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Work Out Your Own Salvation (Philip. 2:12)
ANY circumstance or experience-no matter how tiresome or humdrum, no matter how disappointing or saddening, no matter how burdensome or frustrating or seemingly unsuccessful-that enables us to humbly and patiently "work out our salvation," and increase our understanding, and develop our character and the mind of Christ within us, are all, by that fact, transformed to joyful ingredients of glorious eternal success: and we MUST view them so.
Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
A SISTER'S COUNSEL TO SISTERS YOUNG IN THE TRUTH
We need not be distressed should our petitions at any time not be granted. Christ prayed that his cup of suffering might pass from him, but his prayer, though heard, was not answered. Nevertheless, God strengthened him under the trial, and substituted in due time something much better, "even length of days for ever and ever."
Paul besought that a certain bodily infirmity might be removed. But God did not remove it. He saw it to be needful for the subjection of the flesh-lest Paul should be exalted above measure. Therefore if the hand of affliction is allowed to linger upon us, let us take comfort from the knowledge that it is necessary for our eternal welfare. That which is withheld would not be for our good if given, for "no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."
In view of the encouragement we have received to approach God, there should be no hesitancy in responding to the invitation. Some young sisters, however, experience great difficulty in giving utterance to prayer. It is doubtless due to their not recognising their wants. There is no difficulty in making known our requests to an earthly parent. God has invited us to seek Him in a like-way-casting all our care upon Him because He careth for us.
If we recognise our needs and the needs of others, words by which to express ourselves will soon follow. God neither requires set forms of speech, a multitude of words, nor high-sounding flowery phrases. Christ condemned the worship of certain ones who thought they would have been heard for their much speaking and vain repetitions. Be not as these, said Christ. If we would learn how to address God we cannot do better than study a few examples of prayers which have received a response. We shall find them brief, reverential statements of requirements-Gen. xxiv. 12-14; 1 Kings xviii. 36-37; 2 Kings vi. 17.
It is important to note that God will not be pleased with prayer, neither will He hear it unless we are walking humbly and faithfully before Him. It is in the prayer of the upright that God delights. Fail we doubtless shall many times and in many ways, but God will not on this account refuse to hear, provided we are doing our utmost to fulfil His pleasure.
"A just man falleth seven times and riseth up again" (Prov. xxiv. 16).
God knows that we are weak and imperfect, and because of this He has given us a High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Therefore let us do as the apostle has enjoined. Come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need.
We must be careful that we do not make God's mercy a pretext for a settled indifference to His commands. Bitterly shall we rue it if we presume upon His mercy. "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." God will only forgive those who turn from their sins-there must be fruits meet for repentance. In vain shall we ask God's forgiveness if we refuse forgiveness to those who have wronged us-
"Neither will my heavenly Father forgive you unless ye from your hearts forgive everyone his debtors."
7.- Do not your alms before men: let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. 6:1-4).
8.- Recompense to no man evil for evil: overcome evil with good (Rom.12:17).
Tarshish - friend of Israel
Could Boris Johnson be one of the Lion voices to roar against the Gogian spoiler in the great Latter day conflict between the Mountains of Brass...
A true friend to Israel and outspoken critic of the Kremlin. Both dispositions in harmony with prophetic expectations.
''Art thou come to take plunder? Hast thou gathered thine army to take booty?''
The Good Confession
155. Is there no other subject of prayer?
Yes, we ought to pray always,
giving thanks for benefits enjoyed,
making request for such things as we require,
doing homage to the greatness of God,
and praying for the fulfilment of His Promises.
A SISTER'S COUNSEL TO SISTERS YOUNG IN THE TRUTH
Prayer is one of the conditions of salvation. "Ask and ye shall receive"-"Ye have not because ye ask not." Christ was brought again from the tomb in response to prayer (Ps. xxi. 4 ; Heb. v. 7). And if we would see the "land of uprightness," we must ask to be brought thither. Salvation depends upon the continuous working of God on our behalf-a favour which is extended only to the prayerful.
"I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" is a promise as applicable to us as it was to Jacob. Were God to leave us, we could no more hope to attain to the perfection of character that God requires than we could hope to bring ourselves again from the dead. By nature we are brutish-ignorant of divine ways and dull to perceive them (Ps. lxxiii. 22). God fully knows this, and hence has offered to help.
"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shouldst go."
None need be barren in things spiritual. God has said "ask," and He has promised that in reply He will give richly. "Cause me to know the way wherein I should go;" "teach me thy ways;" "enlarge my heart;" "quicken thou me in the way," are not vain supplications. In answer to prayer, God will work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, and likewise make us perfect in every good work (Phil. ii. 13; Heb. xiii. 20, 21). How God works we do not know-His ways are past finding out.
Hagar knew not the means by which God opened her eyes to the well of water, and we know not the means by which God will open our eyes to the wondrous things contained in His law, and order our steps in His word (Ps. cxix. 18-133). God has on certain occasions lifted aside the veil as in the case of Daniel (ix. x.) An angel was sent to inform him that his words were heard from the first day that he set his heart to understand and chasten himself before his God.
We have to do with Daniel's God, and although He does not openly vouchsafe us an answer to our prayers, He is as ready to hear us as He was to hear Daniel (1 Peter iii. 12). He is as powerful to answer our prayers in a hidden way as He was to answer Daniel's openly. And we have assurance that our prayers will also be followed by angelic ministration-"Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"-"the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him?"
We may be inclined to imagine that the prophets stood upon a higher platform as regards Gods favour than do we. Such is not the case. He is nigh to all that call upon Him. James expressly refers to an incident in the life of one of Israel's most favoured prophets as an attestation that the prayers of the righteous avail much.
It is necessary for us to know the ground of our confidence in God, for we are bidden to approach Him in "full assurance of faith." Of one who doubts and wavers it is said, "let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." The evidence of God's ability and willingness to help is to be found on every page of the Bible. God expects us to know this evidence, and to act upon it. He would have us go forward in His strength, trusting implicitly in Him.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Godliness has promise of the life that now is, therefore let us feel that we are in God's hand, and be mindful of the command, "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." There is no limitation placed upon our requests so long as they do not run counter to the word-if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us. What inexpressible comfort lies in this privilege of prayer! What a sense of security and strength! Boldly, indeed, may we say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Our supplications are not to be limited to requests for ourselves. Paul enjoined "supplication for all saints." This is a command to which we all stand related. The seriousness of neglecting it may be gathered from Samuel's words to Israel,
"The Lord forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you."
Prayer on behalf of others is no unimportant element in the work of the truth. Paul gives great prominence to it, both in his own actions, and in setting forth the duty of others. He speaks in commendation of one who laboured fervently in his prayers that the brethren might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Col. iv. 12).
Prayer is also to be made on behalf of those outside the brotherhood-pray for them that despitefully use you, said Christ. The Israelites were told to pray for the peace of the city whither they had been carried captive. A similar duty devolves upon us in the land of our exile that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Tim. ii. 2).
God's hand is out of sight, but it must not be out of mind. The danger in regard to this is visible in the many precepts to watch unto prayer and to persevere in it (Eph. vi. 18; Col. iv. 12; 1 Thess v. 17). Prayer must be engaged in thoughtfully and unremittingly. A few hurried words in the morning and a few sleepy ones at night, do not meet the necessities of the case.
It was the habit of both David and Daniel to pray three times a day: at morning, at noon, and at night-a practice which has much to commend it. It tends to keep God prominently before us, and to give us a greater power of resistance to the adversary. Whether our circumstances will admit of David's plan or not, time should be set apart regularly for full and undisturbed attention to the exercise. One of the most striking features in the life of Christ is the time spent solitarily in prayer (Matt. xiv. 23; Mark i. 35; Luke v. 16; vi. 12).
INTELLIGENT DESIGN NOT CHANCE
...The Big Bang theory is simply an arrogant invention of the carnal mind for eliminating God from their Corrupt materialistic thinking. Where did a ball of energy come from? Energy must have a source. What triggered it to explode, in defiance of physics (Newton's First Law)?
How could a nuclear type explosion create an ordered Universe? Look at Hiroshima!
As Newton said, atheism is the philosophy of fools, as agrees scripture, 'The fool saith in his heart; There is no God....
.... A person ignores the Bible at their peril, as the time of trouble, coming upon the earth will prove, when billions will perish (Dan.12.l, Rev. l6: 14-21). Anyone who does not see the approach of the Third Word War (Armageddon) is blind and deluded; ignorant of the geopolitical realities of this troubled sick world, living in a fool' s paradise, preferring the easy escapism of mass entertainment and sportification, anything for the instant gratification, thrills and spills.
The Apocalyptic Messenger, July 2019
Caleb Plew - Funny story, in my university lectures on astronomy, the professor revealed that all real scientists have actually abandoned the big bang theory because there were too many "coincidences" (they proved God exists trying to prove he doesn't)
Mathematically, back up time to the moment when all the matter in the universe was a single point, billions of years ago into what they call the "big bang", the explosion of energy that formed the universe. At that exact moment between nothing exists and universe exists, less than a fraction of a millisecond, the first millisecond in fact, it was perfect.
All of the energy, the rules written at that second, how strong gravity is, how powerful dark matter was, etc etc. Every single rule of nature. Every one utterly and measurably perfect.
That's totally and statistically impossible in a random universe.
Statistically, something had to be off, you just cannot have every single rule perfect in a random universe. But it is, and if it wasn't the universe would never have existed. The gasses would drift apart in too light gravity. Never creating stars, the universe would blow out and then immediately crush back down in too strong gravity etc etc.
Everything is just perfect.
And so they have abandoned the theory and are trying to invent another one, because they got it right and found the moment God created the universe so long ago, and can't accept it.
"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly."
"Put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him."
We shall have to be very determined in following this bent, for we shall have very little help from the people around - even from many who are called brethren. We shall even encounter obstacles. It is not only that our own minds need dragooning, as it were, in spiritual directions, because of the native aversion of the ignorant mind of the flesh to divine thoughts, but among many with whom we may be thrown in contact, we shall have to fight against the passive resistance of friends which is sometimes more chilling and obstructive to spiritual life than contradiction.
On what is this passive resistance founded - this want of relish for divine things? It is founded on unbelief. No man heartily believing the testimony of Paul could show the indifference and aversion that are prevalent in modern society towards the mighty matters he had in hand. Belief always produces its logical effect in minds not absolutely insane. We have therefore to resist the influence of all manner of people who are dead towards Paul's matters, but who are wonderfully alive to the "things that are seen."
They would drag us to worship at their carnal shrines. We say, No; we believe in Jesus who appeared to Paul, and therefore accept the manner and aims of life growing out of that, which are totally different from those that are congenial to the children of the flesh.
Jesus had to ask the question: "Who is my mother and my brethren?" when his natural mother and brethren were pressed upon his attention. He had to define the relationship that he would own:
"Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my mother and sister and brother."
So Paul had to say,
"I know no man after the flesh."
Like causes produce like effects. The Truth that reigned in Jesus and Paul, when reigning in men in the 19th century, will render them equally independent of the relationship of the flesh, and equally unintelligible to those who judge after the flesh.
To those who "judge after the flesh," whether they profess the Truth or not, the principles exemplified in Jesus and Paul, will always appear impracticable and inapplicable to modern life. We must not consider this class too much. If we cannot take them with us, we must leave them, as Lot did his married daughters. We must not go with them. If we do, we shall get into their state of mind, in which the words of Paul will have so little meaning, that they might as well have never been written.
We must beware of that most inconsistent state in which while professing to accept the gospel, some live in total alienation from its principles. To some, the gospel is a mere affair of futurity. The gospel is an affair of futurity truly, but it is much more than this. It is an affair of present actual life from day to day. No one can read the epistles of Paul without feeling this. They are mainly directed to pointing out "what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness," to use Peter's expression.Bro Roberts - In prison for righteousness' sake
The Good Confession
143. Did he continue in death?
No, God raised him from the dead, because He 'could not suffer an holy one to see corruption' (Psa.16:10).
144. Did he continue after his resurrection in the mortal nature he had before his death?
No; God exalted him and glorified him, changing him from a natural body to a spiritual body, so that he became 'the Lord the Spirit.'
145. Did he remain on the earth? No, he ascended to heaven, and is now in the presence of God.
146. What is his function there? To act as High Priest and Mediator between God and man.
147. Is he a Mediator for all the world?
All the world are at liberty to avail themselves of his mediatorship, but actually he is not a Priest for all the world, but only for his own people, who are styled 'his own house.'
148. Who are his own people?
Those who believe the Gospel and have been baptized and who are continuing in the path of obedience to his commandments.
149. What is the object of his intercession?
That the sins of his Household may be forgiven, and their prayers may be accepted.
150. How do we get the benefit of Christs priestly office?
l understand we get it by connection with him.
151. You do not quite understand me. Suppose a believer falls into sin and repents not, and approaches not God in prayer, but abandons himself to heedlessness, do you think such a man will receive the benefits of Christ's priestly office?
152. What would be necessary for him to do?
To confess his sin in prayer to God, and ask forgiveness through Christ.
153. Do not all believers come short and offend more or less?
Yes, I believe they do.
154. What is their resort for remedy?
Prayer and confession through Christ, whose blood cleanseth from all sin.
This thing was not done in a corner
How came he to be a prisoner, a man who could pen such communications? This is an urgent question because it touches momentous facts. The history is clear and authentic. We have it in Paul's own letters and speeches;
"I am appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles, for the which cause I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed . . . Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me his prisoner."
He was arrested at the instigation of the Jews because of his assertion that Christ had risen from the dead and had commissioned him to proclaim the forgiveness of sins in his name.
"For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple and went about to kill me."
Now this assertion of Paul's, which gave such offence to the Jews, did not rest on a mere conviction on his part. He was not argued into an opinion on the subject by some one else for reasons however good. This would be a very poor foundation for us to build on. The matter was communicated to him by revelation. He is careful to put the matter on this footing-
"I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which is preached by me is not after man. For I neither received it of man neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
It is not only that Paul alleges this, but his account of the mode in which the revelation was communicated is such as to bring proof with it that his statement is true. As he said to Agrippa, when arraigned as a prisoner before him,
"This thing was not done in a corner."
It was a public transaction in the presence of witnesses. Christ showed himself to Paul in the open air in bright noon day on the public highway as he and his retinue were approaching Damascus to put Christians under arrest by authority. The light of the vision was "above the brightness of the sun." All saw it, all were felled to the earth by it: Paul was blinded by it and remained blind till cured by the principal believer in Damascus. He had to be helplessly led the rest of the journey. The communication made to him was of a character that could leave no doubt as to its origin.
"I am Jesus whom thou persecutest . . . Rise and stand on thy feet, for this cause I have appeared unto thee to make thee a minister and a witness . . . to the Gentiles to whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among all them that are sanctified through the faith that is in me."
It is therefore no mere pious flourish of words that Paul employs when he describes himself so frequently in his epistles as "an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour." It is a sober, literal, legal fact; and his apostolic work is only truly and precisely defined when he says it is-
"In hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie promised before the world began, but hath in due times manifested His Word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour"
The whole matter is therefore rooted in God. Paul's whole work is divine. The modern disposition to humanise -to Paulise it - is treason against the Truth. He might well exclaim now, as he said to the Corinthians-
"If any man among you think himself to be spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."
Let us then, brethren, get as close to Paul's mind and Paul's ways as possible, for they are according to the mind and will of the Lord. He said to Timothy,
"Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience."
We cannot so fully know these things as Timothy who had the advantage of personal intercourse; but we may know them with wonderful fulness if we act on the advice he gave to Timothy.
"Give attendance to reading-meditate on these things; give thyself wholly to them."
Bro Roberts - IN PRISON FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE
5.- Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7).
6.- Labour not to be rich; be ready to every good work, give to those who ask: relieve the afflicted
(1 Tim. 6:8; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:16;Jas. 1:27).
This judicial throne is what Paul terms in Rom. xiv. 10, and 2 Cor. v. 10, " the judgment seat of Christ " ; and in writing to the saints therein, he says we must all appear and stand before it. He includes himself among the appearers, and declares that on that occasion, as Yahweh has sworn in Isa. xlv. 23, " every one of us shall give account of himself to
Deity" : in order that according to the account rendered " every one may receive the things through the body according to what he hath done, whether good or evil " : according
to his works, as they may be adjudged good or evil, by the gospel rule.
This rule declares that " whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption " (Gal. vi. 8). Now sowing to the flesh is for a saint
to live after the flesh; and Paul tells them that " if they live after the flesh, they shall die ; but if, through the spirit they mortify the deeds of the body, they shall live " (Rom. viii. 13).
Now, this reaping corruption of the flesh, and dying, is receiving " through the body," evil. It cannot be evil received in ordinary death; for this evil is common to all mankind, whether righteous or wicked. No ; it is evil received through the body which comes out of the grave ; and it is evil inflicted after the Righteous Judge has heard the account rendered, and pronounced His disapproval of it.
Saints who have thus sowed to the flesh must come forth corruptible and mortal, or they could not reap corruption of the body. But, it is objected, that these are not the righteous. True ; but the righteous appear at the same time and place ; and for the same purpose: and the good rendered to them through the body is subsequent to the account given. It is understood, that the good to be rendered through the body is incorruptibility and life-a reaping of
the spirit, life everlasting.
How could this be reaped, consequent upon an account given and approved, if the saint had incorruptibility and life before he appeared at the tribunal, and before any account
were rendered ?
Clearly, then, he appears in body for judgment; and in one that is neither incorruptible nor deathless : but his historical character being approved, the body upon which that character has been flashed, is perfected ; and he lives for evermore.
"Remember my bonds."
He was a manacled prisoner in most cases and therefore incapable of extended literary effort. The little bit he wrote with his manacled hand, after dictating the letter to another, would be poorly written as compared with the body of the letter. He would not be able to bring his hand flat on the table, and therefore the writing would be clumsy which made him add, "Remember my bonds"-as much as to say, "Excuse a bad pen."
Was that inspiration? Enquires a short-visioned friend.
My friend, inspiration did not leave Paul while he wrote that bit. It was even a bit that the wisdom of God might require him to add, as a living lineament of reality for those who should come after Paul, and who would only have the written words of Paul and not the living apostle to lean on.Bro Roberts - In Prison for righteousness sake
The wholly inspired Bible
The intelligence from Kidderminster and Mumbles may help some to see the reasons that perpetuate the division that exists on the subject of inspiration. There can be no union without the frank acknowledgment of the completely inspired and unerring character of the Scriptures; for this is the first foundation of faith in a day that is without revelation. The absence of this, combined with the presence of a contrary attitude, caused the division in the first instance, and the continuance of the same state of things continues the division.
Nothing would be easier than re-union (as nothing would be more welcome), if those who are in a doubtful attitude would abandon it. It is said we do not believe what they say. This is a mistake. We do believe what they say-only we believe all they say, and not a part. When they say they believe in a wholly-inspired Bible, we believe them in the sense necessitated by their other assertions, that it is not inspired "in every jot and tittle": that "they cannot conscientiously say they believe it is all inspired": that there are mistakes in it: that the variations in the reports of the inscriptions on the cross, the voice on the banks of the Jordan, and other matters are proof to them that they are not "verbally" inspired.
And so on in an almost endless number of instances. The men who make these reservations to their declaration of belief in a wholly-inspired Bible, do not believe in a wholly-inspired Bible in the same way as those who have separated from them, and there is no reflection on their moral probity in recognizing this. But it may be said, "if they believe it in some other way, is not that enough?" The answer is, no, not if that other way be not a way, but a professed way only, that leaves the door open for the idea that in reading the Scriptures, we are reading what may not be reliable-what may be erroneous.
It is not a form of words we are insisting on, but on a fact, a truth, a first principle, which it is not possible for common sense-not to speak of faithfulness-to surrender by a hairs breadth. If it was words we were fighting for, we would be in the wide, popular, easy "church," for the church, in words, believes and preaches "the Gospel," and accepts the Bible wholly. What do we do in regard to such professions of the church? What do our partialist friends do? They "try" the professions by the application of tests. Under the operation of these, they discover that while in words they claim to preach the gospel and believe in the Bible, in fact they do not do so. And so they disregard the general profession without intending to impute falsehood in the moral sense to upholders of the church.
So, when men say they believe in a wholly-inspired Bible, but contend for reservations which make it not wholly-inspired, but only partly-inspired, and, therefore, wholly unreliable, we do them no injustice in refusing to admit their claims. So also when they say they would not fellowship those who believe in a partly-inspired Bible, but all the while are in fellowship with men every where who blaspheme God's word by imputing error to it, their actual attitude erects a barrier that no faithful friend of God can disregard, however naturally inclined he may be to take men at their professions.
The cure lies with those from whom, it seems, it cannot come. The only thing to be done, is patiently to accept the disagreeable situation, waiting the Lord's arbitrement, which will be given without respect of person, and with an infallible knowledge of motives on all sides.
The Christadelphian, June 1887
Leviticus Chapter 21 +
7 They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his Elohim.
Profane - [Ges] to wound or pierce. Perhaps figurative of a flippant woman lacking spiritual discernment and soberness necessary to be a help-meet to the high office of priest. Tendencies towards silliness and away from holiness - hence wounding/ injuring influence obstructing the cause of the faith.
The priest was not to marry a 'put away' woman. The word here is garash - a thrusting out of the household. She is still married though cast out by her husband.
She was not divorced. Divorcement (Keriyuweth) became a law later in Deut 24.
14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
Garash - 'divorced' is a false translation.
Divorce did not exist until Yahweh gave the divorce law in Deut 24. This shows how both the gentile translators, and unenlightened
commentators such as Strongs and Gesenius falsely render garash and shalach as divorce when the spirit meant 'put away' (which is not divorce - not at liberty to remarry).
Comparing scripture with scripture is the way to settle contentions over this issue. All parts of scripture harmonize when correctly understood.
Relying on the translators brings us to a false understanding. In the old testament the word for divorce was keryuwith. This is the word used for the bill of divorcement introduced in Deut 24 and is therefore the cue for when the spirit intends us to understand when divorce is referred to.
A divorced woman was at liberty to remarry.
The prohibition in v 14 is therefore against priests taking a woman who has been driven out by her husband. She is not a free (divorced) woman. The same prohibition applies to priests in the future age (Ezekiel 44v22). 'Put away' is garash (thrust out) - not a divorced woman and therefore not free to remarry.
"Oh, that men would praise Yahweh for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men" (Ps. 107:8).