Monthly Archives: March 2014

#098 – The Traps are Out of Sight

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THE TRAPS ARE OUT OF SIGHT

Prov. 1:17 “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.”

In other words, if you are going to catch the bird, the net needs to be hidden. It needs to be out of sight so that the bird is unsuspecting. The word “vain” in the Hebrew means “without cause, for no purpose.” It means of no value. Even the bird is smart enough not to get caught if net is in sight. The “net” is a trap. It is a trap set for catching birds. The word “sight” means where the eye can see. It is vain to spread the net in the sight of the bird. It must be set where it cannot be seen. Then the unsuspecting bird can be caught when he is lured into the net by something being positioned strategically that he wants.

Satan is a master at spreading nets to catch the unsuspecting. There is the net of the Christ rejecting life. The net is there. If death catches us in that net it is too late. The camouflage of the joy of the world. People are caught up in having a good time. “If it feels good do it” is the philosophy of our age. Popularity is important to our youth. They are so busy being popular and having a good time that they do not take the time to think of their eternal destiny. The most vile and wicked people are held up before the youth of our day as role models. The hair styles on our young ladies come from Hollywood, or some beautiful model. It makes no difference that this person that they admire is the personification of wickedness and wastes his/her life in the playboy – playgirl scene. They have the money and spend it. So they become role models for our youth. This is a camouflage. One is lured by this playboy – playgirl scene into the net, and the trigger will snap and the trap is final.

Sports is another camouflage. I know I am attacking the false god of America and the world. I  remember one of the national pro teams has had its team members involved in awful sin and his reputation has been tarnished. What is done to those team members who have been caught? They are still playing. They are excellent players and the team must win you know. What is this teaching our youth? What kind of lessons are being learned? Of course, God never raised up sports to produce role models for our youth. The role models for our youth should come out of the Church. How many of our youth know about Hudson Taylor, William Cary, Adoniram Judson? How many of our young ladies know about Ann Judson and the fact that she gave her life for Christ in Burma? Her husband was not even present when she died. How many know that Adoniram went into seclusion and built a hermitage in the jungle and cut himself off from the rest of the missionaries because of the pain of that awful loss? Did you know that Judson dug a grave out in the jungle and sat on the edge of it for weeks trying to get victory over the fear of death after he lost his dear wife Ann?

Satan has nets set for the Christ rejecters and those nets are well camouflaged with attractive things that will lure the unsuspecting into the trap. Now you don’t mind be trapped if there is just a slap of the hand. But the Bible teaches that there is an eternal hell from which there will be no appeal. And Satan has those religious people and groups who will tell you that hell is not eternal. It is just another lie of Satan to take the edge off the penalty so that if we get caught in the net, we may not go to heaven, we will just be destroyed never to exist again. Friends, to most people that would not be a bad end. Just burn up or be destroyed out of existence. Having a good time down here at the expense of the will of God would be worth it. Mark 9:44: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:46:  “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:48: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” How many times does God have to say a thing for it to be true?

Then there is the trap of the castaway: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27). Here the trap is set for the Christian including men of God like Paul. Paul uses the personal pronoun “I.”  The words “Keep under my body” (hupopiazo) is a present tense active voice and indicative mood. It means “to beat black and blue, to smite so as to cause bruises and livid spots, like a boxer; one buffets his body, handle it roughly, discipline by hardships.” The present tense means that Paul keeps on doing this. The body has woven into its very fabric an old sin nature. And the man who says he has no temptation to sin is a liar. In other words, Paul is saying in order to avoid being a “castaway” I have to so discipline my body that it is constantly bruised by my resistence to do what it wants. The word “castaway” (adokimos) means “not standing the test, not approved.” It is used for the testing of metals and where the metal is not found to be the quality that is useful, it is rejected. “Adokimos” is the word that is used for rejection. This is not a rejection of salvation. It is a rejection of service. I have known preachers who, I believe, were God called, but they succumbed to the trap Satan had set for them. It was well camouflaged. In a moment of lust they were caught in the trap and a life time of ministry went with the snapping of the trap. God have mercy upon them. They were good men who were used mightily of God. But they are now on a shelf. God will no longer use them. The reproach they brought on themselves, though forgiven, will never be removed (Prov. 6:32-33).

More and more Christians are succumbing to the pain of the rejection of the world. Peer pressure is great. Our youth are constantly being ridiculed and gradually broken by their classmates as they are lured into activities which are clearly forbidden by the Word of God. It does involve pain. You can’t isolate yourself from the world. But it is a life and death struggle. You cannot neglect your commitment to Christ and to His Word and survive. Lot lost his family in Sodom. My friend you are living in Sodom. I don’t know if you have discovered it or not. But it is true. We are in a world that is rushing to judgment. There is a way out but it is not fun. If you can’t say no to the world, you have already taken the bait that Satan has for you. The trap is out of sight. If it were in plain view, you would not get caught. But Satan is more subtle than to set the net where it can be seen. When he trips the net, it will be too late. You will be caught. And then you will see what a fool he has made of you.

There is the trap of ecumenism. I’m not talking about the big ecumenism. I am talking about people in Scriptural Churches being lured into groups where people from all faiths participate and you get that ecstatic feeling that you are a part of a host of people all going to the same place, i.e., heaven. They are all your brothers and sisters in Christ. The Church is the place of learning and worship (Eph. 3:21). There is no Para church organization that is right for the Christian today. How can one fellowship in a group where a person who believes a perverted gospel is accepted just as you are when you believe that faith in Christ alone saves? Paul says a perverted gospel will cause a person to be accursed (Gal. 1:8-9). Just remember this. I did not make the rules and you didn’t either. Satan is luring many believers into the Para church groups that have no authority for existence in the Word of God, and they will lure the Christian away from the local assembly or make him so critical of it, they will withdral. Either way, Satan has accomplished his purpose, and the Christian has been caught in the unsuspecting net.

May the Lord bless you.

In Christ

Bro. White

#097 – The Hidden Man of the Heart

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THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART

1 Pet. 3:4  “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

I want us to consider the Words of the Holy Spirit through Peter, “The hidden man of the heart.” There is great help for us in this dispensation to understand some things about the hidden man of the heart. Let us consider first of all,

THE CREATION OF THE INNER MAN

Where does the inner man come from? Are we created two men through procreation? I believe the Bible teaches plainly that God created Adam personally and directly. He is the Sculptor who formed man of the dust of the earth. He put the nose on the face in a way that we would not drown when we walk out in the rain. He created man with a knee joint where he could bow his knee to Him and walk without problems. Had he created man with a universal joint for a knee, it would be a greater feat for him to walk than it is for one to balance himself on a unicycle. God created man Personally and perfectly but with the power to choose. The story can be read of his fall from that perfect state into the state in which we find ourselves today in Genesis chapter three.

God then moved to save Adam and Eve. He provided A covering for man’s sins through the death of an innocent animal and clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of that animal (Gen. 3:21). This is a picture of Jesus dying for our sins and our being clothed in His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8). We are told that Abraham was justified by faith (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:9). So we have in the Old Testament the substitutionary atonement, grace, and justification by faith.

But we have nothing said of the inner man. This came with the coming of Christ. Jesus is doing something new in this dispensation of the church (I am reluctant to call this the dispensation of grace because that implies that the dispensation of law was a time when God had another way of saving man. Let me say this very emphatically. God has never had but ONE plan of salvation. It has always been by faith in Christ. It is either faith in the PROMISED Christ or the HISTORICAL Christ). The plan of salvation hasn’t changed. It has always been by grace ( Rom. 4:16). But how God works it out in our lives is different. When God saves today it is by THE CREATION OF AN INNER MAN. Eph. 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Every saved person has an inner man created at the point of the New Birth. Next,

THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE INNER MAN

How do you identify the inner man. You ARE the inner man. When God saved you, He put you IN CHRIST. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The words “if any man” simply mean that every saved person is described by the words that follow. If one is in Christ, Paul says by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “he is a new creature.” The word “new” translates “kainos” and means, “recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, as respects substance, of a new kind, unprecedented.” That is quite a definition isn’t it? There is nothing in that definition that suggests making over what is already there. Salvation does not take place on the natural man. Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:50, “. . . flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God . . .”

The inner man is who you are after you are saved. Before you are saved you are simply a natural man (called the old man after salvation; Eph. 4:22). After you are saved you are a new man (Eph. 4:24). If you want to see yourself today, you go to the mirror and look. You may not be pleased with what you see when you look! When you want to see yourself as you are in Christ Jesus you go to the mirror of God’s word and look (2 Cor. 3:18; James 1:22-25). The inner man is identified by the Bible and operates by faith. I know I am the new man God says I am because He says it and I believe it. I am taking no risks in believing what God says. He can be counted on to be right every time. Next,

THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE INNER MAN

The inner man is not righteous by action it is righteous by creation. Ephesians 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” How does this verse say the inner man is created? It “is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is righteous and holy by creation. The words “is created” translate “ktizo” and mean, “to create,” and is used “of God creating the worlds.” It is an aorist passive participle. The aorist tense is what is called a punctilliar tense and is represented by a period and means that God did it at a point of time. It wasn’t an evolutionary process. The passive voice means that we were the recipients of this creation, i.e., it happened to us. We did not cause it to happen. The believer is not perfect by his effort he is perfect by creation. This righteousness and true holiness is the life of Christ within (Col. 1:27; 1 John 5:12).

Here is where some good brethren will disagree. There are two natures in a Child of God. Some have said this promotes christian schizophrenia. I have examined their writings and they have to put their own definitions on the terms the Bible uses, and at the same time ignore many verses that they cannot use, to hold that there are not two natures in a child of God.

Galatians 5:17 says to Christians, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” This verse indicates a conflict between the Spirit in the believer and what is called the flesh. Now you can say the flesh is not the old man all you want too, but whatever name that you tag on it, it is still going to be the same. Paul goes into detail in describing this conflict in his own life in Romans 7. He says 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.” This describes a struggle between two natures in this Spirit-filled apostle.

Paul found something in his body that was not him. He says in verse 17, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Then he repeats the same thing again in verse 20: “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Do you understand what Paul is saying here? He does not identify with the thing in him that does the wrong. He is not avoiding responsibility. He is identifying with the New Creation in Christ Jesus. He says in verse 22, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” The inward man has no conflict with God’s law and God’s holiness. It is the outward man, the old man, or as Paul says it here, “sin that dwelleth in me.” There is where the problem is. And it will be a problem until we get our new bodies.

When one tries to identify with the flesh, or indwelling sin as Paul puts it, there is nothing but condemnation. Because there is nothing good in the flesh. Paul says 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.” So if we are not in the flesh, the flesh is not us. It has become an alien nature to us since our salvation. And Satan gets an advantage of us if he can convince us that that alien nature is really us. How many Christians have quit and given up because they could not train the old sin nature in the ways of God?! If only we can see that we are new creatures in Christ and the new man is created in “righteousness and true holiness,” and therefore, is not the sinning part of us. We ARE responsible when we yield to the flesh and commit a sin. But God has made provision for our continued fellowship with Him by giving us the opportunity of constant cleansing through confession (1 John 1:9). Our inner man is righteous. Next,

THE HUMILITY OF THE INNER MAN

Paul says in Eph. 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” The words “after God” means, “after God’s image.” The first man Adam was created in the image of God. The new man in Christ bears the image of God or Christ. 1 Cor. 15:49 says, “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” God is the most humble One in the universe. I know that doesn’t sound right but it is. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. He said in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Jesus is “meek” and “lowly in heart.” When we are saved, we partake of the divine nature.  2 Pet. 1:4 says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The hidden man of the heart is an humble man. When we find pride or anger rising up within us in is not coming from the inner man. It is coming from the flesh. The inner man is humble and by the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit we can confess pride if we need to and obtain immediate forgiveness. If we are just being tempted to pride or some other sin, we can “mortify the deeds of the body” through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13) so that it never becomes a sin. We need to walk before Him in humility. Next,

THE BEAUTY OF THE INNER MAN

The beauty of the inner man is seen when it is put on. Eph. 4:24 says, “And that ye put on the new man . . .” The new man is the inner man. Paul says the inner man can be “put on.” The words “put on” mean to put on as a garment. It means that how we are on the inside can be brought out so that it is seen outwardly. It is like a garment being put on. Our outward actions can change. It is God’s will that the beauty of the meek and lowly Saviour be seen in the outward life of the believer constantly. When people look at us who do they see? Who we used to be? Or, who we are now in Christ?

The beauty of the inner man is seen in the fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Fruit is not produced in a plant by its effort. Fruit is the natural effortless product of a healthy plant. Jesus lives inside us. When we are occupied with Him, and have a healthy relation to Him, the fruit of that experience is described in the nine words that describe the fruit of the Spirit.

I hope we have learned something of  “The hidden man of the heart.” The Christian’s outer man is anything but perfect. We constantly need to confess sin and obtain forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But we have an inner man that was created perfect when we were saved. We need to let that inner man be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we are constantly springing a leak and letting Jesus leak out so that He can be seen in us.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#096 – The Greatness of John the Baptist

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THE GREATNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Luke 1:15 16, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.”

Jesus said in Matthew 11:11, “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.”

A greater tribute has been paid to no man than what is said of John the Baptist by Jesus Christ.

Let’s notice some areas of greatness of John,

HE WAS GREAT BEFORE THE LORD

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord.” John had discovered the Lord and had gotten right with Him.  This is the necessary prerequisite to being great in God’s sight.

John was a man entirely separated to Him, with no interest to come between him and his service to God.  He was a prophet with a message, and he did not cut any corners, or spare the guilty.  It was “thus saith the Lord,” with John.

Do you want to be great in the sight of the Lord?  Then it must be of utmost importance to be important to Him.  This must be our desire.  The Lord must come first.

HE WAS GREAT IN HIMSELF

John was great because he had greatness dwelling in him.

He will filled with the Holy Ghost.  Not the greatness of his own will, or purpose, or goodness, but the greatness of God dwelling in him.  This implies,

1.    Self-abnegation.  He died to himself that God might live and move in him.  Not I, but Christ in me.  Man’s original greatness was lowered to the dust through sin, and eternally ruined.  The way into greatness in the Divine eyes is not by self-reformation, but by self-abnegation.  Paul put it, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I life.”

2.    Divine possession.  Filled with the Holy Spirit.  Yielded up to the will of God as taught by His Spirit abiding within.  Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” All true greatness comes from Him who alone is great.  Great in wisdom, holiness, and power.

3.    Heavenly wisdom.  TO be filled with the spirit is to be filled with the knowledge of His will, so that every thought and act may be in perfect harmony with the mind of God.  He that worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.  The wisdom of the Christian comes directly from Christ.

HE WAS GREAT AMONG HIS FELLOW MEN

Luke 1:16 says, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.”

We see in John a,

1.    Great faithfulness.  His ministry gives abundant evidence of his fearlessness and devotion to the work of God.  Like the apostle of the Gentiles he could say, “This one thing I do.”  (Phil 3:13).

2.    Great power.  Like the greater One who was to come after him, he spoke with power.  His word was sharp, and quick, and powerful, because it was a word that  burned in his bones.  He was in vital sympathy in his message.  It was to him no task committed to memory, but the living truth, blazing in a living soul, and dropping from his glowing tongue like coals of fire.

3.    Great success.  “Many turned to the Lord.” A holy Ghost ministry is always a success.  It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father will never speak without telling effect.  The secret of his success lay in his exalting the Lord and not himself.  He must increase, and I must decrease.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#095 – The Sacrifice of Isaac

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THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC

Hebrews 11:17 19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

Genesis twenty-two is the chapter that records the event that we will examine.  These verses in the book of Hebrews add to the Old Testament with some more information.  Let’s look first at—

GOD’S GIFT TO ABRAHAM

God has already saved Abram and changed his name to Abraham, i.e., the father of a multitude.  Sarah suggested that since she couldn’t have a child that Abraham take Sarah’s bondmaid and have a child by her.  Abraham agreed to this and Ishmael was born.  Hagar was a humble and loyal little Egyptian girl until she bore Abraham a son.  But things started going bad about this time.  She was filled with pride and gave Sarah a very hard time.

This happens many time when one gets an advantage over other.  Sometimes it is a person who works beside you and gets a promotion to a place of authority.  He no longer treats you like an equal.

But God had no intentions of making Ishmael the fulfilment of the promised seed. Genesis 21:1 3, “And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.”

God instructed Abraham to send Hagar away with her son because God had determined that, “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”  Next—

GOD ASKS ABRAHAM TO GIVE ISAAC BACK

Abraham’s gift of Isaac back to God would be in the form of a burnt offering.  Now that was a shocker to Abraham.  I cannot imagine how Abraham must have felt when God asked him to do this.  We do not find Abraham arguing with God.  There seems to be no reluctance at all.  But we are told that, “God did tempt Abraham.” We are told in 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:” So this was not a temptation in the sense that James is talking about.  The Hebrew word tempt translates “nacah” which means, “to test, try, prove, put to the proof or test.”  John Gill comments: “not to sin, as Satan does, for God tempts no man, nor can he be tempted in this sense; and, had Abraham slain his son, it would have been no sin in him, it being by the order of God, who is the Lord of life, and the sovereign disposer of it; but he tempted him, that is, he tried him, to prove him, and to know his faith in him, his fear of him, his love to him, and cheerful obedience to his commands; not in order to know these himself, which he was not ignorant of, but to make them known to others, and that Abraham’s faith might be strengthened yet more and more, as in the issue it was. The Jewish writers observe, that Abraham was tempted ten times, and that this was the tenth and last temptation.”

1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

I cannot imagine a more severe trial.  But Abraham stood the test and before he actually buried the knife in Isaac his son, the angel of the Lord stopped him.  Next we see—

THE SUBSTITUTE

Genesis 22:12 13, “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”

The ram was caught by his horns in the bush to keep him without spot as a burnt offering to the Lord.  The ram would be sacrificed in the place of Isaac.  It was his substitute.

What kind of faith did Abraham have?  God had promised that through Isaac his seed would be called.  This means that Abraham believed that God would raise him from the dead.  There is no doubt that Abraham believed this.

We have a substitute.  His name is Jesus.  He is the only begotten Son of the living God.  He came to earth to be our substitute.  Only those who believe this will be saved. We as Christians believe that He was raised from the dead after three days and three nights. Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#094 – The Request Concerning My Steps

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THE REQUEST CONCERNING MY STEPS

Psa. 119:133 “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”

The guidance of the Lord is of primary interest in the Christian’s life. I am afraid that many christians do what they want to and at the end of the day say, “God how do you like that?” As if they expected God to rubber stamp what they do. If you do that, you are operating on the same principle as the world. God does not rubber stamp what He does not order.

The Psalmist clearly declares his need and desire of the Lord’s guidance. Let’s look at three things about this request.

THE ORDER REQUESTED

The Psalmist says, “Order my steps in thy word.” The word “order” translates the Hebrew word “kuwn” and means, “to establish, to fix, make ready, direct toward (moral sense), to arrange.”

We are not born in this world to know the right way for our lives. Adam’s transgression fixed that for the whole human race. For a person to be right with his Creator, he must know what He wants. So we have the wise request to “Order my steps in thy word.”

This is not the same as saying, “Lord make me do right whether I want to or not.” There are those who would like for God to turn them into robots so that they would not have to make moral choices. Right choices get one into trouble with those around the ones who make wrong choices. The right always exposes the wrong and the right suffer criticism and persecution from those who are made uncomfortable. So there are those who don’t want to make choices that get them into trouble.

The Psalmist is wise and solicits God’s help in the ORDER of his life. We need to do the same. When we were saved we were brought into a spiritual kingdom and Jesus is King in His kingdom. We need His guidance. We need His ORDER for our lives. Next lets look at,

THE GUIDE TO BE USED

The Psalmist says, “Order my steps in thy word.” The Word of God is the standard of conduct for the Christian. The Word of God is under attack. The many different translations that have flooded the market is a front line attack. Is the Bible the verbally inspired inerrant Word of God? Now think for just a moment. If God so inspired and superintended the writing of the Bible so that there are no mistakes, how can there be scores of translations out there that do not say the same thing?

What does the Bible claim for itself? Now some will pass this off with some remark or the wave of the hand. It is easy to bury ones head in the sand and be intellectually dishonest in this matter. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Now lets notice what this verse says:

1.            The Word of God is not declaring the will of man: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man.” That is a simple and understandable statement, i.e., the Word of God is not man’s idea.

2.            The ones who spoke the Word are called “holy men of God.” God is the one who calls them holy. They are not men whose denomination gave them sainthood or exalted them to a position of honor. God said they were holy men.

3.            These holy men of God Spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The word “spake” means, “to utter by speech.” I believe this means that most of the Scriptures were vocal utterances that were later written down and recorded because the truths declared are timeless. They are for all generations.

4.            The words “were moved by the Holy Ghost” translate “phero” and means, “to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted.” Peter is saying here that the holy men were moved inwardly, prompted by the Holy Spirit to give out the Word of God. This makes holy men INSTRUMENTS but not the SOURCE of the Word of God. Peter says, “though men were used to give us God’s Word, the SOURCE was God Himself. Therefore, we call it The Word of God.

What does the Bible claim for itself? Paul says in 2 Tim. 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” What do these verses tell us?

1.            The Bible is called Scripture and is said to be given by inspiration of God. The word “Scripture” translates “graphe” and means, “a writing, a thing written, the Scripture, used to denote either the book itself, or its contents.” This is a clear reference to the Word of God in its written form.

2.            The words “is given by inspiration” translate “theopneustos” and literally means “God breathed.” It might be compared to our breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. When we inhale we take in oxygen when we exhale we breath out carbon dioxide. God breathed into the spiritual lungs of the men of God His Word and when they exhaled it came out through the writing of the verbally inspired Scriptures.

3.            There are four things for which the Word of God is profitable. They are listed: doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. These are very important factors in the Christian’s life.

4.            What will these things accomplish? Verse 17 tells us the goal of the Scriptures: “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The word “perfect” translates “artios” and means, “fitted, suitable, correct.” Who is Paul talking to? He is talking to Timothy, a man of God. Who does Timothy minister to? To the Church, i.e., a group of scripturally baptized believers assembled under covenant together to worship. The man of God is fully equipped with the Scriptures so that there is nothing that He will need to know to minister to believers that is not found in the Bible. This is the reason that the historical confessions of faith state that the “holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith and practice.”

Now back to the Psalmist’s request: “Order my steps in thy word.” This is a request that acknowledges that the Word of God is God’s primary source for guidance. The word “steps” is put for life. We move through life a step at a time. A step is one measure of distance in the journey of life. The Psalmist is saying that He needs God every step of the way. God is honored when one takes his life that seriously, i.e., that one cannot take one step and be right without God.

I believe that Satan has very skillfully taken and neutralized the authority of God’s Word through the many different translations. If you have two translations and they differ on the correct translation of a word in the Textus Receptus (the Received Text) from which the King James Bible is translated, both cannot be right. Both may be wrong but both can’t be right. There may be many synonyms in our English language that are partially right when translating a word from Hebrew or Greek to English. Since the Bible is VERBALLY (the very words God chose to use) inspired Word, then a Bible believing translator is bound by the truth of VERBAL INSPIRATION to choose the word that is the nearest match for the original Word, even if that word in our language is not used as much as another synonym that could be used. I do not believe translators have the liberty to deviate from absolute accuracy, for the sake of so-called easy readability, where it can be obtained. What if a modern translation is easier for you to read? If they have not maintained accuracy of translation FROM THE RIGHT TEXT you still do not have the Word of God no matter how easy it is to read or how sincere the translators. All the modern translations depart from the right text and rely on texts that are not reliable. This includes the New King James in my estimation. Don’t let Satan snow you in the matter of translations. You have the best translation in your King James Bible (of course I speak to English speaking people). If you don’t understand it, get on your knees. Help can be obtained there in the form of ILLUMINATION. Then the Psalmist speaks of,

THE DOMINION TO BE AVOIDED

He says, “and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”  David prayed in Psalm 19:13, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” David recognized that he needed God’s help. The word “presumptuous” means “proud, arrogant.” It speaks of willful bold sins. David knew how easy it is to fall into an attitude where one just goes ahead and does what he knows to be wrong. It is good when we see a possibility and take measures to avoid it in advance. If David had done this in the case with Bathsheba he would never have committed that bold and presumptuous sin.

In our text the Psalmist goes further than the big sins and sees “any iniquity” as being something that could dominate ones life. John Gill says, “It is a sad thing to be enslaved to any lust or sin, be it what it will: sin reigns over wicked men even unto death; and it oftentimes has great power over good men, puts them upon doing that which is evil, and hinders them from doing that which is good; it carries them captive, and threatens to have the ascendant over them, and rule in them, which they deprecate; and such a prayer may be the prayer of faith, since it is promised ‘sin shall not have the dominion over you; Rom. 6:14.’”

“I had rather be a prisoner to man all my life than be a bondage to sin one day. He says not, Let not this and the other man rule over me; but ‘let not sin have dominion over me.’ Well said! There is hope in such a man’s condition as long as it is so.”   Michael Bruce, 1666.

Again the Psalmist says, “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” May the Lord bless us to see the need to make this our desire and prayer that we my glorify Him in our lives.

In Christ

Bro. White

#093 – An Oasis in the Desert

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AN OASIS IN THE DESERT

The following prayer was offered by Joseph Parker before he began a sermon on the subject of “High Resolves.” They print his prayers most of the time before his sermons. This prayer is taken from the little three volume set on “Studies In Texts” by Baker. If he were alive today, and I pastored a church, I would have him come just to pray publicly!

PRAYER: “ALMIGHTY GOD, thou knowest our frame, thou rememberest that it is but dust. We are a wind, which cometh for a little time and then passeth away. Thou hast put breath in our nostrils; there is none that hath life abiding in himself. In thee we live and move and have our being. When our strength doth waste by the way, thou callest upon us to wait upon God, that our strength may be renewed. If so be we tarry at  thine altar and wait with all childlike patience and trust at thy gate, even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall utterly fall, but we shall renew our strength, we shall have resting upon us the very power of God. Thou knowest the anxiety of our life, the cares which beset us, all the occupations which engross our attention and exhaust our energy. Thou knowest how oftentimes we are afflicted by the disappointments of a mocking world; how we are promised great things, and how the promises turn to nothingness; how we lean upon Egypt as upon a staff, and how it doth break and pierce the hand that trusted it. We rejoice in thee, and above all things to be able to draw nigh unto the living God, to draw water out of the wells of salvation, to renew our strength in religious meditation and saintly worship! Now that we have gathered for one purpose, do thou graciously meet us; lead us into the green pastures, conduct us by the still waters. We bless thee for the Rock that is higher than we. We thank thee for the shadow in the time of burning and heat and dazzling light. We flee unto thee as a covert from the storm. Thou art our tower and strong defense, our shield and buckler, our song, our strength, our infinite sufficiency! We have done the things we ought not to have done. God be merciful unto us sinners! Visit us not in wrath. Speak to us with all the condescension of unutterable mercy, and gather us again. We have lost ourselves: do thou light the house, sweep, and seek diligently until thou dost find us! May our whole nature be brought back again to the fountain of life! May our peace be complete in the rest of God! Forgive our sins, because of the work of Jesus Christ. “Through this man has been preached unto us the forgiveness of sins.” May we, having heard the joyful sound with the outward ear, hear it with the ear of the soul, and be glad under the spell of its music! May we know the meaning of the mystery of Gods pardon extended to men who have forfeited their life and their destiny by reason of committing sin! Now be with us; give us some sense of the rest that abideth for weary pilgrims in Christ in the land that is afar off. Give us some hint of the unutterable peace which we shall enjoy when we have escaped this sphere of discipline and temptation, and are set in our Father’s house on high! To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be the kingdom and the power and glory, world without end!  Amen.”

Psalm 71:3 says, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”

I woke up this morning at 2:30 A.M., wide awake. When I looked at the clock beside my bed, it looked like it was ten minutes after six! Well, I got up and made my way to the kitchen where I get ice tea to sip on while I read in the psalms and a message or two by a preacher who sits on the shelves of my library, and I discovered it was two-thirty. Well, it was too late. I was really awake by this time. So at 8:30 A.M., I have spent several hours in meditation and prayer. I feel like Satan has me in an iron tank so that I can receive nothing from God or get anything through to Him. Have you ever had that happen? Well, I thought it might be good for you to know that you are not the only one that happens to. I realize I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies, no matter how I feel down here. I also know that my feet are on earth. Sometime as I am seated in the heavenlies, I feel like an eighteen wheeler is sitting on one of my feet!

The Psalmist says to the LORD, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. . .” This request suggests that the Psalmist is on shaky ground and his life is possibly being threatened by an adversary. He realizes the strength of his enemy. We see this in the words “Be thou my STRONG habitation.” The word “strong”comes from a word that refers to boulders or formations of stone and material which composes mountains.” It is like a cave hewn out of a gigantic stone formation. You could get in this cave and be safe from the storm of an attacking enemy. Satan is an enemy and he is on the prowl for unsuspecting Christians that he may devour. But if God is our “strong habitation,” he is helpless to do us harm. The only harm he can do is to make us afraid with his growl. Someone has said, “Fear is confidence in your enemy.” I have absolutely no confidence in my enemy. Though sometimes God allows me to feel the enemy’s presence and sense his strength so that I am cast upon Him and His protection by faith totally apart from feeling.

The words “whereunto I may continually resort” are very suggestive. The word “whereunto” suggest the PLACE. Here is the “strong habitation” that is open to me. I can go there. I can resort there for rest and safety. The word “continually” suggest that “my enemy is constantly hounding me. He is continually after me. He never lets up.” There are times when the Psalmist must retire into a safe place. It is like an oasis in the desert. There he can get refreshment. Strength must be regained at times. Do you know any tired Christians? The iron in their soul seems to have turned into some kind of soft metal so that they are about to bend. They do not want to be a “reed shaken by the wind,” but if they are to continue to stand against adverse winds of Satan, there must be a “strong habitation” to which they can “resort” for refreshment and strength. One cannot rest and be refreshed, if he cannot have a place in which he can cease to worry. The Psalmist is asking God to be such a place for him.

The Psalmist says, “Thou hast given commandment to save me.” Here we have the Psalmist reminding God of His promise. He says, “Thou has given commandment.” God you have given orders. He is reckoning upon the WORD while the enemy knocks at his door. The Psalmist is definitely in a tight. He is crying out. It seems there is no protection. But he knows there is because he says, “Thou has given commandment.” Jesus said to Peter, when they were on a storm tossed sea, “Come” and the strength of that command held Peter up on the water! Jesus cried with a loud voice at mouth of the cave in which his friend Lazarus had been buried four days before, and the strength of that command sent death fleeing like a coward, and Lazarus appeared in the sight of all, very much alive with the need of help to untie the grave clothes that had him bound. The Psalmist knew God had commanded. He knew that even though things were looking bad, they were not as bad as they looked. Because God had commanded, he had all the reason necessary to trust. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

The words, “For thou art my rock and my fortress” are the declaration of assurance in the midst of threatening times. We see his need expressed in his request in the words “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. We see his faith in God’s promises in the words “Thou has given commandment to save me.” Then last we have his assurance in the words, “For thou art my rock and my fortress.” It is not “be thou” as in the first part of the verse, but, “thou art” which is his declaration of faith in the faithfulness of God to keep His promise.

This verse is not only a fortress in which we can resort but it is also an oasis in which we can rest securely and regain our strength.

God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

AN OASIS IN THE DESERT

                                                                       Psa. 71:3

 

Morning Meditation 3/3/2014     

 

The following prayer was offered by Joseph Parker before he began a sermon on the subject of “High Resolves.” They print his prayers most of the time before his sermons. This prayer is taken from the little three volume set on “Studies In Texts” by Baker. If he were alive today, and I pastored a church, I would have him come just to pray publicly!

 

PRAYER: “ALMIGHTY GOD, thou knowest our frame, thou rememberest that it is but dust. We are a wind, which cometh for a little time and then passeth away. Thou hast put breath in our nostrils; there is none that hath life abiding in himself. In thee we live and move and have our being. When our strength doth waste by the way, thou callest upon us to wait upon God, that our strength may be renewed. If so be we tarry at  thine altar and wait with all childlike patience and trust at thy gate, even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall utterly fall, but we shall renew our strength, we shall have resting upon us the very power of God. Thou knowest the anxiety of our life, the cares which beset us, all the occupations which engross our attention and exhaust our energy. Thou knowest how oftentimes we are afflicted by the disappointments of a mocking world; how we are promised great things, and how the promises turn to nothingness; how we lean upon Egypt as upon a staff, and how it doth break and pierce the hand that trusted it. We rejoice in thee, and above all things to be able to draw nigh unto the living God, to draw water out of the wells of salvation, to renew our strength in religious meditation and saintly worship! Now that we have gathered for one purpose, do thou graciously meet us; lead us into the green pastures, conduct us by the still waters. We bless thee for the Rock that is higher than we. We thank thee for the shadow in the time of burning and heat and dazzling light. We flee unto thee as a covert from the storm. Thou art our tower and strong defense, our shield and buckler, our song, our strength, our infinite sufficiency! We have done the things we ought not to have done. God be merciful unto us sinners! Visit us not in wrath. Speak to us with all the condescension of unutterable mercy, and gather us again. We have lost ourselves: do thou light the house, sweep, and seek diligently until thou dost find us! May our whole nature be brought back again to the fountain of life! May our peace be complete in the rest of God! Forgive our sins, because of the work of Jesus Christ. “Through this man has been preached unto us the forgiveness of sins.” May we, having heard the joyful sound with the outward ear, hear it with the ear of the soul, and be glad under the spell of its music! May we know the meaning of the mystery of Gods pardon extended to men who have forfeited their life and their destiny by reason of committing sin! Now be with us; give us some sense of the rest that abideth for weary pilgrims in Christ in the land that is afar off. Give us some hint of the unutterable peace which we shall enjoy when we have escaped this sphere of discipline and temptation, and are set in our Father’s house on high! To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be the kingdom and the power and glory, world without end!  Amen.”

 

Psalm 71:3 says, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.”

 


I woke up this morning at 2:30 A.M., wide awake. When I looked at the clock beside my bed, it looked like it was ten minutes after six! Well, I got up and made my way to the kitchen where I get ice tea to sip on while I read in the psalms and a message or two by a preacher who sits on the shelves of my library, and I discovered it was two-thirty. Well, it was too late. I was really awake by this time. So at 8:30 A.M., I have spent several hours in meditation and prayer. I feel like Satan has me in an iron tank so that I can receive nothing from God or get anything through to Him. Have you ever had that happen? Well, I thought it might be good for you to know that you are not the only one that happens to. I realize I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies, no matter how I feel down here. I also know that my feet are on earth. Sometime as I am seated in the heavenlies, I feel like an eighteen wheeler is sitting on one of my feet!

 

The Psalmist says to the LORD, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. . .” This request suggests that the Psalmist is on shaky ground and his life is possibly being threatened by an adversary. He realizes the strength of his enemy. We see this in the words “Be thou my STRONG habitation.” The word “strong”comes from a word that refers to boulders or formations of stone and material which composes mountains.” It is like a cave hewn out of a gigantic stone formation. You could get in this cave and be safe from the storm of an attacking enemy. Satan is an enemy and he is on the prowl for unsuspecting Christians that he may devour. But if God is our “strong habitation,” he is helpless to do us harm. The only harm he can do is to make us afraid with his growl. Someone has said, “Fear is confidence in your enemy.” I have absolutely no confidence in my enemy. Though sometimes God allows me to feel the enemy’s presence and sense his strength so that I am cast upon Him and His protection by faith totally apart from feeling.

 

The words “whereunto I may continually resort” are very suggestive. The word “whereunto” suggest the PLACE. Here is the “strong habitation” that is open to me. I can go there. I can resort there for rest and safety. The word “continually” suggest that “my enemy is constantly hounding me. He is continually after me. He never lets up.” There are times when the Psalmist must retire into a safe place. It is like an oasis in the desert. There he can get refreshment. Strength must be regained at times. Do you know any tired Christians? The iron in their soul seems to have turned into some kind of soft metal so that they are about to bend. They do not want to be a “reed shaken by the wind,” but if they are to continue to stand against adverse winds of Satan, there must be a “strong habitation” to which they can “resort” for refreshment and strength. One cannot rest and be refreshed, if he cannot have a place in which he can cease to worry. The Psalmist is asking God to be such a place for him.

 


The Psalmist says, “Thou hast given commandment to save me.” Here we have the Psalmist reminding God of His promise. He says, “Thou has given commandment.” God you have given orders. He is reckoning upon the WORD while the enemy knocks at his door. The Psalmist is definitely in a tight. He is crying out. It seems there is no protection. But he knows there is because he says, “Thou has given commandment.” Jesus said to Peter, when they were on a storm tossed sea, “Come” and the strength of that command held Peter up on the water! Jesus cried with a loud voice at mouth of the cave in which his friend Lazarus had been buried four days before, and the strength of that command sent death fleeing like a coward, and Lazarus appeared in the sight of all, very much alive with the need of help to untie the grave clothes that had him bound. The Psalmist knew God had commanded. He knew that even though things were looking bad, they were not as bad as they looked. Because God had commanded, he had all the reason necessary to trust. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

 

The words, “For thou art my rock and my fortress” are the declaration of assurance in the midst of threatening times. We see his need expressed in his request in the words “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. We see his faith in God’s promises in the words “Thou has given commandment to save me.” Then last we have his assurance in the words, “For thou art my rock and my fortress.” It is not “be thou” as in the first part of the verse, but, “thou art” which is his declaration of faith in the faithfulness of God to keep His promise.

 

This verse is not only a fortress in which we can resort but it is also an oasis in which we can rest securely and regain our strength.

 

God bless each of you.

 

In Christ

 

Bro. White