Monthly Archives: August 2014

#214 – Decide in the Favor of Holiness

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DECIDE IN THE FAVOR OF HOLINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#213 – Sundry Times and Divers Manners

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SUNDRY TIMES AND DIVERS MANNERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Christ

Bro. White

#212 – The Believers Present Privileges

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THE BELIEVER’S PRESENT PRIVILEGES

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

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

A CURE FOR HEART TROUBLE

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

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

THE BLESSED HOPE

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

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

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

THE VISION OF THE FATHER

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

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

THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY

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

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

THE ABIDING BEQUEST

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#211- Self-Exaltation Forbidden

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SELF-EXALTATION FORBIDDEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#210 – Gods Final Word

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GOD’S FINAL WORD

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

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

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

THE FINALITY OF HIS MESSAGE

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

THE TIME OF THE MESSAGE

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

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

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

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

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

Next our text speaks of,

THE PERSON OF THE MESSAGE

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

Next our text speaks of,

THE APPOINTMENT OF THE SON

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

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

Then finally,

THE MESSENGER IS THE MAKER

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#209 – Things that the Death of Jesus Accomplished

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THINGS THAT THE DEATH OF JESUS ACCOMPLISHED

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

THE DEATH OF JESUS TOOK THE LAW OUT OF THE WAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IT LIBERATED MAN TO A PERSONAL CHOICE

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro.  White

#208 – The Believers Threefold Realtionship

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THE BELIEVER’S THREEFOLD RELATIONSHIP

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

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

OUR RELATION TO CHRIST

Our union with Him implies—

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

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

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

Next we see—

OUR RELATIONSHIP TO ONE ANOTHER

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

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

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

Next let’s look at—

OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE WORLD

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#207 – Joseph and The Obedience of Faith

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JOSEPH AND THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless these word to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#206 – Depression – How David Prayed!

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HOW TO PRAY WHEN YOU ARE DEPRESSED

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

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

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

DAVID’S CONFESSION OF DEPRESSION

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

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

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

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

DAVID STRETCHES OUT HIS HANDS TO GOD

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

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

DAVID’S SENSE OF URGENCY

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

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

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

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

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

DAVID’S SPECIFIC REQUESTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#205 – The Exegesis of God – Part 2

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THE EXEGESIS OF GOD – Part 2

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

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

WHAT HE DID BY HIMSELF?

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

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

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

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

Next let’s look at,

WHAT HE DID AFTER HE DID IT BY HIMSELF?

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

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

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

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

Next let’s look at,

WHERE HE IS AND WHAT IT MEANS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#204 – The Exegesis of God – Part 1

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THE EXEGESIS OF GOD

Heb. 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power . . .”

The word “exegesis” is a Greek word transliterated into the English language. It is found in John 1:18: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” The words “hath declared” translate “exegeomai” and means, “to lead out, to draw out in narrative, unfold a teaching.” It means in our language according to the dictionary, “a critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.” Preachers who go to seminary have classes they take called Exegesis. This class teaches one how to analyze a verse of Scripture by taking it apart word by word examining all parts and bringing the meaning out where it can be understood by rational beings. Jesus is the Exegesis of God according to John 1:18. Out text in Hebrews is a further description of John’s statement.

We are going to look at verse 3 in two parts. In this part of the verse we will see who the Son by whom God has spoken in finality reflects in the brightness of His glory, and who He is the express image of, and one of the things He is doing right now. Let’s look first at,

THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY

Our text says, “Who being the brightness of his glory.” The word “being” is a present participle of the “to be” verb “eimi” meaning “I am.” The Son is Jehovah of the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14). Again, it is present tense which means continuous action in the present. It is not, “He was the brightness of his glory,” it is, “He IS right now in the present tense.” He continues to be the “brightness of his glory.” If you want to see the glory of God, you must behold the Lamb. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Exodus 33:18 says, “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” Then is verse 22 of that chapter God answers Moses: “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:”

We have the results of Moses vision of God recorded in Exo. 34:29-35: “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the Veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.”

What Moses saw is what Jesus is. The word “brightness” translates “apaugasma “ and means, “reflected brightness.” It is used “of Christ in that he perfectly reflects the majesty of God.” It means according to Vine, “effulgence, a shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body.” Vincent says it means, “out raying.” The Son is the “effulgence, the shining forth” of the Shekinah seen in the Tabernacle and Temple. The word “glory” translates “doxa” and means, “splendor.” This word is used in John 1:14 where John says, “and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”

One other thing before we leave this. Our text says, “the glory,” not, “a glory.” The definite article is present in the text. Jesus radiates all that God is in all His greatness as it shines forth. He is not just one of many ways God’s glory is reflected. Any thing that reflects the glory of God must derive that glory from Jesus. Jesus is the very effulgence, the shining forth, the one and only source of the glory of God. Next we see,

THE EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON

Our text says, “and the express image of his person.” The word “and” means in addition to. The words “express image” translate “charakter” and means, “the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect.” It is used of “the instrument used for engraving or carving, the mark stamped upon that instrument.” It is like the notary instrument. The father is the instrument that makes the seal that is visible to the eye and Jesus is the image of the seal made. When you have seen the seal imprinted, you have seen the exact likeness of the instrument that made the seal.

We get our word character from the Greek word “charakter.” It is a tranliteration. Our word “character” means among other things, “A description of a person’s attributes, traits, or abilities.” Jesus is the answer to what God is like in His attributes, traits and abilities.” When one studies the life of Jesus in the Scripture, you have God’s attributes, traits and abilities displayed and stated by and in Jesus the only begotten Son. The word “person” translates “hupostasis” and means, “a setting or placing under, a thing put under, substructure, foundation, that which has foundation, is firm, that which has actual existence.” This means that the Son is the real thing, the very foundation of the One manifested. This is the same word that is translated “substance” in Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is the substance (hupostasis) of the things hoped for.” True faith is a response to the revelation of God so that God’s character is on the line to fulfill what is believed. What is believed is as sure as God Himself. Faith then is the realization of what is not seen before it is seen and the perfect assurance that it will be seen. Faith is the God given capacity to reveal the truthfulness of God.

Space will not allow further comment but I challenge you to reread the Gospels and study the life of Christ (not a set of theological books) to find out what God is like. You will find the “express image” of the invisible God in the person of Jesus. Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah!

Next our text says,

THAT THE SON UPHOLDS ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER

The word “and” is adding something else to the list of what God has spoken to us in the person of His Son. He made the “worlds” in verse 2, now God says the Son is “upholding all things by the word of his power.”

The word “upholding” translates “phero” and means, “to carry  to bear up i.e. uphold (keep from falling).” This describes what Jesus the only begotten Son is doing right now. Can you imagine what man’s denial of God as Creator does to the God we serve? The little puny brain-dead professor in a school of higher learning or teacher in a public school has no idea how offended God is at the disbelief registered when they teach evolution. Can you imagine what would happen if Jesus would release His PRESENT GRIP on the created universe? The word “upholding” is a present active participle. This means that Jesus is doing it right now. The active voice adds force to Jesus as the Subject acting of His own merciful will to hold all things together.

Let me give you a verse that tells us what would happen if Jesus willed to release His PRESENT GRIP on the created universe. Peter says in 2 Pet. 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” The word “elements” translates “stoicheion” and means, “any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal.” The elements are the invisible things of which Hebrews 11:3 is speaking. There he says, “The things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The seen is made out of the unseen and Jesus is holding the unseen elements together so that the seen things stay in tact until the time described by Peter.

How does Jesus do this. We are told in the words, “by the word of his power.” The word “word” translates “rhema” and means, “that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, a thing spoken.” Jesus IS the Word (logos) and He speaks (rhema) the word that UPHOLDS ALL THINGS. The word “power” translates “dunamis” and means, “inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.” This is not the word “power” that means authority. That is also used of Jesus in Matthew 28:18. But the Eternal Son’s living voice is speaking in the present, and His speaking voice is holding the unseen elements together. Should Jesus stop speaking, what do you think would happen? Peter tells us. Is God alive? My dear friends we know He is alive and active because the universe has not melted with fervent heat. Every day and every moment of every day the resurrection is proven by the fact that we are still here.

I have had about all of this I can stand in this session. You can’t imagine how many times in writing this I have wanted to have a camp meeting spell. I am overcome by the greatness of God in Jesus Christ. I can say, “Hallelujah!!!” and it may look dead on a page. But take my word for it, the cork has blown out of my bottle this morning.

May the Lord bless these words to your hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#203 – The Fulness of Supply

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THE FULNESS OF SUPPLY

Luke 5:3 8 “And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

These men had already been saved and baptized by John the Baptist. There were now called out to occupy the office of Apostleship in the Church. These men would receive a course in personal discipleship and would come through it to lead the church in the world-wide commission (Matt. 28:16-20). The Lord’s people, through the church still maintain that commission, and will until the end of this age.

Let’s notice first,

THE FULNESS OF BLESSING

The Lord’s people are a blessed people. It is so easy to slip into a rut so that you don’t even have time to take hold of the searing wheel. It will just follow the rut. When God gives us daily supply, we begin to think that the explanation for these things are self earned and the explanation of them are from another source. God no longer gets credit for what He is doing.

Paul states this in Romans 15:29, “And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”

The words “I am sure” translates “ oida” and it means, “to perceive with the eyes.” Paul envisioned the trip to Rome and meeting with them. It is a perfect active indicative verb. The perfect tense represents action completed in the past, and what that action completed, remains true in the present. Paul knew what the gospel would do. It had happened over and over again. So he comes to Rome with the full assurance of the manifest blessing of the gospel. Paul reminds them in 1 Corinthians 2:1 5, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Paul did not put on a show for them. He did not use the high Greek in speaking to them. He wanted their faith to stand in the power of God. To do this one must do it God’s way. God is not going to bless “man’s way.” So we see the fulness of blessing to enrich us.

This world is full of people who don’t want God’s blessing and they don’t want you talking to them about it. Have you ever seen a person like this? Have you ever been a person like this? Next let’s look at,

THE FULNESS OF GRACE TO BLESS US

There is no way to measure God’s grace or His willingness to bestow His blessings on His believing children.

John 1:16 17, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

What does grace mean in these verses? It means that Jesus made a way of us. First He made a way for our salvation. Romans 3:10 12 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

This is God’s diagnosis of man in his falling state. Read the rest of Roman three and you will find a picture that is not pretty. God says our throat is an open sepulcher. A person like that is not going to come to the Lord. The Lord’s holiness makes man in his natural state to draw back in fear, then, flee to make himself a god that he creates. How intelligent men can bow before a piece of marble or wood made into a form representing what they believe God’s looks like is beyond me. Have you ever noticed the awful ugliness of the idols of this world. They are all ugly, very ugly.

Jesus came and made a way for us. God’s grace is giving sinful man the right to come to Him. Jesus came to die for man so that when man approaches God, he does it in the righteousness of Jesus. Romans 5:17 says, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ)”

When we come before the Lord in the righteousness of Jesus, there is no problem getting there and there should be no fear from the one we worship. That is, unless we do not believe that His righteousness will stand up? Next let’s look at,

THE FULNESS OF JOY TO GLADDEN US

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

Some people believe that Jesus was a somber person who never really enjoyed His life in this world. But that is false. Jesus said to His disciples that He wanted to bequeath them His joy. When Jesus said, “that my joy might remain in you,” He reveals in this statement that the disciples already had His joy. The words, “might remain,” means that His joy is conditional. This verb is a aorist active subjunctive. The aorist tense represents a point of time. In this case Jesus is looking at the whole life of each disciple in one snap shot. The subjunctive mood is potential. It is there for us, but it is not compulsory. This means we can have His joy in its fulness. But we must lay hold on it.

What does Jesus refer to when He says, “These things have I spoken unto you?” This looks back on the immediate. Jesus is only hours away from the cross in John 15. He teaches them in the parable of the Vine and branches. This passage is too big for me, in the scope of this meditation, to mention all the things that Jesus said of them. The fulness of Joy is there to gladden our hearts.  Next let’s look at,

THE FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT TO EMPOWER US

Ephesians 5:18 says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

Jesus gives the comparison of one’s being filled with wine to the believer being filled with the Holy Spirit. This happened to the disciples on the day of Pentecost. Things got wild around there. They acted in such a way that some of the bystanders said, “Hey, this is nothing but a bunch of drunks. Peter comes to the defense of the church and says in Acts 2:14 16, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;”

Peter says, “You think these are drunk, just look to your Scriptures. Joel prophesied that this would take place.”

What does the fulness of the Holy Spirit bring to the Christian’s life? It brings the assurance of salvation. Paul clearly brings this out in Ephesians 1:13 14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

It also brings an Aid in worship. Paul brings this out in Romans 8:14 16, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

The words, “Abba, Father,” are describing a deep sense of the believers realization of his relationship to the Father in heaven. This is not speaking of unknown tongues. It is speaking of the believers capacity to worship a God that cannot be seen. True worship takes place when one has proper understanding of his relationship with God. This text says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Don’t let the misuse of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit drive you away from the truth of true worship. God meets with the true worshiper in the Person of the Holy Spirit. It is not worshiping by sight, but it is real worship where one comes into His presence and receives His fulness. When one receives His fulness, he is going to run over. Glory to God someone hold my mules!!!

Jesus said in John 7:37 39, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)” The words, “out of his belly,” refer to his innermost being. The words, “shall flow rivers of living water,” refer to the overflow.

The Lord Jesus is the source from which all fulness comes. Let’s keep ourselves from evil in thought and deed. This will enable us to enjoy that fulness that passes understanding. We are living in a sad world. We can either throw up our hands and go with the flow, or, we can throw up our hands for God to fill them with His bountiful supply.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#202 – The Risen Life In Christ

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THE RISEN LIFE IN CHRIST

Colossians 3:1 4  “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

FIRST LET’S LOOK AT THE SEEKING OF THE RISEN LIFE

Note the “if” factor in the beginning statement of this verse.

1.    Paul says, “If ye then be risen with Christ.”  If ye then be risen” translates, “sunegeiro,” and means, to raise together, to cause to raise together.” This verb is an aorist passive indicative.  The aorist tense goes back to the point of time when they were raised with Christ.  It is a once-for-all act when one is saved.  Then there is the passive voice.  This act was not only at a point of time, i.e., when you were saved but the passive voice is where the action refers to where the action  takes place on the believer.  The believer is the recipient of God’s saving grace.  The believer doesn’t do a thing but believe.  The saint of God can’t do what has already been done.

2.    The “if” introduces a first class condition, e.i., This construction assumes it to be true.  This construction is often translated, “Since ye be risen with Christ.  This means Paul is addressing saved people.

3.    “If ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above,” The believer has an eternally, all powerful, connection with Christ as He ministers to us as He sits at the right hand of God.

4.    Now that Paul has assured the Christians of their position in Christ, he exhorts them to act by faith as sons of God, and obtain the things there that can be received by faith.  We do not operate by the power of this present world.  Ephesians 1:3 establishes the fact that there are things in heaven waiting to be received by the believer.  He says,  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

5.    Those Spiritual blessing have been given us to supply the needs in our lives as we walk with Him.  Next,

THE AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE
Paul continues to instruct when he says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

1.    The words “Set your affection on things above” translate “phroneo” and means, “To have, to have understanding, be wise.” The meaning is an exhortation to keep looking heaven-ward.  There is where our affections are to be concentrated.

2.    In contrast to this Paul says, “Not on things on the earth.” A walk with God is this wicked world is not only difficult but impossible.  That is, without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the constant help we get from our Lord as He intercedes in our behalf.

THE PROTECTION OF THE RISEN LIFE

Paul reminds them that they “are dead” and “your life is hid with Christ in God.”  Satan is a powerful being.  But His power is not even measurable when compared to the power of God.  We have a hiding place.  It is put this way: “your life is hid with Christ in God.” This statement would have no meaning if the believers security is not being assured. We are protected by the one who has all power.  He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.  Don’t fear Christian brother or sister, your life is hidden and out of the reach of the enemy.

THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE RISEN LIFE

Christ is the sum and substance of the risen life. 1 John 5:11 12, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

The believer has the Son and therefore he has everlasting life and the protection that goes with having God as our father.

THE PROSPECTS OF THE RISEN LIFE

This promise is made to believers now. Colossians 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” It is impossible in scope of this mediation to examine all the wonderful things Jesus has in store for us when we arrive.  Then when He comes to bring the Armageddon to a close, and to establish His kingdom on David’s throne, we will be there serving Him.  Someone hold my mules.  Hallelujah!!!

In Christ

Bro.  White

#201 – The Believers Equipment

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THE BELIEVER’S EQUIPMENT
John 16:1 4″These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.  But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.”

The Lord is here warning His disciples that times of trial and suffering were before them. This is the time for cowards to drop out. But none of them did. But He did not leave them with their, “sorrow filled hearts,” without giving them many encouraging promises, which we may regard as their equipment for life’s work.

THERE WAS THE PROMISE OF THE COMFORTER
John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

The word “expedient” means “advantageous.”  Jesus is saying that My going away will give you an advantage instead of being a liability. Until these disciples learned to walk by faith, this would be a truth that they could not comprehend. Faith accepts what Jesus says without question. We do not have to know the advantage to know that it exists. Remember, Jesus always addresses Himself to faith and not to rationalism.

The word “Comforter” translates “parakletos” and means, “summoned, called to one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid;  one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate.” Jesus was by their side continually. He was their comforter. He is going away and will not be by their side in bodily form. He is saying that He will send One who will constantly be by their side. When the Holy Spirit comes, if the Apostles all walked off in different directions, the Comforter will walk off in all directions. They will never be without the Comforter. He will always be by their side.

He is also by our side and will maintain that posture through this entire age. Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” We have the promise and the Lord never breaks His Word. So, just as Jesus comforted them when He was with them, just as He preformed miracles, and strengthened them when they were weak, He will continue to do so. Next, we have—

THE PROMISE OF GUIDANCE AND TEACHING
John 16:13 14, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
John says that you need not any man to teach you, for this anointing teaches you all things (1 John 2:20-27). This is the Spirit that searches all things (1 Cor. 2:9,10). Why should we not expect the Holy Spirit to do His work in us just as effectively as Christ has done His work for us? Don’t grieve the Spirit by refusing His teaching regarding these “things to come.”

THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING AGAIN
John 16:22, “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” This was literally fulfilled when He rose from the dead. But there is a greater fulfillment to us for He has promised, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).

THE PROMISE OF ANSWERED PRAYER
John 16:23 24, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” There are many promises to answer prayer. This is part of the believer’s equipment.

THE PROMISE OF CHRIST’S INTERCESSION
John 16:26 27, “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”
Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

THE PROMISE OF PEACE
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” His peace is our peace. It is a given peace and is a part of the equipment of the saints.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#200 – Magnify The Lord With Me

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MAGNIFY THE LORD

Psalm 34:3 “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

The word “magnify” is the Hebrew word “gadal” and means “to become great or important, to promote, to praise.” It is used in the Piel stem in the Hebrew and represents intensive or intentional action. It is in the imperative mood which means it is a command. David said this intensively. He wrote the psalm then came before those gathered to worship and was intensive in his presentation of it. He also commanded the people to magnify the LORD. As king he could do that. He was not asking for personal praise. He was asking that the LORD be praised.

Not only is it said intensively and commanded it is an invitation. He said “O magnify the LORD with me…” Now you can’t make God great. He is as great as he can be. You cannot add to perfection. You cannot exalt God. He is exalted.

Thomas Brooks said, “We are as well able to comprehend the sea in a cockle-shell as we are able to comprehend God. God is above all name, all notion and all comprehension . . . you shall as soon tell the stars of heaven, number the sand of the sea, stop the sun in its course, raise the dead and make a world as be able to comprehend the infiniteness of God’s essence: ‘His greatness is unsearchable’ (Psa. 145:3). The most perfect knowledge we can have of God is that we cannot perfectly know Him because we do know Him to be infinitely and incomprehensibly perfect: ‘Oh the depth both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out’ (Rom. 11:33) . . . There is infinitely more in God than the tongues of men or angels can express.”

Anselm of Canterbury said, “God is that, the greater than which cannot be conceived.”

John Fletcher said, “The Royal Academy of Paris offered a prize to the man who should write the best copy of verses upon the divine nature. Many wrote largely on the awful subject; but Professor Crousaz sent only two lines: ‘Cease to expect from man a proper description of the Supreme Being; none can speak properly of Him but himself.’ And the judicious Academicians agreed to crown this short performance, because it gave the most exalted idea of Him, whose dazzling glory calls for our silent adoration and forbids the curious disquisitions of our philosophical pride . . . As we cannot grasp the Universe with our hands, so we cannot comprehend the Maker of the Universe with our thoughts.”

So when David said, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” he was not attempting to make God greater (according to the definition of the word) but to acknowledge his greatness.

This can be done by praising him for creation. Psalm 19 does this: verses 1-6 say, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” We will never come up with a song that will come nearly as close to magnifying the LORD of creation that does this Psalm. This is the reason Paul says, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms …” (Eph. 5:19). These are verbally inspired words that magnify the LORD in praise.

Can you imagine what an insult it is to God for a man he has created, refusing to acknowledge him as Creator but rather magnifying the falsehood of evolution? Men of so-called learning actually glorify themselves for having supposedly found the secret of man’s existence. And in doing it the Creator is totally excluded. Then some “creature” with a brain the size of a neutron comes along and says “We believe as Christians that God worked through the process of evolution.” This idea exalts man’s professed findings which has the effect of exalting man’s wisdom. It rejects God’s revelation which says, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” And again in verse 9, “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psa. 33:6,9).

The word “magnify” is also used by Mary in Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” I’ll have to let you turn and read that passage. When the Lord revealed to Mary, she was going to have the “Son of God” (Lk. 1:35) she did not say, “But Lord this is scientifically impossible. Now how will I account to the learned men of our day for this pregnancy?” A question that would not be stupid when addressed to man, becomes immediately stupid when addressed to God. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk. 1:37).

David said, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” It is right for man to acknowledge the greatness of God out loud, publicly and bear the reproach of those who do are not willing to acknowledge his greatness.

There was a black man years ago who could not stay quiet when the preacher preached the gospel, exalted the Lord and talked about the second coming and heaven. He would shout and disturb the services. Now this was bothering the new preacher fresh out of seminary. So the deacons got together and said, “We’ve got to do something about this. It is disturbing our new preacher and we sure don’t want to lose him.” So, they decided to go and talk to this man. When they found him, he was down in the field plowing with a team of mules. Well, they went out to where he was and explained the problem he was creating for the young preacher. Well, the man said, “I do not want to cause a problem. Now men, I do not mean to disturb the services. I just have a time controlling myself when the preacher says something good about salvation, the coming of my Lord and about us being reunited with our loved one when he comes.” As he explained to them his feelings on the subject and described what caused him to overflow, he asked one of the deacons as he handed him the reins of the team of mules, “Would you please hold these mules while I shout?!”

So when I use this “would you please hold my mules” from now on, you will know what I am talking about. It is not wrong to magnify the Lord with a loud voice! Luke 1:42 “And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

May we all magnify the LORD in our hearts and with our mouths and bear the reproach it causes “Being fools for Christ’s sake.”

God bless each of you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#199 – Knowing The Name of God

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#199

KNOWING GODS NAME

Psalm  9:10 “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”

Spurgeon prefers to think that this psalm found its inspiration from David’s victory over Goliath of Gath. He says, “Believing that out of a thousand guesses this is at least as consistent with the sense of the Psalm as any other, we prefer it; and more especially so, because it enables us to refer it mystically to the victory of the Son of God over the champion of evil, even the enemy of souls.” -Treasury of David Vol. 1 page 107.

The word for “name” here is “shem” and according to Strong means “name, reputation, fame, glory the Name (as designation of God).” God has revealed himself by many different names in the Bible. When Moses encountered God at the burning bush he said, “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”(Exo.  +3:11). Moses understood what God was saying. He wanted him to go and lead Israel out of Egypt. To do this he would have to face Pharaoh. And Pharaoh was no small obstacle! He said, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh.” Lord, I know who Pharaoh is. And forty years ago I was no match for him. In fact Lord, as you well know I wore out a good pair of tennis shoes running for my life when I left Egypt forty years ago! And all I have heard about Egypt has not made it any easier for me.

Then the Lord began to assure Moses with the words “Certainly I will be with thee…” ( +3:12). Now that makes some difference. Someone has said “God and one man makes a majority in any case.” God prophecies Israel’s deliverance in this very verse in the words, “and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee; When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” God gives Moses this token. But can’t you just hear Moses (it is not written but I can still hear him) say,  But God. Please. That token comes a little late. I need a token before I go to Egypt. I am no match for Pharaoh. I know that. I learned that forty years ago. Now if you are a match for Pharaoh, let me know now. Isn’t that just like us? We want our guarantees up front. We do not want to walk by faith. It makes us nervous to put our trust in God’s name without any assurance but a promise. But God’s way is a faith-way. He says something and he wants us to believe without seeing (John  +20:29).

Then Moses says, “…When I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?” Moses says, “this is something I need to know. Because I know this question will be asked. And right now I’m having a good time talking to you. But I can’t take this bush with me. What am I going to say with they ask this question?” “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” ( +3:14-15). So God continues in verses 16-22 to tell Moses what he will do for him and the children of Israel.

Then Moses responds: “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee”(4:1). He becomes a prophet here. He said, “Lord, they wouldn’t trust me forty years ago and they will not believe me now.” Do you ever get worried about other people’s faith? Moses is beginning to get personally satisfied with whom God is, but he is not sure that those Jews in Egypt will be satisfied when he tells them about this personal experience with God.

Now you understand in this meditation I’m trying to help me to understand what’s in a name, i.e., esp. The name of God. I’m sitting at my key board trying to understand how Moses is going to get the Israelites stirred up to leave Egypt on the strength of telling them “I Am” sent me! Let’s go on.

The Lord gave Moses a couple of illustrations that reveal what is in his name “I Am.” He asked, “What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” He told Moses to cast it on the ground. And it became a snake. You say, “Was it poisonous?” They are all poisonous to me! And Moses agrees with me. He fled before the serpent. And then the Lord said to Moses “Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail.” Now its going to take a lot of faith to obey this order. I think Moses said, “Lord, I have been running from that snake. And you are asking me to take it by the tail? You know Lord the snake handlers, and I’m not one of them, always pick it up by the business end. If I’m going to pick that snake up, I would rather do it right behind it’s biting end!” God says, “Moses, you do what I say and let me take care of the business end.” You do understand that what God tells Moses at this point is a death sentence unless he performs a miracle to keep that snake from biting him? Well, Moses does what God says and to Moses’ surprise, God doesn’t tame the snake, he turns it back into a stick. Well, to my surprise, Moses didn’t say, “How did you do that?!!!”

Then the Lord tells Moses, “Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.” Then the Lord said, “Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.” (4:6-7). Again, Leprosy was a death sentence. And when Moses put his leprous hand back into his bosom and brought it out completely cleansed of leprosy, it was life back from the sentence of death.

Both of these illustrations give Moses the ability to demonstrate who God really is. He is “I Am.” Not I was or I will be. The LORD is all Moses needs in the present tense. He can turn wood rods into snakes and snakes into harmless rods. He can strike a healthy man with leprosy and heal him on the spot. That is what is in God’s name.

David said, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Moses knew the Name of the LORD. He put his trust in him. Jesus is the embodiment of that Name. Jesus is all the unsaved man need and all we need as the saints of God. Our need is to trust in Him. Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God and one man is still a majority.

May the Lord bless you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#198 – Suffering for His Name

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SUFFERING FOR HIS NAME

Acts 5:41 “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

Jesus had told his disciples in John 15:20, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also.”

The disciples no doubt remembered this saying of Jesus. They had been brought before the authorities of their day. They were upset because of the evident blessings of God upon them (4:4). They were upset because the apostles were teaching that Jesus was the only way to be saved: Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” You know when you teach that Jesus is the only way to be saved you get the Moslems, the Buddhists, all the cults, and all the other religions of the world. A man doesn’t like for you to kick his dog nor criticize his religion. When you tell a man that the only way to go to heaven is through Jesus and the man’s religion does not include that statement of faith, what do you think he figures you are saying? It does not take him long to figure the thing out.

So the council sent them out of the room and had a little private meeting: “verses 15-16 “But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.” These Christians were hard to handle. God had by their hands worked a miracle that no one could deny. Their behavior was so above reproach that they could find nothing with which to accuse them.

So what did they do? Verse 17-18 says, “But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” This was an attempt to stop the spread of the gospel. The Apostles were not preaching healing, they just healed as they preached the gospel. It was the message that the council wanted to stop. The message was being received: verse 4 of this chapter says, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” You would think that the general public would not object to what they would call a religion that made people better neighbors. But it did make them a difference. They could not stand the message of the cross. They commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

How did the servants of Jesus respond to these threats? “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye” (verse 19). The apostles claimed to be under God’s orders. Man was trying to give them his orders. These orders were contradicting. When you run into contradicting orders you have to decide who you are going to obey. As you know, they went with the Lord. The Lord continued to bless. Miracles continued to accompany the message they preached and souls continued to be added to the fellowship (5:14). The high priest (5:17) was incensed that these men would not obey him. So he went after them again this time throwing them into prison (5:18). But the Lord send an angel to get them out (5:19) and to make matters worse the angel had a message from the Lord to them, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (5:20). He told them what to preach and where to preach it and to whom to preach it.

It might be objected. “But Lord you just turned us out of prison. If we obey you, they will just throw us back in prison. In fact Lord, if you don’t mind, I’ll just go back through these doors and go back to my cell. That way I’ll avoid the process. You see Lord, the jail is not as bad as the process. They process you with a whip!” Well, the apostles said nothing like this. They just obeyed the Lord and disobeyed the high priest and his party.

Now when someone told the council that the men who had been thrown in prison were out, and of all places, in the temple preaching the gospel to the people again, they did not receive that message very well. They sent and had them brought back before them again “Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? And, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (verses 28-29). Here the matter of who to obey comes up again. YOU KNOW CHRISTIANS STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE. This time it made them (the council) so mad that they began to consider murder (5:33). And out of the blue comes this man by the name of Gamaliel. He reasons successfully with the council and gets the apostles off with a beating (5:40) and with one more attempt to bring them under their authority by commanding “that they should not speak in the name of Jesus” any more (5:40).

That brings us down to our text: “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” That’s an odd way to respond to a beating. And to go further the next verse says: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (verse 42). What can you do, if you are the high priest, and you can’t get folk to mind you? You beat them and put them in jail and you reason with them and as soon as you turn them loose they begin to do again what you just told them not to do. And to add insult to injury as we would say, they rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. I imagine the blood pressure of that high priest needed Dr. Luke’s medical attention about now.

This is the story of the church. You just can’t stop God’s people. They are under heaven’s orders and are constantly getting in trouble because of the message they are commanded by heaven to preach. Christians have suffered in our day under totalitarian Marxism. Bro. George Vins who spoke in our church and stayed in my home shortly after his release from prison in Russia spent eight years in prison for preaching the gospel of Jesus. His father Peter Vins, suffered in prison before him and died in captivity in 1943 in a labor camp in Siberia. His mother Lidia Vins was arrested and tried in 1970 and 1971. George Vin’s son, Peter, also served a year in prison for the sake of the gospel. Paul said in 2 Tim. 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Our suffering may be different but it is still there. There is also a price for us to pay. Let’s pay it with joy as we wait on his coming.

God bless you.

In Christ
Bro. White

#197 – Some Bible Names for Believers – Part 3

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SOME BIBLE NAMES OF BELIEVERS – Part 3

Acts  11:26 “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

We looked in our last two meditations at the verse that deals with the origin of the name Christian in Scripture. I will use the same text because this is part 3 of that meditation.

WE ARE CALLED PILGRIMS

1 Peter  +2:11 says, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

Let’s note the following:

1.    First, we note the affection that Peter had for those to whom he writes. One of the outstanding features of our Lord’s discipling the twelve is His emphasis on love. He said in John  +13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Peter is speaking the truth in love. He has learned his lesson about loving the brethren.

2.    Peter’s attitude stands out in his exhortation to those he calls “Dearly beloved.” He says, “I beseech you.” This is used in the sense of entreating someone. It is not an order it is pleading. Peter is saying, “Dearly beloved, I plead with you.” This is the kind of approach that makes one want to listen and consider seriously doing what is being ask. Grace pleads, law threatens. There was a time when Peter would not have pled, he would have exercised apostolic authority and threatened anyone who challenged him.

3.    The word pilgrim is a term by which Christians were called. The word pilgrim is “one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives.” The word “strangers” describes further what the pilgrim is. He is a stranger. He originated in another country.

I was reading one of Watchman Nee’s books where he made a point I want to share with you that fit with the word pilgrim and its definition. John  +15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

The particle “if” is a second class condition. The “if” in a second class condition means, “if, and it is not true.” A paraphrase is, “if ye (the plural you) were of this world, and you are not.” Then follows, “the world would love his own.” Jesus is saying that you are not of this world any more, and this is why the world does not love you. Let me ask you a question. Has the world changed its attitude toward you since you have been saved? This is a question, the answer to which, makes the difference between heaven and hell.

The words, “but because ye are not of (of is a preposition denoting origin) the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Jesus is saying, “you did not originate in this world like the unsaved.” Next Jesus tells them how this change in their origin took place, “but I have chosen you out of the world.” When we were born again, we were born from above, i.e., from heaven as a country. So when one is saved, his Spiritual birth gives him a new origin. We have a heavenly accent in our speech and our walk unveils a different culture. Have you ever noticed that people who are different make you uneasy? Our doctrine and walk infuriate the unsaved world is what Jesus is saying.

One of the names by which we are called as Christians are Pilgrims. Next,

WE ARE CALLED HEIRS

Paul says in Romans 8:17, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

The word “heir” according to Strong: “in Messianic usage, one who receives his allotted possession by right of sonship.”

The word “joint-heirs with Christ,” means that the believer is by right of birth an equal heir with Christ. Jesus is the Son of God and we are sons with Him because the New Birth puts us in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The words “in Christ” describe the believer’s permanent position. He also has Christ’s righteousness imputed to him. And because he is in Christ, he shares what Christ inherits because of His incarnation, sinless life, death, and resurrection.

Peter refers to this in 1 Peter 1:3 5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” The believer’s origin is in heaven and that is where the inheritance will be.

Next,

WE ARE CALLED INSTRUMENTS

2 Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

The word vessel is used to emphasize that the believer, like the vessel, is made to hold contents. The contents in a vessel may vary but the contents in the believer as compared to the vessel is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wherever the believer goes, he has in him the gospel of Christ that will save any person who will believe it. Notice what this verse says about the vessel:

1.    First of all, look at the lead statement: “If a man therefore purge himself from these.” The “if” here is a third class condition. It is “if” and maybe it is true and maybe it isn’t. This simply means that Paul is declaring a truth that there is a condition on man’s part, if he is going to be a vessel of honor. It is conditioned on whether a man is willing to purge himself from “these.”

2.    What does the word “these” refer to? The two prior verses answer this question. 2 Timothy 2:19 20, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonor.”

The words “the foundation of God standeth sure” is speaking of the foundation of the Church. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a word meaning a little rock), and upon this rock (a huge building stone) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The name “Peter” literally means, “a stone.” The words, “and upon this rock,” Jesus uses a different word for rock. When referring to Peter He used Petros and means a small stone compared to the next word. When Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” He use the word Petra. This word means, “a rock, cliff or ledge, a large stone.” Now if you can picture this. When Jesus said, “Thou art Peter (Petros),” He had a finger pointed at Peter, but “Upon this rock (Petra) He had a finger pointed to Himself. Now to support this Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus is definitely the foundation of the Church.

The words “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his,” is a statement that suggests strongly that this passage has to do with the saved and unsaved in the church. If not, why would Paul say, “The Lord knoweth them that are His?”

This being true, “the vessels of honor” are those who belong to the Lord. The Lord knows them and fills them as vessels to take in them the message of salvation. The vessels of dishonor are those who do not belong to Him. He knows they are not. They have stuff in them as vessels but they do not have the power of God upon the message they carry. They may be the PhD’s and be very skilled is public speech, and organization, and they may build big churches. But there is a good chance when the rapture takes place they won’t be down 10 in Sunday School the next Sunday!!! I’m not a prophet. What I said is just an opinion. I base it on this. It is doubtful that anyone will be saved listening to a lost man preach the gospel. It is not just the facts of the gospel that saves, it is also the power of God upon the message that is preached.

Here is what God says about this matter: 1 Corinthians 2:1 5, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

3.    God uses His people to carry the message of salvation to the unsaved world. The words of our text: 2 Timothy 2:21, “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Some things this verse definitely teaches:

God uses His people to spread the message. Any saved man can tell an unsaved man how he himself was saved. God can and does use our WITNESS to bring others to a saving experience. A witness does not just give four or five steps to tell another how to be saved, this witness is given in the power of the Holy Spirit. He tells them that these things are what he believed to be saved. He was there when it happened!!! He says, “This is what I believed to be saved and I want to tell you from personal experience that it worked because it worked on me.”

The next thing states what one must do to be an effective witness: “If a man (a believer in Christ. One whom God knows is His) purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet (fit) for the master’s use.” The word “purge” means, “to cleanse thoroughly” and it is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The aorist tense refers to a point of time. It may take place in one’s home or at Church. A personal worker may lead an unsanctified saved person to repent and ask God to cleanse him in the blood of Jesus. The active voice means that the unsanctified believer makes the decision to do this, and by an act of his will, decides to seek restoration so that he can be a vessel of honor. The subjunctive is the potential mood. It is one of those things where one has a choice. He is given a call, through exposure to the Word of God, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If he turns the invitation down, he will remain as is. If he turns from his sin and comes to the Lord confessing his sin, he will be cleansed and made fit for the Master’s use. No one is made to serve the Lord. God seeks volunteers. You can reject God’s call to service but you cannot reject what happens to you as a result of your decision. Hebrews 12:6 8, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Are you an instrument in the Lord’s service? God wants to use us. It is a decision we have to make. May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#196 – Some Bible Names for Believers – Part 2

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SOME BIBLE NAMES OF BELIEVERS – Part 2

Acts 11:26 “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

We looked in our last meditation at the verse that deals with the origin of the name Christian in Scripture. I will use the same text because this is part 2 of that meditation.

There are two other places where the word Christian is used and I will give those here in the introduction in case you would like to make a further study of them.

Acts 26:28 says, “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” This statement from Agrippa seems to teach that by the time of the twenty-sixth chapter of Acts the word Christian was in common use.

1 Peter 4:16 says, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” Peter uses the word Christian in a way that suggests that the name Christian was being accepted in honor by Christians.

Next,

WE ARE CALLED DISCIPLES

Luke 14:27 says, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

The word “disciple” translates “mathetes” and means, “a learner, a pupil.” It is a term that was probably in common use in that day. Rabbis had students who studied under them. They wouldn’t take just anyone. The students in the Jewish Scriptures had to meet the Rabbis’ requirements. Once you were accepted you became known as a disciple of that particular Rabbi whatever his name was. The word disciple is used one time in the Old Testament. Isaiah 8:16 says, “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.”

Jesus and His disciples went to a wedding in Cana of Galilee and there He worked His first miracle: John 2:11, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” The words, “and his disciples believed on him,” may suggest that they were undecided until now about this new Rabbi that they had given up all to follow.  I do not know where saving faith began in these disciples.

Just for a mind stretching truth let me mention that We teach today if one does not believe in the resurrection, then he cannot believe in the literal resurrection of Christ. If he does not believe in the resurrection of Christ, he is not saved. The resurrection of Christ is a part of the definition that the Bible gives to the gospel. See 1 Cor. 15:1-3. If you will check Matthew 16:18 and following you will see that Peter did not believe that Jesus would die and be raised again. This is not a contradiction. The disciples were in transition at that time. Today people are saved by believing the gospel and the gospel is the death, burial, and the resurrection of Christ.

John 6:60 69 says, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?  When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?  What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

I have highlighted the words that I wanted to emphasize in this passage. Several Jews had begun to follow Jesus and listen to this new teaching. When they had followed Him to this point in His teaching, they balked over the very strong words that He said. He had just said in John 6:53 54, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus demanded unconditional commitment on the part of His disciples. When He taught something like this using the physical to illustrate the spiritual, many times the disciples didn’t understand. Those who where following Him at this time seemed to be demanding an explanation and He wouldn’t give it. So they went back and walked no more with Him. Peter represents those disciples who had committed to Him unconditionally. Peter could have said, Lord, I don’t understand what you have just said myself. But I am committed to you for the long haul. I am not going back because I do not understand what you have just said. What I do understand and am sure of, is that you are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.

We learn two important things from this passage. We are not going to understand a lot of what we find taught in the Word of God. That will not keep me from being His disciple. If He chooses not to explain a truth to me, I am still going to follow Him
because I believe the important thing. 1 John 5:1 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”

One of the reasons that the Lord does not reveal to us some of His teaching is brought out in John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Jesus withheld some things from His disciples because they were not ready at that stage of growth. We need to ask ourselves, Where are we at our present stage of growth? I have had to wait years to understand some of the Scriptures and there are things I do not yet understand. That is going to make no difference at all in my commitment to Him. By God’s grace I have put my hand to the plow and do not plan on looking back.

The next thing is that all the unsaved disciples did not go back. Judas continued to follow Him until just prior to the crucifixion where He betrayed Him. Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him.

The word disciple is found 255 times in the New Testament and I believe for the most part it speaks of born again believers. I am a disciple of Christ. I follow Him and feed off His Words. The Word of God is the way He communicates with me and it is the joy of my life.

Are you a believing disciple or an unbelieving disciple?

Next,

WE ARE CALLED THE ELECT

Colossians 3:12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”

This is an exhortation of Paul to the Christians in the church at Colosse. The word “elect” translates “eklektos” and means, “picked out, chosen out from among.” This has been a controversial word through the ages. I do believe that we are wrong to reject a word of Scripture just because we do not understand it.

1 Timothy 5:21 says, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” This verse reveals that the saved are not the only ones who are called the “elect” but the angels who did not follow Lucifer in the rebellion also are.

Peter sheds some light on election in 2 Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

If the Bible doctrine of election by passes man’s free will, then why would Peter tell those to whom he wrote, “ . . . brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” I take this to mean Peter is saying to those who professed faith in Jesus to make sure that they have a saving faith. One can be sure. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

1 Peter 1:2 says, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

The word elect does not only identify a word by which Christians were called but it also gives assurance that one is protected of God, and the elect, are sure to make it to the goal of election, i.e., heaven. God does not just save us for this life but for the life to come. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

Romans 8:33 says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”

No one can bring a charge against God’s elect. God is the one who would have to bring the charge and He won’t. David recognized this in Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” God chastens His children for sinning but the record of their citizenship in Heaven goes completely undisturbed. Someone hold my mules!!! Hallelujah!!! What a Saviour that we have!

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

#195 – Some Bible Names for Believers – Part 1

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SOME BIBLE NAMES OF BELIEVERS – PART 1

ACTS  +11:26 “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

WE ARE CALLED CHRISTIANS

The name Christian was given to the believers in the early church for the first time in our present text. It was intended to be a term of ridicule and mockery. I do not know how they originally responded to the name but it was not long until they wore the name proudly.

Barnabas is first mentioned in Acts  +4:36, “And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,” As his name suggests Barnabas was a peace maker. Later in the book of Acts John Mark as a young man went on one of Paul’s and Barnabas’ missionary journeys. John Mark quit them while on the journey. There is evidence John Mark quit because he couldn’t take the difficulties of the journey. The next time Paul made a missionary journey, which was at least a year, Barnabas insisted on taking John Mark with them. Paul objected and the contention was so great between them that Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus and Paul took Silas and repeated his first missionary journey confirming the churches.

After his first missionary journey, Paul spent a whole year teaching in Antioch. The church at Antioch became a strong missionary Church. If one spent a year under the ministry of Paul, there would be great spiritual growth. Their study of the Word of God, and the change in their doctrine, and life style so changed that the opposition began to call them Christians.

It would be interesting to know how many people call us (me and you) Christians because of our obedience to the Scriptures and submission to the Lordship of Christ. Most of the time we have to tell people that we are Christians. In fact, I have asked people if they were Christians and they were offended by it. They thought if you were born in America and were members of a church, that no one should have to ask that question. The fact is that many who are members of a Church do not live the christian life. The Bible is seldom opened and many do not frequent the church. They come only when they do not have anything else to do. There is every reason to ask them if they are Christians because of their language and life style.

“Excuse my French”, is not acceptable to God for swearing and the use of base and vulgar language.  Paul teaches in Ephesians  +4:29 30, “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.” The Holy Spirit is grieved when we use “corrupt communication.”

The believers were called Christians first at Antioch. We need to wear that name proudly and unashamedly. And our lives should speak loudly that we are the true followers of Christ. Next,

WE ARE CALLED AMBASSADORS

2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

The words “we are ambassadors” translates “presbeuo” and is according to Webster’s dictionary, “a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative.”

The words, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ” state a conclusion from what has just been said. Verse 19 says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. The words “to wit” means, ”To know.” This verb is used only in the infinitive, to wit, namely, that is to say.” Noah Web. 1828 addition.

What does Paul say we know? “That God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” The incarnation comes up in all the Scripture. This is what the virgin birth is all about. Man is a sinner, not because he sins, he sins because he is a sinner. So if man is a sinner by nature, i.e., born that way, it is not possible for man to change that nature. The Bible states it this way. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” The plan of salvation is of the Lord, He became a man, to do what man was created to do, i.e., reflect the true image of God. He did this in life, and then offered Himself a spotless sacrifice as our substitute to die, and to pay for our sins. In prophesy He stated the plan (Isa. 7:14; Isa. 53), then he incarnated Himself in the virgin womb to become a man who could meet His standards of holiness, then he died to pay for man’s sins so man would not have to pay the debt himself, then went back to heaven as our intercessor, and saves everyone who believes.

The words “not imputing their trespasses unto them” means that the believer has no trespass imputed to his account so far as his destiny is concerned. When we believe in Jesus He counts our faith as righteousness. Paul says this in Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

The words, “we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God,” is Paul’s application of the word ambassador. Let’s note some truths that come out of this.

1.    An ambassador must be a citizen of the country that he represents. Philippians 3:20 21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” The word conversation literally means citizenship. We are registered as citizens in the Lamb’s book of life.

2.    An ambassador is sent to a foreign country to represent his sending country. His conduct either commends his country or brings shame on it.

3.    He lives in the foreign country on a piece of land on which sets a beautiful home. When you enter the premises you are under the protection of the Ambassador’s sending country.

4.    An ambassador is under a different set of rules than the laws of the country he is in. If he breaks the law, he is usually exempt from prosecution. If the ambassador does not voluntarily keep the laws of the country he resides in, he is not a good representative of his home country. An ambassador has liberty but not license.

5.    An ambassador is appointed to his position by the authority of his home country. We are also appointed to this position. We have the privilege of representing heaven on earth. What a privilege this is.

Next,

WE ARE CALLED BRANCHES IN THE VINE

John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples on the night of His betrayal. It is like He had a final message that He wanted them to hear and the time had come. He could hold it back no longer. He may have said come closer. He may have said, “by tomorrow at this time I will be hanging on a cross. I want you to hear this because you will need it” He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” This is a relationship that is imperative. It is a relationship with a Person. How will this relationship affect us? Jesus tells us in this verse. We will bear much fruit. Jesus says, “without me ye can do nothing.” In spite of the fact that He lives in us, the Parable of the Vine is not the same. The Holy Spirit is within every believer until the day of redemption. It has nothing to do with prayer or good works. He is there if you are a backslidden believer. Let’s get this clear.

Paul says in Ephesians 1:13 14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” The Holy Spirit is there to stay until the Lord comes.

Abiding in the Vine has to do with our fellowship with a Person. It has very little to do with how much you know the Bible and how many verses you have memorized. There is a lot of difference in reading a book and knowing its author. Bruce Wilkinson in his book THE SECRETS OF THE VINE says, “Abiding is all about the most important friendship of your life. Abiding doesn’t measure how much you know about your faith or your Bible. In abiding, you seek, long for, thirst for, wait for, see, know, love, hear, and respond to a person. More abiding means more of God in your life, more of Him in your activities, thoughts, and desires.” (I recommend this little book highly if you are interested in the life that abides in Him).

What is fruit? It is the natural effortless product of a healthy plant. If this definition is true, more work for Him is not the condition to bearing much fruit. It is abiding in him. I have been to Germany and seen the huge grape vineyards. I have been told that the trunk of the grape vine is sometimes very large and the roots travel long distances until they can tap into a stream. Then they take that water and it travels through the root to the vine and then to the branches and the result is much fruit.

For us to experience the truth of abiding in the vine, we must take time that we devote to seeking His face. God wants our fellowship. The problem is not with Him it is with us.

May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White