Wednesday, May 27, 2009

THE SECRET OF THE LORD


The title of this article is: "The Secret of the Lord". You will find "The Secret of the Lord" in several places in the Bible. Therefore, if we want to understand "The Secret of the Lord" we will have to compare Scripture with Scripture. Let us first consider "The Message of Amos" regarding "The Secret of the Lord". We read here in Amos 3:1,

Amos 3:1
Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

Amos 3:2
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Amos 3:3
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3:4
Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

Amos 3:5
Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

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?

Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Amos 3:8
The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

The message of verse 1 begins with: "Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken", and in verse 8 God repeats the importance of His message: "The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" This must be an important message. God's message in these eight verses focuses on verse 7:

Amos 3:7
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."

It is certainly of great importance that we understand the meaning of this message. These days we frequently hear on the radio verse 7 quoted out of context. Of course, you cannot understand any verse if it is quoted out of context. For example, I wrote an article and preached a sermon on 1 Peter 4:17, which is also a verse that is frequently on the radio quoted out of context, and I showed that this verse speaks about us as "Partakers of Christ's Sufferings" (1 Peter 4:13).

Therefore, let us begin to probe the context wherein Amos 3:7 is found. The first thing we see is:
Can Two Walk Together? (Amos 2:2)

In verse 3 God asked the first question: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"

The answer is NO. Two cannot walk together, except they are in agreement.

Why did God ask that question?

What does the context say?

To whom is God speaking?

God says in the previous verse: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth". Therefore, we see that God is addressing His congregation, the House of Israel. But God's words are written for all mankind, and for all times. God is not only speaking to the Jews. These words must also apply to the New Testament congregation, the Church.

Let me take it one step further. When the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 7:23 to some people in the Church: "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity", the Lord Jesus indicated that these were people in the Church who never became saved and He never knew them. It does not mean that He never was aware of their existence, but it means that He never was intimate with them, and He never considered them as children of God. Therefore, When God says in Amos 3:2, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth", God is not addressing the unsaved people in the Old Testament congregation, or the unsaved people in the Church, but God is only addressing the Israel of God. God is only addressing those who truly have become saved in Old Testament Israel as well as in the New Testament Church.

Why is God giving this message to His children?

The tone of verses 1, 2 and 3 speaks about the consequences of sin, and the tone of verses 1, 2 and 3 also speaks about salvation. First God addresses "the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt". This includes all the descendants of Jacob, saved and unsaved. God refers to the event of the exodus from Egypt, which was a stupendous demonstration of the way God saves people. But in spite of all that God had done, most of those taken out of Egypt died in unbelief. Only a remnant chosen by grace was saved.

Is this not typical of the whole human race?

We all came into this world as rebels against God, and no miracle whatsoever is able to make us worship the only true God. Therefore it will take an act of God to turn the heart of any of these rebels into the heart of a saint. And that is exactly what God does when He makes us born again. God does not save us because we suddenly develop some warm fuzzy feelings for Jesus. God does not save us because we decided to believe in Jesus. God saved us for His own good pleasure. For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.

Therefore God has a bone to pick with the whole house of Israel. That is why God says in verse 1 that He speaks this word "against" them. Therefore, because they bear the name Israel, God says in verse 2 that He will punish them for their iniquities.

How will God do that?

God does that in three steps: First God performs surgery on those parts of the body that are dead. God brings the Assyrians, or the Babylonians, or the false gospels of our time, and God cuts away those in the Church that are unsaved. Secondly, those who truly are His children have to be cleansed from all their sins. God did that by transferring all the sins of those whom God chose to save on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Christ paid for all those sins the penalty that was required. Christ suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for us, because we are not able to pay such an enormous penalty. Thirdly, God chastens His children on this earth, to teach us His will for our lives, because we do not become followers of Christ unless our stubborn will is broken, and His will becomes our will. Only then are we ready to walk together with God. Only then can we say with Amos 3:3, "Yes Lord, we two can walk together, because we now agree on those things that You have planned for my life".

And now, what follows are "Six More Simple Questions". Look again at Amos 3:4-6. First God gives two examples from the point of view of a predator:

Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey?

The answer is NO. The lion will not roar before he has captured his prey. A roaring lion would drive away his prey.

Will a young lion cry out of his den (lit: give his voice from his den), if he have taken nothing?

The answer is NO. The young lion knows that he should be silent until he has captured something, and the young lion will only growl contently after he has received some food.

Then God gives two examples from the point of view of the prey:

Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin (bait) is for him?

The answer is NO. You cannot catch a bird in a trap if there is no bait in the trap to lure the bird into it.

Shall one take up a snare (lit: Shall a trap spring up) from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

The answer is NO. A trap does not snap shut unless an animal has taken the bait.

Now God gives an application of the previous examples: The prey hear the warning of the predator's coming and are afraid. God says:

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?

The answer is NO. If the trumpet is blown in the city, then the people are afraid because an enemy is approaching.

I told you these are simple questions, and the answer is always NO. Now the last question:

Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

The answer must be NO. Evil, in this sense, does not mean sin.

God cannot sin, neither does He tempt anyone to sin. In this verse "evil" refers to a calamity or a disaster. This statement is very profound. God declares here His absolute sovereignty, not only in salvation, but also with regard to calamities. Earthquakes, and tornados, and hurricanes and floods are all acts from God. And before we get to verse 7, God wants to nail it down that the God whom we serve is an omnipotent and sovereign God, who carries out His plans according to the good pleasure of His will. God says in Isa 45:5-7,

Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

Isaiah 45:6
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:7
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

This is the God of the Bible. Before we can be saved we must acknowledge that this is the God whom we worship. God started out this passage speaking about salvation and about retribution for sin. We cannot walk together with God unless we agree that He is the sovereign God who does according to His will. It is in this context that God introduces us to "His Secret". We read in verse 7,

Amos 3:7
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets."

What is this secret?

Is this verse perhaps saying that God will not begin to enfold the fascinating events that are preceding the return of Christ and the end of the world?

NO! That is not possible, because the word "secret" in this verse is in the singular, and everywhere in the Bible this Hebrew word is in the singular.

Moreover, to whom is this secret revealed?

To His servants the prophets. That is a clear statement for the Old Testament time. But in the New Testament time all those who have been born again are called servants of the Most High, and they are all called prophets, because they all are declaring the Word of God as they read from the Bible.

This secret is not revealed to one man, who in turn says: "You all, take note, this is what God says, and now follow me".

Watch out! If you have fallen into that trap, you have fallen into a cult.

God does not reveal His secret to a single man. In the New Testament this secret is revealed to all the prophets. And the word secret is in the singular.

What could this secret be?

What does the word secret mean in the Bible?

A secret is something that has already been written in the Bible, and it can be understood, but God has not revealed it. In fact, the Hebrew word that is used here in Amos 3:7, is actually His "secret counsel". Amos 3:7 is actually saying:

"Will God do anything without revealing His secret counsel to His servants the prophets?"

Based on the questions preceding verse 7 we must answer:

NO! God will not do anything unless He first reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.

What have we discovered to be the context of this passage?

God spoke about retribution for sin, and about salvation, and about the sovereignty of God. Verse 7 has to fit this context. The answer is: God is speaking about salvation. "Will God save someone without revealing His secret counsel?" NO! God will reveal His secret counsel to all those whom He will save, and those are His servants the prophets. God does not say here that He will reveal His secret plans about the Final Tribulation Period and about the end of the world, but God says that He will reveal His secret counsel, singular.

What is that secret counsel?

It is a secret that will benefit those who become saved. The secret is God's covenant with those who He has chosen. Look at the context

Amos 3:8
The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

Christ, the lion from the tribe of Judah, has roared from Zion. They who have heard Him will fear. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. They that heard Him and fear Him, have the privilege of knowing Christ and knowing His secret counsel. The Lord GOD has spoken, therefore people prophesy when God has revealed to them His secret counsel.

We will now turn to Psalm 25. The reason why we turn to Psalm 25 is because Psalm 25 contains a commentary on Amos 3:7.

Psalm 25 is a Psalm of David, where God moved the hand of David to write the words that we find herein. The New Testament tells us that "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" (2 Peter 1:21). For example, Psalm 25 are the words which God commanded David to write, and David prayed these words back to God. Presently we want to know:

Who are The Beneficiaries of God's Secret Counsel?

The beneficiaries of God's secret counsel are those whom God saves according to the good pleasure of His will. Here in Psalm 25 God discloses 4 ways, which lay out how God reveals His secret counsel unto His servants the prophets. We begin at verse 11.

Psalm 25:11
For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

The first awareness of God's loving touch is: we get to know that we are sinners from the womb. We are made aware of our sins, and we are made aware that forgiveness comes only by the mercy of God. We cannot work for forgiveness; we cannot first clean up our life, and we cannot clean up our sins in purgatory. All those efforts on our part will only draw us deeper into Hell. The Lord Jesus came for sinners. He did not come for those who think they did only small sins. He came for great sinners, like we read here in Psalm 25:11, "Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great". David was not speaking about the sins in his later years. From verse 7 we know that David was speaking about the sins of his youth.

The second way is that God teaches us the way He shall choose. We read in Psalm 25:12,

Psalm 25:12
What man is he that feareth the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.

What is that fear?

It begins with the fear of Hell, which we deserve for all our sins. But then, when we see the work of God in our life, it turns into an awe, and a reverence, and a worship, and a love for Him who created us after His own image, and we want to serve Him forever. That is the fear in Verse 12.

What is the Way that God shall choose?

The Lord Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). This means that Christ is the only way out of our sin problem. Christ is the only one who can take away our sin. He did that by taking our sins upon Himself, and paying for our sins on the cross the penalty that was required. "He who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). We read in verse 8 that God teaches us these things while we were yet sinners. But God does not leave it there. When God saves us, He also gives us the assurance of that salvation. That is the third way, which we read in:

Psalm 25:13
His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

That is a promise. The Lord Jesus extended this promise when He said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28). Once we know that we have been saved we rest our case in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ did all the work. His grace and mercy is beyond human comprehension. We believe what He said. And so, we become His Bride, and He becomes our Bridegroom. And we love to read the Bible, because we love to hear the voice of the Bridegroom. And there we read of the fourth way in which God makes us His children.

He Will Cause Them to Know His Covenant.

We read in Psalm 25:14,

Psalm 25:14
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Actually the Hebrew tenses are a little different from the translation in the KJV. Literally, Psalm 25:14 reads: The secret counsel of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will cause them to know His covenant. This is where Psalm 25:14 gives us additional insight into Amos 3:7. The Hebrew word for "secret" is the same in both verses, and it means "the secret counsel" of the Lord.

What is this secret counsel?

It is His Covenant!

It is "God's Covenant of Grace". God's Covenant is God's Last Will and Testament, which He hammered out in the secret counsel of the triune Godhead before the foundation of the world. In His Last Will and Testament God wrote down the beneficiaries of His Testament, and when Christ, the maker of the Will died on the cross at Golgotha, all the terms of the Will became effective. There at Golgotha God's Covenant was signed in blood. There at Golgotha all those who were in Christ were guaranteed to be saved at some point in their lifetime. This is the reason why there are people who fear God, and believe that Christ died for all their sins, way back on Golgotha. They have become the beneficiaries of God's Covenant, the Father has drawn them to Jesus, God has given them a heart to fear and worship Him, and God causes them to know His Covenant. God chose them, God called them with an effectual calling, God causes them to hear His Covenant, and God causes them to know that their names are in the Lamb's Book of Life.

What Is in that Covenant?

What do we inherit in that Last Will and Testament of God?

God speaks about the Lord Jesus Christ in Isaiah 42, and God speaks about Christ as His Servant. The Lord Jesus came to earth not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. We read in Isaiah 42:1,

Isaiah 42:1
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:2
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

Isaiah 42:3
A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

Isaiah 42:4
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Isaiah 42:5
Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Isaiah 42:6
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

Isaiah 42:7
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

God said in Isaiah 42:6, "I the LORD have called Thee in righteousness, ………and give Thee for a Covenant of the people." The Lord Jesus Christ was given to His elect for a Covenant. We inherit the Lord Jesus Christ, which means we inherit God. God said something similar to Abraham. God said: "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward".

What greater inheritance could we wish for?

There is no greater inheritance than that. If we as the Bride truly love our Bridegroom, then what more can we wish than to receive the Bridegroom as our own. We have no idea how God will work this out, but we have this promise from Him.

Therefore, in Amos 3:7, what is the secret that God will reveal to His servants the prophets?

It is the Covenant; it is the covenant of grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. This was the secret revealed to Abel, and to Noah, and to Abraham, and to Moses, and to David, and so on. This is the one thing God has been revealing throughout time to His servants the prophets. This is the secret that we must proclaim to the heathen, and upon hearing this God will save from among them such as were ordained to eternal life from before the foundation of the world.

To most of the world the covenant of grace is a secret. To most of the world God rewards those who do well, and punishes those who do evil. Little do they know that all they do is evil. That is why God must be a merciful God. If God can save so many sinners, then indeed He is a merciful God.

Therefore, when we read Amos 3:7 we must not speculate what this means, but we must consider the context, and we must diligently compare Scripture with Scripture to arrive at truth. We may use:

Only What God Has Revealed (Deuteronomy 29:29, Proverbs 25:2)

God has not revealed everything. For example, no man knows the day or the hour of Christ's returning on the clouds of glory. God says in Deuteronomy 29:29,

Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

We may not speculate about those things that God has kept secret from us. The secret things belong unto the Lord, and we should leave them there.

But those things that have been revealed we must search out. God says in Proverbs 25:2,

Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

God may conceal things in the form of parables. God does that to hide the truth from the reprobate, to whom it is not given to know the secret counsel of the Lord. But those who have become saved are now called kings and priests in the house of God. Therefore, it is the honour of kings to search out a matter. We have the honour to search the Bible. But what we find must harmonize with the rest of the Gospel message in the Bible. If we have arrived at a non-scriptural conclusion, we know that somewhere along the line we have made mistakes.

Why was Amos 3:7 in the past misinterpreted?

It was taken out of context. Any verse taken out of context will be abused to prove anything you want.

How can we be sure that we have the right interpretation?

Firstly, it has to agree with the Gospel.

Secondly, it has to fit the context. It is not good enough to compare Scripture with Scripture. It has to fit the context. God wrote the Bible, and we must honour:

The Wisdom of God

If we take verses out of context, then we make a mockery of the wisdom of God.

We must understand that God, in His wisdom, wrote the Bible in such a manner that the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is lifted up. In 1st Corinthians chapter 1, Christ is called the power of God and the wisdom of God. In chapter 2 God touches on the secret that He will reveal to His servants. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:1,

1 Corinthians 2:1
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1 Corinthians 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

What is the power of God?

Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. Our faith did not come to us through the cleverness of a Bible teacher, but by the power of God. Continue in verse 6:

1 Corinthians 2:6
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1 Corinthians 2:7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden (the secret) wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:8
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

In verse 7, we speak the wisdom of God, which is Christ, in a mystery. We bring the Gospel of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it remains a mystery to those whom God did not intend to save. It is the mystery of the covenant of grace, which was kept secret, but which God revealed to us because God ordained it before the world began unto our glory.

Again we read about The Mystery Which Was Kept Secret in Romans 16.

There we read the last doxology in the Epistle to the Romans:

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Romans 16:26
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Romans 16:27
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Therefore, what is the secret of Amos 3:7?

It is the preaching of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the covenant of grace.

By Alfred J. Chompff


ISRAEL, MY SERVANT


Isaiah 41:8
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Who is God speaking to in this chapter?

To begin with God is speaking to the islands, which is a reference to the islands in the Mediterranean. But in a broader sense, God is speaking to all the nations of the then known world which were grouped around the Mediterranean Sea.

What was the message of God to the nations?

The message was that Judgment was to come upon all the nations that know not God. But then, beginning in verse 8, God has some comforting words to say to only one nation. God says in verse 8:

Isaiah 41:8
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Isaiah 41:9
Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 41:11
Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Isaiah 41:12
Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

Isaiah 41:13
For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 41:14
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

I have read to you this entire passage to show you the peculiar language God is using. To us it sounds peculiar, because we know the language of the New Testament. For example, in verse 8 God uses three descriptions of the same people: "Israel, my servant", "Jacob, whom I have chosen", and "The Seed of Abraham, my friend". From these three superlatives we ought to understand to whom God is writing these words.

Let's start with the last one, the Seed of Abraham.

Who are?

The Seed of Abraham? (Isaiah 41:8, Galatians 3:16, Galatians 3:29)

Whatever ideas about the Seed of Abraham you might have had in the past from the reading of the Old Testament, you must bow to God's Word as written in Galatians 3:16.

Let's see what God says.

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.

God says here in no uncertain terms that the promises made to Abraham were in the first place made to Christ, who is called the Seed of Abraham. In the second place, those promises were also made to those who belong to Christ, because they were in Christ when these promises were made.

Galatians 3:29
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now, that sheds a different light on this entire passage. The latest revelation carries the greater weight. Therefore, we must always interpret Old Testament passages in the light that the New Testament revelation brings.

Then God says in verse 8: "Jacob, whom I have chosen".

Who does this Jacob represent?

I Have Chosen Thee (Romans 9:13, Romans 9:8, Isaiah 41:8-9)

Now, we know that, whom God has chosen, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. God does not choose people unto salvation and then leaves them in their sins. When God saves us, He gives us repentance, He turns our life around and He gives us faith, so that we have in ourselves the evidence of salvation.

If Jacob, in verse 8, refers to the blood descendants of Jacob, then where is the evidence of their repentance?

Already in the wilderness, coming out of Egypt, God speaks of them as a rebellious congregation, who could not enter into God's rest because of unbelief. The following generations were not much better. For example, right after the glorious years of the reigns of David and Solomon, both the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah were following their kings all the way into idolatry. In fact, all throughout the history of the 13 tribes of Israel only a tiny remnant was actually saved. Therefore, when God says in verse 8, "Jacob whom I have chosen", our mind is inevitably drawn to the words of God in Romans 9:13,

Romans 9:13
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Even before the children were born, neither having done any good or evil, God wrote these words: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated".

How long before they were born?

God says: Before the foundation of the world God chose Jacob, and He bypassed Esau. But in that same passage of Romans 9, God explained why He brought up the example of Jacob and Esau. God says in Romans 9:8,

Romans 9:8
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Who are the children of the promise?

Jacob was a child of promise, Jacob was in Christ, and therefore he was counted for the seed of Abraham. Jacob is a picture of all those of us who are in Christ, and are also counted for the seed of Abraham, according to Galatians 3:29.

You see, Romans 9 is a New Testament passage, which lays out God's plan of election and reprobation for New Testament people, and it is no different than it was for the Old Testament people. That is why God says in Romans 9:6, "For they are not all Israel which are of Israel".

That is why God says in Isaiah 41:8, "Israel, my servant". Blood descendants of Jacob who are in rebellion against God are not called God's servant. Only those who repent and turn to Christ in faith are called God's servants.

Now we have harmony between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In Isaiah 41:8 speaks of God's elect in three different ways. First: "Israel, my servant", secondly: "Jacob, whom I have chosen", and thirdly: "The seed of Abraham, my friend". Now we can understand why God says of His elect in verse 9,

Isaiah 41:9
Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

God is not speaking of the nation of Israel, but God is speaking to the nation of New Testament believers who are His elect, taken out of all nations and kindreds and tongues from the ends of the earth.

Why would it be necessary for God to elect people unto salvation?

Could He not wait until people voluntarily turn to Christ?

NO!

God could not wait for that. God says in Romans 3: "There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God, there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE."

Therefore, If God wanted to save a people for Himself He had to do all the work of saving them. If God did not choose some people unto salvation, then nobody would be saved. But God did not elect everyone of the human race. God chose some, and He passed by others. That is why we read in Isaiah 41:11-12 about the condition that could have been ours:

What Could Have Been? (Isaiah 41:11-12, Romans 9:17)

Think of it. These words could have been written about us, if God had passed us by. God says in:
Isaiah 41:11
Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. (The wrath of God abides on them.)

Isaiah 41:12
Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. (They shall be in Hell.)

This was our basic condition before we were saved. By nature we were at war with God and we were at war with all those whom God calls His servants. Therefore, by nature we were children of wrath, even as others. The whole human race is in rebellion against God. But God was not frustrated by our rebellion. God took notice of our rebellion, and God was not going to let our rebellion frustrate His plan. God made it part of His plan.

For example, God foresaw that Pharaoh, king of Egypt, did not want the children of Israel to leave the land of Egypt, and therefore God made it part of His plan, and God said in Romans 9:17,

Romans 9:17
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

This is a terrible place to be in. When we are under the wrath of God, we find ourselves fighting against God, and we find ourselves reviling Christians and saying all manner of evil against them. It is a terrible thing if we are at enmity against our Christian brothers and sisters. It may be a sign that we have not repented of our sins. It may be a sign that we are still under the wrath of God.

Let us remember how we came into the world: As helpless babies, but as babies who were already at enmity with God.

Who do we think we are?

In the eyes of God we are no better than worms, as despicable as worms. Look at a baby. It has the intelligence of a worm. God says in Verse 14,

Thou Worm Jacob (Isaiah 41:14)

Isaiah 41:14
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

"Fear not, thou worm Jacob".

Remember whom Jacob represents here?

Jacob represents us. Jacob represents the ones from the human race whom God has chosen to become sons of God. But our initial condition was like that of a worm: A despicable worm. Like a worm is blind and deaf, so we in our natural state are blind and deaf to the Word Of God, which could rescue us from our desperate condition. A worm is food for the fowls of the air. Frequently, in the Bible, the fowls of the air are a representation of Satan and his demons. Satan is the prince of the power of the air. In the same way, we humans are no match for Satan and his demons. No human being can claim that he can outsmart Satan. That is why we were enslaved to Satan from the day we were born. Like the children of Israel were born as slaves in Egypt, and they were enslaved to Egypt, and they had no chance whatsoever to escape this slavery in Egypt, so the human race is born enslaved to Sin and Satan, and they remain enslaved to Sin and Satan without a chance to escape this slavery. Is it then not amazing that God says to us:

"Fear not thou worm Jacob, ye men of Israel".

"I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away".

In other words, "Listen to me you people, you who can hear my words and believe it. I have good news for you! I have chosen you to become the sons of God. I have not cast you away".

Furthermore, God says in this verse: "I will help thee, saith Jehovah, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." It is significant that God here makes Himself known to us as more than one person: God Jehovah, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. The word and is really present in the Hebrew. He makes Himself known as God Himself and Christ, who is our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. This is no surprise to us. We have learned from clear language in the New Testament that God has made Himself known as three persons in the God-head: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

God says in this verse: "I will help thee".

How then is God going to help us?

First of all, He will help us to get out of this slavery to Satan, by being our Redeemer, our Kinsman in the flesh. The word Redeemer actually means Kinsman. For example, Moses acted as redeemer. Moses, who was the kinsman in the flesh of the children of Israel, took the children of Israel through the Red Sea, which was a representation of Hell, and so Moses delivered them from Egypt. In like manner Christ became our kinsman, He took on a human body, and He took the sins of all those elect who were in Him, with Him through the cross experience, which was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell which Christ had to endure, and which we experienced in Him and through Him. This is how our sins were washed away. There is no other way sins can be forgiven. None of the Old Testament sins were forgiven by animal sacrifices. Sins have to be atoned for by the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Think of it when you ask God tonight to forgive you just one sin of this day. That sin can only be forgiven by an atonement, which is the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. When you pray: "Lord please forgive me that sin", then you are actually asking God that He may have let Christ endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for that sin also. That is how He was our Redeemer, our Kinsman in the flesh.

This was the first step in how God was going to help us. But secondly, God says, "I will help thee; I will hold thy right hand throughout this life", because God says:

I Am Thy God (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13-14, Philippians 2:13)

How did He become our God?

When we were in an unregenerate state, we served idols.

How did this switch occur?

It happened in three events in the history of this universe. The first event took place before the foundation of the world when God the Father chose us and wrote our names in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This was the 1st time God has sanctified us, set us apart.

The second event in history was when Christ, God the Son, who had our sins charged to Him, stood before the Judgment throne of God, and he had to pay for our sins the penalty that God's Law required for the sins that He bore, which was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. The Lord Jesus paid that price, beginning Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and ending at about 3 O'clock in the afternoon on that Friday. That is when our names in the Book of Life of the Lamb were sealed in Christ's blood. This was the 2nd time God has sanctified us, set us apart.

The third event in history was on some day in our life, that some of us do not even remember. It was on a day in 1970 that I heard the Gospel call for the umpteenth time, but this time it was as if someone whispered in my ears: "Is it real? Is it real? Am I being sucked into a cult, or is it real?" It was from that day on that I was interested to read and hear more of that Gospel. The Bible teaches that when Christ paid for all of our sins, it was guaranteed that God the Holy Spirit would at some point interrupt our life, and would regenerate us, so that we would have eyes to see the written Word, and ears to hear the Gospel call, so that we could believe the Good News that we have become heirs of God & heirs of eternal life. This was the 3rd time God has sanctified us, set us apart.

In these three events all three persons of the triune Godhead were intensely active in drawing us to Jesus and in converting our souls. This is how God became our God. Before we were regenerated, before we became born again, we served idols, and we were by nature children wrath, even as others, because our unconverted soul was an abomination in the sight of God. It insulted the righteousness of God. But since we were made born again, God says to us "I am thy God", "I will help thee". (Isaiah 41:10)

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

And again in verse 13 God says: "I am thy God", "I will hold thy right hand",

Isaiah 41:13
For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

And again in verse 14 God says
"I will help thee", "I am thy Redeemer",

Isaiah 41:14
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Why is God repeating this message three times?

What is God communicating to us in these repeated messages?

This is the message: After God has saved us, He makes us strong in our right hand, so that we will do the work that He has laid out for us to do. God says in Philippians 2:13,

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

After God has saved us He says to us:

I Will Strengthen Thee (Isaiah 41:9-10, Isaiah 41:13, Colossians 3:1)

Let's begin with verse 9.

Isaiah 41:9

Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.


"Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth", literally reads in the Hebrew:

"Whom I have made strong from the ends of the earth".
That is why we are called His servant. God is speaking to His elect people. God is speaking to us, and He said:

Isaiah 41:9
Whom I have made strong from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

God makes us strong for the work He has for us to do.

What work?

Again God says in Verse 10,

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I will strengthen thee; I will uphold thee with my righteous right hand. We know from Psalm 48:10 that symbolically God's right hand is full of righteousness. Paraphrased God says, "I will help you. You are not alone. My grace will make you strong against evil".

God says in verse 13,

Isaiah 41:13
For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Literally the Hebrew text reads: "For I the LORD thy God am making strong thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee".

Isaiah 41:13 (LITV)
For I, Jehovah your God am strengthening your right hand, who says to you, Do not fear I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13 (YLT)
For I, Jehovah thy God, Am strengthening thy right hand, He who is saying to thee, 'Fear not, I have helped thee.'

God will give His children to be right with God through Christ, who sits at His right hand, because Christ successfully atoned for our sins. God says in Colossians 3:1,

Colossians 3:1
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

This is the work for which we must be made strong. It is the work for the furtherance of the Kingdom, having our eyes on those things which are above, where Christ is. This is the work of being ambassadors for Christ. This is the work for which we must have no fear. Three times God says:

Fear Not (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13-14, Matthew 5:10)

Let's begin with verse 10,

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Then in verse 13,

Isaiah 41:13
For I the LORD thy God am making strong thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Then in verse 14,

Isaiah 41:14
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

For what do we need to be made strong?

We fear those who are incensed against us, or who are angry with us.

Who is angry with us?

What is their anger about?

First of all, the preaching in our church is a two-edged sword. It is the sword that cuts us deeply and convicts us of our sins, or it is the sword that cuts people off because they do not like to be reprimanded of their sin.

Secondly, the arguers that strive with us, think that we are an elite group who have elevated ourselves above them. We cannot change their minds. Let them revile us and say all manner of evil against us. We will not defend ourselves, because God is our defender.

Thirdly, they that war against us for various reasons are at war against us because we have joined their enemy. But this is to be expected. The Lord Jesus says:

Matthew 5:10
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Don't worry about what they can do to us. Just think of what will happen to them if they die unsaved. That should be sufficient motivation for us to witness to them. Our goal is always: How can we more faithfully spread the fragrance of Christ.

By Alfred J. Chompff


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SOME HERESIES TAUGHT BY HAROLD CAMPING AND FAMILY RADIO IN 2008

Annihilation of the Unsaved

The Rejection of the Total Depravity of Man in denial of Romans 3:12

No Visible Return of Christ

No resurrection of the Unsaved

No Final Judgment of the Unsaved

The eternal wrath of God on the unsaved will last 5 months

Allah is the God of the Bible

Those who do not know the date [May 21, 2011] will be in Hell forever

Christ became the Son of God after He rose from the dead before the foundation of the world.
From Camping's new book "To God be the Glory" - "Thus when Jesus went to the cross, He was not there to pay for our sins"

Monday, May 11, 2009

THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL

In this article I would like us to take a closer look at a verse that has intrigued me for a long time. I am talking about Proverbs 30:17. And if you glance at Proverbs 30:17 you know immediately that this is a verse which requires a great deal of spiritual interpretation. But first let us look at the context where we find this verse. We read in Proverbs 30:11-17,

Warnings About Ingratitude (Proverbs 30:11-17, Matthew 24:12, Romans 3:4)


Proverbs 30:11
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

Proverbs 30:12
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

Proverbs 30:13
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

Proverbs 30:14
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

Proverbs 30:15
The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:

Proverbs 30:16
The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

As we can see, this is a passage which deals with ingratitude that is so common in these last days. People are ungrateful when their love for God and their love for their fellow man have grown cold. The Lord Jesus spoke about this phenomenon when He said in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

In other words, sin shall multiply so much near the end of time that men become callous to sin, and then their love for God and for their fellow man will grow cold. And because their love for God grows cold, they are not grateful for all that God has given them. That sin is multiplying exceedingly today cannot be denied. If we take for example one command from God, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” we can see that our whole world is filled with liars. Through the media we are bombarded with lies coming from every level of society.

Every advertisement on television or coming to us on our computer is a mixture of truth and lies, especially advertisements from the pharmaceutical industries. Every politician elbows his way up with a mixture of truth and lies. Every resume submitted to employers is laced with exaggerations and some outright lies to make it more attractive. Since most stores employ the “bait and switch” strategy, they will instruct their sales persons of the same philosophy.

Even the daily news has been selected in such a way that certain truths must be kept away from the general public. Even some of the modern Bible translations contain outright lies about the sovereignty of God. And so on. God already stated this fact in Romans 3:4, where He said, “Let God be true, but every man a liar, as it is written.” And thus, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold,” and because their love has grown cold many are unaware of the love of God for their soul, and they become ungrateful. Especially here in Proverbs 30:17, the verse that we intend to study, the ingratitude of rebellious children toward their parents is on display. And this will be especially true for children who are living toward the end of time.

But let us consider this verse in perspective: The Proverbs of Solomon are in reality “The Parables of Solomon”, for the word proverbs is actually the word for parables. And thus, Proverbs 30:17 is not a verse whose focus is on the punishment of those who are rebellious children, it is not a moralizing verse, but it is a prophecy contained in a parable. In the first place, it is a prophecy about the nation of Israel. But it goes further than that. In the second place it is a prophecy about the church, which tends to make the same mistakes as the Old Testament church has done before. Let us now look at Proverbs 30:17,

The Eye that Mocketh at His Father (Proverbs 30:17, Matthew 6:22-24, Psalm 19:8, Ephesians 1:18, Proverbs 22:9, Psalm 131:1, Matthew 20:15, James 1:17, Deuteronomy 18:15-19, Deuteronomy 10:16, Deuteronomy 30:6)

Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

The first word that catches our eye in this verse is “The Eye”.

What does the eye represent in the parables of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament?

It represents “the window to our soul.”
In Matthew 6:22 the Lord Jesus told us here a parable about the characteristics of the eye a man has, and about the gifts that God has bestowed on that person as reflected by the characteristics of his eye. The eye is portrayed as a window of our soul, which lets light into our soul, and which lets others know what comes out of our soul.

Matthew 6:22
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Matthew 6:23
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The words “If thine eye be single” mean “If you have a singleness of heart” in serving Christ and learning about Christ, and not try to serve two masters, you will do well, and your whole body will be full of the light which is a gift from God. Other examples are given in various places in the Bible:

The Word of God enlightens the eyes (Psalm 19:8).

The eyes of the understanding are being enlightened (Ephesians 1:18).

The good man has a bountiful eye, for he gives of his bread to the poor (Proverbs 22:9).

High or lofty eyes describe the proud man (Psalm 131:1).

The envious man has an evil eye (Matthew 20:15).

And thus, the eye is not only used as an indicator of what goes on in the mind of a person, but it is also reflecting what the actions of this person are going to be. And thus, the eye is the window to the soul.

“The eye that mocketh at his father” tells us of the entire attitude of this person against his father.

But who is meant by “his Father”?

Since we are going to stay away from moralizing sermons out of the parables of Solomon, we must say that “his Father” refers to God, who gave our mother conception, and gave us physical life, and gave us everything we presently have. God says in James 1:17,

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.

And thus, everything we have at this point in time we have received from God who has guided our life by His providence. God, in His wisdom, has given us all that we need in this life. But if we do not appreciate all that God has given us, if we doubt His wisdom in the history of our life, if we think that God could have done a better job, then we are mocking God. And this is where the moralizing aspect of this verse is shining through, for if we display an ungrateful attitude toward God, we are actually mocking God. The nation of Israel has heard and read the Word of God. They said they would believe in the sovereignty of God, and that God has a people elected whom He will receive into heaven, and they believed that they were those people whom God had elected, but they did not believe all that God has written in the Bible. Wherever God mentioned His blessings on the Gentiles they closed their eyes and ears, and pretended not to understand those words. Wherever God mentioned that He would raise up a Prophet like unto Moses, like in Deuteronomy 18:15-19, they pretended not to understand. Wherever God spoke about circumcising their heart, like in Deuteronomy 10:16, and in Deuteronomy 30:6 they pretended not to understand. In other words, by picking and choosing from the Bible they were mocking God. They were choosing those things from the Bible that they like, but they were deliberately ignoring other parts of the Bible. In doing so they were in fact creating other gods for themselves, much like churches are doing these days, but these are not the God of the Bible. These were idols which they made up in their heart, and in doing so they were mocking God. Let us now return to the words of Proverbs 30:17.

And Despiseth to Obey His Mother (Proverbs 30:17, John 8:44, Galatians 4:21-26)

Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

What is the spiritual meaning of “despising to obey his mother ”?

Who does his mother represent?

When we look at the first half of this verse, mocking his father, and despising his mother, God is confronting us with gross sin. In other words, God is describing this sin as if our God were his Father, for that is the sin that this man is accused of here in the first half of this verse. God is not saying that this man mocks his father the devil, for that is indeed his father according to John 8:44. And thus, when we identify his mother in this verse, we should likewise identify her as the mother of true believers.

Who is the mother of all the saints?

In Galatians 4:21 God describes here an incident in the life of Abraham, and God shows us that His providence rules all the way, even down to the details of the sins of Abraham, so that even the sins of Abraham, and our sins, fall within the plans of God. God works out His plans using the sins of man. We read in Gal 4:21-26,

Galatians 4:21
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

Galatians 4:22
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Galatians 4:24
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Galatians 4:25
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

This is the story of two women, Hagar and Sarah, representing two covenants. Hagar represents the covenant of works that man wants to make with God, which is a covenant that requires man to do something by which he will be saved. Sarah represents the covenant of grace which God makes with certain men, where God has done everything for the salvation of certain men. At the same time these two women also represent two cities. Hagar represents the earthly city of Jerusalem of bricks and mortar whose citizens are all those who are subject to a covenant of works, and who are still in bondage to sin and Satan. Sarah represents the Jerusalem which is above, in heaven, whose citizens are all the saints living on earth or in heaven who are subject to a covenant of grace, and who are presently no longer in bondage to Satan. And then we read in Galatians 4:26, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

And the words “US ALL” should not be interpreted as “all of us universally”, but as “all of us who are of the elect,” for we need to harmonize the Scriptures. And thus, Sarah is the mother of all those who believe, like Abraham is the father of all who believe. We might also say that the heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of us all, and thereby we understand that the heavenly Jerusalem represents the covenant of grace, represented by Sarah.

What is the covenant of grace?

The covenant of grace is:

1) That God has a number of people who are His elect, chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world.

2) For whom Christ paid the full penalty for all their sins on the cross, and Christ paid for the sins of no one else.

3) In our lifetime God the Holy Spirit applies the payment that Christ made to our soul and makes us born from above

4) God guarantees that all those who have been made born from above will stay in the faith until the rapture when Christ comes again.

That, in a nutshell, is the covenant of grace. This is what we believe. Our obedience to this covenant of grace is that we believe it. But let us now consider the meaning of the words in Proverbs 30:17, “And despiseth to obey his mother.”

This person despises the glorious covenant of grace that God made, for he holds to a covenant of works. He believes, for example, that Christ paid for the sins of every human being, and now it is up to us to decide if we want this salvation that Christ holds out to us. But this is an insult to God, for this is not what the Bible describes as the salvation that God has provided. God does not need our assistance in letting Him make a decision to whom He should give this salvation.

And so, how does the wrath of God come down upon this person who refuses to believe what the Bible says so clearly?

And when we speak of the wrath of God, we must specify that it is the wrath of God while this person is still alive on this earth, for we already know what the wrath of God is after this life.

The Ravens of the Valley (Proverbs 30:17, 1 Kings 17:1-6, Isaiah 34:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13, Matthew 13:4,19)

Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Who do the ravens of the valley represent?

When we search the Bible for the same Hebrew word we are unmistakably drawn to the story of Elijah who was fed by the ravens.

King Ahab who ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel was a wicked king. And to add insult to injury, Ahab also married Jezebel, a Zidonian princess. But since God loved Israel, God decided to chasten Israel, to make her king aware of his sinful lifestyle. And God sent the prophet Elijah to Ahab to point out his wickedness. We read in 1 Kings 17:1-6,

1 Kings 17:1
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

1 Kings 17:2
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

1 Kings 17:3
Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

1 Kings 17:4
And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

1 Kings 17:5
So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

1 Kings 17:6
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Elijah dared to come into the presence of the king and declare to him the judgment of the Lord upon him. But then God told Elijah to hide himself by the brook Cherith, and God commanded the ravens to feed Elijah. The brook was a tiny river in a valley.

And thus, when we ask ourselves, “Who do the ravens of the valley represent?” we have the answer here. God made the ravens temporarily His servants. The ravens were unclean animals. When God describes a picture of Hell in Isaiah 34 God includes the raven as one of the cursed animals who shall inhabit such a dreadful place. And so, we get the impression that the ravens are pictured as messengers of Satan. But God commanded the ravens to feed Elijah, and thus the ravens brought him bread and flesh.

Where did the ravens get this bread and flesh?

They stole it from the humans.

Did Elijah know that it was stolen?

Of course he knew, since ravens are not able to make bread. But we see here that even the foulest animals or the lowest of humans can be turned into servants of God to accomplish His purposes. And that is also the meaning in Proverbs 30:17.

The ravens of the valley represent demons in the kingdom of Satan, but they have no love for humans who are in error. They have no love for those who are snared in the kingdom of Satan. God sends to them the unbelievers who are under the curse of God, because they refuse to believe the love of the truth that they might be saved and God will send them strong delusion by the hand of those who are already possessed by the demons. God says in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13,

2 Thessalonians 2:11
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe The lie:

2 Thessalonians 2:12
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

You see, it is God who shall send them strong delusion. It is God who shall send them the ravens of the valley who will pick out whatever truth there still is in their mind, and the demons will be happy to comply.

And what is The lie that they are going to believe?

For the Greek text indeed says The lie. For the answer to this question, look at the context: God shows us the contrast between two groups of people; verse 12 for one group and verse 13 for the second group of people. In verse 12 God says, “They believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

What did they not believe?

The answer is given in verse 13, where God says, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

Verse 13 is the truth, and verse 12 tells us that unbelief in the truth is identical to having pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Lord Jesus told us a similar story in the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. We read in Matthew 13:4, “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.”

Then the Lord Jesus explained this verse in verse 19. We read in Matthew 13:19, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” And so, here again the birds represent demons who pick away those things that were sown in this person’s heart.

Shall Pick It Out (Proverbs 30:17)

The ravens of the valley shall pick out this person’s evil eye.

What does this mean?

Remember we are talking about the eye that mocketh at his Father in heaven, believing that our Father in heaven did make a mistake when He married his current wife, and he is now eligible for a divorce and to get a new wife; and it is the person who refuses to believe the principles of the covenant of grace. The first phase of the snare that God sends to this person is the belief that he is correct. The media confirm his ideas. Instead of God he now uses the term “Mother Nature.” It is a continuation of mocking God, but now he is avoiding God, and gradually the principles about God and the church he has learned from his youth are fading out of his life. This is dreadful apostacy. But then God causes him to enter into the second stage of his apostacy, from where there is no return possible.

The Young Eagles Shall Eat It (Proverbs 30:17, Exodus 19:4, Deuteronomy 28:48-49, 1 Corinthians 14:21-22)

Proverbs 30:17
The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Who are the young eagles, or literally the sons of the eagles?

In the Bible God is often described as an eagle. God says in Exodus 19:4, “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

God’s action in bringing the nation of Israel out of Egypt was a marvelous picture of how God saves His people. But Satan is a great imitator of God. God tests the church in bringing the church the charismatic gospel near the end of time. Then we read in Deuteronomy 28:48-49,

Deuteronomy 28:48
Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

Deuteronomy 28:49
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;

The tongue speakers shall descend upon the church, and they shall remain there until they have destroyed the church.

But how did they get in contact with the church?

The young eagles, or better the sons of the eagles who are imitating God shall come in contact with the members of the church. And through these personal contacts the sons of the eagles will form marriages with the daughters of the church, and these mixed marriages will be the driving force to allow the charismatic movement to overrun the church. This is the second stage of the apostacy. And whatever little truth has remained thus far will be eradicated. The sons of the eagles shall eat it, and shall make sure there is nothing left of the original covenant of grace. We are not looking forward to this unhappy future, but this is what has been prophesied in Proverbs 30:17.

First it was the nation of Israel who was mocking God by picking and choosing from the Bible whatever they wanted to believe, and whatever they wanted to reject. And this mode of operation was copied by the New Testament church who also wanted to get away with it. But God sent the ravens of the valley to the church and they moved the church away from the covenant of grace, and into the Arminian gospel. This went on for many years. The result was that many in the church remained unsaved, and now the church was ripe for the takeover by the charismatic gospel.

In the past 50 years the charismatic gospel has overtaken much of the established churches and denominations, because most churches have surrendered their autonomy to the dictates of their centralized government. The result is a permanent blindness that has been spread over most of the churches. The young eagles have eaten whatever the ravens of the valley have left.

We read in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22,

1 Corinthians 14:21
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

1 Corinthians 14:22
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

God has given us clear signals to tell us what we should believe and what we should reject. This passage in 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 is such an example. But if the people in the churches are blind, then they cannot see, and this means they cannot see the truth of this passage.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BAXTERIANISM - A WARNING

December 1991 marked the 300th anniversary of the death of the famous Puritan Richard Baxter.

There has been much about this man in contemporary Christian magazines, but not a word of warning.

Professed "Calvinist" articles and reviews have been completely silent about the errors which were mixed with Richard Baxter's teaching. There has been nothing but praise.
Our godly forefathers, in our Gospel Standard Articles, felt it needful to write against "Baxterianism." Neither "Arminianism" nor "Wesleyianism" are mentioned, but "Baxterianism" is.

Perhaps the strongest adulation for Richard Baxter follows the re-publication of four volumes of his works.

These are being sold by the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and Dr, Peter Masters writes:
"To have such a set completed is, for the lover of outstanding theological books, the great event of the year."

He writes of Volume 2 as "a wonderful volume" and volume 3 as "a superb volume" and states:
"The blessing and benefit of these great works to all is enormous."

Again, there is not a word of warning as to where Baxter went astray...

...What then is wrong with Richard Baxter's teaching?

It concerns the great doctrine of justification, what one man called "the article by which a church stands or falls."
Strangely, though in 1992 Evangelical leaders are silent, the late Dr. Lloyd Jones felt compelled to speak out against Baxter's teaching on justification, saying that "he went hopelessly astray on this."

In a word Richard Baxter taught that the death of Christ purchased a more leniant covenant. As no one can keep the law of works, Christ has (to use Baxter's terms) procured a lower market; the price is not so high. In other words, Christ has relaxed the terms.
All that is asked is that the sinner have faith in Christ and he is justified.

How different from the apostle's insistence that the law cannot abate one of it's claims, and that our only hope is in Christ fulfilling the law by His perfect obedience and then bearing the curse.
This, and this alone, is the ground of justification - Christ's righteousness imputed to the sinner.

But Richard Baxter goes on to put such emphasis upon works that he implies that in the long run you are justified by your conduct and behaviour and sanctification. So (to quote Dr. Lloyd Jones) he "virtually taught that men were justified by their own actions."

Obviously there is much upon which we do not agree with Dr. Lloyd Jones - but he was concerned about the false teaching on justification , which strikes at the heart of the gospel. (For the above we have made great use of Dr. Lloyd Jones's lectures on justification.)

We pass over Richard Baxter's intemperate attacks on the early baptists and in closing quote our article 28 (which deals with another point): "We reject the doctrine called 'Baxterianism'; that is to say that while all the elect shall assuredly be saved there is a residuum of grace in Christ for the rest, or any of the rest, if they will only accept it."

We just cannot understand why professed calvinist writers, in all that is being said at present about Richard Baxter, have not issued a warning concerning the points where he went astray from the truth.

By B. A. Ramsbottom
Gospel standard magazine - April 1992.

Friday, May 08, 2009

A STUDY OF 1 TIMOTHY 5:23

"DRINK no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake, and thine often infirmities." - Paul to Timothy

UNPOPULAR as this text may appear in this day of religious reform, in which the scriptures have fallen so far behind the spirit of the age, we have nothing of popularity at stake, may venture a few remarks upon it without the fear of losing the favor of the reformers of the day.

Paul, the writer of the text, was an inspired apostle, and wrote as he was directed by the Holy Ghost. Timothy was a minister of the gospel, and a bishop or elder of the church of Christ at Ephesus. It was therefore proper that Paul, as one of the twelve judges of the twelve spiritual tribes, should instruct Timothy how he ought to behave himself in the house of God.

From the text we learn that Timothy was a man of frequent infirmity, and from the fact infer that although gospel ministers are required to be sound in the faith and practice of the gospel, they are men of bodily infirmity like all the rest of mankind.

Timothy could not be temperate in all things, unless he discontinued the use of water and used a little wine. We do not know that Paul required a tetotal abstinence from water; but he evidently believed that water was more injurious to the health of Timothy than wine would be; he therefore directed a discontinuance of the former and the use of a little of the latter.

Paul did not in this case, or in any other case, direct the use of much wine; but elsewhere forbids that the saints should be drunken with wine, wherein there is excess.

From the above considerations we infer that there is a very wide difference between the views of Paul and those of the modern false apostles of our age, as the latter hold that the use of intoxicating drinks, to any extent, is a moral sin; that they are not to be used in any case, to any extent whatever, without involving guilt and sin on the part of the person or persons using it. Paul, however, held with his Lord, that the use, not abuse, of all things was lawful and expedient, and all things were to be received and used by the saints with thanksgiving.

Had our Lord regarded the use of intoxicating liquors as a sin, is it consistent to believe that he would have given Israel wine as a blessing, or directed the children of Israel to buy wine and strong drink; or would our Savior have changed the pure element of water into such wicked stuff as wine, and then, after the people had already well drank, caused the better wine to be served to the governor and the feast?

Had our Lord approved of the doctrine of modern tetotal abstinence, would he have been called a wine-bibber or wine drinker ?

Again we infer, that the modern theory is not only without a divine warrant in the sacred pages, but is absolutely in opposition to the revealed laws of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Any person, therefore, connected with the church of God, who shall violate the laws of Christ, by uniting in modern societies which are hostile to his laws, are guilty of disorder, and should be labored with as offenders; and if not reclaimed, excluded, as in all other cases of walking disorderly.

In rejecting the inventions of men on this subject, and adhering strictly to the bible, let no one suppose us to advocate an excessive, or even habitual use of wine, or other intoxicating drinks; such is not the fact, either in theory or in our practice. But we do believe, and maintain, that the bible is a full, perfect and infallible guide for the children of God. They were no countenance the excessive use of wine or strong drink, or of any thing else; but they direct that we should use all things bestowed upon us by a bountiful providence, as not abusing them. It is a reflection on the wisdom and goodness of God, for men to attempt an improvement of the divine rule. The church is required to withhold her fellowship from drunkards; and if any in our connection become intemperate in eating, or drinking, or otherwise, they are to be put away, if they cannot be reclaimed by gospel measures. it is disgraceful, and abominably wicked, for christians to indulge in an unbecoming use, or we would rather say, abuse, of what God has given us. Any person who cannot be reclaimed from intemperate habits, by gospel discipline, from a sense of their allegiance to their heavenly King, by the love of God dwelling in their hearts, by a sense of gospel order, by a desire to walk circumspectly, ought to be put away from the communion and fellowship of the church of Christ. To sustain them in the church by any other constraint than that found in the New Testament, is a perversion of the laws of Christ, and involves the sin of retaining in church connection, such as the laws of Zion have commanded us to put away. We care not for the slang of the enemy, in slanderously reporting us as wine-bibbers, gluttons, &c.; for so they accused our Lord; but when any of the household of faith give occasion to the enemy, to reproach them on this ground, it is trying indeed; therefore, suffer the word of exhortation.

Dear brethren, let us abstain from all appearance of evil; let us live soberly, righteously and godly in the present world. And although we are not at liberty to allow any man to judge us in meats, or in drinks, or in regard to a holy day, let us, as children of the light, as the followers of the Lamb, as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, deny ourselves of all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and endeavor to show an ungodly generation that we, by the laws of Christ alone, are taught to walk worth of the high vocation wherewith we are called. If our infirmities (we don't mean depraved appetites) require strong drink, there is no more harm in using it moderately, than mil or bread; providing we use it lawfully; and it is as great a sin for us to refuse it when, like Timothy, our sickness, or natural infirmity requires it, as to refuse any other temporal blessing that God has given us. It is not in drinking a little wine that the evil lies; but in carnal indulgence, which inculcates an appetite for still greater indulgence, and so leads on to actual intemperance. In the use of wine and other strong drink, there is perhaps a much greater danger of cherishing an immoderate thirst, than in the use of many other things; we are therefore to be the more guarded - to use it with the greater caution; and if we cannot use it without exciting an inclination to use it excessively, it is our duty, as christians, to abandon the use of it altogether. By the same rule which required Timothy to discontinue the use of water, because it was detrimental to his health, we are required to abstain from wine and strong drink, when our infirmities require water instead of wine.

By Elder Gilbert Beebe

New Vernon, N. Y.,
June 1, 1840

A STUDY OF ACTS 5:38-39


“Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to naught: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”
(Acts 5:38-39)

Such was the counsel of Gamaliel to those who were madly engaged in the suppression of the truth, and persecution of the apostles and primitive saints. All their efforts thus far had failed to prevent the faithful testimony of the servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, or to intimidate them. The Redeemer has said, “Upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” and his words were no less omnipotent in the utterance of these words than when he called the world into existence, or when the tempests or the seas obeyed him. Indeed his very word is sufficient indemnity for the faith of all his children under all their trials and persecutions. He speaketh the word and it stands fast; he commands and it is done. The counsel of Gamaliel was rational and consistent, whatever were the motives which led him to offer it to the Jewish Sanhedrin, and they are equally as true and appropriate now as when the apostles of the Lamb stood accused before that council.

Refrain from these men.

What men?

The context shows the men alluded to were the apostles and witnesses of our Lord, who had been arrested and imprisoned for the testimony of their divine Lord and Master, and liberated by the angel of the Lord, and then re-arrested and again brought before the council. These men were the constituents of the gospel church in its primitive organization, and represent the church of Christ throughout all subsequent ages; for quickened sinners after having gladly received their word, were baptized and added to them, that is, to these men. And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayer, and the Lord added unto them daily such as should be saved. The whole church is evidently included, and these men are still to be found on the earth, and still identified by the same discriminating characteristics: steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine. Whatever new fashions, fancies or theories the religious world in its progression may adopt.

There was at that time, there has been ever since, and there still is a strange inclination manifested by the religious world, or the worldly religious, to oppose, annoy, perplex and persecute these men in a variety of ways; nor is the opposition which they encounter alone from the world. The apostle Paul in admonishing the elders of Ephesus, predicted that, “Even of your own selves shall men rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

Elsewhere he warned the church of God that “perilous times should come; that many should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” All the violent persecution the church has endured from anti-Christ, the cruel and murderous edicts, restricted liberties as citizens of the world, the torturing racks and ingenious machines for inflicting dreadful physical sufferings, the executioner’s block and axe, or the stake and fagot, have never proved so hurtful to the church of God, as internal disruptions, dissensions and disorders produced among her members; the sowing seeds of discord, scattering firebrands arrows and death, by false brethren; by men of corrupt minds, who have loved preeminence, and to acquire it have assailed the doctrine, character and reputation of the men of God. History informs us of no age in which the church has not been more or less infested with this description of opposition, except it has been when the fires of persecution from without have burned so violently as to render the religion of the Bible too unpopular and expensive to suit the carnal, selfish notions of nominal professors and graceless hypocrites. The openly avowed enemies of the church with all their instruments of brutal cruelty, has proved a purgative, and the flames of persecution have had a purifying effect, while the treachery of ungodly men within her inclosure has had a corrupting tendency. But neither the one nor the other of these, however much they may harrass or perplex the saints, can ever overthrow the work of God. If the world or Satan had power to overthrow the work and counsel of God, the church would have fallen long ago. But God’s counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure, and it is his good pleasure that his little flock shall inherit the kingdom; it was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and in his own appointed time the God of heaven had set it up, and decreed that it shall stand for ever; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of her cords be broken.

“From age to age she has withstood
The utmost rage of earth and hell.”

But still, unshaken as is the throne of God, and unshaken as is his oath and promise, she remains perfectly secure, for God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved, God will help her, and that right early. She has encountered the storms of persecution, and the floods and rains have assailed her ancient battlements with violence, but she fell not, because she is founded upon the Rock of Ages.

How very different are the counsels and works of men, when applied to matters of religion. Every scheme and device, however cunningly or wisely devised, and every human effort and application unauthorized by the precept of the King, shall certainly come to naught.

How many thousands of religious inventions, societies and institutions for evangelizing the world, arise with great pomp and promise, reach their climax and dwindle back to their original nothingness. Others again in turn are constantly springing up, but all embodying the certain seeds of their own inevitable decay.

All that kind of religion which is or can be produced by the will or works of men, must come to naught. The fruits of modern revivals, which have been effected by excitement and fanaticism, have been like crackling thorns in a momentary blaze, giving a glaring but transient light, only to make the gross darkness which succeeds, the more frightful and doleful. And every failure has proved the soundness of Gamaliel’s counsel, as all time shall show the immutability of the decree of him who said, “Every plant that my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.”

From what is thus clearly demonstrated, let hell despair, but all who trust in God shall rejoice, for they shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be moved; which abideth forever.

What have the children of God to fear?

The enemy may come in like a flood, but the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against the enemy. The heathen may rage, and men of earth imagine vain things, they may resolve to disband the saints, and cast their cords from them, but he that sitteth in the heavens shall hold them in derision, for it is written, “The enemies of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them.” Nor do these fearful threatenings hang impending alone over the devoted heads of those enemies which are outside the organized boundaries of the church of Christ, for “If any man defile the temple of the Lord, him will God destroy.” Then let the sinners in Zion tremble, and let fearfulness surprise the hypocrites. God will protect his little ones from all the rage of their adversaries, and avenge his own elect who cry unto him day and night. They who touch them, touch the apple of his eye, and it were better for them that a mill-stone were hanged about their necks, and that they were cast into the depths of the sea, than that they should offend any of our Lord’s little ones.

By Gilbert Beebe

Middletown, New York.
March 1st, 1859.

GILBERT BEEBE ON MARRIAGE

“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth, and the husband is bound by the law to his wife as long as the wife liveth. And, that a bill of divorcement legally obtained may in the eye of our civil code disannul a former marriage contract so that, as far as the civil law is concerned, the parties may contract to live in adultery and their issue be legal. But the Bible gives them no such liberty, nor has the God of heaven given any authority to any earthly legislature to divide asunder what God has joined together.”
(Gilbert Beebe - September 15, 1840 - “The Law of Marriage”)

Monday, May 04, 2009

OUR DAILY BREAD

Psalm 119 is an amazing chapter in the Bible. It is the longest chapter in the Bible by far, containing 176 verses. People have speculated who the person was who wrote this Psalm. Some say it was David, and some say it was Ezra. But God has hidden this information from us, so that we would not give glory to man but only to God. Only God could have dictated such a beautiful Psalm and someone wrote it down.

There are three important features of Psalm 119.

First of all, this Psalm is written as an acrostic. Psalm 119 is divided into 22 stanzas, each of them 8 verses long. The 22 stanzas correspond with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each set of 8 verses begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For example, the first 8 verses all start with the Hebrew letter A, or Aleph, because Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.

The next 8 verses start with the letter B, or Beth, and so on. You should try to compose poetry this way and you will see you don't get very far. Here is one more sign from which you can see that only God could have written the Bible.

Did you know there are only 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and most of them are consonants?

That is how the Hebrew text was written 2000 years ago. Most of the vowels are not divinely inspired, because they have been added later. 22 letters X 8 verses = 176 verses. That is why this Psalm has 176 verses.

Secondly, at least 171 of the 176 verses refer to the Word of God.

Is it not amazing that the Word of God is referred to almost in every verse?

And that is because this entire Psalm expresses the love of a child of God for the Word of God, the Bible. Not only do we respect this Bible, we also love this Bible and we realize that this Bible is the "Daily Bread" for our souls.

Thirdly, the Word of God is given eight Hebrew synonyms throughout this Psalm, and they are used again and again. Those eight synonyms have been translated:

1) Law

2) Judgments

3) Testimonies

4) Commandments

5) Statutes

6) Precepts

7) Word (dabar)

and

8) Word (imra)

Every time we see in Psalm 119 one of these words, they refer to the Word of God, the Bible. When this Psalm was written, these eight synonyms referred to the Old Testament. But the Bible, God's Word was not completed at that time. When God gave the Apostle John the last of His revelations, the Bible was completed at the end of Revelation 22. Today, when we read in Psalm 119 the words: Law, Judgments, Testimonies, Commandments, Statutes, Precepts and Word, we know that these words refer to the whole Bible. This Psalm does not only reflect the love of an Old Testament saint for the Word of God. This Psalm also reflects the love of a New Testament saint for the Word of God. These verses are lessons of heavenly wisdom and comfort for the saints of all times. It is a fountain, which can never be exhausted. Let us now read verses 33-36.

Teach Me, O Lord (Psalm 119:33-36, John 6:44)

Verses 33-40 are eight verses where each verse starts with the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, which is the letter H, or in Hebrew it is pronounced HE. God instructs us to pray this way:

Psalm 119:33
(HE.) Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

"Teach me, O Lord, what is the way of thy statutes."

Does God need to teach us?

Can we not read it for ourselves?

The fact is, no one can understand the Word of God unless God opens our spiritual eyes. We have all been infected with sin so that we are all spiritually born blind. That is why we need to ask God to guide us every time we open the Word Of God.

Moreover, children of God need instruction from above, to know how we must conduct ourselves in this world. And the more we know, the more we shall desire to know. Not only do we beg for a portion of our spiritual daily Bread, but we also beg for a daily supply of grace so that we "shall keep thy statutes unto the end", to the end of our life. Let us go on now to the next verse:

Psalm 119:34
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

First we pleaded with God to teach us His Word. But much learning can make us proud. Therefore we ask God to give us understanding, so that the affections of our heart may be directed by a correct understanding of the Word of God. The commandments of God cannot be observed unless they are understood. And if His commandments are not observed, then they are understood in vain.

Pray that we may avoid the snares that lay before us in the way of our duties. We can become so busy doing things for the Lord, that we may become proud of our accomplishments. But pray that we give all the glory to God. Let us go on now to the next verse:

Psalm 119:35
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

Lord, teach me the way of Thy statutes, and give me understanding, but also "make me to go in the path of Thy commandments". Give me the grace and make me do it, Lord. I am still living in this sinful flesh and I am inclined to go another way. But make me to go Your way, because in my soul I delight to go Your way. Let us go on now to the next verse:

Psalm 119:36
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Our heart is inclined to covetousness. That is how we were born. We were born in the likeness of our father Adam after the fall. We were born as haters of the Word of God, because the Word of God points out our covetousness. The greatest need of every human being is to receive a new heart from God, so that God would "incline our heart to His testimonies".

Will God do that for everyone who pleads with Him to "incline my heart unto Thy testimonies"?

YES!

But will everyone of the human race realize that they are born in sin, subject to the wrath of God, and plead with God for a change of heart?

NO!

Only those people will plead with God whom God has prompted in their heart to plead with Him. Only those will plead with God whom the Father has drawn to Jesus. (John 6:44)

If God teaches us, then we can in turn:

Teach Our Children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 21:4)

God speaks about that in Deuteronomy, chapter 6. Immediately after giving us a summary of the Law in chapter 5 God teaches us how to teach the Word of God to our children. God says in Deuteronomy 6:4,

Deuteronomy 6:4
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Deuteronomy 6:5
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The Lord Jesus Christ said:

"This is the first and the greatest of all the commandments".

Therefore what is the greatest sin?

To violate this first commandment is the greatest sin. If we do not love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might, we are committing the greatest sin.

Can we do that every minute of the day?

NO!

Can we desire to do that every minute of the day?

YES!

And will those who are unsaved desire to do that every minute of the day?

NO!

That is why God says that even "the plowing of the wicked is sin". (Proverbs 21:4)

How do we show our love for God?

God says:

Deuteronomy 6:6
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

Deuteronomy 6:7
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

How often must we teach our children the Word of God?

"When thou sittest, when thou walkest, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up", which means: All the time!

We do that if we love our children. If we do not raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, then we actually do not love our children and we have thrown them in the clutches of Satan. It is in their nature to be inclined to evil. Therefore, if you do not teach them the right way, they will go astray. Then God says:

Deuteronomy 6:8
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Deuteronomy 6:9
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

The Jews have taken this command literally. They write a Scripture verse on a piece of paper, roll it up and bind it on their hand, and another one on their forehead, and another one on the post of their front door. But God is not interested in an outward show. God looks upon the heart.

Is the Word of God there in our heart?

Do we have a love for the Word of God?

Is that required?

YES!

Are we actively pursuing to have the Word of God in our heart?

Do we read and study the Bible at home?

Is that required?

YES! It is the daily Bread for our souls. One of the signs that we spiritually have been made alive, is that we have a daily hunger for the food for our souls. We are hungry for this food.

Also When Thou Art Full (Deuteronomy 6:10-13, Ephesians 1:3-4)

Continuing in Deuteronomy 6:10 we read,

Deuteronomy 6:10
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,

Deuteronomy 6:11
And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

What is God saying in these two verses?

Historically, God refers to the children of Israel coming into the land of Canaan where they took possession of cities, and houses, and wells, and vineyards, and olive trees. They could physically eat and be full. God gave all that to them.

But God wrote these historical events down in words that give us the deeper spiritual meaning of these events. Is it not clear that God gave these things to them as a gift? They did not have to do any work for it. Likewise, God gives us salvation, and the abundant life after salvation, as a free gift. We do not have to do any work for it. In fact if we wanted to do any work toward our salvation, we would never receive it, because we would have insulted God by rejecting the free gift from God.

Salvation is entirely by the grace of God. We cannot earn it or deserve it. Now, most people know that the definition of grace is "unmerited favor". But if God's grace unto salvation really means that we cannot do any work for it, we cannot merit it like the Bible says, then it really means that God must save whom He wants to save, because it cannot be based on anything we do, or it cannot be based on any decision we make, or it cannot be based on the faith we conjure up in our minds, and so on. And that is exactly what the Bible says. God decides whom He wants to save. God says that:

He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world." (Ephesians 1:3-4)

This we must teach our children.

So why do people come up with a doctrine that we must accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior?

He must accept us. His acceptance of us was from before the foundation of the world.

No work from us!

Then God says in the next verse: When you have eaten and be full,

Deuteronomy 6:12
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Deuteronomy 6:13
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

When we are comfortable, watch out that we do not forget the Lord, which saved us out of the house of bondage. Don't let our material wealth overshadow our gratitude for our salvation.

Turn Away Mine Eyes (Psalm 119:37-39)

Let's turn back to Psalm 119. We have come to verse 37,

Psalm 119:37
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

When we are comfortable and be full, we are inclined to behold vanity. We look at our material things as something that is valuable. But God says in Ecclesiastes that it is all vanity.

What is vanity?

Something that is vain, or empty, or valueless, such as a fashionable trifle or a knickknack is called vanity. Someone who is inflated with pride is called vain, because he is empty.

Turn away mine eyes. In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus said that the eye is the window to the soul. Here in verse 37 is a prayer that God would give us the grace to prevent us from setting our love on material things instead of on Christ.

Quicken Thou me in Thy way. Not my way Lord, but turn us in Thy way. Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; Jesus, the Word of God, our Daily Bread. Make us live in those things that are of value to Christ, which are of lasting value, such as reading and studying the Bible, which is our Daily Bread necessary for spiritual growth. Then the next verse:

Psalm 119:38
Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Lord, teach us Thy Word and establish Thy Word in our heart. Lord, we are committed to give Thee all the glory and honor for everything that we receive and in everything that we think and do.

Psalm 119:39
Turn away my reproach, which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

What was that?

What is my reproach?

Reproach is a big word. It means utter disgrace in the eyes of God. And why do we read: "my reproach, which I fear".

Why do I fear that which is mine?

And if I have become a child of God why is there still reproach clinging to me?

But God is not speaking about reproach still clinging to me. Reproach has to do with the guilt of sins. The prayer of verse 39 is this: Lord, please turn away the guilt of my sins, and Lord, please forgive me my sins that I commit even now. The payment for my sins is so big it is scary.

And is it not wonderful that God hears this prayer?

There was only one time in history when sins were paid for. There was only one time in history when our sins were put away, this was when the Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross, being judged and paying for our sins. And He had to pay the full price, which was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. There is no other way a righteous God can forgive sins.


Which sins did the Lord Jesus Christ pay for on the cross?


Well, He certainly did not suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for those who themselves go to Hell. Everyone who dies unrepentant has died unsaved and will on the Last Day be cast into Hell. The Lord Jesus did not suffer and die for their sins. But He did suffer and die for the sins of all those who repent of their sins and receive a new soul at the time they were saved. The Father drew them to Jesus because Jesus paid for their sins the full payment that had to be made. To all those who are drawn to Jesus God says:

Submit Yourselves (James 4:5-7, John 8:44)

James 4:5
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

James 4:6
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews around Him:

"Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."
(John 8:44)

The Bible teaches that there are only two kingdoms here on this earth: The kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. When God gives us a new soul God takes us out of the kingdom of Satan and places us in the kingdom of Christ. All the unsaved are still in the kingdom of Satan; they are still owned by Satan. All the unsaved cannot resist Satan, because their desire is to do what Satan wants them to do. We need to read James 4:7 within the context. God says there:

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Therefore (God is speaking now to the humble)
submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".

Only those who have become saved can resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. That is a promise.


How do we resist the Devil?

We turn to the Scriptures. Either we open the Bible, or we recite a verse from memory.


Do we have such a love for the Word of God that we can draw verses from memory?


Is this required?


How else can we resist the Devil when we are at a place where we do not have a ready access to our Bible?


Can we say we have submitted ourselves to God, if we do not have such a love for the Word of God?


It is our Daily Bread. Therefore:

We Look Unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 1:6)

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:2
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Verse 1 shows us the picture of running a race.

Who is running the race?

The unsaved are not running this race, but everyone who is saved is running the race. Everyone running the race will receive the prize. The prize is eternal life with Christ. We are not running in competition with each other, but we are running in competition with ourselves. We have our eyes on the finish line. We are running to Jesus and we are running as best as we can. But there are some hindrances in this race.

Verse 1 says: "Let us lay aside every weight".


What are those weights that hinder us in the race?

God says, it is "the sin which doth so easily beset us". It is the sin that besets us when we take our eyes away from Jesus.

How do we keep our eyes on Jesus?


Don't look up in the sky, but look down where you walk. We keep our eyes on Jesus when we read the Bible. God tells us that we must keep our eyes in the Bible.


How can we do that when we are driving a car, or when we are somewhere where there is no Bible?


Then we may recite some Scriptures from memory, but we must keep our eyes on Jesus. This also means that we are obligated to train our entire household to keep our eyes on Jesus. According to the Bible, the father is the spiritual head of the household. God has given to us fathers the responsibility to guide and direct our households. This means that we must arrange to be in the Word together, and to be praying together. This is something that needs to be worked out.

I want to drop a word of caution here to the wives, that they be patient with their husbands to let him work it out. We all know that women are more intelligent than men, and that women show more initiative and have talent to organize. But God did not give this assignment to the most intelligent partners in the households. God gave this assignment to the men in the house. Wives, don't take it out of his hands. Of course, if there are no men present, then the women ought to take the initiative.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

If Christ is the author of our faith, why do preachers say that we must accept the Lord Jesus?

According to this verse Christ is the one who decides to whom He is willing to give faith. Since Christ is the author of our faith, He will also give us the grace to persevere in that faith. This is altogether in harmony with what we read in Philippians 1:6,

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Let us look now at one more verse in Psalm 119.

I Have Longed After Thy Precepts (Psalm 119:40)

Psalm 119:40
Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

Is it really true that we have longed after the Word of God?

Can we face God and say these words without blinking an eye.


Do we love His appearing on the Last Day?

God is the searcher of hearts. God knows all about us.


Do we dare to speak these words to Him?


Or can we admit that we have fallen short in at least one area of the Word of God?

But if we have fallen short in one area, and Christ has forgiven us that sin, that would be no reason to continue in that sin, and it would be no reason to go on sinning in other areas of the Word of God. The evidence of our salvation shows in our repentance of sin. Repentance means that we make a 180 degrees turn around.

Does our life show that we repent of our sins?

Only if our life shows repentance, and only if we really have a love for the Word of God and desire to do His will, can we say:

"Behold, I have longed after Thy precepts".

This is a longing that does not come out of ourselves. It is a desire that has been given to us by God. Not only a desire to believe and embrace His promises, but also a desire to observe His commandments and do them. Therefore, we can pray that God would finish the work that He has begun in us. We can pray that because we love the Word of God, and we love His appearing on the Last Day.

Allow me to ask another question:

Would We Miss It? (Isaiah 3:4-5, Isaiah 3:12)


Would we miss reading the Word of God every day?

Would we miss gathering our household every day and speaking to them from this Bible.

Would we miss memorizing Scriptures or memorizing where it exactly can be found?

The answer is simple. If we don't love the Word, we don't miss it. If we don't love the Word of God then we do not intend to obey it in the first place, and then this Bible becomes an intellectual exercise, just like any other book. If we don't believe that these words are spoken by God, then we do not believe that these words have to be obeyed. But the Bible says: If we do not love God, then we do not have a love for the Word of God, and then we do not have love for one another, and then we do not have love for our children either.

God gave us an example of what happens to a congregation that does not love Him.

In Isaiah 3:4-5 God gave the scenario of events before total destruction comes.

Isaiah 3:4
And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Isaiah 3:5
And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

We can look at America today, and we can see that the great majority of Americans have pitted the mind of Dr Spock against the mind of God. Of course, you would say, that is no contest. God wins instantly.

But is that really so?

In reference to raising children most Americans prefer the philosophies of Dr Spock over the commands of God. And God says: Have it your way. "I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them". The children in America have become the parents, and the parents have become children, because the parents do what the children want of them.

Does that please God?

NO! That is not pleasing to God at all. God gave His people warning in:

Isaiah 3:12
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Do we obey our leaders, or do we obey the Word of God?

God has some definite things to say in the Bible about childrearing, but if people do not read the Word of God then they will never know what God says.

And then we hear the excuses: There is no time left in the day. We are exhausted. We cannot get everyone at the dinner table at the same time. And so on.

My answer is very simple: If you have time to watch TV, or if you have time for play and relaxation, or if you have time to kill on Saturday, or if you have time to go out for dinner once a week, or if you have time for sports, and so on, then all your excuses hold no water. If you really love the Word of God, then you would make time and reschedule your day, and reschedule your children's schedule.

For those of us who have been accustomed to a life with the Word of God,

Would We Want It Any Other Way? (Psalm 119:105)

NO!

We do not want to live without our Bible. We have experienced what the Word of God says:

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

God's Word gives us a clear perspective on our life, and on the life of people around us, and on
the life of our children. God's Word gives us guidance on how to relate to other people around us. God's Word guides us in how to love our neighbor as ourselves. God's Word warns us concerning false gospels around us, and gives us discernment in recognizing what is false and what is true. God's Word shows us clearly that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

That is why we don't want it any other way. It is our Daily Bread.


By Alfred J. Chompff