequately express relationship between the First and Second Persons of the
Trinity, they do give us some idea.
The First Person is the Father and the Second Person is the Son. In eternity
past when salvation was prepared and the First Person made the Second Person the
Heir of all things, this statement in Heb 1:5 is one of the things He said.
It established the fact for us that there is a relationship between the First
and Second Persons of the Trinity.
“And Again I Will Be to Him a Father and He Shall Be to Me a Son,”
This means that we also can have a relationship with the First Person of
the Trinity on the basis of relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were entered into union with the Son of God by faith in Him. And as the
Father and the Son are one, so are we one with the Son and with the Father. John
We have a relationship with God the Father, the First Person of the
Trinity, because of our position in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Therefore if
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,”
2 Cor 5:17.
”Wherein He hath made us acceptable in the Beloved, Eph 1:6. Time after
time we are brought face to face with this phrase, and always it refers to our
union with Christ, “in Christ.”
It further demonstrates to us that Christianity is not
a religion. Christianity is a relationship with a Person, the Son of God.
”Beloved now we are the sons of God,” 1 John 3:1.
Christ is Superior in His Second Advent!
“And again when He bringeth in the Firstborn into the world, He saith, And
let all the angels of God worship Him,” Heb 1:6.
”When He bringeth in” – the author of Hebrews is quoting Psa 97:7 which
refers to the Second Advent. The Greek word indicates someone brought back into
something, hence, Christ is brought back into the world by the Father. When
Christ is brought back into the world at the Second Advent, believers will be
brought back with Him. Heb 1:13.
The subjunctive mood with the aorist tense indicates an indefinite temporal
clause in the Greek. This means an event in the future certain to come, but the
time of the event is unknown.
There are three points connected with “the Firstbegotten” or the
- Rulership or sovereignty. Christ is the Ruler of the family of God.
- Priesthood. Christ is the Royal Priest forever after the order of
- The double portion. Christ is the Heir of all things including two
regenerate kingdoms – the kingdom of the Old Testament saints, the
regenerate of Israel, and the Church.
”He saith,” God the Father commands that all the elect angels will
worship Jesus Christ at the Second Advent, because Operation Footstool
will be completed. The fallen angels will be removed from the Earth and Satan
will be bound and the angelic conflict will be suspended.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001
Christ is Superior in His Ministry!
“And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His
ministers a flame of fire?” A quotation from Psalm 104:4. Angels are servants
of God as indicated by the word “ministers.” As servants of God they are
also used to administer judgment – “flame of fire.”
”But unto the Son He hath said, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. A
sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom,” Heb 1:7, 8, a
quotation from Psalm 45:6.
”But,” verse 8, introduces a contrast between Christ as Sovereign and
angels as servants.
Jesus Christ, by becoming the Servant of JEHOVAH, actually became
superior to the servants in the angelic realm. Angels are servants, but
Christ has a throne. As a man, Christ has the Davidic throne. At the right
hand of the Father Christ is Ruler over the Church.
When God, the First Person, addressed God, the Second Person, He addressed
Him as Deity. Jesus Christ is God! This was addressed to Jesus Christ after
He became flesh and dwelt among us. He is called God!
Christ rules forever while elect angels serve forever. Just as Christ reigns
forever, so every believer in Jesus Christ will reign with Him.
“A Sceptre of Righteousness is the Sceptre of Thy Kingdom,” Hebrews 1:8
In His humanity Christ was a “Sceptre of righteousness,” perfect
righteousness, “a Righteous Branch.” This is the Doctrine of
The perfect righteousness of Christ is contrasted to the unrighteousness of
Satan, who attempts to rule the world. Satan’s world system includes human
good as well as evil.
In fact, it is doubtful that the presence of manifest evil in the world is
actually Satan’s intention, for he is an “angel of light.” Evil is rather
the outward expression of the sin nature of man himself.
In his attempt to imitate God, Satan promotes religion and
human good as a means of getting man to worship and honor him.
The evil which is so evident is more the result of Satan’s inability to
execute his plan rather then his intention to promote evil.
Christ is Superior in His Appointment!
“Thou hast loved righteousness” – the Divine plan. ”And hated
iniquity” – the plan of Satan – “therefore God (the Author of the Divine
plan) even Thy God, hath anointed Thee (the incarnate Christ) with the oil of
gladness (the sustaining ministry of God the Holy Spirit) above Thy fellows,”
While the Lord Jesus Christ was here on Earth in the flesh, He always chose
the righteous plan of God the Father rather then the iniquitous plan of Satan,
as revealed by the satanic temptation of Matthew 4.
The plan of Satan was to persuade the incarnate Christ to act independently
of the Father’s plan. The Cross must come before the throne.
But because Jesus Christ “set His face like a flint,” Isa 50:7, and would
not be moved from the plan of the Cross, God the Father gave Him a superior
appointment above His fellows, mankind.
“Thy God Hath Anointed Thee With the Oil of Gladness,” Hebrews 1:9
During the ministry of Christ on Earth, God the Holy Spirit indwelt His
humanity. Christ voluntarily restricted the use of His own Divine attributes.
He depended completely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to perform miracles and
to live in a manner as a man pleasing God.
”This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him.” He used
His omniscience, but not to benefit Himself.
He was empowered “above His fellows.” That is, the Lord Jesus
Christ was the first Person who was literally and completely controlled by God
the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit was given to Him without measure.”
No one in all of time was ever indwelt and filled with the Holy Spirit as
Jesus Christ. Having the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we can be empowered and
controlled by “the oil of gladness.”
”The fruit of the Spirit is joy.”
Christ Superior as Creator!
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hath laid the foundations of the Earth
and the Heavens are the works of Thy hands,” Heb 1:10. This is a quotation
from Psalm 102:25.
All that you can see, as well as all that you cannot see, came into existence
by the Lord Jesus Christ. Isa 44:24, John 1:3, Col 1:16.
Furthermore, it says they came into existence “by His hands.” It was His
hands that created the universe. It was His hands that moved and everything came
Yet these same hands were nailed on Calvary’s Cross,
that you and I might have life eternal. It cannot be explained. It is amazing
How could Jesus Christ do that for me? How could the Hand that created the
universe be nailed to Calvary’s Cross? Jesus Christ Himself cried, “They
have pierced My hands and My feet.”
He did it because He loved you and me!
Jesus Christ had an appointment with death so that you and I might have life.
Every member of the human race has an appointment with death. Christ kept His
appointment. Will you? “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after that
the judgment,” Heb 9:27.
If you accept Jesus Christ’s judgment as a substitute for your own before
you die, you will never have to keep that appointment to judgment after you die.
Christ is Supreme in His Character
“They shall perish, but Thou remainest, and they all shall wax old as doth
a garment,” Heb 1:11. A quotation from Psa 102:26.
After the Millennial Reign of Christ, the Heavens in their present form will be
destroyed. Matt 24:25, 2 Pet 3:10-12, Rev 20:11, 21:1.
But the Lord Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Heb
13:8. As clothes wear out, so shall creation. But not the Lord Jesus Christ!
”From everlasting to everlasting Thou art God,” Psa 90:2.
”And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed, but Thou
are the same, and Thy years shall not fail,” Heb 1:12. A quotation from Psa
A time is coming when the universe as we know it now will be destroyed. And the
Lord Jesus Christ will bring a new one into existence. Nature is at the mercy
of Christ. But He is never at the mercy of nature.
”For I am the Lord. I change not,” Malachi 3:6.
He is our better environment!
Christ is Superior in His Position!
“But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand until
I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?” Heb 1:3. The answer is none!
Since He did not say this to any of the angels, here is a paradox. Man is an
inferior creation to angels. But Jesus Christ the Man is superior to
angels. We know this because the Father never said to any angel, “Sit on
My right hand.”
He said it to a man, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Sit on My right hand” is the
place of highest honor. Christ the man is placed above the angels.
The most dramatic moment in the history of the universe for the angelic
conflict was won by Jesus Christ the man. 1 Pet 3:22.
He is to sit there until the Second Advent at which time “Operation
Footstool” will be completed. His enemies, Satan and all fallen angels, will
be removed from the Earth (Zech 13:2, Col 2:15, 1 Cor 15:24, 25), paving the
way for the perfect environment of the Millennium.
Christ makes a better environment for your children.
“Are They All Not Ministering Spirits Sent Forth to Minister for Them Who
Shall be Heirs of Salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
Angels who were created superior to us now minister to those who are
believers in the Lord Jesus Christ because of our position in Christ, in union
with Him. Because we are heirs with Him, the angels who were once superior to
us are now inferior. The angels serve us even as we serve the Lord Jesus
This introduces a most interesting subject – the Doctrine of the guardian
This passage indicates that every believer has at least one guardian angel. I
don’t know about you, but there are times when I would like to converse with
my guardian angel. I am going to have a talk with him some day in Heaven. I
would like to find out how many “close shaves” I have had that I was not
even aware of. It should prove to be very interesting.
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
The Kingdom of God!
The superiority of Jesus Christ and its many ramifications are manifest
throughout the entire Book of Hebrews. But there is a closely-related portion of
Scripture in Col 1:12-21,
which reveals the exaltation of Jesus Christ, the King of kings, the Preeminent
Ruler over the kingdom of God.
”Giving thanks unto the Father, Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the
inheritance of the saints in light,” Col 1:12.
Union with Christ is the foundation for every spiritual blessing in the
Christian life, and is the basis on which we become children of God the Father.
“Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” Gal 3:26.
There is no such thing as the universal fatherhood of God or the universal
brotherhood of man.
“Giving thanks unto the Father” is for believers
only, and as believers we have much for which to be thankful.
Jesus Christ is the Heir of all things, Heb 1:2 and by virtue of our
salvation, the Father qualifies us to be partners in His inheritance.
“Who Hath Delivered Us From the Power of Darkness, and Hath Transferred Us
into the Kingdom of His Dear Son,” Colossians 1:13
In addition for qualifying us for a share in Christ’s inheritance, the
Father is able to take people from one kingdom, the kingdom of darkness,
spiritually dead, and transform them into another kingdom, the kingdom of
Christ, spiritually alive and members of the family of God.
Russia, in a sense, has tried the same thing. They have taken people from one
nationality and transplanted them in another place in an attempt to completely
change individual characteristics begun at birth.
That is the point here. You cannot completely transform a person without
birth. We are transferred to a new kingdom by a new birth.
We were born physically alive under the authority of darkness, insecurity,
confusion, instability, uncertainty, and fear. There is no fellowship with
God in the kingdom of darkness, only spiritual death, separation from God.
”All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Rom 3:23.
Sin is darkness and the penalty for sin is spiritual death. Jesus Christ paid
the penalty at the Cross in order that we might be transferred out of the
kingdom of darkness.
”God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
“Who Hath Delivered Us From the Power of Darkness and Hath Transferred Us
into the Kingdom of His Dear Son,” Colossians 1:13
There is no happiness in the kingdom of darkness. Unbelievers are constantly
seeking new ways for obtaining happiness. Many times I have seen people
trying to build their happiness on the misery and sorrow of others.
How tragic it all is, for there is no way to find lasting happiness in the
kingdom of darkness. And yet today, as always, millions of people are
struggling for peace, or power, or for the approbation of men. All they seem to
be doing is to grasp at straws, and they are miserable.
But when one trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is immediately translated
out of that miserable darkness into a new kingdom, and his whole outlook
changes. You see where this is the basis for continual thanksgiving.
”Giving thanks unto the Father Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the
inheritance of the saints in light,” Col 1:12.
”Made us meet” – to be qualified ...
“Hath Translated Us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son,” Colossians 1:13
If you understand the aorist tense of “hath translated” as well as the
true meaning of this verse in the Greek, you can understand eternal security
without even going to another passage.
We are translated once and for all, which means that we cannot be
transferred back again.
The Greek word also conveys the idea of removing people from their native land
and putting them in a colony which is in a better location – not
So we have been transferred once and for all out of our native state of sin and
place of no fellowship with God into a perfect place, a perfect kingdom
|where we have the righteousness of God credited to our account,|
|where we possess eternal life,|
|where our sins past, present, and future, have been blotted out, removed
by the Son of God on the Cross,|
|where we are sure of a resurrection body,|
|where we are certain of living in the presence and reigning with the King
of kings forever and ever,|
|where we can be sure of peace and power and stability and security in this
life as well.|
We have been transferred out of a situation that is hopeless and desperate
to a status that is wonderful and secure.
It is called literally, “The Kingdom of the Son of His love.”
“Hath Once and For All Translated Us into the Kingdom of the Son of His
Love,” Colossians 1:13
As long as there has ever been anything in existence, there has always been
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The First Person of the
Trinity has loved the Second Person. God the Father has loved the Son eternally.
He has always been the focal point of His love. The infinite love of the
Father has always been poured out upon His Son.
This kingdom into which we have been translated is a kingdom of regenerate
creatures in union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Being in union with Christ means
that we are the recipients of the same Divine love that has always existed on
the part of the Father for His Son. This kingdom is position in Christ, or union
The Lord Jesus Christ has said, “I in you and ye in Me,” John 14:20. We are
“in Christ” and this is the “new kingdom.” This is Christianity. This is
Here it is called kingdom. It is called “the kingdom of the Son of His
love” because the primary factor in that kingdom, the primary basis of
assurance, the basis of every promise, the basis of every marvelous thing we
have from the Lord, is the fact that we are the objects of the same love that
has always existed, the eternal love of the Father for the Son, and that is the
kind of love that is directed toward us.
Since that kind of love is directed toward us from the Father, even if we did
not have the thousands of Promises in the Word, even if we did not have the
Doctrine which we do have, we would still know that our life has a purpose, and
that our future is secure, and that nothing can ever change it.
“The King of Kings”
We might very well wonder how it is possible for the Father to translate us
into such a marvelous kingdom. The answer is found in the nature of the King of
Beginning with Col 1:14, we have several facts concerning the incomparable,
preeminent Person of the King of kings. Col 1:14, “In whom we have redemption
through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
To be the Redeemer, Jesus Christ had to come to this Earth. He had to become
the Last Adam. He came as a perfect man through the virgin birth.
The sin nature, or “old man,” Col 3:9, originated with Adam and is passed
down through the man. Therefore, to be born without the sin nature, one
must be virgin-born. The virgin-born Son of God is the only Person who
ever lived upon the face of this Earth since Adam sinned, who was a perfect,
sinless man. And therefore under the Doctrine of redemption, a “free man.”
He was the only Person who was not born in the slave market of sin. And
therefore, the only Person qualified to purchase the freedom of slaves on the
”Standfast in the freedom where Christ has set thee free.”
“Ye Were Not Redeemed (Purchased From the Slave Market of Sin) with
Corruptible Things as Silver and Gold, But with the Precious Blood of Christ as
a Lamb Without Blemish and Without Spot,” 1 Peter 1:18, 19
Only a free man can free a slave, and the only “Free Man” is Jesus
Christ. He came as a free man.
He went to the Cross as a free man, and as a sinless man, bore our sins. He
paid in full for every sin we could ever commit.
Those who accept His ransom can now be in a new kingdom because He purchased
their freedom. We are free from the bondage of sin. We have been transferred as
those who are free men because Jesus Christ paid for our freedom.
We are therefore in a new kingdom because the King of kings is our Redeemer.
”There is one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.”
The Visible Image of God
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every
creature,” Col 1:15.
Here is the remarkable character of the Lord Jesus Christ – Deity and
humanity in one Person. The first phrase asserts His Deity, while the second
is an expression of His humanity.
He is said to be “the exact image of the invisible God.” The absence of the
definite article calls attention to and emphasizes the character of the Person.
Thus, it declares emphatically and unequivocally that Jesus Christ is eternal
He is coequal with the Father, and coequal with the Holy Spirit. He is
exactly the same in essence. Only God could be the image
of God. Therefore, Jesus Christ is eternal God.
Thursday, July 19, 2001
”The Firstborn of Every Creature,” Colossians 1:15
“Firstborn” indicates rank. It does not imply that Christ was created.
This word is not related to creation or birth, but it is a title for rank.
It was a designation for the sovereign or head of a family, Heb 1:5. The
brothers of a firstborn in a family were always to take their orders from him.
Christ is the “Firstborn” or “Sovereign,” not of the new
creation, but the Greek says literally, “with reference to the new
Jesus Christ is the Sovereign of the new creation of regenerate people,
The Creator of the Universe!
“For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven and that are in
Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or
principalities or powers, all things were created by Him and for Him,” Col
Jesus Christ is omnipotent and omniscient, the One responsible for creating
the original universe. His fingers moved and everything came into existence. ”When
I consider the Heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars,
which Thou hast ordained,” Psa 8:3.
He created everything from the individual atoms to galaxies of stars with the
snap of His fingers. The aorist tense tells us that it was accomplished in a
moment of time – less than a second.
But when it came to providing our salvation, the Scriptures declare that this
was “arm work.” Isa 59:16. The creation of the universe was as nothing
Isa 53:1, “Who hath believed our report?” “And to whom is the Arm
of the Lord revealed?” “The Arm of the Lord” is a Messianic title in
connection with our salvation.
It was arm work to go to the Cross and die for us. If He had the
power to create the universe by snapping His fingers, and if He were able
to accomplish the even greater work of salvation, then certainly He has the
power to provide a new creation, a kingdom of born-again believers, and to
continue that kingdom for ever and ever.
“For by Him Were All Things Created, That Are in Heaven and That Are in
the Earth, Visible and Invisible, Whether They be Thrones or Dominions or
Principalities or Powers, All Things Were Created by Him and for Him,”
Heaven refers to space. Earth refers to the physical universe.
Visible and invisible – material and spiritual realms.
Dominions – humanity. Powers – angels.
In the second occurrence of the word “created” in this verse, the tense
changes to the perfect tense from the aorist tense, which means
“created in the past with results that go on forever.” Actually in this
tense, the universe becomes an exhibit, or, the evidence of the power and the
might of the King of kings.
It was “created for Him” to glorify Him.
The Sustainer of the Universe!
“And He is before all things and by Him all things consist,” Col 1:17.
Jesus Christ sustains the universe. When you understand this tremendous
principle, you can see that the scientific laws cannot be true laws because science
has no way of enforcing them, or even guaranteeing that they will continue to
Science is merely an observation of the consistency of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But Scripture affirms that the universe with its matter, energy, and laws will
not always exist. 2 Pet 3:10-12, Rev 20:11. What will the politicians do when
energy no longer exists?
Known scientific laws depend entirely on the omnipotence and immutability of
Every text on the pattern of the universe and the “laws of science” are a
treatise of the faithfulness of Christ “Who holds all things together”
”by the Word of His power,” Heb 1:3.
We have to look to the Source of all energy.
“And by Him All Things Consist,” Colossians 1:17
His reason for holding all the galaxies in their place, for keeping the
traffic of the universe on its course, is so that He might bring many sons
into glory, Heb 2:10, so that Grace may run its full course. Jesus Christ
is keeping the universe together. The laws of the universe define
God’s faithfulness in time. They can be changed, overruled, or absolutely
removed, and have been.
Only the Promises of the Word of God are absolutely
unchangeable. God has not promised to maintain the universe in its
present state. But the believer in Jesus Christ under the Promises of God will
survive the destruction of the universe.
Thus, scientific laws are simply the faithfulness of Jesus Christ holding
back eternity so that the human race will have the opportunity to appropriate
the Grace of God at the point of the Cross. The completion of the plan of
God will bring glory to God forever.
Did you ever stop to think that while the humanity of
Jesus Christ was bearing our sins on the Cross, the Deity of Christ was still
controlling the universe? Otherwise, the billions of stars and
planets would have simply disintegrated. Tremendous isn’t it?
Do you begin to see something of the One to whom you and I are related? It
makes us realize how great and wonderful our Redeemer really is.
Nothing is too great for Him. “With Him nothing shall be impossible,”
”Great is Thy faithfulness.”
Friday, July 20, 2001
The Ruler of the Church!
“And He is the Head of the body, the Church, Who is the beginning, the
Firstborn from the dead, that is in all things He might have the preeminence,”
This verse presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the sovereign Ruler of the
And it sets forth a three-fold description of His rulership.
The Head of the body.
- The Origin of the Church.
- The Firstborn from the dead.
“The Head of the Body, the Church,” Colossians 1:16
“The Church” is referring here to the universal Church, Rom 12:5, 1
Cor 12:12-13, Eph 1:22-23, Eph 5:23, made up of all believers in the Lord Jesus
Christ. It is often referred to
as a body because the body has function and action.
The human body also produces power, and in carrying out the analogy, the
body of Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, has power and
impact for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The head is the area where the brain is located, and while the body has
function and motion, coordination and power, each of these depends upon
certain parts of the brain. The motor parts of the brain.
In like manner, Jesus Christ as the Ruler of the Church, sets up the policy
and provides the power whereby the body functions to the glory of God.
“And He is the Head of the Body, the Church, Who is the Beginning, the
Firstborn From the Dead,” Colossians 1:16.
The Origin of the Church
Jesus Christ is called literally, “the Beginning Who is the Beginning.”
The word for “beginning” here means “origin.” Christ is the Origin of
the Church through His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session.
These formed the foundation for the Church.
“The Firstborn from the dead”
”Firstborn” denotes three responsibilities and privilege of leadership –
sovereignty, priesthood, and heirship, or the double portion.
By resurrection, the humanity of Jesus Christ became the Sovereign Ruler of the
Church, emphasizing His ministry of intercession for the saints.
And He became the Heir of the new creation, the Church, in the sense of
providing for the existence of the Church as a regenerate kingdom which will
The King of Kings Preeminent!
Col 1:18 concludes with a purpose clause, “That in all things He
might have the preeminence.”
In the plan of God it is the purpose of the Father for the Lord Jesus Christ
to have the place of preeminence. “Preeminence” is translated as a noun.
But it is actually a present, active, participle meaning, “the One who holds
It was used to describe athletes who had won the various events at the Olympic,
Pythian, Isthmian, or Nemean games, which were the great athletic events of the
ancient world. The winners were those who “held first place.”
It was also used occasionally to describe the mayor of a city or the ruler of
It is used here for the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who constantly holds
Something of which some communicators should be aware.
“That He Might Have the Preeminence,” Colossians 1:18
The Scripture declares that Jesus Christ is to be preeminent. But whether
or not He is preeminent in the life of the individual believer depends upon the
technique called “occupation with Christ.”
The believer who is not occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ is
a very miserable person, no matter what he is or what he has.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and you have your eyes on
yourself, you are guaranteed misery. A close companion of “eyes on self” is
“eyes on other people.” These two usually coordinate and run together. If
you have your eyes on yourself, you also have a tendency to get your eyes on
other people, for you interpret people in the light of your sensitivity.
Too many believers are ultra-sensitive to what other people think and
consequently are utterly and totally miserable. You will never have strength,
power, or blessing until you come to the place of occupation with Christ,
“Looking unto Jesus,” until He is truly the One who holds first place in
Furthermore, the moment you get your eyes on self and begin to feel sorry for
yourself or to magnify self, the moment you get your eyes on people and get
upset whenever someone crosses you, the moment you get your eyes on things, then
you have become vulnerable for satanic attack.
What type of capital punishment would you suggest for the prevalent abuse,
rape, and murder of children in our country today, ending up in dumpsters?
|Burn at the stake?|
|Stoned to death?|
Let’s look at what type of capital punishment the Lord suggests for such
abuse of children. ”Suffer little children to come unto Me.”
”Whosoever shall offend these little ones, it would be better for them that a millstone
be hanged around upon his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
This sounds like the early mafia treatment of “cement shoes.”
That is the type of capital punishment that Jesus Christ demands.
The Possessor of Divine Attributes!
“For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell,” Col
Here is where the preeminence of Christ begins – the Father is pleased that
“all fullness” should dwell in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
”Fullness,” PLEROMA, is the sum total of all divine power and attributes
of God residing in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our happiness begins
with the fact that God the Father is pleased with One Member of the human race. And
since the believer is “in Him,” this word means potential happiness for
”This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
We as believers are “accepted in the Beloved,” Eph 1:6.
“It Pleased the Father That in Him Should Dwell all Fullness,”
All believers have the potential to possess happiness. There is no excuse why
every believer should not have perfect orientation, peace, and happiness under
every circumstance of life, whether it be success or failure, difficulty or
The joy or happiness which belongs to Christ is available, but it depends our
understanding and use of the Word of God.
Positionally this happiness belongs to you and to me, but experientially it
depends upon the techniques of the filling of the Holy Spirit and occupation
with Christ through the Word of God, which results in edification and maturity.
Can you look back over the past week and say in every set of circumstances
Christ has been preeminent?
If you cannot, it is time to get back into fellowship and the filling of the
Holy Spirit followed by occupation with Christ, only then can he be preeminent,
only then can he be glorified.
Christ cannot be glorified before the unbeliever until He is glorified in
your life, 2 Cor 3:3.
A Personal Challenge
”And having made peace through the blood of the Cross, by Him to reconcile
all things unto Himself, I say, whether they be things in Earth or things in
Heaven, and you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked
works, yet now hath He reconciled,” Col 1:2.
”Alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works.” Alienated from God
and in a continuous state of estrangement since the time of Adam’s sin, all
mankind is under the condemnation and wrath of God, and therefore, separated
from fellowship with Him.
This verse goes even a step further to indict the thoughts of mankind as
enmity with God.
The area of the unbeliever’s hostility is in the mind. Human viewpoint is
hostile to God, which produces wicked works.
”As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he.” “Guard your mind with all
diligence, for out of it come the issues of life.”
Further, no work of the unbeliever is acceptable to God. All
human good is relegated to the category of wicked works.
”We are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags,” Isa 64:6.
There are six strikes against every person born into the world which constitute
an impassable barrier between God and man.
“Alienated and Enemies of God by Wicked Works,” Colossians 1:20-21
“Not of works lest and may should boast,” Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5.
There are six strikes against every person born into the world which constitute
an impassable barrier between God and man.
- The barrier between God and man consists of sin, the sin which was
imputed to the human race through the sin of Adam, the sin nature inherited
from Adam, and personal sins, Isa 59:2, Jer 17:9, Rom 3:23
- The penalty of sin, which is spiritual death, Rom 5:12, 6:23.
- Physical birth, all are born spiritually dead, Eph 2:1.
- Relative righteousness, human good which does not and cannot measure up
to the righteousness of God. Rom 3:23, Isa 64:4, Prov 14:12.
- The character of God. God is a just, righteous, and holy God who
cannot have fellowship with sin or sinful man. Psa 24:3. His perfect justice
demands that a penalty be paid for sin. Rom 6:23.
- Position in Adam. By reason of Adam’s willful disobedience, his
spiritual death, and limited physical existence have placed an
insurmountable obstacle between man and his Creator, physical life. 1 Cor
15:22, Eph 4:18.
“There is One Mediator Between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus”
Although the barrier has been raised between God and man since the time of
Adam, Christ has made peace. He has established harmony between the two parties
at enmity with one another – God and man. Man is reconciled to God on the
basis of the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, Eph 2:16-17. Christ made the
way for man to be compatible with Himself.
Reconciliation is the removal of the barrier between God and man. It is the work
of Christ through the death of Christ by which sinful man is brought into
spiritual fellowship and moral harmony with God. The agency by which
reconciliation took place was through the blood of the Cross.
The total concept of salvation encompasses six Doctrines by which the barrier
was removed – one for each of the six strikes against man – redemption,
expiation, regeneration, imputation and justification, propitiation, and
position in Christ.
An explanation of each follows.
The Barrier Which is Removed Between God and Man is the Concept of
Reconciliation, Which Includes the Following Six Doctrines
Removal of the barrier of bondage to sin and slavery to the old sin nature, the
price being the valuable work of Christ. 1 Pet 1:18-19, Gal 3:13, Eph
The payment demanded for sin was paid by the death of Christ, “blotting
out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us.” Col 2:14.
The new birth quickens or gives life to those who “were dead in trespasses
and sins,” enabling them to be born into the family of God.
- Imputation and justification.
The solution to the problem of relative righteousness. The perfect
righteousness of Christ is credited to the account of the believer. Rom
3:22, 2 Cor 5:21. On the basis of imputation, God is free to justify the
believer because he has the righteousness of God. Rom 4:24, 5:1, Gal
The death of Christ satisfied the righteousness and justice of God, making
it possible for God to be just in justifying the sinner and allowing Him to
be righteously free to act for those whom He loves. Rom 3:23-25, 1 John 2:1,
- Position in Christ.
The death of Christ enables man to be placed in a new position “in
Christ,” severing his old relationship to Adam. Eph 1:3-6, 1 Cor 15:22. Thus
the last barrier is removed and man is reconciled.
“The Blood of Christ” is the Sum Total of All These Doctrines and Adds
up to Reconcilation
The work is done. Peace is made. Reconciliation has been provided. The
Cross of Christ has removed the barrier and satisfied every just cause which God
has against us so that every member of the human race can be saved.
In place of the barrier, Jesus Christ now stands between God and man as the Way
to eternal life. The One who removed the barrier through the blood of His
Cross becomes the Door through Whom all may enter into eternal relationship
Jesus Christ said, “I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be
saved,” John 10:9. The way has been opened for all to enter, and we
enter by personal faith in the Son of God.
Justification, redemption, expiation, regeneration, propitiation, and
eternal life become our personal possession when we “Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ,” Acts 16:31.
”But of Him (by faith in Him) are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is become
unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,” 1 Cor
”But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Rom 4:5.
”Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on Me hath everlasting
life,” John 6:47.
”Jesus Christ, Who is the Faithful Witness and the First Begotten of the Dead
and the Prince of the kings of the Earth, unto Him that loved us and washed us
from our sins in His own blood, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
Amen.” Rev 1:5, 6.
Divine Institution Number Four – “Nationalism”
“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and
before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession,” 1
Under the fourth Divine Institution – nationalism, not internationalism –
the national entity is the function of human government. This function includes
the concept of a courtroom and a policeman on the beat.
We as Christians are not in any way derogatory toward law and order, but we
are in recognition of the importance of law enforcement and the proper
prosecution of the law in the courtroom.
There came a time in human history, however, when this very important function
broke down completely, and of all things, with the only Person Who is absolutely
perfect in His humanity.
There were six trials for the Lord Jesus Christ. Not one, but six. And
with the exception of one short interrogation, these six trials were unfair,
fallacious, and unjust in every way.
Who was on trial? The unique Person of the universe. Undiminished Deity and true
humanity combined in one Person forever – the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His humanity He had no old sin nature, nor did He ever commit one act of
personal sin. Furthermore, the sin of Adam was not imputed to Him. He never did
anything but that which was absolute good. And He was indwelt and filled by God
the Holy Spirit.
He was placed on six unfair trials. Are we as a country facing the same
unfairness when it comes to our courts?
Law and Order in the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ
When Jesus Christ was put on trial, there were many who could have come into
the courtroom and testified on His behalf.
”I was lame and now I walk.”
”I was deaf and now I hear.”
”I was dumb and now I speak.”
”I was dead and now I am alive.”
Notice this in context. Please it may open your eyes!
Yet one of the greatest systems of jurisprudence was used to condemn this One
Who was not only innocent, but who in His humanity was absolutely perfect.
Disgraceful as this was, it is important to realize that in the plan of God, “all
things work together for good,” Rom 8:28. And out of this travesty of
justice came our so great salvation, Heb 2:3.
On the six trials recorded throughout the Gospels, two were held before Pontius
Pilate, where Scripture declares that Jesus Christ witnessed a good confession.
1 Tim 6:13.
All four Gospels record the fourth and six trials, but when we study these two
trials and examine them from John’s Gospel, because John wrote from the
viewpoint of the Deity of Jesus Christ and emphasized certain things which the
others did not.
Sunday, July 22, 2001
When Jesus Christ Was Put on Trial for the First Time!
“Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and
bound Him, And led Him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas,
which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave
counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the
people,” John 18:12-14.
Two military groups, actually a sort of United Nations, were involved in the
apprehension and capture of the Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, there were
Jewish soldiers, “officers of the law,” part of the temple guard. And
secondly, Roman soldiers, “the band and the captain.”
The two garrisons descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ after His betrayal. Since
Annas was not a judge, this was an illegal trial. A former high priest,
Annas, was now the political boss of Jerusalem.
He was engaged in gangster activities connected with every system of graft in
Jerusalem, as well as with the band of robbers in the Negev who owed their
protection to him.
You should notice, at the very outset that the people who brought the Lord Jesus
Christ to trial in the first cases were all religious people – the
chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees.
We see that phrase again and again. And as a matter of fact, it was the
Sanhedrin, a religious organization,
in which all Judaism centered.
Remember religion is the worst thing that ever hit this
world. I said religion, not Christianity. There is a difference.
Religion is salvation by works. Religion is man seeking the approbation of
God by his own merits. Religion is the devil’s ace trump. Nothing Satan has
ever devised has been so successful as religion is to the blinding of men’s
minds to the Truth.
|The overwhelming pride of the self righteous religious person who thinks
God is impressed with his offerings of human works.|
|The egotist who looks down his nose at others while giving the impression
that he is a perfect plaster saint.|
The world is filled with people who are proud of their flimsy works of
baptism, Church membership, sincerity, keeping the Ten Commandments, living by
the Golden Rule, and a host of other works by which they expect to enter the
Pearly Gates with great pomp and circumstance.
“And They Led Him Away to Annas First,” John 18:12-14
Because Annas was no longer the high priest, he was not a judge. But as the
political boss, all matters had to be cleared by him before going to court.
Therefore, Annas, the most religious of them all, approved the case, and
followed the counsel of Caiaphas. He said in effect, “Take Him and railroad
Him through,” John 18:14.
This first trial is developed further in John 18:15-24. It is staggering to
realize how great a percentage of evil deeds in history have been executed by
these people in the name of religion. But none equals the infamous trials of the
Lord Jesus Christ!
Covered by their sanctimonious veneer of piety, these religious people
unabashedly and efficiently plotted and secured the death of the Lord Jesus
Christ. These people would put you to shame when it comes to prayer
activity, temple attendance, and almsgiving. At least three times a day, every
day, they prayed in the temple and seven times a day at home.
Yes, they were very religious, and also very lost. Even though the Lord
Jesus Christ had given one of their representatives the Gospel, “Ye must be
born again,” John 3:7, addressed to a religious man.
The Second Trial of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high
priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled,” Matt 26:57.
Now we encounter the first trial that was supposed to be legal. This was after
the preliminary hearing with Annas. Caiaphas was the one who said, “Nor
consider that it is expedient for us, that one should die for the people and
that the whole nation perish not,” John 11:50.
Caiaphas was not a prophet, but he inadvertently prophesied the death of the
Lord Jesus Christ, John 11:51-52. He was merely a practical man who recognized
the need of finding a scapegoat for the anti-Roman activities that were in the
mill in Israel. He knew that Rome would demand that the lawlessness in Palestine
be rectified by the death of the culprit. Thus the Romans must be made to think
that the Jews were cleaning house without Roman help or interference.
In his policy of expediency, he contended that it was better for one to die
than they all lose their power and wealth. The Sanhedrin would, therefore, try
to palm off the Lord Jesus Christ
as the culprit.
Here is satanic modus operandi exposed. The perfect matchless Son of God is to
be presented as a master criminal by the criminals themselves.
The Second Trial of the Lord Jesus Christ! Matthew 26:57
In this second trial, the Lord Jesus Christ was already considered guilty.
For Annas had given Him “thumbs down” and from now on we have to watch the
wheels of injustice grind – not too unfamiliar in our day.
Notice the assemblage of religious people. “Caiaphas the high priest,
and the scribes, and the elders.” These pompous, self-righteous people who
could do no wrong, the self-styled plaster saints who had “canonized”
themselves by their various good deeds, those people who thought they could work
their way into Heaven by their own human good. They are still among us today!
”Now the chief priests and elders and all the council sought false
witnesses against Jesus to put Him to death,” Matt 26:59.
“They Sought False Witness Against Jesus to Put Him to Death,” Matthew
How many witnesses are necessary according to the law? Deut 19:15. All they
need to draw an indictment is two people who will agree to their lies.
We do not know exactly how many there were, but there must have been at least 20
or 30 people who got up and lied about the Lord Jesus Christ.
|The One who had never done anything wrong.|
|The One who was sinless.|
|The One who had done so much Divine good.|
|The One who had helped so many people.|
|The One who gave eternal life to all that believe in Him.|
The liars were gathered together. This was the greatest of all liar’s
clubs that has ever existed. But they embellished their lies in such a
way no two of them were able to agree.
”But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none.
At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to
destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days,” Matt 26:60-61.
Notice the Break Down of Jurisprudence Here!
Notice some of the illegal points of this trial.
- First of all, it was held at night, which was contrary to Jewish
- But they were in a hurry, for the next day was the Passover.
- They had to get their dirty work out of the way so they could
partake of the Passover with clean hands.
- The fact that the Passover spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ dying for their
sins was a point, which, had they understood it, would have mattered little
in their evil calculations.
- They were anxious to bring about the destruction of the One had not only
upset their religious apple cart, but who was the perfect patsy for
their nefarious activities.
- Therefore, it had to be held at night.
- Further, there was no defense attorney, which was illegal.
- The court sought false witnesses, obviously illegal.
- The court was prejudiced.
- And there was violence in the court.
Not one aspect of this trial conformed to Jewish law.
Monday, July 23, 2001
“But Found None, Yea, Though Many False Witnesses Came, Yet Found They
None,” Matthew 26:60-61
One after another, various witnesses stood and told their lies about the Lord
Jesus Christ. And though the court tried desperately to get two of them to
agree, it was impossible. Finally, two agreed in one area, and out of them they
tried to find an indictment.
”At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This Fellow said, I am able
to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days,” Matt 2:60-61.
You will remember when Jesus Christ discussed the temple, John had interpreted
“but He spoke of the temple of His body,” John 2:21.
As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ had the power to destroy the temple and
rebuild it much more quickly than three days. But He had not been talking about
the actual temple building. He referred literally to His death and resurrection.
He was actually prophesying how they would succeed in bringing about His
But that their triumph would be short lived, for on the
third day He would arise from the dead.
When the two false witnesses finally agreed and made this statement, immediately
the high priest, who had been waiting perhaps for hours for this collaboration,
rose up and said, “And the high priest arose and said unto them, Answereth
thou nothing what is it which these witness against Thee?” Matt 26:62.
”Answereth Thou nothing?”
”He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. He is
brought as a Lamb to the slaughter and as a Sheep before His shearers is dumb, so
He openeth not His mouth,” Isa 53:7.
Jesus Christ did not answer back, not even one word – a marvelous
manifestation of the fact that He did not possess an old sin nature.
“Answereth Thou Nothing?” Matthew 26:62
“As a Lamb before his shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth,” which
is a manifestation of the fact that Jesus Christ did not have an old sin nature.
He did not say one word when He was accused.
If Jesus Christ had present in Him an old sin nature, which is resident in
every other member of the human race, He would have reacted.
After hearing so many lies about Himself, He would have done something about it
in one way or another. He would have used withering sarcasm, or violence, or He
might have stood up and said, “That is a lie.”
But Jesus Christ did not say a word, as lie after lie was spoken against Him.
The uniqueness of Christ should have been apparent to all who watched the
God the Holy Spirit controlled His life. There is a time to speak and there is
time to be quiet, Ecc 3:7.
”When He was reviled, He reviled not again, but committed unto the Father Who
is the Judge of all men.”
The only way you or any believer will ever discover this principle is by the
filling of the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18, and knowledge of the Word of God. Then we
know when to speak and we know when to keep quiet. That is one of the most
amazing of all the attributes of the human race, to know when to use the tongue
and when not to use it.
Here is One, Who is filled with the Spirit, as He proclaimed the Cross and
taught the Word of God for three years. And at this point said not a word.
“He Openeth Not His Mouth”
What a marvelous lesson we as believers can learn. The Lord Jesus Christ
put the whole matter in the Father’s hands, revealing His perfect orientation
to Grace and to the Plan of God.
Remember “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord,” Rom 12:19.
Gossiping and maligning, returning evil for evil, whether it is the truth or
not, are among the worst sins believers can commit. When someone maligns you and
runs you down, leave it in the Lord’s hands. He is qualified to discipline.
Many Christians who think they can do a better job to try trot some other person
into the woodshed, only to find out that the Lord is waiting for both. Woe to
them that abuse or misuse this responsibility before the Lord.
So we learn the lesson of our Lord’s silence here. He left all this in
the hands of His Father. Every moment the Lord Jesus Christ lived, He lived in
the moment by moment Sabbath, resting in the Word and Plan of God. He
continually cast His cares upon His Father and He left them there. He was not
upset. He was not disturbed. He quietly rested in the Father’s promises.
“He Openeth Not His Mouth,” “Answereth Thou Nothing?” Matthew 26:62
While these religious people could not see the uniqueness and the power of
Christ’s life, a brilliant roman governor, Pontius Pilate, would soon perceive
the Truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many of these men were scribes, who daily studied the Old Testament, where
hundreds and hundreds of passages that point to the Person of the Lord Jesus
Christ that say:
|He is the Messiah. The Kingdom of the Earth rests on His shoulders.|
|He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God.|
|Yet they did not see. They were blinded by religion.|
|Religion is blind, and these people were blind to the Person of the
Lord Jesus Christ.|
|Satan is the father of religion. And Satan blinds the mind lest you see
the glorious Gospel in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ.|
The blind leading the blind.
“Answereth Thou Nothing?” Matthew 26:62
|How could the high priest, Caiaphas, watch the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Royal High Priest, while people lied about Him and not get up and say,
“This is the Son of God”?|
|Why must we wait for Pontius Pilate to say, “He is a just man.”|
|Why must we wait until a Roman centurion looks up at the Cross and says,
“Truly this is the Son of God,” Matt 27:54.|
|What is the matter with this high priest? Here in his court is the Eternal
High Priest after the order of Melchisedek, Heb 5:5-10.|
|What is the matter with this supposed “servant of God”?|
He is so loaded with religion he cannot see the Grace of God.
What a tremendous thing is Grace! Although God has provided everything for
man, we can latch on to the Grace of God only in one way – by faith. That
is why the Scripture says, “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but
have everlasting life.”
John 3:16 – what does it say? “Whosoever believeth.” Because Jesus
Christ provided our salvation in toto, without the Ten Commandments, without the
Sermon on the Mount, without any other system of ethics, without anything that
man can do.
”But Jesus held His peace, and the High Priest answered and said unto Him, I
adjure Thee by the living God that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the
Son of God.”
”Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said. Nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter
shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in
the clouds of Heaven,” Matt 26:63-64.
“But Jesus Held His Peace, and the High Priest Answered and Said Unto Him,
I Adjure Thee by the Living God, That Thou Tell us Whether Thou be the Christ,
the Son of the Living God”
“Jesus saith unto him, ‘Thou hast said’,” Matt
The Living God was standing right in His presence! The high priest was
commanding the Living God to speak up. Finally, Jesus Christ answered, “Thou
Now that does not mean much in our English translation, and it is actually a
poor translation. The Greek says, and it is the strongest of all affirmatives,
emphatically yes! This was all He said concerning His Person.
But He added, and this was Grace, the next few items on the agenda.
“Nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on
the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven,” Matt 26:63-64.
He added the resurrection, ascension, session, and the Second Advent. He gave
them a short course on the Doctrine of Cchristology right there in the
”Coming in the clouds of Heaven.”
Isn’t this interesting! Jesus Christ said “coming.” Yet today many people
who profess to know something about the Word of God rationalize the Second
These, of course, have a theological ascription “amillennialists.”
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
“Then the High Priest Rent His Clothes Saying, He Hath Spoken Blasphemy.
What Further Need Have We of Witnesses? Behold, Now Ye Have Heard His
Blasphemy,” Matthew 26:65
Then the high priest said, “Thou art the Son of God, I believe in Thee
and fell down and worshipped Him.” Is that what you read? No, by this time he
had blown his cork.
Imagine a judge sitting on the bench suddenly beginning to tear off his
clothes. He was really steamed up. He was in utter rejection of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Here is the attitude of religion!
The judge certainly should have known that before he could have an indictment
written up, there must be two witnesses who agree on the accusation. Jewish
jurisprudence. Yet he brazenly declared, “We don’t need witnesses.”
Something else in Jewish jurisprudence – no one can condemn himself by his
own statements, apart from a confession of guilt. Actually, if Jesus Christ’s
own statements, which would condemn Him, were not true, they would be ruled out.
Jesus Christ did not speak blasphemy. He did not make a confession of guilt, but
a clear statement of fact.
Caiaphas took a clear statement of fact, which in reality did not condemn the
Lord Jesus Christ, and said it was a confession, which it was not.
“What Think Ye? They Answered and Said, He is Guilty of Death,” Matthew
The penalty of blasphemy was death. Remember, this was a courtroom under one
of the best systems of court procedure that has ever been set up, procedures
which God Himself set up in the Mosaic Law.
”Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him, and others smote Him with
the palms of their hands,” Matt 26:67.
Now the violence begins. They spit in the face of the Son of God. They were
spitting in the face of the One who would hang on Calvary’s Cross and be
judged for every sin that had ever been or will ever be committed, every sin
that ever was committed, including spitting in His face.
Did you ever have anyone spit in your face? Old sin natures do not appreciate
anyone spitting in their face.
But that is not all. They spit upon Him and buffeted Him. The word
“buffet” is an Old English word of 1611, which today would be translated
“to punch.” They punched Him. In fact, the Greek verb is linear aktionsart,
which indicates that they constantly and repeatedly punched Him.
Now, is this not a little unusual for a trial? The results of it were shocking!
Isa 59:14, “As many were astonied at Thee, His visage was so marred more than
any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” When they were through
with Christ’s second trial, the Lord Jesus Christ no longer looked human. They
kept punching Him till His face was destroyed. They closed his eyes. His face
was swollen! Yet still He stood there. If you know anything about boxing,
you know that no one just stands still while someone makes a punching bag out of
you, and survives.
The ordinary man would suffer anything from a cerebral hemorrhage to a quick
But here is a Person who stood unmoved, as one man after another stepped forward
without interference from anyone, and struck the Son of God and He did not roll
with the punches. He just stood there while they came up and reigned blow
after blow upon Him. Apparently none of the artists have ever painted Jesus
Christ on the Cross have ever understood what the Bible describes of His cruel
They have depicted an emaciated figure with the protruding, scrawny shoulders,
and bony frame, producing the general effect of a weak, half-starved person. In
reality, the Lord Jesus Christ was the most powerful man who ever lived. To
receive these severe blows Jesus Christ had to be very strong.
To be accurate, an artist painting the Lord Jesus Christ as He hung upon
the Cross should depict a powerful body and neck beneath a faceless mass of
saliva and blood, His features completely mangled.
“But He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions. He Was Bruised for Our
Iniquities; The Chastisement of Our Peace was Upon Him, and by His Bruise,
Literally, We Are Reconciled,” Isaiah 53:5
“Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being
dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by Whose bruise we are
reconciled,” 1 Pet 2:24.
As Isaiah looked down the corridor of time he saw Jesus Christ on the Cross
as one massive bruise. Isa 52:14. Peter said the same thing. Why? When Peter saw
the Lord Jesus Christ after the second trial, he saw one massive bruise.
How did the Lord Jesus Christ stay on His feet? How did the Lord Jesus Christ
live through such punishment? Because He had you in mind! He was thinking
of you and me! Because He had to get to the Cross! He must pay the
penalty of sin which is spiritual death! He must be made sin for us. He
must “bear our sins in His own body on the tree.”
The fact that Jesus Christ died physically was not the primary factor in
salvation. His physical death signified that His work was finished and formed
the basis for resurrection. He must suffer spiritual death in order to pay for
your sins and mine. He must be judged for our sins and be separated from God the
Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, Jesus Christ stood on His feet, and stayed alive. The Father saw to
this. You and I will never be able to comprehend the terrible punishment
Jesus Christ took.
And this was only the second trial. To me the greatest thing of all was that
He didn’t fight back. What a Saviour we have! How glorious is the Person of
Jesus Christ. All He would have to do is snap His fingers, and 10,000 legion of
angels would have cleaned up this court in a hurry.
But His restraint was very significant. For if He had lost His temper, there
would be no salvation.
He remained sinless in spite of the most intense temptations.
“Prophesy Unto Us, Thou Christ, Who is He Who Smote Thee,” Matthew 26:68
They did not miss a thing. His majesty, the devil, was present that day.
So we have in this second trial everything from unparalleled violence to
utmost sarcasm. If you have an old sin nature, and you have, enough slapping
and insults can make your lose your temper.
But, if Jesus Christ had lost His temper, we could just as well close up all the
churches. Because there could be no salvation had Jesus Christ committed one
single sin. But He did not lose His temper even once. What a man He is!
|The God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, how great!|
|He took all of the punching.|
|He took all of the spitting.|
|He took all of the slapping and stayed alive.|
But that did not satisfy them. They had to add insult to injury. “Prophesy
unto us, Thou Christ, who is he that smote Thee.” They did not miss a thing.
”But for the joy that was set before Him, He despised not the shame.”
He had you in mind, and me, too.
The Third Trial of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests
and the scribes came together, and led Him into their council, saying, Art Thou
Christ? tell us. And He said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And
if I also ask you, ye will not answer Me, nor let Me go. Hereafter ye shall see
the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they, Art
Thou the Son of God? And He said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they
said, What need we of any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of His
own mouth,” Luke 22:66-71.
This trial was held early the next morning, by the Jews. The religious leaders,
the council, suddenly realized that the trial at night was illegal. They
gathered together and decided to make it a legal trial.
At this trial the Lord Jesus Christ gave them the supreme sign of His
Realizing that it was a feast period, the Passover, and unleavened bread, and
they could not sentence anyone on a holy day according to their law, they said,
“Let’s pass Him off to the Romans.”
The Fourth Trial!
“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas (His second trip before Caiaphas that
morning) unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went
out into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat
the Passover,” John 18:28.
This trial is covered in all four of the Gospels. But there are certain things
in John 18 that emphasize its importance.
This was the day the memorial supper would be eaten. They
wanted to keep their religious hands “clean” in order to eat the Passover
that night – the Passover which spoke of the death of Christ on the Cross.
Eating the lamb was a picture of believing in Christ, yet they had rejected
Him. Ritual without reality is meaningless.
The Jews took Jesus Christ to the Roman governor in an attempt to circumvent
Jewish law concerning the holy days.
”Pilate then went out unto them and said, What accusation bring ye against
this Man?” John 18:29?
“Pilate Went Out Unto Them and Said, What Accusation Bring ye Against This
Man?” John 18:29
Pilate had to go out because the Jews could not come inside a Gentile
dwelling on a holy day. The entire procedure is most interesting. Pilate was
keeping his cool. He wanted to know what the indictment was. He undoubtedly
observed the majestic Person of the Lord Jesus Christ amid all the hubbub and
shouting, and scrambling, and fuss. So he asked “What is the accusation?”
The Jews were upset by Pilate’s question because they had been unable to
frame an indictment. There was no evidence to establish a charge against the
Lord Jesus Christ. They wanted to condemn the Lord Jesus Christ without a trial.
With characteristic hypocrisy, they assumed an injured air. They posed as
righteous men who would never think of arresting an innocent man.
”They answered and said unto him, If He were not a malefactor, we would not
have delivered Him up to thee,” John 18:30.
“If He Were Not a Malefactor, We Would Not Have Delivered Him up to
Thee,” John 18:30
“Accusation? they screamed. Why the very fact that we are so persistent
should indicate something. Just string Him up! Don’t waste any time on words.
We would not bring you anything but the scum of the Earth. And we have brought
Him to you.”
Malefactor is the word “KAKOS,” an evildoer. And “if” is in the first
class condition, meaning to them it is true.
We have delivered unto you an evil man! Sinless = evil?
Wednesday, July 25, 2001
“And They Began to Accuse Him, Saying, We Find This Fellow Perverting the
Nation, and Forbidding to Give Tribute to Caesar, and We Have Brought Him,”
They do not mention blasphemy! Notice how smart these Jews were. Why do you
suppose they did not mention blasphemy? This is a theological problem that would
never hold up before a Roman governor. The Romans had only one type of worship
– Caesar worship!
”Christ is KURIOS” (God).
Had blasphemy been included in the accusation, the first thing Pilate would have
said would have been, “You mean to tell me that you people do not accept
Caesar as god?” That would have put them on the spot, and Pilate could have
hauled them off into court.
Needing to get around that possibility, they invent lies. Nothing was said about
tribute to Caesar in the first trials, but now they say, “He is forbidding to
give tribute to Caesar,” which is, of course, a deliberate lie. We know
this because of what Jesus Christ said when these same religious people brought
Him a gold coin. ”Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s
(pay your tribute tax) and unto God the things that are God’s,” Matt 22:21.
“We Find This Fellow Perverting the Nation, and Forbidding to Give Tribute
to Caesar, Saying That He Himself is Christ a King,” Luke 23:2
We know from history that the high priests and the
other religious leaders were the ones who were trying to get around paying their
income tax to Rome. They were
professional tax evaders.
And so they added what they hoped would be the clincher, “Saying that He
Himself is Christ a King.”
In other words, they were implying that He was in reality setting Himself up as
a King and trying to lead in a revolt against Rome. To refuse to pay tribute to
Caesar was tantamount to insurrection. Does that sound familiar?
You can see the picture they painted before Pilate. Here was a rival to Caesar
and a dangerous revolutionary. You can understand that after so many agreed to
this collection of fabrications, a man in Pilate’s shoes might become pretty
upset. Pilate could have rationalized, “I have a revolt on my hands. I had
better take this Revolutionary and draw and quarter Him, stretch Him on the rack
before this breaks wide open.”
But notice what a great man Pilate was in his own right. He did not lose his
head. He remained calm and completely in control of himself to the very end.
This is a very important point. And the full import is brought out in 1 Tim 6:13
... “Jesus Christ, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.”
God the Holy Spirit only mentions the trial before Pontius Pilate because Pilate
was the only person who gave the Lord Jesus Christ an honest, objective,
”Cross examination?” Examine the Cross!
“Then Said Pilate Unto Them, Take Ye Him, and Judge Him According to Your
Law. The Jews Therefore Said Unto Him, It is Not Lawful for Us to Put Any Man to
Death,” John 18:31
Pilate tried to evade the responsibility. Here was the weakness in his
armor. Pilate thought more of expediency than principle. Does that sound
It was no accident that a just but weak man was the governor of Judea at this
time. Pilate had the discernment to observe the innocence of the Lord Jesus
Christ, but not the character to free Him.
Now the Jews used the Law, but they did not execute the Law. There are people
today who even use, and abuse, the Word of God. This is exactly what
”It is not lawful for us,” therefore you will have to handle this case. The
reply of the Jews was an admission that they did not desire a fair trial for the
Lord Jesus Christ, only His death.
“That the Saying of Jesus Might be Fulfilled, Which He Spake Signifying
What Death He Should Die,” John 18:32
Here was the King of the Jews about to die, about to be subjected to the
lowest form of Gentile punishment. How would the Jews have put Him to death?
They would have stoned Him. Crucifixion was not Jewish punishment.
”Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said
unto Him, Art Thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this
thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew?
Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee unto me: what hast
Thou done?” John 18:33-35.
The first question implied both ignorance and exasperation. Pilate through
ignorance expressed his frustration in coming to grips with the real issue. He
further denied any personal interest or association with the situation.
His second question was one searching for information. This is the question
which received an answer. We have only a part of what Jesus Christ said, but it
is very important.
”My kingdom is not of this world,” “if” is a second class (and it is
not), “if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight. That I
should not be delivered to the Jews. But now is My kingdom not from hence,”
“My Kingdom is Not of This World,” Matt 18:36
At this time Satan is the ruler of this world. It would be impossible for
Jesus Christ to have a kingdom of this world until Satan’s defeat at the
Cross. This does not mean that Christ will not have an earthly kingdom, but
it would not be established on Earth at that time.
The kingdom of Christ on Earth awaits the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus
Christ. In the meantime, He has a kingdom of regenerate people, known as the
body of Christ.
At present, the rulership of Christ is invisible and spiritual. Jesus
Christ did not say, “My kingdom is not in this world,” for
Jesus Christ does have a kingdom in this world. During the Church Age believers
are “in this world, but not of this world,” John 17:16.
The kingdom fights with the sword of the Spirit rather than the sword of men.
“The Word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.”
Thursday, July 26, 2001
“Pilate Therefore Said Unto Him, Art Thou a King Then? Jesus Answered,
Thou Sayest I Am a King (and I Am), to This End Was I Born (in the Past With the
Result of My Birth Going on Forever – the Perfect Tense in the Greek)
“And for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto
the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth My voice,” John 18:17.
He evidently went on to explain that He was the God-man, born of a virgin,
without an old sin nature, without imputed sin, and without personal sin. And
that He was going to die for the sins of the world. This is the Truth of
|”I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, and no one cometh unto the
Father but by Me,” John 14:6.|
|”Thus He witnessed a good confession before Pilate.”|
Those who are the recipients of the Truth of salvation, believers in the
Lord Jesus Christ, hear the voice of the Son of God.
|”My sheep hear My voice.”|
Today the voice of the Lord is the Bible, the Word of God.
|”The Truth shall make you free.”|
“Pilate Said Unto Him, What is Truth? And When He Had Said This, He Went
Out Again Unto the Jews, and Saith Unto Them, I Find no Fault in Him at All,”
When Pilate asked about Truth, Jesus Christ had no doubt explained that He
Himself is Truth. John 14:6.
This famous Sneee or Pilatei indicates the state of the natural man –
spiritual blindness and lack of a human spirit make spiritual phenomena
impossible to absorb. 1 Cor 2:14. Only the convicting ministry of God the Holy
Spirit can change this.
The Holy Spirit makes the Gospel understandable in the mind of the unbeliever.
But here is a case of negative volition. Pilate did not desire an answer to the
question he had asked, and so indicated it by leaving immediately, before an
answer could be given. He didn’t wait around for an answer.
What was Pilate’s verdict? Here is the importance of the fourth trial.
”I find in Him, Jesus Christ, no fault.”
Here was the first unbiased, unprejudiced examination. Here was the only
impartial judge. And what was the conclusion? Completely
“And They Were the More Fierce, Saying, He Stirreth up the People,
Teaching Throughout All Jewry, Beginning From Galilee to This Place,” Luke
The Jews then began to put the heat on Pilate – heat the Pilate. Finally
the pressure became too great for Pilate. Learning that Jesus Christ was a
Galilean, Luke 23:6, he said, “Herod is the pontiff of Galilee and is in
Jerusalem at this time,” Luke 23:7. “I will just send Him over there, and
let King Herod worry about Him.” In this manner Pilate sought to avoid the
pressure from the religious crowd to kill an innocent Man.
Thus, under Herod’s jurisdiction, Jesus Christ underwent His next trial.
Next time, the fifth trial.
Christ’s Fifth Trial!
“And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to
see Him of a long season, because he had heard many things of Him; and he hoped
to have seen some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned with Him in many
words; but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes stood
and vehemently accused Him. And Herod with his men of war set Him at
nought, and mocked Him, and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him again
to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for
before they were at enmity between themselves,” Luke 23:8-12.
Herod was excited at seeing Jesus Christ, for he had heard of His reputation for
performing miracles. Hoping for entertainment, he tempted Jesus Christ to
perform one of His miracles. When Jesus Christ refused, Herod angrily ordered
Herod’s “men of war,” his bodyguards, not only tortured the Lord Jesus
Christ, but they threw a magnificent robe around Him and mocked Him.
In times past, Herod and Pilate had been at enmity with one another. But this
mutual crisis had made them friends – strange bedfellows. Religion and the
roman military are now friends for a common cause.
And Jesus Christ was sent back to Pilate.
Refusing to perform a miracle would not sit too well with many who are
looking for miracles today, when miracles won’t save you, but miracles are
designed to bring attention to the Word of God.
The Sixth Trial of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover:
will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” John 18:39.
Before Pilate again, Jesus Christ was subject to one more trial. Remember and
remember to emphasize this fact, Pilate had not said once but several times that
Jesus Christ was innocent.
We pick up the trial where Pilate is examining the Lord Jesus Christ again.
Pilate called Him the King of the Jews. Jesus Christ had convinced
Pilate of His birth, His status, and the facts concerning Himself.
Now Pilate made an ingenious attempt to gain the release of Jesus Christ on
the basis of the custom of the Passover, realizing that Jesus Christ was
innocent. Pilate would make it possible to release an innocent person and get
himself off the hook and help the religious leaders safe face.
But these Jewish leaders, under the control of Satan, “Satan is your
father,” would not let up until Jesus Christ was removed from the scene.
“Then Cried They All Again, Saying, Not This Man, But Barabbas. Now
Barabbas Was a Robber,” John 18:40
What have they said? Don’t release unto us the most wonderful Person who
has ever lived. Release unto us public enemy number one – Barabbas!
Now this appears very tame in the English. It gives you the modern idea that
this guy might have been a “second story” man. Perhaps he had broken into a
few homes and opened a few drawers, and sneaked out the back door. But the
original Greek language indicates that he was a habitual, professional criminal,
possibly the number one man of the crime syndicate in that area. He was vile all
the way through.
Yet the religious crowd was asking for his release.
There has always been in history and in our history also a strange affinity
between religion and the crime syndicate. Religion has always provided a
haven for criminals.
Religion became the champion of a despicable criminal rather than the
perfect, matchless Son of God.
In the Aramaic, “Barabbas” means “son of the father.” The Jews chose the
criminal son of a father in place of the Eternal Son of God the Father.
They chose a robber ... And they have been robbed ever since!
Friday, July 27, 2001
“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” Psa 22:1
We generally think that Jesus Christ alone provided our so great salvation.
But the entire Trinity were involved. Both the Father and God the Holy Spirit
had to forsake Him while He was identified with our sins.
But the Father had, as it were, the most nightmarish job of all. He had to
deliberately pour out the full wrath of His justice upon the One He loved so
perfectly. “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
For infinite eons before man was formed out of the dust, long before even the
dust existed, the Father had loved Christ, and He continually loved Him while
judicially imputing our sins to Him and executing judgment upon Him.
”He made Him to be sin, Who knew no sin, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Cor 5:21.
The closest the Father could come to expressing His love was to blanket the hill
in a darkness so total that neither man nor angel could watch our Lord’s
ordeal. The way in which God treated His Son on the Cross demonstrates
conclusively that when God deals with us, Divine justice has higher priority
than Divine love.
When He deals with Himself or other members of the Godhead, His justice is not
challenged, but our imperfection sounds an alarm in the essence of God. If God
had to design a coat of arms to represent Himself before fallen man, the motto
would read, “Justice before love.”
”Whom the Lord loves He chastens.”
“Jesus Christ, the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever,” Hebrews 13:8
God’s character is perfect. He is never better or worse. He is immutable
– never has He varied in the least since eternity past, and never will He
throughout all eternity future.
In Romans 1:16 Paul injected a theme which he pursues throughout the book of
Romans, especially in chapters nine through ten. “I am not ashamed of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew
first and also to the Greek.”
”To the Jew first and also to the Greek.” The Jew is mentioned first
because Israel is God’s chosen people, having been given special
responsibilities and accompanying privileges related to the custodianship and
dissemination of the Word of God.
The principle is however, that both Jews and non-Jews, that is, all people, have
access to the same opportunities and blessings in this dispensation. No race
or culture has greater privilege than another in the royal family of God. Nor is
any race or culture excluded, no individual is treated with special favor and no
one is ignored.
Race, culture, personal traits – none of these is an issue in the plan of God.
The issue is, either you adjust to the justice of God resulting in blessing,
or the justice of God will adjust to you, resulting in cursing and discipline.
The impartiality of Divine justice is a concept you must understand before you
can even get a good start in the Christian life.
Rom 2:11, “For there is never partiality before God.”
Romans 2:11, “For There is Never Partiality Before God”
The verb in Rom 2:11 is a present, active, indicative of “EIMI.” Present
tense, active voice, and indicative mood, which is translated in your English
Bible “there is.”
The customary present tense, with the negative “OU” means that there will
never be a time when God makes exceptions for anyone.
God is totally wise, totally fair, totally unchanging. He wrote the rules for
His own creation. And His rules are always in force in every case. There is no
slack anywhere. He treats us in Grace, but Grace is a policy of His justice.
Grace is not a sloppy program of sentimentality. God is not some huge mass of
love. He is a Person of incorruptible, awe-inspiring justice, and His Grace is
an efficient, well-run plan.
The word for “partiality” is the noun “PROSOPOLEMPSIA” from the word “PROSOPOS,”
literally “face,” and “LAMBANO,” which means “to receive.” ”Being
partial or receiving face,” connotes bias, an inclination to favor one person
over another, a predilection or fondness toward a certain person.
Divine justice is completely free of it, but human relations abound in it.
“If We Confess Our Sins, God is Faithful and Just to Forgive Us of Our
Sins and Cleanse Us From All Unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9
The old sin nature remains an active part of us as long as we live, 1 John
Secondly, throughout our lives we will continue to use our free will to commit
personal sins, 1 John 1:10.
All of our sins have already been judged. 1 John 1:7. They are no longer an
issue in the eternal relationship with God.
But our volition is always an issue in the angelic conflict. We cannot make
wrong decisions with impunity. The negative volition that yields to temptation
and places us under the old sin nature cut us off from “temporal fellowship”
After we sin, we exercise positive volition again by citing that sin to God as
one which His justice has already handled. We are identifying that sin with the
Cross. In effect, we are citing the court case in which that sin was brought
to trial, imputed to Jesus Christ in our place, and judged.
Although the justice of God has dealt with our sins once and for all on the
Cross, we too must deal with them via our own free will as we commit them in
”If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged,” 1 Cor 11:31.
“God Works All Things Together for Good,” Romans 8:28
|Foreknowledge – God thought about me in eternity past.|
|Predestination – God has a plan for me since eternity past.|
|Election – God chose me for the privileged part of His plan.|
|Justification – God can bless me now.|
|Glorification – God will bless me in Heaven.|
“If God be for us, who can be against us?”
”If God delivered up His own Son on behalf of us all, How shall He not with
Him give us all things?”
You need to know this system and be prepared to use it in a moment’s
Imagine the worst situation, the one that seems most awful to you – rape,
Communist torture, someone’s death, whatever – and apply this technique to
it. Even in your imagination there is no need to dangle on the fear-panic ploy.
If God can handle the worst, He can handle anything
“Remember the former things long past:
”For I am God, and there is no other.
”For I am God, and there is none like Me,
”Declaring the end from the beginning.
”And from ancient times things that have not been done,
”Saying, My decrees will be established,
”And I will accomplish My good pleasure,” Isaiah 46:9-10
The predetermined plan of God calls for us to gain our motivation and
spiritual momentum from the Word of God. This motivation and momentum is
designed to function under all conditions, disasters included.
As the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ remembers this, his concentration
begins to pick up speed.
Despite negative volition or opposition from men or angels, despite all the
disasters of life in the devil’s domain, God is so wise, just, and powerful
that He makes everything work together to accomplish His good pleasure.
”To be conformed to the image of His Son.” This is the view of God’s
Saturday, July 28, 2001
God is life. Jeremiah 10:10, John 1:4, John 14:6, 1 Thes 1:19.
God lives. He does not possess life as we do – life that began at some
point and has a terminus down the line.
There never was a time when God did not exist. He always existed. His
life is called “eternal life.” Eternal life has no beginning and no
ending. In contrast to the life of the believer, technically called
“everlasting life,” which has no end, but began at the moment of faith in
the Lord Jesus Christ.
All life is from God.
The eternal life of God is imparted to all who believe in Christ.
John 3:16, 18, 36; 10:10; 14:6; 20:31; 1 John 5:11-12.
“Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” John 14:6.
He is life. Never was there a time when He, in His Deity, did not exist. Eternal
life has always resided in Him.
”This is the record, that God has given unto us eternal life, and this life is
in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son has not life,”
1 John 5:11-12.
Furthermore, as the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Source of life, not
from the standpoint of creation, but as the One who breathes the spark of
life into the fetus when it emerges from the womb at birth.
Moreover, God the Holy Spirit is the Source of life as the Agent of
regeneration and as One who places each Church Age believer into union with
Christ at the moment of faith in the Gospel.
By the baptism of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 12:13, at the moment of salvation
the eternal life of Jesus Christ becomes our eternal life. Thus the Members
of the Trinity are related to life in specific, different ways that never clash
and are totally compatible with the operation of the Godhead.
Psa 25:5, “Lead me in Thy Truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my
salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.”
John 17:17, “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.”
1 John 5:6, “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ;
not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth
witness, because the Spirit is Truth.”
Not merely true to other beings, but God is true to Himself. The fact
that God is veracity toward others is secondary. The primary fact is that
billions and billions of years ago before any creature existed, the Father, and
the Son, and the Holy Spirit was each to Himself. They also possessed perfect
integrity based on Truth.
Man says, “I am telling the Truth.” God says “I am the
Truth,” John 14:6.
Man often finds it easy to adjust to others by lies and deceit. But God
has never made such an adjustment. Jesus Christ is a totally true Person.
God doesn’t hold the Truth as something He acquired. He is the Truth from
eternity past. The Truth has never been diminished or compromised in Him. God is
the source of Truth. Therefore, God is the Source of the Word of God. From the
Truth that God is comes the Truth we have in writing. Every form of
knowledge, every Truth dwells in God in absoluteness, thus the dogmatism of the
Word of God.
The Divine attribute of Truth guarantees that Divine revelation in any form,
spoken, pre-Canon, or written, or Canon, is accurate, perfect, and absolute.
Deut 32:4, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are
judgment: a God of Truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”
1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is
true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
John 6:32, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Moses gave you not that bread from Heaven; but My Father giveth you the true
Bread from Heaven.”
Heb 8:2, “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the
true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
1 John 4:7, 16, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” “And we have known
and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in
love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
As with all the attributes of God, especially His absolute attributes, love
belongs to the being of God. God’s love cannot be disassociated from His
eternal being, 1 John 4:8, and never is His love diminished or improved.
Thus God is love whether He has something or someone to love. His nature
is to bestow Himself, to give of Himself, and His nature remains the same
whether or not there is an object for love, whether or not there is an occasion
In other words, billions of years before the creation of the universe,
God’s love was not less because there were no objects, and it is not increased
after creation. The explanation for this is that the only object that is ever
worthy of God’s love is God’s own eternal, unchangeable character.
His love is revealed in His perfect righteousness and He never compromises what
He loves. God’s love is different from human love, which God does not possess.
Even if we understand human love that is no guarantee that we understand God’s
God’s love in its totality is beyond our comprehension. His love needs no
support. Ours does.
There is no deception in God’s love, only the inviolable demand of perfect
Truth, while our love is often blind.
Whereas God’s love needs no object, our love is not love unless we have an
object. God’s love is part of His immutable being in spite of objects and
”God is love.”
God Does Not Love Us Because of What We Are or Are Not
He loves us because of Who and What He is. “God is love.”
Specially He loves His own righteousness with an infinite love. And since we
possess His righteousness, as of the moment we believed in Christ, He loves us. Gen
15:6, Rom 5:3.
God’s love is always related to His character. Thus, He is very particular
about whom He loves and admits into Heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ is the
only One worthy and only through His merits are we acceptable. Eph 1:6.
This is Grace. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn the love of God
or the right to live with Him forever. We are qualified only by non-meritorious
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
”We love because He first loved us.”
Sunday, July 29, 2001
“As a Man Thinketh in His Mind, So is He,” Proverbs 23:7
What we think is what we are!
The Plan of God has seen fit for us share the thinking of the Lord Jesus
Christ and to utilize His Divine orientation in our walk through life. If
the Lord Jesus Christ is important, then what He thinks is more important than
anything in life.
But what has been important to us?
When we come to the end of our road and look back, we will see a switchback,
from positive to negative to positive, as we have fluctuated in our attitude
about the word of God. No human being with an old sin nature will have a perfect
record. No one will have followed a straight path. But the question will be,
“What has been predominate?”
Have you been positive toward the Word of God or consistently negative? How
far has our positive volition carried us? Have we cracked the “maturity
barrier?” Have we persisted in learning the Word of God one day at a time? And
day after day?
We have been given the Word of God, the Grace apparatus for perception, and
we have been given sufficient time to grow up spiritually. How have we
handled these assets?
When you think of how easy it is for people to get away from the Word of God
and how difficult it is to grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ, the importance of this issue becomes emphatic.
”Guard your mind with all diligence for out it come the issues in life.”
The Bible is Called “the Mind of Christ”
Therefore, God’s Plan is simple. The issues and objectives are clear cut.
But life can become very difficult when we manufacture our own problems, and
when our friends manufacture problems for us. And when life itself adds problems
and distractions of its own. For example, many Christians have spotted on the
horizon our fast-approaching historical crisis, and they are scared to death.
These believers have been distracted from the most important thing in life by a
situation that is also very critical, but far less so.
The Word of God, the Mind of Christ, must be given first priority. With the Word
of God in your soul, you know Who controls history. And you know your place in
it. The Word of God keeps every historical disaster in perspective. And
it enables you to think instead of panic under pressure. Believers live in
Whatever may occur in the future, you must assign politics and warfare, and
world affairs, as well as your own ambitions, your family, your life, your
social life, your business life, all to lower priorities than you give to
the Word of God.
As legitimate and important as these other things may be, the Word of God is
the eternal issue and the Word of God must be transferred from the page
into your soul.
The Judgment Seat of Christ!
At the judgment seat of Christ you will be on your own facing the Lord Jesus
Christ. Rom 14:12, “Every one” means that Christ will handle each case
separately. Christianity is personal and you must answer for yourself.
In life, you may have evaded the responsibility for your own decisions. You may
have found others to blame or to lean on. You may have developed a prodigious
ability to make excuses. But in front of the omniscient King of kings, you
will not be able to evade, to compensate, to laugh off, to find any excuse.
He has all the facts. The evidence is all in the mind of Christ. He knows
your every thought during your every moment on Earth. And if the Word of God
resides in your soul, He will recognize His own thoughts in you. He knows your
true attitude about the Word of God.
The invalidity of every excuse you ever made for declining to learn the Word of
God is no secret to Him. You are standing in the front of the Person who
provided the means of overcoming even legitimate excuses. More than ever before,
when you face Him, you can say, “No excuse, Sir.”
Perhaps for the first time you will accept full responsibility for your own
The Judgment Seat of Christ!
Does it make you uncomfortable when you think of the judgment seat of Christ?
Be sure to understand that the judgment seat of Christ is not talking about
your sins. They were judged on the Cross and will never be mentioned again. The
thoughts, the decisions, and actions for which you must give an account have
nothing directly to do with sin.
Sin is not the issue. The issue is your attitude about the word of God. You
will render a report for all the time you wasted in human good, in social
action, in an attempt to compensate for a guilt complex. Your sincerity will cut
no ice with God. You will have been sincerely wrong. Ignorance will be no
excuse. It will be the problem.
”My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
The Son of God will add together all the facts and will come up with a final efficiency
report. By the time you reach the judgment seat of Christ, in fact, as soon
as you depart, it will be too late to do anything about your evaluation. There
is no way to sway this Judge. There is no way to obscure the facts.
Your efficiency report will cover the period of time between your salvation and
your departure from the Earth. The issue is, learn the Word of God now. At
the judgment seat of Christ only believers receive an imputation.
”For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may
be rewarded for the things he has done by means of the body (that is, during his
life on Earth), face-to-face with what he has accomplished, whether good or
worthless,” 2 Cor 5:10.
“Rewarded for the Good or for the Worthless”
If you did not grow up spiritually, and thus did not permit God to bless you
in time, your evaluation will be very simple – worthless.
The zero imputed to Divine righteousness in time will be parlayed into a zero
imputed to your resurrection body in eternity. The only other possible
efficiency report is good. This is the fulfillment of God’s Plan for
According to this report, the blessings that were imputed to God’s
righteousness in time reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ forever. The
criterion for eternal rewards will not be what you produced, but your attitude
about the Word of God.
You will be judged according to your function under growing in Grace while a
believer on Earth.
”But the one having looked into the perfect law of freedom, and having
persisted, that one having become not a hearer, but a doer of the Word, that one
shall be happy in so doing,” James 1:25.
Monday, July 30, 2001
“If anyone’s work which he hath built remains, he
shall receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss (no
reward at the judgment seat of Christ): but he himself shall be saved; yet as
through fire,” 1 Cor 3:14-15.
The justice of God is the source of Divine blessing, all of which comes
through the Grace of God.
Any attempt to earn, deserve, or work for blessing from God is human good,
which fails to penetrate the Grace of God in time, but is totally destroyed in
Loss of reward, however, does not imply loss of salvation. Paul
emphasizes this point by quoting from a popular hymn in the early Church called,
“Faithful is the Word,” 1 Tim 1:15, Titus 3:8.
”Faithful is the Word, for you see if we died with Christ (and we have), at
the same time we shall live with Him. If we endure suffering, we shall rule with
Him. If we repudiate the Lord, the same One will also refuse us (no reward at
the judgment seat of Christ). If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful (our
salvation is secure), for you see, He cannot deny Himself,” 2 Tim 2:11-13.
Most Christians are aware today that crowns are mentioned in the Bible.
“Will there be any stars in my crown?” is a line from a hymn – long on
enthusiasm and short on accuracy.
A king’s crown, called a “diadem,” might be embellished with a star or
two. But our eternal rewards are depicted as the “STEPHANOS,” the
“wreath” worn on the heads of Roman heroes.
The several grades of wreaths were the supreme military decorations. They
were worn uppermost on the body. They signified the highest personal valor and
symbolized the highest glory of SPQR. Lesser awards were worn lower –
medallions suspended from the neck, brass or silver bands around the arm, medal
sewn to a leather sash across the chest.
In chronicling the Punic wars, the historian Livy gives us the name of one
of the most highly-decorated heroes in Roman history, Spurius Lingustinus. He
was a professional officer, four times the senior centurion of his legion.
In 22 years of service he actually won 34 decorations including six civic
crowns. His uniform was magnificent, but even more magnificent was the combined
stipend attached to his rewards. He probably drew a quarter of million
dollar salary annually as long as he lived, along with extra rations and the
proceeds from the large tracts of land awarded to him.
Some of the wealthiest citizens of SPQR earned their wealth on the battlefield. Knowing
this and imbued with the honor of the legion, soldiers were inspired to train
hard and to perform feats of unusual valor in battle.
This will give you an idea of the background on which Paul used the word “STEPHANOS.”
“Hope” is the Greek word “ELPIS,” which means a certain joyful
anticipation of something guaranteed to happen in the future. ”In the hope of
eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal,” Titus
God authorized hope in eternity past, in the Divine Decrees.
One hope which is in view here, Titus 1:2, is that God has promised “salvation
before times eternal.” This is why, as unbelievers, we were able to have
total confidence in the Gospel. Only an unbeliever can have a hope of eternal
life. Everyone else has eternal life.
Remember the definition of hope in Rom 8:24, “Now when a hope is seen, it is
not a hope, so who hopes for what he sees?”
The Word of God in the soul is more certain than what we might see through
the eyes. 2 Pet 1:15-21. We “see” through the Word that we already have
eternal life. Hence the confident anticipation or receiving eternal life can
only belong to one who does not yet possess it.
God is the Author of hope. But God is also the Author of hope and hope.
”The Blessed Hope” – the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Christ in You, the Hope of Glory”
Not only is God the Father identified as the Author and Originator of hope,
but so is the Lord Jesus Christ. ”Christ in you” is the indwelling of Christ
that belongs exclusively to the royal family of God. Christ indwells in those in
the Church Age who have passed the point of salvation and are pressing on toward
subsequent objectives in the Plan of God.
Thus the hope in view in Col 1:27, includes also hope.
Our objective is to develop the capacity that frees God to bless us. It is
the imputation of blessings that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many believers quote, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” without knowing
what it means. It simply identifies the origin of glory after salvation. Christ
is the Origin of glory. He is the One who is glorified. He is our Hope, our
Confidence, His personal residence in us intensifies our confidence.
His Person and His saving work on the Cross form the object of hope. And after
salvation, He is the basis for our hope of blessings, both now, and forever. Hope.
We develop capacity through learning the mind of Christ. Our first blessing
is occupation with Christ. And the very Christ who indwells us will place on our
heads the wreaths of the tactical victory.
God is the Author of hope, but the Word of God is the Source of hope. God
does not provide hope in any other way.
“Now Faith is the Substance of Things Hoped For, the Evidence of
Things Not Seen,” Hebrews 11:1
Here is another well-known, but poorly understood verse explaining the
relationship between the Word of God and hope. In its English translation, this
verse is commonly mistaken for a definition of faith. But the word for
“faith” is “PISTIS,” and it is used in its objective sense, which means,
what is believed, the object of faith, the Word of God.
The Word of God reveals the Plan of God. Under His Plan, He glorifies Himself
by blessing us. He can only bless us because of a series of imputations. These
imputations, especially the imputation of Divine righteousness, create a
potential for blessing.
But our potential remains unknown to us apart from learning the Word of God,
if unknown, unfulfilled.
If we are ever to use our God-given volition to adjust our thinking, our
actions, our lives to the Plan of God, our ignorance must become cognizant; our
uncertainty, our confidence; our potential, hope.
Heb 11:1 is actually a definition of hope. Having a hope is based on having a
potential. True hope is based on reality. Where there is a hope in Scripture,
there is a potential.
Each hope, when realized, is replaced by a new hope. Each potential, when
fulfilled, is replaced by a new potential. We never run out of room in which to
grow. When one potential is fulfilled, we acquire an even greater potential
whose fulfillment than becomes our next objective in life.
“In Adam All Die”
We are born with our first potential. God has a plan for the entire human
race. He demonstrates that fact, first of all, by imputing His life to each of
us at birth. Secondly, by simultaneously imputing to us Adam’s sin, for the
purpose of our immediate, total condemnation. Condemnation must precede
salvation. And He condemns us as fast as we can be condemned. And the
justice of God is shown immediately to be our point of reference.
That is how strong our first potential is. All the work has been accomplished
at our birth and on the Cross. God in His perfect character desires that all of
us be saved, 2 Pet 3:9, and we need only to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our second potential is acquired at the moment of salvation. The justice of
God imputes the righteousness of God to us. Since God’s righteousness is in
us, it is the receiving end of the Grace of God. We are eligible for
blessing in time.
Finally, our third potential – the potential for blessing in eternity is
established when we possess blessings in time, imputed at maturity, and
One category of blessing guarantees the next.
God can’t bless you. He blesses you, the plural of the word
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Page updated 06/26/05 04:53 PM.