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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