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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Testimony to the Lamb - White Horse Inn Blog

It has been said that this brother has been sentenced to death by the Iranian government but I've not heard anything about his condition in recent weeks. I thought I'd share this letter he wrote to his congregation.

In thinking of him I thought about Stephen in Acts 7, as he was stoned to death he SAW the glory of God and Jesus STANDING. Oh the love of Jesus for His people; He shed His blood for us and as one was suffering and dying for His name's sake and the gospel's He stood from His throne and watched.

I'd like to think if Pastor Yucef Nadarkhani is put to death perhaps he too will be able to look and see the glory of God and Jesus rising to stand and watch. May the Lord give him grace to bear up.


"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."    Rev 12:11


Testimony to the Lamb - White Horse Inn Blog

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are you rich toward God?


And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?


And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 


But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.                                    Luke 12:16-21





I fear some of us, maybe even many of us, will pass by this passage rather quickly, thinking, it's not for me because I'm not "rich". But I would caution you; don't miss the point. I believe the Lord Jesus is making the point, that we are not to get caught up in life, in our ambitions, our desires and the things of this world and forget we are souls. We are souls and we are accountable to our Creator.


I am not ignoring the thoughts here on riches. I'm attempting to emphasize the warning that whether we are pursuing riches, bigger barns, larger homes, better jobs or whatever else our hearts desire that we are foolish to ignore God and our souls. We are foolish to go on in life as if there is no God or as if there is no judgment to come. 


May He give us ears to hear in order that we may be found with those who are "rich toward God". True riches are found only in total surrender and submission to the One that God sent into the world, his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.



For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
                                                  Mark 8:35-37


Monday, September 5, 2011

Does anyone know what time it is?

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly(decently), as in the day; not in rioting (revelling) and drunkenness, not in chambering (sexual immorality) and wantonness (lustful acts), not in strife (quarreling) and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.   Rom 13:11-14

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Psalm 72


Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.


 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.


He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.


He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.


He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.


He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.


His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.


Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.


The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No fear, a mark of rebellion and defiance


Declare this in the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah, saying, hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:

Do you not fear Me? says the Lord.

Will you not tremble at My presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.  Jer. 5:20-25


Here God commands the prophet to proclaim this message to all of Israel. They were considered foolish and poor because they did not know the way of the Lord nor the judgment of their God (see 5:4). The prophet, at the Lord’s command, points to His creation, the sea and its shoreline. In this thing set before their eyes daily he demonstrates His power, control and mercy and yet they depart from Him.

His power, control and mercy are demonstrated in the immensity of the size of the sea, its constant tossing and the roaring of its waves, and his absolute control of it at all times. His mercy is seen in the boundary of the sand, a perpetual decree that the water will not pass over this boundary and swallow up the people. Israel’s lack of fear and trembling indicates defiant and rebellious hearts. These are hearts that have departed from their Creator.

People are no different today in the 21st century. Using the same picture that Jeremiah declared we see God’s power, control and mercy in the roaring of the ocean and yet we look right past it and right past our Creator and His goodness. Think of the boundary itself, numberless tiny sand particles used to hold back this powerful ocean. Yet, instead of saying, “Let us now fear the Lord our God” we instead rebel, defy and depart from Him going our own ways.   This we do because we do not know the way of the Lord nor the judgment of our God. The psalmist and later Paul put it this way; there is no fear of God before their eyes!

May God give grace to see for without it we will go on in blind stupidity to Him until we meet Him in the judgment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fear, a mark of a believer


There is a fear that marks a believer. A fear of God that resides in the breast of a born again soul. It is a holy fear, a godly fear and a healthy fear. It's a fear that I'm not able to explain but I do see it in the word of God as it relates to both believers and unbelievers. Not only is it plainly declared but it is demonstrated in several of the saints lives i.e. Jacob, Daniel, Job, John and others. As far as understanding this fear it seems to be related to our view of God. Search it out for yourself. Start with the passages I've listed below. Do not pass by them to quickly. 


May we take heed to Peter's instruction and pass the time of our sojourning here in fear!

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.   Pro 1:7

And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
                                                                          1 Pet 1:17-21

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fearFor our God is a consuming fire. 
                                                                          Heb 12:28-29




On the other hand, unbelievers are characterized in the scriptures as those who have no fear of God before their eyes, see Psa. 36:1 &  Rom. 3:18. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

True Prophets Needed Now

I received this from a brother today.


True Prophets Needed Now

Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?
I Kings 22:7

Men who speak for God never merge into the fog around them.

True prophets are solitary people; eagles do not fly in flocks. It is not easy to be a Lone Dissenter. When the messenger was sent for Micaiah (I Kings 22), he must have said in effect, “The clergy have agreed, and you had better make it unanimous. It is quite an honor to speak before two kings and four hundred prophets. Why are you such an odd number? This is a good gravy train and you had better ride it. This is the mood of the hour and you had better get with it.” The same subtle pressure today would persuade preachers to get in step with the times and ride the wave of the future.

What we need are more preachers out of step with the times, more odd prophets like Micaiah. We are told that we must adjust. Adjust to what? What is there in this world setup to adjust to? God’s man needs to adjust only to God’s Word and God’s will. It is not the business of the prophet to harmonize with the times. “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” (2 Corinthians 6:15).

The Lord’s preacher is a soloist; he was never meant to play the accompaniment to anything. The pulpit is not a platform from which to boost the projects of men.  No matter how many false prophets bid Ahab go up against Ramoth-gilead, Micaiah will stand his ground and refuse to be swept off his feet by popular movements. The greatest need of the hour is a four-hundred-and-first prophet of the Lord "besides," that we may enquire of him!

Prophets are not popular at home; they are without honor in their own countries. They are not popular with politicians. Ahab hated Micaiah—but he feared him enough to disguise himself when he went to battle, lest Micaiah’s predictions [of his certain death] came true.

Prophets are not popular with Pharisees.  Organized religion hates the preacher whose headquarters is heaven, whose Superintendent is God. They are enraged when they cannot control him.

If you are interested in the prophetic ministry, get ready for trouble! You will be despised by Amaziah and all who want to preserve the status quo at Bethel. You will be hated by Jezebel and all who would set up the worship of Baal alongside the altar of Jehovah.  If you are a prospect, think it over. You had better mean business, else your ministry will be pathetic instead of prophetic. And remember that prophets are needed, but not wanted.

Extracts from Vance Havner, "The Four-Hundred-First Prophet," in The Best of Vance Havner, 1969, Fleming H. Revell Company

Saturday, June 25, 2011

from The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan


Christian conversing with Pliable about the things in the Book as it relates to their journey to the Celestial city:

I can better conceive of them with my mind, than speak of them with my tongue.



Mr Good-Will instructing Christian regarding the narrow way:

But you may distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being straight and narrow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

from a pastor's heart to one of his flock

Samuel Rutherford (Scotland) was removed from his pastorate in July 1636 for not conforming to the state religion. He was banished to Aberdeen, he was their 9 years.  These are excerpts from a letter to one of the men in his congregation, - a John Henderson


Loving friend, - Continue in the love of Christ, and the the doctrine which I taught you faithfully and painfully, according to my measure. I am free of your blood. Fear the dreadful name of God. Keep in mind the examinations which I taught you, and love the truth of God..........Let salvation be your care, night and day, and set aside hours and times of the day for prayer........This dirt and god of clay (I mean the vain world) is not worth the seeking......What I write to you, I write to your wife. Commend me heartily to her. The grace of God be with you.
Your loving Friend and Pastor,
S.R.                      Aberdeen, March 14, 1637


Good 'advice' for us all!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Psalm 148


Psalm 148

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapor; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

a word from the psalmist

He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.  The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.  Psalm 147:10-11


Do you fear man or do you fear Him? Where is your hope today?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From the pen of Mr. Spurgeon

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”
- Phi_1:27


The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed he will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to his disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christ Alone

From the pen of Pastor Gene Breed of Grace Baptist Church, Jonesboro, GA.





CHRIST ALONE
Zechariah 10:4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.

This is a verse that I welcome into both my heart and mind, to aid me in removing all dependence on religious and social idols! I need to seek first, both the King and his kingdom, as he has commanded his true church. (Matt. 6:33). I need to assure myself that Christ is my only everything! To do less is to tolerate already intrenched idolatries, and also to provide fertile ground in which other subtle distractions may take root!
Christ alone is to be our justification. We cannot rest in the deception of having faith in our faith! We must have faith in Christ alone, by his faith working in us! For that verse that we let fall so freely from our religiously trained lips does say, the faith OF, and not the faith IN the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20).


This Zechariah verse gives us four, “Out of him,” statements. Therefore to have Christ is to have the sustaining and defining of “the corner stone!” Christ in our hearts, acting himself out in our attitudes, motives and actions, is THE only thing that identifies us as even being within the holy habitation of God. (Eph. 2:20-22). Christ is the rule of measure that identifies just who is within the measure of that organism, called the Church! 

 Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
 

And to have Christ is to have “the nail,” fastened by the Father in a sure place. Therefore that which we lost in the first Adam, which plunged us into God-separating trespasses and sin, shall only be recovered in the last Adam – Christ! That sin is defined by the apostle in another often quoted verse. Our sin was, that we have all come short of the glory! And that really puts us in a very bad position! Because none of our race has any ability to get it back! But listen at the characteristics of our wonderful Nail! 
Isaiah 22:23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, … 
Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne:
Out of Christ alone can mankind recover the ability we lost to glorify God! 2 Corin. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 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.
 

And out of Christ alone is our “battle bow!” He is our only agent and energy to defeat the remaining corruptions, still dwelling within. For again, the only hope of man’s recovery from his ruined state, and fall into the hands of the dreadful enemy, is the conquering Christ! 
Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And he instructed us that the warfare would not be by carnal weapons. Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
But his bow and his arrows would be his church bringing all nations into submission to him by his gospel warfare through them! Zechariah 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
2 Corin. 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
His gospel ministers are truly called his soldiers. 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Psalm 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. 5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. 6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
The sword of the old economy is seen to be upon his thigh. But that of the New Covenant is seen to be within his mouth, showing it to be his word! Revelation 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The heads of the other four world wide kingdoms (Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Alexander, & Caesar), conquered by natural, brute force. But our King of all kings conquers by the effectual power of the gospel! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
 

And, lastly, “out of him” shall come every “ruler,” or, every “Exactor.” (KJV reads, “oppressor.”) There is presently no rule over angels, demons, heaven, earth, or hell except from the Head of the fifth and final kingdom! Most think that Christ will only begin to reign in some fancied, future time, after his enemies have been subdued! But that is not what the scriptures state. Listen: 1 Cor. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. For Christ must now reign in his mediatorial throne, while the gospel is being sent forth, until it has conquered all it is designed to conquer. Then he will continue his uninterrupted reign as God, all in all (1 Cor. 15:28) throughout all eternity!
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
 

Pastor Gene Breed
March 30, 2011


Sunday, April 3, 2011

the 93rd day of the year 2011

Psalm 93


The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.  

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.  The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.  

Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.


If I might point out a few things from this powerful Psalm:

 The Lord reigns - that is, He is reigning now and not at some future date!


the world also is established that it cannot be moved - All the earth doomdayers (is that a word?) need to read the scriptures, the earth is going no where until God is finished (2 Pet 3:7) with it. Worship Him and not the earth!

Thou art from everlasting - So when the little child asks, "where did God come from?" We can say "from everlasting"! I cannot even wrap my head around this truth.


the floods lift up....the Lord on high is mightier - The nations lift their voices, they raise their fists at Him on the throne and yet, He is mightier. We should all just humbly bow down and submit ourselves to Him and kiss His Son (Ps. 2 & Phil 2:9-10).


Thy testimonies are very sure - Not just sure but very sure! Oh that we would believe His testimonies, Luke wrote, "nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?". Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.


holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever - The Lord's house is adorned in holiness. I think of what John the apostle wrote in 1 John 1:5, "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." In essence, before John wrote, "God is love" , he declared that God is holy! How far short I fall of it and yet He makes us (unholy things) holy in the blood of His dear Son. May we be found in the number of them who "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." After all isn't this why He elected us; "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, THAT we should be holy and without blame before him in love". Blessed be His holy name!




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Psalm 75


Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.  

When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.  The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
 

I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:  Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.  For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.   But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.  

But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.  All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.



In commenting on verse six, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." Charles Spurgeon wrote "Men forget that all things are ordained in heaven; they see but the human force, and the carnal passion but the unseen Lord is more real far than these. He is at work behind and within the cloud."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Marks of the Righteous

 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory. Psalm 64:10


In Psalm 64 the righteous are distinguished from the wicked by this one verse. The 'righteous', throughout the scriptures, are seen as those not trusting in their "own righteousness" or seeking "to establish their own righteousness". The 'righteous' see that all their "righteousnesses are as filthy rags" in the sight of a holy and righteous God. The righteous understand that unless their "righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees", they shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. The righteous are those who see that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness", they are those who have "the righteousness which is of God by faith".  The 'righteous' spoken of in our text are those who have been "made the righteousness of God in Him", that is in Jesus Christ!


So how do they know they are 'righteous'? What are some distinguishing marks of the righteous man or woman? These are questions that all professing believers should give serious consideration. It seems our text gives the answer in a very simple form, read it again;


The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

The righteous are identified as those who are glad in the Lord. Their happiness is in God. They are glad with the person of God, they love His holiness, His law. His purposes and His ways. They rejoice in the Son of His love, Christ Jesus. They rejoice in His life, sufferings, death, resurrection and ascension back to the Father. They love His appearing and look for it constantly, not so that they may escape the troubles of this world but in order to be like Him and enjoy Him forever. Their joy, happiness and gladness does not rise and fall according to the circumstances and events in this world.


How does one know that they are righteous? They know they are righteous because they trust in him. The righteous are identified by their faith in God. They have this mark, that they believe the One whom God sent into the world to save sinners!


In John 6, after some strong words by our Lord the scriptures tell us that "many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him". The Lord then asked "will ye also go away?" "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 the Christ, the Son of the Living God." The righteous shall trust in Him! They will not trust in a religious system, not in church ordinances, not in their own actions and deeds. They will submit their hearts to no other gods. They shall trust Him and Him alone. 


How do they know they are righteous? They know they are righteous because "the upright in heart shall glory". From the heart, the very center of their beings, they will boast in the living God. There is no lip service here, people may walk around in this world saying, Lord, Lord, and talk about God, and give some semblance of glory but they have their reward. Paul wrote of them in Phil 3:18-19 when he penned these words, "for many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things". But the righteous, the righteous will glory in Him from the very depths of their souls! 

The righteous, though they are beset by enemies on every side; Satan seeking to devour them, the world despising them, the flesh struggling hard within, and the final enemy death, in the midst of all this the righteous will glory in the Lord Jesus Christ. The righteous will say with Paul, "but God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world".

A righteous soul will enter into the words of the prophet Jeremiah when he said, "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."

I pray that we may be found in the company of these who are glad in the Lord, are trusting him and in their hearts glorying in him!

Friday, March 4, 2011

What is a true ministry?

From a message that E.W. Johnson preached from 2 Kings 2:19-25 in 1983 he made this statement;


--what is a true ministry? We serve! We serve! We serve God! According to His word. By the grace of His spirit. We serve not our lust, nor our pride, nor our covetousness, nor man and his world. We serve God.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What is our motive?

This is an excerpt lifted from an article in The Sovereign Grace - MESSAGE, July-August, 1991 issue. E.W. Johnson wrote this article, he is the former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, AR. Bro. Johnson is now with the Lord.


In light of the great commissions of our Lord (Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:45-47), Bro. Johnson wrote:



But is it not true that we cannot be used of God in the calling of His elect to salvation unless we preach the gospel to all nations, to every creature, as God is pleased to open the door to us, for it cannot be known aforetime who the elect of God are?


Before a person is called effectually to faith in Christ, it cannot be known that he or she is of the elect of God. The elect of God are found in strange places.


Who would have thought that the woman at the well at Sychar would prove to be one of the elect of God?


Who would have thought that the dying thief was one of those whom the Father had given to the Son? How could this have been known before that thief was called to salvation?


Who would have thought that the great enemy of the early church, Saul of Tarsus, would prove to be one of the elect of God?



Yes, certainly in obedience to the great commissions of our blessed Lord we must preach the gospel to all the world, as God opens doors of opportunity, but what is our motive?


Are we seeking to save all men, or are we seeking to be used of God in the calling of His elect to salvation?

emphasis is mine


Supporting scriptures

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Matt 28:18-20

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:45-47

Friday, February 25, 2011

From the pen of Pastor Gene Breed, Grace Baptist Church, McDononough, GA

This is a bit lengthy but I believe you will find it a blessing.

THY KING COMETH

Zechariah 9:8 And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes. 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

The Christian has much to cause him to Rejoice greatly! He is like unto no other religionist in the entire universe! His God actually dwells within him! His very body is the temple for his God’s habitation! His God’s Incarnation is a proof of his own regeneration! All other religionists must have their paintings, their religious jewelry, their visible symbols and idols to strive, in vain, to keep their god in their minds. But the Christian has his God, by the Holy Spirit, dwelling within him!

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.


Notice the personal reason our Lord God gives as the sole cause of this joyous worship! In verse eight we are told by His own mouth, I will encamp about mine house! And then he gives the understanding that He has set loose the Greek Gentile King (Alexander the Great), to destroy the Medes and the Persian kingdom as he clearly prophesied in the Book of Daniel.

Daniel 8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. 20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

But he instructs his people, who are at this time clearing away the rubble and rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, that this scourge will not come nigh them.

Psalm 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 
His personal presence and protection shall be theirs through all that then occurs on earth!

 
Not An Army!
Notice that he does not say, “I will raise you up an army for your protection!” That would be a cause of rejoicing! But he shall only send them one man! And that one man shall be lowly, and riding upon an ass! – One man! That’s all they get! But that one man is God Himself! To see him is to see the Father! For he and the Father are one! (John 10:30).

To begin the population of the entire world, God created one man – Adam! To deliver his people from the power of Egyptian bondage, God raised up one man – Moses! And to deliver the church from it’s sin, God came himself, as one man – the man Christ Jesus! NOT an army! But God came Himself!

Zech. 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zephaniah 3:14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.


The church in every age must come to see that it is one body, but made up of individual members. (1 Corin. 12:12,20.) And none of those other members was able to redeem them, (Psa. 49:7), nor to grant them the life they enjoy among the body as a whole. They must all learn that they can relate one to the other only as they first relate to the Head, even Christ! Our God is a jealous God! In fact, his name is Jealous! (Exod. 34:14). And every individual believer will, at some time in their lives, be isolated to that God without other human distraction! He will exclusively provide Himself as the reason for rejoicing greatly!

 
Not Even the Destruction of the Enemy!
The cause of great rejoicing before the Lord is not only that God is providing himself, and not an army. But the source of this great rejoicing is also not to be found in the destruction of their enemies! In verse five of this chapter we read, the king shall perish from Gaza, Israel’s enemy! But that is not set forth as the reason for this great rejoicing!

The disciples fell into this trap, provided, not by the Spirit, but only by their inordinate affections!  

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

And in the very next verse Jesus properly rejoices!  
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

God coming in effectual revelation to his elect people is the cause of great rejoicing! Notice: THY King cometh unto THEE! A personal God coming personally in individual salvation to his people!!!

 
His Kingdom Character
The Lord instructs us in Book of Daniel that there were four Gentile kingdoms – the Assyrians, under Nebuchadnezzar; the Medes/Persians, under Darius & Cyrus; the Greeks, under Alexander the Great; and the Romans under the Caesars – then there would come in during the Roman reign a kingdom which would never, ever, ever be conquered, nor replaced! – the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ! His is a spiritual, gospel, eternal kingdom, set forth by his illustrious death as the final sacrifice!
 
Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (the Roman Empire) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter.

Daniel 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

But because men cannot SEE this kingdom, unless being born by the Spirit (John 3:3,5), they erroneously imagine with their unregenerate spirit that it has not come! Unconverted religionists have unmercifully chopped up the scriptures in every unbelievable attempt to prevent anyone from believing Christ is the presently reigning Lord! They utterly refuse to quote verse eighteen of Matthew twenty eight as they drive their poor members to “Go into all the world, and get us some more tithers!” For verse 18 clearly states, from the mouth of the King Himself, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Amazing! They allow Caesar and Alexander a sovereign control, but not the Lord Christ! And they still claim to be “Christ-ians!”
And we clearly read that at the time of his completing the atonement he sat down in the position of honor and rule!  

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;

As before stated, they will allow Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Cyrus, Alexander, and Caesar to have been world rulers, but not Christ! Settle it! If the Lord Jesus cast out devils by the Holy Spirit, then the kingdom of God was already here at that time!  

Matt. 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

The kingdom of Christ on earth shall END with the gospel having been preached to all the world! But most say it will then only be beginning! What did Christ say?  

Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The American church, like the apostate Jews want a fanciful, flashy, political king! But God sent a king who is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. His sword is the spirit of the word of God! (Eph. 6:17). He did not come to make America great! He came to make some Americans holy! But we are a proud, greedy people, who will not bow to admitting that we own a king on a donkey! We want a king on a grand white stallion!

But in verse ten of our above listed text we find that we shall have to resist his rule for us to have such, for since the king sets the personality of the kingdom by his own personality, he will not allow the grand stallions for anyone! He will cut asunder all those on their high horses, acting in the energy of human might! He will destroy humanly contrived chariots and battle bows!

Haggai 2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Dear ones, trade in your soul damning high horse, and bow to your donkey ride, for the Lord hates a proud look! (Prov. 6:16,17).

Pastor Gene Breed
February 24, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

God's work

For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Psalm 74:12

What might appear to us as mayhem, confusion and chaos in this world  is all within the scope, purpose and will of Almighty God. He is working salvation out in the middle of this world. He has all the details under control and in the end this will be seen to the praise of the glory of His grace.


So how is God working? Here are a few scriptures from my limited thoughts, perhaps others will come to mind for you.


And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28


Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  Phil 2: 12-13


Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.  Col 1:29


Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  Eph 3:20


Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Convictions

Be thankful, therefore, for convictions; conversion begins at conviction, though all conviction doth not end in conversion.       -- John Bunyan

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A strait gate (Addendum)

An oversight on my part was not to include the whole context of these verses. I originally posted them then removed them thinking it would take away from the point I was making.

Here is the passage all together:

Luke 13:23-30

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:   Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.



From the context of this passage it seems that the Lord is specifically speaking to professing believers.

These appear to be people who fully expect to enter into heaven. Observe the responses when the master rises up and shuts the door on them.

First they are obviously stunned, they begin to knock and say "Lord, Lord open unto us". But He responds I don't know you.

Their next response is somewhat remarkable, they actually attempt to make a case with the Lord of Glory!
The sad part is their case is built on sand. It is based on their own righteousness' which is as "filthy rags". They say we ate and drunk in your presence and you taught in our streets. It's like 'we went to church', 'we listened to the preaching', and perhaps, there is even an allusion to partaking of the Lord's Supper or even baptism.

But the Lord responds  "I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

And then stark reality sets in for these souls as the Lord states "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth". Sadly these people are going to see "Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out."


As a supporting passage, one worth comparing is Rev 21: 9-27.

There are other passages worth noting, but I will stop here for tonight. Very sobering words by our Lord, to say the very least.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A few thoughts on the strait gate

While this note is not copied it was influenced by my recent reading of John Bunyan's work, The Strait Gate.  May the Lord bless this scripture and these thoughts.    cb



Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.   Luke 13:23-24


Think about this strait gate, spoken of by the Lord Jesus.
  • It is wide enough to allow the regenerated soul in but narrow enough to keep the unregenerate out.
  • It is wide enough to let the justified in but narrow enough to keep the unjustified soul out.
  • The sanctified soul may pass through this gate but the unsanctified will be commanded to depart!
  • The soul who has a "form of godliness" will be denied but the soul who who is "sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" will gladly enter in!
  • The soul who has the faith of devils will tremble and be turned away while the soul that received the gift of faith from God will enter in.
  • They who through the faith of Christ are found to have "the righteousness of God by faith" will enter in and they who "being ignorant of God's righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness" will be commanded to depart!
  • Those who come seeking to enter this gate by being "justified by the works of the law" shall be turned away but those "who according to His mercy" received "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost" will enter rejoicing! 
  • Those in whom the "love of God" has been shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost will be let in the strait gate but those who are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" will be rejected.
  • Whoever "will save his life" will lose it at the strait gate but whoever "loses his life" for Christ's sake and the gospel's the same will enter in to the kingdom!
  • Those who are washed from their sins by the blood of Jesus will enter into the strait gate but,"there shall in no wise enter into it (gate) any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination or makes a lie!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

in Him

Unless we are in Him, our being well taught in the scriptures does not save us. 
                                                                                                               E.W. Johnson