Monthly Archives: January 2014

#078 – Abrams Return to the Land

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ABRAM’S RETURN TO THE LAND
Genesis 13:1 9 “And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.”

Abram’s lie and the problems it caused with the Pharaoh of Egypt caused him to have to leave Egypt and return to the land that God had given him, i.e., the land of Canaan.

There are some important spiritual lessons that we can gain from the study of these four verses.  Let’s look first of all at—

ABRAM’S RETURN TO CANAAN

This is a return to the place that God had given him.  When a believer departs from the place of God’s blessings and goes to Egypt, he always goes down.  Genesis 12:10, “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”

“Down” represents the lost of fellowship with God.  It represents the believer taking off on his own.  Instead of “Trusting the Lord with all his heart,” he begins, “to lean on his own understanding.”  (Prov.  3:5).

The healthy Christian places no confidence in his flesh.  Paul says in Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” In a day of “self-esteem” and “self-helps” this truth has to be put aside.  There is no way for self-confidence in the Christian life.  Our confidence is to be in the Lord.  So if we have wandered away, we need to come back up out of our Egypt.  Next, let’s look at—

ABRAM’S WEALTH

Abram’s riches did not imply that he was right with God.  Neither does accumulated wealth on the part of believers necessarily indicate that they are being blessed more than other believers.  There are two important points to be considered:

1.    Wealth can cause one to backslide and lose his fellowship with the Lord.  In this case it is the source of the trying of his faith.  A lot of people flunk this test. 1 Timothy 6:9 10, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

2.    Wealth can be a blessing to the one who has the gift of giving. 1 Timothy 6:18, “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;” The words “distribute” and “communicate” means to give to others who have need. Romans 12:8, “Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Here the giver is listed as a spiritual gift.  So God gives some wealth and then gives them the gift of giving and in this case wealth can be a real blessing in the family of God.

Next, let’s look at—

ABRAM’S RETURN WAS TO THE ALTAR

Genesis 13:3 4, “And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.”

There is no altar mentioned in connection with Abram in Egypt.  This is also true of believers who “go to Egypt” and begin to operate carnally.  They may go to church but there is no altar there for them.  The only way for a person to maintain fellowship and communion with God is to stay in fellowship by dealing with sin regularly and submit to His Lordship daily.

Abram came back to God at the Altar and was restored to fellowship and blessing.  God blessed Abram abundantly in the land.  He accumulated more wealth and the land was just as God had told him.  It was a land flowing with milk and honey.

Are you at the place of God’s calling for your life?  Have you an altar there?  Serving is a matter of choice.  We must stay in constant communion to serve God.  We must reject the things that hinder in the race we are running.  It may seem like we are giving up a lot, but the fact is, we are laying away treasures in heaven.  There we will enjoy them forever.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ
Bro.  White

#077 – Abrams Trial of Faith

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ABRAMS TRIAL OF FAITH

Genesis 12:10 13 “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.” Abram answered the call of God to leave the land of his birth and go to a country that God promised to give him.  When he arrived in Canaan, there was a famine in the land. The Scripture calls the famine “grievous.” This was a long way from a “land flowing with milk and honey.” One might imagine that Abram was a little confused between what God said the land was, and what it was when he arrived. John Gill says that the famine was because of the sins of the inhabitants of the land and the trial of Abram’s faith.  This is probably a correct analysis.  So as we look at this episode in Abram’s life let’s look first of all at— THE TRIAL AFTER THE BLESSING In the first part of this chapter God made an outstanding covenant with Abram.  He had to leave that experience with ecstatic praise.  To be confronted with this great trial so soon after the blessing of God came to him is shocking. There is a principle here.  Many times our greatest trials follow the greatest blessing.  I have had this happen.  I have seen it happen to others.  Those severe trials that follow so close on the blessings of God are times definitely planned of God to contribute to our spiritual growth.  But we also have our carnal mind that kicks in and tells us that something is wrong with us that this is happening. The point of importance is when you have unusual blessing from the Lord, keep your eyes pinned on the shadows, because Satan is waiting to pounce on you and take the joy that you received from the blessing.  Next— LEANING ON ONE’S OWN UNDERSTANDING Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” The thing that made the most sense to Abram to solve the immediate problem was to go to Egypt for help.  Egypt is always a type of the world.  So Abram went to the world for help. Note how this is stated. Genesis 12:10, “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” There is not a pause between the famine in the land and Abram’s going down into Egypt to sojourn there.  There are two important things here.  First, Abram did not seek the Lord.  God is able to supply our needs in the midst of our greatest trials.  But Abram chose to seek help from the world. Second, Abram’s intention was only to “sojourn” in Egypt.  The use of this word means that Abram did not go to stay.  It was a trip for survival.  When the believer goes to Egypt for help it is never to stay long.  But most of the time he stays longer than intended. Next— ABRAM BEGINS TO LIE ABOUT HIS WIFE TO SAVE HIMSELF We could call that a cowardly act.  When man gets out of the will of God, he will do some of the stupidest things.  I wonder how Sarah felt about this.  I don’t think she would ever forget what her husband did here.  It did not break up her marriage but Abram gave Sarah something that she would have to deal with for a long time.  She might have said to herself, “Is this the way Abram is going to act every time he gets in trouble?” ABRAM’S LIE ONLY AMPLIFIED THE PROBLEM When Pharaoh took Abram’s wife into his harem, God sent a plague on Pharaoh and his house because he had taken Abram’s wife.  So what Abram did, did not solve the problem at all.  Again, we must trust God for our protection.  A Christian cannot hid under a lie without getting caught.  God has ways of pulling the cover off.  And when He does it is a lot worse that if he had told the truth to begin with.  Abram was not trusting God for his protection.  But the grace of God protected him in over ruling his sinful attempt to protect himself.  Finally— PHARAOH SENT ABRAM BACK INTO THE WILL OF GOD Genesis 12:19 20, “Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.” Sometimes God uses unusual circumstances to get us where He wants us.  This meditation shows how quickly one can get out of the will of God by trying to work things out for himself. This was a trial of Abram’s faith and he failed.  But the grace of God will get us back to where we ought to be.  God does take care of His children. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts. In Christ Bro.  White

#076 – An Exhortation to Continue in Prayer [Rerun]

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AN EXHORTATION TO CONTINUE IN PRAYER

Col. 4:1-4“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. 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.”

The word “continue” translates “proskartereo” and means, “to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing.” It is a present active imperative verb. This is a strong statement. The etymology of the word stresses to be unremitting and steadfastly attentive to prayer. The present tense means to keep on doing something that is going on.” Paul is not saying, “you need to pray.” They already knew that and it was their practice. What was needed and is needed in every Christians life is to be exhorted to continue steadfastly in prayer because there is such a temptation to quit. Or, at least, not put time in prayer.

 

Jesus taught perseverance in prayer. Do you ever consider the difficulty to continue in prayer? It is not easy for a Christian in our day to find time. Much less, to spend time waiting before God over what you have just explained to Him that you need. Now that He knows it, why continue to wait before Him? Well, to begin with, why pray at all? He knows what we need before we pray. We continue to wait before Him and remain steadfast for the same reason that we pray at all. Because He teaches us to do it and assures us of answers if we do. If we are going to do more that we can do, He must do it in answer to prayer. If our lives can be explained outside of the supernatural, God isn’t in it.

The words “and watch in the same” indicate prolonged prayer and waiting before Him. The word “watch” translates “gregoreuo” and means, “to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.” Paul does not teach the kind of faith in prayer where you get down a make a simple request and get up and go on about your business and never think of it again. It is true when you pray, you should believe God concerning the answer at the time of prayer (Matt. 21:22). But prayer is to continue until we see the actual fulfilment of it. Otherwise, what Paul is saying here would have no meaning.

The words, “and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” probably set forth the key to perseverance. If we watch in the same with thanksgiving, it may be that the continual thanksgiving is the true expression of faith in what God is GOING TO DO as we wait for His timing to work it out.
May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ
Bro. White

#075 – WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE WAY CAIN TURNED OUT? [Rerun]

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WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE WAY CAIN TURNED OUT?

Genesis 4:1-16″And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”

Did Adam and Eve fail in the way they trained Cain?  Who is to blame for the way he turned out?  Let’s take a look at the story and see if we can get some insights.

ADAM AND EVE CREDITED GOD WITH GIVING THEM CAIN

This is brought out in Gen.  4:1: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.”  Some have believed and taught that Eve thought that this son would be the “Promised seed” who would redeem and restore man in her day.  Let’s note the following:

1.    Children are an heritage of the Lord was believed by Adam and Eve. Psalms 127:3, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Adam taught his sons about the LORD.  He instructed them in the proper approach to the Lord in worship.  Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Nothing can be offered by faith without a divine revelation.  Abel’s offering was offered by faith in the offering of a blood sacrifice.

God intervened personally to correct Cain’s wrong sacrifice. 1 John 3:12, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” Cain is identified in Scripture as being of “that wicked one.” Jude 1:11, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” In Jude Cain’s way has developed to where it is called “the way of Cain.” I take that to mean a theology of works and rebellion against God.  Cain refused to repent.  Any religion who takes repentance out of the gospel is going in the way of Cain.

2.    Some of the characteristics of Cain:

•         He got mad if he didn’t get his way; vs 5.

•         He lost control in his displeasure toward the Lord because He would not accept Cain’s offering.

•         He was jealous and vindictive; vs 8.

•         He was very selfish.  He had no respect for others; vs 8.

•         He refused to accept responsibility; vs 9.

•         He was a liar; vs 9.

•         He believed God was unjust; vs 13.  And he was a whiner.

•         He was a worshiper of Satan; 1 John 3:12.

•         He taught a false way; Jude 1:11.

3.    Why Cain turned out the way he did:

•         Not because his father failed.

•         Because he made a wrong choice; vs 3.

•         Because he refused to correct his sin when given the opportunity.  He stands at the head of those who blatantly reject God’s offer of grace.

WHERE DOES GOD PLACE THE BLAME FOR CAIN’S WICKEDNESS?

1.    He does not blame the father or mother.

2.    He blames Cain; Genesis 4:7, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

3.    He punishes Cain, not Adam, for his sin; Genesis 4:11, “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;”

4.    Every man will stand before God and give an account for his own sins.  God has the record.  The only possible way to avoid this certain judgment is to trust Jesus, God’s Lamb, who is pictured in Abel’s sacrifice.  There is no salvation apart from the blood; Hebrews 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#074 – THE APOSTLESHIP

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THE APOSTLESHIP

I am going to deal in this morning meditation with the subject of Apostleship.

One of our ladies came to me one morning and asked me a question about apostleship. She attended a ladies Bible study in a home. The teacher taught that the word disciple and the word apostle were synonyms and actually meant the same. She taught her class that day that an apostle was something into which one could grow. I guess her idea was that you started out as an “epistle and grew into an Apostle!” I am not really making fun. Bible study is serious and no one should be put down because of mistakes. But this class was taught by a lady who had been teaching the Bible for years and should have known better. It also made me aware of the tremendous responsibility of the teacher to be as mistake-free as possible.

The first use of the word in Matthew is in Matt 10:2, “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother . . .” and he goes on to name the rest. The word “Apostle is a strengthening compound of “stello” and is common in Greek for ‘to send forth,’ differing from ‘pempo,’ which stresses the fact of sending, by it relating of sender and sent and its consequent implication of a commission, especially in Hellenistic Greek.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Kittel). It means “one sent with a commission.” This word describes what missionaries do  +today. Most of my friends believe the missionary is the evangelist identified in Scripture. I believe he is the apostle that didn’t occupy the apostolic office like Barnabas. The missionary is sent to do a specific job, i.e., to win the lost and start Churches and this is what the apostles did. I know I won’t settle this argument but now you know what I believe!

The apostles were called specifically for the purpose (Matt.  +4:18-20) and were “ordained.”  Mark 3:14: “And he ORDAINED twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” 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.” Acts 1:22: “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ORDAINED to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” Ordination is a solemn setting apart of a person for a specific task. He is given authority to carry out his office and power to accomplish his work. (Caps mine).

The original twelve made up the apostolic office in the early church and their office and ministry will be re-established in the millennial kingdom. Matt.  +19:28, “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Judas was an unbeliever from the beginning (John 6:63) and Jesus tells us that He knew it. He fell from the office and not from grace because he was never in the grace of God (Acts : +1:25). Matthias was chosen to take his place and become one of the Twelve (Acts  +1:26). The Twelve are called the Eleven after the fall of Judas and before the election of Matthias (Luke 24:33; Acts  +1:26;  +2:14). The Eleven are called the Twelve after the election of Matthias and before the salvation and call of Paul (Acts 6:2). Some insist that Paul was one of the Twelve and the Church was out of line to elect Matthias. Usually when the someone does something that is wrong the Word of God in the context or somewhere will draw attention to it. If the Church was wrong, there is not the slightest indication anywhere in Scripture where they are so charged. Paul also said he was not one of the Twelve. It seems like he would know. Right?! In 1 Cor. 15 Paul talks about the Lord’s resurrection and of those who witnessed it. Here is how he puts it: “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 that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Cor. 15:3-9). It is clear in the New testament that you could be an apostle and not one of the twelve. Barnabas was an apostle: Acts 14:14 says, “Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out. . .” Barnabas is definitely identified as an apostle in this verse.

Note the order in this passage: first, he was seen of Cephas, second, he was seen of the Twelve, third, he was seen of over five hundred brethren at once, and fourth, he was seen of James, fifth, he was seen of all the apostles and sixth, and last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Paul definitely does not identify himself as one of the Twelve in this passage. Now if you can twist this around and make Paul one of the Twelve, I’m not for sure I’d want you to be my Bible teacher. I am afraid of anyone who has to do gymnastics with the Word of God to make it say what they want it to say! Now don’t get upset with me. If the Lord will bring it up for a vote, I’ll vote with you for Paul. But since the Lord has not given me the opportunity to vote, I guess I’ll just have to believe that Matthias was God’s choice and if I am wrong I’ll bow before Him in the day of judgment and apologize!!!

The apostles were not the result of the evolution of a disciple into an apostle. Apostles were called for a specific task and were given special abilities for the confirmation and effectiveness of their office. Examine the following Scriptures: Acts 2:43: “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” Acts 5:12: “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 . . .” 2 Cor. 12:12: “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” The words “signs of an apostle” are identifiers of special gifts.

The apostolic OFFICE died with the death of the original apostles. It was not a continuing office. These were gifted men put in the church by the Lord until the completion of the Scriptures. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (1Cor. 12:28).

The Roman Catholic Church believes in papal succession. The Mormons believe in Apostolic succession. We as Baptist believe in Church succession. Jesus said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The gates of hell have made every attempt to destroy the Church. It hasn’t worked. The Church is here to stay until the rapture. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

In closing, Jesus is also called an Apostle: Heb 3:1 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” Jesus was sent with a commission and He fulfilled it in dying on the cross, paying the price of redemption for those who would believe the gospel, and establishing a Church to take the message of salvation to the lost until the rapture.

God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

#073 – What Satan Can Do

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WHAT SATAN CAN DO

Genesis 3:4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”

HE CAN DECEIVE

Satan can talk.  He can speak all the languages of the world.  In this case he used the serpent to vocalize his deception on Eve.  “The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” In this statement he cast doubt on veracity of God.  God had a purpose of allowing him to go that far.  Why, we do not know.

Satan continues to deceive.  He finds a way to communicate with man in a way that seems right. Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

What happens when deception takes place?  The one deceived begins to live according to the deception.  It was only after Satan camouflaged himself in the serpent that Eve was embolden to take of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

How many times has he deceived a young man or woman concerning his/her marriage partner.  Satan has a part in persuading young Christians to yoke up with unbelievers in violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

The believer’s deception has been so well orchestrated by Satan that he believes he is right.  Satan is always behind those who choose to bypass the Scriptures for the screening out of Satan’s suggestions.  Next—

HE IS BOLD IN HIS CLAIMS

Satan’s temptation of the Son of God shows his diabolical and fearless attack upon the very Son of God.  If he will attack Jesus, we can be sure that he does not hesitate to attack the believer.

This is brought out in 2 Corinthians 11:13 15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

1.    The false apostles mimic the apostles of Christ.  Some of them are artists of deception.  They become rich off of poor helpless people who are ignorant of the Scriptures and thus unable to discern their ungodly motives.

2.    The deceitful workers identify them as false.  They pawn themselves off as the apostles of Christ.  They are self made men and women.  Listen, I have heard lost politicians that could preach better than some preachers I know.

3.    Paul warned the Church at Ephesus with these words: Acts 20:30 31, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

4.    How did Paul know this would happen?  He knew how Satan operates.  He will stir up the emotions of those easily deceived.  It is his way of fighting God’s people.  He makes them think reasonably to the natural man.

5.    Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” So when you look for Satan you will discover he is not a little red devil with horns and pitch-fork in his hands.  He will come to you as an angel of light.

6.    He is convincing in his arguments.  But it is all one big lie to fight man who was made in the image of God.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT HE CAN BE RESISTED SUCCESSFULLY

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

1.    Note what comes first.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.

2.    Second, when we are submitted to the Lord, we will be able to resist Satan.  We have the definite promise that he will flee from us.

Satan can be beaten when a believer flies into the comforting arms of Jesus.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ
Bro.  White

#072 – A Word to Masters [Rerun]

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A WORD TO MASTERS

Col. 4:1-4“Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. 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.”

Chapter four begins with instruction to saved slave owners and gives them instructions as to how to treat their slaves.  The word “masters” translates “kurios” and is a word used of, “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord the owner; one who has control of the person.”

Slavery is repulsive to me. But in all fairness to the Scriptures we must take this exactly like it was originally given. Slavery existed and the Word of God had instructions for both saved slaves and saved masters. You have this being dealt with in Colossians. And there are good lessons to be learned. One, those Christians who are trying to change the world and use the Bible to say that God wants Christians to take over the world need to read their Bible again. The only thing that will change this world is the direct judgment of God at the Second Coming. We need to preach the gospel and it will change individuals and that will certainly help. Again let me say that the present phase of God’s kingdom is not to change society but to call out the Bride. Amen!!!

Paul says, “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal.” The word “give” translates “parecho” and means, “to render or afford from one’s own resources or by one’s own power.” The word “servants” identify the ones to whom to give. The word “just” translates “dikaios” and means, “righteous, observing divine laws.” The word “equal” translates “isotes” and means, “equality, equity, fairness.” There were no unions in those days and the government took the master’s side. A master could do with the slave what he wanted to. Joseph was a slave in Egypt. He had no control of his life. He wound up in prison for doing right. While the government did not tell the masters how to behave with reference to their slaves, God did. A saved slave owner must treat his slave right and pay him equal to his labor.

Paul reminded the master that he had a Master in heaven. The word for knowing translates “eido” and is a perfect active participle. These were saved masters who had come under the Lordship of Christ and were open to instruction. So Paul reminds them of knowledge they ALREADY POSSESSED (perfect tense) and called on them to do right by their slaves.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ,

Brother Earl White

#071 – How a Perfect Angel Became Satan

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HOW A PERFECT ANGEL BECAME SATAN

Ezek.  28:11-19 “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. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

There is a two fold application of this passage of Scripture.  There is a reference to an earthly king, yet some of the thing said cannot apply to the earthly king.  It is also obvious that Satan is being spoken of and that is the emphasis this meditation will pursue.

LUCIFER FELL THROUGH PRIDE

First it was pride of position; This is seen in Ezekiel 28:14, “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.”

The word “anointed” translates “mimshach” and means, “ anointed, expansion.” It may mean that Lucifer had taken on himself to expand his domain that had been given to him of the Lord. cherub, cherubim, pl., an angelic being, as guardians of Eden as flanking God’s throne.”

The words, “I have set thee so,” means that the angels did not evolve.  They were created beings created by God for His pleasure and assigned to guard His throne.  Lucifer had pride of position.  God did not create Lucifer with pride of position.  This was developed over a period of time.  How much time we do not know.

Then there was the pride of administration; Ezekiel 28:16, “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

1.    The words “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence,” hint at what Satan did to alienate himself from God.  The word “merchandise” merchandise, traffic, trade.” This suggests that merchandise, traffic and trade took place  with Satan in charge.

2.    Success caused the first fall.  Satan was a fallen creature before the creation of man.  Some do not believe this, but it is true just the same.  Even in this life there have been partnerships formed where one partner felt that he was the one who was responsible for the growth of the company.  A split was inevitable.  Jealousy and pride took over and it left the partners enemies.

LUCIFER FELL THROUGH CHOICE

This is brought out in Isaiah 14:12 16, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;”

Lucifer’s sin was heart deep.  “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven.

He said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” This is an “I will” sin.  He was not satisfied with the place God had given him in life.

He said, “I will be like the most High.” Satan wanted to be a god.  And the fact is, while he is already defeated; he has become the god of this world. 2 Corinthians 4:3 4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

GOD IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS FALL

James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

This would definitely satisfy the bible-believer that Satan is a self made angel and has fallen into sin with no blame placed on God.

GOD DID DETERMINE THE CONSEQUENCES  OF HIS CHOICE

One may reject Jesus but he cannot reject the consequences of his choice.  All Christ rejecters will be eternally separated from God and the glorified saints.

GOD ALSO LIMITS THE EFFECTS OF SATAN’S REBELLION

He did this on the cross; Colossians 2:14 15, “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.”

Jesus did battle with Satan at the cross and came away victorious. John 12:31 33, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  This he said, signifying what death he should die.” 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This is partaking in a victory already won by Jesus.

He also limits the effects of Satan’s rebellion through the doctrine of security; Romans 8:34 39, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#070 – Onesimus [Rerun]

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ONESIMUS

Col. 4:9 “With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.”

Tychicus was commissioned by Paul to deliver this epistle to the Colossians. He was accompanied by Onesimus who was a runaway slave from Colosse to Rome and with this epistle he bears a private letter to Philemon, his owner. So Onesimus is returning to his owner to reenter the household of his master but he does it with an epistle from Paul that explains his conversion. As we study the life of Onesimus let’s notice the following:

THE MASTER OF ONESIMUS

This master’s name is Philemon. He owned Onesimus. He is an offended businessman. It is believed that Onesimus not only ran away from Philemon but also robbed him in the process (Encyclopedia of the Bible by Walter A Ewell). Philemon is a saved man converted under the ministry of Paul (Philemon 1:19). But Onesimus was not a saved slave when he left. Therefore this Christian business man would not look at it the same way as if Onesimus had been a Christian. And Onesimus did not look at it like he did after he became a Christian! Philemon had a RIGHT by law over Onesimus even after his conversion. Becoming a Christian does not free us from our legal obligations. Next we see,

THE DEPARTURE OF ONESIMUS

The Scofield Bible says in the introduction to the book of Philemon: “Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, a Christian of Colosse, had robbed his master and fled to Rome.” His departure was not like the departure of the prodigal son. The prodigal departed with the reluctant permission of his father. Onesimus robbed his master and “bolted” as Guy King says in his book on Colossians. There is no indication of what he robbed his master of. But that he robbed him is universally accepted.

Stealing is another word for robbery. It was a common practice in those days as much as it is now. Many missionaries have testified to me that the nationals where they minister believe that they are doing nothing wrong if what they take is what they need. Especially if you have more that one of the items that they take! After all, a lady doesn’t need two earrings that are exactly alike! Or, a spare tire that you are not using!

Paul had to instruct Christians in this matter. Paul says in Ephesians 4:28, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” The Ephesians past is recognized in the word “stole.” The conversion of the Ephesians is seen in the instructions, “steal no more.” The life style of the Christian is seen in the words, “but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Onesimus was a man with a past. But it is good to be able to report,

THE CONVERSION OF ONESIMUS

Now how this took place, I am not for sure. He made it to Rome. Somehow he learned that Paul was a prisoner in this place. He may have met Paul when he was in the home of Philemon. On the other hand, someone may have found him and brought him to Paul who then led him to Christ. All we know for sure is that Onesimus became a new man in Christ. Man does not become a Christian gradually. Jesus is confrontational. One must face his sins. He must face his destiny. Onesimus did this. He no doubt was burdened by the weight of sin. He was a runaway slave and the law was not on his side. He was not only a runaway, he was a thief. And as we look back, he had to be under conviction. Because no man can come to Christ without it. Onesimus could run away from Philemon but he could not run away from God. God was on his trail. Do you remember Jonah? He discovered that God was in the OTHER DIRECTION ALSO.

I am not for sure how it took place. But the good part to this story is that it did take place. Onesimus was in the presence of Paul. He told Paul his story and Paul told him of Christ. He told him he would have to repent of his sins and trust Jesus to forgive him. Onesimus must have said, “But what about my past? What will I do about it?” Paul must have said, “First, let Jesus take care of your past. He will forgive you. For now, don’t worry about Philemon. You have sinned against God before you have Philemon. God is more important. Get it right with Him.” Onesimus must have asked, “How do I do that?” Paul must have said, “Pray right now and confess to Him that you have sinned against Him and tell Him that you are receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour. Ask Him to forgive you and when you do, believe that He is faithful to forgive.” I believe Onesimus did pray. He did repent of his sins and asked the Lord to forgive him.” Now we have,

THE NEW ONESIMUS

Not only was his destiny changed but his attitude toward authority changed. After his prayer, I believe that he felt the burden of sin depart. I think he must have said, “I have never felt this way before. I know what I did is history and it can’t be undone. But I no longer feel the way if felt about this just before I prayed. Brother Paul, I can’t explain this wonderful feeling.” Suddenly, it dawned on him that he had called Paul brother! He looked at Paul to see if Paul approved. And Paul said, “Onesimus, you are my brother now. We are in the same family together. We are equals in Christ.” I think Paul’s remark just about did Onesimus in. I read the biography of John Jasper who was converted as a slave in Richmond Virginia while working in a busy tobacco factory. It happened at a table as he stemmed tobacco. He shouted to the glory of God and it was heard all over the place! When the overseer heard it, he came in with a whip in his hand and asked him what was going on? He explained in his own way that he had just been saved. The foreman told him to go back to work or suffer the consequences of the whip. He did but it wasn’t long before his owner who had heard the outbreak in the factory called John in to talk to him personally. John said, “Mr. Sam asked me what just happened out in the factory.” John said, “When he asked me his voice was soft like and it seemed to have a little song in it which played into my soul like an angel’s harp.” I asked him, “Mr. Sam, have I ever given you any trouble?”

John said, “He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, ‘no John, you never did.’ Then I began crying and said to him, ‘Mr. Sam, ever since the fourth of July I’ve been crying after the Lord. And just now, out there at the table, God took my sins away and set my feet on a rock. I didn’t mean to make no noise, Mr. Sam, but before I knew it the fires broke out in my soul and I just let go one shout to the glory of my Saviour.”

John continues his story: “Mr. Sam was sitting there with his eyes toward the floor and with a quiver in his voice he said very slow, ‘John, I believe that way myself. I love the Saviour that you have just found and want to tell you that I am not complaining about the noise that you just made.’”

“Then Mr. Sam did a thing that nearly made me drop to the floor. He got up out of his chair and walked over to me and gave me his hand and said, ‘John, I wish you mighty well. Your Saviour is mine, and we are brother’s in the Lord now.’ When he said that I turned around and put my arm against the wall and put my fist in my mouth to keep from shouting again!”

“Then as Mr. Sam’s face was raining tears he said, ‘John you needn’t work no more today. I give you a holiday. After you get through telling your story in the factory here, go up to your house and tell your mother. Then go around to your neighbors and tell them. Then go everywhere you want and tell them the good news. It will do you good and it will do them good and will honor your Lord and Saviour.’” And John Jasper took wings and flew for the Saviour until the day of his death. (The biography from which this story is taken is called Rapsody in Black by Richard Ellsworth Day).

I think something like that happened to Onesimus. He was a new man and he was not about to keep it a secret. Next we see,

THE RECOMMENDATION OF PAUL

Paul tells Onesimus that the right thing to do is to go back to Philemon and make things right. Now that advice is received positively by Onesimus which is an indication that a real change has taken place and he has humbled himself under a new authority. I think Onesimus may have said, “Bro. Paul, you know I have been on the run for a long time. I have been dreading the thought of getting caught. Now what you are saying to me seems the very thing I should do. It is a strange feeling that I have, but it is good, and it is right. I will go back.”

Paul says, “I won your master to the Lord just like I have won you. Philemon, your master, recognizes the same authority that you now recognize. I would like to go back with you but as you can see my chains, that is impossible. But I will go with you with a letter. I will ask Philemon to receive you and we will trust the Lord to work in his heart and we will honor his decision.” Next we see,

THE RETURN OF ONESIMUS

How many of us would have returned after a successful escape? Especially, if you were a slave and you were asked to return to your master, from whom you had robbed, and had no way of paying the debt. We know this was true because of what Paul says to Philemon in Philemon 1:18, “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.” Onesimus couldn’t pay. So Paul assumes the responsibility for the debt. This is real life illustration of the grace of God. We had robbed God of His glory and could not pay. Jesus found us and forgave us and sent us with a letter of recommendation to the Father with His request, “Put Earl White’s debt on my account!” Well, Amen!!! Someone hold my mules!

This return speaks of two important things. First, it is a manifestation of the submission of the new convert to the new authority. For a person to claim salvation and then turn around and begin to argue with the authority of the Scriptures is an indication that he did not understand what he was doing when he professed to know Christ. We are not saved, because we departed from God’s authority, and acted independently of Him. Salvation is a return to the authority of the throne! Second, it is an act of faith. Onesimus faced one of the greatest tasks of his life. Go back and face a man who had the power of life and death. He trusted what Paul said (equal to the Word of God; 1 Thess. 2:13) and committed himself to the Lord who was able to work in Philemon’s heart to be merciful to him. Onesimus knew that Paul’s advice was right. He acted in faith and did what was right with a willingness to suffer the consequences of right doing. Then we see,

THE RESTORATION OF ONESIMUS

First, the restoration was spiritual. Every man that is saved is restored to an eternal relationship with God. What Adam lost we recover in Christ and much more. Adam was created as an eternal being with the possibility of a fall. We are recreated in Christ with His eternal life without the possibility of a fall.

I believe Onesimus was also restored to his manhood. There is something about slavery that robs one of his manhood. He is less than a beast. God did not create man to be a slave. Slavery is what has happened to man as a result of the fall. I can’t prove this, but I believe that Philemon no longer looked at Onesimus as a slave. If Onesimus remained with him, and worked for him, he was no longer looked upon as a slave, but as “a faithful and beloved brother” in the Lord. That is GRACE. Grace does not only save but it restores.

What a great lesson we have learned from this humble and genuinely converted brother. I want to sit down and let him fill me in on the rest of the story when I get to heaven. Until then I will wait in faith.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#069 – How the World Sould See the Church

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HOW THE WORLD SHOULD SEE THE CHURCH

Col. 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.”

Paul was very concerned about how outsiders saw the Church. Remember he is talking to the local Church and he is instructing them concerning their conduct with reference to those outside. I believe one would be hard pressed to make the primary application of this passage to those outside the family of God. A local church has a testimony in the community. Many times it is not good. If we do not have an influence with them, how will we reach them with the gospel? First of all, Paul instructs the Colossians on,

HOW TO WALK

The word “walk” translates “peripateo” and means, “to make due use of opportunities, to regulate one’s life.” It is a present active imperative. It is talking about one’s on-going conduct. It is imperative mood which is a command expressing urgency. A tremendous degree of importance needs to be placed on Church members conduct toward those on the outside.

When a Christian is not a good neighbor to those who live near him, it brings reproach on the Church. Sometimes you have children that go beyond the limits of one’s own property and play in and mess up the neighbor’s yard. There is a fuss over it. Now how are you going to reach that person with the message of Christ? The Lord tells us how we are to treat our neighbor. Do we realize that the Bible is a practical book and one that does not just tell us about heaven and how to get there? You say, “Well, my neighbor is not going to run over me.” If you are not willing to suffer abuse, you will not live the Christian life. You are not going to find life to be fare. You’ll have to wait until you get to heaven. But in the meantime, the One who died for you needs followers who have His interest in mind who are willing to allow Him to live His life again on this earth through you.

Paul says, “walk in wisdom toward them that are without.” The word “wisdom” translates “sophia” and means, “the right application of knowledge to any given situation.” Let’s note the following about wisdom:

1.            Wisdom is a gift of God to the inward man; Psalms 51:6, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”

2.            It can be obtained in answer to prayer; James 1:5-6, “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.” The first step in getting wisdom is to recognize a lack. He says, “If any man lack wisdom.” The second step is to ask in faith, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally . . . but let him ask in faith nothing wavering.”

3.            Wisdom will affect how you talk. Psalms 49:3, “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”

4.            The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;  Psalms 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

5.            Fools despise wisdom;  Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
6.            God places a high price on wisdom;  Proverbs 8:11, “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”

7.            Wisdom is more likely to be found with the humble;  Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”

8.            The unwise think nothing of having a good time at the expense of another; Proverbs 15:21, “Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.” The word “folly” means “foolishness.”

These are just a few things that help us to understand what Paul is talking about when he uses the word “wisdom.”

The word “toward” translates “pros” and means, “to the advantage of.” The wisdom that God gives the believer is how to conduct himself to the advantage of those without. The believer should never compromise to win the unsaved. But if he will practice New Testament truths in his daily conduct God will use it to break down barriers that people have built against the Church. Now if you go out and impose your convictions upon an unsaved world you will discover that you will have NO INFLUENCE with them. If you go out and quietly live out your convictions without any criticism for those who do not believe the same way, it will give opportunity to witness. I believe Paul is saying that it is easier to win an admirer than it is someone who thinks you are a nut because all you can do is criticize. Paul says that we need to use wisdom to the advantage of those without.

The word “without” translates “exo” and means, “out of doors.” This same word is found in  1 Corinthians 5:12-13, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” This verse is talking about “within” and “without” the local Church.

Many Churches have terrible influence. I remember one time witnessing to a grocery store owner in a small town. I had a real problem because I had members in my membership that did not pay their bills. They owed him money and wouldn’t pay. There are times when this happens the Church could just go pay the bill for the person. Maybe it is a hardship case and the man is doing all he can. But the fact is the unsaved world doesn’t understand a Christian who says he will pay and won’t for whatever reason. Then there are other times when the man could pay and won’t. The local church should confront that man and inform him that his conduct outside the church is improper and he will either change it or suffer discipline. And the person he owes needs to know about the action of the church so that he will know that this man’s conduct is not endorsed by the church. Paul is concerned how we act toward those who are without.

The words “redeeming the time” means “to make the most of every opportunity.” We need to live our lives out in a way they will count for Christ. I think it is sad when a person has been saved for years and on his death bed he begins to witness to everyone who comes in the room. But if you will check his service-record you will find that he is not regular in Church, does not support the church, and never witnesses to the unsaved. When his unsaved friends come to visit him on his death bed, they are very surprised that he is talking about “religion” as they call it. It is not what they have been used to hearing from him. I am very thankful that a person can get right with God on his death bed. That magnifies the grace of God. I’m not taking anything away from that. But wouldn’t it be better if the man who has been saved for years would have taken advantage of every opportunity to witness before this time in his life? I would surely rather meet the Lord after a life of witnessing. If you read these lines and you are in such a case as I am describing. God bless you. You cannot undo the past. God is good and will forgive your disinterest in His work and will restore you at this very point. Give it your best shot in the remainder of your time. Who knows, you may do more good in the next few days than others have in a life time. God’s grace is great. Next Paul instructs the Colossians on,

HOW TO TALK

Words are important. Harsh words spoken in anger have lingered in the memory of people for a lifetime. Paul says words are important. He says, “Let your speech be alway with grace . . .” The word “speech” means a word uttered by a living voice. The word “seasoned” is the first verb in the sentence. The word “Let” is an appeal for a decision. The language you use is a choice. So many Christians make a bad choice. Their language is course and blasphemous. What do the unsaved think when they hear someone who claims to be following Jesus use this kind of language?

The word “alway” translates “pantote” and means, “at all times, always, ever.” This means that the kind of speech that Paul is talking about here is the rule. This Christian shouldn’t have a Church language and a work language. Christians need a good godly vocabulary. I have to admit when I am frustrated and angered by something that the language that I used to use wants to come out. If it does, I have violated this verse. It is a sin that must be confessed. You don’t just say, “excuse my French.” That is not God’s way. I can just imagine someone asking, “Do you mean that the Lord tells us how to talk?” That is exactly what this verbally inspired verse of Scripture is saying. And if you have a problem with it, I want to encourage you to read and reread this portion of the meditation and open your Bible to this verse and ask the Lord to show you the truth.

Paul says, “Let your speech be alway with grace . . .” What does the word “grace” mean? The word “grace” translates “charis” and means, “that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.” You say, “I just tell it like it is. I don’t beat around the bush. That’s just how I am.” Well, the One who died for you is asking you to change. He didn’t write this verse for you to ignore. Do you love Him? Jesus says in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Then again in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” We just need to get our love life straightened out with Jesus. We need to realize that He can and will make new people out of us if we are willing. I need to ask myself, “Does my speech afford joy and pleasure to those who hear?” Hey, I’m not talking down to you. I am getting older and the older you get the grouchier you have a tendency to become. Everything hurts! And you just can’t get people to behave like you want them to! But we are here to serve the LORD CHRIST no matter what age we are or background we have.

Paul says, “seasoned with salt.” The word “seasoned” translates “artuo” and means, “to season, make savory.” Salt makes a big difference in the taste of things. I believe that the “salt” here is speaking about the conduct of the Christian that is being lived in such a way as to make the Christian life have a good flavor. Godly living that does not condemn others (Jesus didn’t come to condemn; John 3:17) leaves a very good taste in the mouth of the unbeliever without.

The words “that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” suggest that if your life and speech are right, that you will know how to answer every man in every situation. The words “that ye may know” translates “eido” and means, “to see with the eyes.” It also means, “perceive by any of the senses.” It is a perfect infinitive. This means that at the point of need, if you do what Paul says, you will have learned and will know at the time how to answer every man. The word “ought” means there is a right way to answer and it is an obligation. The words “to answer” translates “apokrinomai” and means, “to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer.” There are a lot of questions that plague the human race. We as Christians have the Bible which gives answer. The secret of being able to answer is to WALK correctly and TALK correctly in life.

May the Lord incarnate these very truths in our lives.

God bless you.

In Christ
Earl White

#068 – The Second Touch [Rerun]

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THE SECOND TOUCH
Mark 8:22-26  “And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

Mark is the only writer of the four gospels that records this story. Mark records this healing as taking place in two stages. This provides a clue in the spiritual lesson it teaches.

Conversion is not a growth process. It takes place instantly at the point of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ:  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). No man is ever saved that is not brought to the place of repentance, through the preaching of the Word in some form (it may be in printed form, i.e., like a tract), and convicted by the Holy Spirit. But when we trust in the grace of Christ to save, salvation takes place on the spot.
Initial salvation is not a growth process. One is either converted or unconverted. But our comprehension of what He does for us when He saves us is a growth process. So there is a good lesson in the second touch.

When a person is first saved he immediately begins to see things that he never saw before; the first touch of salvation brings this about. However, every new believer needs a second touch. The second touch brings spiritual things into plain view. We must learn to walk by faith because the Word of God is addressed to faith. The newly saved person looks at the Scriptures and they seem to dimly reveal the will of God. But the second touch will bring them into plain view.
Most of us need a second touch. We read the Scriptures with a 20/60 vision. O Lord give us that second touch that we might behold the things that are ours with a perfect vision.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts today!

In Christ
Bro. White

#067 – When God Withdraws His Offer

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WHEN GOD WITHDRAWS HIS OFFER

Genesis 6:1 3 “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

God’s offer to Adam and Eve followed the exposure of their sin.  Before salvation comes to any man there must be an exposure of sin.  God says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Next, God makes a promise that will make a way for man’s return to God.  That is found in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This is the first promise of the coming of Christ to be the Saviour.  When He comes God says, “it shall bruise thy (Satan’s) head, and thou shalt bruise his (Messiah’s) heel.” This took place at the cross.

The next thing God does in Genesis 3 is to illustrate the gospel.  The innocent must die to pay (in type) for man’s sins, and furnish clothes to cover man’s nakedness. Genesis 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Revelation 7:14 says, “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Adam’s sons as a whole did not follow the Lord.  Cain killed Abel and it was a religious crime.  God accepted Abel’s blood sacrifice and rejected Cain’s bloodless sacrifice.  Cain was given a chance of repentance and he refused and became an enemy of God. To reveal his hatred for God, he killed Abel because he was right and approached God in the right way.  Then there was—

A POPULATION EXPLOSION

The population explosion involved a rebellion against God.  God describes the condition in Genesis 6:5 7, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

THE STRIVING OF GOD’S SPIRIT WITH A REBELLIOUS PEOPLE

God says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man. . .” Christ, as God, had by His Spirit inspired Enoch, Noah, and perhaps other prophets (#1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5 Jude 1:14), preached repentance to the antediluvians; but they were incorrigible.

The striving of God’s Spirit is a grace call to forgiveness and salvation.  Man cannot be saved until this happens.  Jesus said in John 6:65, “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”

The striving of God’s Spirit reveals God’s love and His willingness to save.  However, when God deals with a man over and over again and that man continues to reject His Creator, God will cease to strive with that man.

Can a man be saved after God ceases to strive with him?  The answer is in the sixth chapter of Genesis.  There came a time when God loaded the ark and shut the door.  No one after (and probably before that time) could be saved.  One does not come when he wants to.  He comes when God invites him through the preaching of the gospel.

We are living in those kinds of times today.  You hear God’s name mentioned in every quarter today.  It is men and women working at their jobs and expressing their frustration by using God’s name in vain.  Many of them may have already crossed the line of God’s mercy.

Then God’s name is used in the pulpit without any reverence and without faith to believe that there is power in that Name.  God has been put to the side by men of earth.  It has also affected the saints.  Many who claim to know the Lord use His name irreverently.

THE STRIVING OF GOD’S SPIRIT HAS A DEAD LINE

God says, “Yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Noah built the ark and preached and the one’s he won to faith in Christ were his wife, three sons, and their wives.  They would ride out the storm.  They would hear the screams of those with whom God had ceased to strive.  They will all go down into the tomb of a timeless eternity to cry out for mercy when it is too late.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro.  White

#066 – Joy that Remains

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THE JOY THAT REMAINS

John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

God puts a hunger in the heart of His child for Himself. It can be ignored, it can be quenched, or it can be drowned in a busy life of service. But if we are saved it is there. Paul said in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We can always be sure that God will do His work. If it is God’s work to work in us to do His will, then all God’s children have this work done in them. If that work does not appear to be happening, it is not because it is not being done. It is because God’s child is not responding.

Jesus says, “these things have I spoken . . .” The things of which He speaks are the things just said. It is the parable of the vine and branch. There are so many lessons there. One of them is the relationship between the vine and branch. There is no life for the branch apart from the vine. Yet many times believers get caught up in the things of the world and become totally disassociated in their minds from Jesus, the Vine. It is not that they are not connected. The connection is eternal. But the faith that makes the connection a reality to the experience is being hindered by something. Is that relationship being ignored? Is it being quenched? Is it being drowned in a busy life of service? We need to stop and go back and consider the things that Jesus spoke.

Jesus says, “these things have I spoken unto you . . .” Who did Jesus speak these words to? To His disciples. They were not spoken to the unsaved. This passage is not speaking of obtaining salvation. It is speaking of the relationship of a believer to Jesus. Those disciples had settled the issue of salvation with one exception, Judas. Judas was a professed believer but Jesus exposes him as an unbeliever (John 6:64). But the others were true disciples. Jesus is addressing true believers when He says, “Abide in me, and I in you.” He is addressing true believers when He says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” The branch is simply of the Vine. It is of the same nature as the Vine and an extension of it. The believer is a partaker of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Jesus says, “these things have I spoken.” The verb here is a perfect active indicative. The perfect tense means that they have been spoken and they stand as truth at the time I am speaking to you right now. And that perfect tense means that they are as true for us living today as they were then. There are some things that Jesus said and did that belonged to His day. But many of the things Jesus said belong to the AGES. The promises are as true today as they were then. Jesus said, “I have given you this truth. It is for you.”

Why did Jesus speak these words? Why is He reminding them of what He has spoken? He says, “that my joy might remain in you . . .” The word “joy” means “gladness.” It is from a root word that means, “to rejoice exceedingly.” Jesus is saying that this joy is my experience. Jesus is saying, “This is my joy and I want you to have what I have.” Some have said that Jesus never laughed. Well, He was not a stand up comic. However, you can’t have the kind of joy that this WORD describes without smiling or without laughing. I believe if you were to describe the emotion of Jesus the word “sober” would best describe Him. But to say He never expressed the joy of which He speaks is to set this verse aside. Jesus had joy in the midst of a serious task. In fact, as serious as His redemptive work was on this earth, He never lost this joy. Jesus wanted His disciples to have His joy that would remain in the midst of trial and tribulation.

The words “might remain” translate “meno” and means, “to abide.” It is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The aorist tense is a snap shot of the believer’s whole life. The subjunctive mood means that it is possible. It is possible for a believer to have His joy through the whole of his life.

Then Jesus added, “and that your joy might be full.”  This is where the joy of Jesus becomes the experience of the believer. The words “might be full” translate “pleroo” and means, “to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally.” It is an aorist passive subjunctive verb. The aorist tense speaks of a point of time. This refers to the point of time that they by faith would enter into the truths of which He spoke in this chapter up to this point. The subjunctive mood is potential and means that it is possible and desirable for them to experience this joy. It is there for them. The passive voice means that it will happen to them. We get His joy in the process of abiding in Him. If you seek joy it may always be out of your reach. If you abide in Him, it will find you. Amen! It is His will that His joy become yours. It is available. We must enter into it by making His business ours like He made the Father’s business His.

Millie Stamm, in her devotional book, Be Still and Know, commented on this verse, “This same joy is possible for us today. From a vital union with Christ comes real joy for our lives—His joy—for He is its source. He said, ‘ . . .  that MY JOY might remain IN YOU.’ It is a supernatural joy produced in us by the Holy Spirit. We try to find joy in what we have or what we do, but real joy comes from constant abiding in the Lord.”

I will close this meditation with an old puritan’s prayer and his prayer is truly mine.

LORD JESUS,

I am blind, be thou my light,
ignorant, be thou my wisdom,
self-willed be thou my mind.
Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit’s voice,
and delightfully run after his beckoning hand,
Melt my conscience that no hardness remain,
make it alive to evil’s slightest touch;
When Satan approaches may I flee to thy wounds,
and there cease to tremble at all alarms.
Be my good shepherd to lead me into the green pastures of thy Word,
and cause me to lie down beside the rivers of its comforts.
Fill me with peace, that no disquieting worldly gales
may ruffle the calm surface of my soul.
Thy cross was upraised to be my refuge,
Thy blood streamed forth to wash me clean,
Thy death occurred to give me a surety,
Thy name is my property to save me,
By thee all heaven is poured into my heart,
but it is too narrow to comprehend thy love.
I was a stranger, an outcast, a slave, a rebel,
but thy cross has brought me near,
has softened my heart,
has made me thy Father’s child,
has admitted me to thy family,
has made me joint-heir with thyself.
O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,
that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,
that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.
May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,
and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,
for unless he move mightily in me
no inward fire will be kindled.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro. White

#065 – An Interview with John the Baptist about Jesus

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AN INTERVIEW WITH JOHN THE BAPTIST ABOUT JESUS John 3:22-36 “After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” There was a time when John’s ministry and the ministry of Christ were running at the same time. This is what this passage describes. When this takes place comparisons are normally made. This is what is happening on this occasion. On this occasion, we have an interview with John about his ministry in relationship to Jesus. In Matthew 11:1-19 Jesus comments on John. In this passage we have John’s comments on Jesus and His ministry. The question arose about “purifying” (verse 25). This is a definite reference to baptism. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown in their commentary say, “The symbolical meaning of washing with water being put (as in ch. 2:6) for the act itself. As John and Jesus were the only teachers who baptized Jews, discussions might easily arise between the Baptist’s disciples and such Jews as declined to submit to that rite.” This is what caused the question to arise. Verse 26 says, “And they came unto John . . .” and informed him that Jesus was baptizing more converts than him. Who are the “they?” It does not seem to be a private meeting between John and his disciples. The “they” probably refers to John’s disciples and the Jews of verse 25 and they were going to let John settle the question. The first thing that comes out of John’s mouth is, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” A lot of these guys who think the great crowds who come to hear them preach need to see if this verse is in their Bibles. If it isn’t, they need to borrow an authentic Bible and let this verse take them off their pedestal. Now I know that is not nice. John is saying “My ministry is given from heaven. I can’t make it larger. God gave me something to do and I am doing it. And I am not threatened by His greater ministry.” John said, “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom . . .” John is saying, “Jesus is the Bridegroom and I am only a friend.” The friend is not supposed to be the attention getter. John says, “As the friend of the Bridegroom, I have great joy and not jealousy.” These are the words of true humility. Jesus said of John, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matt. 11:11). Jesus is the only One who had the right to make a comparison like this. There is no doubt that John’s humility was a major factor in his greatness. You are never intimidated in the presence of true humility. The humble man will always make you feel that he is your servant and not your master. John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The word “increase” (auxano) is used of the growth of plant or growth in grace.” We know that Jesus as God cannot grow. But as a Man, and in popularity, He could and did. It is a present active infinitive which means John is saying “as we speak He is increasing.” The word “decrease” (elattoo) means “to make less or inferior: in dignity, or, authority.” It is a present passive infinitive. The present tense means John’s ministry was in the process right then of decreasing. The passive voice means that this is happening by the power of God because this is the way God has chosen for it to happen. It is not the middle voice which would suggest John’s ministry was dying out of itself. It is hard for the modern man to accept the principle that John’s decrease was ordered of God and therefore His will. We are so success oriented that we may be blind to this. John is saying this is the way Heaven has so ordered and I am thrilled at what is going on. Next lets notice John’s reasoning: “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” John knew where he was from, i.e., this world. He knew where Jesus is from, “he that cometh from above is above all. . .” John says, “I am not even in the running by way of comparison with Jesus.” Then he adds, “and no one else is.” The words “above all” mean what they say. Next notice two things. First, John says Jesus knows what He is talking about because of where he came from. And John is saying that He is speaking with authority as a personal witness to what He has seen and heard. He speaks of heavenly things “and no man receiveth his testimony.” Second, he says, “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.” Now let me state this so that we will understand it. If you believe what Jesus says you are saying “I believe what God has said because what Jesus is saying is what God is saying.” If you do not believe what Jesus says you are saying, “God is a liar.” John says, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). Then John makes another important statement: “ . . . for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” The Holy Spirit is the power of any work of God including the ministry of Jesus. Every Christian has a measure of the Spirit in this sense. I’m not talking about dividing the Holy Spirit in to small portions or larger portions. He is a Person and you either have all of Him or none of Him. John’s ministry had a limit on it. It had reached its limit and was at the time on its way down. With Jesus it was different. God had given the Spirit without measure to Christ. He could raise the dead, cleanse the leper, command winds and calm seas. Jesus was not limited on the God side of His ministry. He was only limited by unbelief from man. Here is the testimony of John the Baptist concerning what it takes to be saved: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (verse 36). John believed that Jesus was the Son (the only begotten Son of God). And he believed and taught his followers that salvation was by faith in Jesus. One other thing in closing. John taught that when you believe in Jesus you get everlasting life now. It is not pie in the sky by and by, it is salvation that you can know you have while you are still alive on this earth so that you can know where you are going when you depart this earthly life. The word “hath” is a present active indicative verb. It means he keeps on having everlasting life in the present. If this everlasting life ever ceases to be, it was not everlasting. Amen! This truth was the result of an interview with John. May the Lord bless each of you. In Christ Bro. White

#064 – Sowing and Reaping

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SOWING AND REAPING

Gal. 6:7-9  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

There are many different things from nature that the Lord uses in His word to illustrate spiritual things. Here Paul uses the farmers work of sowing and reaping. Everyone would understand this. So it is with our spiritual lives. We sow to the flesh and we reap what the flesh produces. We sow to the Spirit and we will reap what is produced by the Spirit. As we view this passage, let’s see first of all Paul’s,

WARNING ABOUT SELF DECEPTION
It is truly possible to deceive ourselves. This is one of the things mention that will happen in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:13 says, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Someone has said that if a person lies often enough he will begin to believe his own lies.
We as Christians are to walk in truth. We must see ourselves as we really are and build a backlog of truth to expose lies. Proverbs 3:5 7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” These are good verses for us to memorize and call to mind when information comes to the staging area of our minds. We should work through information and sort it out with the Word of God. This way we will walk in truth and will not be controlled by the lies of false teachers or our own wrong reasoning.
The words “Be not deceived” translate “planao” and means, “to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way, to go astray, wander, roam about.” It is a present passive imperative verb. The present tense means that Paul is calling for immediate action. The passive voice means that they are not to allow false information to deceive them. The imperative mood is a command expressing urgency. Paul is using Apostolic authority here. There have been many Christians who made ship wreck of their faith because they listened to the wrong people and allowed themselves to be led astray. God holds us responsible for allowing someone to lead us astray.
Paul says, “God is not mocked.” This word means, “to turn up the nose or sneer at, to mock, deride.” Sometimes a child might turn up the nose or sneer at a parent who set some guidelines that are not agreeable to the child. The child may turn up the nose at the rules and break them when the parent is not aware. But this can never happen with God. God sees all and will bring into account. No one will escape the all seeing eye of God.

GOD DOESN’T MISS ANYTHING
Paul says, “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” One cannot sow disrespect and reap respect. One cannot sow disobedience and reap obedience. God judges the heart as well as the action. Someone might say, “Well, I really didn’t know that this matter was as serious as it was.” That might make some weight in a human court but not with God. God knows how much we understand and knows when we willingly act in disobedience. God doesn’t miss a thing.
Paul is using a simple illustration that all will understand. When you sow wheat you do not prepare for a harvest of corn. That would be silly on the human scene. It is just as silly to think things are going to turn out right when we sow a sinful life and think that everything is going to turn out right in the time of harvest.

THE TWO FIELDS FOR SOWING
This is brought out in Galatians 6:8, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
The flesh is put for the old man. It is what Adam became when he sinned in the garden of Eden. It is that fallen nature that is incapable of doing good. It is also passed on by Adam to the entire human race. Man inherits an adamic nature called the flesh. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
This verse teaches that man is not a sinner because he sins but he sins because he is a sinner. It is man’s nature to sin. God did not create him thus. God created man in His own image but with a will so he could choose. Many yielded to the temptation of Satan and died spiritually on the spot and flesh became his nature. Paul said in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
Again Paul said in Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” When one is saved, he is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. He is a new creature created in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17).
So man can sow to the flesh and if he does the result is corruption. Or, he can sow to the Spirit and if he does the result is life everlasting.
Galatians 5:16, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

WAITING FOR THE HARVEST
Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Some times it is difficult for one to continually do right when it seems that nothing good ever comes from it. The fact is that there are no crop failures with God. Every good seed will render a harvest. We had a preacher come to our church one time to preach a series of meetings. Every once in a while he would stop and say, “Will it be alright if the Lord waits to give you your reward for what you do for Him until the judgment seat of Christ?
That really emphasized a point that I needed made. The most of our rewards are going to be at the judgment seat of Christ. So it is wrong for us to think immediate planting will bring an immediate harvest.
Hebrews 10:36 39, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” The idea in these verses is that there is a difference in time when we do the will of God and that we are rewarded for doing that will.
Now look at these verses. There is a contrast between those who do the will of God and exercise patience in receiving the promise. Then it says, “Now the just shall live by faith: But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. So the contrast is not between those who wait and don’t wait. It is between those who wait and see the harvest and the others who also have genuine faith who are a little more exercised in the process of waiting. But they are not of them who draw back to perdition but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.  Every seed that is sown in the work of the Lord will bring up a harvest.
Sometimes the most difficult thing the sower does is wait for the harvest. Especially when the guy over in the next field is reaping almost as soon as he sows. Just remember, If you sow, you will reap. Let the Lord of the Harvest determine the time. You will be amply rewarded for your faithfulness to sow.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro. White

#063 – Little Foxes

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LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINES

Song of Sol.  +2:15  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”
This is an invitation by the Shulamite for her attendants to help her get rid of the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines . . .There are tender grapes and they will be ruined by the little foxes.

A lot of the commentaries say that the foxes are the false teachers that come in to the vineyard and spoil the fines. That certainly may be true. False teachers cannot take away the salvation of a truly born again believer. But they can be major hindrances to fruitfulness in the Christian’s life. Satan’s primary purpose is to keep the unsaved in that condition until they die. The next is to keep the true Christian from being fruitful and productive after he is saved. Heresy on the part of false teachers is one of the ways Satan does this. So the commentaries may be right on this point.
However, for the purpose of this meditation I would like for us to see the vineyard as God’s present kingdom, i.e., the place of fruitfulness. Then let’s look at the Shulamite as a type of the Church who has a responsibility to watch the vineyard for the foxes that spoil the vines. Then let’s consider that the foxes are those things that hinder the maturity of the fruit.
The Church has been sent by the Lord into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. Out task is fruit bearing in His vineyard (John 15). There are “foxes, little foxes, that spoil the vines” that need to be taken care of. These foxes may seem little but they spoil the vines. If they spoil the vine and hinder the growth of the tender grapes they become major hindrances.
The tender grapes are grapes in their beginning. So we are talking about a true believer that is growing and in the beginning stages of fruit bearing. His fruit is being threatened by the “little foxes.” What are the little foxes? I want to suggest that they are the things that hinder growth in the Christian life. Let’s look at some of those “little foxes” that need to be driven out of the vineyard. I want to give names to seven of these little foxes:

THE LITTLE FOX OF SELF PITY
1.    One of the biggest little foxes for me is self-pity. This puts me in despair the quickest of any attitude that I can adopt.
2.    The person of self-pity always interprets the Bible in the light of himself. There are two good illustrations of self-pity in Scripture. Elijah; 1 Kings 19; Jonah; Jonah 4.
3.    The person with self-pity always thinks discussing it with others will help. It turns into what we call a pity-party at this point.
4.    Until you are willing to get your eyes off self and focus them on Christ, your fruit bearing will be hindered. The young grapes will never develop.
5.    This is a “little fox” but it spoils the vine. It may not seem big to you but if it spoils the vine, it is big.

THE LITTLE FOX OF TOLERATED SIN
1.    Tolerated sin spoils the whole life.
This principle is brought out in 1 Cor. 5:6: “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” This is referring to sin tolerated in the church. See also Gal. 5:9.
2.    Tolerated sin grieves the Holy Spirit; Eph. 4:29-31: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

THE LITTLE FOX WRONG COMPANIONSHIP
1.    Wrong company can spoil the vine and destroy fruitfulness;  1 Cor. 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” The word “communications” translates “homilia” and means, “keeping company with and talking to the wrong people.”
2.    I have seen lit. hundreds of people over the years, both adult and young people, begin their journey to a life of unfruitfulness when they started keeping company with the wrong people.
3.    Recently I was sitting in my church with my wife. I noticed a couple of teenagers sitting together and I leaned over and said to my wife, “Have you notice how a couple of dingbats are drawn together.” She leaned over to me and said, “I have known that for almost 65 years (we will be married 65 years in November.) I said to myself, “I guess I’ll never learn who to talk to!”
4.    I have observed over the years that carnal Christians find one another in the church. They find one another in the schools. They find one another where ever they go. Why does this happen? Well if someone is sold out to the Lord, fellowship with them convicts you of your carnality. We have to maintain our comfort zone.

THE LITTLE FOX OF SELFISHNESS
1.    A selfish person is a very insecure person. They are self centered and money and things become their security.
2.    When you talk to them about giving, they are threatened.
There is the selfish person who tithes because he is afraid not to. He fears God but does not really trust Him. The way you can tell this person is if he makes $399.25 he tithes $39.92. He usually rounds it of in his favor!
They will find every excuse to avoid giving any more than a tithe. They avoid faith-promise mission conferences unless they are trying to fake it and make people think they give above the tithe.

THE LITTLE FOX OF BITTERNESS
1.    Bitterness is easy to occur in a Christian.
It is a characteristic of an unsaved person:  Romans 3:14 says, “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
It can happen to a Christian: Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.”
2.    Bitterness in anyone spoils the others that they are around;  Hebrews 1 +2:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
3.    Bitterness spoils the vines in the Lord’s vineyard and hinders fruit bearing.

THE LITTLE FOX OF A CRITICAL SPIRIT
1.    The Corinthian Church was warned about this: 1 Cor. 10:10 says, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
2.    There are some people who will always find something to criticize in anything.
You better watch what you say around them because if they get in trouble over their critical ways they will bring you into it. They will say you agree with them.
A trouble-making woman once told John Wesley, “God has given me the talent of speaking my mind.” Mr. Wesley snapped back, “God wouldn’t mind if you buried that talent.”

THE LITTLE FOX OF UNBELIEF
1.    Unbelief was the major problem with the Lord’s disciples.
Matthew 6:30 says, “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
Matthew 8:26 says,  “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
Matthew 14:31 says, “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Luke 17:5 says, “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”
2.    Unbelief is a constant temptation for the believer. It is a struggle against our own rationalism. It never is easy. But God wants us to trust Him even when it seems unreasonable to do so.

THE LITTLE FOX OF THE UNSURRENDERED LIFE
1.    The life of service is a life of surrender. We have to surrender our preconceived ideas. We have to surrender our plans and accept His plans for our life.
2.    It is possible to surrender and then take it back again. Demas did this: Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:10: “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world . . .”
3.    Have you surrendered you body a living sacrifice? Rom. 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
There are little foxes that spoil the vines. Are the foxes spoiling the vines of fruitfulness in your life? It is a question that we need to ask ourselves.

May the Lord bless these words you our hearts.
In Christ
Bro. White

#062 – In the Heavenlies – [Rerun]

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I have the flu and am severely congested.  I could not subject you to a recording full of snorting and hacking.  I have decided to post a previous episode that originally aired on  December 7, 2013 as episode number twenty-six.
I hope you have a great Sunday!
Missionary Joe Consford

IN THE HEAVENLIES
Eph. 2:6 “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

This morning meditation is being prepared based on chapter 18 in a book by Guy King entitled “Brought In.” Guy King was a Keswick speaker and a great expositor of Scripture. I do not know if this book is still in print. The publisher was originally Marshall, Morgan & Scott, LTD. London. It is a book written on the positive side of the Christian experience. It has 19 chapters in it based on the preposition “In”, i.e., In the Family, In the Book, In the Body, etc.

The word “heavenly places” (epouranios) is “heavenlies” in the Greek. The word “places” is in italics which means that it is added to complete the sense. It is not a translation of a Greek word. The Bible talks about three heavens. Guy King mentions these. He says, “(1) the Atmospheric—the air envelope that surrounds us, including the stellar spaces; (2) The Intermediate—the abode of the devil and his angels, through which must be forced our passage to (3) the ‘far above’ region to which the Ephesian verses refers.”

The heavenlies of which our verse refers is a place of the Christian’s supply. This is brought out in Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” The words “hath blessed” is an aorist active participle. The aorist tense refers to a once-for-all action that has already taken place. So the “heavenlies” is the heavenly superstore where all our supplies are found.  Guy King says, “There are situate the mighty, inexhaustible reservoirs of Divine supplies; the ‘boundless stores of grace,’ of which we sing so hopefully.” He cites Philippians +4:19 as a demonstration of this truth and emphasizes “His riches in glory” by Christ Jesus. There is in the heavenlies the blessing of power. We talk about our need of power. And we should. But after we talk of our need of power we study and employ human methods to accomplish God’s work. Should we give God the credit for work accomplished using human methods? I really don’t think he wants it. The unsaved down the street accomplish the same thing using these methods and those using these methods don’t even believe in God. Our power supply is in the heavenlies and it is there for us in Christ. It has been placed there on deposit for us. It is a gift: “Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.”
The blessing of peace is also there. John +14:27 says:  “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 is his peace and he bequeathed it to us in His Last Will and Testament. It is there for faith to claim. There are many other things that could be added to the list, i.e., the blessing of purpose, patience, and plenty, etc.
The heavenlies is also a place of exaltation. Ephesians 1:20 says, “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,” Here we have the same word. Jesus said in preparation for his departure to the heavenlies, “It is expedient for you that I go away . . .” (John 16:7). And this is where he went. It was and is the place of exaltation. We have the decent and ascent recorded in Philippians 2:6-11. He “made himself of no reputation”, he “took upon him the form of a servant”, he “was made in the likeness of men”, he “humbled himself and became obedient unto death”, then the road takes a turn upward, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him”, and the Father has “given him a name which is above every name”, and the Father has determined “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” and in the end, “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” We have gone a full cycle. The heavenlies is the place of exaltation.
The heavenlies is a place of demonstration. Ephesians 3:10 says, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” Learning is going on in the heavenlies of which this verse speaks. The word “intent” reveals a purpose. The word “now” speaks of this Church age. The “principalities and powers in heavenly places” describe the class of learners. The words “be known by the church” are either setting forth the church as the teacher or the one through whom the manifold wisdom of God is revealed with God as the Teacher. Either way God is demonstrating his wisdom in the redemption of man through Jesus Christ.
The heavenlies is the place of warfare. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The words “high places” is the same word and means “heavenlies.” This is Satan’s domain. Ephesians 2:2 calls him, “the prince of the power of the air.” When Jesus was exalted, he had to pass through this realm: Ephesians 1:19-22: “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,”
Prayer is spiritual warfare in which Satan and those described in this passage are the enemy. I think it is safe to say that any prayer that gets an answer will have to travel through Satan’s realm and obtain the blessing and return. This is the reason for the armor mentioned here. All of this armor is the armor of the grace of Christ. There is no human merit in this list of armor. When righteousness is spoken of it is his righteousness. When faith is spoken of it is his faith. And on down the list. Satan has no problem defeating us in our own righteousness, our own faith, etc. It would be like an ant grabbing an elephant by the leg and trying to perform martial arts. The heavenlies is the place of spiritual warfare.

The heavenlies is the place of Identification. Ephesians 1:6 says, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” We are in two places at once. This clears up Romans 8:30: “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The word “glorified” is an aorist active indicative verb. It has already taken place in a once-for-all act. The aorist tense is a point of time divorced from time and perpetuated forever. Just a statement in closing. Before a saved person could be lost, he would have to be unglorified! We are so identified with Christ in his ascension right now that John says in 1 John 4:17 “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”

May the Lord bless you.
In Christ
Bro. White

#061 – The Confusion of Tongues

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THE CONFUSION OF TONGUES

Genesis 11:1 9 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

God will allow man to go so far and then He pulls in the reins and says, “That is as far as you are going.”
After the flood men began again to multiply on the face of the earth.  The earth was filled with corruption and rebellion against God.  The character that stands out in this story is Nimrod.  We have this recorded in Genesis 10:8 9, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” Nimrod is probably a type of the antichrist.  He got the people together to build the tower of Babel.  He was the ruler and he did it by his might.  The reason for the tower was two-fold.  First it was to build something high enough that God could not destroy them with another flood.  God had already said He would not destroy the world by water again.  But Nimrod was an unbeliever and God’s promise meant nothing to him.
The second reason was to have something that would keep the world population in one place so that he (Nimrod) could rule over them. Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This was God’s commission to man.  He was to “replenish” the earth.  Nimrod said no.  He said, “We will build a tower into the heavens and we will stay together and I will rule over them.”

THE LORD SAW WHAT WAS BEING DONE
They were determined to make themselves a name; Genesis 11:4, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.  All of this was done in rejection of the instructions that God had given the human race through Adam.
Man is still attempting to make himself a name.  And instead of building a tower we have built a machine that will take people into the heavens.  So far we have gone to the moon.  Nimrod intended to build a tower into the heavens.  Today’s scientist intend to build a machine with the same goal in mind.

WHAT GOD SAID
Genesis 11:5 6, “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
There is a statement God makes here that is very important.  God said, “. . . and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” This statement as a young preacher motivated me to say man will make it to the moon if God permits.  Man made in the image of God is capable of doing more than one might think.

WHAT GOD DID
Genesis 11:5, “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” Genesis 11:7, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” This was God’s plan and it definitely worked.

THE TRINITY AT WORK
Genesis 11:7, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
God is One God but is manifest in three persons.  All three are engaged in salvation of the believer.

THE SUCCESS OF GOD’S ACTION
Genesis 11:8 9, “So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
The confusion of tongues did it.  The confusion of tongues, including the tongues movement today, is a means man is using to try to reunite the human race.  It will never be done until Jesus comes.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro.  White

#060 – The Woman with the Incurable Disease

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THE WOMAN WITH THE INCURABLE DISEASE

Mark 5:25-34 “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, “And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”

The healing of this nameless woman is recorded in three of the Gospels. Herbert Lockyer says, “This sick, anonymous woman must have been emaciated after a hemorrhage lasting twelve years, which rendered her legally unclean. She could not throw herself, therefore, at the feet of Christ and state her complaint. Her modesty, humility, uncleanness and pressure of the crowd made close contact well-nigh impossible, hence her eagerness to touch in some unnoticed way the hem of His garments. Who was this woman of faith? The primitive church, feeling she was entitled to a name, called her Veronica, who lived in Caesarea Philippi, but in the gospels she in enrolled in the list of anonymous female divines.”

Lockyer also says she has a place in Legend and tells this: “It is said that this woman who was healed of her plague walked with Jesus as He went to His cross, and that seeing His blood and sweat, she drew out her handkerchief and wiped His brow. Later on, as she reverently caressed the piece of linen, she found the image of the blood-stained face of Jesus imprinted on it. Face cloths for the Roman catacombs alleged to hold the impress of his features where called Veronicas. About A.D. 320, Eusebius Bishop of Caesarea and a dependable historian records that when he visited Caesarea Philippi, he heard that the woman healed of her issue of blood out of gratitude for her cure had erected two brazen figures at the gate of her house, one representing a woman bending on her knee in supplication—the other, fashioned in the likeness of Jesus, holding out His hand to help her.” Eusebius claims to have seen this with his own eyes.

We do know she is not named in the Scripture and her story was a popular study in the early church. I will follow a simple outline in comments on this event:

HER CONDITION

Mark says she “had an issue of blood twelve years.” The word “issue” translates “rhusis”  and means, “a flowing issue.” The words “twelve years” indicates that this was not something that she was going to get rid of by the known cures of the day.

We are reminded of what Ezekiel said in Ezekiel 16:6, “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” This woman is typical of Israel who was in such a condition because of her sins. God in grace comes to her in her undeserving condition and cleanses her. All it took was faith and a willingness to come and touch Him. He had the power in Himself and that power issued out of Him like the blood issued out of her. She was healed after so many years.

HER CONCERN

This is brought out in the words of verse 26, “And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” The words “suffered many things” means to suffer badly. The “many things” means that the physicians tried everything they could think of. The words “and was nothing bettered” implies squandering or wasting her money. If you spend money on a cure and it doesn’t work, you have wasted your money no matter how sincere the person is who administers it. The words “nothing bettered” translate “opheleo” with the negative means, “not assisted, not to have been useful or advantageous, not profited.” It is a passive voice verb and it means that she had received no help from these cure attempts. She was very concerned about her condition. Concerned enough to go to many physicians for a cure even thought her hope of being cured would die each time.

HER CONVICTION

This is amazing. After she had been to all these different physicians and had received no help at all, she was still in search of that miracle of healing. How did she gain such confidence in Jesus? Verse 28 says, “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” That is amazing considering the many failures she had experience with this disease. Maybe she knew someone who had been healed by Jesus. Maybe she had witnessed a healing. Whatever it was she had faith that simply touching the hem of His garment would be enough to cure her of an incurable disease.

This is the kind of faith that Jesus wants us to have. First we need faith for spiritual healing. Salvation is so much more important than physical healing. Salvation deals with destiny, physical healing just simply lengthens life in a miserable world. When we are saved, we get life that will never end (John 5:24), when we are healed physically it is temporary at best. We are in a dying condition and Jesus did not come to change this. This woman had a firm conviction that Jesus was the answer to her physical malady and He was. Next, we see,

HER CURE

This is brought out in verse 29: “And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” The word “straightway” means “immediately.” This plague that was impossible for man to cure was immediately healed by the Lord Jesus.

There is no human explanation for the miracles of God. When God created the world He spoke it into existence. Psa. 33:6, 9 says, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” When man starts trying to rationalize the things God does, it always ends up in unbelief. When Jesus was born, and the star guided the wise men to the home where Jesus was, it was a miracle. I have been amazed at men who claim to believe in God give some kind of astronomical explanation for this. They say that there was a certain star in the heavens at that time. Have you ever looked up at night at the stars? Have you noticed that a star millions of light years away is over the whole  town, the whole state, and the whole country? To say that a regular star is over a single house is amusing. Why not take it like this. God sent an angel, He does call them stars, and this angel was illuminated like a star and he guided the wise men to the very house where Jesus was at the time. It was a miracle and it makes more sense to believe it literally than it does to rationalize.

When the woman touched Jesus she was healed before she could release the hem of His garment. It happened immediately. You say, “That’s scientifically impossible.” Yeah, right. You’ve got the idea. This is what Mark is saying. It is an on the spot instantaneous miracle. Next,

HER CONFESSION

Verse 33 says, “But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.” She made a public confession of what had happened to her. What does “all the truth” mean? I have an idea that she told about her unfruitful attempts to secure healing. She told of the money she had spent in her attempts. Then she told of the way she came to find out about Jesus and what had just happened to her. I can imagine her testimony going something like this: “Some of you here know me. You know the difficulty I have had. I stand here before you today a completely well woman. This is the greatest day of my life. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for what has happened here today.”

Christians need to be this open about testifying of His saving power. Only recently one testified to me that he spent 21 years in church without any assurance that he was saved. Then the Lord opened his eyes to the truth of the New Birth and he trusted Him and now he is saved. He knows that now. If we are to have assurance, we must come to Jesus for the cure. Then finally,

HER COMFORT

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” The word “Daughter” translates “thugater” and means according to Strong, “a daughter of God, one acceptable to God, rejoicing in God’s peculiar care and protection.” Jesus said, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” God made man to fellowship with him on the basis of faith. Faith is the one means of perception that honors God. God is Spirit and he who worships Him must worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). That got messed up when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. Man since that day has been attempting to explain God in rationalistic terms and to get Him to reveal Himself to sight. This is not the way God has chosen for us to know Him. He wants our faith. Here was a woman who had the faith that it takes to reach out to God and find Him. Jesus said, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.” The words “hath made” translate “sozo” and means, “to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” This is the same word that is found in Matthew 1:21 where the angel spoke to Joseph in a dream and said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The word save in this verse is “sozo.”

Jesus said, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.” The verb “sozo” is a perfect active indicative. The perfect tense means that she was made whole in the past, relative to the time Jesus was speaking to her, and she stands whole as a testimony to God’s power.

Then Jesus says, “go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Jesus says, “Go in tranquility of mind and enjoy being well.” She had been tormented with this plague for twelve years. She can now return to normal and enjoy release from this disease.

I believe one of the weaknesses of Christianity is that when Jesus saves us we do not go in peace and enjoy the peace of release. Have you ever noticed how that every once-in-a-while the Lord will save someone that is so filled with joy that he cannot contain himself? Have you ever noticed how tense he makes everyone else feel? The older Christians will do all they can to calm him down? We just can’t have anyone around here that happy; they are saved! Dead people just can’t stand life. They are so used to the smell of death, they just can’t tolerate the smell of health! It is like the two drunk men who staggered out of a smelly bar one night. One said to the other, “What’s that I smell?” The other replied, “Fresh air!” God give us some fresh air Christians who are not ashamed to have a good time in the Lord.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.
In Christ
Bro White

#059 – Eight Questions Concerning the Death of Christ

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EIGHT QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE DEATH OF CHRIST

Rom. 14:9 “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

This meditation will be more topical. Let’s let the Scriptures answer these eight questions:

FOR WHOM DID CHRIST DIE?

Rom. 5:6-10 says,  “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

1.        He died for us. This is brought out in verse 6: “in due time Christ died for the ungodly”. The word “ungodly” translates “asebes” and means, “destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious.” When you look around and see the disrespect that is being shown toward God, you ask yourself, “Have these not gone too far? Will God save them?” The truth of the matter is that these are the very one for whom Christ died.

Paul describes himself in 1 Timothy 1:13: “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” Jesus saved Paul and He will save other blasphemers.

2.        He died for us when we were enemies: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son . . .” I was an enemy of God. There are those who resist truth. They say, “I’m neutral. I do not hate God. I’m not His enemy if He exists.” God says differently. God says before we are saved we are enemies. Repentance is agreeing with what God says even if it is against me. It is taking God’s position against ourselves. Repentance is coming before God as a hell deserving sinner and asking for mercy.

As believers we need to believe this truth. I believe we limit the effectiveness of the gospel when we preach it with reservations, i.e., those I am preaching to have gone too far. It is true that one can go too far. As someone has rightly said, “There is a line over which a man can step beyond which there is no return.” But God is rich in mercy and will go much further with a sinner than we would. How great is God’s mercy in my theological vocabulary? Next,

FOR WHAT DID HE DIE?

1 Cor. 15:3 says, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”

It was our sins that put Him on the cross. When you read the gospel accounts, you would like to go back to the time and say to those who cried out, “crucify Him, crucify Him,” do you have any idea what you are doing? You are crucifying the Son of God. God loves His Son. What do you think God is going to do to you because you crucified His Son? Do you think you will get away with it? He may not be doing anything about it right now but He will. There is a lot more we could say to that group. Right? Yet, the truth of the matter is this. Our sins were there. We are as guilt as they. Paul says, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.”

Peter put it this way in  1 Peter 3:18, ”For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” Peter says He “suffered for sins.” Those sins were not His own. They were ours. Next,

WHY DID CHRIST COME INTO THE WORLD?

Hebrews 9:26 says, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” The words “put away” translate “athetesis” and means, “abolition, disannulling, put away, rejection.” This means that Jesus came into the world to abolish sin and its penalty. He disannulled it and it’s effects.

Did Jesus accomplish what He came to do? Jesus prayed in John 17 these words to His Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” The word “finished” translates “teleioo” and means, “to carry through completely.” Is this a true statement? I believe it is.

What can sin do to you? It can condemn you. Yet the Bible says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). Notice the word “now.” There is no condemnation now. The word “condemnation” means “judgment.” Judgment has already been removed for the believer. How could this be? Because Jesus has taken care of it for us. This is what He came in the world to do and this is precisely what He did. Next,

DID GOD HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DEATH OF HIS SON FOR SIN?

Isa. 53:10 says, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Salvation is of the Lord. The sacrifice of Christ was the Father’s offering of His Son in the sinners stead. We do not understand this kind of love. God loved us so much that He gave His Son to die for us on the cross. God had everything to do with our Lord’s death for sin.

2 Cor. 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The words “for he (God the Father) hath made him (God the Son) to be sin for us (the substitutionary atonement), who knew no sin (Jesus was the spotless Lamb); that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (imputed righteousness).” Jesus is God’s offering for sin. God had everything to do with the death of Jesus. Next,

DID CHRIST DIE WILLINGLY?

Jesus says of His death on the cross in John 10:18:  “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” It could not be stated plainer. Jesus refused to use His power to resist the crucifixion. He volunteered to die in our place.

Gal. 1:4 says, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” This verse tells us what He did: “Who gave himself for our sins.” It tells us why He did it: that he might deliver us from this present evil world. And it tell us whose will it was that He do it: “according to the will of God and our Father.” Christ died willingly. When they came to get Jesus in the garden and Peter drew his sword and cut Malcus’ ear off, Jesus said to him in Matthew 26:53, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” Jesus makes it plain here that He went to the cross of His own volition. Next,

WHAT DID HE DO WITH OUR SINS?

Isa. 53:12 says, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and HE BARE THE SIN of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Caps mine for emphasis). He bore our sins away. How did He bear our sins? Heb. 9:28 answers this: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” He bore our sins by the sacrifice He made. Next,

WHERE DID HE BEAR OUR SINS?

He bore our sins in His own body. This is brought out in 1 Pet. 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” God is the first in the Bible to shed blood. He did this in Eden after Adam and Eve had sinned. They had made “themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7) to cover their nakedness. This was unacceptable to God. So God made them “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). An animal had to be slain for the skins to be obtained. Jesus is pictured in the death of that animal. And just like Adam and Eve were covered with the skins of that innocent animal, we are covered in the righteousness of Christ when we trust Him as our personal Saviour. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. Next,

IS IT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO REPEAT THE ACT?

No. His death on the cross will never have to be repeated. This is brought out in 1 Pet. 3:18: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” The word “once” translates “hapax” and means, “once for all.” Heb. 10:12 also brings this out: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.”

Jesus will never have to make another sacrifice. The one sacrifice took care of past, present, and future sins. In other words, when you are saved you are forgiven up to date. Right? Well, what about the sins you commit after that? Does He have to die again? The one sacrifice of Christ remains efficacious for all sin. Hebrews 10:19-20 says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” The word “new” translates “prosphatos” and means, “lately slaughtered, freshly killed, recently made, new.” The sacrifice of Christ is forever “lately slaughtered, freshly killed, and forever new.” Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah! The blood never has to be replaced with new blood. It is forever fresh.

There is a little chorus that we sing: “It is surely sufficient for me, it is surely sufficient for me, If the blood of Christ is sufficient for God, it is surely sufficient for me.” If Jesus offered His blood on heaven’s altar for my sins, and God accepted it, I ought to also. If the blood of Christ is sufficient for God, it is surely should be sufficient for me. I need to come before Him with the full assurance of faith that the blood washed all my sins away and rejoice as a forgiven child as I worship in the holiest.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White