Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in perspective

It seems as if we have lost Christmas. It is almost sick to see the holiday that with celebrate the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ disappear into shopping and santa. If I hear "are you ready for Christmas" again I think my head will explode. "Ready for Christmas" means "did you buy all you presents yet?

Part of this familiar passage is on many Christmas cards.

Isaiah 9 (New American Standard Bible)
Isaiah 9
Birth and Reign of the Prince of Peace 1But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. 3You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. 5For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. 6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

But if we read the end of chapter 8 it shows us that the coming Messiah is on the backdrop of a dark and fallen world.

Chapter 8 of Isaiah

19When they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
20To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.
21They will pass through the land hard-pressed and famished, and it will turn out that when they are hungry, they will be enraged and curse their king and their God as they face upward.
22Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness.

It seems as if shopping and wild gift giving is a kind of drug that helps people feel better about themselves and forget the Savior that born to save us from our sins.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Ark Encounter

A Dove’s-Eye View of the Ark Encounter
Posted on December 1, 2010 by admin
The Ark Encounter, to be located south of Cincinnati and in northern Kentucky, has nine main attractions and encompasses about 800 acres, which allows for both privacy and future expansion. The unique nature of the site with its scenic hills and ravines enables the design team to create a varied and dynamic guest experience. The Ark Encounter promises to be a unique and influential attraction for the world.

The historical experience is composed of nine major themed areas:
The Walled City: This 14-acre area depicts the lifestyle of the people of Noah’s day. It also serves as the entry point to the facility for all guests and becomes its central gathering point. This walled city includes period shops, restaurants, and venues that bring to life the city and times in which Noah lived, including his house. The city is the first themed area that guests will experience as it introduces the Ark and the Flood. It asks and answers the question, “Why the Ark?”
Noah’s Ark: A full-size Ark, built to biblical dimensions, will be located outside the walled city. Guests will be able to tour the Ark and be immersed in the times of the Bible through highly themed scenes and presentations. This walk-through of the Ark will enable each guest to gain an understanding of how it could have been built, and how Noah, his family, and all of the representative kinds of land animals were cared for, and then survived on board for 370 days of the Flood and its aftermath. The Ark sits at the north end of a large lake that will be the hub for a spectacular daily show featuring the “parade of animals” and the dramatic “eruption of the fountains of the great deep.”
Noah’s Animals: This fun area will provide Ark Encounter guests with the opportunity to learn more about some of the animal kinds that were on the Ark. This area will be similar to a petting zoo, complete with barns, a petting animal area, an open grazing area, a stage for daily live animal and bird shows, and lots of meet-and-greet areas for close-up encounters with unique animals and birds.
Children’s Play Area: This fun-filled area will be a unique setting next to the zoo and aviary, and will be highly themed with bridge nets, climbing areas, slides, and zip lines. It will also feature an indoor and outdoor discovery center. It is designed for family participation and will allow grandparents, parents, and children to both learn and have fun in this very creative area.
The Tower of Babel: Over 100 feet tall, this structure depicts how the tower may have looked after its completion. Guests enter a highly themed interior and weave along a path that introduces exhibits on the origination of languages and people groups (so-called “races”). The path ultimately leads to a 500-seat special effects theater.
Journey through Biblical History: Visitors take a journey through Old Testament times, with spectacular special effects to help share some of the experiences of the Israelites. Beginning after Noah’s Flood and the time of Abraham, the journey through ancient times depicts the formation of Israel, Moses and the ten plagues in Egypt, and the parting of the Red Sea.
The First-Century Village: This area provides guests with the opportunity to experience a typical village that would have been found in the Middle East about 2,000 years ago. It is complete with period-costumed villagers, houses, a synagogue, a sheepfold, an olive press building, watchtowers, terraced farming, and a first-century dining facility where guests can reserve seats for a special first-century type of meal. The experience culminates with a visit to the Performing Arts Theater where a combined live and video-based show shares the summary of what guests have seen at the Ark Encounter.
Aviary: This will be a fascinating walk-through attraction with several viewing platforms inside three types of bird sanctuaries. Each sanctuary will allow guests to get close to the birds in a natural setting. A nearby butterfly emporium will be visually stunning as well.
Special Events Area: An area where large groups can have private outings away from the main guest areas will showcase some of the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building techniques used to construct the Ark Encounter. These techniques feature LEED standards in the use of wind and solar power, renewable resources, and preservation of the land. This will attract many educational groups and be positioned outside of the actual walled area—allowing for large group meetings and private events.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Biblical Imagination

Biblical Imagination

Bridge the Gap Between Heart & MindThere is a bridge between the heart and mind: the imagination, the means by which the Spirit begins to undo what was disintegrated by the Fall. When we allow our imaginations to be recaptured by the Holy Spirit, the facts we know in our heads come to life in our hearts.
"...though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand." Luke 8:10
When we hear these words of Jesus something inside us shudders. We wince at the thought of someone - anyone - who has the ability to see and hear, and yet stubbornly refuses to perceive and understand. And, truth be told, our greatest fear is that we might be just that person.
But what does biblical imagination look like and ask? How do we apply facts in our heads to aches in our hearts? What is missing in our understanding that leads to a more biblical response to the Spirit of God?
Join us as we seek to reacquaint, inspire, and shape the Church with the life of Jesus imaginatively seen through the Scriptures. MICHAEL CARD

Link to Biblical Imagination video

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The painting Checkmate: The devil vs Faust.http://www.chessville.com/images/Moritz%…Schach auf Ölgemälden (Chess in Oil Paintings) by Gerhard Jostenhttp://www.chessville.com/reviews/Schach…

The story has been told by Christian speakers at least as far back as 1955 when Billy Graham told a variation of it early in his ministry. As a tour guide took a group through an art gallery, he stopped before a painting entitled Checkmate. The guide talked about the painting, and then moved on. But one of the group stayed behind, staring at the chess pieces on the chessboard in the painting. The chess game was between the devil and Faust, who had sold his soul to the devil. It appears as if the devil has won. The devil has a smirk on his face, as if waiting for the final verdict, Checkmate!The young man who stayed to study the painting was a world class player.When the tour group was two corridors away, they suddenly heard their stray member running down the marble hallway to catch up, shouting, "It's a lie! It's a lie! The king has another move. Another move!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Galatians, Faith plus nothing

J. Vernon McGee from Thru the Bible says what I tried to say last week alot better than I did.

Thru the Bible Radio Network
P. O. Box 7100
Pasadena, California 91109
Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references
are from the New Scofield Reference Bible.
Printed in the United States of America
Revised 2006
For ye are all the sons of God
by faith in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:26)
Faith + 0 = Salvation
Our subject could also be called “Faith Minus Works Equals
Salvation.” If you want the equation (we’re told in mathematics
that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other), it
would be:
Faith + 0 = Faith - Works
The Epistle to the Galatians comes from the heart of Paul, and
in it he is defending the greatest doctrine that we have: Justification
by faith, or salvation by the grace of God. This is the epistle that
gripped Martin Luther. As an Augustinian monk, he spent nights
lying on a cold slab, wearing a hair shirt, fasting, and doing many
other things. One time he was going up Sancta Scala in Rome, ascending
the stairs on his knees, and it came to him (because he had
been studying the Epistle to the Galatians) that man was not justified
by works – certainly not by the things he was doing; that works
could not bring him into a right relationship with God; that God
had made it very clear that He justifies men by faith alone. So this
man rose from his knees to go out into Europe and proclaim a
gospel that drove back the darkness of the Dark Ages, took the
chains and shackles from the minds and hearts of the multitudes
of Europe, and brought in what we call today European civilization.
In our day, this great civilization has gone by the board – it’s
through, and it can be restored only by the preaching of the great
doctrines that Paul enunciated in this epistle.
Not only did the Epistle to the Galatians move Martin Luther,
but it also began the great spiritual movement that was led by the
Wesleys. John Wesley came to America as a missionary to the Indians,
but his mission was a failure. Returning to England in discouragement,
he said, “I came to America to convert Indians, but who
is going to convert John Wesley?” Back in London, walking down
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Aldersgate Street one night, he heard singing coming from an
upstairs window. He found the stairway, went up, and discovered
it was a meeting of the Friends, the Quakers, the followers of
George Fox. He took his place in the back of the little auditorium
and listened to a message from the Epistle to the Galatians. Later,
John Wesley wrote in his journal, “As he read and spoke from the
Epistle to the Galatians, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt
that I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and there
was given me there an assurance that He had taken away my sins,
even mine.”
What is this great truth that has so moved the men of the past
and which today is the only thing that can move America or even
the world? (I personally do not believe a revival is going to come
in by the methods of organizations or by a man. I think it can come
today only by preaching again these great truths that have long
since gone into oblivion and silence in the churches of America.)
Well, Paul stated it very succinctly in the Epistle to the Romans
when he said:
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for [that which it
is not] righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
The only way God can accept a sinner and make him righteous
is through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s the great truth that is being
left out today. God refuses to accept law-keeping. He refuses to
accept good works. The very moment someone says, “I do this or
that, which is necessary for my salvation, and I’m depending on
it,” he means two things: that he is trusting his works and that he
is not trusting Christ. And there is only one conclusion that can be
drawn: He is not saved at all. That is strong language, and I would
never say a thing like that, but Paul says it here in this epistle. Salvation
is only by faith in Christ.
Page 5
After all, what works do you and I have to offer to God? It is
like the little boy whose father was doing some building in the
backyard. The little fellow got his hammer and nails and wanted
to help. He began driving in nails where they didn’t belong and
using a saw where he shouldn’t be sawing. His “helping” was not
really acceptable. As much as the father loved the little fellow, he
couldn’t accept his work. It could not be used. Do you think God
can take your good works for your salvation when He has already
declared us sinners? God, therefore, refuses to accept law-keeping.
The Mosaic Law, actually, never was given to save men. Paul calls
it a “ministration of condemnation” and a “ministration of death”
(see 2 Corinthians 3:7, 9). The Law was given to show men that
they are lost sinners. Listen to Paul:
Wherefore, then, serveth the law? It was added because of
[for the sake of ] transgressions, till the seed should come to
whom the promise was made…. (Galatians 3:19)
That seed, Paul says later on, was Christ. The Law was temporary
– it was given merely as a temporary measure, and it was given for
the sake of transgressions. Therefore, the Law cannot remove sin.
Rather, it reveals sin. It was not given for salvation at all. It was
given to show us that we are sinners. It reveals the fact that man
is not a sophisticated sinner or a refined or trained sinner, as some
folk would have you believe today; but man is a sinner in the raw,
a sinner by nature. The Mosaic Law reveals this to us.
Let me use a very homely illustration. Don’t be shocked if I take
you into the bathroom for a few moments. I’m sure you have in
your bathroom a mirror. And I’m sure that under the mirror you
have a washbasin. That mirror is there to reveal your condition.
You look in that mirror and it reveals a smudge on your face. It
will not remove it. A great many people today are using the mir-
Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Page 6
ror of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount to
try to remove the smudge. It won’t do it. If you go into your bathroom,
look in the mirror and see you have a dirty face, you don’t
rub your face against the mirror. If you do, and a member of your
family sees you doing it, they are apt to make an appointment for
you with a psychiatrist to talk over your condition. That’s not the
way it’s done. Yet our churches today are filled with people who
are rubbing up against the Mirror, the Word of God, hoping they
will be able to remove their sin by contact. Many people today are
saying, “My religion is the Sermon on the Mount.” Very candidly,
the Sermon on the Mount as a religion is making more hypocrites
today than anything I know of – because you know you’re not keeping
it. If you are honest, you know you are not living by it. But it
does reveal to you that you come short of the glory of God. And
down beneath that Mirror there is a washbasin.
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.
– William Cowper
God has a place to take away sins, but it is not the Law. It is
Christ, through the shedding of His blood, who paid the penalty
for your sin. It is your trust and faith in Him that saves you; nothing
else can.
Now there is something else that is said here about the Law:
Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto
Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)
“Schoolmaster” is the Greek word paidagogos, which doesn’t mean
schoolteacher at all. It means a servant or a slave who was part of
a Roman household. Half of the Roman Empire was slave. Of the
120 million people, 60 million were slaves. In the home of a patrician,
a member of the Praetorian Guard, or the rich in the Roman
Empire, were slaves that cared for the children. When a child was
born into such a home, he was put in the custody of a servant who
actually raised him. He put clean clothes on him, bathed him,
helped him blow his nose when it was necessary, and paddled him
when he needed it. When the little one grew to a certain age and
was to start to school, this servant was the one who got him up
of a morning, dressed him, and took him to school. That is where
he got the name of paidagogos – paid has to do with the feet, and
we get our word “pedal” from it; agogos means “to lead.” It means
that he took the little one by the hand, led him to school, and
turned him over to the schoolteacher. This servant, the slave, was
not capable of teaching him beyond a certain age, so he took him
to school.
Now what Paul is saying here is that the Law is our paidagogos.
The Law said, “Little fellow, I can’t do any more for you. I now
want to take you by the hand and bring you to the cross of Christ.
You are lost. You need a Savior.” The purpose of the Law is to
bring men to Christ – not to give them an expanded chest so they
can walk around claiming they keep God’s commandments. You
know you don’t keep them; all you have to do is examine your own
heart to know that. This is the great truth that has been surrendered
in this country today.
Our educational system teaches the opposite. Let me give you a
quotation from an outstanding educator:
Where education assumes that the moral nature of man is
capable of improvement, traditional Christianity assumes
that the moral nature of man is corrupt or absolutely bad.
Where it is assumed in education that an outside human
agent may be instrumental in the moral improvement of
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Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Page 8
man, in traditional Christianity it is assumed that the agent
is God, and even so, the moral nature of man is not
improved, but exchanged for a new one.
That is a tremendous statement. And we have seen the working
out of it in our educational philosophy. Look on any campus today
and you will see what we are producing. May I say to you that our
educational system is certainly in question in this hour in which
we live. Our approach and philosophy have been altogether wrong.
God says that man is lost and must be saved. This is the thing that
is all important.
Now I know that a great many people today keep up a front.
Let me give you the example of a contemporary who has passed
across the stage in recent history. He is Ernest Hemingway. A great
many looked up to him, especially our literary lights. This fellow
tried to appear to be a Jack London. He went out and shot wild
game, he was interested in bullfights, he was the great big swaggering
type. Yet down underneath, as Edmund Wilson, his biographer,
put it, was “the undrugable consciousness that something was
wrong.” Any man who is honest today knows down deep in his
heart that something is wrong.
Some time ago Gordon Lindsay made a study of the Stone-Age
people out in New Guinea and Myanmar (formerly Burma). Let
me pass on to you his conclusions:
The notion of primitive man possessing some inner peace
which we civilized people have somehow lost and need to
regain is a lot of nonsense. Your average New Guinea native
lives not only in fear of his enemies but in terror-struck dread
of the unknown. Malevolent spirits, especially those of ancestors,
are all about him.
Man never gets away from that which is down deep in his heart.
Page 9
Dr. O. Hobart Mowerer, a research professor of psychology at the
University of Illinois, is the author of a book entitled The Crisis in
Psychiatry and Religion. He also taught at Yale and Harvard and is
the past president of the American Psychological Association. He
is widely known as a researcher, teacher, and lecturer. Notice what
he states:
The Freudians, of course, recognize that guilt is central to
Neurosis. But it is always the guilt of the future. It is not
what the person has done that makes him ill but rather
what he wishes to do but dares not. In contrast, the emerging
alternative, or more accurately, the re-emerging one,
is that the so-called neurotic is a bona fide sinner. And his
guilt is from the past and is real, and that his difficulties
arise, not from inhibitions, but from actions which are
clearly prescribed, socially and morally, and which have
been kept carefully concealed, unconfessed and unredeemed.
A psychologist at the University of Southern California who
attended my Bible study several years ago told me one night as he
was leaving the auditorium, “Dr. McGee, you ought to emphasize
the guilt complex more than you do. That guilt complex is as much
a part of you as your right arm – and you can’t get rid of it. What
the psychologist does is change it from one spot to another, but he
doesn’t remove it. The only place I know to remove the guilt is at
the cross of Christ.” That is where you bring your sins, my beloved.
You don’t have to put up a front today and say, “I’m So-and-so.”
Well, God says you are a so-and-so sinner, and He gives you this
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Page 10
Oh, to face reality today! There are multitudes in our churches
who are doing nothing in the world but covering up. You don’t
have to cover up. Be real. Be genuine. You might just as well tell
God about your sins. He already knows. He knows you through
and through.
Martin Luther said, “God creates out of nothing. Therefore,
until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him.”
Your best resolutions must wholly be waived;
Your highest ambitions be crossed.
You never need think you will ever be saved,
’Til first you’ve learned you are lost.
– Author unknown
When you realize this truth, you can be saved. We have had too
much “easy-believism.” Little wonder our churches have become
full of folk who do nothing in the world but blow a trumpet. They
are like the Pharisee who patted himself on the back in his prayer
by saying, “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are,” then
he began to brag about what he did (see Luke 18:9-14). Our Lord
said that such a man gets nowhere with God. His prayers die in
the rafters.
Now Paul mentions three things that faith in Christ does for us
which the Mosaic Law could never do, that religion cannot do,
and that the church cannot do.
1. The Nature of Sons of God
First of all, only faith in Christ can make us legitimate sons of
God. Will you listen to this:
For ye are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:26)
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Notice the word is “sons,” not children. It is the Greek huios, meaning
“legitimate sons.” How do you become a son of God? By faith
in Christ Jesus. There is no other way. You are a legitimate son of
God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Back in the Old Testament you do not find God calling the Old
Testament saints “sons.” Israel as a nation was called a son, but individuals
were not. Although David was a man after God’s own
heart, God spoke of him as “David, my servant.” That was the
language used in the Old Testament.
When our Lord confronted the religious man, Nicodemus, He
said, “Ye must be born again” (see John 3:3). And Nicodemus was
genuine; he was obedient to the Law. As a Pharisee he fasted twice
a week, he gave a tenth of all he possessed, and he did everything
else required of a Pharisee. He was religious to his fingertips, but
our Lord said to him, “You can’t even see the kingdom of heaven
until you have been born again. Religion won’t help you.”
The most damnable heresy that is in this world today, and it has
hurt our nation more than anything else, is the teaching of the universal
fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.
That is not taught in the Word of God. We have spent billions of
dollars throughout the world trying to appease rascals on the basis
that they are our brothers. Our Lord made it very clear when the
religious Pharisees came to Him claiming, “We have one Father,
even God.” He said, “Ye are of your father the devil” (see John 8:
41-44). Now since Christ said that, evidently somebody couldn’t
claim God as Father. Evidently there were some who were not His
children – and there are a great many today, also. You become a
child of God only through faith in Jesus Christ.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But
as many as received him, to them gave he power [the right,
the authority] to become the children of God, even to them
Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Page 12
that [do no more nor less than simply] believe on his name.
(John 1:11, 12)
That is the way you become a son of God.
2. The Position of Sons of God
Now faith in Christ does something else that religion won’t do,
the church can’t do, nor can the works of the Law or any little
thing you go through. That is to give you the position of a son of
God. This is a little technical – follow me closely.
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth
nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.
(Galatians 4:1)
In the phrase, “the heir, as long as he is a child,” the word for
“child” is nepios, which means an immature child. As such, he is
no different from a servant “though he be lord of all.”
Now let’s go back to the Roman home again and look at this
little fellow. He is born into a good Roman family, but a servant
takes care of him. And if you saw him running around with the
other children, you’d never know he was the heir. You would not
know that he was the son of the father of the household. He grows
up “under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the
father” (Galatians 4:2).
The age of accountability was not an established age level, but it
was determined by the individual father. I think the father would
know best. I know some boys who are mature when they are sixteen,
some at eighteen, and some mature at twenty-one or older.
In a Roman home it must have worked something like this. Suppose
the father is a centurion in Caesar’s army. Caesar carries on a
campaign way up in Gaul, pushing back the frontier of the Roman
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Empire. (Gaul is where my ancestors were and, believe me, they
were heathen and they were fighters, and Caesar’s army had trouble
with them.) So this centurion is gone from home for several years
as the army puts down these northern barbarians. But finally the
father returns home. He goes in to shave, and all of a sudden you
hear him yell out, “Who’s been using my razor?” Well, I tell you,
all the servants come running because he is the head of the house.
They say to him, “Your son.” He says, “You mean to tell me that
boy is old enough to use a razor? Bring him here.” So they bring
him in – he’s a fine strapping boy – and the father says, “Well, now
we must have the toga virilis, and we’ll send out invitations to the
grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles.” So they all come in for the
ceremony of the toga virilis, and that day the father puts around the
boy a toga, a robe. That is what our Lord meant in His parable of
the prodigal son: “Put the robe around him, and put a ring on his
finger” (see Luke 15:22). The ring had on it the signet of his father,
which was equivalent to his signature and gave him the father’s authority.
You could see that boy walking down the street now with
that robe on. The servant better not say anything to correct him
now, and he’d better not try to paddle him. In fact, the son will be
paddling the servant from here on, because he has now reached the
age of a full-grown son. That is what Paul meant when he went on
to say:
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under
the elements of the world [under the Law]. But, when the
fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made
of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
(Galatians 4:3-5)
Now “adoption” has nothing to do with going to an orphans’ home,
seeing a precious little child, and then taking legal steps to make
Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
Page 14
him your own. That was not “adoption” in the Roman Empire.
Adoption was when the man took his own son and made him a
full-grown son. And the day when God saves us, we are brought
into the family of God as full-grown sons.
That truth may not mean anything to you, but it means everything
to me – and it has in the past. I went to seminary with an
awful inferiority complex. I was not brought up in a Christian
home where I saw a Bible or heard a prayer – I knew nothing.
And when I got to seminary the other fellows knew it all – at least
that’s the impression they gave me. I’ve never met so many smart
fellows. They knew the Bible, could quote verses, and they were
very pious too. I didn’t even know the books of the Bible. And, I
tell you, it disturbed me. So I began to learn the books of the Bible.
The reason I wrote the book, Briefing the Bible*, with outlines of
every book, was that I determined to know every book of the Bible.
Then one day someone told me that I was not just a babe but that
I was a full-grown son. Anything any mature saint could understand
in the Word of God, I could understand because that mature
saint would need the Holy Spirit to teach him, and I would too.
That was a tremendous revelation to me and a great comfort in
those early days.
God brings us in as full-grown sons so we can understand spiritual
truth! And if you don’t understand it, it is your fault because
He has made every arrangement for you. He has made you a fullgrown
son. To me the greatest tragedy in our churches today is the
number of Bible ignoramuses who are there. They are not able to
find their way around in the Bible at all. Notice what Paul says in
this connection:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things
*This booklet is no longer in print.
which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1
Corinthians 2:9)
This verse is used, as you know, at funerals with the idea that poor,
dear So-and-so didn’t hear or see much here, but he has gone up
yonder where he can hear and see the things of God. Now I grant
you that this truth is in the Bible – “For now we see in a mirror,
darkly; but then, face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12) – but this is
not what 1 Corinthians 2:9 is saying. God wants us to understand
spiritual truths down here because “God hath revealed them unto
us by his Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Most of our learning comes
through the ear-gate, the eye-gate, and what the psychologist calls
cognition. That is how we learn today. But if we are going to get
divine truth:
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.…
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit
of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(1 Corinthians 2:10, 14)
3. The Experience of Sons of God
Faith in Christ, not works of the Law, gives the experience of sons
of God. There are those today who think experience does not
enter into salvation, that it has nothing to do with your salvation.
But if you’re saved, faith in Christ will give you an experience.
Many of us tend to play down experience. However, there is a
sadness that has come over the saints in this country today. And
there are many who need to have the experience of the Spirit of
God making real in their lives that they are sons of God, making
real to them that in spite of circumstances they are still children
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Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
of God. Now I recognize the danger in experience. Let me share
this little poem with you:
Three men were walking on a wall,
Feeling, Faith, and Fact,
When Feeling had an awful fall,
And Faith was taken aback.
So close was Faith to Feeling,
He stumbled and fell too,
But Fact remained and pulled Faith back,
And Faith brought Feeling too.
– Author unknown
If you are a child of God through faith in Christ, there is an
Now the believer never reaches the place of sinless perfection in
this life. I wish we did. Being a pastor would be a lot easier if we
had sinless perfection today. But we don’t have it. There have been
men who in their desperation have reached out for it. The greatest
preacher, I suppose, this country ever produced was Paul Rader.
Thousands of people came to Christ through his ministry. Dr.
Charles Fuller was one of them. He told me that he sat behind
the last pillar in the church when Paul Rader preached. He put
his head down on his arms and right where he was sitting he accepted
Christ. Many other well-known men accepted Christ through
the evangelistic efforts of Paul Rader. He was a great preacher. But
he was accused of preaching sinless perfection. He was not guilty
of the charge, but he did give that impression because he said some
unusual things. One of the things he said was, “That old nature
you have is just like a dead cat. Reach down, get it by the tail, and
throw it from you as far as you can!” And everyone in the audience
said, “Amen,” because everybody wants to get rid of the old dead
Page 16
cat. Now maybe you’re a little disgusted with Vernon McGee –
you’d be surprised what I think of him. I’d like to get rid of the
old nature, but it follows me around all the time. On one occasion
Dr. Chafer said to Paul Rader when he made that statement, “Paul,
you forget that old cat has nine lives! He’ll just come right back and
you’ll have to throw him away again and again.” Now, my beloved,
the believer never reaches perfection. We are always God’s foolish
little children, filled with ignorance, stubbornness, sins, fears, and
weaknesses. We are never wonderful; He is wonderful. We never
reach that place. But we do experience the Spirit of God bearing
witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Paul says that the Spirit of God cries, “Abba, Father” –
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his
Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Galatians 4:6)
This word Abba was not translated. The translators, very wisely, I
think, did not attempt to put it into English. It is too personal. It
means “my daddy.” And you don’t talk that way about God, friend,
regardless of how intimate you try to get with Him. You don’t talk
that way to Him. He is high and holy. But the Spirit of God can
do that, and it is the Spirit of God who will witness to a child of
God of the Father’s closeness and tender care. He does this especially
in times of darkness and crises that come to us down here.
John Paton, a missionary living among cannibals in the New Hebrides,
told of how he buried his lovely wife with their newborn
baby, and sat guard over the graves for days to keep the cannibals
from digging up the bodies. He said, “I would have gone mad if
Christ had not made Himself real to me.” My friend, I think He
will make Himself real to you.
If I may be personal – and the reason I use this personal illustration
is that many who read this are going through the same experience.
When I was told I had cancer, I’ll be honest with you, I
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Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
couldn’t believe it. Now I could believe that you could have cancer,
but I never thought I could have it. My doctor told me I would
have to go to the hospital. So I went to the hospital and lay down
in a bed. I had been a preacher for many years, and in rather a professional
manner I had gone into hospitals to visit folk. I would
pat them on the hand and say, “God will be with you.” I prayed
for them, then I would walk out. But they had to stay there. A
preacher friend came in late that first evening. I shall never forget.
He prayed one of the most wonderful prayers I ever listened to,
and how I appreciated it! Then he got up and left. But this time I
was not walking out – I had to stay there. So I rolled over with my
face to the wall and I said, “Lord, I’ve been in this hospital a hundred
times, and I’ve told everybody else to trust You. Now I want
to know whether that’s real or not.” I want to testify to this, friend,
He became real.
There are multitudes of people who will testify to this also, for
they have had the same experience. For example, in Houston, Texas,
a family drove fifty miles to the banquet at which I was speaking.
They said to me, “We were Roman Catholics and we turned in
faith to Christ when you were teaching Romans.” In Sarasota,
Florida, a couple told me, “We have a son who has turned his back
on us and against God. We have been rebuking ourselves and have
even felt that we are no longer saved, but, thank God, it is faith
plus nothing.” My friend, He gives the experience. The Law cannot
give that to you, only faith in Christ can give it to you.
This message is not pabulum; it is not milk and mush. I’m not
the milkman. It might give you Christian colic today, because this
is meat. But we need to know in this hour that it is only faith in
Christ that can save us – faith plus nothing.
Now I want to conclude with the strongest statement of all.
Paul, at the end of Galatians 4, says,
Page 18
Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman
and her son [that was Hagar and her son Ishmael];
for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son
of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of
the bondwoman, but of the free. (Galatians 4:30, 31)
Will you hear me now – oh, this is important! If you are trying to be
saved by trusting Christ plus the Law, Paul says you are not saved.
Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised,
Christ shall profit you nothing. (Galatians 5:2)
You can be saved only by trusting Christ. You have to make up your
mind whether you’ll trust Christ or whether you will go by the legal
route. You have to trust Him completely. You can’t carry a spare tire
by saying, “Well, you know, I have church membership” or “I say
my prayers.” My friend, if you are trusting these things to get you
to heaven, you are not saved, you cannot be saved. It is only when
you look to this wonderful Savior and trust Him wholly and totally.
I close with another homely illustration. Our daughter came to visit
us while we were in Florida, and we wanted to return to California
by train. That was the time when passenger trains were being phased
out. We tried to get a train route to California, but it seemed as
though we would have to go halfway around the world to get there.
So we had to come back by plane. When we got the tickets, I said,
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go by train and plane at the same
time – sit in the plane and put our feet down in the train!” (I would
feel much safer with my feet in the train, I assure you.) But that’s
absurd. If we go by plane, we go by plane; if we go by train, we go
by train. They have made no arrangements for passengers to sit in a
plane and put their feet down in a train. My friend, neither has God
any arrangement for you to be saved by faith and by law. You have to
choose one or the other. If you want to go by law, then you can try it
– but I’ll warn you that God has already said you won’t make it.
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Faith + 0 = Salvation by Dr. J. Vernon McGee
My friend, are you going to heaven? How are you going? You can’t
travel both ways. You have to decide whether you are going to
trust Christ or whether you are going to try to make it another way.
If you try another way, I say with Paul, “Christ shall profit you
nothing.” But if you will trust Him, cast yourself upon Him, He
will save you. You don’t have to do anything. All I did was board
that plane and tighten my seat belt according to instructions –
when they started feeding us, I had to loosen it – but that is all in
the world I had to do. Everything else was done for me. And, friend,
Christ has done everything for our salvation. It is your trust in Him
that saves you. And, oh, let me tell you how wonderful it is this
moment to know I am saved. When I look at Vernon McGee I
get so discouraged. But I’m looking to Christ today. I’m looking to
Him, and I wish I could sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” It’s wonderful
to know that Vernon McGee is saved. Thank God he is saved by
faith in Christ! That’s the way, the only way, He can save you.
It is faith plus nothing.
Page 20

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Talking to yourself

I have had some request for my notes on the sermon preached on September 12th, 2010, here they are.

Isaiah 59:15 “And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey”
Whoever turns from evil to The Lord Jesus becomes the hunted.
The devil hates Christians and he hates our God We were once the devil’s subject’s part of his great deception of mankind. But by God’s grace we were called out from the city of destruction to walk on the narrow Path to Immanuel’s land. satan would have paid us to serve him, for the wages of sin is death. But the free gift of God is eternal life (the only kind He offers) in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Martin Luther’s Hymn
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,On earth is not his equal.

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress Apollyon (satan, devil)(Rev 9:11) is not happy to lose one of his subjects, a man called Christian who is equipped with a new set of armor, The Armor of God. Apollyon meets Christian along the narrow path to Heaven. He tells Christian that he hates his new Master, His laws, and His people.
He reminds Christian that he already has been unfaithful to God and that Christian is not worthy to be called a son of God. He tells Christian that he can come back and he would give him all that he wanted. But if he did not renounce his allegiance to Christ that he would die a shameful, painful, martyr’s death. Christian puts up his shield of faith as he is accused and uses the sword of the Spirit (The Word of God) to drive the devil away. This illustration gives us a look into the spiritual battle that is going on around us.
The devil accuses every Christian, he even accuses God. Job 1:6
6(L)Now there was a day when the (M)sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and [a]Satan also came among them.
7The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "(N)From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."
8The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered (O)My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, (P)a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."
9Then (Q)Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing?
10"(R)Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? (S)You have blessed the work of his hands, and his (T)possessions have increased in the land.
11"(U)But put forth Your hand now and (V)touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."
Today to bring to a close our series on the Armor of God we come to the last part of the Armor, Prayer, and the most essential part. It must be used with precision or it may misfire, be kind of a dud.
Ephesians 6:18-20
18With all (A)prayer and petition (B)pray at all times (C)in the Spirit, and with this in view, (D)be on the alert with all (E)perseverance and (F)petition for all the saints,
19and (G)pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me (H)in the opening of my mouth, to make known with (I)boldness (J)the mystery of the gospel,
20for which I am an (K)ambassador (L)in chains; that [a]in proclaiming it I may speak (M)boldly, (N)as I ought to speak.
All Prayer
All Petitions
At All Times
In the Spirit
On Alert
With All Perseverance
For All Christians
For Boldness to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel
Some say that prayer is like breathing, just lay down at night close your eyes, relax, and pray. Or maybe in your easy chair with the lights down low.
But is it that easy? Or is it something more? Something that requires skill, like a craftsman?
Prayer is like breathing? Is breathing easy? Well if only one of the laws of breathing is broken, your dead.
The action of breathing in and out is due to changes of pressure within the thorax, in comparison with the outside. When we inhale the intercostal muscles (between the ribs) and diaphragm contract to expand the chest cavity.
That is just the first paragraph on the mechanics of breathing, the definition goes on for 4 pages.
I would like to make the case that prayer is in some ways like breathing, in that there are standards or laws dictated by the Holy Spirit that must be followed and not broken or we are not really praying, we may be wrestling with our conscience, or our desires but we are not praying.
When we break any of God’s standards when it comes to prayer, then instead of praying we may be “talking to ourselves”, not to God.
Prayer is not a method of creating a positive mental attitude in ourselves so that we are able clean our consciences or be able to go out and conquer the world.
Prayer is not something that should replace helping someone, or visiting someone in the hospital, or comforting those who mourn, or helping the needy. Prayer should be coupled with actions of compassion not as a substitute for action.
Prayer is not getting God to do our will, but through prayer we should seek God’s will and be in harmony with His Word.
It takes little faith, commitment, and effort to pray once about something, then check it off our prayer list and be done with it. Instead persistent prayer makes it apparent that our requests are as important to us as they may be to God.
Back to this issue of the standards or laws of prayer.
What is prayer?
We’ll it is to enter into the presence of our Holy God and communicating with Him.
Into the Holy of Holies
What does that definition remind us of?
The Tabernacle recorded in the books of Exodus and Hebrews.
Hebrews 9:1-7
God gave specific instructions to Moses on how the Tabernacle was to be built so that His Glory may dwell with His people. He wanted to have fellowship and communicate with them.
There were certain steps that had to be followed exactly so that sinful people could approach a Holy God.
Only priest from the tribe of Levi could touch the Tabernacle. A priest would have to wash himself after making sacrifices and before he entered into the Tabernacle or he would die.
The Tabernacle was divided into two sections.
The Holy Place and The Most Holy Place or (The Holy of Holies)
In the Most Holy Place is where The Glory of The Lord dwelt on The Mercy Seat. The high priest would sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat to atone for his and the people’s sins, but the priest was only allowed to enter in once a year on The Day of Atonement or he would die. They would even tie a rope on his leg to pull him out if he was killed in the process, because no one could go in and fetch the body.
Well we don’t need to follow these steps as New Testament believers this side of the work that The Lord Jesus did for us when as our High Priest He sacrificed His own blood to atone for our sins. The veil that separated the Most Holy Place was torn from top to bottom, from God to man.
Any sinner may enter in now. But there are steps or conditions that must be obeyed our we may not have our prayers heard.
1. You must have repented from your sins and put your trust in The Lord Jesus as Savior. If not God does not hear your prayers.
Isaiah 59:2 2But your (A) iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does (B)not hear.
Hebrews 10:22 22let us (A)draw near with a sincere heart in (B)full assurance of faith, having our hearts (C)sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies (D)washed with pure water.
Call on the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, fall on the Stone the builder’s rejected or it will fall on you.
2. If we have wrong motives
James 4:3-5 3You ask and (A)do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4You (B)adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with (C)the world is (D)hostility toward God? (E)Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5Or do you think that the Scripture (F)speaks to no purpose: "[a]He jealously desires (G)the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
Because of our desires for worldly pleasures we make ourselves a enemy of God
3. If we hold iniquity or wickedness in our hearts
Psalm 66:18 18If I [a](A)regard wickedness in my heart, The (B)Lord will not hear;
Isaiah 1:15 15"So when you (A)spread out your hands in prayer, (B)I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you (C)multiply prayers, I will not listen (D)Your hands are covered with blood.
Proverbs 15:29 (New American Standard Bible)
29The LORD is (A)far from the wicked, But He (B)hears the prayer of the righteous.

4. If we are living in willful sin
Hebrews 10:26 and 29 26For if we go on (A)sinning willfully after receiving (B)the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
29(A)How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve (B)who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean (C)the blood of the covenant (D)by which he was sanctified, and has (E)insulted the Spirit of grace?
John 9:31 31"We know that (A)God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
5. Those who turn away from the needy

Proverbs 21:13 13He who (A)shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be (B)answered.
James 2:13 13For (A)judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
We should help and pray
6. Those who live in such a way that they make unbelievers turn their backs to God.
Psalm 18:40-41 40You have also made my enemies (A)turn their backs to me, And I [a](B)destroyed those who hated me. 41They cried for help, but there was (C)none to save, Even to the LORD, but (D)He did not answer them.

Psalm 50:16,17 and 21 16But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take (A)My covenant in your mouth? 17"For you (B)hate discipline, And you (C)cast My words behind you. 18"When you see a thief, you (D)are pleased with him, And you (E)associate with adulterers. 19"You (F)let your mouth loose in evil And your (G)tongue frames deceit. 20"You sit and (H)speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son. 21"These things you have done and (I)I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will (J)reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

If we are not right with God, and we think we can pray to Him, we are wrong. You are just talking to yourself.
If you have not repented and trusted Christ for your salvation. The Lord may only hear the request for forgiveness and the commitment of a life in Christ.
If we are saved in the Lord Jesus Christ but hold wickedness in our hearts, ask amiss, turn from the poor, make a mockery out of God by our lives, or we live in willful sin. We cannot enter into His presence by the “New and Living Way”
We are just “Talking to ourselves”
Psalm 24:1-6 Reminds us who we are and who God is
What do we need to do to enter into His presence in prayer?
Turn with me to 1 Peter 2:1-12
Put aside malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander, desires for pleasure.
This is not a legalistic system that I am proposing, it’s really about loyalty. Who are you going to serve, who’s side are you on? Who is your Master, who is your Lord?
Put on the whole Armor of God
Belt of Truth Romans 1:25 truth for the lie, Christ is the way, the truth, and the light.
Breastplate of Righteousness Joseph
Gospel of Peace That our Lord commanded in Matt 28
Shield of Faith evolution, all roads
Helmet of Salvation Justin Martyr they can kill us
Sword of the Spirit Matt 4
And put it all on with prayer
Study up this week, check out what I had to say, desire God’s Word.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

God's Work, God's Rest

Hebrews 4
The Believer's Rest
1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: "AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS";

This is God's rest. God's own rest and God's rest is not a rest of weariness or inactivity but a rest of finished work. God has finished His work. God has done it all and if you want to enter into the finished work of God it's available by faith. Now God's rest, and here I want you to hang on to your seat, God's rest began after His creation. You see, put it all together in six days, I believe six 24hour days, He put it all together. And once He had put it all together, He did what? He rested. And God said, "It's done, Adam was walking and talking with God, he was at rest. He was at God's rest. He leaned on God. He had no anxieties, he had no worries, he had the complete freedom to fellowship with God while he was living in God's rest. God had finished His work and God rested.

God' rest began right after the sixth day of creation. God was satisfied.

You, we can rest also in Him. Jesus, what did He do after the work of the cross? He sat down, Mark 16:19So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Man's treatment of God's people

Man's Treatment of God's People

James Smith, 1859

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you
belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not
belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why
the world hates you!" John 15:18-19

Such is the testimony of the Lord Jesus.
Real Christians have never been favorites of the world—and while it
continues what it is, they never can be. "Do not be surprised, my
brothers, if the world hates you." 1 John 3:13
Nor can the pure and simple gospel be pleasant to the world, because it
lays the sinner in the dust, and exalts God as supreme and sovereign. Let
us not be surprised then, if we hear worldlings speak against the gospel,
and traduce the Lord's people; for what the Romans told Paul is in a good
measure true in the present day, "For concerning this sect, we are aware
that it is spoken against everywhere." Acts 28:22

This sect originated with Jesus, the hated Nazarene, who came into the
world for its good, and to save his people from their sins. He gathered
around him many—but they were principally the poor and unlearned.
There was nothing in them, or about them, to recommend them to the
proud and sensual world. They were begotten of God, born again, and
made new creatures in Christ. They . . .
embraced the truth he taught,
observed the precepts that he gave,
and copied the example that he set.

They loved his person, were concerned for his glory, and identified
themselves with his interests.
Their creed consisted pretty much in these facts: that man is a lost
sinner, that salvation by works is impossible, and therefore it must be all
of grace—or not at all. That the Lord Jesus came into the world to take
the sinner's place, fulfill the law in the sinner's stead, and die as the
sinner's substitute. That on account of what Jesus has done and suffered
—pardon, peace, and reconciliation are preached to sinners, and whoever
believes is promised everlasting life. That believers should profess faith in
Christ, observe his ordinances, and make his will the rule of their lives.
That they should love one another, serve one another, and if need be, die
for each other. That believing in Jesus, doing his will, and seeking to
glorify his name, they secure to themselves an inheritance which is
incorruptible, undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for
them. That as Christians, they should show their conformity to Christ, by
loving sinners, doing good even to their enemies, and seeking by all
means their salvation. By such hopes they were animated, by such rules
they walked, and at such objects they aimed—and yet they were
everywhere spoken against.

They themselves were spoken against, because they were generally poor
and unlearned; and because they poured contempt on the luxuries, pride,
and honors of this world. They were treated as the offscouring of all
things, unfit for society, unfit to live. Everyone felt that he might
reproach, revile, and speak against a 'Nazarene'. For them, often, there
was no protection, no law but to condemn them; and they suffered the
loss of all things, and multitudes of them of life itself.

And yet, like Israel in Egypt, the more they were persecuted, the more
they multiplied and grew; until at length they spread not only over the
Roman empire—but nearly over the world. And, had they retained the
simplicity of their lives, the spirituality of their minds, and the correctness
of their creed—they would no doubt have encircled the globe. But at
length they were courted by royalty, loaded with wealth, and became
intoxicated with worldly honors, and then their glory departed. They drank
into the spirit of the world, conformed to its maxims and customs, sought
its approbation and applause—and so fell from their exalted station, and
lost their real dignity.

Their doctrines were spoken against. They insisted upon the fact, that
there is but one God, that in the Divine nature there are three persons,
and that each person is truly, naturally, and eternally God. That man has
sinned, and God is bound to punish, in order to manifest his justice, and
maintain the honor of his law. That there is no escaping the punishment
of sin—but by an atonement, for "without shedding of blood—there is no
remission of sin." That no atonement could be acceptable to God, except
it were infinitely meritorious; and consequently that no sinner could atone
for his own sins, or redeem his brother, giving unto God a ransom for
him. That in order to meet the case, God sent his own Son into the world,
who taking human nature into union with his divine nature—undertook to
answer for man's conduct, atone for man's sin, and suffer all the penal
consequences of man's guilt.
Consequently, that there is salvation in none other—but Jesus; by nothing
—beside the perfect work of Jesus. MAN, therefore, must be pardoned as
a criminal, for another's sake; must be justified as ungodly, through
another's righteousness; must be sanctified as a sinner, through another's
agency; must, in a word, be saved as a pauper, wholly and altogether of

Such doctrines, laying as they do, man in the dust, and exalting the Lord
alone, were highly offensive to the proud and haughty heart of man, and
greatly excited his animosity and disdain. It became necessary, therefore,
to suffer for them—OR to dilute and accommodate them to the prejudices
of the carnal mind. For a time, the former course was pursued, and the
preachers and professors were driven out from human society, wandering
about in sheep skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
or were cruelly put to death.

But while the Nazarenes suffered, their doctrines spread and prospered;
and multitudes became obedient unto the faith. But at length professors
began to compromise with the world, to mix the water of human
ceremonies—with the wine of gospel ordinances; to mingle the doctrines
of the heathen—with the doctrines of Christ; and the result was, the
sword of the Spirit lost its edge, and the world gave up its opposition to
what was now become another gospel; and the sect that had been spoken
against everywhere, with the exception of a few, was swallowed up in a
worldly church. The crown was lost, the honor was forfeited, and
punishment and rejection followed.

But there were always some who had not defiled their garments, who
would not mingle among the heathen, or conform to their ways. Some
who cleaved to Jesus, held fast his doctrine, and sought to do him honor.
These were the objects of hatred, not to the heathen only—but to the
worldly church, and these have been called to suffer for the truth, more
or less.

There are still some, who, like the ancient sect of the Nazarenes, are
spoken against everywhere. They will not swim with the stream. They will
not compromise their Master's honor, give up their Master's truth, or
change their Master's ordinances. According to the light they have—they
walk; and they rejoice to exalt the Savior, humble the sinner, and
proclaim salvation, all of grace. Spoken against they are—they will be; but
while they maintain an honest conscience, enjoy the peace of God, and
experience the comforts of the Holy Spirit; they can rejoice that they are
counted worthy to suffer shame for His dear name.

Reader, do you belong to this sect? Is there anything in your religion that
is distasteful to the world, anything that draws forth its opposition, or
excites its contempt? The carnal mind is still enmity against God, and if
we are godlike, that enmity will manifest itself against us! If we believe
Christ's gospel as it is to be found in his word; if we copy Christ's
example, as set before us in the gospel; if we testify against the world,
that the works of it are evil, and call upon it to repent, as Christ did, we
shall soon be hated by the world! We shall be ranked with those who
would turn the world upside down. We shall be called enthusiasts, or
hypocrites, or saints, or by some name intended to express contempt.

But if we be reproached for the sake of Christ, happy are we; for the
Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us; on their part he is evil spoken of
—but on our part he is glorified. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a
godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted!" 2 Timothy 3:12. If,
therefore, our religion is palatable to the world, if it awakens no
unpleasant remarks, if it calls forth no opposition, if it occasions us no
loss in our reputation, or property, or social standing—there is some
reason to suspect whether it be genuine and apostolic! One thing is clear,
account for it how we may, we do not belong to that sect that is spoken against everywhere.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alan Franklin

Alan Franklin will be speaking at our church August 22-24 he has given me some insights on what he will be teaching us in his prophecy seminars.

Good morning Darrell.

Daniel chapters 2 and 7 is a good start. I am concentrating on the interpretation of the king's dream, the four empires, starting with the Babylonian, then on to the Roman Empire and now the revived Roman Empire. I will show with many illustrations what is happening in Europe, the spiritual nature of the EU, the fact that all false religions stem from Babylon and how Babylon is now being revived in many aspects within the EU. There is far more detail, with Biblical references throughout, in our books than I am able to get into the presentations.

I am glad you are studying Daniel. I recommend Noah Hutchings' book, Daniel The Prophet, available from SWRC - linked to our website, thefreepressonline.co.uk

Our house Bible study group went through Daniel for nine months and that is probably the timeframe you need to do it thoroughly. You did well to choose the Olivet Discourse as well - the Lord Jesus Christ setting the scene for the end times prior to His return, which is very soon, in my opinion.

I do not have any written commentary as I speak ad-lib as I put up different slides.

I will probably start on the Sunday morning with The Middle East in Bible Prophecy, as this is very Bible text-based and more suitable for the morning service. I show in great detail the fate of all the nations about to come against Israel and major on Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38/39, setting out the sequence of end times events from a Biblical perspective. This is illustrated with many pictures we have taken in Israel.

In the evening I will concentrate on Europe in Bible Prophecy, although I would be happy to switch these presentations if the church wishes - I am at your service. On the Monday I will do a presentation on Cults and Isms: True or False? based on our book of the same name. This gives clear, Biblical guidance and discernment, particularly in our Tables of Truth, setting out what the false cults say and what the Bible says, side by side. It is powerful and vital information.

I will conclude on the Tuesday with What in the World is Going On? making sense of current events from a Biblical perspective. Judgement on the nations, the effects of sin and so forth. People tell me these presentations are very clear and that is our aim: our background, of course, is in in journalism rather than theology although we have been privileged to have sat under some wonderful Bible teachers over the past 30 years, men like Arnold Fructenbaum, whom we rate very highly. If we are in doubt about the original text we are able to consult our daughter, who is a fluent Hebrew speaker and writer with an MA from Cambridge U in theology and oriental languages. Our son in law Michael is a Messianic Jew and Bible scholar and they live, with our grandaughters, in northern Israel, so we get lots of up to date on the spot information from our friends and relatives there. They are members of a Brethren assembly in Israel while we belong to an independent, Bible-based evangelical church in Surrey, England. In Britain I mainly speak on behalf of The Prophetic Witness Movement International, which is linked to our website.

I hope this gives you the background and information you require. Please come back with any queries. We do not have good internet access as we travel and this is coming to you from a public library in St. Louis.

With best regards, in His name - Alan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Times of the Gentiles

We live in the Times of the Gentiles, the Church age. Daniel did not see the church, Paul calls the church a mystery.

Ephesians 1: 10-12

He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

This Church age is a different administration (dispensation) of the plan of God.

Here is a link for helpful charts for study on the "Times of the Gentiles".

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Imitator or Impostor

Ephesians 5
"Be Imitators of God Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."

The scariest sermon in all the Bible is the Sermon on the Mount. I have heard people say that they live by the Sermon on the Mount, that is how they do religion. But that is ridiculous, the Sermon on the Mount is the Ten Commandments times a trillion. Jesus at the close of His sermon says these terrifying words. Matthew 7:21-23 21"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

A imitator of God; Ephesians 5:19 "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;"

A impostor; Ephesians 5:3 "But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Some have asked Jesus into their heart at a summer camp, or at a church service when the music and the message was just right to stir a emotion. But then they go out and live in immorality living as an imitator of the world. No Bible reading, irregular church attendance, no real communion with Christ. Are they saved, Jesus says no. Scary!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Job 38:4-12 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? "Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it; And set a bolt and doors, And I said, 'Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop'?
God's Mighty Power "Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, And caused the dawn to know its place.

The is a new group of evangelicals called Bio logos. Theologians and pastors who think that Christians should embrace evolution as the process our Father used to create everything. Their stated goals is "Bio Logos represents the harmony of science and faith. It addresses the central themes of science and religion and emphasizes the compatibility of Christian faith with scientific discoveries about the origins of the universe and life" www.biologos.org

Their real goal is to cram evolution into Christianity. They state that to embrace a seven day, young earth doctrine is almost cult like. They say we look foolish to the world by trusting that our Father created everything just like the Bible says (in 7 days).

The bottom line is that nothing could have existed and died before Adam and Eve. Their sin is why we have death and why the world (creation) groans for redemption from sin. Our Father wants us to trust Him and to trust His word. We can not be ashamed of our faith.

Romans 8:20-22 20 "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 70th Week of Daniel

The Church now is in the "Times of the Gentiles" http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21&version=NASB

Then the Church will be raputed out from the wrath and the time of Jacob's trouble.

Then the 70th week of Daniel begins (Daniel 9).

This chart is about 100 years old but it lays out what the 70th week of Daniel may look like.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Little Girls

I was playing with our daughter tonight and this poem came to mind that I heard sometime ago.

What is a Girl?

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angel-shine about them and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart— when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, parading up the street in mother’s best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises and frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten. And to top it off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, doll make-believe, ice cream, make-up, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snow suit or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, prettiest when she has provoked you, busiest at bedtime, quietest when you want to show her off, and most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your temper—then just when your patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-racking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess, when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all, she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, “I love you best of all!” —Alan Beck (Copyright 1950 by New England Mutual Life Insurance Company)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prophecy Today

Prophecy Today

The above link is a good tool to use when studying prophecy in the Bible.

Our Lord Jesus gives His statement in Matthew 24 of the last things (prophecy). It may be good to put aside our presuppositions about prophecy and listen to what Jesus says will happen in the last days.

Matthew 24; 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

His answer to the question was His longest answer recorded in Scripture on anything.

Our breakfast and Bible study is on July 17th at 7am.


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