Sunday, February 11, 2007

KEEP YOUR WEDDING VOWS


No Divorce For Any Reason

Is God Pleased With Any Vows?

It is true that the Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Swear not at all”.

But this was not a blanket statement that we should never in our life swear.

Are there occasions where God is pleased with our oaths?

Yes He is!

For example, when we are in the courtroom and we are asked to swear, with our hand on the Bible, that we are going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We make a solemn vow, before God and before the whole world that we will tell the truth.

Another example, when one man and one woman are standing before God’s minister and are making a solemn vow, before God and before the whole world, that they will cleave together “till death do us part”,
is that a vow that is pleasing to God?

· Is the marriage vow pleasing to God?

Yes it is!

Remember,,,,It was God who invented marriage in the first place, in the Garden of Eden.

Do you remember what you agreed to in your marriage vows?

Let me rake up your memory. It went somewhat like this. He said:
I, Alfred, take you Betty to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and to maintain, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself truly with all my heart.


Then She said:
I, Betty, take you Alfred to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and to obey, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself truly with all my heart.


This is a solemn pledge, but it is entirely according to God’s holy ordinance. God says:

Ecclesiastes 5:4

¶ When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Ecclesiastes 5:5

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

We
have vowed “till death do us part”. Therefore, there cannot be any divorce in the future.
There better not be any divorce after 47 years.
But we cannot claim any credit for this. It is entirely by the grace of God that we did stay together, as God has commanded us. The fear of God did not enter into our life until I personally was at least 40 years old.
The clearest passage to show that husband and wife are united for life is in Ephesians.


Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Ephesians 5:24

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:26

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:28

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:29

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Ephesians 5:30

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (UNITED)
Ephesians 5:31

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:33

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

In this beautiful passage, God compares the marriage relationship with that of Christ and the Church. Husband and wife must be as inseparable as Christ and the Church are.


Which Church is God speaking about?

Not the External Church. Look at the seven Churches of Asia Minor, in Revelation 2 and 3. They are all gone. No! God is speaking about Christ and the Eternal Church, the body of Believers throughout time. God specifies this Church in verse 27:

Ephesians 5:27
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

If we have been saved, we belong to that Eternal Church, which is the Bride of Christ.

Could it be possible that God would allow for divorce between a husband and wife, if one of the two has insulted the other party by committing adultery?

Well,,,,Look at the comparison that God is drawing for us here: The relationship between husband and wife, God says, is parallel to the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Have I ever insulted Christ?

Of course, you know the answer. Every time I sin, I have insulted Christ. Every time I sin, I have committed spiritual adultery.

· Could Christ ever divorce me for not being perfectly faithful to Him?

· Could He cast into Hell anyone for whom He had suffered on the cross the agony of Hell?

· Could He cast into Hell anyone for whom He has paid all their sins?

· And if all my sins have been paid for, what sin is there that could still condemn me to Hell?


None! Of course it is not possible that Christ would ever divorce the Bride whom He bought on the cross. The union we have with Christ cannot be broken.
In the same way the union between husband and wife cannot be broken.
This, however is not a license to sin. God also says:


Hebrews 13:4

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

If my lifestyle indicates that I have never been saved, then God will judge me for those sins on the Last Day. If I have not been saved, then God says:


Matthew 12:36
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Matthew 12:37
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

By Alfred Chompff

Saturday, February 10, 2007

WE KNOW NOT WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR


We Know Not What We Should Pray For

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:27
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.


According to God, we do not know what to pray for. We are commanded to pray to God, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. God says that we must pray to Him, but these prayers are not necessarily in the will of God.


What is it we are praying for?

We pray for safe travel, we pray for a speedy recovery from a particular disease, we pray for God's blessings on our meals, we pray that our church may grow, etc.

Are these not good prayers?

Yes, these are fine prayers, but we do not know the decree of God for all these things we are asking. It may not be in God's plan that we have a safe trip; it may not be in God's plan to give us a speedy recovery; it may not be in God's plan to give us health through what we are eating; it may not be in God's plan to make our church grow in numbers, and so on.

Why then should we pray?

We pray because God has commanded us to pray. We are not trying to manipulate God, but through our prayers we are asking God to change us, so that we will have the strength to go through these trials without blaming God. We must see these two verses in the context in which they are found. Verse 26 begins with the word "Likewise". The context is that the whole creation groans and travails, eagerly waiting for the glorious appearance of Christ and the saints on the Last Day. Until that time God takes this world through events that may also bring much suffering to the saints. God does not like to put us through suffering, but when it occurs, remember that it was necessary in God's plan. Paraphrased God says, Likewise, when we go in this life through trials and temptations that are necessary according to the plan of God, then Likewise God the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. God the Holy Spirit is our Advocate here on earth, while Christ is our Advocate in heaven. He pleads our case on behalf of us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Spirit brings us more grace and comforts us and shows us in the Scriptures how we can look forward to a glorious ending. And God, who knows our hearts, also knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit transforms our prayers into perfect prayers that are in the will of God. In this way, that:

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

SCRIPTURES ASSERTING THE CERTAINTY OF SPECIFIC THINGS

Genesis 41:32 "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."

Job 14:5 "Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;"

Jeremiah 15:2 "And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity."

Jeremiah 27:7 "And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him."

Habakkuk 2:3 "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Luke 21:24 "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

Luke 22:22 "And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!"

John 8:20 "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

Genesis 18:14 "Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Exodus 33:18-19 "And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory.
{19} And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."

Job 42:1-2 "Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

{2} I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee."

Psalms 115:3 "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased."

Psalms 135:6 "Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places."

Isaiah 14:24 "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:"

Isaiah 14:27 "For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"

Isaiah 40:12-25 "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
{13} Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
{14} With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding?
{15} Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
{16} And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.
{17} All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
{18} To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
{19} The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
{20} He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.
{21} Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
{22} It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
{23} That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
{24} Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
{25} To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One."

Isaiah 46:9-11 "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
{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:
{11} Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Jeremiah 32:17 "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:"

Lamentations 3:37 "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?"

Daniel 4:34-37 "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:
{35} And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
{36} At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
{37} Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."

Matthew 11:20-27 "Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
{21} Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
{22} But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
{23} And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

{24} But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
{25} At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
{26} Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
{27} All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

Romans 9:20-24 "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
{21} Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
{22} What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
{23} And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

{24} Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"

Ephesians 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"

Ephesians 1:22 "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,"

GOD'S UNIVERSAL PROVIDENCE

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

John 17:2 "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

PROVIDENCE & THE FREE ACTS OF MEN

Exodus 12:36 "And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians."

Ezra 6:22 "And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel."

Ezra 7:6 "This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him."

Ezekiel 36:27 "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

PROVIDENCE & THE SINFUL ACTS OF MEN

Exodus 14:17 "And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen."

2 Samuel 16:10-11 "And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
{11} And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him."

Psalm 76:10 "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."

John 19:11 "Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin."

Acts 2:23 "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"

Acts 4:27-28 "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
{28} For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done."

Monday, February 05, 2007

PROVIDENCE & THE PHYSICAL WORLD - SCRIPTURES


Genesis 41:32 "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."


Exodus 9:26 "Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail."


Isaiah 40:12 "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"


Amos 4:7 "And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered."


Nahum 1:3 "The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."


Matthew 5:45 "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."


Acts 14:17 "Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

PROVIDENCE & THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD - SCRIPTURES

Joshua 21:44 "And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand."


Judges 6:1 "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years."


1 Chronicles 16:31 "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth."


Psalm 33:10 "The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect."


Psalm 47:7 "For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding."


Isaiah 40:15 "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing."


Daniel 2:21 "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"


Daniel 4:17 "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."


Amos 3:6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"


Habakkuk 1:6 "For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs."

PROVIDENCE & INDIVIDUALS - SCRIPTURES

Exodus 11:7 "But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."

Ezra 8:3 "Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh; Zechariah: and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty."

Nehemiah 4:15 "And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work."

Psalms 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

Psalms 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."


Psalms 118:6 "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?"



Proverbs 21:1 "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

Daniel 3:17 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king."

Acts 18:9 "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:"

Romans 11:36 "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."

1 Corinthians 4:7 "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"

James 4:15
"For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

PROVIDENCE & THE ANIMAL WORLD - SCRIPTURES

Genesis 31:9 "Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me."

Psalms 104:21 "The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God."

Daniel 6:22 "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt."

Matthew 6:26 "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"

Matthew 10:29
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."

THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD'S PURPOSE - SCRIPTURES


Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"


Isaiah 14:24 "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:"

Isaiah 46:10-11 "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:

{11} Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it."

Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

James 1:17
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."