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Post  Admin on Thu 25 Aug 2011, 11:11 pm

POINTS TO PONDER *
*
The Prophetic Questions

Pastor Finley Hunter

When the Lord Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, answered the threefold
prophetic question by His disciples in Matthew 24:3, some of the answers
will involve the future 144,000.

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto
him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what
[shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The questions were:
1. "When shall these things be?"
2. "What shall be the sign of Thy coming?"
3. "And of the end of the age"

Certain phrases both in the narrative and in the prophecy itself
pinpoint the time of fulfillment, e.g.:

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (24:21).

and,

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be
darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall
from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (24:29).

This passage or its salient features appear in no less than seven Old
Testament prophecies and identifys it with the Day of the LORD, i.e.,
the actual Second Coming of Christ (Joel 2:10,30,31).

Since the Twelve Apostles have passed away, and Christ has not yet
returned, it is the future 144,000 (i.e., 12,000 X 12) apostles or
evangelists that will complete the great commission, preaching the
"Gospel of the Kingdom" (24:14).

Using Matthew 24:14 as a cross reference, the reader will be rewarded to
notice Matthew 10:22:

"And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that
endureth to the end shall be saved. "

Then, observe well verse 23:

"But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another: for
verily, I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel
till the Son of Man be come. "

There is no doubt about this verse referring to the actual Second Coming
of Christ. Therefore, it is the 144,000 Jewish Apostles about whom these
verses are speaking (Revelation chapters 7 and 14).

The Scofield Bible notes on this passage, "The scope of verses 16-23
reaches beyond the personal ministry of the twelve .....verse 23 has in
view the preaching of the remnant ... in the tribulation. .... and
immediately preceding the return of Christ in glory.

The student must rightly divide the dispensations, the messages and the
messengers to understand the passages cited.

So ... in the Dispensation of the Tribulation (not the Apostolic Age),
the 144,000 (not the 12 disciples) preach the Gospel of the Kingdom (not
the Gospel of the Grace of God), just before the Second Coming of Christ
(not the Rapture of the Church).

*
**
*

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging
Christians to believe what God says.

We read in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what
the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in
Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit
together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of
understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and
the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ:"

*
*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Wed 24 Aug 2011, 2:40 pm

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
by C. R. Stam



"The Sword of the Spirit... is the Word of God" (Eph. 6: 17).

Of all the spiritual armor which believers are told to "put on" in Eph. 6:11-18, there is only one offensive weapon. This is "the Sword of the Spirit... the Word of God." The Bible is called "the Sword of the Spirit," because the Spirit of God is its Author. It is called "the Sword of the Spirit" because, thus written by God who knows all, it can cut deeply. This makes it, for the believer, a formidable weapon against Satan and the forces of evil. We are told in Heb. 4:12,13:

"The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."

As David said long ago:

"O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
"Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off" (Psa. 139:1,2).

It is because God knows and understands us so thoroughly that His Word can sometimes cut us so deeply. How wise, then, to bow before that Blessed Book, acknowledge its condemnation of sin and trust the Savior it presents! And, having done this, how wise to "put on the whole armor of God" in our stand against Satan and sin, not forgetting to "take... the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"!

You will not die before God's time, for any reason,
come what may. Nothing can put an end to you until God
decides that it is time for you to be at home with Him.
---– Selwyn Hughes

Our Purpose and Mission

The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says.

We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"

OUR COMMISSION IN THE AGE OF GRACE IS:

2Co 5:16-21 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Aug 2011, 8:37 pm

SPIRITUAL VICTORY *
* by C. R. Stam*
* *
* If we go to the Scriptures and claim, by faith, the Spirit's
help in overcoming our sins, we enter into the enjoyment of the fullness
of spiritual life and blessing. If we fail to do so, we wither and die
--- as far as our spiritual experience is concerned. We can never lose
our salvation, of course, for "everlasting life" was obtained by faith
in Christ, not by walking in the Spirit. This is confirmed by the fact
that the same apostle who pleads: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God,"
hastens to add: "WHEREBY YE ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION" (Eph.
4:30).

But failure to appropriate God's gracious provision for
victory over sin does result in death as far as our Christian experience
is concerned. This is what the Apostle means, when he says, by the Spirit:

"FOR TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY
MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE" (Rom. 8:6).

"FOR IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: BUT IF YE
THROUGH THE SPIRIT DO MORTIFY [PUT TO DEATH] THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE
SHALL LIVE" (Rom. 8:13).

To the careless Corinthians, the Apostle Paul exclaimed:

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Spirit, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:19,20).

* *
*We are not here by chance.*
*God put us here for a purpose,*
*and our lives are never fulfilled and complete*
*until His purpose becomes the foundations*
*and center of our lives.*


Hold the world at bay. Live in many moments of rest. May the peace of
God go before you, leading you into each day. For whenever we look up
into the face of our Father, whenever we quiet our spirit to hear His
voice, we have found divine peace this crazy world can never take away.
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Aug 2011, 6:09 pm

*Dear members of grace and truth,



After a month and four days of being in the hospital and CareCenters, I
am finally back home and doing fairly well, I know you have been missing
the daily devotions however I'm the only one here in grace and the
truth, therefore none were sent out. I hope to get one in e-mail today.

In His Love and Grip, Paris
* THE SUPREME IMPORTANCE OF GOD'S WORD TO THE BELIEVER*
* by C. R. Stam*


The Bible will always have first place in the life of the spiritual
Christian.

It is of utmost importance that we understand this, for some who feel
themselves quite spiritual give much time to prayer, but little, if any,
to the study of the Word. Such have actually fallen for the subtle trick
of the adversary to play upon their natural human pride and cause them
to exalt self and push God into the back ground.

In saying this we do not for one moment minimize the importance of
prayer; we only stress the supreme importance of the holy Word of God.
In this we are surely Scriptural, for David says, by inspiration:

"For Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name" (Psa.138:2).

Of those who would still object and place first emphasis upon prayer
rather than upon the Word, we would ask one simple question: Which is
the more important, what we have to say to God or what He has to say to
us? There can be but one answer to this question, for obviously what God
has to say to us is infinitely more important than anything we might
have to say to Him. Our prayers are as fraught with failure as we are,
but the Word of God is infallible, immutable and eternal.

Yet some, having fallen for one of Satan's "devices" and feeling quite
spiritual about it, are like the talkative person to whom one listens
and listens, occasionally nodding his head, but receiving little or no
opportunity to "get a word in edgewise." They do all the talking, but
give little time listening to what God has to say to them.


*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*

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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Aug 2011, 1:30 pm

THE VALUE OF BIBLE STUDY
by C. R. Stam

"From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to
make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ
Jesus"(II Tim. 3:15).

Timothy was a fortunate young man. His father was nota
believer in Christ, but his godly mother made up for this lack as, day
after day, from his earliest childhood, she taught him the Word of God.
As a result he came to know Christ at an early age and later became St.
Paul's faithful co-worker and close associate in making known the
wonderful "good news of the grace of God."

In his very last letter the great Apostle Paul recallsTimothy' s
"unfeigned faith... which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy
mother Eunice" (II Tim. 1:5).

If only we had more such mothers and grandmothers today, with
husbands to help them! If only our American children were not set adrift
on a restless sea of human speculation, but were taught the eternal
truths of God's Word, the Bible!

We all need to "know the Holy Scriptures," not only because
they teach reverence for God and build moral character, but most of all
because they "are able to make [us] wise unto salvation through faith...
in Christ Jesus."

The theme of the Bible, the Old Testament as well as New, is
the Lord Jesus Christ, the riches of whose saving grace are unfolded to
us in the Epistles of Paul, the chief of sinners saved by grace. It was
to Paul that God committed the preaching of the cross of Christ. He it
is who tells us about the riches that flow from Calvary. He it is who
tells us, by divine inspiration that:

"...WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH [CHRIST'S] BLOOD, THE
FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE" (Eph. 1:7).

"THAT IN THE AGES TO COME HE MIGHT SHOW THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS
GRACE IN HIS KINDNESS TOWARD US THROUGH CHRIST JESUS" (Eph. 2:7).

*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Jul 2011, 11:24 am

*SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG DELAY IN THE DAILIES, HAVE BEEN IN THE
HOSPITAL. PARIS *

*
*" SONSHIP "*
*By M. Stanford*

* *
*"You really need some one to teach you over again the very rudiments of
the truths of God.......Such persons are mere babes" (Heb.5:12,13, Wey.).

When it comes to spiritual growth, sooner or later the thought arises,
"Surely the work of the Cross produced more than this!" It surely did!
Now you are on the march for the Father's very best as it is in Christ
Jesus.

"Sonship represents growth unto fullness and maturity. It is quite a
good thing to be a babe while babyhood lasts, but it is a very bad thing
to be a babe when that period is past. This is the condition of many
Christians. While sonship is inherent in birth, in the New Testament
sense sonship is growth to maturity. With this growth comes the greater
fullness of the Lord Jesus and the abundant spiritual wealth unto which
we were saved. It is a matter not so much of that from which we were
saved, as of that unto which we were saved. The grand climax of the new
creation is 'the revealing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19)."-T.A- S.

"It is one thing to drop off or renounce certain things, and quite
another to be engrossed with the right thing. Monks renounce much, but
they are not occupied with the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. It must be
not only 'forgetting those things which are behind,' but also reaching
out unto the things that are before. It is that which you give yourself
to, not what you have abandoned, that colors you and which imparts
character to you." --J.B.S.

"Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor.
5:17).

Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why
not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending
the USA. The Word of God is so needed in our troubled world. It is our
heart at GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we
possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord
Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ.


*THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK*

*If we look at life through the lens of our powerful and good God, we’ll
trust Him instead of fearfully worrying. When our perspective is right,
we can see God and His faithful provision. —Anne Cetas
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 11:48 am

A Source of True Joy *
*
One of the first results of active participation in the work of the Lord
is joy! When the people of Israel accepted David's challenge and gave
generously toward the building of the Temple, the very first details the
Scripture record are:
"Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with
perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king
also rejoiced with great joy" (I Chron. 29:9).
And observe that the children of Israel rejoiced before they could
possibly see any results. Their hearts were filled with rejoicing as
soon as they had personally participated in the offering being gathered.
It was the same with Philippian believers. It was in giving that they
rejoiced, before seeing any of the fruits of their generosity.
This is a wonderful thing to know in "this present evil world," when
often we must sow faithfully without reaping the fruit. The joy comes
with the giving, with the knowledge that we are "workers together" with
Him who gave His all.
Soon enough we shall see that our labors and sacrifices were "not in
vain in the Lord. " What a day of rejoicing that will be! What joy to
see others there with Christ because He used us to reach them with the
wonderful message of His matchless grace! I Thessalonians 2:19,20 are
verses we can-and should--take to heart!
"Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your
account."
--Phillipians 4:17
**
Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why
not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending
the USA. The Word of God is so needed in our troubled world. It is our
heart at GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we
possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord
Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ.
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Post  Admin on Tue 12 Jul 2011, 4:20 pm

*A PRAYER FROM PRISON *
*Conclusion *
*By James Gray*

*

*To be sincere and without offense.

Paul wants these believers to be fit and prepared for the day of Christ.
This entails two qualities: First, to be sincere. It is the Greek word
eilikrineis, meaning literally to be judged by the sun. In the ancient
world, jars and vases were examined for cracks and blemishes by holding
them up to sunlight. The sunlight would reveal faults that could not be
seen otherwise. In the New Testament the word always denotes moral
purity. Second, Paul wants believers to be without offense. The Greek
word is aproskopos meaning "not causing someone to stumble." It pictures
a person who carefully avoids putting anything in the way of another
that would cause them to fall or trip. Thus, love bounded by knowledge
and discernment is for the purpose of being pure and blameless in the
day of Christ. The day of Christ clearly refers to the day when we stand
before the judgment seat of Christ.

*To be filled with practical righteousness.

Paul knew that they were righteous, for they had the righteousness of
God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). Now Paul prays for love, knowledge and
discernment in order that they may be filled with the fruits of
righteousness. The phrase "fruits of righteousness" is found in the Old
Testament for conduct pleasing to God (Prov. 11:30; Amos 6:12). It is a
phrase indicating practical righteousness that is seen in the life of a
believer. It is used of righteousness in the ethical sense, thus, it
refers to our sanctification flowing out of our justification. These
fruits doubtless are the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23),
soul-winning (Rom. 1:13), holiness (Rom. 6:22), good works (Col. 1:10),
and thanksgiving (Heb. 13:15). Paul realizes that this type off fruit
cannot be produce by and in one's self. The source is "by Jesus Christ."
Such a crop can only be produced through Christ. It is Christ's life
lived through us that produces such fruit. This results in glory to God,
magnifying Him, and not self.

Paul's desire and prayer for the Philippians is not outdated. Paul's
recipe for them is good for us. If our love abounds in knowledge and
discernment, we will be able to know what is correct, be sincere and
blameless, and bear the glorious fruits of righteousness to the glory of
God.
**
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jul 2011, 1:19 pm

A PRAYER FROM PRISON *
*Part Four of Five*
*By James Gray*
*

The second is judgment. The Greek word, aisthesei, has the idea of being
judicious in discernment, denoting moral discernment and understanding.
It is a recognition from the Word and the Spirit of what God can and
does love, and what a holy God cannot love. True love must discriminate
between good and evil (Heb. 5:14). There is a difference between
knowledge and being able to apply that knowledge. Paul is anxious that
love, although constantly expanding, be controlled by growing in
knowledge and discernment.

These guard us against two dangers in the Christian life. First, the
danger of living merely on feelings or emotion. Too many today are
feeding the emotions, not the soul. This is shallow Christian living.
Second is the danger of being academic, abstract, and theoretical in
Christian living. This leads to unpractical Christian living. The banks
of knowledge and discernment allow the full force of the river of love
to flow in our lives; abundantly, purposefully, and forcefully. They
keep us out of the fields of mere emotionalism and mere intellectualism.

PURPOSE OF THE PRAYER
Phi (1:10-11)

Paul makes clear the purpose of this prayer. Paul wants their love
channeled by knowledge and discernment for a purpose. The word "that"
denotes purpose or desired outcome. Love bounded by knowledge and
discernment will lead us: To test the things that differ.

Paul wants us to "approve things that are excellent." The word for
approve is the Greek word dokimazo, meaning test, to try, approve. It
was a word used in assaying metals to prove that the metal was genuine.
It is a recognition as genuine after examination. The word excellent is
the Greek word diaphero, meaning to differ. Thus, the phrase literally
can be translated "test the things that differ."

Interestingly, this almost exact same phrase is found in Romans 2:18.
The context is that of the advantage that the Jews had under the Law.
They knew the Law, and therefore "able to test the things that differ."
This ability is clearly connected with the Word of God. They were to be
able to test the things that differ because they were instructed out of
the law. While they were able to do so, does not mean that they did. The
context indicates they failed to use the advantages that they were
given. Paul does not want us to fail this test. He wants us to know the
Word and discern its truth, so we will be able to test the things that
differ. This ability is important to guard the believer from heresy, as
well as the differing philosophies of the world.

*
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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Jul 2011, 7:02 pm

A PRAYER FROM PRISON *
*Part Three of Five*
*By James Gray*
*
CONTENT OF PAUL'S PRAYER (Phil. 1:9)
Paul's special prayer and request for the saints at Philippi is short
and sweet. However, the request should not be taken lightly. As D.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones observes; "Anyone who is at all familiar with his
epistles will realize that Paul's prayers are always worthy of very
careful consideration. They are not something added in a perfunctory
manner; he does not merely mention them as a matter of course, or as a
kind of aside... these prayers are some of the most significant
statements in Paul's writings" This is certainly true of this prayer.
The heart of Paul's request is precise, yet profound: "that your love
may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment." He does
not simply pray for an increase of their love, and stop at that. No, he
wants their love to be balanced with knowledge and discernment.
Paul portrays love like a river. The word abound is a favorite word of
Paul. It is the Greek word perisseuo, meaning to exceed a number or
measure; to be over; an overabundance of something; to be in excess; to
superabound; to excel. Paul uses the word to express an abundant
overflow of Christian living: he used the verb in reference to
thanksgiving (2 Cor. 4:15), excelling in spiritual gifts that build up
the church (1 Cor.14:12), and abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor.
15:58) to name a few. He wants the believers to "abound" in love. Not
only to abound, but to increase that abundance "yet more and more." He
wants the river of love to grow deeper as more and more love flows into
its system.
Paul does not want an uncontrolled flood of love. An uncontrolled river
does more harm than good. Swindoll observes that "when love floods
indiscriminately, we love everything, even the wrong things." Paul wants
the raging river to move in the designated bounds. The two banks of love
are now named. The first is "knowledge" (epignosei). The word refers to
a thorough, mental grasp of spiritual truth in its fullest sense. To
keep the river within bounds we must "be filled with the knowledge of
His will and all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (CoI.1:9.) This
knowledge comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in cooperation with
the Word of God. For "we have received, not the spirit of the world, but
the Spirit
which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to
us of God" (I Cor. 2:12). To keep the river of love
from overflowing and undirected, we must increase in knowledge of God
and His will.
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jul 2011, 4:06 pm

A PRAYER FROM PRISON *
*Part Two of Five*
*By James Gray*
*
Three factors ignited this out-pouring of thanksgiving:
*Great personal memories of the people (1:3).
Paul here uses the singular, not the plural. He says "I," not "we."
Paul's personal memories lead Him to give thanks for the saints at
Philippi. It reveals his personal attitude toward the church. It is one
of gratitude. He expresses thanksgiving to God for them in his prayers.
Remember, it was no picnic in Philippi. Paul and Silas had experienced
hardship and pain there. They were jailed, and had their backs laid open
by the beating they received. Yet, it was a place of joy and victory for
Paul. The first conversion in Europe took place in the city. He won a
moral victory over the officials of the city, when he forced the
magistrates to come and publicly release them from prison, admitting
they had wrongfully beaten and imprisoned them. Paul remembers the
people's love and concern, and thanks God for them. Do our former
pastors think the same of us? Do we entertain good memories of others,
and thank God for them? One aspect of our prayers should center on
thanking God for other members of the Body of Christ which come across
our paths.
* Fellowship in the Gospel (1:5)
Paul was thankful because of their "fellowship in the gospel" The word
fellowship is the Greek word koinonia, with the basic meaning of sharing
together, to have in common. This word certainly indicates the sharing
together of a common faith, but it is much more. This sharing together
is more than just a common relationship in the faith; it is much more;
it results in tangible results. He uses the word to describe the
"collection" (Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:13). It indicates active
participation in every way possible with Paul. They shared not only in
the gospel (1:5), grace (1:7), and in the Holy Spirit (2:1); but also in
the sufferings of Christ (3:10), as well as a gift of support (4:14 - 15
) . They had participated in the proclamation of the gospel (1:27, 28),
of acutely suffering along with Paul (1:30; 4:14-15), and in prayer on
his behalf (1:19). They shared in common on every level of fellowship.
Their fellowship centered on the gospel. They followed and participated
with Paul in the gospel. This participation advanced the gospel of
Grace. This participation was constant, "from the first day until now."
*God's faithfulness (1:6).
Paul was thankful for God's faithfulness unto them. He was confident
that God's work cannot be derailed. God is faithful.
God began the work. The Greek word oti (that) introduces the object of
Paul's confidence - it is God. He is the author of the work. The work
was not started by Paul, nor the Philippians, it was God. God began the
good work by giving them birth from above at the moment they believed
(Titus 3:5; John 3:16). Notice it is a good work, not because he is
doing good works for God (Eph. 2:8-10). This occurred in them, not
simply among them. It was the internal work of God in and upon them
which was begun at the moment of their salvation. It is still in
progress as Paul writes to them, "For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
This work will be perfected or completed in them because God is faithful
(I Thess. 5:24). The verse denotes certainty of completion. God will
bring His good work to completion that we can be assured. He will
perfect this "new creation" through His Word, his servants, and Spirit.
Our assurance is built upon nothing less than the character and
faithfulness of God Himself. God never starts a work without finishing it.
10 of 15 (The Ascent Psalms). Scripture: 129:1-2—A song of ascents.
Much they beset me from my youth—let Israel now say—much they
beset me from my youth, yet they did not prevail over me.
Reflection: This psalm is full of agricultural metaphor—Israel has
been treated like a farmer's field—plowed and reaped—perhaps
the whole scene is referring to the nations which invaded and abused the
tiny nation of Israel (the Assyrians, Babylonians and opportunistic
bystanders). The core of the sentiment is, however, "…yet they did
not prevail over me." The psalm recognizes the trials, but holds to
an optimistic view that all bad things for Israel are temporary.
A phrase like "let Israel now say" may be a clue that there was
a music leader who called out this bit of instruction and the people
then responded "much they beset me from my youth." We have very
little knowledge of the actual performance techniques of the Psalter,
but can visualize a band of pilgrims marching together up to Jerusalem.
We can postulate that the psalm was repeated over and over as they
marched­­--with perhaps some alternation of psalms during the day.
The phrases in verses 6 and 7 are difficult and have grammatical
problems—but the sense seems plain enough: Grass pulled to repair
the roof (green when it was pulled) is rapidly brown and withered as the
sun dries it. It serves no purposeful use (except patching the
roof)—it had no food value, grazing use, and it wasn't pretty
anymore. Such was Israel in the experience of the pilgrims. In Psalm 1:4
is another metaphor for the wicked—"…like chaff that the wind
drives away." The wicked are useless, withered—evil does not
produce a crop that is nutritious or helpful for the society. It may be
that the phrase "The LORD's blessing upon you!" was a
greeting at harvest time, redolent of Ruth 2:4.
Prayer Starter: Father, no matter how much we suffer at the hands of
others, keep our faith strong that you are the victor in the world
struggle. You have sustained us through considerable turmoil and have
shown us what it means to be yours. We have confidence in you and the
ultimate success of your people. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jul 2011, 5:39 pm

A PRAYER FROM PRISON*
*Part One of Five*
*by James R. Gray*
*
Philippians 1:3-11
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of
mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the
gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very
thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until
the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you
all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and
in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of
my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the
bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet
more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve
things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense
till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness,
which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Adversity does not control one's destiny; it is the door to fulfilling
one's destiny. The Apostle Paul believed strongly in the providence of
God. He knew whatever happened to him did not hinder the plans of God.
The winds of personal adversity only fan the flames of God's grace. That
is exactly what happened. Paul's two year imprisonment produced a fire,
fueled by the pen, prayers, and passion. From this internment came the
four epistles that are the heart of God's message for the Church, the
Body of Christ: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
As he prayed, he knew that others might not see or understand his
attitude. Others would be apprehensive about his welfare, condition, and
future. He wanted them to know that He was not discouraged, or
apprehensive over his imprisonment. His concern was with the readers.
Notice how many times Paul refers to his readers in verses 3-11: ye (3
times), you (6 times), and your (twice). The emphasis of Paul's prayer
is not self, nor even his circumstance, it is his gratitude for his
readers. The prayer from prison had two very important elements:
Thanksgiving (1:3-6) and Intercession (1:7-11). It is not a simple "God
bless the Philippians" prayer.

*WHY PAUL PRAYS (1:3-6)*
Paul opens his prayer with gratitude to God. Notice this gratitude is
personal. The greeting included Timothy, but in this prayer Paul prays
"I give thanks to my God." Paul is expressing his own personal gratitude
to God. This is not simply a one-time expression, but Paul continually
or repeatedly gives thanks to God (indicated by the present active
indicative tense) for the Philippians. Note the characteristics of
prayer: it is personal, constant, and directed to God the Father.
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 3:28 pm

Yet Not I, But ..."*
*By John LaVier*
*
Twice the Apostle Paul uses this phrase, "Yet not I, but ". In his
epistle to the Galatians he wrote:
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)
This testimony of the great apostle belongs to all who have been saved
and made members of the Body of Christ, and identified with Him "who was
delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification. " Each
one can say, "I was crucified with Christ." This is clearly brought out
in Romans 6:3-4:
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism
into His death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
This applies to every believer, and the baptism mentioned has not one
drop of water connected with it.
When Christ died on the cross He not only died for our sins, but we died
with Him. His death was our death. His resurrection our resurrection,
and now His life is our life. We reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto
sin, but alive unto God, and by faith we can say, "I live, yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me." This great truth is expressed in a separated
life, a surrendered life, a life lived in the faith of the Son of God.
Once more Paul used "Yet not I, but ..." when he wrote to the Corinthians:
"But by the grace of God I am what I am; and the grace which was
bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than
they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Cor.
15: 10)
He had mentioned himself as a witness of Christ risen from among the
dead. He saw the Lord, and his whole life was changed. He was as one
born out of due season, a type of Israel's regeneration yet future, when
"They shall look on Him whom they pierced." That great vision on the
road to Damascus made of Paul not only a believer in the Deity and
Messiahship of the Lord Jesus Christ, but he became the faithful servant
of the Lord. It made him humble. Though he was by the will of God the
great Apostle to the Gentiles, the one to whom was made known the truth
of the mystery and to whom was given an abundance of revelations, yet he
called himself "the least of the apostles" and "less that the least of
all saints." He boasted that he had labored more abundantly than the
other apostles, but he added, "Yet not I, but the grace of God which was
with me." He ascribed it all, not to himself, but to the grace of God.
These two expressions, "yet not I, but Christ" and "yet not I, but the
grace of God," describe the entire ministry of Paul. Two things he
magnified and glorified, extolled and exalted: Christ, and the grace of
God. In all things, in all his messages and personal testimony, an
exaltation of Christ and complete effacement of self are the great
leading marks. He made his boast in Christ. He magnified Him and the
grace of God which had been bestowed upon him.
How little of this self-effacement we see today. How many exalt
themselves, boast of their attainments, their service, their ministry,
their converts, instead of glorying in an all-sufficient Savior and the
all-sufficient grace of God. The "Soli Deo Gloria," to God alone be the
glory, is often forgotten. May the Lord help all of us in all our
service for Him, of whatever nature it may be, to magnify Christ and the
grace of God and to seek His glory only.
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jul 2011, 10:59 am

DEATH-THE LAST ENEMY *
*By Pastor Paul Sadler*
*
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 15:26
There are many who have the misconception that death means annihilation
or cessation of existence. The Spirit of God defines the word as
"separation. " If we examine physical death we learn that at the moment
of death the soul and spirit separates from the body (II Cor. 5:8).
Medical science has told us for years that death takes place when the
heart stops. Recently, however, they claim that death takes place when
the brain impulses discontinue. They have finally caught up to what the
Bible has taught for centuries, "the body without the spirit is dead"
(James 2:26).
The believer has many enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil, also
the enemy of death which will overcome these mortal bodies because of
sin. But we are not as others who have no hope, but understand from
God's Word that the Lord Jesus Christ overcame the power of death. It
could not hold Him, He arose victoriously over it. This is why Paul was
able to write to Timothy, "our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished
death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel," It
is good news to the believer that Christ has conquered death for us.
Death has no claims on us for we shall be raised from the dead and have
life and immortality.
Christ has abolished death and God has rendered it a defeated foe.
Practically speaking, death still remains and will remain until the end.
God at the White Throne Judgment will cast Death and Hades into the Lake
of Fire (Rev. 20:14). Death and Hades here are personified (Rev. 6:8).
The death angel here being representative of the circumstance of death
and the angel hades being representative of the place of torment. After
the last enemy is put away, God will sum up all things in Christ and the
New Heaven & New Earth will remain forever without the enemy of death.
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Jul 2011, 3:52 pm

*JOY IN BELIEVING *
*By JOHN FREDERICKSEN, Pastor *
*
Scripture Reading: Romans I5:13

Believers in the age of grace have perhaps more reason to rejoice in
their salvation than believers of any previous time.

Very early in man's history, God revealed His plan to bring spiritual
blessing to the entire world through Abraham. God promised him, "In thee
shall all the families of the earth be blessed," (Genesis 12:3).
Progressive revelation unfolded the details of Abraham's seed providing
a specific Saviour as a sacrifice for sin. Then the remainder of the
nation was to become a kingdom of priests ministering to the world. When
Christ came the first time, it was "to confirm the promises made unto
the fathers," (vs. 8). Had Israel responded in belief, the millennial
kingdom would have been established and Gentiles would have at last
enjoyed blessing. They would have glorified "God for His mercy," (vs.
9), rejoiced" (vs. 10), and praised the Lord because they too would
trust in Him (vs. 11-12).

The problem is, Israel refused to believe and God's plan to bless the
Gentiles could have been frustrated. But "the God of hope" found a
solution. Romans 11:11-15 explains that God is now blessing Gentiles NOT
through Israel's rise to prominence, but through her fall from God's
unique favor. Today salvation is offered to all apart from Israel's
promises or instrumentality, and solely on the basis of grace. No wonder
then that Paul exhorted his readers to be filled with joy and peace in
believing. He even exhorted them to abound in the confident expectations
of eternal blessings.
Ours is a salvation provided by the determined purpose of a merciful
God. Let's truly rejoice in it today!
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jul 2011, 8:38 am

Know ye not that we shall judge Angels*
*By Mike Szafranski *

*
Something had changed for the Apostle Paul to be able to make this
statement. Normally, when we see angels interact with mankind in the
Scriptures prior to Paul, angels not only outrank men, but also
instructed them as to the Scripture and indeed gave them Scripture. So
what happened?

The Greek word for angel is aggelos (ang'-el-os) . It is translated in
the AV-"angel" 179 times, "messenger" 7 times; 186 in all. Strongs'
rightly defines it as "a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a
messenger from God." Some commentators think Paul is here referring to
fallen angels, but this is not the case since elect or non-elect angels
are not specified in the context like they are in other places. For
example I Timothy 5:2I, " I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus
Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without
preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. "

The Body of Christ now has a position above the elect angels. Colossians
3:1: " If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" Also, Ephesians
I:20-22 says: "Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the
dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far
above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every
name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to
come. And hath put all things under His feet."

No other economy has been so lifted up as the Body of Christ when it
comes to eternal destiny. This will be one of our main occupations in
eternity, to co-judge the angels with Christ from His throne. Praise God!

The English word "angel" is used 175 times in the entire New Testament
but only 13 times in the Pauline Epistles. This is huge and not merely
an argument from silence. Angels in the Kingdom Dispensation normally
deliver saints and instruct them in Bible studies, like Daniel, for
example, or the Apostle John with the Revelation. But Paul's Epistles do
not mention anything about these types of angelic activities as in the
Old Testament or even the times after Matthew to the present Age of
Grace. Indeed, Paul's only mention of the assistance of an elect angel
is Acts 27:23 and there is no deliverance here or sense of hierarchy,
but of encouragement and what God will do in His time of need.

All of Paul's revelations, regarding Scripture and the Body of Christ,
were received without angelic assistance, directly from the Lord
Himself. Galatians I:11-12: "But 1 certify you, brethren, that the
gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received
it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus
Christ. " This is quite different from the norm in the past, as angels
were instrumental in the dispensing of Scripture, as well as the
understanding of them. Angels were also used of God to protect Israel in
many physical battles of even sustenance by eating angel's food. Psalm
28:25: "Man did eat angel's food" This verse does not mean that manna
was what the angels were used to eating, but those angels delivered this
food to the nation Israel. This kind of intervention is not even
mentioned in Paul's instruction for the Body saints for today. This
information would surely have been mentioned in Paul's Epistles for us
today.

It may even be pointed out that part of the angelic ministry to Israel
was to assist the Jews in their worship of God (1 Kgs. 19:5; Ps. 34:7;
91:11; Dan. 6:22; Mt. 2:13,19; 4:11; 18:10; Lk. 22:43; Acts 5:19;
12:7-10; Heb. 1:14).

The angels observe us (Ecc. 5:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Eph. 3:1), a fact which
should influence conduct. They receive departing saints (Lk. 16:22). Man
is made "a little lower than the angels." Ecclesiastes 5:6 says: "Suffer
not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the
angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at thy voice,
and destroy the work of thine hands?"

In the Kingdom program, the angels instructed Old Testament saints;
today we are instructing them, a direct reversal of ministry.


Without a doubt there is no greater, or more valuable possession that we
can hold in our hands than the word of God - The Holy Bible. And while
we hold, and read, and study God's word, we have no greater need than to
know how to handle it as God has intended that we handle it. For only
then will we handle the Bible properly. and only then will it be able to
effectually and fully function for us as "the word of truth' that it is,
and thereby be able to accomplish what God has designed it to accomplish
in our minds, and hearts, and lives.
_K. Blades
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Jul 2011, 9:59 am

Things Hid*
*Part 2 of 3*
*By John D. LaVier*

*God's Treasures Hid*
*
Men who have valuable possessions usually seek a safe place in which to
hide them. God has a safe place in which to hide His treasures. That
place is in His own dear Son. The Lord Jesus Christ is the jewel box in
Whom are hid all the rare treasures of the Godhead, for the Word
declares: "In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"
(Colossians 2:3).

"All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!" Who can declare their
value? The hymn writer put it:

Precious, more precious;
Wealth that can never be told;
O, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Precious, more precious than gold.

In his epistle to the Romans the inspired apostle wonderingly cries out:
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" And
these riches are all in Christ. All the treasures, all the riches, all
the "pleroma" (fullness) of the Godhead resided "in Him."

How blessed the two little words "in Him," which occur so often.
Everything of any value is "in Him." We read in Colossians 1:19, "For it
pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." The words
"the Father" are in italics, and have been supplied. If any words should
be added it should be the words "the Godhead," or as the marginal
reading puts it, "For in Him all the fullness of the Godhead was pleased
to dwell."

In Colossians 2:9 a similar expression is found: "For in Him dwelleth
all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Then follows a tremendous
statement: "And ye are complete in Him." There are two great teachings
presented in Colossians: (a) All the fullness of the Godhead is "in
Him." (b) The saints are made full "in Him." There is nothing we need
which is not to be found in Him, for in Him are hid all the Divine
treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Christ is heaven's treasure chest. All is hidden away in Him, and there
is a sense in which He also is hidden. He is the hidden Christ. All
during Old Testament times He was hidden. Then He was hidden in the womb
of the virgin. After His birth He was hidden in Egypt. Returning to the
land He was hidden in Nazareth, with one brief glimpse of Him as a boy
of twelve. Then He was crucified, and for three days and three nights He
was hid in the heart of the earth. But God raised Him from the dead, and
He went back into heaven. Now for almost two thousand years He has been
hidden beyond the blue, discernible only to faith's eye.

Some day Christ will be hid no longer. He will be revealed from heaven:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ! That is the title of the last book in
the Bible. First, though, he will reveal Himself to His own, as He calls
them home to be forever with Himself. Then He shall be revealed to all
the world. Every eye shall see Him. All shall perceive and know that He
is the Incarnate Wisdom of God, that all the treasures of the Godhead,
all the deep and precious treasures of wisdom and knowledge, are hid in
Him. Then every knee shall bow before Him; His name shall be exalted;
His praise shall be on every lip. Then shall be days of heaven upon
earth. Lord Jesus, haste the day!
*

Dear God of faithfulness, how delightful to realize that my persistence
of faith in You hinges on Your faithfulness toward me. I see that I can
continue to depend upon You, because you are fully faithful to me. What
expectation this gives me as I consider Your great promises! You will be
faithful to fulfill every one of them, as I place my trust in You!

Things Hid*
*Part 3 of 3*
*By John D. LaVier*
*The Saints Hid*
*
In the opening verses of Colossians 3 the apostle reminds the saints of
their exalted position in Christ. Having died with Him, and been raised
with Him, and seated with Him, they are now to be done with the things
of earth and to set their affection on things above. We read: "For ye
are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." The believer is to
reckon himself as dead to sin, but alive unto God; as dead to self, but
alive to Christ; as dead to the world, but alive to the things of heaven.
A most blessed statement is found in this verse: "Hid with Christ in
God." Christ is hid, and the saints are hid with Him. Hid in God; what a
safe hiding place. The storms of life may buffet us, but we will not
fear, for we are hid with Christ in God. The enemy of our soul may
threaten us, but he will not prevail, for we are hid with Christ in God.
In all these things we are more than conquerors, for we are hid with
Christ in God. What a place of blissful nearness; hid with Christ in the
heart of the Eternal One, the object of His love, the child of His care.
The saints are hid with Christ. It is not surprising then if they go
unrecognized by the world. John wrote: "The world knoweth us not,
because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it
doth not yet appear what we shall be." The pilgrims of faith wear but
humble garb, and veiled is their high degree. We are hid with Christ, be
we are waiting. We are waiting for God's Son from heaven, and for the
manifestation of the sons of God. "When Christ, who is our life, is
manifested, then shall we also with Him be manifested in glory." Our
bodies of humiliation will be exchanged for bodies of glory. As we have
borne the image of the earthy so shall we then bear the image of the
heavenly. We shall be conformed to the image of Christ. We shall be like
Him, in His likeness. Then it will be seen by all that we are indeed the
sons of God, and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.
We went into a friend's home one wintry day to observe a miracle of
nature. On one of his walks through the woods this friend had picked up
a cocoon, and had hung it up on a kitchen wall. That cold morning he
called us in to see what had happened. The cocoon had opened up, and
from out of it had come a beautiful moth. As we looked at the ugly
cocoon, and than at the beautiful thing which had emerged from it, the
thought came, we Christians are now in the cocoon stage, but some day we
are coming out. We will be manifested to a wondering world. How that
fragile creature got out of that tough cocoon, I do not know, but at
God's time it came out. The time is coming when the graves will be
opened, when the power of death will be broken, when every redeemed
child of God will soar away yonder to appear with Christ the Head in
matchless, marvelous, fadeless glory.
This article was written by Pastor John LaVier back in January of 1955.
We are thankful for the faithful ministry of this dear saint of God who
went home to be with the Lord in September, 2005.
*
* Generous Father, you have blessed me with so many rich and*
*wonderful gifts. I can never ever adequately express to you the*
*thanks you deserve. One thing I want you to know, dear Father, is*
*that I especially appreciate the way you have treated me with grace*
*and that my life is hid with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is our
life,*
*shall appear, then shall we appear with Him. Amen and Amen.*


Last edited by Admin on Sun 03 Jul 2011, 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to include part 3)
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jul 2011, 11:19 am

Things Hid
Part 1 of 3
By John D. LaVier
*
*
The wise man of the Old Testament declared: "It is the glory of God to
conceal a thing" (Proverbs 25:2). God seemingly delights to hide
something away and then in His own time to bring that thing out of its
hiding place, manifesting it to His amazed and wondering creatures, and
thus bring glory to Himself.
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing." With the words of this text
in mind, let us turn to the book of Colossians and notice in each of the
first three chapters some things which have been hid.
*
*The Mystery Hid*
*
In Colossians 1:26 the Apostle Paul refers to the dispensation given to
him by God; "even the mystery which hath been hid." What was this
mystery which had been hid? It was the dispensation given to Paul, the
dispensation of grace, during which God is saving sinners by grace,
through faith in the crucified and resurrected Saviour, and making them
members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
The word "mystery" is used in the Scriptures in regard to many things.
For example, we read of the mystery of Israel's blindness during this
age (Romans 11:25); the mystery of the Church as being a joint-body
composed of Jews and Gentiles (Ephesians 3:6); the mystery of the
indwelling Christ (Colossians 1:27); the mystery of the vital union
between Christ and the members of His Body (Ephesians 5:32); and the
mystery of the translation of living believers at the end of the age (1
Corinthians 15:51). However, we need to take care lest we reduce the
mystery to a mere feature of it. The foregoing are but various phases of
the mystery. The mystery proper is the dispensation, the dispensation of
the mystery.
Some years ago we were in the scenic state of Colorado. As we stood one
day on the top of Mount Evans, we could see the mighty snow-capped peaks
rearing their heads toward heaven, and we could also see other mountain
ranges farther beyond, but we could not see the long valley between. It
was hid from our view. So it was with the prophets of old. They saw two
great prophetic mountain peaks: the first coming of Christ as the
suffering Messiah, and the second coming of Christ as the reigning
Messiah, but they did not see the valley in between. That valley was the
dispensation of grace. It was hid from their view.
This present dispensation and all of God's purposes in it, having to do
with the calling out of the Body of Christ and its glorious character
and destiny, is the mystery that was hid. It was hid, not in the
Scriptures, but in the mind and heart of God. Israel's prophets knew
nothing about it, nor did Christ as the minister of the circumcision
make it known when He was here upon earth. It was not until Israel had
been set aside that God made the mystery known through the Apostle Paul.
All of God's purposes for the world had been connected with the nation
Israel. But Israel rejected Christ in the days of His flesh, then
refused the call to repentance, and blasphemed the Holy Ghost. It must
then have appeared that the purposes of the Almighty had been defeated,
but then it was that the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God was made
known. Then God revealed through Paul the fact that He had a secret
purpose. He had foreseen Israel's rejection of the Christ, and had
foreordained that Israel likewise should be rejected, and that during
their rejection He would dispense grace to all the world, and bring to
completion His glorious Church. Now the secret is out; no longer hid.
Now we are commanded "to make all men see what is the dispensation of
the mystery" (Ephesians 3:9).
*
This was written by a Bible teaching friend who is now home with the
Lord Jesus Christ.
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Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jun 2011, 10:55 pm

PEACE - THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT *
*By FLOYD BAKER, Pastor

*
*
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:22

Some years ago as we stood in a funeral home, the daughter of the woman
who had passed away, declared, ''I'm amazed at the peace I have at a
time like this." I trust that each one of us have experienced such peace
in our lives during those times of heartache and difficulty. There are
some who may not understand the peace that we have and may look at us
with wonder; not knowing the source from which it comes.

Our verse in Galatians 5:22 reveals the very source of this peace as we
read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is
no law." Though our focus is upon peace we see that it does not stand
alone but is part of, and dependent on, love. Without Spirit-produced
love we will not enjoy this peace in our lives.

Peace is an inward tranquility but nonetheless is manifested in the
outward man as well. What is also important is that this is not simply a
resignation to the fact that we can't change the circumstances, but
rather to know that God is at work in our lives conforming us more, and
more, to His image. Without this realization we will miss out on the
opportunity to grow spiritually. As we face each new testing our faith
will enable us to look to God and again enjoy His peace. Only the child
of God can have this peace because it is the "Fruit of the Spirit," and
cannot be generated in the flesh. It begins with faith in the finished
work of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit as we see in Ephesians
1:13, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth,
the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye
were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."

*
*We have so much to be thankful for every day.*
*God continually provides for all our needs.
So let's make Thanksgiving a year-long celebration. *
*---David C. McCasland*
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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jun 2011, 12:55 pm

This was written by teacher I know some years back, I pray you enjoy same.
He is a teacher at Canyonview Bible Seminary.
*
*FAITH or FEAR?*
*By Mike Watson*
*
September 11 is now a tragic exclamation mark on a long string of 20th
Century events. Most of them continue to chip away at our Christian
foundation, but I think the terrorist attack is a wake-up call for the
Body of Christ. We are reminded how fragile and temporary life really
is. Each day is a gift from God as well as an opportunity to demonstrate
where our priorities lie. Where you live and how you approach your
vocation communicate the meaning of the Gospel and, ultimately, who this
God is that we proclaim.
Just reading this article demonstrates your zeal for the Lord Jesus
Christ. The question is how to focus your energies so that your life's
ministry leaves an eternal impression on those around you. The message
of the Gospel must be accompanied by Christlike examples observable in a
whole-life setting.
When our society doesn't support the Christian worldview, we lack the
necessary model that, on a larger scale, can help transform individuals
and sometimes an entire group of people. So we must create a whole-life
setting that folks can be a part of 24 hours a day. In this way, people
can know the Gospel message in harmony with God's commandments for life
and relationships. That's where a Christian camp comes into play.
On a typical Friday, the average American has endured a week of baseless
values from the media, work, and often enough, unfortunately, at home.
The result is ungodly music, humanistic motives, shootings; it's all
there. On that evening, just imagine he's arrived at camp as part of
your group.
Once moved in, there's a warm welcome from our staff where he learns
there are loving boundaries, positive activity options, and a commitment
to the Scriptural values of a retreat. As if that's not enough, the
first meal convinces the entire group this is definitely the place to
be. As the program continues through the weekend, he and his friends
become primed for change (the work of the Holy Spirit) because all the
dimensions of daily life are used to create a powerful learning dynamic.
The numbers are plain. A very high percentage of people are saved prior
to age seventeen. Of those, many come to the Lord at a Christian Camp.
We strive to prepare the field even before a group arrives. That way the
seeds being sown stand a better chance of yielding fruit for the Lord.
In the end, it doesn't matter if terrorists assault the United States,
or if any number of calamities threaten hearth and home. The great
question is this: Upon what does our peace rest? Trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ elevates a person's trust beyond the circumstances of this life.
If I emphasize the value of a person's retreat dollar, I think we agree
there's more to it than the usual offerings of a great menu and a
peaceful setting with all of the activity options. It's a matter of
bringing people into the greater sphere of life that says the message of
the Gospel and Godly living must go together. I'm always partnering with
the local church so we can use the at-camp, whole-life experience and
build the eternal Body of Christ. I hope to see you at a Christian camp
soon!
In Christ Always,

PEACE AND REST*
*By Miles Stanford*
*

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (Ps. 138:8).

After the believer enters into life by faith, he wonders why it was so
difficult for him to see that it was all of grace - the humble reception
of a finished work. And yet he goes through the faithless struggle once
again before he sees that his daily Christian life is also a finished
work-complete in Christ.

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son
Jesus Christ our Lord" (I Cor. 1:9). What believers need is the simple
faith that the establishing in Christ, day by day, is God's work - a
work that He delights to do, in spite of all our weakness and
unfaithfulness, if we will but trust Him for it. To the blessedness of
such faith, and the experience it brings, many can testify. What peace
and rest, to know that there is a Husbandman who cares for the branch,
to see that it grows stronger; who watches over every hindrance and
danger, who supplies every needed aid!

"What peace and rest, fully and finally to give up our abiding into the
care of the Father, and never have a wish or thought, never to offer a
prayer or engage in an exercise connected with it, without first having
the glad remembrance that what we do is only the manifestation of what
Our Father is doing in us! The establishing in Christ is His work: He
accomplishes it by stirring us to watch, and wait, and work." - A.M.

"Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, ... is God" (II Cor.
1:21).
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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Jun 2011, 9:07 pm

THE LAW MISUNDERSTOOD
by C. R. Stam
*
There are three misconceptions that most people entertain about the law
of God and its Ten Commandments:
Most people have a vague notion that the law always was in existence and
that it must have been given to the first man, Adam, or soon after.
Actually, God gave the law to Moses for Israel about 1500 B.C., after
about 2500 years of human history had elapsed (John 1:17). So mankind
lived on earth for about 2500 years without the law or the Ten
Commandments.
Most people suppose that the law and the Ten Commandments were given to
mankind in general, while, in fact, it was given to Israel alone
(Deuteronomy 5:2,3).
Most people suppose that the law and the Ten Commandments were given to
help us to do right. Even some clergymen teach this, although the Bible
clearly teaches that they were given to show us that we are guilty
sinners. It is true that the law, while given to Israel, also shows the
Gentile that he is a sinner. This is why Romans 3:19 says:
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who
are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may be brought in guilty before God.
But most important of all: Few people realize that the Lord Jesus Christ
died for our sins to deliver us from the just condemnation of the law.
This is taught in the following Scriptures:
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for us(Gal.3:13).
For God hath made Him to be sin for us, [Christ] who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (IICor.5:21) .
For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are NOT UNDER THE LAW,
BUT UNDER GRACE (Rom.6:14).
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jun 2011, 2:21 pm

PROFIT *
* By Miles Stanford*
*
"Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ-sharing His inheritance with
Him; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory"
(Rom. 8:17, Amp.).
The term "profit and loss" is reversed in the Christian life to "loss
and profit." The principle never varies: our losses are all in the realm
of the old, never the new. Every loss in the life of self brings greater
gain and profit in the new --- our life in Christ. And, conversely,
every gain for the self-life is loss for our growth and His glory. "But
what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ" (Phi1.3:7).
"It is not the design of God to deprive His children of happiness, but
only to pour the cup of bitterness into that happiness which the
believer has in anything outside of Christ." - F.F.
"Everything that tries us, that is a check upon us, that causes exercise
of heart, and makes us sensible of weakness in ourselves, is of the
nature of chastisement (child-training) . It may come in the way of
difficulties in the path of faith; or in the shape of such trials and
sorrow as are common to all men---loss of property, loss of health, or
bereavement; or it may be as the governmental consequences of sin; but
in one way or other all have it. It is 'for our profit, that we might be
partakers of His holiness' (Heb. 12:10). That is, it serves to break
down that which is not of God in us, that the life of the Lord Jesus
might be made manifest." - C.A.C.
"When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
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Post  Admin on Fri 24 Jun 2011, 3:29 pm

THE BOOK OF LIFE *
*BY PASTOR RICHARD A. MAZEK,*
*
Scripture Reading: Psalm 68:28

This is a subject upon which there has indeed been much discussion,
disagreement, and traditional ignorance. Many zealously sing, "There's a
new name written down in Glory, and it's mine." They truly believe that
their names were written in the Lord's Book of Life the moment they
trusted Christ as their Saviour. Yet does this old tradition really
stand up to the test of Scripture? The pastors here at the Berean Church
do not believe so. The Apostle Paul only uses this term once in his
Epistles (Phil. 4:3), and even then it is not in reference to initial
salvation. Whose names then are written in the Book of Life, and when
are they recorded therein?

Psalm 68:27,28 sets forth the prayer of David concerning his enemies and
is also a prophetic reference to the prayer of the believing remnant of
Israel in the Great Tribulation. Here we find the statement that both
the just and the unjust are recorded in the Book of the Living (Life).
For how could they be blotted out if they were not already written therein?

The second half of our question now needs to be posed.
When are these names written in God's Book of Life?

We believe that Psalm 139:15,16 clearly gives us the answer. "Psa
139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,
[and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psa 139:16
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book
all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned,
when [as yet there was] none of them." Verse 16 re-affirms Psalm 68 by
telling us that, "in thy Book all men (proper rendering) were written."
Yes, but when does this take place? The context clearly points to the
conception and pre-natal state of all men. Our conclusion then is that
all men are written in the "Book of Life" the moment they are physically
conceived.

Scripture Reading: Revelation 20: 11-15

The Scriptures also clearly state that men are blotted or taken out of
the Book of Life. Paul and Moses both prayed that their names be blotted
out of this great book (Ex. 32:32; Rom. 9: 1-3) for the sake of Israel.
Although we know the Lord could not grant these requests, the fact still
remains that names are, and will be, blotted out of God's Book.

When, then is a man's name blotted out of the Book of Life? Let us
answer this question by first of all citing a Scripture reference that
reveals to us how a man may remain in the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5). Of
course this portion is here referring to the Dispensation of Judgment,
and the overcomers here recorded, will be the elect, the Tribulation
Saints (1 John 2:13,14: 5:4, 5). Yet the principle cited here is
trans-dispensationa l. Any saved person from any dispensation will and
does remain in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Now, upon this premise, let us answer our question. All men have a
chance to be saved up until the moment they die, but after death
(physical) there is no second chance (Heb. 9:27). Thus, their names must
then be blotted out of the Book of Life for Rev. 20: 11-15 clearly shows
that all who have died in their sins are not found in this eternal book.
Consequently, if a man dies in his sins (in any dispensation) , he is
then blotted out of God's Book of Life.

There is however, one exception to this rule, and it is found in Rev.
13:8, and 17:8 (read proper rendering of this verse). Here we find the
followers of the Anti-Christ as being blotted out of the Book of Life
before their physical death. Why? The Lord, under the regulations of
this dispensation (Tribulation) , hears Israel's prayer (Ps. 68:27, 28)
and answers it (I John 3:22) by blotting out these names before their
decease. May the Lord help us to better comprehend these precious truths!
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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jun 2011, 10:17 pm

THE GLORY OF THAT LIGHT*
* by Russell S. Miller*
*
The resurrected Christ appeared unto Paul very differently than His
appearances had been unto all those other saints. Peter and the Eleven
had only seen the risen Christ as He will reign upon this earth in His
kingdom glory (Matt.17:1-9) . But Paul saw the risen, glorified, Lord
Jesus Christ in "the glory of His grace" (Eph.1:6,14) . The glorified
Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto Paul as He had never appeared to any man
before upon this earth. He appeared unto Paul from heaven:
"And when I could NOT see for the glory of that light, being led by the
hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one
Ananias..., Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul...
The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His
will, AND SEE THAT JUST ONE, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth.
For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and
heard" (Acts 22:11-14).
Christ could have judged the world, and He will, but instead He revealed
Himself to Paul in the glory of His grace. To the Apostle Paul, then,
Jesus Christ revealed "the riches of His grace" in salvation (Eph.1:7),
"the exceeding riches of His grace" in glory (2:7), and "the
unsearchable riches of Christ" in heavenly places (3:8). And this
message Paul calls" the Mystery" in Colossians 1:26. Furthermore, the
Lord Jesus commissioned Paul, and us, "to make all men see what is the
fellowship of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath
been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Eph.3:9). And
all this, Paul says, is "according to the glorious gospel of the blessed
God, which was committed to my trust" (ITim.1:11).
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest
the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine
unto them" (II Cor.4:3,4).
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus, therefore, marks the beginning of an
entirely new administration of God in the affairs of men:
"...Have [you] heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is
given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the
Mystery..." (Eph.3:2,3)?
God now sees us "accepted in the Beloved One" (Eph.1:6), and clothed
with the very "righteousness" of our Lord Jesus Christ (IICor.5:21) . And
we stand before God today "complete in Christ" because of what Jesus
Christ accomplished on our behalf at Calvary (Col.2:10-15) . Through "no
works" of our own, then, we are forever "seated" with Christ "in the
heavenlies" (Eph.2:6,8,9) .
"That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His
grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph.2:7).
So in Paul's gospel when he focuses in upon the "crucified" One
(ICor.1:23), he proclaims "Jesus Christ according to the revelation of
the Mystery" (Rom.16:25). Not only has "CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES" (ICor.15:3), but our glorified Saviour is
coming again to catch us away to be with Himself for all eternity. In
our endeavors, then, to keep our congregations informed of the death,
burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, may we never forget that God
revealed to Paul "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ."
"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" (IICor.4:4,6) .
*
O Glorious Lord, what a good reminder this is of the desperate condition
I was in when You justified me. I was not merely needy; I was
spiritually dead. I thank You for burying that old life with Jesus in
His tomb. I praise You for raising me with Christ to a new life. I
rejoice in the radical nature of Your saving grace. Lord, by the power
of the resurrection, lead me in the reality of newness of life, in Jesus
name, Amen.
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Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jun 2011, 1:08 pm

* WHICH GOSPEL?*
* by C. R. Stam*
*
A friend asks: "Have you heard the good news?" and you reply: "What good
news?" Naturally! All good news is not the same. Yet few people follow
this procedure when they read in the Bible the phrase "the gospel" --
which simply means "the good news." They have been taught that "the
gospel is the gospel" and "there is only one gospel," but this is simply
not so in the light of the Bible itself.
God has not proclaimed only one gospel, one item of good news, down
through the ages, but many. He has qualified the word "gospel" by
distinctive titles, just as a woman labels her preserves to distinguish
the different goodies she has put up for the winter.
The "gospel of the kingdom" and the "gospel of the graceof God" are not
the same, and certainly the "gospel of the circumcision" and the "gospel
of the uncircumcision" are not the same.
When we come upon the phrase "the gospel" without any qualifying title,
we should immediately ask: "Which gospel?" and invariably the context
will provide the answer. Luke 9:6, for example, simply states that the
twelve disciples went about "preaching the gospel," but Verse 2 of the
same chapter explains how the Lord had sent them "to preach the kingdom
of God" -- not the cross, but the kingdom, since He, the King, was in
their midst. These disciples could not have engaged in "the preaching of
the cross," as Paul later did, for it was not until at least two years
later that the Lord "began" to tell them how He must suffer and die
(Matt. 16:21) and Peter "began to rebuke Him" (Ver. 22)and none of the
twelve even understood what He was talking about (Luke 18:34).
But whereas "the gospel of the kingdom" had been committed to the twelve
while Christ was on earth, "the preaching of the cross" (as good news)
and "the gospel of the grace of God" was later committed to the Apostle
Paul and to us (1 Cor. 1:18; Acts 20:24).
Today we do not proclaim the kingdom rights of Christ. Rather we
proclaim "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace" (Eph.1:7).
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