Archive for June 2009
Gardiner was the last to die. One by one he and his companions had been weakened through starvation, cold, and disease until they could no longer stand. In vain Gardiner watched and prayed for the supply ship from England until his eyes, too, were dimmed in death. The last entry in his diary reads, ” Great and marvellous are the lovingkindnesses of my gracious God unto me. He has preserved me hitherto, and for four days, although without bodily food, without any feeling of hunger or thirst.” Forty-six days later a British navy ship dropped anchor and sent a boat ashore, only to find the bodies of three of his companions lying unburied on the shore. A storm drove them away before they could search for Gardiner and Maidment. It was to be another three months before they were discovered near their wrecked boat at Banner Cove. The supply ship did not arrive until some months later.
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee,
and the books, but especially the parchments.
2 Timothy 4:13
Of all the gifts I receive I like books the best. It’s a simple fact of life, books make the best gifts. Chocolates? Soon eaten and forgotten. Tools? They rust. Money? Too quickly spent. Shirts wear out or get stained and socks tend to go walkabout and lose their mates. Ties? Got a thousand. Books are best.
I was given a book the other day and I can already tell it is going to be a great friend. It is a book of sermons by Robert Murray McCheyne, the youthful preacher whose fiery soul flamed forth and illuminated Scotland for eight brief years. Every preacher ought to buy a book of McCheyne’s sermons and bask in the light of his fire for God. The liveliness of that 19th century Presbyterian puts to shame many inert 21st century Baptists! His boldness in confronting the indifference of his people, the clarity of his gospel messages, the humility displayed in handing his church over to the interim pastor under whose preaching revival had come, all these move the reader of McCheyne nearer Heaven.
If our ministers would only read the old books, the books that take a year to read because we have to stop and think for a day or two about a truth that pierced us through and through. And if we would read them with the fear of God, such light would burst forth as to scatter the creeping darkness in our souls! In our day, good reading seems to have “fallen in the street.” We tend to read trivial, frothy palpitation pulp, bound in hardcover and priced way above the value of its content. The entertaining, “feel good” books written by the megachurch gurus are selling millions of copies this year, but will be forgotten next year. They do not contain enough solid truth to stand the test of time. Pragmatism (Big is good!) and its paparazzi have become the pied pipers of evangelicalism. (Ah, if only we had eyes to see past the apparent to the actual.)
It is needful for us to pause for a moment and consider this category of books. Books that are good enough to give to others belong on a special shelf. One book given to me now rests on a shelf far away, but I will never forget it. It was the first book anyone gave me after the dear Saviour found me, the life of Nate Saint, called Jungle Pilot. The giver has been in Heaven many years, but I will always remember them. Another “given” book taught me about living by faith. It brought me to my life verse, II Cor. 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” It was the Life of George Muller by Basil Miller, and was a gift from an old Dutch preacher. He had been trying to give it away, but God wouldn’t let him give it to anyone but me. I stayed up all night reading it and went to bed as the sun came up, a changed man. Given books are special books. I have been given a book on the life of Elijah, and a book on God’s wonderful preservation of the Received Text, and a book by Spurgeon on eccentric preachers, and a book on the attributes of God, and a book by F.W. Boreham, and dozens more. These gifts have blessed and changed and guided my life, gifts that broadened my horizons, gifts that enriched my preaching. Given books, blessed books!
Now, there is a text we ought to consider before we wander off to find a book to read. It is Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We all know this verse, but I must confess I didn’t know that these words of our Lord are nowhere recorded in the gospels. The Holy Spirit has preserved them for us in the counsel of the apostle to the Ephesian elders. It is the truth of the verse we need to heed. It really is more blessed to give than to receive. I know, it flies in the face of a covetous, welfare oriented society, but it is true. This is not a worldly proverb. This is the word of God. There is more blessing in giving than in receiving. There is a love for others in giving. There is a level of spiritual maturity in making the necessary sacrifice to give to others. There is a good conscience in giving. The clear sighted wisdom in knowing what to give, who to give it to, and when to give it is a gift from God. The sharing of a treasure is a blessing. And then there is the sweet assurance that giving is sowing, and the harvest is always larger than the sowing. At least in God’s paddock. These are blessings that come to the giver. Admittedly there are blessings in store for the receivers of our gifts, but the blessings for the giver far outnumber those awaiting the receiver.
Have you given any books away lately? There is a blessing waiting for you.
Just yesterday a precious little granddaughter asked for a book of mine. It is a book of missionary stories written by Dr. Ben Kendrick. It is the book her mum was reading to the kids when her eyes were opened to the gospel, and she wanted to own it. What a joy to give it!
Which book given to me has been the best? It would have to be the book given me by the pastor of the church I attended as a child. When I graduated from high school and blundered off into a dark world, I took that book with me. It wasn’t very big and I didn’t read it very much until my world started to crumble. When I did start, I read it in stops and starts, here a bit and there a bit. All unaware of its influence, I began to think on the things of God, and was soon converted. Its title? Surely you have guessed by now. It is called The Holy Bible. Thank you, Bro. Henderson, for sowing the best of all gifts into my heart. Untold blessings have come from that one gift. Blessings for the giver and blessings and for the receiver. I expect one day soon the giver and the receiver will worship side by side before the throne and rejoice together in the blessings of giving.
So Bring the Books. We can give them to others.
By Buddy Smith
(Used With Permission)
John Bunyan’s name is familiar to most Christians. Some months ago I came across one of his short books, ‘The Acceptable Sacrifice’. It was originally a sermon based on Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”. It was his last book.
My heart was deeply moved by this book. Not only is the content impressive, weighty and convincing, but Bunyan’s grasp and use of Scripture is amazing. The book is absolutely compelling simply because of his knowledge of the Word of God. This was no contemporary sermon consisting of a joke, three points and a poem; this is a cobalt bomb in hardcover and the reader stands at ground zero.
My heart began shouting questions at my mind. “How did he write such a sermon? Where did he get such substance, such wisdom, such power? What did he use for study aids to be able to compile such a masterpiece?” In the midst of these questions I realized Bunyan had almost none of the resources we use everyday. Strong’s Concordance was 200 years in the future, Cruden’s a hundred.
Thayer’s, Gesenius, Robertson, Wuest were all unknown. Bunyan’s biographers mention Luther’s commentary on Galatians, Foxes Book of Martyrs, and an anonymous concordance. We suppose that Bunyan, the prolific writer, would be a voracious reader. But there is the one resource book, his chief study aid he mentions again and again. Hear him: “As I was sitting by the fire…suddenly…this word sounded in my heart, ‘I must go to Jesus’. I said, ‘Wife, is there ever such a scripture, I must go to Jesus?’ Thus unexpectedly questioned, she cannot tell”.
“Therefore,” says Bunyan, “I sat musing to see if I could remember such a place. I had not sat above two or three minutes but it came bolting in upon me, ‘You are come to Mt Zion…and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament” – Heb. 12:22-24″. This, then, was Bunyan’s chief resource, his chief study aid, the Holy Scriptures themselves, taught him by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
He thoroughly knew the Scriptures. He memorised long passages. He meditated much upon the Word. He looked and longed and lingered until the Holy Spirit brought to mind the needed truth for each crisis. He knew by daily experience the truth of John 14:26, “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…”
Bunyan used this resource when discouraged. He used it when he prepared sermons. He used it when he stood before magistrates, accused of preaching without a license. He used it when in jail where he began writing Pilgrim’s Progress. He used it when he preached from his cell window. He used it when he pointed the lost to Christ. This is Bunyan’s secret: the Spirit and the Word – the sufficiency of Scripture! The Comforter, who is our tutor, was Bunyan’s best study aid. His utter dependence upon the Word of God and its Author is what gave his life and literature their impact.
What a contrast he makes with the modern minister! Somewhere between the TV sports show, the trip to the airport, and the golf game, he must prepare his message. No problem! Just light up the new IBM (Inspired Business Machines?), and open up the Super Sermon Maker Program. Memorisation, meditation and midnights are displaced by gigabytes, nanoseconds and mousy sermons. No blood, sweat, no tears, no Bible, no prayer, no blessing, no people, too bad, so sad! (“No message tonight, folks. The computer is down.”) Study aids? Sure, but used sparingly remembering that no man’s thoughts, programs, floppies, or CD ROMS can ever compare with the Word and the Spirit.
Bunyan’s computer is still available, but it’s expensive. It will cost the user time. Time in the Word. Time waiting on God for truth.
Is the price too high? Not if your sermons are to be still a blessing after 300 years.
(Used with permission)
Occasionally I hear it said, “Somebody ought to write a bookâ€¦”. We tend to use that phrase when we come across a subject it seems no one has ever addressed. I can suggest a few titles for the brave author who would undertake such a task. Somebody ought to write a book called “Untouched Texts in Scripture”. Another good title would be “Unsung Heroes of the Bible”. Or maybe “Unpopular Truths From Heaven”. But my favourite would be “Topics I Never Heard Preached Among Fundamental Baptists”. And the first chapter of this book should be called “Grace Displaced”.
We Baptists can sing all the verses to Amazing Grace blindfolded, and we know Ephesians 2:8,9 (but not verse 10) frontways, backways and sideways and quote it at least twice in any sermon. There might just possibly be a fundamentalist somewhere in Godâ€™s creation that has read a book about grace. But thatâ€™s just about the limit to our knowledge about Godâ€™s grace.
For instance, just to illustrate our ignorance of grace, letâ€™s try a little quiz on the subject:
1. Which New Testament writer uses the word “grace” most frequently? (That wasnâ€™t too difficult, was it? Of course, it was Paul.)
2. How many times did he use “grace” in all its forms in his writings. (Would you believe 139 times? Peter, once; John, four times; and Luke twenty four times.)
3. How many definitions of “grace” are listed in ISBE (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)? (Five. Another author lists seven.)
4. What is the most common definition of “grace” among Christians? (Unmerited favour)
5. What is the great error of Roman Catholicism regarding “grace”? (Roman Catholics believe that observance of the sacraments brings “infused” grace through which God empowers them to do works acceptable to God. This “infusion” of grace must be a continuous experience, which makes it impossible for a Roman Catholic to ever be able to say he is saved.)
6. What is the great error of Protestantism regarding “grace”? (Protestant theologians tend to believe that grace is effectual in salvation, actually justifying the believer, but they do not generally believe that grace enables the believer for service.)
These are some of the questions which provoked a study on the subject of Godâ€™s Grace. Consider with me a few of “the exceeding riches of His graceâ€¦toward us through Christ Jesus”:
I. The Unexpected Kindness of the Grace of God
The Grace of God includes the unexpected kindness of God. “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:7 As members of a fallen race we rightly deserve the judgment of God, but His Grace is shown in His great kindness toward us.
There is the “prevenient” (before salvation) kindness of Grace bestowed upon all men. Paul refers to this aspect of Grace in Acts 17:25 when he says, “â€¦He giveth to all men life and breath and all things.
There is the kindness of “saving” Grace in Titus 2:11, “For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
And there is the kindness of “heavenly” Grace in Eph. 2:7 “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward usâ€¦”
A lovely illustration of the kindness of Godâ€™s Grace is seen in King Davidâ€™s treatment of Mephibosheth. The Jebusites had taunted the King with the boast that the citadel was so strong that the lame and the blind could be left to guard the walls and gates. So angered was the king by this that he declared that the lame and the blind would forever be excluded from the kingâ€™s palace and its environs. But when the King sat upon the throne, grace prevailed and was displayed in his kindness to Mephibosheth, the crippled grandson of Saul (II Sam 9). So, too, we will enjoy the kindness of the Great King at His banqueting table, trophies of His Grace. The Grace of God is seen in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
II. The Limitless Generosity of the Grace of God
There is no text in Scripture that teaches the generosity of Grace more clearly than II Cor. 8:9 , “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might become rich.” What a wealth of truth there is in this verse! The pre-existence of Christ is in this text, else when was He ever rich? The impoverishment of Heaven for the enrichment of earth is here. Here is the humiliation of Christ that men might be glorified at last. Here is a parallel text to II Cor. 5:21, “For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Surely with all our sins laid upon Him, in Godâ€™s sight He was (for a few hours) the most “sinful” man that ever lived, that in Godâ€™s sight we might become the most righteous men that ever lived. (By this I mean, not that Christ literally became a sinner, but that our sins were imputed to Him that the righteousness of God might be imputed to us.) This is the generosity of Grace!
I hesitate to attempt an illustration of this generosity, as no earthly thing can truly compare to Godâ€™s Grace. But suppose for a moment you are walking down the footpath one day, and you are utterly penniless. No food, no shelter, your clothing is in tatters, and you have no prospects but starvation. A stranger walking toward you with a leather pouch in one hand addresses you with gentle words, “Here, hold out your hands.”
And when you comply, he opens the bag and pours your hands full of pearls, real pearls, hundreds of pearls, a kingâ€™s ransom.
While you stand in shocked silence, he turns away and approaches another poor wretch and repeats the act, impoverishing himself in order to enrich others.
Such is the generosity of the Grace of God. Limitless, abundant, and available to every poor sinner who will receive “His unspeakable gift.”
III. The Divine Enablement of Grace
Here I must make a confession. It is a confession of great ignorance on my part. Thirty seven years ago the Saviour found me and saved me, but I must confess that I never heard or read until recently that the Grace of God enables the believer in Christ. By this I mean that God graciously provides the ability and power we need to serve Him acceptably. (I trust many of you are way ahead of me on this.) Consider these verses:
I Tim. 1:12, 14, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministryâ€¦And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”
I Cor. 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Gal. 2:8,9, “(For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John , who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”
In each of these portions of Scripture there is reference to Grace being Divine enablement. In fact, the apostle uses the very word “enabled” in I Tim. 1:12, and it is related to Godâ€™s grace in verse 14. If we read these verses carefully and thoughtfully, we will see the enabling aspect of Grace.
Another text that describes Divine enablement (without using the word “grace”) is Phil. 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Enabling Grace is here described as that working of God in us which causes us to desire and do His will. The willing and the working, both come from God. That certainly excludes boasting, doesnâ€™t it? I like the definition of enablement which says, “It is God doing in and through me that which is impossible for me to do naturally.”
If you are like me, you are wondering whether this could be true. (After all, we werenâ€™t taught this in cemetery. Oops, I meant seminary.)
Well, then, why not run it through the grid of Scripture? Where did Samson get that superhuman strength if not by God working in him to will and to do His good pleasure? And where did Moses acquire the leadership skills needed for the Exodus of Israel from Egypt? And where did Joshua learn to be the military leader he was? Or how did David compose the inspired songs for his nation? And tell me, please, how Paul, a former blasphemer and persecutor of the church, became the pioneer missionary of the New Testament? These exploits of faith did not arise from personality, intellect, or university degrees. In every case it was the Grace of God enabling them to do Godâ€™s will.
IV. Examples of Grace
If it is true that Grace enables the believer to serve God, there should be evidence of it in the New Testament. Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the evidence is abundant. The bad news is that Fundamental Baptists seem to be lacking in enablement. You be the judge.
Examples of Divine Enablement:
1. Acceptable Service to God â€“ Heb. 12:28
2. Spiritual Gifts â€“ Romans 12:6
3. The Fruit of the Spirit â€“ Gal. 5:22, 23
4. Understanding of the Scriptures â€“ I Cor. 2:7-16
5. Godly Speech â€“ Col. 4:6
6. Preaching Christ â€“ Eph. 3:8
7. Godly Use of Natural Gifts â€“ Col. 3:16
8. Giving â€“ II Cor. 8:1
9. Right Responses to Suffering â€“ II Cor. 12:9, I Pet. 2:19,20 (Look up the words “thankworthy” and “acceptable”)
10. Ministering to the Helpless â€“ Luke 6:33 (look up the word “thank”)
A careful study of these passages of Scripture will reveal several surprises. In most of the verses will be found a direct reference to the Grace of God. In some examples (Spiritual Gifts, Giving, Right Responses to Suffering, and Ministering to the Helpless), the examples themselves are called “graces”. In other verses the word “grace” is not used in the text, but the examples are clearly the workings of God in the believer. A relevant text is also found in Acts 11:23, “(Barnabas) came and (saw) the grace of Godâ€¦” Just think of that! Visible Grace! So what did he see? He saw at least some of the “graces” listed above. Oh, to be part of a church with visible grace!
Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that there is no acceptable worship, work, or witness that does not come through the enabling Grace of God. All of our service for God must have His working in us. Scripture records numerous attempts by men to serve God without grace. We dare not assume that God will bless our ambitious, self-centred, vain glorious, profit seeking, carnal efforts to appear religious to others. Sooner or later we must learn the lesson that “strange fire” is not acceptable to a holy God.
Applications we must make
Evan Roberts once described a meeting he had with a group of Baptist ministers in Wales. I was especially struck with his comment that one of the ministers was “destitute of grace”. It has been some years since I read that comment, and I have puzzled over it, wondering what it meant. I think I may have a clue. I think it means that the minister gave Evan Roberts the impression that he did not need Godâ€™s help to serve Him acceptably. Enabling grace had been displaced. Displaced by some modern humanistic substitution.
In our churches grace is often displaced by pretence (as in drama), or by professionalism (as in background tapes for a special item), or by entertainment (as in humorous sermons). The indictment of our Lord against the church in Sardis (Rev. 3:1), “â€¦thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” may apply to us. This was the church with the wrong name. I wonder if that could apply to us? Should the church I pastor be called “Graceless Baptist Church”? (Or should yours be called “Faithless Baptist Church”?) Have we displaced the Grace of God by trusting our own abilities, rather than casting ourselves upon the Lord helplessly and depending entirely upon Him for the enablement we need?
The church is thrilled to bits when some brave saint “jumps over spaghetti”. In other words, he or she has done some small thing anybody could do. In their own strength. Without Godâ€™s help. But God hasnâ€™t called us to “jump over spaghetti”. Heâ€™s called us to “jump over the moon”, so to speak. And none of us can do that in our own strength. The callings of God require the gifts of God. We have forgotten the words of Dan. 11:32b, “but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”
Our Bible Colleges
Our Bible colleges are not exempt from the displacing of Grace. Many of our Bible College principals have the two volume biography of Charles Spurgeon on their shelves. (They are called “The Early Years” and “The Full Harvest”.) It would do us good to pull them down (and blow off the dust), and read what he says about the men he accepted into his college and the ones he refused. (You will find his words in chapter 27 in the first volume, and chapter 7 in the second volume.) It is striking that Mr. Spurgeon took no one into the college who had not already demonstrated a call from God to preach His Word. In other words, the Divine enablement had to be there first before a man could begin his theological studies. In our day we no longer look for the Divine enablement before we accept a man. If his body is warm and he is literate enough to fill out an application, we will have him.
Two great errors have spread through the ranks of Fundamentalism as a result. 1)We have encouraged our people to believe that preaching ability (enabling grace) is something you can get from an institution of higher learning. We donâ€™t find that in the Bible. That error came from a desire to copy the seminaries that gave modernism to the churches. 2) We have men without Godâ€™s enablement standing in the pulpit, men who completed their studies, received their diplomas, and went out to pastor unsuspecting churches. Their feathers are all permed and perfumed, and they seem to have all the “manners” a minister ought to have. But Grace is lacking. (Compare this situation to Paulâ€™s words to the Corinthians in I Cor. 2:4,5, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manâ€™s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”) The lack of enabling grace for the ministry is evident in the lack of proficiency. Many of our ministers have no help from God, and their churches are dying. Oh, we have drama, and entertainment, and programmes, and promotions, and organisation, and fellowship meetings, and websites, (and sometimes big crowds!), but somewhere along the way we have lost that Unction which comes only from God. Many of our ministers do not have the enabling Grace of God. I solemnly fear that we pastors and missionaries and evangelists and Bible college principals will stand before the Judgment seat of Christ in shame because we have encouraged men to train for the ministry who evidence no call and no grace for the ministry. How much better it would be for us to be lovingly honest with our men, men who aspire to the ministry, but do not display the grace needed, and to tell them truthfully, “Brother, I do not see evidence that God has graced you for the ministry. Let us ask the Lord what He does want you to do instead.”
Our Church Members
The saddest result of all is that our church members have come to believe that they, too, can serve God acceptably without His help. From the ministers who are “destitute of grace” the church members have learned how to “make a fair shew in the flesh.” (Gal. 6:12) The desire to be seen, to appear successful, and to achieve impressive results have motivated the microsaints with minimal grace to seek positions of influence in the churches. But their gifts do not match their positions. The present day slide of the church into cheap theatrical events, gross worldliness, and the complete lack of interest in prayer is proof positive that individual believers no longer believe in the utter dependence of Christians on God for enabling Grace.
Is there any hope?
There is always hope for those who are willing to look only to the Lord for help. The words of James 4:6 are a great help to us, “But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Here is a verse that contains three promises. Note the last promise first, “(God) gives grace to the humble.” Heavenâ€™s abilities are available to us on a daily basis, but there is a condition. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up,” James 4:10. If we would have God to work in us, we dare not boast in our own abilities or have confidence in the flesh. The second promise is, “God resisteth the proud.” Literally, God “raises up an army” against our pride. Has he laid siege to the citadel of your proud will? The wonderful, enabling Grace of God is not available to proud saints, only to the humble. The third promise is, “He giveth more grace.” Grace is not a once only gift. There is more grace available. It is a perpetual supply, available at a momentâ€™s notice (Heb. 4:16).
There is a great golden tap beside Heavenâ€™s gate, and thereby all the needs of the saints are met. The sign above it reads, “Grace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.” The path that leads to the tap was once well trodden, but now is all overgrown. Methinks I see the saints following another path, a path that leads them to the broken cisterns of the world. Why is the abundant supply of Godâ€™s Grace neglected? Simply because the tap is set very near the ground, and everyone who would partake must kneel to fill his vessel. Grace is available only to the saints with dusty knees.
Seven Signposts that Point the Way
How does this work out in practical, everyday life? I confess again to you that I am but a recent traveller on this path, and am still making new discoveries everyday. Thus far I have found seven signposts that mark the way to Grace Abounding. If we would have great grace in the churches again (Acts 4:33) it will be necessary for us to follow the signposts (and add to the list any signposts you discover for yourself).
1) We must cease admiring the “successes” of religious leaders who employ the wisdom of the world to build their ministries into “mega-church” empires. (“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” I Cor. 1:19)
2) We must abandon all hope of serving God or doing His work without His help. (“â€¦for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5)
3) We must believe that God alone has the ability to equip us for service, and that He knows best what we should do for Him. (“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” I Cor.12:11)
4) We must seek to learn in which areas God has given us enabling grace to serve Him. (“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3)
5) We must be content with His gifts and callings for us. (Take note that John the Baptist never aspired to be an apostle.)
6) We must be willing to stand alone in our (grace enabled) service for God if necessary. Sadly, it seems that every denomination is riddled with Pharisees who praise the dead saints and persecute the living. Only let a child of God set his foot on the path to Abounding Grace, and all the Shimeiâ€™s of Israel will arise to “curseâ€¦, cast stonesâ€¦, and (slander)” him (II Sam. 16:5-8). If you would have enabling grace, you may have to leave the crowd behind.
7) And we must pray that God will give us more Grace. His resources are infinite, and His supply is in proportion to our humility and faith. “He giveth more graceâ€¦” James 4:6a
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” II Cor. 9:8
(Used with permission)
Theological dinosaur fossils discovered in Canberra Seminary
“A complete fossil skeleton has been unearthed at Unity Theological Seminary in Canberra,” The Rev. Dr. Ms. Barbarous Theorem commented to the press, “This is the most exciting discovery in the history of the Seminary. We have cause to believe this is the first complete skeleton of Pulpitosaurus Extinctus ever to be found. She identified the excavation site as being beneath the Seminary chapel platform. The chapel, sealed up for almost fifty years, was opened only recently for research purposes.”
After reading the above article, Mr. Steadfast, reporter for The Pilgrim Way, requested an interview with Ms. Theorem, and we print the following:
PW: “Ms. Theorem, can you give our readers any details as to the site where Pulpitosaurus Extinctus was found?”
MT: “Yes, but I should fill you in on the background first. We have an excellent history professor at the Seminary named Dr. Revision. He and some of his post grad students have been wanting to have a look in the old chapel for a couple of years. When permission was granted recently, they went right to work. He consulted me, and asked where he would most likely find remains of a theological dinosaur if there were any to be found. I told him that I had read in the Seminary archives that the chapel platform had been their domain, and would be a good place them to begin.”
PW: “What do you mean by ‘their domain’?”
MT: “Hmmm. I see I’m going to have to tell you about the early days of the Seminary. It was not always as broadminded as you see it at present. Many years ago it was a training college for the Baptist ministry. The founders were all Pulpitosaurus Extinctii — real living fossils, theological dinosaurs. We call it ‘The Dark Ages’. They were stuck in the swamps of primitive methods, old fashioned doctrines, and fire and brimstone preaching. Thank goodness, those days are gone forever. We are much more enlightened now. For instance, take the Feminar (Feminism Seminar) recently held here at the Seminary. We had almost 2000 women ministers, we dedicated the new meditation centre to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, and had tremendous media coverage. I was privileged to chair the meetings that met to discuss re-imaging God, and to promote the new Politically Correct Bible Version (PCBV).”
PW: “I see. But I still don’t understand about the chapel platform being the domain of Pulpitosaurus.”
MT: “You men are all so dense. Didn’t you understand what I just told you about the incredibly old fashioned beliefs of those relics of a bygone age? They used to stand on the chapel platform and roar at the poor helpless students. They actually thought the Bible was true. They believed in all those hopelessly outdated theories of inspiration, atonement, forgiveness, holiness, heaven and hell, etc. And they didn’t just keep it to themselves. They tried to get everyone else to believe it as well! And they used the platform in the chapel to actually shout their beliefs at their hearers. That’s why we describe it as being their domain. Is that simple enough for you?”
PW: “Yes, I understand it better than you think. Can you describe the Pulpitosaurus to our readers? The artist’s sketches don’t give much detail.”
MT: “Gladly. The head of our Evolution Department, Dr. Darwin Huxley, has written several books on Pulpitosaurus. He says he believes this species had the largest backbone of any dinosaur, and that it had only three vertebrae, making it almost impossible for it to bend. It also had a really large chest cavity. Some of his colleagues think that indicates it had a very large heart. Others are of the opinion it had four lungs instead. The neck structure was such that it probably had a very efficient voice box and could project its cries for great distances. The capacity of the skull, according to Dr. Huxley, was quite small, leaving hardly any space for a brain. And he said one specimen even had a piece of very thick skin still attached.”
PW: “Thank you for that interesting description. The old fossil must have been quite an impressive sight. Can you tell us about the subspecies that have been discovered?”
MT: “We are still collating much of the information that has been sent to us, but I can tell you about three subspecies of Pulpitosaurus we have identified so far. “The earliest relative was called Pulpitosaurus Apostolos. It had the longest legs of any theological dinosaur we have discovered, and covered great distances quickly, leaving offspring everywhere, Fossil remains of Apostolos have been found in the Himalayas, the Indus Valley, the Andes, Siberia, the Aleutian Islands and the Australian deserts.”
PW: “Very interesting! What was the second subspecies?”
MT: “Actually the second and third subspecies seem to have developed simultaneously as offspring of Apostolos. The type most common seems to have been Pulpitosaurus Pastorus, He was amazingly prolific. Some nest sites discovered indicate the Pastorus may have cared for hundreds, even thousands of offspring at times. This species exerted such a great influence on their environment that whole primitive cultures were altered.”
PW: “Amazing! And what about the third subspecies?”
MT: “This is the one that gives me nightmares! When reports first began to come in on this old fossil, we didn’t know what to call it. We finally decided on Pulpitosaurus Evangelisticus. It had really sharp teeth, its voice box was the largest of all and its backbone had no vertebrae at all! Some researchers believe it was capable of breathing fire, and it was good at stirring the nests ruled over by the Pastorus. Amazingly, its visits to the nesting sites appear to have resulted in a great increase in the number of eggs that hatched out into Evangelisticuses and Pastoruses.”
PW: “I wonder if you could tell our readers why the Pulpitosaurus became extinct?”
MT: “Most of our faculty hold the view that it was simply unable to evolve. It couldn’t keep up with the changes happening all around it. One of our faculty members, Dr. Maverick, thinks it died out because it changed its diet from meat to milk. He thinks the latest specimens show symptoms of malnourishment and vitamin deficiency.”
PW: “What creatures replaced them?”
MT: “Our research indicates the next step up the evolutionary ladder was much more sophisticated. Thankfully, it did not have a backbone at all, or teeth, or a thick hide. It didn’t breathe fire or produce fear in others’ hearts. Rather, it moved with the tide, adapted to its culture easily, and preferred lukewarm conditions….”
PW: “Pardon me for interrupting, but what you are describing sounds awfully like a jellyfish….”
MT: “You might say that. It has nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Evangellyfish … Hmm, I think that might be the very name. It conveys the thought of softness, conforming, drifting with the wind and current. Quite a suitable name that is.”
PW: “I want to ask your opinion about this. From time to time we hear reports of living specimens of Pulpitosaurus Extinctus. Do you think it is possible that there may be some of these theological fossils still alive?”
MT: “Oh, no! Definitely not! Those are just unfounded rumours. People with small intellectual capacity will believe anything. Admittedly, some eggs were found recently in quite good condition. (Of course, the Board of Regents had them put in cold storage.) Pulpitosaurus Extinctus alive? It’s not possible … at least, I certainly hope not! Oh, my. that’s a horrible thought! Modern society couldn’t stand the shock. Dear, dear … surely not! Oh, my …”
PW: “We had some other questions to ask, but the Rev. Dr. Ms. Theorem became so distressed she had to take some Prozac and lie down. We will keep you informed as to any further developments.”
TheÂ article is by Pastor Buddy Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland, Australia:
(Permission obtained by Buddy Smith to use this article.)
IS IT RIGHT:
To Judge, To Expose Error, & To Call Names?
By Pastor E.L. Bynum.
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas. USA
Many today believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name names. Liberals have always seemed to believe this, but in recent times it has been widely espoused by evangelicals and charismatics. Now we are seeing the same fatal error being declared by those who profess to be Bible believing fundamentalists. Those who are faithful in exposing error according to the Bible are now being widely denounced, and are accused of being unloving and unkind. We intend here to present the teaching of the Bible on this vital subject.
I. It Is Right To Practice Biblical Judgement.
One of the most misused verses in the Bible is, â€œJudge not, that ye be not judgedâ€ (Matt. 7:1). Every Scripture verse should be read in its context, if we are to properly understand the true meaning. In vs. 2-5 of this same chapter it is evident that v.1 is referring to hypocritical judgement. A brother who has a beam in his own eye should not be judging the brother who may have a mote in his eye. The lesson is plain, you cannot judge another for his sin if you are guilty of the same sin.
Those who cling to â€œJudge not, that ye be not judged,â€ to condemn those who expose error should read the entire chapter. Jesus said, â€œBeware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepâ€™s clothing…â€ (v.15). How can we know false prophets unless we judge them by the Word of God? If we know the false prophets, how can we fail to warn the sheep of these â€œravening wolves?â€ All through the Bible we find proof that they should be identified and exposed.
â€œYe shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruitâ€ (v.16,17). Did the Lord mean that we could not judge the tree (person), by the fruit of their life and doctrine? Certainly not, for you cannot know without judging. All judgement should be on the basis of Bible teaching, not according to whims or prejudices.
â€œJudge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgementâ€ (John 7:24). Here our Lord commands that we are to â€œjudge righteous judgement,â€ which is judgement based upon the Word of God. If judgement is made upon any other basis, other than the Word of God, it is a violation of Matt. 7:1. Websterâ€™s Dictionary says that a judge is â€œone who declares the law.â€ The faithful Christian must discern or judge on the basis of Godâ€™s inspired law, the Bible.
A fornicator is described in 1 Cor. 5:1-13. Paul â€œjudgedâ€ (v.3) the man even though he was absent, and he told the church at Corinth that they were to â€œjudgeâ€ (v.12) those that were within. The Greek word for â€œjudgeâ€ is the same here as in Matt. 7:1. Paul did not violate â€œjudge not, that ye be not judged,â€ in judging the man, nor in instructing the Church to judge also. All of this judgement was according to the Word of God.
A person who is able to discern between good and evil, has at least one of the major marks of spiritual maturity. â€œBut strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.â€ (Heb. 5:14). W.E. Vine says of the meaning of discern, “a distinguishing, a clear discrimination, discerning, judging; it is translated `discerningâ€™ in 1 Cor. 12:10 of discerning spirits, judging by evidence whether they are evil or of God.â€ Strong also agrees that it means to judge.
Those who are unwilling or incapable of discerning or judging between good and evil are in this manner revealing either their disobedience or their immaturity.
II. It Is Right To Expose False Teachers.
False teachers are free to spread their poisonous doctrines today because there is a conspiracy of silence among many bible believers. Wolves in sheepâ€™s clothing are thus enabled to ravage the flock, thereby destroying many.
John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious leaders of his day) â€œa generation of vipersâ€ (snakes) (Matt. 3:7). Today, he would be accused of being unloving, unkind, and unchristian.
Jesus said to the religious Pharisees, â€œO generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speakethâ€ (Matt. 12:34). To many evangelicals and some fundamentalists, this would be unacceptable language today, but it is biblical language and it came from the mouth of the Son of God.
Standing face to face with these false teachers, Jesus Christ the Son of God, called them â€œhypocrites,â€ â€œblind guides,â€ â€œblind,â€ â€œwhited sepulchres,â€ â€œserpents,â€ and â€œye generation of vipersâ€ (Matthew 23:13-33). Yet, we are told today that we are to fellowship with men whose doctrines are just as unscriptural as those of the Pharisees. Some who say they are Bible believing Christians insist on working with Roman Catholics and other assorted heretics. Yet, according to many, we are not supposed to rebuke them for their compromise.
Near the beginning of His ministry, â€œJesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changersâ€™ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Fatherâ€™s house an house of merchandiseâ€ (John 2:13-16). Our Saviour is presented today as one who was meek, lowly, kind, and loving, even to false teachers, but this is entirely false. When dealing with false teachers and prophets, His words were sharp and His actions plain.
Near the end of His public ministry, Christ found it necessary to cleanse the temple once again. The exposure of false doctrines and practices is a never ending job. At that time He said, â€œIs it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thievesâ€ (Mark 11:17). Is it any different today? The thieves come into the house of God, and rob Godâ€™s people of the Bible and peddle their perverted Bibles instead. At the same time this den of thieves rob the people of the doctrine of separation and the doctrine of sanctification. Then you can hardly tell Godâ€™s people from the people of the world. In all honesty, should not these thieves (false teachers) be exposed?
In our day these false teachers have come into the churches with their books, literature, movies, psychology, seminars, and have turned the Fatherâ€™s house into a den of thieves. It is time that men of God stand up and expose their errors for all to see.
The Bible Admonishes Us To Expose Error.
We are to TRY them.
â€œBeloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the worldâ€ (1 John 4:1). All doctrine and teachers are to be tried according to the Word of God. â€œTo the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in themâ€ (Isa. 8:20). Every message, messenger, and method is to be judged according to the Word of God. The church at Ephesus was commended because they had â€œtried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liarsâ€ (Rev. 2:2). It is never right to tolerate false teachers, but they are to be tried by the Word of God, and exposed. Of course those who want to disobey the Word of God will seek by every means to avoid this teaching.
We are to MARK them and AVOID them.
â€œNow I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid themâ€ (Rom. 16:17). Those whose conduct and teaching contradicts the Word of God are to be marked and to be avoided. This requires discernment and judgement in the light of the Bible. The ecumenicalists, new evangelicals, and compromising fundamentalists will resist any effort to obey this Scripture. They cannot be marked and avoided, unless they are judged according to the Word of God.
We are to REBUKE them.
â€œWherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faithâ€ (Titus 1:13). This was written to Titus, because there were those going from house to house and subverting whole houses with false doctrine (v.10-16). Oral Roberts, Robert Schuller, Rodney Howard-Browne, Pat Robertson, and others are subverting whole houses with their false doctrine today. Are we to sit silently by, while they do this, without rebuking and admonishing people to avoid their teaching? No, the faithful servant of the Lord is to be â€œHolding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gainsayersâ€ (Titus 1:9).
We are to have NO FELLOWSHIP with them.
â€œAnd have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove themâ€ (Eph. 5:11). Reprove means to censure, condemn, find fault, rebuke, and to refute. How can we obey this Scripture unless we try them by the Word of God?
We are to WITHDRAW from them.
â€œNow we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of usâ€ (2 Thess. 3:6). We are to withdraw from those whose doctrine and conduct does not conform to the Word of God. The context clearly shows that obedience to sound doctrine is what Paul has in mind, for he says, â€œif any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet, count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thess. 3:14-15). Paul admonished Timothy to â€œwithdraw thyselfâ€ from those who â€œconsent not to wholesome words … and to the doctrine which is according to godlinessâ€ (1 Timothy 6:3-5). This is usually an unpopular and thankless task but it is the duty of the God-called man.
We are NOT to RECEIVE them into our house.
â€œIf there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deedsâ€ (2 John 10,11). There is no doubt about who John is speaking about, it is â€œWhosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ…â€ (v.9). By radio, TV, and literature, false prophets are brought into the homes of many Christians today. Brethren, this ought not to be!
We are to REJECT HERETICS.
â€œA man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition rejectâ€ (Titus 3:10). We should reject those why deny redemption by the blood of Christ. There are many who deny this or some other doctrine of the Word of God. If they will not respond to being admonished, then they are to be rejected.
We are to look out for those who preach another gospel. Paul warned about those who preached â€œanother Jesus….another spirit … or another gospelâ€ (2 Cor. 11:4). How can we know them unless we judge their Jesus, their spirit, and their gospel by the Word of God? Paul called such preachers â€œfalse apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christâ€ (2 Cor. 11:13). He explains in v.14-15 that these preachers are the ministers of Satan. The God-called man must be just as faithful today in exposing the ministers of Satan.
Paul warned the Galatians about those who â€œpervert the gospel of Christ.â€ He also said, â€œIf any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursedâ€ (see Gal. 1:6-9). Multitudes today are preaching a perverted gospel. Those who teach salvation by baptism, or by works, are teaching a perverted gospel. Those who preach a salvation that you can lose, are preaching a perverted gospel. The charismatics, Catholics, many evangelicals, and many fundamentalists(?) are preaching a perverted gospel. Yet, we are supposed to cooperate with them in evangelism and Christian work, according to many today. If we fail to expose these false prophets, then we have betrayed Christ and His gospel.
We are to SEPARATE from them.
â€œWherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive youâ€ (2 Cor. 6:17). This makes it plain. Godâ€™s people are to come out of apostasy and religious error. How can any Bible believer remain in the National Council or World Council of Churches? How can they remain in the Southern Baptist Convention, or any of the other apostate organizations? How can they remain among compromising evangelicals and wishy-washy fundamentalists?
III. It Is Right To Name Names.
Many mistakenly believe that it is wrong to expose error and to name the guilty teachers; but they are wrong according to the Bible.
Paul named Peter publicly. Peter was guilty of unscriptural practice. â€œBut when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed…But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?â€ (Gal. 2:11-14). The whole issue revolved around salvation by the law or by grace. When the integrity and purity of the gospel is at stake, then we have no choice when it comes to the matter of exposing error and naming names.
Paul named Demas for loving the world. â€œFor Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present worldâ€ (2 Tim. 4:10). Those who forsake the cause of Christ for worldly living and pleasure should be named and exposed.
Paul named Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul told Timothy to â€œwar a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some have put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blasphemeâ€ (1 Tim. 1:18-20). Godâ€™s true servants should war a good warfare, and name those who have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Paul is not here discussing the faith of salvation but the faith was a system of doctrine. These men had made shipwreck of it and Paul exposed them and called their names.
Paul named Hymenaeus and Philetus. He told Timothy to â€œstudyâ€ that he might be able to â€œrightlyâ€ divide â€œthe word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth as canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of someâ€ (2 Tim. 2:15-18). False doctrine overthrows the faith of some, so those who are proclaiming it must be exposed.
Paul named Alexander the coppersmith. â€œAlexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our wordsâ€ (2 Tim. 4:14-15). It is clear that this is not a personality problem, but a doctrinal problem. Alexander had withstood the words and doctrine of Paul. He was an enemy to the truth. Godly pastors face the same problem every day. They stand and proclaim the truth, then their members go home and hear this truth disputed by radio and TV preachers. Often times these false prophets are sending their publications into the homes of members of true churches. Then the man of God is supposed to keep his mouth shut, according to many. Only a coward will be silent when the truth of the Bible is under attack.
John named Diotrephes. â€œI wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us notâ€ (3 John 9). He related how this man had prated again him â€œwith malicious wordsâ€ (v.10). He further said, â€œBeloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God, but he that doeth evil hath not seen Godâ€ (v.11). It is not wrong to name those whose doctrine and practice is contrary to the Word of God.
In fact, the whole Bible abounds in examples of false prophets being named and exposed. All this modern day talk about love, used as an excuse for not exposing error, is not really biblical love but is really sloppy agape.
Moses called the name of Balaam. (See Num. 22-25). Peter exposed â€œthe way of Balaam…who loved the wages of unrighteousnessâ€ (2 Pet. 2:15). Balaam was a prophet that was in the work for money, just like some of the TV false prophets today. They beg for money and live like kings, while multitudes of innocent people send them hard earned money. They are always building colleges, hospitals, TV network satellites, and amusement parks that have a water slide for Jesus. And then we are supposed to keep our mouth shut about these religious charlatans. How can we be silent and be true to God?
Jude exposed â€œthe error Balaamâ€ (Jude 11). John exposed â€œthe doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornicationâ€ (Rev. 2:14). This gets right to the heart of the matter, concerning the doctrine of separation. Balaam never did curse Israel even though he wanted the wages that he was offered to do so. The men of Israel committed â€œwhoredom with the daughters of Moab …and bowed down to their godsâ€ (Num. 25:1,2). Why did they do this? Because Balaam taught Balac how to break down the barrier of separation between the Moabites and the Israelites. We know this to be so because it is plainly stated in Rev. 2:14 and Num. 31:16. This sin resulted in 24,000 men of Israel dying under the judgement of God.
False teachers are breaking down the barrier of separation between Godâ€™s people and false religion. There is too little preaching and teaching on the doctrine of separation. Balaam breached the doctrine of personal separation by causing the men of Israel to commit fornication with the Moabite women. He breached the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation by causing the men of Israel to bow down to Baal. This bought a curse upon Israel. Until we get back to teaching the truth about personal and ecclesiastical separation, we can expect the continued widespread havoc that we have today.
It seems to be believed by many that some people are too high and mighty to be named or exposed. Men in high places, pastors of large churches, and those with great radio or TV audiences, are supposedly above criticism. Whatever they may do or say, no matter how contrary to the Bible it may be, is supposedly all right. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Nathan identified the man. There was a man in a very high place who was a secret adulterer. Surely this man who held the highest office in the land could not be rebuked by a lowly unpopular prophet. Nathan went right into the presence of David, revealed the sin in a parable form, and then told the enraged David, â€œThou art the manâ€ (2 Sam. 12:7).
Hanani named king Jehoshophat. In many ways Jehoshophat was a good king, but he mistakenly forgot to practice religious separation. He caused his son to marry wicked king Ahabâ€™s daughter. (See 2 Chron. 18:1; 21:1-6). He made an alliance with Ahab and went to the battle of Ramoth-Gilead with him (2 Chron. 19:2). We have a question for those who insist on working with charismatics, Catholics, and members of the National Council of Churches. â€œShouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord?â€
Yes, it is right to expose error and to name those who are in error.
It is right to â€œearnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saintsâ€ (Jude 3). It was once delivered and it has never been recalled for revision. We had better beware of â€œfalse teachers … who privily shall bring in damnable heresiesâ€ (2 Pet. 2:1). Faithful messengers will warn the sheep of these heretics, and identify them by name. It is not enough to broadly hint of their identity, for the young lambs will not understand and will be destroyed by the wolves.
Article Used With Permission.
To obtain this article in printed form, please contact Tabernacle Baptist Church at:
The Lordâ€™s Deputy stands in the night, face covered by the darkness. At the ready the Lordâ€™s Deputy stands, prepared to defend the weak, help the helpless, and protect the innocent. He knows the risk and understands the dangers around him. He knows he may have to pay the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice, he knows he may have to give his life.
The Lordâ€™s Deputy is not afraid. His heart is prepared; he is wearing his armor. The Armor is special, different from any other kind of armor ever fashioned. It is stronger than any bulletproof vest, harder than any helmet, more powerful than any weapon.
The Lordâ€™s Deputy wears this special armor, never taking it off.
The Armor girds his loins with truth. Truth has no flaws, it can never change, and it is absolute.
His chest is covered with a special breastplate. It is the breastplate of righteousness. Nothing can penetrate it. Evil cannot stand against righteousness. Evil cannot hurt the Lordâ€™s Deputy who is clad in armor.
On his feet are shoes like no other. Shoes of the gospel of peace. Ready to go to anyone, no matter where or who they are, if they are willing to hear the truth of Jesus Christ and be shown the way to eternal life.
He takes with him a shield. The Shield of Faith, knowing that faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than any weapon the enemy may fashion. He knows the enemy can kill the flesh, but can never hurt the soul. His soul belongs to the Lord.
He carries only one weapon; the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is sharper than any two edged sword which is able to penetrate even the heart of stone.
The Deputy of the Lord battles evil on the earth. He fights against not only flesh and blood, but also principalities and powers of this dark world. He must deal with the sin of man for the Lord does not bear the sword in vain.
Yes, the Lordâ€™s Deputy knows the dangers, he knows the cost, but he is ready. He has on the Armor of God.
Written by Tim Fisher
Used With Permission
I have always been a part of the most spiritual Independent Baptist churches in America. God has been so good to me. Some may think that this is a very proud statement. You may ask why do you think that the churches that you have attended are so spiritual. Let me explain.
We all consider that being spiritual is submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We all know that the Holy Spirit enables us to do his work in the church. He also imparts to us the ability to perform special tasks in the church that no one else can do as well as we can. What a blessing to have a part in the Lordâ€™s ministry.
Now, I think that the reason that I have attended the most spiritual churches in America is because even the most carnal, worldly, hateful, people in these churches have been given special gifts of a spirit and they exercise them regularly. Only in the best churches in America can you find carnal people exercising their gifts in the church.
You may ask what gifts these people exercise. By and large, they all have the gift of tongues. Their tongue goes a mile a minute. They are very well-exercised in that gift. Most of them also have the gift of wisdom because they always know more than everyone else. If you ever have a problem in the church, they are so wise that they can solve all of the churchâ€™s problems in a matter of minutes. The gifts of wisdom and tongues are usually exercised simultaneously. Most of them have the gift of interpretation. They know how to interpret the passages that that the preacher preaches â€œfalselyâ€. You know, like women wearing pants, carnal music, worldliness, and so on. It is sure a blessing to have these Bible scholars in our church. A few of them have the gift of governments. They really know how a church should be run. They are experts on each and every program that the church has. They are financial geniuses and know where and how all of the money of the church should be spent. The final gift that these people have is the wonderful gift of teaching. They are ready to teach the preacher how and what to preach. They are experts in the substance and delivery of each sermon. They can teach a preacher correct grammar in a matter of minutes right after the sermon. What a blessing to have these people in our church.
The next time you get down and depressed about the state of affairs in your church just remember. You still have it pretty good. The majority of your worldly, backslidden, hateful, carnal, once-a-week Christians exercise their gifts daily. What a blessing to be part of the best Independent Baptist churches in America.
Pastor Danny Vanhoose
(Used With Permission)
From the book CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS
by Dr. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley
THE BIBLE IS the Grand Charter of Christianity. To undermine, discredit and reject the Bible is to undermine, discredit and reject Christianity. Christianity is rooted and grounded upon the Bible and if the foundations be destroyed what will Christians do?
The popular assertion of present-day shallow thinkers that their Christianity rejects the Old Testament but accepts the New is, to say the least, unrealistic, for the New Testament is based on the Old. Both are inseparably united and of necessity when one is rejected the other also must be refused. What the seed is to the plant so is the Old to the New. How can the plant be received and the seed which produced it rejected?
The first task then of any inquiry into Christianity must be an examination of the claims of the Bible.
THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE
The Bible claims to be the Word of God and by staking this claim the Bible simply but plainly declares its divine authority, complete infallibility and absolute sufficiency.
(a) Its Divine Authority. Its authority is grounded upon God Himself. 1 Thessalonians 2:13– “Ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
The Bible’s authority is not derived from reason. The Bible does not appeal to reason and demand obedience because our reason sanctions its teachings. Its authority is not rational in that sense, although we believe the Bible to be reasonable ultimately, because it is the Word of Him Who is the source of all reason. Our reason needs to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our reason.
The Bible’s authority is not derived from the emotions. The Bible does not appeal to our feelings and demand obedience because our feelings acquiesce in its teachings. Its authority is not emotional, and our feelings need to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by our feelings.
The Bible’s authority is not derived from the Church. The Bible does not appeal to the Church and demand obedience because the Church decrees its teachings. Its authority is not ecclesiastical and the Church needs to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by the Church.
The Bible claims that its authority is derived from the God Who breathed it. Its authority is divine.
(b) Its Complete Infallibility. Its infallibility is complete. John 10:35– “The Scripture cannot be broken.”
In all its words it can make no mistake. All it says, in the sense in which it says it, is true. What it records as history is real history. Its descriptions of the processes of nature, though not described in scientific language, are as popular statements infallibly true to what appears and hence scientifically correct. When the mistakes of men or the lies of Satan are given it is an infallible record of mistakes or of lies that we have.
(c) Its Absolute Sufficiency. Its sufficiency is absolute. Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
All that we require to know in regard to faith and practice is contained in the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation. John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
Thus the Bible claims to be the Word of God, and as such is divinely authoritative, completely infallible and absolutely sufficient.
When I say that I believe the Bible is the Word of God, then I affirm that I believe it to be of divine authority, completely infallible and absolutely sufficient.
In these days when theological definitions are discountenanced and human speculation has attempted to eclipse divine revelation it is essential that we define what we mean when we say the Bible is the Inspired Word of God.
The old line modernists speak of the inspiration of the Bible but inspiration is also ascribed to Shakespeare and other masters of literature. For them inspiration stands for “human genius.” The new modernists of the neo-orthodox (so near and yet so far) schools of Barth and Brunner define inspiration in another manner. The Bible is the Word of God because particular passages have conveyed from time to time a divine message to man. To man at times the Bible becomes a word of God. This theory does not hold the Bible to be the Word of God but rather declares that under some circumstances parts of it become a word of God. As both these views dethrone the whole idea of a real divine revelation I reject them.
When I speak of the Bible as the Word of God I do not only mean that it contains the Word of God but that it is the Word of God.
I affirm that the Bible is an authoritative revelation to us from God in which God’s thoughts are conveyed to us with infallible accuracy and that the very words which clothe the thoughts are from God Himself. This is what is known as verbal inspiration.
Let me quote two great statements which set out the historic Protestant belief in regard to the Bible. The first is from the pen of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, rightly acclaimed as the Prince of Preachers. After his withdrawal from, and censure by, the modernistic Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland and a little time before his call to higher service, Mr. Spurgeon along with six like-minded brethren, drew up a doctrinal statement which they called “A Confession.” This confession contained the following concise statement on the Inspiration of the Bible:–
“We the undersigned, banded together in fraternal union, observing with growing pain and sorrow the loosening hold of many upon the truths of Revelation, are constrained to avow our firmest belief in the verbal inspiration of all Holy Scripture as originally given. To us, the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but is the Word of God. From beginning to end, we accept it, believe it, and continue to preach it. To us, the Old Testament is no less inspired than the New, the Book is an organic whole. Reverence for the New Testament accompanied by scepticism as to the Old appears to us absurd. The two must stand or fall together. We accept Christ’s own verdict concerning ‘Moses and all the prophets’ in preference to any of the supposed discoveries of so-called higher criticism.”
The second statement constitutes the finding of one of the greatest of Presbyterian Assemblies ever convened. In 1893 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America, an assembly whose membership included America’s greatest merchants, jurists, educators and statesmen as well as her greatest missionaries, evangelists, and theologians, put the following of record:–
“The Bible as we now have it, in its various translations and revisions, when freed from all errors and mistakes of translators, copyists and printers, IS THE VERY WORD OF GOD and consequently without error.”
It is for the historic Protestant position as defined in these statements that I contend.
VERBAL INSPIRATION ESSENTIAL
Only verbal inspiration could secure an infallible revelation. Dr. James Gray, for many years head of the famous Moody Bible Institute, often used the following illustration:–
“A stenographer in a mercantile house was asked by his employer to write as follows: ‘Gentlemen: We misunderstood your letter and will now fill your order.’ Imagine the employer’s surprise, however, when a little later this was set before him for his signature: ‘Gentlemen: We misunderstood your letter and will not fill your order.’ The mistake was only of a single letter, but it was entirely subversive of his meaning. And yet the thought was given clearly to the stenographer, and the words, too, for that matter. Moreover, the latter was capable and faithful, but he was human, and it is human to err. Had not his employer controlled his expression down to the very letter, the thought intended to be conveyed would have failed of utterance.”
If in simple matters such verbal superintendence is necessary in order to secure accuracy how much more when the mysterious and transcendent revelation of God is being communicated. Without verbal inspiration no written revelation could be reliable.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BELIEVED IN VERBAL INSPIRATION
It is clear from a study of the language of the Lord that He believed in verbal inspiration. In confounding the Sadducees He built the doctrine of the immortality of the spirit and the resurrection of the body on the tense of the verb “to be.”
He drew attention to the Bible statement “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” and not that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (see Matthew 22:32– “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”)
Again, in Matthew 5:18 He emphasized that inspiration extended to the smallest Hebrew letter, the yod, and to the smallest distinguishing mark, the tittle. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
To sum up, all Scripture is inspired of God
(2 Timothy 3:16– “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”);
the writers are inspired of God
(2 Peter 1:21– “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”);
every letter is also inspired
(Galatians 3:16– “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”)
and inspiration extents to every jot and tittle
(Matthew 5:18– “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”).
No better testimony to the extent of inspiration could be borne than that by Dean Burgon:
“The Bible is none other than the voice of Him that sitteth on the throne. Every book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High.”
Having defined what I mean when I say the Bible is the Word of God, I now want to give seven reasons why I believe it to be so.
FIRST REASON: THE INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE FACT OF THE BIBLE
The greatest fact of all time is the Bible. How a book which has been so universally attacked could survive and attain to such a place of eminence is a miracle eloquently testifying to its supernatural origin.
Because the Bible forthrightly condemns sin, the hatred of sinners has been hurled against it. Because the Bible in plain and unmistakable language debases the pride of man, proud man has set himself the task to discredit it. Because the Bible uncovers the satanic underworld it is the object of the diabolical attacks of hell. Because the Bible declares that salvation is by grace alone all false religions have sought to extinguish it.
The Bible condemns every man and condones no man; it accuses every man and excuses no man; it abases human reason and exalts revelation; it repudiates the natural and rejoices in the spiritual, glorying not in flesh but in faith.
Attacked from all quarters and giving no quarter, the Bible has an Ishmaelite experience, its hand is against every man and every man’s hand is against it, but wonder of wonders, it continues to dwell in the midst of the brethren.
Princes, philosophers, prelates, politicians and poets have all conspired against it. It has been insulted by the scorn of fools. It has become the jest of infidels and the joke of sceptics. It has been assailed consistently and persistently by professed scholars and has been made the butt of the critic. Assaulted by every known plan of hell, it has come forth unscathed from the inferno. Like the three Hebrew children it has been in the fire and like them it has been wonderfully preserved and there is not a smell of burning upon it.
The fire has yet to be lit that can destroy it. The steel has yet to be forged that can scar it. The weapon has yet to be devised that can overthrow it. The scholarship has yet to be developed that can discredit it. The science has yet to be created that can demolish it. The plan has yet to be devised that can annihilate it.
The cunning of hell and the craft of earth have combined against the Bible but it stands unmoved, for it is as W. E. Gladstone, one of England’s greatest Premiers has described it, the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture.
As the Bible has stood the hottest broadsides of hell it will not be affected by the popguns of modernism.
In the past century Voltaire thought he had demolished it and boasted that in one hundred years Christianity would be a museum piece. As a result, infidelity ran riot in France. Voltaire, however, passed screaming into eternity, but the Bible has not passed away. Moreover, Voltaire’s printing press was used to print the very Scriptures which he boasted he had demolished and his house became a depot for the Geneva Bible Society.
“WILL THE OLD BOOK STAND?”
Will the Old Book stand, when the “higher critics” state
That grave errors are discovered on its page?
Will it save the sinful soul? Will it make the wounded whole?
Will its glorious truth abide from age to age?
Will its message still abide, when the scientists decide
That its record of Creation is untrue?
Tell us the ascent of man is by evolution’s plan;
Will its principles the sinful heart renew?
When in language wondrous fair, “Christian Scientists” declare
That there is no evil, only mortal mind.
When mental treatment fails, and seeming death prevails,
May we in the Bible consolation find?
When infidels parade the mistakes which Moses made,
When the truth of Revelation they deny,
Will the Ten Commandments still the demands of justice fill?
Will its word support us when we come to die?
Yes, the Word of God shall stand, though assailed on every hand,
Its foundations are eternally secure;
It will bear the critic’s test, and the idle scoffer’s jest,
Its saving truth forever shall endure.
So I believe the Bible is the Word of God because it remains with the passing and injuries of time, a temple unprofaned by the foot of the enemy, a building of God, amidst the crumbling ruins of the centuries.
SECOND REASON: THE UNITY OF THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
The unity of the Bible is one of the greatest evidences of its supernatural origin.
This unity stands out in bold relief as we consider–
The Diversity of the Bible’s Writers
This diversity extends to their historical position. The Bible consists of sixty-six books written by some forty different authors over a period of a millennium-and-a-half (1,500 years). The first writer, Moses, died about 1450 years before the last writer, John, was born. Yet none of these writers ever denounced, criticised or condemned any inspired teaching in the books of the others. Their historical position was diverse, but their spiritual position was one and the same. Such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Mind was behind this One Book.
This diversity also extends to their social condition. The writers of the Bible, socially speaking, had no common denominator. They were men actually very diverse in social condition, physical temperament and mental ability. Some were sovereigns, others were subjects; some were lawyers, others were labourers; some were conquerors, others were captives; some were farmers, others were fishermen; some were scholars, others were shepherds; some were priests and others were physicians, and some were prophets and others were poets. From such a motley and heterogeneous group one could expect but pandemonium, but behold instead a Pentecost! Their social condition was diverse, but their spiritual condition was one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Plan was behind this One Book.
Further, this diversity extends to their particular language. The writers employed three different languages– Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. If the works of any forty authors up to A. D. 100 written in three different languages on any one subject were translated and bound in one volume what a volume we would have, a volume full of diverse theories and mutually destructive tenets, scarcely understandable, its only unity being material, having been bound in the same volume, printed on the same paper and upon the same press. Although the last book of the Bible was written about 1500 years after the first book was written, yet it harmonises perfectly with it, and the whole Book is such a perfect whole, every truth being so dovetailed and every doctrine being so interwoven that the effect of the different languages employed adds rather than detracts from the harmony of the whole Book, which instead of being behind the times is actually always ahead of the times. The writers’ particular languages were diverse, but their spiritual language was one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Power was behind this One Book.
Again, this diversity extends to their actual style. The Bible contains the loftiest kind of poetry and the profoundest type of prose. Symbolism and imagery woven into the highest oratory, arguments and reasonings sharpened with the keenest logic, lamentation of the deepest pathos and joy expressed in the most exalted language, are all intermingled together to form a symmetry of golden truth. The actual style is diverse, but the spiritual tone is one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Purpose was behind this One Book.
Finally, this diversity extends to their characteristic outlook. The characteristic outlook of each writer is plainly portrayed in the several writings. The personality of each writer tinges the inspired message from their pens. Characteristic expressions and manners peculiar to the writers are subtly embalmed in their writings, but the whole, even to the very words, is divinely given. As different wind instruments all playing the same notes retain their own particular individuality though sounded by the same breath, so the writers of the Bible, though absolutely controlled by the same divine breath of inspiration nevertheless retain their own particular individuality. The characteristic outlook is diverse, but the controlling uplook is one and the same. Again, such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underline the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Person was behind this One Book.
The unity of the Bible is further manifested in:
The Details of its Wording.
For example, take the word “sweat” as it occurs in the Bible. It is mentioned only three times:
(1) Genesis 3:19– “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.”
(2) Ezekiel 44:18– “They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.”
(3) Luke 22:44– “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Notice the complete symbolic and doctrinal harmony and symmetry. In Genesis 3:19 “sweat” is part of the curse of sin. In Ezekiel 44:18, no garments which would cause “sweat” were to be worn by the priests in the service of the sanctuary. This service was holy, hence no symbol of sin was permitted even in the priest’s garment. Again, these priests were typical of the sinless One Who alone could be our Great High Priest. In Luke 22:44 He Who was made sin was identified with the curse, and therefore was bathed in the bloody “sweat” of Gethsemane’s passion and agony. Think a moment of the fact that Ezekiel wrote about 1000 years after Moses, and Luke about 500 years after Ezekiel. Though there could be absolutely no collusion, yet there is absolutely no collision. In view of this we can assert that no artful conniver could devise such unity. The Power behind such harmony in detail is surely divine. Many such examples of profound unanimity could be given, but this one is sufficient to affirm the unity of the Bible as manifested in the details of its wording.
The Unity of the Bible is further demonstrated in:
The Doctrine of its Writings.
The Doctrine of the Bible is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2– “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”) Christ alone could say, “In the volume of the Book it is written of Me.” (Psalm 40:7). The Subject of the Bible is Christ. The Object of the Bible is Christ. Its symbols symbolise Christ; its types typify Christ; its predictions predict Christ; its gospels glorify Christ; and its epistles expound Christ. He is the genesis and genius of the Book. He Himself is its unifying principle and person and hence, no potency can disintegrate the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture. Touch the Bible anywhere and you touch Christ somewhere. Only by revelation could those who lived generations before Christ describe Him so accurately and intimately and the unanimity in regard to His Person and Work is an irrefutable demonstration that He Himself must have revealed Himself to them. They must supernaturally, like Abraham, have “seen His Day” as no other satisfactory explanation can account for their intimate accuracy.
Surely this impregnable unity is a most convincing testimony to the Bible’s authenticity, infallibility and divinity.
THIRD REASON: THE VERACITY OF THE FULFILLED PROPHECY OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is unique. Hundreds of years and in some cases over a thousand years before certain events took place, the Bible made precise predictions concerning those events. No other sacred book ventured to make such predictions. The Bible is the only book which dared to stake its claim to divinity on the accuracy of its prophecies.
In the following passage in Isaiah God challenges the idol-gods of the heathen to predict future happenings. Isaiah 41:21-23– “Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.”
The idol-gods are impotent in this matter, and in contrast to their impotency God declares His Omnipotence. Isaiah 46:10– “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:”
The fulfilled prophecies of Scripture amply demonstrate the truth of this statement of Jehovah.
It is surely to be regretted that the vast field of fulfilled prophecy is largely forsaken by Bible students today. The devil knows that here conclusive proof of the divine origin of the Bible is furnished, so Higher Criticism which is only Infidelity in an ecclesiastical suit, has set about to destroy these great prophetic Scriptures.
Five Rules by which the Truthfulness and Supernaturalness of any Prophecy can be Demonstrated.
Any prophecy can be tested by the application of the following five rules:–
The prophecy must declare something concerning future events. It must be of such a nature that not only a lapse of time must take place between the giving of the prophecy and its fulfillment but also it must be fulfilled in such a way which precludes any possibility of the prophet himself effecting it.
That which is predicted must be such an unveiling that no human foresight could have guessed it. It must be of such a kind that it could not possibly have been deduced from known facts and principles.
The prophecy must be definite and precise in its details. General statements may often give a remarkable forecast of events but exact and precise predictions which forecast accurately even the smallest details preclude the utter impossibility of any thing else but supernatural revelation.
The prophecy must stake a definite claim that it is divine.
The prophecy must be fulfilled at such a time and in such a manner that the whole prediction is completely and unassailably realised.
If these rules are applied to the fulfilled prophecies of Scripture, it will be found that on every occasion these prophecies stand the test.
The prophetic field in Scripture includes predictions concerning Christ, the Jews and the Gentile nations.
We can only consider on prophecy concerning Christ, the great prophecy of Isaiah, chapter fifty-three.
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 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 her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Even if this prophecy is brought down to the very latest date to which the “higher critics” have assigned it, it was still uttered many hundreds of years before the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Even a casual examination of the precise details of the prophecy and their exact realisation in the sufferings of Christ cannot but impress the candid reader. No wonder such attempts have been made to explain away this prophecy. For example, the sceptic Bolingbroke asserted that Jesus by a series of deliberate provocative actions brought on His own crucifixion in order to give His disciples the triumph of an appeal to this old prophecy.
The invincible power of fulfilled prophecy is thus demonstrated when infidels are compelled to invent absurdities in order to evade the force of its almighty appeal.
Our Lord is not only predicted in direct prophecies but the characters, institutions, ceremonies, offerings and feasts of the Old Testament are also prophetical. These types all point to Christ. Dr. R. A. Torrey has well said:–
“The modern critical theories regarding the construction of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy go all to pieces when considered in the light of the meaning of the types of the Old Testament. I have never known a destructive critic that knew anything to speak of regarding the types. One cannot study them thoroughly without being profoundly convinced that the real author of the Old Testament, back of the human authors, is God.”
The court chaplain of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was asked by his royal master to prove the inspiration of the Scripture in a word. He answered, “Your Majesty, the Jews.”
The Jewish race is the living monument to every generation that the Bible is the Book of God. Take, for example, the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. Here we have predicted by Moses the tragic history of the rebellious Jewish nation.
Deut. 28:49-53,68– “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee… And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”
The Roman power here is clearly indicated by Moses, although that power had not yet come into being. Notice the mention of the eagle, the very symbol of Imperial Rome.
The invader was to be of a tongue unknown to the Jews. History affirms that the Jews were ignorant of the Latin language. The wars of the Jews with their many terrible sieges fulfil in every detail the awful predictions here made.
The return of the Jews to Egypt as slaves whom no one wanted to purchase was also fully realised. Those Jews who did not perish in the destruction of Jerusalem were shipped to Egypt. There some were sent to the mines to labour constantly until they died. Others were sold into slavery. Josephus records that 100,000 slaves glutted the markets of Egypt. Hence the prophecy of Moses was fulfilled to its last detail, “no man shall buy you.”
The Gentile Nations
Many great prophecies of the Gentile nations lie scattered through the Old Testament. Take but one, the great prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two. Here the three great world empires, Medo-Persian, Graeco-Macedonian and the Roman, which were to follow the Babylonian empire were clearly predicted. The division of the Roman empire was indicated by the two legs, while the rise of democracies, the rule of the people, was declared by the symbol of clay. Part of the iron was still to remain however, so today monarchies and republics exist side by side in the very territory once occupied by the Roman Empire.
After even a brief consideration of the field of fulfilled prophecy, the divinity of the Bible is remarkably demonstrated. The Inspired Word as well as the Incarnate Word can declare, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29.
FOURTH REASON: THE INEXHAUSTIBILITY OF THE WISDOM OF THE BIBLE
“We present you with this book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is wisdom, this is the royal law, these are the lively oracles of God.”
These words, used in the presentation of the Bible in the Coronation ceremony of the British monarchs simply sum up the fact that the Bible is an inexhaustible Book.
Man can exhaust what man has produced and written. Man cannot exhaust what God has produced and written.
The inexhaustibility of the Bible is an evident token of the divinity of its origin. The greatest of intellects singly and in concert have studied the sacred volume, but the depths of the riches of the Book are still unmined. Fresh light and truth continually burst forth from its bosom, enlightening and instructing the diligent student of its contents.
Other volumes have soon been outdated both in their principles and precepts but the Bible still remains ahead of fast moving time. Humanity has outgrown its own productions but the fact that humanity has never yet grown up to the Bible proves that it is divine.
What book can interpret the past like the Bible? What book can interpret the present like the Bible? What book can interpret the future like the Bible?
Select any individual book of the sacred volume and with careful study an meditation, unending fields of investigation open up before us. The wisdom of God and His overruling superintending care for the Bible are continually demonstrated.
Take for example, the book of Isaiah. We examine it and discover that its chapters are the same in number as the books of the Bible, sixty-six. How fascinating our study becomes when we consider the contents of the book and find that it is indeed the Bible in miniature.
In 1250 one Cardinal Hugo divided the Bible into chapters. Was it mere coincidence or the overruling providence of God which determined that Isaiah should have its sixty-six chapters? I am not contending for the divine right of all Hugo’s chapter divisions, but I am drawing attention to the fact of the overruling superintendence of God in both the preservation and regulation of the Books of the Bible. This is also demonstrated in the very order in which the books of the Scriptures are arranged in our Bible today. A study of this order shows that the books of the Old and New Testaments are placed in wondrous parallel according to their historical, doctrinal and prophetic contents.
Further, the Bible has a two-fold division, the Old and New Testaments. How intriguing when we discover that Isaiah has its two-fold division, the first section containing the same number of chapters as there are books in the Old Testament, thirty-nine, and the second containing the same number as there are books in the New Testament, twenty-seven.
In the opening of Genesis we have “The heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 2:1) and in the opening of Isaiah we have the prophet’s appeal to the “heavens and earth.” –”Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken.” Isaiah 1:2.
The burden of Genesis is man’s way of ruin and God’s way of redemption. A similar theme is the burden of the first chapter of Isaiah, the genesis of this miniature Bible.
The second book of the Bible is Exodus, dealing with the going out of the Israelites from Egypt and the giving of the law at the holy mount. In the Exodus of Isaiah, which is chapter two, we read:– “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:3.
The last words of Malachi are judgment and judgment is the theme of Isaiah chapter thirty-nine.
Chapter forty commences the second division of Isaiah, the division which corresponds to the New Testament. The New Testament opens, of course, with the gospels which tell of Christ at whose birth the angels shouted “Peace on earth”. Isaiah forty commences with the gospel (the good tidings) “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.” Isaiah 40:1. Notice the very expression “good tidings” in verse nine. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” Isaiah 40:9.
The first great character of the New Testament is John the Baptist. Isaiah speaks of him in verse three of this chapter, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness.”
At His baptism by John our Lord Jesus was manifested to Israel. Then the heavens were opened and the Father’s voice rang forth “This is My beloved Son.” We have the corollary of that in Isaiah 40:9 in the exclamation “Behold your God.”
The great doctrinal centre of the New Testament is the Cross Work of Christ. How wonderful that the exact centre of Isaiah’s New Testament in miniature is the great fifty-third chapter. What other chapter in the whole Bible depicts the Cross so grandly?
The forty-fourth chapter is the Acts of Isaiah’s New Testament. How appropriate is verse three “For I will pour waters on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground.”
The forty-fifth chapter is the Romans of Isaiah’s New Testament. The theme of the Roman Epistle is Justification by Faith. How fitting then that this chapter should close with the words “In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified.”
Keeping in mind that the New Testament was not written until many hundreds of years after Isaiah’s death, how can we account for this unique New Testament in miniature on a mere human basis? Man could not have planned such a thing. Undoubtedly this is the finger of God.
As we stand on the brink of the unbounded ocean of the fullness of Scripture, definition and description become impossible. With arms uplifted in adoration to the great Source of the Book we can but break forth in the awed and exultant exclamation of Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33.
FIFTH REASON: THE ADAPTABILITY OF THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE
It is surely a striking fact that although the Jews were the privileged depositories of the Bible revelation, and the greater part of the Bible was therefore primarily national in character, yet the Bible is an international Book. This fact is even more remarkable when we consider that the Hebrew was the most exclusive and continues to be the most exclusive race on the face of the earth, and that the Bible writers were characteristically dominated with this Jewish exclusivism. By divine choice the Jewish people were severed in feeling, religion, policy and destiny from the rest of the race in such a manner that even adversity and dispersion could not destroy their peculiar isolation. How strange that such an exclusive race could produce an inclusive Book. Only the high-born origin of the Bible can explain the mystery. It is plainly manifested that the Jewish race became not merely the recipients of the divine message but also the spokesmen to proclaim that message to the ear and heart of the entire world. The Bible’s adaptability is self-evident being demonstrated in:
(1) The Bible, the most translatable of all books– a Book for all races. There is a universal standing about the Bible which cannot be denied. The Bible is the World Book, and as the World Book it is national and yet international, local yet worldwide, bounded yet unbounded, and limited yet unlimited.
It is enclosed in little space, yet it encloses all. “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:3-11). Prof. T. Lewis wisely comments:
“Every other assumed revelation has been addressed to but one phase of humanity. They have been adapted to one age, to one people or one peculiar style of human thought. Their books have never assumed international character or been capable of any catholic expansion. They could never be accommodated to other ages or other parts of the world. They are indigenous plants that can never grow out of the zone that gave them birth. Zoraster never made a disciple beyond Persia or its immediate neighbourhood. Confucius is wholly Chinese as Socrates is wholly Greek.”
The Scriptures and the Scriptures alone speak to both north and south, east and west. The fact that the Bible is the most translatable and the most translated of all books indicates its universal character. Translations at best are both unappealing and unfamiliar, but the Bible adapts itself to the language in which it is clothed and to the land into which it comes. It is readily admitted that the most English of all books is the Authorised Version of the Scriptures, yet in seeming paradox there is no book so German as the German Bible. Only the scholarly linguist thinks of the Greek and Hebrew originals when the living Word is read. It matters not the language, the mode of life or the degree of civilisation, the Bible adapts itself miraculously to all. To the European and the Eskimo, the African and the American, the Asiatic and the Australian, the Bible becomes singularly their own Book. In the lands which have already a vast library of sacred and venerated literature, the Bible enters, and like the sun outshines all lesser lights. In other lands the written language has to be created in order that the sacred volume might be translated, and even with the advent to these lands of the best of literature, the Bible easily retains foremost place for the divine crystal spring unsullied will be preferred to the muddy stream of human intellect. In view of this surely we can but say that the God who made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth hath also made one Book for all nations of men who dwell on the face of the earth.
Again, the Bible’s adaptability is demonstrated in:
(2) The Bible, the most seasonable of all books– a book for all ages.
The Bible is never outdated. It is always in advance of the advancing ages, and yet its unchanging message is equally adaptable to all. Studied by the far-off schools of the prophets in the hoary ages of the past, it still retains its place in the curriculum of the greatest universities of the present. Many other volumes have been perused, patronised and praised by past generations, but their literary glory died with the generation which gave them birth. They were but productions of time and products of clay, and with the passing of time in common with their authors, they returned to the dust.
Not so with the Bible, for passing time, instead of diminishing its glory has but added greater luster to its shining, and in its passing the grip of this one Book upon the world has been forged into an indissoluble bond. The fast flowing currents of passing millenniums which have erased the imprint of innumerable volumes from the sands of man’s knowledge have had no damaging effect on this one volume. Other volumes have been washed out of the consciousness of the race, while this volume has been indelibly washed in.
The Bible stands today in solitary grandeur like a rock of white marble rearing its head majestically out of a dark lonely sea in defiance of the surging billows which hurl themselves unrelentingly against its base.
Not only is it unerasable by the passing times, but it is always abreast of the times and the advancing times in all those fields which really matter actually gain momentum from it. Progression is the natural outcome of obedience to its precepts, while fleet of foot retrogression follows hard on the heels of disobedience to its commands. It is the bold crusader of every movement, marking the real progress of the race being always wiser than man’s highest wisdom and always purer than his holiest ideal. Even a cursory study of the secular history of the nations of Europe amply illustrates this. The answer which the enquiring prince received from the great British Queen when he desired to gain the secret of the Imperial Empire’s might, “The secret of England’s greatness is the open Bible” was without doubt the right answer. The Bible open and obeyed casts prosperity with both hands upon its faithful exponents. In contradistinction the Bible closed and condemned casts adversity with both hands on its faithless opponents.
The history of man’s dealings with man written in the books of man can be superseded, but the history of God’s dealings with man written in the Book of God can never be superseded.
The prophecy of man concerning man, written in the books of man fails, but the prophecy of God concerning man written in the Book of God never fails. Man’s words to man written in the books of man are soon forgotten, but God’s Word to man written in the Book of God can never be forgotten. Man’s promises to man written in the books of man are broken, but God’s promises to man written in the Book of God can never be broken. Man’s speech to man written in the books of man is soon outdated by passing time, but God’s speech to man recorded in the book of God outdates passing time. Man’s language to man written in the books of man soon decays, but God’s language to man written in the Book of God never decays, having ever a dew-like freshness. The Bible is a solitary book. In contrast to other volumes it can be said of it as of its Maker– “They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment… But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end.” –Psalm 102:26,27.
Its nature is as the nature of God, for like God it is not the I WAS, but the I AM– the Immediate, the Present, and the Ever Now.
A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun.
It gives a light to every age:
It gives, but borrows none.
The Hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat.
Its truths upon the nations rise,
They rise, but never set.
The Bible’s adaptability is further demonstrated in:
(3) The Bible, the most practical of all books– a Book for all peoples.
The message of the Bible is the most practical message ever embalmed in writing. There is not an experience known to the pilgrims of this planet for which the Bible has not a word either of direction or correction. It prescribes for all cases ever known or ever to be known by man.
There are seven Greek words used to describe the seven stages of man’s development according to Philo:
1. Infancy, paidion, child.
2. Childhood, pais, boy.
3. Youth, meirakion, lad.
4. Adolescence, neaniskos, young man.
5. Manhood, aner, man.
6. Decline, prebutes, old man.
7. Senility, geron, aged man.
In infancy, childhood, youth, adolescence, manhood, decline and senility, yes, in every stage of man’s physical and spiritual history the Bible has a message which is adaptable to all.
How children delight in the stories of the Bible. All classes and conditions of young folk find something fascinating and appealing in the immortal records of Bible history. Adam driven out from the Garden and Abraham brought into Canaan, Noah building the Ark and Nehemiah building the walls, Joseph the slave boy and statesman and Joshua the servant and soldier, and David the shepherd boy giant killer, and Daniel the dreamer lion tamer are stories which enshrine themselves in the hearts of the young; while nothing touches tender innocency like the glad tidings of Bethlehem and Calvary. Parts of the Bible may remain closed for the present but children have more than enough to go on with in these great Bible histories which are able to make them wise unto salvation.
When innocency is scarred with sin and upon the horizon of expectant youth there breaks the storm of irresistible temptation, wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way but by taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.
In the trials and tribulations of life’s rugged pathway, in the joys and pleasures of life’s sunshine the Bible has always a message suitable to our experience and need.
Indeed, as the night alone reveals to us the stars of celestial glory, and the firmament then becomes crowded to its farthest depths with orbs of light, so in the night of sorrow the stars of promise otherwise hidden come out to cheer our hearts until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
In old age the Bible still has a fresh message for our tired hearts, while the silence of death itself is broken for us with the assurance from the sweetest lips that ever spake, “Certainly I will be with you.” –”Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).
“Bring me the Book,” said Sir Walter Scott on his deathbed. “What book?” his attendant inquired, not knowing to which volume the dying author referred. “Can you ask?” was the reproving answer, “there is but ONE.”
SIXTH REASON: THE VITALITY OF THE HEARING OF THE BIBLE
“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” –Romans 10:17.
A friend of mine, Ted Sherwood, an ex-welterweight champion boxer, once told me this story. Ted was saved from the depths of sin and, fired with the zeal of an unabated first love, was very anxious to win others to Christ. When he preached he went through all the movements of the boxing ring and to all criticisms of his peculiar mannerisms he would innocently reply, “Well, ain’t I fighting the devil anyway?” One night Ted found himself amongst the throngs at Hyde Park. Disgusted at so many people listening to so much verbal trash, he decided he must attract as many of the crowd as possible away from the various meetings and preach to them the gospel which transformed his life. Tugging at his Bible– Ted’s Bible always seemed too large for his pocket– he eventually got it out and set it on the ground. Taking off his coat he placed it over the Bible. Then he started to jump around the coat, shouting in consternation “It’s alive! it’s alive!” The crowd ran from the other meetings to see what was happening, and when Ted had a very large congregation around him he picked up his coat, lifted up his Bible and shouted “It’s alive!” “What did you do then?” I questioned. “O told them how this Book found me dead in the graveyard of pollution and how it imparted new life to Teddy Sherwood the debauched, drunken and blaspheming boxer,” he replied.
Yes, Ted was right. The Bible is a living book. It is a volume of vital power. The power of the Bible is seven-fold in its nature. It has power–
1. To convict of sin. Acts 2:37.
2. To regenerate the heart. 1 Peter 1:23.
3. To produce faith. Romans 10:17.
4. To cleanse the life. John 15:3.
5. To edify the believer. Acts 20:32.
6. To impart eternal life. 1 John 5:13.
7. To perfect the whole man. 2 Timothy 3:17.
A sailing vessel was wrecked off one of the South Sea islands. A member of the crew who, along with some others managed to reach the shore, became greatly alarmed, for he recognised the island as the home of a notorious cannibal tribe. He left his companions and climbed the summit which skirted the shore to reconnoitre and when he reached the summit his shipmates saw him swing his arms in terrific excitement, and then point to something over the hill. They soon clambered up to where he was and with great delight saw the steeple of a meeting house which had been built in the former cannibal village. That building took all the fear out of their troubled hearts. Their necks were safe on that cannibal island. The advent of what other book could have wrought such a change?
The living power of the Scriptures demonstrated daily in the glorious transformation of lives is an irresistible proof that the Bible is what it claims to be, the very Word of God.
SEVENTH REASON: THE CALAMITY OF REJECTING THE BIBLE
“Lo they have rejected the Word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” –Jeremiah 8:9
One of the greatest proofs that the Bible is the Word of God is the tragic calamities which follow on its rejection. The alternative to accepting the Bible is a potent argument in favour of the divine origin of the Book. That alternative as illustrated in the corrupted lives of infidels and sceptics, in the wrecking of families and the debasing of communities and even nations, goes to form a dark background against which the Bible shines forth in heavenly purity.
The transformation of those who have accepted from the heart the Bible as the Word of God and the degradation of those who have rejected from the heart the Bible as the Word of God, are stubborn facts which mere denials cannot obliterate.
Dr. R. A. Torrey once issued a challenge, a challenge which no one was able to accept. Here is Torrey’s challenge:
“Show me a man that is living a life of absolute surrender to God, living under the control of the Spirit of God, living a life of devotion to the Spirit of God, living a life of devotion to the highest welfare of his fellow-men, a life of humility and of prayer, and I will show you every time a man who believes the Bible to be God’s Word.
“On the other hand, show me a man who denies or persistently questions whether the Bible is the Word of God and I will show you a man that is leading either (mind you, I say ‘either’ not ‘all’) a life of greed for gold or of lust, or of self-will or of spiritual pride.
“I challenge any man to furnish me an exception. I have been looking for one literally round the world, and I have never found one.”
Whether men like it or not, a loose theology is bound up with loose living and unbelief in the head is the child of sin in the heart. Does infidelity flourish in the company of the pure in heart? Never! Infidelity is at its strongest in the public-house, the gambling den and the blasphemer’s club.
The testimony of Joseph Baker, a member of the Mother of Parliaments and an ex-President of the British National Secular Society cannot be invalidated.
“I have seen the dreadful effects which infidelity produces on men’s characters; I have had proof of its deteriorating effects in my own experience; its tendency is to utter debasement.”
Mrs. Mary Benjamin, an eyewitness of the deathbed agonies of the notorious infidel Thomas Paine writes:
“I was invited by a distant connection… to go and see T. Paine on his deathbed… The scene to me was appalling, and I wished to leave at once. I remember him as he lay, his head near and close to the door we entered, his glaring rolling eyes; uttering imprecations; apparently in agony of body and mind; his screams could be heard at a great distance. As I shrank back they said (there were many there) he called on Jesus Christ for mercy, and next blasphemed.”
Such was the end of one who rejected the Bible.
The awful results following the dethronement of the Bible are around us today. We are now reaping the harvest of the sowing of modernism. Lawlessness is the great characteristic of the hour. The rising tides of sinful pleasure have engulfed the nation. Crime is on the increase. Divorce courts are glutted with business. Ethical standards have given way. Morals have gone to pieces. The home, the bulwark of society, has been breached. Sodom has been resurrected. Hell has broken loose, and daily the appalling downgrade gathers momentum. Believing he evolved from the beast, man has become a beast.
Our lamentation is that of the prophet, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off; for truth is fallen in the streets and equity cannot enter.” –Isaiah 59:14.
“Where will it all end?” I have been asked. “In hell,” is the only reply. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Well may Jeremiah say, “Lo, they have rejected the Word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?… Therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD..” Jeremiah 8:9,12.
To reject the Bible is to reject the God of the Bible. To reject God is to reject the Commandments of God. To reject the Commandments of God is to reject the Authority of Heaven. To reject the authority of Heaven is to accept the Anarchy of Hell.
The more I study the calamity which follows the rejection of the Bible the more I am convinced that the Bible is the inbreathed Word of God.
In view of this impregnable fact, surely we need to get back to the Bible, back to Bible preaching, back to Bible praying and back to Bible practicing. A revival of Bible Christianity alone can save the situation. A rediscovery of the Word of God brought about the glorious Reformation of four-hundred years ago and thank God the Bible dynamite is just as potent today.
Let us then let the Bible rule our hearts and homes and refuse to support those who dare to trifle with it in the pulpit. Above all things, let us seize the unfailing promises of the Book and never rest night nor day from prayer until the God of the Bible visits us with a gracious revival.
“Go, search the Scriptures,” saith our Lord,
“They testify of Me”;
“Tis truth’s eternal, great record,
From every error free.
There my eternal Godhead shines
With bright, refulgent rays;
There beam Jehovah’s great designs,
From everlasting days.
There the great gospel scheme behold,
Chief of the works of God,
Replete with grace and love untold,
And pardon, bought with blood.
There’s armour for the trying day,
Both shield and helmet too;
And grace, the fainting soul to stay,
And always something new.
There’s balm to heal the wounds of sin,
On life’s fair tree it grows;
And blood to wash your garments in,
From Jesus’ side it flows.”
O may the Spirit’s influence sweet
Shine on the glorious whole,
Its precepts guide my roving feet,
And promise feast my soul.
Let Revelation’s glories shine,
And spread from sea to sea;
Till reason stoops to faith divine,
And owns her sovereign sway.
(WStS Note: This etext was typed and reformatted by Katie Stewart from a reprint (1971– uncopyrighted) of the original edition.)
Most of us who devoutly believe and defend the King James Bible are well aware of how “stupid” “ignorant” “backward” “cultic” “unloving” and “narrow minded” we are IN YOUR EYES.
You do not need to tell us again, we heard you the first time and have been hearing you for hundreds of years. The trouble is that we are a loyal and faithful lot finding it difficult to change our stand and beliefs. Even with all of your books, magazines, articles, and posts, you have not given us any evidence, either material or Spiritual, to show that you offer us anything better than what we already have. In fact there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that you could even offer us anything as good as we have!
Therefore to listen to your insults, blasphemies, and offers, is a repeat of history and a waste of our time but we thank you for your concern (you did come out of true concern didn’t you?) but we are really not interested in your offers.
We will however pray that you come to know and believe in something to the point that you are willing to stand as a true defender of the faith in the face of any and all opposition just as most of us do.
We DO however stand with open invitation to all who come sincerely seeking the truth in the matter of the King James Bible versus the Modern Versions. I don’t know of a single KJBible defender who will lie to you or twist History or the Scriptures to make a point. If any do then they have other problems that need dealt with before the Lord and have no fellowship with the true defenders of God’s Word.
We ask the seeker to look beneath all the hype and the arguments found in every public KJBible forum, for the devil sends such events to keep you discouraged and in the dark. Be not detoured from your mission of truth, for in the end the Spirit of God will testify to the spirit in you as to what is true and what is not.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26
Written by Jim Oakley and used by permission.