#224 – Sin

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SIN

1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

IT’S CHARACTER

Sin is sin because God says it is sin. Sin originated with Satan. The description of what happened is found in Ezekiel 28:13 15, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

Sin is against God. It is departing from the purpose for which one is created. The above verses tell us that a perfect angel was created of God. God did not create the Devil. He created a perfect angel who by his own choice sinned against God and became Satan.

Sin always challenges God’s authority. We see that every where we look. Our text says it is the transgression of the law. The law is the declared will of God. Sin says, “I am not walking by God’s rules.  I am making my own rules.” Sin assumes that it can go its own way and will never have to give an account. But the fact is that every man will stand before God in the Judgement. Every man will be judged by God’s law. The sinner cannot force his  self-righteousness upon God. One will either walk by God’s law or he will be judged by it.

Sin is ruthless. Man possessed by his old sin nature and prodded along by Satan can kill, and maim, and rape, and dare God to do anything about it. Sin is bold. Ecclesiastes 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”

IT’S COURSE

The course of sin is the course of this world. Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

1.    Paul is speaking to Christians about their past life before salvation. He said they walked according to the course of this world.

2.    The prince of the power of the air has this course planned and prods the unsaved along to eternal judgment.

3.    The Satan and his demons are the ones working in the children of disobedience. The children of disobedience are all the unsaved of the world. All of them are controlled by the spirit of the Evil One.

The course of sin leads to hell. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  The death spoken of here is not physical death but the Second Death. Revelation 20:14 15, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

The Second Death is eternal. Once a man is cast into the lake of fire there will be no way out. The only hope of the sinner is to repent of sin and trust Jesus today. Next:

ITS CURSE

Sin has a curse. Jesus took our place on the cross and Paul says in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

The curse of sin is everlasting. Revelation 14:11, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

ITS CURE

Man has not found a cure for sin. There is no cure available. Man has tried to keep God’s law and has utterly failed. If man could begin now and successfully keep God’s law, what would he do about the time before he kept the law. Man has no way out. Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” What this means is that man cannot change what he is by nature.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

The cure for sin is God’s offer of grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:14, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

God is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

But it is necessary for one to come in repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ to obtain the forgiveness that comes through Christ. Acts 20:20 21, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#223 – Prayer and Prayer Requests

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PRAYER AND PRAYER REQUESTS

Col.  4:2-4 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”

There are several things I want us to look at in these verses about prayer.

THE INTENSITY OF PRAYER

We see in Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians a vital key to answered prayer.  The word “Continue” means, “to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one; to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing.” This verb is a present active imperative.  The present tense represents a continuous action in the present tense.  The active voice is where the subject does the acting.  In this case I believe Paul is referring to the entire body of believers in Colossae.  The imperative mood is a command that expresses urgency.  Putting this verb in the imperative mood will have the effect of urgency on the believers there.

John Gill comments: “This is not said particularly to masters, as in the foregoing verse, but to all the members of the church in general; for the apostle having taken notice of some special duties relating to persons in different stations of life, returns to such as were common to them all; as this of prayer to God is, for such prayer is intended; for though the object is not expressed here, he is in the following verse, and the Mediator Christ is supposed, and also the Holy Spirit, whose assistance is necessary to it.”

We should pray fervently. James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

We have an example of this kind of praying in Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

THE ALERTNESS IN PRAYER

This is brought out in the words, of verse 4, “…and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” The word “watch” means “to give strict attention to.” It is easy for the Christian to see the need for prayer but difficult for him to believe that prayer really changes things.

The man who prays fervently will stay at it until the answer comes.  I cannot pass judgment upon those who do not practice in the Christian lives the thing taught by Paul in this verse.  It is not for us to pass Judgement.  Even Christ did not come to pass judgment. John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Our lack of convictions concerning the outcome of prayer is measured by the lack of testimony to answered prayer.  Next,

THANKSGIVING IN PRAYER

Colossians 4:2, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” Is thanksgiving to be offered in gratitude for past answers to prayer, or, is thanksgiving to be offered in faith that what we are praying for is already on the way.

One of the things that is absolutely necessary in our relationship to God is thanksgiving. Luke 17:12 18, “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” Jesus commented on the Samaritans attitude of gratitude.  We take so many things for granted.  Next,

PERSONAL REQUESTS IN PRAYER

Paul requested that they pray for him that God would grant him an open door of utterance to speak the Mystery of Christ.  If Paul did not strongly believe that prayer makes a difference, you can be sure he would not have requested prayer.  So this makes prayer a vital part of preaching.  If God grants utterance the message will be effective.  If He does not, then there will be an absence of power and an absence of Scriptural results.

Paul requested in Colossians 4:4, “That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” To make it manifest there must be simplicity of speech.  There must be skill and wisdom in the presentation of the message if they are to believe.  Paul did not have the pride of an outstanding orator.  He was a sinner saved by grace, and no amount of public speaking skills, sinners will be left in their unsaved state if he is not given utterance.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#222 – We Heard of Your Faith

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WE HEARD OF YOUR FAITH

Colossians 1:1-4 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,  Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,”

IT WAS A SAVING FAITH THAT PAUL HAD HEARD ABOUT

The Pulpit Commentary has this to say: “If so be that ye continue in the faith.” To have so much done for us as is implied in our fitness for presentation to God, we must persevere, and persevere in the right way. Our position is to be toward Christ. Within ourselves we have not the elements of strength. We are powerless to form character. We are not only to come into the position of faith, but we are to rest in it. However our outward position may be altered, our inward position is to remain unaltered. Result. “Grounded.”“My soul hath found the steadfast ground.” We try other foundations, only to find them insufficient. When we have gotten past our own doings and the services of the Church down to Christ, then we feel that we have found the immovable Foundation, the steadfast ground for our being. “And steadfast.” A building even by its own weight gets steadied when it is up on a secure foundation. So by faith are we to get steadied upon the Foundation. We are to become like the Foundation. The immovableness that is in Christ is to come up into us.”

Their faith in Christ had literally turned them around.  They were new people in the Lord and they were manifesting it in their daily lives.  Saving faith cannot be abandoned.  Someone might say, “I know a person who was at one time a great Christian, but they now deny the Bible, God, and Jesus His Son.  I would have to say that they never got it right to start with.  I have been one who slipped away.  I can tell you the Holy Spirit grieved over me daily.  He finally brought me back and I have been there ever since. It was this kind of saving faith that Paul had heard about.  Next,

IT WAS FAITH IN THE RIGHT PLACE

Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

It was faith in the One person who could save them.  You may try all the religions of the world but the search will end without satisfaction.  Jesus is not just a good way to be saved, He is the only way to be saved.  The poor Moslem dies in a holy war and has been told that he will have a special place in heaven surrounded with a harem of wives and that will be his lot forever and ever.  What a disappointment when he blows up a bus load of Jews and before the smoke is cleared he is screaming in the lake of fire and discovers that his Moslem friends have deceived him and it is too late to do anything about it.

IT WAS A TALKED ABOUT FAITH

Colossians 1:4, “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,”

The word “Since” is a time word.  There was a time when Paul heard of their faith in Christ and from that time forward his joy over their salvation had only increased.

Jesus expects His children to be vocal about their faith in Him. Matthew 10:32 33, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

The Christian faith can’t keep its mouth shut.  What we have in Him is so wonderful the truth of the gospel has to be told.  Peter denied he knew the Lord when he was in a hostile crowd who were determined to crucify Jesus.  But it wasn’t any time until he went and wept bitter tears of repentance over his denial.

Matthew 10:27, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” Next,

IT WAS A FAITH MOTIVATED BY LOVE

Colossians 1:4, “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,”

There is no salvation apart from “the love of the brethren.” 1 John 3:14, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This is the one great identifying mark of the Christian.  There are other things that mark the Christian but Jesus said, “By this we know that we have passed from death unto life, because love the brethren.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#221 – Christ is Personal Revival

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CHRIST IS PERSONAL REVIVAL

Col. 2:10  “And ye are complete in him, which the head of all principality and power.”

This verse has impressed me over the years. I always felt that there were truths in that verse I needed to see and I wasn’t seeing them. The answer to understand the Scriptures is not always in being able to find the definition of words and understanding the grammatical structure of the verse or passage.

I guess the thing that motivated me to study along this line was meeting Roy Hession (now at home with the Lord) and reading his book “We would see Jesus.” Roy says “Jesus is Revival.” Since revival has been an important subject of my studies over the years that got my attention.

If Jesus is revival, I have revival. I am absolutely sure about that. But a lot of the time I do not feel revived and I am constantly reacting to situations, in my mind at least, in an unChristlike way. So the fact of my experience and the fact stated in this verse seem to contradict.

This is the point where I think I have made a mistake. It is easy to say that you are not understanding Colossians 2:10. Because the fact of my experience contradicts my understanding of this verse. And so I go with my experience and put the verse aside and simply say that maybe I will be able to reconcile this someday.

So at this point I go on seeking revival in other ways. The very fact that I do this means I have not accepted the truth that I am complete in Christ. If I believed that I was complete in Christ, I would not continue to look other places. And when I have looked other places, I have never found what I was looking for. Sometimes I feel that I am close but never quite there.

Prayer is not the answer, a special speaker is not the answer, even study of the Word of God is not the answer. All these are necessary but when they become a formula by which Christ is found, they become a barrier. I know. I have prayed, gone to hear the special speakers and tried to do what they said and studied the Word of God and personal revival always remained a prospect and not a reality. What I gained from these things was good but not an end.

When I really believed that I was complete in Christ, I quit looking for the experience and became satisfied with Him. And that is an experience! What a relief! Now I am occupied with Him. I worship Him. I do not insult Him by saying to Him “excuse me while I go somewhere to find more of You.”

Does this mean that I do not pray? No. Does this mean that I am not interested in hearing special speakers? No. Does this mean that I have quit studying the Scriptures? No. It means that I am not looking for Him in prayer. We pray together! It means when I hear a special speaker we listen to him together! It means when I study the Scripture, we study it together. I am not trying to find Him in any of these things. I have Him. I am the branch, He the vine. And what I was looking for in personal revival, I have in Him.

In His Name

Earl White

#220 – Epaphras – A Servant of Christ

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EPAPHRAS, A SERVANT OF CHRIST

Colossians 4:12-13, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.  For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”

This meditation will be to explore the life of Epaphras who is called a servant of Christ.  Paul is the writer, Colossae is the destination, Epaphras is their minister, and Paul is giving a report of Epaphras as the servant of Christ.  Lets take a look at what Paul says about Epaphras.

EPAPHRAS IS ONE OF YOU

The name of Epaphras means, “lovely, spoken of by Paul (Col. 1:7; 4:12) as “his dear fellow servant,” and “a faithful minister of Christ.” He was thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians. He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the Colossian church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon (1:23), where he is called by Paul his “fellow prisoner.”

Though Epaphras is with Paul, ministering to his needs, he is still the minister of the Church in Colossae.  Distance has not changed or altered the relationship that Epaphras had with the Church at Colossae.  Epaphras is one of you.  Next,

EPAPHRAS WAS A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF CHRIST

Colossians 1:7, “As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;” The Church at Colossae had already received a report from Epaphras as to the condition of Paul in Rome.  Paul commends him with the words, “our dear fellowservant.” This is a great compliment coming from the Apostle.  He also says, “who is for you a faithful servant of Christ.”

Not only is Epaphras a faithful servant of Christ to Paul he is also a faithful servant of the Church at Colossae who brought good words of encouragement to him. Colossians 1:8 says, “Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.” I am always impressed with the pastor who has good things to say about the Church he pastors.

EPAPHRAS IS A FAITHFUL MESSENGER

Colossians 1:8, “Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.”

There is no doubt that Paul was in need of encouragement at this time.  So the Colossians sent their pastor, Epaphras to assure Paul that they love him in the Lord and continue in prayer for him.

A minister is faithful when he without compromise gives out the gospel unedited.  There is no place to compromise truth.  God will not bless the wrong interpretations of the Word preached by false teachers.  Next,

EPAPHRAS WAS A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF CHRIST

Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

It would be a great encouragement to the Church at Colossae to know that Epaphras was praying for them with such fervency as to get Paul’s attention.  To be a servant of Christ is to be at His disposal at all times.  This is what Paul suggests in this verse.  While Epaphras is a long way from Colossae, he prays for them as if in their midst.  He does this as a servant of Christ.  So prayer for our church, and for others is a ministry of Christ to others, and we are the servants by which He ministers.

Every God-called preacher needs to come to grips about whose servant he is going to be, i.e., a denominational servant or the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

EPAPHRAS, A FERVENT PRAYER WARRIOR

Prayer is a lot easier to talk about than it is to do it.  We get on our knees to pray and rise in about four or five minutes and consider that a ministry of prayer.  A short time in prayer does not compare with the kind of praying Jesus did. Luke 6:12, “And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” —If Jesus needed to pray all night to His Father it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us!!!! I recommend the book CHRIST IN THE SCHOOL OF PRAYER by Andrew Murray.

Colossians 4:12 says “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

Epaphras was a great pastor of the Church at Colossae.  His ministry was to preach and pray and he was faithful in doing it.  We need to learn from the recorded history of Epaphras and use his life and ministry as an example.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#219 – The Believers Walk Toward Them That Are Without

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THE BELIEVER’S WALK TOWARD THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT

Colossians 4:5 6, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

We are in the world but not of the world.  The statement I am about to make is not an easy one but it serves as an ideal illustration of the saving power and keeping power of our Lord.

After separating from Abraham, Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom.  The city had already gotten the name before Lot moved in.  Lot should have known better.  But when one is backslidden he definitely loses his spiritual discernment.  I am sure that Lot would have given a sensible reason for taking this action.  If it were not for God making it plain I would have a hard time believing Lot was saved.  Let’s look at what God says in the New Testament about Lot.

2 Peter 2:7 8, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)”

1.    The first thing we must deal with in this passage is that Lot is called “just.” When God calls a man just, He is saying he is saved.

2.    The second thing stated in this passage is that Lot was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.  The word “vexed” translates “kataponeo” and means, to tire down with toil, exhaust with labour; to afflict or oppress with evils. Why did Lot stay in the city of Sodom when he was being vexed by the lifestyle (Homosexuality) of the people?  There is only one answer, sin blinds.  Satan trapped Lot and ruined his testimony.

3.    The third thing we note is that their sin, revealed by the very name of the city, was a daily affair.

4.    This is a sin that is tolerated today.  It is unbelievable that America has tolerated that sin and it has grown to be acceptable.  All homosexual activity is under the judgment of God. Ecclesiastes 8:11, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” What is to be our lifestyle before the unsaved (those without) of this world?

WE ARE TO WALK IN WISDOM

Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”

The words,“Walk in wisdom,” is a reference to one exercising the gift of wisdom.  The word wisdom speaks of the proper use of knowledge.  It is doing the right thing in the right way.  One can do a right thing in a wrong way.  This is the lack of wisdom.  Those outside the Church are watching us.  They need to see the effects true Christianity has on a person.

The words, “redeeming the time,” means to take every opportunity in reaching the lost.

WE ARE TOLD TO WATCH WHAT WE SAY

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

One has to know what grace means before he can explain it.  We must go to the lost with a message of grace not of law.  Law condemns Grace forgives.  Grace is to permeate our speech to reach those who are without.

The words, “seasoned with salt,” mean the message of the gospel can be made palpable.  If one jumps right in the middle of an unsaved man with voice raised you will drive more away from Christ that you will bring to Him.

When we season our message with salt, we will discover that God is with us and no one can get the results He can.

When we evangelize like the Lord says He will enable us to accomplish the task.  Moses gives a good illustration in Exodus 28:3, “And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.”

God can and will qualify the worker if only that worker will let him. James 1:5 6 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#218 – Ask For the Paths

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ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS

Jer.  6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

The image is  from travelers who have lost their road, stopping and inquiring which is the right way on which they once had been, but from which they have wandered.  This is a picture of Israel.  They had walked in the right way but had wandered off from it.  He is saying, “When you stand in the way, the way where two ways meet, look at the signs and follow the way that leads to the proper destination”.  When this is applied to us the Bible is the way-mark.  It is the only thing that will lead us into the way that pleases God.  Let’s look at what this can mean to us.

THE OLD PATHS OF REPENTANCE

Man has wandered from the right path and is like the old Indian who had lost his way in the woods.  He was met by a white man who ask, “Are you lost?” The old Indian could not admit he was lost in the woods so he said, “Indian not lost.  Tee Pee lost!”

Israel would not ask for the old paths because they were unwilling to admit they were headed down the wrong road.  That is where man is today.  And that is the reason that many are unsaved in the Church.  They got in on an empty profession without repentance.  There is no salvation without repentance.  Jesus made this clear in Luke 13:1 5, “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Paul preached this on Mars Hill. Acts 17:30 31, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

There was a time when you went to Church and the preachers fearlessly preached repentance.  He called men out of sin to the Saviour.  Today many denominations are ordaining homosexuals and lesbians to the ministry.  This is an abomination to God.  When you are saved, you repent of sin, and the Scriptures list these actions as some of the worst sins.

THE OLD PATHS OF SALVATION BY GRACE

Ephesians 2:8 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

There is a perversion of the gospel that is being preached today.  Paul dealt with this in Galatians 1:6 10, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

It is still true that “any other gospel” that is preached perverts the true gospel and will not save.  Salvation is God’s plan; it is God’s work.  Jesus paid the price by Himself; Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

Salvation by grace is free and is received by those who will take their place as sinners before God and ask for His mercy.  They will never be turned down if they come to God in repentance and seek His forgiveness.

THE OLD PATHS LEAD TO REST FOR OUR SOULS

Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

This is a rest from the fear of judgment. Hebrews 4:1 3, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

This is a rest of an imparted salvation.  The Lord gives rest to those who come to Him. Matthew 11:28 30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#217 – 5 Looks for the Beliver

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FIVE LOOKS FOR THE BELIEVER

Isa. 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

I understand that this verse is the one that the Holy Spirit used to arrest Charles Spurgeon.  Spurgeon answered the invitation by going to the Lord in prayer and trusting Him alone for salvation. I will not go into detail concerning Spurgeon’s search for the Lord. But he was driven into a little Methodist chapel by a snow storm. He took a seat and a deacon got up to bring the message. The pastor didn’t even make it to church that night. The deacon used this text to preach from. He pointed at Spurgeon and quoted this scripture as he pointed to Spurgeon. Spurgeon was mortally wounded, and looked to the Lord, and was saved just as the verse promises. So our first point is,

THE OUTWARD LOOK OF SALVATION

This text is not just for those to whom Isaiah writes. It is for us as well. It is a look to see the invisible. To do this we must realize that the invisible God is where we are. We just can’t see Him. It is a God honoring look of faith. This is necessary in the process of becoming God’s child. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

God continues to call people to salvation.  Some early Christians began to sow seeds of doubt about the Lord’s return. Peter answered these doubters in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” It is amazing how long God has waited for the prodigal to come home. God does truly love the world (John 3:16). The only reason for the seeming delay is that God is not willing that any should perish. Next,

THE OUTWARD LOOK OF SERVICE

Jesus won a sinful woman as He waited by Jacob’s well. John 4:28 29, “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” The men of the city had to come and see for themselves. As the men came out to see Jesus for themselves, Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 4:35, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

The major task of the Church is to see the unsaved of this world as a harvest field. Then to take it a step further, we are to see that the harvest is ripe now.

The world is desperately in need of Jesus. The hunger is there but man goes about trying to find satisfaction in the things of this world.

Our hearts are empty apart from Christ. There is a God sized place in every man, and Jesus is the only One who can fill that place.

Our service is to take the gospel to every man. We labor on a field totally corrupted by Satan. The people of this world do not have a clue. We are the only ones who have the solution to man’s need. If we don’t go, God does not have another plan. We need to lift up our eyes and see that the fields are white unto harvest. Next we see,

THE UPWARD LOOK OF FAITH

God is up. David said in Psalms 5:3, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” David knew God was up and that he needed to look up to Him for help. David needed a lot of help. He learned that it is futile to look to man for help. So in this verse he tells us to look up.

God is glorified when one of His children looks to Him for help. John 14:13, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

When we need the Lord, we must look upward. That is where the Bible teaches us to look. The fact is that God is all around us. David said in Psalms 139:7 11, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.”

Why, if God is all around us, would He teach us to look upward. God has a residence. He has a throne in heaven. Psalms 11:4 says, “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.”

Isaiah saw this throne. Isaiah 6:1 3 says, “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Paul was caught up to Paradise. 2 Corinthians 12:2 4 says, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth)  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

Paul tells us when he was caught up he could not tell whether he was in the body or out of it. The fact is that we are very body conscious especially when we begin to grow older and we become aware of the pain of old age. It is good to know that in heaven we will not be body conscious but God conscious. Another thing we learn from Paul is that God’s throne is in the third heaven. Then finally, we learn that the name of the place is Paradise.

Paradise is, “A Persian word (pardes), properly meaning a “pleasure ground” or “park” or “king’s garden.” It came in course of time to be used as a name for the world of happiness and rest hereafter.

The Lord spoke to the Church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:7. He said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

There is no way to describe the beauty of the Paradise of God. The thing of importance is that God tells us that it is a place. Christians go to a place and it is not the cold, dark, damp earth. The day the Christian’s body dies he takes his flight, accompanied by the angels to a place called Paradise. Someone hold my mules!!!

THE INWARD LOOK OF ENQUIRY

This is an inward look into the Scriptures. Here is where God meets with His children. James 1:25, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

When we need answers to life’s problems, it is to the BOOK we fly. We begin to turn its pages until we have found the answer. God has a way of making the ancient Book apply to our present problems, and gives us the impressions in spirit that we have just heard from Him.

Jesus said of His Word in John 6:63 64, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Jesus teaches in these two verses that His Words are “spirit . . . and life.” Then He says, “But there are some of you that believe not.” Jesus connects the Words He speaks to the faith of the one spoken to. The believer finds nourishment, strength, direction and great joy with his personal contact with Christ, when he reads the Word believingly.

In this day of apostasy, scholars are questioning God’s Word. They do not believe that they have an adequate translation. So the market is flooded with all kinds of translations that they want us to buy. They say, “This translation makes God’s Word clearer.” But when you compare the translations with each other, they use different words meaning different things. If God’s Word is verbally inspired (the very words were the one’s God spoke through the human author), woe be to the man who takes it on himself to change what God has said. I have no doubt that we have in our King James Bible the best translation available. I use no other and recommend that all of us do the same.

When we look into our Bible, it is a look of inquiry. James 1:25 says, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

Next as we look it should be,

A LOOK OF SELF EXAMINATION

2 John 1:8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”

This verse deals with rewards. It teaches that we can lose our rewards. First of all, salvation is not a reward. So John is not even hinting at the loss of salvation. But he is teaching that one can be a faithful child of God, and go back into the world and lose every reward he could have gotten had he remained faithful.

1 Corinthians 3:13 15, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

We need to examine ourselves. Has something happened in our lives that has caused us to withdraw from faithful service. I know many, very many, who used to faithfully serve the Lord. These people do not even go to church any more. It is amusing how absolutely dumb we can be. If we allow someone in the church, or even some pastor, to cause us to fall by the wayside, who is hurt? First of all, the One who saved us is hurt. It hurts the Lord to see us withdraw. Second we are hurting ourselves. There is much to be gained as we go to the house of God and hear His word preached and taught. Third, we withdraw from a cooperative effort to get the gospel out to the world. The Lord has commanded us to take the gospel to the world. Therefore it is disobedience for us to withdraw from being actively engaged in the work of the Lord. Fourth, we manifest real stupidity by letting the person who hurt us control our lives. We are under the enemies control if we allow him to keep us away from God’s house, fellowship with God’s people, and doing God’s work.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#216 – Some Things the Believer Can Keep

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SOME THINGS THE BELIEVER CAN KEEP

John 8:51-52 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.  Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.”

WE ARE TO KEEP HIS SAYINGS

Jesus said, “If a man keep my sayings . . .” The word “keep” translates “tereo” and means, “to attend carefully to.” The promise to the one who does this is, “he shall never see death.” The verb here is in the aorist tense and refers to a point of time.  He is saying that if a man keep my sayings he will never at a point of time see death.  You will never taste death.  The word taste translates “geuomai” and means, “to taste, to try the flavor of.”

2 Timothy 1:14, “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

The Holy Spirit dwells within every believer and what he could not keep in his own strength he can keep by the Holy Ghost according to Paul.

WE ARE TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST

John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

The commands of the Lord are given to His disciples.  They are never given to the unsaved as a condition to obtaining salvation.  However, after we are saved we are to keep His commands.  The word “keep” here is an aorist tense verb so it is referring to a point of time.  It is in the imperative mood which is a command expressing urgency.

All one has to do to keep the urgency in this command is to look around and see the many who profess to be Christians who live no different than the world around them.

WE ARE TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT

Ephesians 4:1 3, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

There is nothing that will bring more power to a local assembly than to have people who go out of their way to maintain unity. We see this clearly illustrated in the Book of Acts:

Acts 1:14 says, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Acts 2:1 says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”

Acts 2:46 says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

Acts 4:24 says, “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:”

Acts 5:12 says, “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.”

There are some things that the believer is to keep as a demonstration of his faith in the living Lord and Saviour.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#215 – Jeremiah Testifies in Hard Times

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JEREMIAH TESTIFIES IN HARD TIMES

Jer. 16:19 “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”

John Gill says of this chapter: “In this chapter the ruin and destruction of the Jews is set forth, and confirmed by the prophet’s being forbid to be merry, or to go into the house of feasting or mourning, with the reasons thereof; also the sins of the people, the cause of it, are pointed at; and afterwards a promise of their restoration is made; and the chapter is concluded with a prayer of the prophet, pressing his faith in the divine protection, and in the calling of the Gentiles..”

Jeremiah was a prophet during the time of the dispersion. He remained in the land and saw the devastation that took place. He knew and prophesied of the restoration of the Jews to the land after 70 years. But it would not be in his day. How does one function in the will of God in a situation that you did not cause and serious problems about which you could do nothing? There were things that Jeremiah suffered that could have easily made him bitter. He was imprisoned because He was a man of God with a message. He was not allowed to take a wife (9:2) so he was robbed of life’s normality because of the sins of the people. Of course you can see where God was actually saving him from serious grief (vs 3) but it remains that Jeremiah was denied a normal life.

As we think about this let’s look first at,

THE TESTIMONY OF JEREMIAH

He says in our text, “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction.” Jeremiah acknowledges “the day of my affliction” but he testifies in his prayer, “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge . . .” The word “LORD” is the unpronounced name of God. Most Etymologists claim this name should be pronounced Yahweh but that is also a guess. It is Jehovah and the name means “without limits.” Jeremiah believed the LORD to whom he prayed was without limits. This really makes a difference. Does the God to whom you pray have limits? Is there anything He can’t do. Your faith will be the size of the God to whom you pray.

This is what makes liberals and modernist. They have to explain the creation with the hypothesis of evolution because their god is not big enough to speak the creation into existence. They reject the miracles of the Bible because their god is not big enough to do the things the Bible describes as having happened. The reason they have a following among Christians is because they appeal to the natural man with which Christians have problems all the time. Faith is a constant trial. Faith is a discipline.  1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

You may think this verse is just talking about the unsaved man. But the truth of the matter is that all saved people are not “spiritual” (pneumatikos) as 1 Cor. 2:13 says. When a saved person walks “after the flesh” (Rom. 8:5) he reasons with his fleshly mind and that is the same principle on which the world operates. He is a carnal Christian and Paul says, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor. 3:3).

The next thing Jeremiah says is that Jehovah is “my strength.” The word “strength” translates the Hebrew word “oze” and means, “might, strength, material or physical, personal or social or political.” Jehovah is without boundaries, without limits, which means that there is no measure of His strength, wisdom and knowledge, and is Jeremiah’s strength both material and physical. He gives wisdom to deal with the difficult issues of that day and the knowledge needed to survive in the midst of his enemies. All I can say is WOW! What an awesome trust in GOD who is without limits.

We need to see that the greatness of these Old Testament prophets was not in their own personal knowledge, wisdom, and strength. It was because their God was WITHOUT BOUNDARIES. There was nothing that He could not provide to the one who would dare believe Him. God said to Moses, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” (See Exo. 6:3). Armed with that name Moses was used to deliver Israel from the Egypt, the world power of that day, i.e., the impossible was as nothing before the GOD without limits!

Jeremiah had no strength of his own but he had FAITH in the LORD whose name means, “without limits.” Jeremiah survived and preformed all the will of God as a testimony to the LORD.

Jeremiah also testifies using the words “my fortress” that translates ”ma`owz” and means, “a place or means of safety, protection, refuge, a harbor, stronghold.” If the LORD who is without limits is one’s fortress, there is safety in the most dangerous places. Many believe that the rock city of Petra in the land of Jordan will be the place of refuge for the Jews during the last half of the tribulation. I am told that it is a natural fortress, easily defended because of the way it is situated, and could well be the place. However, even that does not have a roof over it! The LORD is not limited in that way. Paul tells us we have a Fortress: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3). Amen.

Jeremiah also uses the words “my refuge” and this translates, “manowc” and means, “ a place of flight, a refuge in which the enemy could not come, a place of escape.” Can you imagine the persecutors of Jeremiah and the confusion they experienced when he seemed to be doing well in spite of all they did to him. Jeremiah 37:16 says, “When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days.” They put him in confinement many times. They tried to kill him but God protected him. Yet he says that the LORD is “my refuge.” What a great testimony that this great prophet gives in this verse. Is God our refuge? Can we give such a positive testimony in the midst of the turmoil of our day? We can enter the holiest in prayer daily and receive strength to survive with a testimony (Heb. 10:19-22). Next let’s notice,

THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH

Our text says, “the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth.” Is this a millennial prophecy and does it include the Gentile Church of our day. I personally believe that it includes the gathering of the Gentiles in one body today. There will no doubt be a greater fulfillment in Revelation 7 and during the Millennium, but a host of Gentiles have been grafted in, in these days of the Church (Rom. 11:17).

Did Jeremiah understand what he was saying about the Gentiles being grafted in? I doubt it. But that does not take one thing away from the truth of his prophecy. The Bible today is not any less infallible because I do not understand some of it. Our understanding is not what makes the Bible true, it is what makes it valuable.

Prophecy is one of the things that authenticates the inspiration of the Scriptures. It is beyond understanding to the natural mind that God can predict events thousands of years before they happen and the accuracy be perfect beyond question. Only a intellectually dishonest person will deny the accuracy of prophecy recorded in the Word of God. That gives us great confidence in the Bible. Then last Jeremiah speaks of,

THE REPENTANCE OF THE GENTILES

He says in our text that the Gentiles will come, “and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.”

The words “inherited lies” means that the Gentiles will be VICTIMS of former generations of LIES. My friend, this could be said of our days. Liberalism and a general departure from the faith finds it roots in the early days of the Church. The reason most of the church Epistles were written was because of the infiltration of LIES and FALSE DOCTRINE in the early Church. It finally developed into the Catholic Church and others movements that operated alongside of this false church as the ages progressed. The Gentile world was and is affected by the false doctrine.

Jeremiah says there will come a time when the Gentiles will SEE THE LIE and admit it. The word “vanity” means that the lies are completely empty and have no profit whatsoever when it comes to knowing God.

The gospel is the only message that will save. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Then the gospel is defined by the Word of God in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” And to narrow it down further Paul says in 1 Cor. 1:17, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” Paul clearly separates baptism from the definition of the gospel. Even though baptism is important as an act of obedience after one is saved, it is not included in the definition of the gospel which one MUST BELIEVE TO BE SAVED.  For one to deny this he will have to tell you the Bible does not mean what it says.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#214 – Decide in the Favor of Holiness

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DECIDE IN THE FAVOR OF HOLINESS

2 Cor. 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Paul says, “Having therefore these promises . . .” The word “Having” means “to have or hold in the hand.” It is a present active participle. The present tense means that we have these promises right now. You know, all the promises of God are not for us. Some promises are limited to the day in which they were given. Some promises were given to Israel and they are not for the church. Paul is saying these promises are ours. What promises is he talking about? He is talking about the promises of chapter 6 verses 17 and 18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” The words “I will receive you” is a promise of fellowhip, communion and comfort. These words are being written to those who have already been received for salvation. It is a passage teaching Christians to separate themselves from idols. The words “And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” convey a promise conditioned on obedience to what verse 17 says,  “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing . . .” There is intimacy promised in this verse. There is nothing more fulfilling in the life of a believer than to have that intimate communion with the Lord.

The words “dearly beloved” translate “agapetos” and means, “beloved, highly esteemed, very dear.” Paul is very careful as he ministers the Word, that they never lose sight of his love for them. All preachers and teachers of the Word would do well to practice this principle. I’ve wanted to tell some preachers that I have heard, “Hey, we’re not enemies you know! We are supposed to be on the same team.” I think there are those out there that see themselves as an Elijah attacking the prophets of Baal, when they get up to speak to their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Then the verse continues, “let us cleanse ourselves.” The words “let us cleanse” translate “katharizo.” It means “to cleanse from stains of dirt.” In a moral sense it means to be free from the defilement sin and faults. It is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The aorist tense means to do this at a point of time. The point of time might cover the event which might cover a period of time where the process of breaking off with sin and obtaining forgiveness is referred to. The aorist tense is speaking of a once-for-all cleansing. It is subjunctive mood. This is the mood of possibility. Paul is appealing to their ability to respond. He tells them the truth. He asks and challenges them to cleanse themselves, but he leaves the decision to them. You cannot make another serve the Lord. You cannot make them break with sin. They have the ultimate say. Paul respected that. If he could decide for them he would. But he can’t. Therefore he puts it in the subjunctive mood. The word “ourselves” indicates that Paul is speaking in general and not finger pointing. He includes himself and all other Christian’s in this pronoun. It is our responsibility to do this. We must decide and take action and make a break with anything that defiles.

Next he says, “From all filthiness of the flesh and spirit . . .” The word “filthiness” translates “molusmos” and means “defilement, an action by which anything is defiled.” This definition is applied first of all to the “flesh.” Strong says: “the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God.” When we are saved, we still have an old sin nature. There is conflict between the flesh and the Spirit: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17). This conflict is in every Christian’s life. The flesh is prone to defilement and involvement in sin. We are to discipline ourselves and constantly go to the cross for forgiveness. This is where cleansing takes place.

There are those who say that we do not have an old sin nature after we are saved. They believe in the perfection of the body in this life. All I have to say is that if they are perfect, they have a good way of hiding it. There are other fundamental Christians who do not believe in the eradication of the flesh but they do believe that we died with Christ, when He died, and that the old man is dead. I believe this also but not like they do. To them when you talk about two natures in a Child of God, you are teaching spiritual schizophrenia. The fact is, some good men believe this. I do differ with them on this subject. I believe the conflict will be there and to deny it or call it by another name only confuses. I used to know a preacher that preached if you doubt your salvation, you are not saved. He was married to a great lady and an accomplished pianist. She played the piano at Church. He baptized her nine times! I think she just finally gave up. I think the Lord was trying to show him something, but I don’t think he ever got the message! A wrong application of the Bible only confuses.

What about the defilement of the spirit? The defilement of the spirit here is referring to involvement in idolatry. This is brought out in chapter 6 and verses 14 to 16. Paul says there is no agreement between the temple of God and idols. And Paul tells them “ye are the temple of the living God . . .” To involve yourself with idolatry would be a spiritual defilement. Paul says: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Cor. 10:20-21). A Christian must come out of any religious movement that uses idols and claims that they are a means of worship. God tells us not to make graven images and use them in worship. I don’t care how sincere you are, you don’t worship God and at the same time reject what He says. You cannot be a partaker of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

Psychics are abundant in our day. They advertise on T.V. I wonder if Christians go to them for information and have their “fortune told?” This is spiritual defilement. It must be confessed as a sin and abandoned. (See Deut. 18:9-13 where practices like this are forbidden).

Then Paul says, “Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” The word “perfecting” translates “epiteleo” and means “to bring to an end, to perfect, to execute, to complete.” It is a present active participle. The present tense refers to continuous action in the present. The Linguistic Key says, “The preposition in compound is directive indicating the concentration of the verb’s action upon some object.” The object is “holiness” and translates “hagiosune” and means “moral purity.” This is in contrast to the “filthiness of the flesh and spirit.”

The way to “cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of the flesh and spirit” is to come to the cross and confess. When we do that, He cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:9). Then we can proceed as forgiven and restored children of God and believe Him for the strength to stay right. Remember, getting right with God begins by confession and cleansing. You can’t be more right with God than the blood makes you.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#213 – Sundry Times and Divers Manners

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SUNDRY TIMES AND DIVERS MANNERS

Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.”

The Book of Hebrews starts with God. My Cambridge Bible and my Online Bible has a note at the end of the book that says, “Written to the Hebrews from Italy by Timothy.” The  notes like this were put there by man and are not inspired.

Unger in his Bible dictionary states that the “style and vocabulary are not particularly Pauline.” He does not believe Paul wrote it. But he says, Eusebius, Origin, Athanasius, and others held that it was written by Paul.”

I have examined the internal evidence and there are good points to be made that Paul is not the author. Because of this for a long time I would say, “The human author said . . .” But my last time through in writing a short commentary on this book, it began to sound so much like Paul that I began to say, “Paul said . . .” What I am sure of is that it is the inspired Word of God. A former reader of The Morning Meditation asked me, “I would be interested to know just why you changed your mind and now believe that Paul wrote Hebrews?” My answer was “I changed because it sounds like Paul.” Now I know that that is not a healthy answer. But the reason I am even commenting on this is that we need to discipline our minds not to dwell on our disagreements with others over trivial things. The human author is not important. The inspiration of Hebrews by the Holy Spirit of God is. No matter how many arguments you make in favor of the person you think wrote Hebrews, you have NO AUTHORITY FOR YOUR ARGUMENT because we are not told in Hebrews who wrote it.

Whoever wrote Hebrews (Paul – Ha) started with the word “God.” The word God is mentioned in Hebrews 67 times. That is a lot of times for one small book. Just to mention a few:

1.            The angels are called “angels of God in 1:6.
2.            The Son of God is called God in 1:8. In this verse God calls Jesus God. That should settle belief in the deity of Christ for anyone.
3.            God is said to have anointed the Son in 1:9.
4.            God is said to bear witness with miracles, signs, and wonders with the ministry of the early church. In other words, God authenticated the preaching of the Apostles, and others who followed them, by working supernaturally in a demonstrative way to cause the hearers to recognize that the message they preached was from God. We have the BIBLE today.
5.            Jesus is said to be the Manifestor of God’s grace through His incarnation, death, and resurrection in 2:9.
6.            God is said to make reconciliation in 2:17.
7.            God is the builder of all things in 3:4.

If you are interested, it would be good to study the 67 times where the name God is found in this book.

Then he says, “who at sundry times.” This whole phrase is the translation of one compound word “polumeros,” the first of which means, “much, large,” and the other meaning, “one of the constituent parts of a whole.” It means that God spoke “a lot in many “fragments.” God’s revelation was not complete until He spoke in Jesus Christ His Son. This verse deals with an accumulation of the different ways and places God revealed Himself to man in the Old Testament.

The words “divers manners” means that God did not have a set pattern. He may appear in a dream. Then again, He may appear to be a man as in Abraham’s case. It is called a Theophany. All these revelations where God spoke to man were revelations of His will and Person to man as God wanted at that particular time. One might think that these revelations of God were too limited for man to really know God. It was enough for Abraham to offer his Son Isaac believing that the God he served would raise him from the dead if the sacrifice was made. It was enough to solicit faith so that Abraham “believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). (Abraham was saved the same way we are today. God has never had but one plan of salvation and never will).

The word “spake” translates “laleo” and means, “to utter a voice or emit a sound, to utter articulate sounds.” It is an aorist active participle. The aorist tense is speaking of the point of time where divine utterance was made by the prophets. The active voice means that God was the origin of what the prophets were saying. They were men whose messages was not opinions. These prophets were not philosophers. They were human voices of the invisible God. God gave His word to the father’s by them. It was “thus saith the LORD.” Let me say this in another way. God spoke to Abraham directly. He is one of the fathers. But this was not the normal. The normal was that God had someone called a prophet to whom He gave a message to deliver to the fathers.

When David sinned, God sent Nathan with a message of judgment and grace. When the leaders of Israel sinned and came under the chastening of God, God raised up men like Isaiah, Jeremiah and others too numerous to name. In Isaiah the words “Thus saith the LORD” are found 35 times. There are others phrases that mean the same thing. In Jeremiah this phrase is found 147 times. It is found 126 times in Ezekiel. God used the prophets to speak to the fathers.

There have always been men who walked with God to whom God could confide. The “fathers” in this verse is identifying leaders of the clans or tribes. Leaders should know God and be on speaking terms with Him (like Abraham) so that he could lead his family to believe in and know God. It was not true in most cases. But God always had someone though whom He could give His message.

While God has spoken in finality in the person of His Son (Heb. 1:2) which means that God is no longer speaking in that way, He still fellowships and reveals Himself through Christ to believers who choose to walk with Him. Let’s have as our goal a walk with God wherein it is evident to others. Not just a set of rules that we are willing to keep, but by the fruit of the Spirit manifest in our lives which is an evidence of God’s presence today.

May the Lord bless and encourage your hearts with these words.

In Christ

Bro. White

#212 – The Believers Present Privileges

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THE BELIEVER’S PRESENT PRIVILEGES

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

This meditation will cover several verses in John 14, but rather than print all of them as the text, I have printed the first verse and will print the others as we go. These words of our Lord were spoken at His last Passover and contains a revelation of the precious privileges conferred on His believing people. Let’s look first of all at—

A CURE FOR HEART TROUBLE

Jesus is about to leave them by way of the cross and He anticipates a time of “heart trouble” with reference to His departure.  I can’t imagine the grief and loneliness that the disciples experienced when Jesus died. He had taught them that He would die and be raised again for their salvation. He had taught them that it had to happen. But at the time of His teaching, they were not able to comprehend what He was saying.

So Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” In other words, they had control over how they felt in their hearts. Jesus is teaching that faith in Him was the answer to a troubled heart. They believed in God. They were firm in that faith. So He says, “believe also in me.” To believe in Him was the same as believing in God. There is no way to reject Him without rejecting the Father. To say you believe in God but you don’t believe in Him is a Satanic lie. Faith in what Jesus says is a cure for heart trouble. Next let’s look at—

THE BLESSED HOPE

He tells them in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

He would be leaving them only for the period between His death and coming again. These men who had been with Him during His entire ministry had grown so attached to Him that they could not bear the thought of his  not being with them. So He gave them a promise that would become their blessed hope.

Titus 2:11 13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” “Hope” in this passage is not a weak word. It is, “The joyful anticipation of a reality.” To wait on the Lord’s coming is one of the imminent activities of the saints.  Next let’s look at—

THE VISION OF THE FATHER

John 14:6 9, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Jesus is telling Philip that He is the visible image of the invisible God. Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” An express image of someone is the materialization of the a person or thing so that when you see the image you see who the image represents. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. Next let’s look at—

THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY

John 14:13 14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Here is one of the great promises of our Lord to answer prayer. He opens it up when He says, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. . .”   You really don’t have to say, “I wonder if He will do this or that,” because He opens the door wide in this statement. “Whatsoever” is “Whatsoever.” One cannot trim the scope of that promise away. Next let’s look at—

THE ABIDING BEQUEST

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

This peace has to do with a troubled heart. This text brings up the troubled heart again: “. . . Let not you heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#211- Self-Exaltation Forbidden

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SELF-EXALTATION FORBIDDEN

Luke 14:11 “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Someone has said that God created man to be a king, i.e., the ruler of the earth and the ruler of his home. That was ok when man was not a sinner. Can you imagine having a President that is not a sinner? Can you imagine having a husband that is not a sinner? Well, we do have to deal with the imagination when we ask those questions. Adam sinned, and when he did, the possibility of perfection in leadership ended, so far as one of his sons is concerned. Since man fell, he has been climbing. He wants to be on the top of the ladder. He wants to be the head of his family and the ruler of his nation. But the element of sin has entered that perverts every action he takes.

Jesus has a teaching on this subject. There is a right position for us to take. Our text says, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” This is the punch line of the Parable just given by Jesus. He said, “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee” (Lk. 14:8-10).

Jesus said, “When thou art bidden of any man . . .” The words “any man” mean that it is a basic teaching referring to any situation. The man may be your closest friend. Do not assume, as a Christian, upon your friend. Do not be disappointed if he chooses another to take the most prominent seat. Jesus is giving this as a teaching to govern the constant attitude of His followers.

The “wedding” is used in the Parable to illustrate the normal selectivity of people being seated in the order of their importance to the host. He is also dealing with the natural desire to be important. He says, “sit not down in the highest room.” The verb “sit not down” translates “protoklisia” used with the negative. It speaks of “the relative rank of the several places at a table varied among the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.” It was completely understood by those to whom Jesus was speaking else the purpose of the Parable would be lost, i.e., to illustrate a spiritual truth by the use of a physical and natural practice. Then He adds “lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him.” The word “honorable” translates “entimos” and means “to be held in honor, to be prized or highly esteemed.” It does not mean that the persons chosen to be honored are more honorable, it means that they are seen by the host to be so. Now when Jesus is the Host, you can be sure that He is absolutely correct in the ones He chooses. But this Parable is teaching us an attitude that we are to have before men as well as before God. It is an attitude that will save us from embarrassment.

This goes against the grain of our sinful human nature. We have an estimate of our worth. It is impossible for the natural man to live without it. But it is possible to subdue and keep this attitude of self importance from controlling our actions through the Spirit filled life. Paul sets this forth in Romans 8:13: “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” It is by the Spirit’s power within the believer that he can mortify (put to death) the deeds (in this case the desire of self importance) of the body . . .” Self importance became a deed that caused the man in the Parable to take the “highest room.” The Lord doesn’t create the bird to fly without giving it wings. Neither does He teach us to take the lowest place without giving us both instructions and the power to do it.

I heard the story of a Bible conference that went like this. The host pastor was about to introduce the next speaker. It was not known in advance who the speaker would be. The host pastor was explaining his friendship to the man who was to speak. He explained the greatness of the man, some of his accomplishments and the high esteem in which he held him. And about the time he called his name, five preachers were on their feet headed for the platform. Needless to say, four of them had to go back to their seats embarrassed. Anyone with an old sin nature has this problem, including preachers!!!

The words “But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room . . .” tell us where we are to start, i.e., we are to take the lowest room. We do not have seniority. We never develop to the place where it is RIGHT for us to assume that we are to sit in the “highest room.” That place is always to be filled by the host. Jesus continues, “that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend go up higher . . .” In the Parable, it is up to the host where his guests sit. There are two things that are suggested by this. The estimate of our self importance is not a valid choice. We do not decide our importance relative to the Host. Then there is His desire to keep us from self embarrassment. Jesus does care about our feelings. We may have to leave the wedding feast with a tear in our eye because we didn’t get selected for the “highest room,” but at least, we were not embarrassed over it.

Then Jesus gives the punch line of the Parable: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” The word “whosoever” means that this rule is universal. No one has the right of self exaltation. No one can assume upon Christ. He is the One who makes the judgment of our importance. The word “exalteth” is a present active participle. It is talking about the present tense of those to whom he is speaking. The words “shall be abased” is a future passive indicative verb. The future tense is relative to the time of self exaltation. The passive voice means that He will “abase” those who have this exalted attitude of themselves. It means it will happen. The one in the Parable might guess correctly when he sits in the “highest room,” but not in the application. The one who EXALTS himself WILL be abased. Then he says, “and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Jesus is teaching here that the greatest in His sight are those who are willing to discipline themselves to be the lowest in their own sight.

I know of no New Testament teaching that is more ignored than this one. This may be part of the reason that there is no “mountain moving faith” in our day. Jesus said to the Jews in His day, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” The desire for honor is a hindrance to faith.

A very common problem for pastors is dealing with Christians who have hurt feelings over not being asked to “sit in the highest seat.” I have a sermon entitled, “Who is it important to you to be important to?” The title of this sermon preaches without adding points! May God help us to be willing to take the lowest room. This is where GRACE is found. Grace comes to the lowest room. The one who sits in the highest room is the one grace found in the lowest room!

May God bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#210 – Gods Final Word

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GOD’S FINAL WORD

Heb. 1:2  “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”

We are living in the Church age. Paul says in  Ephesians 3:2: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you ward.” The Church age is where the grace of God through the preaching of the cross is going out to the whole world. Israel no longer has a monopoly on the truth. The Lord Jesus began the church during His personal ministry, and in the Church there are no partitions (see Eph. 2:11-18). If there are, they are man-made.

Up until the Church age, God had spoken “sundry times and in divers manners” to the fathers. But we will discover in our text,

THE FINALITY OF HIS MESSAGE

The words “Hath spoken” is an aorist active indicative verb.  “The aorist tense used both of God speaking by the prophets and his speaking by Christ indicates that God has finished speaking in both cases” (Hughes)   Linguistic Key. The aorist tense speaks of a point of time. This aorist tense verb gathers into it the incarnation, perfect life, substitutionary death, and resurrection of Jesus. God has spoken in a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever. What He said stands forever. He left nothing to be added to what He said. We have what He said by the prophets and apostles in the written Word of God. Don’t look for something else. Get your Bible. You have God’s complete and final revelation in it. He will say no more. But I might add, it is enough! Next let’s us notice,

THE TIME OF THE MESSAGE

He says, “in these last days.”   “In these last days” indicates the Church age. Peter quoted Joel in Acts 2:16 and applied it to what had happened on the day of Pentecost: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” We have been living in the last days since Pentecost.

If this is true, that we have been in the last days since Pentecost, and it is, why is it that the last days have lasted so long? We have God’s Word on this:  2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” There you have the answer. The mercy of God and His desire to see all come to repentance is the one and only thing that prevents His immediate return to this earth for His bride.

If the last days began at Pentecost, we must be VERY CLOSE TO THE RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS. Those who walk by faith in Christ will one of these days in the very near future disappear just as Enoch did before the flood in Noah’s day. And as they looked for him and did not find him (Heb. 11:5), so they will look for us but they will not find us. We will be gone to be “ever with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). People may scoff at this truth but when they do, they become a part of the sign of our Lord’s soon return:  2 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Notice two things in these verses that are in evidence everywhere today:

1.            Their conduct. The philosophy of the world in which we live is IF IT FEELS GOOD DO IT. The word “lusts” comes from a word that means “craving, a compelling desire.” This word is used to define base sexual desires. This is just one of its uses, but it is a primary word used of those who have lost all morality, and have given themselves over to ungodly sexual desires. People who give themselves to sexual lusts do not want to see Jesus come. Every man has in himself a conscience put there by the Lord that lets him know that sex outside of marriage is wrong and is something for which God will judge him. So to live with himself, he goes from one sexual encounter to another fulfilling his lusts and denying the return of the Lord.

2.            Their reasoning. They scoff at the truth of our Lord’s return, and use as their argument against it, the seeming delay. They say, “we have heard this all our lives. This has been preached for two thousand years. The promise is untrue. He will not come again. Things will continue as they have always been. Let’s go have a good time.” This is the world’s philosophy.

Next our text speaks of,

THE PERSON OF THE MESSAGE

Out text says, “by his Son.”  God spoke by His Son through the virgin birth, the sinless life, through every verbal utterance, through every miracle, through the substitutionary death, and through the resurrection. Paul said, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). He continues to speak by His Son today through the gospel. When Jesus gave what we call the great commission, He ended it by saying, “ . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Jesus is not visible but He is present with the Church as she preaches the gospel. If you walk by sight, you have turned Christianity into a religion that is no more powerful than the dead religions of this world. But if you use the God given capacity of faith to fellowship with the One who cannot be seen, that is something else all together. The authority of the Church is in the person of Christ who is present every time we meet and speaks to us through His inspired Word. Jesus is still the head of the Church!

Next our text speaks of,

THE APPOINTMENT OF THE SON

Our text says, “Whom he hath appointed heir of all things.” The words, “Hath appointed” are the translation of an aorist active indicative verb. The aorist tense means once for all. The Lord Jesus regained what Adam lost and much more. God has placed it all under him. We also see the sovereignty of God here. God chooses, He decides. Man can only accept or reject it. Antichrist will soon come on the scene and try to take over. He will not be successful. A sovereign God would not be God or sovereign unless He had the power to make His promises and decrees stand. God is Omnipotent. He is all-powerful.

Let this get a hold of you. Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, has a God given appointment and we will share in that appointment as believers.  Romans 8:17 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Revelation 20:6 says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” We have a share in this by GRACE. The appointment of His Son IS the appointment of those who are IN HIS SON (2 Cor. 5:17).

Then finally,

THE MESSENGER IS THE MAKER

God has not only spoken to us in absolute finality in the person of His Son, His Son is the  Maker. He says in our text, “by whom also he made the worlds.” The One through whom God has spoken His final Word is none other than the One who made the worlds.

This is a truth unreasonable to the rational mind. You will never accept this on the basis of reason. We accept this on the basis of REVELATION. God says it and then we make a choice to believe it or reject it.

John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Note the words “All things were made by him.” He is creator. Jesus did not become the Son when He was born in Bethlehem, He has always been the Son. He did become something that He had never been before, i.e., a man. God became a man to save us. Our Saviour is also Creator.

Paul said in Col. 1:16-17: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Paul is very plain and simple in declaring the truth that Jesus is the Creator. He doesn’t rationalize, he reveals.

America is in denial of God and/or Christ as Creator. They have ruled out the Bible as God’s revelation of creation. They have accepted as a FACT the hypothesis of EVOLUTION which is the same as calling God a liar.  God either tells the truth in Genesis 1:1, and the verses above, or it is all a lie.  I believe it is the infallible Word of the eternal God before whom every person will stand in the final judgment to be judged.

God has given His final Word in the person of His Son. Don’t wait for Him to say anything else. He won’t. I believe what God said in Christ. I trust every person reading these words does also. If not, why not right now? John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them what believe on his name.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#209 – Things that the Death of Jesus Accomplished

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THINGS THAT THE DEATH OF JESUS ACCOMPLISHED

Colossians 2:14 17 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

THE DEATH OF JESUS TOOK THE LAW OUT OF THE WAY

The law was a giant wall that stood between the sinner and God.  It was impassible.  It was indestructible.  Our text reveals what the death of Christ did to the law, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

The words “Blotting out” translates “to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out.” This word is aorist tense and active voice.  The aorist tense means that this “blotting out” of the law took place at a point of time in the past.  This takes us back to the cross just as the verse says.  The active voice is where the subject does the acting.  The subject is Christ, and it means that He, “obliterated, erased, wiped out and blotted out the law for it stood in the way of anyone being saved.  Let’s notice what the Scriptures say:

1.    Paul explains this in Romans 3:19 20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

2.    He also taught this in the Galatian Epistle: Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

You would think that those who are trying to get to heaven by keeping he law would read their Bibles.  Salvation comes through faith in the One (Jesus) who did keep the law.  Then as the spotless Lamb of God paid the sin-debt He arose the third day with the keys of death and hell hanging on His side. Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” The law was a barrier to heaven for all those who tried to keep it and failed—and all did fail.

THE CROSS NEUTRALIZED THE POWER OF SATAN TO KEEP MEN FROM SALIVATION

Colossians 2:15, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

The words “having spoiled” translate “apekduomai” and means, “wholly put off from one’s self denoting separation from what is put off.” The aorist tense emphasizes the point of time where this took place, i.e., the cross.

Now that the law is out of the way we are free to come to Christ by faith and Satan does not have the power to prevent this.  Jesus prevailed over Satan on the Cross and took the law out of the way nailing it to His cross.  Satan has no power to keep man in sin’s bondage.  The moment we come to the Cross, repenting of sin, Jesus takes us as His own and protects us from further danger. Colossians 3:1 4, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” We are talking about the things the death of Christ accomplished for us:

IT LIBERATED MAN TO A PERSONAL CHOICE

John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Jesus is in the process of drawing all men to Himself.  We are aware that all men are not going to be saved.  However, what Jesus did for us on the cross, liberates us to respond to God’s call to be saved and there is nothing Satan can do about it.

A real battle was waged at the Cross where Jesus came up against Satan and his hosts.  There is where the battle was won.  Colossians 2:15 says, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

Don’t ever forget the words, “when he had by himself purged our sins,” because this is what happened.  His sacrifice on the Cross opened the doors of grace to all who would answer God’s call to salvation.

Jesus fixed it so that the repentant sinner could come to Him for salvation while Satan stands helpless to prevent it from happening.  These are some of the things the death of Christ on the cross accomplished for us.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#208 – The Believers Threefold Realtionship

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THE BELIEVER’S THREEFOLD RELATIONSHIP

John 15:1 5 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

This meditation will span most of this chapter. I will insert the verses as we come to them that have to do with the point I am making. This chapter is also a continuation of our Lord’s last words to His bewildered disciples, and reveals—

OUR RELATION TO CHRIST

Our union with Him implies—

1.    Oneness of life. John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” If we are branches and He is the vine, then we are one. The branch is an extension of the vine. It is the sap in the vine that works in the branch. This is a picture of the Holy Spirit coming to us through the Vine and working in us to bear fruit.

2.    Entire dependence. John 15:6, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Fruitlessness in the Christian life is evidence of a broken relationship. Grapes will not grow on a sapless branch. Paul knew the power of this inworking Spirit.    Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

3.    Co-operation. John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”  This is done in co-operation with the Vine and Branches. They work together to bear fruit. Without Christ the believer CAN DO nothing. Without the branch the Vine WILL DO nothing.

Next we see—

OUR RELATIONSHIP TO ONE ANOTHER

1.    All One in Christ. The branches are all in the one vine. John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Every single believer is a member of His Body, and, as such, members one of another.

2.    One in love. John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” This is an identifying mark of a true Christian.  John 13:34 35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

3.    One in work. We have but one Master, and one purpose in life: that is, to bring forth fruit that shall remain (vs 16).

Next let’s look at—

OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WORLD

1.    Separation. John 15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Jesus says, “If ye were of the world,” and this means that He no longer views us as being of the world. The “of” is a preposition declaring the source. The second “of” is declaring source. When we were born again became a citizen of heaven. We are now “of” a different origin. We are from above.

2.    Opposition. John 15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” We are hated because we have been chosen by the Lord and have changed our origin. We are now different. We are foreigners. The world is uncomfortable around us. Therefore the world hates us.

3.    Witness bearing. John 15:26 27, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” These verses say that the Holy Spirit will testify of Christ and we also will bear witness to His saving power. Our relationship to the world is a relationship of foreigners.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#207 – Joseph and The Obedience of Faith

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JOSEPH AND THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH

Matt. 1:18-25 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

This chapter sets before us one of the greatest events in human history. It is completely unreasonable to the reasonable mind. But, about all of God’s dealings give man’s reason a problem. God makes a statement, doesn’t explain and expects us to believe it. This is the way God created us to live. He wants unquestioned faith in His revelation. “ . . . Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). What happens in this chapter is for believers. Skeptics are dismissed.  You do not have to read further.

First, Joseph selects a wife. How this came about we do not know.  The account and manner of betrothing is given by Maimonides in the following words: “Before the giving of the law, if a man met a woman in the street, if he would, he might take her, and bring her into his house and marry her between him and herself, and she became his wife; but when the law was given, the Israelites were commanded, that if a man would take a woman he should obtain her before witnesses, and after that she should be his wife, according to Deut. 22:13 and these takings are an affirmative command of the law, and are called !yswrya wa !yswdyq “espousals” or “betrothings” in every place; and a woman who is obtained in such a way is called tsrwam wa tsdwqm “espoused” or “betrothed”; and when a woman is obtained, and becomes tsdwqm “espoused”, although she is not yet ‘married, nor has entered into her husband’s house’, yet she is a man’s wife.”

There is no doubt that Joseph acted in accordance with the custom of the time and in obedience to the Law of Moses. There was a period of time between the espousal and the consummation of the marriage which included a ceremony. There was no physical contact between an espoused wife until after the formal ceremony. I believe that Joseph, who believed he had found the most virtuous young girl that he had ever met, was ready to give himself in marriage for a lifetime. Joseph selected a wife.

The next thing is that Mary was “found with child of the Holy Ghost.” There are two things about this that I want you to notice. First, the words “before they came together” are set before us in the same sentence where we are told of the espousal. All of this is woven together as one garment. Second, the words “of the Holy Ghost” are in the same sentence. The information is coming to us so fast that our minds can hardly bear it. Mary was espoused to Joseph, it was before there was any physical relationship, Mary was found with child, and the Holy Spirit is the Father. Quite a revelation! I feel sorry for an unsaved doctor at this point. We had a doctor in our church who did his internship at LSU Shreveport. He said, “Bro. White we have had several virgin births at LSU Medical Center!” He was smiling when he said it. He said that several of the girls who came there pregnant disclaimed ever having a relationship with a man!

I can see some of you. You’re laughing. Well, what would you have thought if you had been living at the time and you had been an acquaintance of Mary and Joseph? We are studying the inspired Word of God and we are doing it after the fact.

Lets notice next, the discovery of a child. Matthew says, “she was found with child.” The words “she was found” translate “heurisko” and means “to come upon, hit upon, to meet with.” The idea is that it became obvious. The fact is that they met with the truth of it. It is an aorist passive indicative verb. The aorist tense refers to the point of time when this took place. The passive voice means that they were hit with the truth of Mary’s pregnancy without searching for it. Have you ever heard something and you said, “I’m not wanting to hear this.” You are discovering something that is dreadful to your ears and the emotion and shock and unbelief are flooding in upon you. You just do not believe this could be happening. But you realize that it is true. It is something that has to be dealt with whether you like it or not.

So we are told in verse 19: “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.” At this point in the story in these short verses, Joseph is not thinking MIRACLE. He is thinking FORNICATION. The love of his life is an awesome disappointment. His dreams have been shattered. But we are told that Joseph was a “Just man.” The word “just” translates “dikaios” which means “righteous.” When God calls a man “just” it means he is saved. There is only one kind of righteousness that stands up with God and that is imputed righteousness. He was also a man who was obedient to the Law of Moses. So being a JUST and COMPASSIONATE man, he chose a way out that would not publicly embarrass Mary and would release him from any future obligation to her.

Then in the midst of these thoughts, we have the information recorded in verses 20-24. An angel appeared to Joseph and explained the whole situation. This was a revelation of God that would not make sense to the natural mind. We have sixty-six books of the Bible that we are asked to take with the same faith that the angel asked Joseph to exercise. It happens like this in Scripture. First there is a revelation, i.e., Mary is pregnant and her pregnancy is of the Holy Ghost. Second, there is an explanation. This is the pattern of this chapter. The angel told Joseph that what is happening was foretold by the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 7:14). So Joseph did not only have a message from the angel, he had a verse of Scripture to confirm it.

Then we have Joseph’s obedience of faith recorded in verses 24 and 25: “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” The obedience of faith is immediate. We can be about to make a bad decision when the revelation of God comes. And when we decide to obey God, it will go against everything that we have been rationalizing. Joseph’s decision to obey God no doubt made him a laughing stock of those who did not know what he knew. Later it is revealed that it was common knowledge that Mary had a child that Joseph did not father: “Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, WE BE NOT BORN OF FORNICATION; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41). – Caps mine.

Verse 25 says that Joseph “ . . . called his name JESUS.” He did exactly what the angel told him to do. This is what FAITH does. Faith responds positively to what God says. It does not need to make sense to the natural mind. It may cause those who do not understand to think that we have lost our minds. We can tell them they are right. We have found the “Mind of Christ.”

May God bless these word to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#206 – Depression – How David Prayed!

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HOW TO PRAY WHEN YOU ARE DEPRESSED

Psalm 143:4-12  “Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.”

David is a man after God’s own heart. He was a man of praise. He wrote most of the Psalms. He is the “sweet singer of Israel.” He played instruments, he wrote songs, and he sung. God gives His people a song. A lot of us cannot express it with a wonderful voice, but it can be as meaningful to those who are not talented as those who are. It is good to sing for the benefit of another, it is better to sing unto the Lord. He is the best audience. And the best singer “can’t hold him a tune!” When our praises are to Him it ceases to be a performance in which one expects compliments.

David is singing in this Psalm. But it is not a song of victory. He is singing the blues, a song the tune to which a lot of song critics would not appreciate. But it makes no difference to God whether they like it or not. God does not ask the experts for advise when it comes to His music. (And some expose their ignorance by saying they know exactly what God likes in the way of music) Let’s notice first of all,

DAVID’S CONFESSION OF DEPRESSION

He says in verse 4, “Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” The way to start to get right is to admit that you are not there. Then the Lord cleanses you of not being there.

The words “my spirit is overwhelmed within me” are a confession of depression. The word “overwhelmed” translates “ataph” and means, “to be feeble, be faint, grow weak.” Gills comment on this is, “Covered over with grief, borne down with sorrow, ready to sink and fail.” David  confesses that his spirit is in this condition.  Have you ever heard the comment, “He has such a great spirit about him?” Well, David confesses that his spirit is very low.

Then he says, “my heart within me is desolate.” The word “desolate” translates “shamem” and means, “to cause oneself desolation, cause oneself ruin.” David complains about his enemy. Gill says that the reference here is to either Saul or Absalom. He confesses that he is not handling what his enemy is doing to him very well.

When I read the Psalms in a situation like this, I replace Saul or Absalom with Satan and the demons under his control. We are in spiritual warfare. This approach for me helps to make a good application of the Psalms. Satan is allowed to fight against the saints. God has given all we need to overcome him. But there are times that we do not handle the circumstances of life very well. Our spirit is overwhelmed within us and our hearts are caused to be desolate because of the way we are reacting to the problem. The best way to handle depression, and this does describe depression, is to confess it is there and that we are not handling it very well. The next thing we read is,

DAVID STRETCHES OUT HIS HANDS TO GOD

Verse 6 says, “I stretch forth my hands unto thee.” The words “I stretch forth” translates “paras” and means, “to spread out, to scatter.” The word scatter may mean that David is saying that he is not just holding out his hands but waving them. In other words, they may not be steady hands.

This is definitely a reference to prayer. The held out hands signify praying with expectancy. If you ask for something and hold out your hand it means that you believe when you draw the hand back it will have what you requested in it. The confession of unsteady hands may be a confession of weakness caused by depression. How many times we go to God in this condition and do not think we will get out prayers answered because we feel we are not praying with steady outstretched hands. Does God answer a prayer like this? Absolutely. David prayed and openly confessed to God that his hands were not steady, but he still prayed. The way to get right is to confess we are not. One can’t be more right with God than the cleansing blood of Christ makes us.  Then next we see,

DAVID’S SENSE OF URGENCY

Verse 7 says, “Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.”

He says in substance, “Lord, I need your help. I’m desperate and I need it now! Please hurry.” Gill says, “David was ready to sink, swoon, and faint away, through the weight of the affliction on him, by reason of the persecution of his enemy, and for want of the divine Presence.”

David’s perception of God is that He was no where around. Have you ever felt like that? You feel like crying out, “Where is God?” David says in Psalm 139 that there is no place where a believer can go where God is not. It is possible to be better off theologically than we are experientially. In other words, we can know God is there and feel that He is not. And the depression that causes us to feel that way definitely affects out spirit and heart.

Then David adds, “Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.” He says, “LORD I’m desperate. LORD, I must see thy face.” When you see God’s face it will transform your life. This is worship. David wants to see the LORD’S face to see if it is red in anger. “LORD, am I in this condition because you are upset with me.” Or it may be, “LORD, I see your face now, and I see that you are not worried a bit about this circumstance that I am in. Therefore, I know it will turn out ok.” A lot can be gained by seeing the face of God.

The words, “Lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit” mean that David recognizes that only God can make him different than the heathen around him. Do you know what makes you different from the unsaved who are on their way to the pit? It is certainly not your rule keeping or self effort. The difference is gained in the New Birth and in prayer where God sustains the life He gives. Next we see,

DAVID’S SPECIFIC REQUESTS

1. He first requests that his spiritual hearing be restored. This is in verse 8: “Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning.” The words “cause me to hear” is asking the LORD to do something for him that he can’t do for himself. The words “in the morning” means early. David does not go to God when everything else has failed. God is no spare tire for David. Have you ever by your own effort tried to hear God and couldn’t? It is right to take this need to God in prayer.

2. Next he requests guidance. This is brought out in the words in verse 8: “cause me to know the way wherein I should walk.” We have the Word of God that shows us the way in general. But specific guidance is what David wants. We can ask and get specific guidance.

3. Next he requests deliverance. This is brought out in the words in verse 9: “Deliver me, O LORD from mine enemies: I flee to thee to hide me.” The word “deliver” means, “to snatch me away.” It is in the imperative mood therefore expresses urgency. God helps in urgent situations. God is our refuge from Satan and the forces of darkness.

4. Then next David requests instructions. This is brought out in the words in verse 10: “Teach me to do thy will.” The word “teach” here means to instruct. David wants to learn. He wants to be the the LORD’S disciple. We need to be taught of God. The Holy Spirit is here to guide us into all truth.

5. Then next David requests revival. This is brought out in the words in verse 11: “Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake.” The word “Quicken” means “to revive, to refresh, to restore to life.” David is not dead spiritually from the standpoint of losing his salvation. However, he was depressed and a depressed person SHOWS NO LIFE in the spiritual realm. There are times when we cease to manifest the Life of Christ. We need revival. We need to be refreshed. David is right. He is going to the One who can do this for him.

6. Then finally he requests the destruction of his enemies. This is brought out in verse 12: “And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies.” The words “cut off” mean to annihilate, to exterminate them. I don’t know about you but I look forward to Revelation 20:1-2: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,” The one who plagues the saints will ultimately be put down.

All of us experience depression to one degree or another. It gives a feeling of hopelessness. That is an awful feeling. God is there to help us just like He was for David. Read this Psalm when you feel depressed and you will realize that you are not alone. David, a man after God’s own heart, had the problem. Take his testimony and follow it and you will experience the same good results. Remember you are God’s servant.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#205 – The Exegesis of God – Part 2

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THE EXEGESIS OF GOD – Part 2

Heb. 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. ”

Todays meditation will be part 2 of verse 3. We saw yesterday that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. All that can be seen of God by the natural eye can be seen of Him in Christ. Jesus is the “express” or exact image of Him. Today we continue with this verse and will see that He did not just come to manifest God as Creator and Upholder of all creation but also Redeemer. There are three questions that the remainder of this verse will answer for us:

WHAT HE DID BY HIMSELF?

Our text says, “When he had by himself purged our sins.”  The words “when he had purged” translate “poieo” and means, “to make, to be the author of, to provide a thing for one’s self.” and “katharismos” and means, “a cleansing, purification, a ritual purgation or washing.” This word is used to describe, “ a cleansing from the guilt of sins wrought by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ.”  This book is a book about Christ as our great High Priest. This is the first mention of what the High Priest does. He is a mediator. He is One who represents another. He stands is the place of the other and obtains forgiveness and cleansing from sin on the basis of sacrifice. The words “by Himself” means that He received no help from another. He is alone in His redemption of mankind through His substitutionary sacrifice.

In the Old Testament the high priest offered the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 9:13; 10:4) which did not take away sin. These sacrifices were never meant to take away sin. The sacrifices were object lessons teaching that the forgiveness of sins is based on the death of the innocent in the place of the guilty. Jesus came to fulfill the picture made in these sacrifices. The verb here is an aorist middle participle. The aorist tense represents a point of time. The coming of Christ from birth until He took His own blood into the holiest in heaven and offered it there is represented by this point in time. It happened once for all and stands as a finished action eternally. It is a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever. The middle voice means that the subject (Jesus) acts and participates in the result of the action, i. e., He did it Himself and gained the forgiveness of Sins for everyone who would believe on Him. Jesus is Creator, He is the eternal Son existing in eternity past. He created the angels. They are faithful messengers and will carry out His order immediately on command. But this was not something He could delegate to another. He did this Himself. He became God in human flesh. He offered Himself as the spotless Lamb. He is not only the High Priest, He is also the Sacrifice. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

This means that He did not start something when He came that we would have to finish later. He finished it here before He went back to heaven. Whatever the saint has to do to serve and please Him after salvation to maintain fellowship, it is not added to what Jesus did at the cross to complete it. What Jesus did on the cross, He completed, did it by Himself, and when He went back to heaven it was accepted as all that was required to make the guilty sinner right with God.

It goes like this. God created man and he sinned against Him. God was not satisfied to let His fallen creature remain eternally in that condition. Man’s fall rendered it impossible for him to meet God’s standards. God cannot in the nature of His being lower His standards and become less than He is to restore fellowship. So God became man (but not less than God) in order to be what was necessary (perfect) for man to fellowship with Himself. Jesus as a man was perfect. But there is more to it than that. Man’s sins must be paid for. Sin is a barrier between God and man. A holy God cannot remove that barrier and remain holy and just without the penalty being paid. So Jesus not only came to be what was necessary for fellowship to take place between God and man (perfect) but He also came to pay the penalty of man’s sins by dying in his place. Man could not participate in the Sacrifice because of his sins. So Jesus as a PERFECT MAN became the LAMB OF GOD to take man’s place before the throne of God’s justice and satisfy all that the demands of God’s holy law required as the payment for sin. What our text is saying is that He did this by Himself. So man’s sin (what he is by nature) and sins (what he does because of that nature), Jesus by Himself purged (at a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever) when He died on the cross. Now man is not only forgiven of his past, but is given the righteousness of Christ as a gift (Rom. 5:17) so that he stands before God as a forgiven sinner and perfect in Christ (Col. 2:10). Hallelujah!!! His standing is as sure as the standing of Christ is sure because he is accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6).

Next let’s look at,

WHAT HE DID AFTER HE DID IT BY HIMSELF?

Our text says He, “sat down.” and translates “kathizo” and means, “to take a seat.” Robertson says, “took His seat, a formal dignified act.” It is an aorist active indicative verb. This means that He took it an a point of time. I believe the point of time is after the ascension. It is His present posture.

Why is He sitting? Because what He came to do He finished. He has to do nothing else to secure man’s salvation. When a sinner comes to Him for salvation, he is forgiven because of the cross. It is simply, if we can call it simple, the application in the present of His finished work in the past.

Hebrews 1:13 says, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” This statement is to show that Jesus is greater than the angels. But it also adds to the truth of out text. Jesus did not take His seat by force. His Father said to Him after His resurrection and ascension, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” So what does this mean? It means that God who is the righteous Judge invited Jesus to sit on His right hand because HE HAS ACCEPTED THE SACRIFICE. We do not have to worry if Christ has been accepted in our place. We are alive eternally in Him and accepted in His righteousness.

There was no place for the Old Testament priest to sit down. His work was never finished because animal sacrifices only PICTURED the Sacrifice that would take away sin. Hebrews 10:12-14 says, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Notice He sat down because of the effects of the one sacrifice. He perfects forever those whom He sanctifies by the application of this one sacrifice. He waits now for God to make all His enemies His footstool. He expects this and the Father will fulfill His promise to His Son. And all that the Father puts under His feet will be under the Saints feet. Amen!

Next let’s look at,

WHERE HE IS AND WHAT IT MEANS?

Our text says He, “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”  The “right hand” speaks of power and authority. This is brought out in the song of Moses in  Exodus 15:6 where He says, “Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” Let consider the following:

1.  The power of God to save is in the person of Christ; Rom. 1:16.

2.  The power of God to judge the world including Satan is in the person of Christ; Acts 17:31.

The word “Majesty” translates, “megalosune” and comes from the root word “megas” which means, “great.” It is used, “of the external form or sensible appearance of things (or of persons).” It is also “used of intensity and its degrees: with great effort, of the affections and emotions of the mind, of natural events powerfully affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong.”  When one thinks of the Majesty of God, the finite mind is incapable of comprehending it and words are feeble tools to describe it. All that is beautiful and majestic in glory is represented by this word. Power and power beyond human comprehension is in this word. Self existence without the need of another and unhindered and uninhibited in the true sense of the word is in this word Majesty.

If a natural man were to come into the presence of what is described by this word, he would disintegrate. This is what will happen to the unsaved at the great white throne judgment. Revelation 20:15 says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” The word “cast” translates “ballo” and means, “to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls.” It means to hurl like a stone. It is aorist passive indicative. The aorist represents a sudden once for all act. The passive voice means it will happen to those whose names are not written in the book of life. It means that they will have no choice. It will happen to them, they will be completely unable to resist, and it will stand as permanent.

There is only one man who can exist in the presence of Majesty. And He is SITTING ON HIS RIGHT HAND. He lives there! He is truly man by virtue of His incarnation. He is in a glorified body that God prepared Him (Heb. 10:5). He has the capacity because of this body to live in the presence of Majesty. And because of Him we are on our way to this experience in eternity.

The exegesis of God. Jesus brought out the Mind of God as to His purpose concerning man. He brought out the truth that salvation is the result of what Christ did alone. He brought out where Jesus is today and how He got there.  He brought out that all enemies of God in Christ will be eventually brought under the feet of Christ. That is what He waits on today with expectation. We as His children wait in Him and with Him. There is nothing to fear, all has been taken care of. Glory to God and the Lamb forever.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White