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Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Ablest Minister

The following is from a message by J. C. Philpot, entitled Meditations of the Perceptive Part of the Word of God.

"He is the ablest minister who is . . .
soundest in doctrine,
deepest in experience,
most godly in practice.

He must have also a gracious experience in his own soul of the truths which he preaches, in their savour, sweetness, and power.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Congratulations Phil and Jenn McBroom

On the birth of your third "man in the making"!

May he have:

the faith of Noah
the piety of Abraham
the meekness of Moses
the integrity of Joseph
the courage of David
the wisdom of Solomon
the zeal of Elijah
the heart of Jeremiah
the commitment of Daniel
the profoundness of Ezekiel
the boldness of John the Baptist
the devotion of John the Apostle
the power of Peter
the perseverance of Paul
the teachableness of Timothy
the presence of Christ



Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalms 127:1-5

Verse From Morning Devotions

Proverbs 28:4 - They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

Based upon what authority do we define "wicked"?
Are we forsaking or keeping the law?
What is our relationship with the wicked?
Could it be that in forsaking the law we are inadvertently praising the wicked? Likewise could it be that when we keep the law we are of necessity contending with the wicked?

Monday, September 25, 2006

What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

We receive the Pearl's periodical at our home and enjoy the challenging articles in it each month. We have learned a lot from the Pearls and appreciate their commitment to the King James Bible and Biblical principles of child-rearing. Their material in this area is full of practical instruction which is very profitably applied, if you have the courage and discipline to do so.

The following article by Michale Pearl I found to be very edifying and encouraging. I found myself throughout the article assenting to what he was writing. I could not agree more with his assessment of what it means to be a real man. I will have both of my boys read this article, my almost 17 year old and my married son and anyone else I can encourage to read it. May I encourage you to do so.

You can find it at the following link:

http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/index.php?id=75&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=258&tx_ttnews[backPID]=7

God - The Origin Of Holiness

PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-7:1

GOD – THE ORIGIN OF HOLINESS
PSALMS 99:5,9



A. W. Tozer in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy¸ expresses the holiness of God thusly, “Holy is the way God is. To be holy He does not conform to a standard. He is that standard. He is absolutely holy with an infinite, incomprehensible fullness of purity that is incapable of being other than it is. Because He is holy, all His attributes are holy; that is, whatever we think of as belonging to God must be thought of as holy.”


All holiness, whether of angels, heaven, or men finds its origin in God. There is no holiness apart from God. Our frailty keeps us from understanding the magnitude of God’s holiness. We are barred from looking upon him because of his glory, which is a visible manifestation of his attributes. Holiness is the preeminent attribute of God and is the foundation from which all His other attributes manifest themselves. To see his glory is to be ushered into his presence for no man sees God and lives. When Moses saw a veiled manifestation of his glory his face did shine!

We struggle with separation because we struggle with seeing God for who He is. We fail to see the ugliness of the world system because we do not commit ourselves to seeing God in the beauty of holiness. Most evangelical preaching reflects the embracing of a flawed premise. The emphasis has become God is love instead of God is holy. Because God is love it is assumed that he is understanding and thus has cultivated toleration for sin. God forbid! God is holy and even his love is revealed in the context of holiness. We do not see the need to separate ourselves from the world because we do not see the world as all that bad. It is bad but there is no need to shun it, after all people will think we are strange, peculiar.

Titus 2:14 - Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This does not mean that we set our hearts to be peculiar. What it means is that if we are undergoing the purifying work of the Spirit of God in our lives and we are zealous of good works then we will be peculiar. Will we suffer reproach, very likely, but there was a day when it was understood that that would be the case for those who were serious about following the Saviour.

Again A. W. Tozer lays bare the somber reality, “Until we have seen ourselves as God see us, we are not likely to be much disturbed over the conditions around us as long as they do not get so far out of hand as to threaten our comfortable way of life. We have learned to live with unholiness and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. We are not disappointed that we do not find all truth in our teachers or faithfulness in our politicians or complete honesty in our merchants or full trustworthiness in our friends. That we may continue to exist we make such laws as are necessary to protect us from our fellow men and let it go at that.”

We are satisfied with being respectable and are unwilling to do the hard work of pursing holiness. The hard work of knowing God. The hard work of self-examination. The hard work of self-scrutiny in the light of the Word of God. The hard work of conforming our life to the precepts, principles, and patterns of the Word of God. Consequently we are not separated. We are not perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

We are content because we can be. We have assumed the temperature of the world around us. If the world is 32 degrees below zero and we are only 30 degrees below zero we are still frozen. We are not hot. We are unprepared to be a spectacle and the off scouring of all things. All of this because we have an insufficient, inexcusably low view of God. We do not see him as holy. When we do our view of holiness is much deteriorated. Our view of the holiness of God is simply that he is a lot better than us. This is inadequate at best and blasphemous at worst. Such a view leaves us on the plain of sin and self-sufficiency. We have convinced our selves that the summit is in view when in reality the summit is shrouded in clouds hiding the extremity of God’s holiness. The result is that we think we are closer than we are and if the clouds were to break but for a moment we would fall down in shame that we have entertained so much sin in our lives, that we have given so little attention to the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God.

So tonight, let us start where we should always start, with God.
THE HOLINESS OF GOD REVEALED
The declaration of God’s holiness.
Psalms 22:3 - But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Psalms 99:5 - Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Psalms 99:9 - Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
The word holy in the Old Testament comes from a Hebrew word that means to be sacred, consecrated, to be clean.
God is consecrated. Other things become consecrated based upon their proximity to Him.
Priests are holy because of their connection to Him.
Sacrifices are holy because of their connection to Him.
The Temple was holy because of its connection to Him.
Angels are holy because of their connection to Him.
Saints are holy because of their connection to Him.

God is independently holy. Nothing makes God holy, he simply is. Everything else is holy as a result of its/their proximity to God.

The extent of God’s holiness.
1 Samuel 2:2 - There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
It is apparent that Hannah had spent some time pondering the majesty of God's holiness and had compared him to the false gods of the pagans. Her assertion in this recorded prayer is that there is none holy as the Lord. Look far and wide and you will never discover any god, angel, or man that rivals God in holiness. He is preeminently holy to the degree that he makes everything else look unholy.

Psalms 15:1 - A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
Vs: 2-5 – To dwell in his holy hill one must be holy.

Exodus 15:11 - Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Moses declares God to be glorious in holiness. It is God's holiness that renders him glorious. If He were not holy no matter what else he was He would not be glorious. It is his holiness that renders all of his other attributes pure and untainted.

Deuteronomy 32:4 - He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
He is a God of truth and without iniquity. He has no sin. He never has, does not, and never will. Consequently it can be said, "just and right is he". He is right about everything. He cannot be wrong. He is just in all that he does because all that he does is rooted in holiness. His work is perfect for it can be nothing less.

Isaiah 6:1-3 - In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Who can imagine this scene? Isaiah sees the Lord, obviously a veiled version. He notes that he is high and lifted up and the foot of his garment, his train, filled the temple as he was adorned in regal splendor. Then Isaiah see the seraphims, those holy angels who are perpetually appointed to hover above the throne of enshrined holiness. These creatures having six wings and it is worthy of note that with two of their wings they cover their faces. Here in the perpetual presence of the Almighty they veil their faces representing their unworthiness to look upon He who sit upon the throne. And notice the theme of their perpetual song. Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts. It is not love, love, love is the LORD of hosts, or mercy, mercy, mercy, is the LORD of host, or grace, grace, grace is the LORD of hosts, or justice, justice, justice is the LORD of hosts, or righteous, righteous, righteous is the LORD of host. It is Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. It is God's holiness that is continually and perpetually acknowledged at his throne.

Isaiah 57:15 - For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
You will notice that the word Holy here is capatilized indicating that Holy is a proper name for God. It is one of His many names because it reflects his attribute of attributes.

1 John 1:5 - This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Yes, that's right not darkness at all, none! Who can fathom it. We tolerate sin because we have a low view of God. We are worldly in our dress, attitudes, priorities, entertaiment, recreation, speech, music because we are used to the dark and come to see it as light. But it is only because we have gotten use to the dark. Our eyes have adujsted to it. Which more than anything else is a reflection of the fact that we have not been focusing upon the one who is light and in whom is no darkness at all, for if we were we would see the darkness for what it is.

The pervasiveness of God’s holiness.
Psalms 11:4 - The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
The Lord makes the temple holy; the temple does not make the Lord holy.

Psalms 68:5 - A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
It is not a place that makes God holy; it is God that makes a place holy.

Psalms 111:9 - He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
He makes the name holy; the name does not make him holy.

Psalms 145:17 - The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
All his works are holy. Why? Because it is his nature to be holy. He cannot do anything at odds with his nature.
All of his attributes are exercised and revealed in the context of holiness.
His work of love does not compromise his holiness.
His work of mercy is characterized by holiness.
His work of grace is engaged from the foundation of holiness.


THE HOLINESS OF GOD EXPERIENCED

Gen. 3:7-10 – And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Why did they attempt to clothe themselves? Was it to cover themselves because of other people? No, there were no other people. Was it to cover themsevles because of each other? No, from the very beginning everything they did was done with no clothes on, they were comfortable with each other. They clothed themselves because they knew God would be coming. They were ashamed for God to see them in that condition. They hid themselves. They were afraid. They knew God was holy and they had transgressed his commands. Their sin drove them to hide from God.

Ex. 3:1-6 – Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Moses hid his face. When he realized that he was in the presence of the holy God, he covered his face. It was the natural response in keeping with the seraphims before the throne. Moses was afraid. In the presence of God our sin becomes more glaring. We become more aware of our inadequacy.

Job 40:1-4 – Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job confessed his vileness. This is intresting when we consider the testimony of God in the first chapter of Job concerning this man, that he was perfect and upright and one the eschewed evil, or one that separated himself from evil. Yet, when confronted with the presence of God Job declared of himself that he was vile and that his hand would be put over his mouth lest he utter anything inappropriate before the holy God.

Is. 6:1-5 – In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah saw himself as undone. Having seen the Lord in his glorious holiness and heard the testimony of seraphim Isaiah cried out, "Woe is me". He saw himself as undone. It is hard to look at these examples without drawing the conclusion that we spend little time in the presence of God for if we did would not our response be kindred to what these men experienced.


THE HOLINESS OF GOD PERFECTED

God’s holiness the basis for our own.
Leviticus 11:44,45 - For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Sanctify yourselves. Or to put it another way, separate yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Consecrate yourselves. Holiness is achieved by sanctifying ourselves. To the degree that we separate ourselves to that degree we will be holy. And why should we desire to be holy? Because He is holy. Why can he demand that we be holy? Because He is holy. Unfortunately most do not evaluate their lives on the basis of will this make me more holy but rather on the basis of will this bring me under the scruitny of my peers. If it is acceptable to our peers then the issue of holiness ceases to be an issue. This is a sure sign of worldliness.
Leviticus 19:2 - Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
Leviticus 20:7 - Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
I know, I know, this is in the Old Testament. We are not under the Old Covenant people object. I would agree that we are not under the Old Covenant, but it is a shame how some people use the smokescreen of the Old Covenant to justify departing from the old paths. The reality is that the moral law of God has not changed under the New Covenant. The demand for holiness has not been diminished under the New Covenant, if anything the bar has been raised. I am sickend by those who with a wave of the hand dismiss a moral precept simply because it is located before the book of Matthew. God keep us from being so dismissive concerning your Word.
As for the issue of holiness, at least in the broadest sense the concept is brought into the New Testament and continues to be present as the standard for which we should strive. Consider:

1 Peter 1:16 - Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
You notice the words "it is written". Where is it written you might ask? Well, in the Old Testament, in the verses referenced above. Our lives are to be lived in the context of holiness because God is holy. We entertain sin, justify it, rationalize it, and defend it because we are not concerned with being holy. Would to God that piety would once again become a priority with God's people! That we would strive first and foremost to be holy. Why? Because He is holy!


The fact is many do not see the importance of perfecting holiness because they do not soberly reflect upon the perfection of holiness. Instead of filling our hearts and minds with an awareness of the glorious perfections of God we allow ourselves to be dictated to and desensitized by the world in which we live. Our passion is not to be holy but to be hip. Our desire is not to be zealously effected in a good thing but marginally identified with religion.

The sin we are willing to entertain is a frightening manifestation of our low view of God. The pursuit of holiness will never be a passion with those who seek contentment instead of consecration, acceptance with the world instead of sanctification, and mediocrity instead of excellence.

We are worldly because we are not godly. We are not godly because we do not give due consideration to the Great King of heaven who is glorious in holiness.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Book Review - The Raising Of A President

My good daughter-in-law bought this book for me several weeks ago. I actually opened it to look through it and found myself reading it. I have read several books about the Presidents but this one was with a slight twist focusing on the men and women who raised the Presidents, their parents.

The Raising Of A President is written by Doug Wead. It comes in at 419 pages.

Most of the book address a few Presidential families. It begins with an expose of the Adams dynasty (John Adams and John Quincy Adams) the only other father and son presidents besides George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush. Then there was a section on Abraham Lincoln. Then three more dynasties are addressed. The Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and the Bushes.

At the end of the book there is a short biographical sketch of all the Fathers and Mothers of the Presidents. The book concludes with several categories of interesting family trivia about the Presidents.

The book is probably longer than it needed to be. A lot of the material was covered twice in dealing with the father and mother of each of the Presidents. This was especially true in the short biographical sketches of the parents at the end of the book. It was also difficult to follow at places trying to keep track of whom he was writing (grandfather, father, or son). At least I had difficutly in some places keeping track.

It was interesting reading. Very little is actually said about the Presidents as President. In fact most of the stories leave off where they are elected president. So it is not a political book. It is a family book a book of family histories. This I find interesting, especially concerning Presidents. With the five Presidential families that are highlighted the history generally begins with their grandparents with mention given to the distant ancestors where information is available.

There were a couple of things that really caught my attention as I was reading through the book. Most of the Presidents seemed to have strong mothers and demanding Fathers. Sara Delano Roosevelt, mother of F. D. R. is especially noted for her dominating influence over her son even after marriage. Mrs. Adams was also a strong presence in her home for the age in which she lived, of course her husband was gone much of the time engaged in public affairs (Philadelphia, France, Netherlands, England). Mrs. Adams had strong opinions and was very politically oriented. Abraham Lincoln apparently had a very abusive father. I was also struck by the degree of poverty from which President Lincoln ascended. There was a period of time where they lived in nothing more than a lean-to with one side open and exposed to the elements. They spent a whole winter like that. The dilemma was to keep the fire burning so they would not freeze to death and keep the wild animals at bay while not allowing their little makeshift hutch to catch fire and burn to the ground??

I also found it interesting that many of the Presidents had their mother's maiden names for their middle names.

While the Adamses and Bushes had strong family backgrounds and ties, the Roosevelt and Kennedys were disfunctional at best. Both Roosevelt and Kennedy were unfaithful to their marriage vows. J. F. K. had learned the vice from his Father.

I was also reminded of something Harry Truman said when asked by a reporter if he considered his father successful. His father was mostly a farmer on his in-laws property after several failed ventures. President Truman responded, "He raised a President."

Another thing that was striking is how often death was associated with the Presidents. Either their parents dying at a young age, or siblings dying, and even a few their spouses. I'm sure much of it had to do with the age in which most of the Presidents live but it was striking nonetheless.

Amazingly enough only three Presidents had both a living Father and Mother when they took office, Grant, Kennedy, and George W. Bush. Only two had both parents present at the inauguration, Kennedy and Bush.

Three Presidents had their Fathers die before they were born, Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B. Hayes, and William Jefferson Clinton.

Four Presidents were only sons, Coolidge, Ford, Roosevelts, Clinton.

Thirteen Presidents were firstborn in their families: John Adams, Madison, Monroe, Polk, Grant, Harding, Coolidge, Truman, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Clinton, George W. Bush.

Five Presidents were middle children: Washington, Van Buren, Lincoln, Arthur, Hoover.

Seven Presidents were the babies of their families: Jackson, Harrison, Johnson, Hayes, Garfield, Roosevelt, Regan

Three Presidents were sons of preachers: Chester Arthur's father was a Baptist preacher, Grover Cleveland's father was a Congregational preacher, and Woodrow Wilson's father was a Presbyterian preacher.

Another thing interesting about the Presidents is how many of them had mothers, fathers, or both who wanted them to be clergymen.


Overall the book was interesting and the stories of these respective families were well told. However the book was a bit long and could have been shortened by removing some of the overlap that exists between telling the story of the mother and the father of the Presidents.

Rating: * * *

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Temporary Insecurity Of The Believer

A couple of years ago the ocassion arose for me to preach a series of messages on Sunday morning on the eternal security of the believer. The Baptist position on this important issue has often been maligned and scorned in a context of our adversaries own making. They enjoy to characterize it as believing one can be saved and then live however they want, including a life of sin. This is not the Baptist position.

Our position is that when one accepts Christ they are eternally secure. If we did not do anything to get saved (it is by grace) how can we do anything to lose it? We also believe that one who truly believes will have their heart and life transformed from the inside out by the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. The saved will not live in bondage to sin.

When I was preparing that series a couple of years ago I begin to consider all that would have to happen for an individual to lose his salvation. The following is presented for your consideration and edification.


1. Returned to a state of spiritual death.
Eph. 2:1,5 – And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

You go from being spiritually alive to being spiritually dead again.

2. Must be unredeemed.
Gal. 3:13 – Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
1 Pet. 1:18,19 – Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
The ransom price must be counted insufficient.

3. Must be unsanctified.
1 Cor. 6:11 – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
If you can lose you salvation that means that you are no longer set apart.

4. Must be unjustified.
Rom. 5:1 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
If you can lose your salvation then that means you are not longer righteous when judged by the law.
You are pronounced guilty after having been pronounced innocent.
Double jeopardy.
If you are unjustified then you are condemned.

5. Must be recondemned.
Rom. 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Given the right circumstances of which they are the final arbiters you can be recondemned.
Rom. 8:33 – Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
There are charges that can be brought that condemn us.
Therefore we live under a continual cloud of suspicion.

6. Must be unborn.
Jn. 3:7 – Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
1 Pet. 1:23 – Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

A birth cannot be reversed.
If you believe you can lose your salvation then you must believe in being unborn.

7. Must be unadopted.
Rom. 8:15-17 – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
If you believe you can lose your salvation then you must believe that after God adopts us into his family he subsequently determines because of our behavior that he no longer wants us.
This implies that God did not know what our behavior was going to be.

8. Passed from life to death.
John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
If you believe you can lose your salvation you must accept the premise that you can pass from life to death.
The life is taken from you and the penalty of death is reasserted.

9. Taken out of Christ.
1 Cor. 15:22 – For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
If you can lose your salvation then you go from being in Christ to being back in Adam.
Eph. 1:6 – To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Mess up too bad and you will be taken out of the beloved and as a consequence not be accepted.

10. Be unsealed.
Eph. 1:13,14 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Losing your salvation one must be unsealed.

11. Returned to the power of darkness.
Col. 1:13 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
God turns us over to Satan.
We are banished from the kingdom of his dear son.

12. Become incomplete.
Col 2:10 – And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
God completes us.
If you can lose your salvation then you become incomplete once again.
If you become incomplete it is an indication you were never really complete.

13. Returned to being an old creature.
2 Cor. 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Losing your salvation means you are an old creature again.
Eph. 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God’s creative work is unraveled because of my behavior.

14. Assume the identity of an unbeliever again.
Acts 16:31 – And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Once a believer now I am not.
I would contend you never were.
Does behavior determine your belief?
If you can lose your salvation are you an unbeliever.
How can that be while I continue to believe?

15. You can be taken out of the hand of God.
John 10:27-30 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
If you believe you can lose your salvation you believe there is a power that is more sovereign and omnipotent than God.
In fact if you can be taken out of the hand of God then God’s power is not infinite.
If his power is not infinite then he is not God.

16. You can be lost after being found.
Matt. 18:11 – For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
To believe that one can lose your salvation one must likewise believe that God loses what he finds.
John 17:12 – While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Judas was lost but he was never found.

17. You can be blinded after receiving sight.
2 Cor. 4:4 – In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The light had shown at one time but now it is darkness again.
If you believe you can lose your salvation then you must believe that the mind is deprived of understanding.
You must believe that the light of Christ is not sufficient to over come all darkness.

Old Time Conversion Comes Through Old Time Preaching

The following is from Harry Ironside's Commentary on Revelation.

"What is needed everywhere is a great revival of decided gospel preaching, pressing home on the consciences of men and women their lost condition, despite church membership, if they have not personally recieved the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word says, 'Break up the fallow ground' (Jeremiah 4:3; Hosea 10:12); sow not among thorns" We often hear people say that they would like to see more old-time conversions. Well, first there must be the old-time preaching of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the lost condition of all men by both nature and practice, until the old-time conviction will seize upon the souls of Christless men and women, and then the old-time gospel will be hailed as the only relief."

What Mean These Dispatches From The Battlefield?

The following is a quote from C. H. Spurgeon.

"It is a serious injury to a person to receive him into the number of the faithful unless there is good reason to believe that he is really born again. I am sure it is so, for I speak after careful observation. Some of the most glaring sinners known to me were once members of a church; and were, as I believe, led to make a profession by undue pressure, well-meant but ill-judged. Do not, therefore, consider that soulwinning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms, and the swelling of the size of your church. What mean these dispatches from the battle-field? 'Last night, fourteen souls were under conviction, fifteen were justified, and eight received full sanctification'. I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime. Hope for the best, but in your highest excitements be reasonable. Enquiry-rooms are all very well; but if they lead to idle boastings, they will grieve the Holy Spirit, and work abounding evil. Do not aim at sensation and 'effect'. Flowing tears and streaming eyes, sobs and outcries, crowded after-meetings and all kinds of confusion may occur, and may be borne with as coincidence of genuine feeling; but pray, do not plan their production. It very often happens that the converts that are born in excitement die when the excitement is over."

To Sin And Not To Blush

Again, the following is from the message "Heaven On Earth" by Thomas Brooks. The message was preached in 1667.

Only those things which are sinful, are shameful.

That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 16:63

When the penitent soul sees his sins pardoned, the anger of God pacified, and divine justice satisfied, then he sits down ashamed. Sin and shame are inseparable companions. A Christian cannot have the seeming sweet of sin, but he shall have the real shame which accompanies sin. These two God has joined together, and all the world cannot put them asunder.

It was the vile and impenitent Caligula who said of himself, "that he loved nothing better in himself,than that he could not be ashamed."

A soul who has sinned away all shame, is a soul ripe for hell--and given up to Satan! A greater plague cannot befall a man in this life, than to sin and not to blush!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Book Review - Fool's Gold

The last two days I have been shuttling 11th and 12th graders between school and the beach for some kind of science class. While the field trips take me out of the office there is one positive. With no computer and the ability to bring a limited number of books I am afforded reading time, which I greatly appreciate. Field trips are great for giving me time to read that I would not ordinarily devote to that end. It is beneficial. And I get paid $6.00 and hour to do it, or pray, or study, or do ministry planning.

The last two days I have read a book entitled Fool's Gold? Discerning Truth In An Age of Error. It comes in at 207 pages and so is relatively short. It is a book with chapters written by several different authors. The general editor is John MacArthur. Some of you may know him from his radio broadcast, Grace to You. He has also been a prolific author. While there are several areas where I do not agree with Bro. MacArthur I have found him to be very good on several topics. The other contributors to this book are all men who are intimately connected with his ministry. Nathan Busenitz, Dan Dumas, Kurt Gebhards, Daniel Gillespie, Carey Hardy, Rich Holland, and Phil Johnson who has an extensive web site.

This is a book that extols the virtue of Biblical discernment. He tells us what Biblical discernment is, why it is important, and how it is to be applied. The latter is done through a practical examination by the aforementioned men of several contemporary movements and publications.

The principles of discernment are applied by:

Nathan Busenitz to The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Phil Johnson to What Paul Really Said by N. T. Wright
Daniel Gillespie to Wild At Heart by John Eldredge
Rick Holland to The Revolve New Testament by Transit Books
John MacArthur to contemporary worship music
Carey Hardy to invitations and altar calls
Phil Johnson to the American approach to politics
Kurt Gebhards to consumerism with a biblical mind-set

Their critique of these different publications and issues is interesting and thought provoking. I found myself in agreement with much of what these men wrote. Of course being a real proponent of biblical discernment the book struck a sensitive chord with me.

These men all come from a Calvinist background and as is usually the case do not use the King James Bible. I found that ironic in the context of a book on discernment where so much emphasis was placed on the Scripture and rightly dividing it. My remedy for that is to simply exercise Biblical discernment.

Overall I found the book to be interesting. A couple of the chapters seemed to be a little long and a couple of the men seem to bemoan the lack of space available to deal with their subject a little too often.

MacArthur's view of the ecumenical movement has probably not won him many friends. He is one of the few, possibly the only one I know of, other than Independent Baptist who bemoan the adverse affects of the spirit of ecumenism.

On a scale of five stars I would say it is a three star. But it is short enough that it is worth the read. I found my copy in a used bookstore a couple of years ago and it has been sitting on my to read shelves since then. Yes, I have "to read shelves" plural. This is why I accept field trips because it helps me to make a dent in my "to read shelves".

Quotes from the book:

"What happens to preachers who obsess about cultural 'relevancy' is that they become worldly, not godly."

I promise not to comment on every quote but this one really hit home with me because I believe I have seen this very thing in Baptist churches.

"God did not have a speech impediment when He spoke His Word. He supernaturally froze the words, idioms, illustrations, and allusions into his revelation. Resolving the difficulties in understanding the text is the job of the preacher, not the translator."

"There is a disturbing presupposition going unchecked here. Do we really have to be like the world to reach the world? Or do we really believe that the truth of God is eternal and that it has relevance for every culture, time, and place?"

"Several of the songs tell the Lord He is great and worthy of praise, but none ever really says why. No matter; the goal clearly is to stir our emotions, not to focus our minds on any particular aspect of God's greatness."

"In fact, this means music and preaching should have the same aim. Both properly pertain to the proclamation of God's word."

Quoting Tozer on altar calls, "Don't come down here to the altar and cry about it; you go home and live it."

"Personal holiness, not political dominion, is what causes men to glorify our Father who is in heaven."

"If we give up (or cover up) what makes us distinctive, we lose our savor and forfeit our only real influence."

"If your life is devoid of any distinctive goodness, then change your behavior before you openly tarnish the name of Christ."

"Our fallen flesh would even seek a way, if possible, to make holiness itself a self-aggrandizing, pride-inducing hobby."

"If we have no desire to be discerning, we won't be discerning. If we are driven by a yearning to be happy, healthy, affluent, prosperous, comfortable, and self-satisfied, we will never be discerning people."

"All the desire in the world cannot make you discerning if you don't study Scripture."

Agreeing With Two Liberal Democrats??!!

Or, maybe they are agreeing with me, I think that's it, their agreeing with me!

What was almost more surprising than the undignified rant of Mr. Chavez before the U.N. the other day was from whence President Bush received support. Charles Rangel liberal democratic Congressman from, I believe, New York and Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the house. They both issued statement denying that President Bush was the devil and left the smell of sulpher in his wake. Hurray for them. Seems like it's a case of, "I can pick on my brother but don't anybody else think about it."

Honestly I was outraged at the content of Mr. Chavez's speech. I read it in it's entirety. I think Mrs. Pelosi is right he is a "thug". A communist thug at that! He's traveling the world hugging on the President of North Korea, Castro, Putin, the President of Iran.

I would never be a suitable candidate for the State Department. I would of had them pull Mr. Chavez's visa and sent him packing. Any foreign dignitary that raised a whimper about the "injustice of it all" would have had their visas pulled as well and sent packing. If they did not like it they could take their U. N. somewhere else and try to make a go of it without the United States.

Been fuming for three days about this. It seems to me there should have been more outrage in the media. It would be great if the United States would abandon the U. N. and pull a line out of the Nixon era. "You want have the United States to kick around anymore."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Faith Worthy Of God

But if faith cannot continue to believe in the hard things, it is not the faith that is worthy of God.
C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Death To The Pope????

"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

This is the quote that so outraged the Muslim world. As I consider all of the controversy surrounding the Pope's quoting from a 14th century document I find at least a couple of things interesting.

While I am no admirer of this Pope or any Pope the quote he offered in his speech is an accurate reflection of the Islamic faith. I think it is has been sufficiently documented in many places that the Koran encourages Jihad and the killing of all infidels, infidels being defined as any one who does not adhere to the Islamic faith. I don't think it can be reasonably asserted that Muhammad did not "spread by the sword the faith he preached." The possibility that many Muslims do not espouse that form of Islam does not detract from the millions that do. I think that the number that don't espouse that brand of Islam is vastly over rated. It was telling for me that right after the tragedy of 9/11 every Muslim or group of Muslims I saw interviewed concerning the events of that day could not bring themselves to unequivocally condemn the behavior of the "extremist". They inevitably turned the conversation to Israel/Zionists and the West.

The Pope is right on this one. He had the courage to say it. The politicians will not. The diplomats will not. The talking heads will not. The Pope did. His apology was like so many I have heard in the past. He was sorry for the Muslim response to his comments. He was apologizing for how they responded not for what he said. I think since then he has taken an even more ecumenical attitude toward the comments he made and the Muslim people he offended.

Another really interesting thing is that he cited a quote about Islam being advanced by violence and the Muslims were outraged by the comments and are calling for the assassination of the Pope. They are in fact proving the validity of the comment they are so outraged over. The Pope, having questioned an aspect of their religion, is now a candidate for the sword. The irony is instructive. They are ready to implement the sword in the defense of their religion because they are outraged that some one would say that they implement the sword in the defense and propagation of their religion. Go figure???

Another interesting thing about this whole controversy is for the Pope to quote from a 14th century document condemning the use of the sword in the propagation of one's faith is the "pot calling the kettle black".

Does the word "inquisition" mean anything to you. The Catholic church systematically plundered, tortured, and executed millions of people during the Dark Ages for the simple crime of heresy. Heresy was anything that dissented from the Catholic position. No religious organization has used the sword more effectively than the Catholic church to spread its religion. If the Pope was to apologize he should apologize for the millions of innocent people his church has deprived of life and liberty through the ages.

I know the Catholic church waves off the accusation because of the method they employed to execute dissenters. The "heretic" would be brought before the office of the Inquisitor and judged and condemned. The condemned "heretic" was then turned over to the civil authorities for execution. In this manner they could claim they were free from bloodguiltiness. They didn't execute anyone the civil authorities did. Yea, they did or else!

Conclusion: The Pope is right, Islam has from the beginning been in the business of spreading their faith by the sword. The Pope should apologize for all the carnage the Catholic Church has unleashed on innocent people because they dared to see things differently. He need not apologize to the Muslims but to the religious dissenters of the Dark Ages among whom were many of my spiritual ancestors.

What, You My Son?

Another portion of the message, Heaven On Earth by Thomas Brooks. Preached in 1667.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51:3

Sin most afflicts a gracious soul. The deer feeling within her the working of the serpent's poison--runs through the thorns and thickets, and runs over the green and pleasant pastures--that she may drink of the fountain and be cured. Just so, gracious souls, being sensible of the poison and venom of sin, run from the creatures, which are but as thorns and thickets; and run over their own duties and righteousness, which are but as pleasant pastures--to come to Christ the fountain of life--that they may drink of those waters of consolation, of those wells of salvation which are in Him, and cast up and cast out their spiritual poison, and be cured forever.

Believers know that their sins do most pierce and grieve the Lord. The sins of God's people, provoke Him most, and sadden Him most--and this makes them sigh and groan it out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Romans 7:24

If a snake were to sting your dearly beloved spouse to death--would you preserve it alive, warm it by the fire, and hug it in your bosom? Would you not rather stab it with a thousand wounds? When Brutus went to stab Julius Caesar, he cried out, "What, you my son Brutus!" So may God well cry out, "What, you My son! What, will you stab Me with your sins! Is it not enough that others stab My honor? but will you, My son?"

You are wise, and know how to apply it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Sinner's Commitment To The World Vs. The Saint's Commitment To The Saviour

The following is a short portion of a message preached by Thomas Brooks entitled "Heaven on Earth" in 1667

What labor and pains worldlings take to obtain the vain things of this life--to obtain the poor things of this world, which are but shadows and dreams, and mere nothings! Oh! how should this stir and provoke Christians to be up and doing, to labor as for life--to make sure of spiritual and eternal things! Is earth better than heaven? No! Oh then be ashamed, Christians, that worldlings are more studious and industrious to obtain pebbles, than you are to obtain pearls! They labor to obtain those things which at last will be their burden, their bane, their plague, their hell. You are to labor to obtain those things which will be your joy and crown in life, in death, and in the day of judgment.

Pambus wept when he saw a harlot dressed with much care and cost--partly to see one take so much pains to go to hell; and partly because he had not been so careful to please God, as she had been to please her sluttish lovers. Ah, Christians! what great reason have you to sit down and weep bitterly--that worldlings take so much pains to make themselves miserable--and that you have taken no more pains to get more of Christ into your hearts!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Scrabble Game

Tonight was the night when I challenged the best daughter by marriage in the world to a game of Scrabble. Although she was to challenge me because I won the last game months ago. It seemed apparent she never was, so I challenged her! She agreed with a sinister grin on her face.

I lost my second and third turns to challenges. I challenged her first word and she challenged my second word. I was in the hole and knew I was going to have to fight my way back, look for my opportunities, which I did.

When all was said and done I let her win by one point. You have to do this with daughters by marriage to keep them happy. About six turns from the end I drew the "Q". I promptly counted the "U" and realized that all four of them had already been played. I do not know any words that do not have a "U" after "Q". I could have forfited one of my last turns and traded the "Q". Then she would have been stuck with it and I would have won. But I was gracious and held on to it all the way to the glorious end. It was a valiant defeat. It was a glorious downfall. It was a noble demise. I kept the "Q" all the way to the bitter end.

The fact that I played that nasty little trick on my wife one night many years ago and she had all kinds of mean things to say about me after that did not effect my decision to go down in glorious defeat at all.

In fact you could say I won. I was only behind one point at the end of the game after losing my second and third turns and being left with the "Q". Yea, that's it, I won, I won. Heather you just think you won!

Enjoy your sweet defeat till next time when I will rise from the ashes and crush you with my "Q"!

Now my wife want to play. I think she senses I am vulnerable. It is simply a ruse to lure her into my trap.


ATTENTION: SCRABBLE UPDATE

I just beat my lovely wife by 19 points. I was leading by almost 50 point at one time. I had to let her take the lead by a couple of points in order to keep her interest up before I out paced her down the home stretch.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Bible - Final Authority

For the last several mornings during my devotion I have been reading through a sermon preached by C. H Spurgeon. The title of the sermon is "Election". While I do not agree with everything Bro. Spurgeon has to say about election I do agree with the following excerpt. In it he clearly expresses the proper view of evaluating everything on the basis of "thus saith the word of God".

"Do not be ashamed to learn, and to cast aside your old doctrines and views, but take up that which you may more plainly see to be in the word of God. but if you do not see it to be here in the Bible, whatever I may say, or whatever authorities I may plead, I beseech you as you love your souls, reject it; and if from this pulpit you ever hear things contrary to this sacred word, remember that the Bible must be the first, and God's minister must lie underneath it. We must not stand on the Bible to preach, but we must preach with the Bible above our heads. After all we have preached, we are well aware that the mountain of truth is higher than our eyes can discern; clouds and darkness are round about its summit, and we cannot discern its topmost pinnacle; yet we will try to preach it as well as we can. But since we are mortal and liable to err, exercise your judgment; "try the spirits whether they are of God;. . . ""

Monday, September 11, 2006

Separation - Perfecting Holiness In The Fear Of God

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The passage before us establishes a good foundation for examining the issue of “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” It brings to our attention several key areas that are worthy of our contemplation and understanding. This passage lends itself to introducing some thoughts concerning the topic at hand.

My son, before he left home, apparently made a copy of my notes on my previous series concerning separation. He reminded me that it had been ten years since I had preached that series. Obviously over the last ten years I have addressed different areas of separation or the process of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Because most of my preaching and teaching is expositional these issues arise on occasion as we are dealing with different passages on a verse-by-verse basis. Nevertheless it has been ten years since I have devoted my full attention to this matter and it is long over due.

I trust you might find the following thoughts that I presented in church yesterday evening thought provoking and helpful.

PERSONAL CLEANSING
The Motivation For The Cleansing – Having therefore these promises

The word “therefore” requires that we go back and examine the end of the previous chapter – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Vs: 14a – The premise – be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
Believers are to be very cautious about their interaction with unbelievers. We must guard our connections with them. We must be careful about being yoked together with them. This would be considered an unequal yoke.

Vs: 14b-16a – The logic
What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
What communion hath light with darkness?
What concord hath Christ with Belial?
What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

In a series of five questions Paul sets forth the logic that believers are to not be yoked together with unbelievers. Obviously the intent here is fellowship, oneness, and sameness. Believers are not to be like unbelievers.

What Paul has done in these five questions is created conflict.
Fellowship in the context of righteousness and unrighteousness.
Communion in the context of light and darkness.
Concord in the context of Christ and Belial.
Part (participation) in the context of believers and infidels.
Agreement in the context of the temple of God and idols.

The tension created here is designed to cause us to see the absurdity of believers being yoked with unbelievers. That would be like righteousness having fellowship with unrighteousness. It would be like light having communion with darkness. It would be like Christ having concord with Belial. It would be like believers having participation with infidels. It would be like the temple of God having agreement with idols. The very though of these relationships is absurd. Likewise believers should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

Vs: 16b – The reality
Ye are the temple of the living God. This is our reality. God lives in us. The very thought of this truth should overwhelm us.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 - What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost 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.

Here again we are reminded that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. What we do, where we go, how we behave, matters. We are using God’s temple, the dwelling place of God. That is why the Scripture says in Ephesians 4:30 - And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. We can grieve the Spirit by the things we do, the attitudes we express, the clothes we wear, the places we go. This body is His temple and should be managed as such.

He says I will dwell in them making us the temple of God.

He says I will walk in them indicating fellowship. Amos 3:3 - Can two walk together, except they be agreed? The question is rhetorical. If we are not agreed we cannot walk together. If we are going to enjoy walking with God then we must agree with God. We must search out the will and mind of God in all matters of life and death.

He says I will be their God and they shall be my people, indicating participation. We participate in the life and will of God and God participates in our life. The fact is God intends to have fellowship with His people. This is what He desires. This is the reason He gave His son on our behalf. He wants fellowship with us. But we must come to his terms. We cannot entertain worldliness and expect to have fellowship with the God of heaven. We cannot make allowances for the flesh and expect to be in sweet communion with the Father.

Vs: 17 – The requirement
Wherefore, because all the aforementioned things are true. What are we to do? What is to be our course of action? We are to come out from among them and be ye separate. Separating ourselves requires that we come out from among them. Come out from among whom?

Unbelievers
Those who participate in unrighteousness
Those who walk in darkness
Those who serve Belial
Infidels (unbelievers)
Those who engage in idolatry

We are to be separate. The word “separate” means to set off by boundary. We need some boundaries in our lives. We need to establish a perimeter. Erect a wall across which the world cannot come. It needs to be sufficiently out so that the enemy is held at bay. It needs to be far enough out that our flesh is not able to reach over and play in the world while claiming we are maintaining boundaries. Many times our boundaries are so close to the world that they are not effective.

It is the Lord that says we are to do this. It is not a matter of whether we should be separate or not. We should be. The Lord has declared it so. It is not a matter of whether we should be perfecting holiness in the fear of God or not. We should be. The Lord has declared it so.

He says to touch not the unclean thing. The best way to touch not the unclean thing is to separate our self from that which is unrighteous. If we go where the worldly go, if we put ourselves into close proximity to that which is unclean we will be more likely to touch that which is unclean. Consequently we will be defiled. The boundary needs to be established far enough out that we cannot touch the unclean thing and thereby be defiled.

He says that if we do these things then He will receive us. This is not in the context of salvation but in the context of fellowship. It is reasonable to expect that if the Lord is going to fellowship with us we will have to separate ourselves and not touch that which will defile us. If you are embracing the world and believe you are fellowshipping with God you are sadly mistaken. If you allow the world to set your standards instead of the Word of God you are not walking in communion with the holy God of heaven. You may flatter yourself that you are, but you are not. You cannot be. God receives those into fellowship who are separating themselves and not touching the unclean thing.

What is the promise? I will be a Father unto you. A believer cannot touch the evil thing and be contaminated by the world’s view of things and be Fathered by God.

He will be made dull to the things of God.
He will be rendered insensitive to the will of God.
He will be found despising the love of God.

Having had six children I know that there are times when I cannot Father them because fellowship has been broken. If we want to be Fathered by God we must be separating ourselves from the world.

He says that we will be his sons and daughters. That is we will have sweet fellowship with him. We will know the joys of being his children led by his strong hand and wise voice.

The Need For Cleansing – filthiness

The word “filthiness” involves the idea of a stain or defilement. It is taken for granted that we all have defilement. We are exhorted to deal with the defilement in our lives. To the degree that we are yoked with unbelievers we will be stained. We can be yoked with them in a number of ways.

By holding close communion with them.
By embracing their view of the world.
By enjoying their kinds of entertainment.
Music
Television
Movies
Video games

We often times feel the defiling influence but refuse to address the issue. Our conscience becomes defiled and eventually seared and we become willing to accept ever-increasing amounts of defilement. Herein lies the danger of entertainment. The boundaries keep getting moved in. We become less separated. We have the unclean thing within reaching distance. We are not perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The Responsibility For Cleansing

The word “cleanse” means to purge, to purify. The direction should be growth in holiness. Let us cleanse ourselves is the admonition of Scripture. We must take some responsibility here.

Our priority should be the pursuit of piety.
Our hearts should be hungering for holiness.
Our souls should be seeking separation.



PERVASIVE ATTENTION
Filthiness Of The Flesh

The word “flesh” has reference to the body as opposed to the soul or the spirit. It is a term that is used as a symbol of what is external. What we learn from this is that the outside matters. Inevitably when one begins to address the importance of modesty and gender distinctive dress or hair lengths, or nakedness the argument is always presented that it is the heart that matters. I do not know anyone who argues that what is in the heart does not matter. Any one I have ever had any association with would resolutely proclaim the heart matters. But to argue that because the heart matters the outside does not is absurd. If the outside did not matter then there would not be so much material in the Bible that addresses the outside. The outside matters.

Our attitudes matters. Attitudes are manifested on the outside and they matter. Our personality matters. Personality is revealed on the outside and it matters. It is not enough to say, “That’s just the way I am”. Our speech matters. We would probably be surprised at how much of our daily speech is derived from the world’s music, the world’s sitcoms, the world’s movies. Our spending habits matter. Our hair length matters. If it didn’t God would not have addressed it. He would not have told us that a woman’s hair is her glory and it is given to her for a covering. He would not have told us that even nature teaches us that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. I know that when I was growing up in the 70’s that the rage was long hair on boys. It made them look effeminate. Shorter hairstyles have once again captured the men and boys of our nation. Now the problem is women cutting their hair like a boy. It matters. God addresses it. Our clothing matters. If it did not God would not say so much in the Bible about nakedness, modesty and the like. Both by precept and example God addresses the issue of clothing. Our entertainment choices matter. Do we really want to be identified with the things that we watch? Do we want to be identified with the video store or the movie house? Would we want to take Jesus into the video store to browse for something to provide entertainment for the evening? The devil has used the entertainment industry to desensitize us to sin. For me this is not even arguable. Take it somewhere else!

In all of these areas there is the potential to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. There is the potential to reflect the culture in which we live instead of the God whom we serve. There is the potential to pacify the flesh and hinder discernment. There is the potential to grieve the Spirit and embolden the devil. God help us? Far too many have surrendered ground and no longer see perfecting holiness in the fear of God as a needful thing.

Filthiness Of The Spirit

The word “spirit” actually means current of air. Figuratively it has reference to the rational soul (spirit). The point is it has reference to the inside. Let me say it clearly and distinctly. The inside matters. Our motivation matters. Our thoughts matter. Our imaginations matter. Our desires matter. Our longings matter. Our character matters. In all of these areas there is the danger of hypocrisy.

I am so far from believing that the inside does not matter that I do believe the inside is reflected on the outside. You cannot tell me you are filthy on the outside but clean on the inside??? You cannot be worldly on the outside and spiritual on the inside!! You cannot be carnal on the outside and godly on the inside. It does not work that way. There are those that would have us believe that you can be controlled by the flesh on the outside and led by the Spirit on the inside. I believe it would take a great deal of simplicity to believe that. Sound judgment and discretion would not allow for such a dichotomy. Judging righteously would not permit such reasoning.

Filthiness Of The Flesh And Spirit

I think there is a common misconception that one must be convicted in their heart before they are compelled to change their outward behaviour. By “convicted” they seem to mean they have to understand it, they have to desire the change. I realize I run the risk of being misunderstood here, but I will venture the case anyhow because I believe it is an important point to be made. I believe we should be convicted in our heart. I do not believe conviction is necessarily accompanied by understanding. Conviction is the result of being exposed to the Word of God. I can be convicted about something that is wrong in my life without understanding why God says it is wrong. I just know He says it is. Knowing that is enough to bring conviction. For many this is not enough. They have to understand. If they don’t understand they do not feel obligated to obey. I question this reasoning.

Here we are instructed to cleanse the flesh and the spirit, not the spirit and the flesh. The order is not accidental. Could it be that if we cleaned up the flesh simply because God said to then we would in time understand the “whys” and “wherefores”. Could it be that the reason some people are never dislodged from their worldly lifestyles is because they refuse to do anything they do not understand. Where may I ask is the spirit of faith and obedience in such reasoning?

Psalms 111:10 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Could it be that the understanding comes with the doing?? If we do not do his commandments we will not have the understanding on which we are waiting. Sometimes I think people are waiting on something they will never have. “I just don’t see it that way”, they say. Well, that might change if you would just obey. We do it not because we understand why, but because we fear the Lord. It is as though we often stand as defiant children screaming, “Why Lord”? Every command is followed by a “why”.

Is this not the way it is with the Lord? He reveals a truth to us from His word. We understand what He is saying but we do not understand why He is saying it. We are then faced with a choice. We dismiss what we understand (what He said) because of what we don’t understand (why He said it). Or we could exercise some faith and obedience and think to ourselves, “you know I don’t know why God would expect that but I know what he says so I am going to do it.” As we do it and it becomes a part of our lives we begin to understand why God said do it. The understanding comes with the doing. I think it is hardly ever the other way around.

If we insist that the flesh conform then we may find that the spirit is enlightened. I do not need to understand to obey. If I will obey then I will likely understand in time.



PERFECTING HOLINESS
Holiness

Holiness has to do with sacredness, moral purity, and the absence of sin. Holiness is what we achieve when we come out from among them and are separate. Holiness is an attribute of God. It is a communicable attribute meaning God can communicate the attribute to man. Man has the capacity to share in God’s holiness. In God holiness is absolutely perfect it has no blemish. Men are only capable of holiness in degrees. The more separated we are the more holy we will be. Holiness and separation go hand in hand.


Perfecting

The word “perfecting” means to fulfill further, to execute. Perfecting holiness is something that is done on purpose. We cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. We come out from among the unbelievers, the world. We separate ourselves from the world. We do not yoke ourselves to the world. In doing these things we are perfecting holiness. In us holiness always needs perfecting.

Is holiness being perfected in you?
Are you stagnating?
Are you moving toward the word instead of away from it?
Are you compromising standards?
Are you engaged in things that would make you more likely to compromise standards?

In The Fear Of God

This is the context in which we should live our lives. Our fear of the Lord will have a direct impact on our desire and ability to perfect holiness. We perfect holiness because we fear God. It is in the fear of God that we pitch our tent toward piety. Others may pitch them toward the well-watered plains of Sodom. Those that do so do so at their own peril. I would simply remind you of the Lord’s warning. It is short, brief, and sobering. Remember Lot’s wife.

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 15:33 - The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Proverbs 16:6 - By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Proverbs 23:17 - Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.


At our church over the next several months, on Sunday evenings, we are going to be considering what it means to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God. As I have the time and ability I will be posting the content of those messages here for others to either rejoice in them or recoil at them.

I will be examining this issue thoroughly on the behalf of my people. I will be instructing them in righteousness. We are told that the Word of God is profitable to that end. If we are to have convictions that are to stand the test of time and hold them with a vigor that we can pass them on to our children then we must be well instructed in the whole structure of personal separation. In order to do this we will be addressing the following issues.

God – The Origin of Holiness
Justification – Imputed Holiness
Sanctification – Growth in Holiness
The Word of God – The Standard of Holiness
The World – The Antipathy of Holiness
The Flesh – The Difficulty of Holiness
The Heart – The Focus of Holiness
The Behaviour – The Manifestation of Holiness
Separation – The Effect of Holiness
Our Entertainment – The Cultivating of Holiness
Our Speech – Communicating in Holiness
Our Appearance – The Aesthetics of Holiness
Joy and Grace – The Adorning of Holiness
Discipleship – The Communicating of Holiness

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Rapture

I thought you might find the following short portion of a message on the Rapture interesting. Make sure you turn up the volume so you can hear what he is saying.

Here is the link.

http://www.youtube.com/v/SmLhyPjHVes

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Perfecting Holiness In The Fear Of God

This Sunday evening I am beginning a series entitled, "Perfecting Holiness In The Fear Of God". It will be a series on personal separation. And it will be thoroughly addressed. I am blessed to have the privledge to Pastor a church where the people have a genuine desire to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This series of messages is to encourage them in their commitment. As I have time I may post the content of these messages here for those who have an interest in reading. I have no desire to debate the issue. Please go somewhere else to do that. What I post here will be for those who may be interested in a different point of view or for those who are likeminded.

The following is my introduction for the Sunday evening message.

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

I believe my new definition for separation is going to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” I think this statement sums up the nature of separation. Separation is the effect of perfecting holiness. As we perfect holiness we undoubtedly become more separated. This whole process takes place in the context of fearing God. It is my desire to perfect holiness because I fear God. It is not my desire to perfect holiness so I can strut about reflecting on how much better I am than others.

I think separation is an important issue for the very reason that many people do not see it as being an important issue. Consequently they do not see it as something that is worth making an issue. But the surprise is that it is an issue. Most never come to realize it and the downward spiral continues. Regrettably, those that do come to realize it, it is often too late. The die has been cast. It cannot be altered without breaking down, plowing up, and casting aside. This is difficult work and most do not have the stomach for it. I don’t know if I would have the stomach for it. I think it is far easier just to stand vigilant guard over the “old paths”. Do not surrender them.

Of course to determine to stand against the tide is not an easy thing either. It is a sad thing when one is ridiculed today for what was commonly believed yesterday. Today we are being seduced by the siren song of change. To oppose change is to be charged, tried, and condemned as a religious zealot who has a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is going to take to reach the present world. Well, I would agree that someone misunderstands!

We are told the culture has changed, and in deed it has. My question is has it gotten better?

We are told the society has changed, and in deed it has. My question is has it gotten better?

We are told that the times have changed, and in deed it has. My question is has it gotten better?

We are told that the world has changed, and in deed it has. My question is has it gotten better?

We are told that the church needs to change, and in deed it is. My question, is it getting better?

There seems to be something inherently wrong with a church that seeks to mirror the world in which it ministers.

We are told it is a good thing to alter the content of our music.

We are told it is a good thing to not make an issue out of dress for it is the heart that matters.

We are told it is a good thing for people to be liberated from the restrictions of a puritan age.

People thrive with the liberty to go to the movie house, rent their R rated movies, go swimming with most of their clothing removed, and women to be allowed to dress like men.

Well some of us do not think this is good.

Yes many things have changed, but God has not.

Malachi 3:6 - For I am the LORD, I change not; . . .
Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Yes many things have changed but that does not mean it is good.

Jeremiah 6:16 - Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Proverbs 24:21 - My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

I fully realize that to make any attempt to stay the tide is to be either shouted down or privately pitied. It is to open one’s self to charges of legalism. We all, if we are not careful, run the risk of being controlled by the spirit of a legalist. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God is not legalism. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God should be sought after in the spirit of grace and joy.

Unfortunately, if one dares to stand against the current popular thought and actually has the audacity to believe they are correct about the issue then they are accused of forcing their beliefs on others. They are accused of focusing on the outside and not the heart. They are accused of being divisive. They are accused of being Pharisaical. All of this because they venture to express their views as they understand them from the Scripture. You are entitled to your views but keep them to yourself tends to be the mindset.

As the torrents of ungodliness rush past us there is the tendency to have the ground under us give way little by little. When our foundation has been sufficiently undermined then we will find ourselves carried away in a flood of apostasy and worldliness, all the while singing the praises of change.

Psalms 11:3 - If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

It is high time we turned our backs on Vanity Fair and set our eyes once again on the Celestial City!

A Man Too Big For Temptations To Conquer

The following is from a message preached by Thomas Brooks entitled The Hypocrite Detected.

Communion with God is . . .
the life of your graces,
the sweetener of all ordinances,
providences and mercies,
the strengthener of your hearts and hands,
the soul of your comforts,
and the crown of your souls.

Communion with God makes the bitter things sweet; and massive things light. Nothing like communion with God to fence you against temptations, to sweeten all afflictions, and to make you cleave to God in the face of all troubles and oppositions. A man high in communion with God, is a man too big for temptations to conquer, or troubles to overcome. Souls that have no communion, or but little communion with God--they are usually as soon conquered as tempted, as soon vanquished as assaulted.

Splendid Sins

The following is from the message The Privy Key Of Heaven by Thomas Brooks. Preached in 1665

Prayers which are not directed to the glory of God . . .

never reach the ear of God, nor delight the heart of God.

The end must be as noble as the means, or else a man may be undone after all his doings. A man's most splendid actions will at last be found to be but splendid sins, if he has made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

AN INERRANT BIBLE

There are some who would contend that we do not have an inerrant Bible. This is a proposition with which I am uncomfortable. Inerrancy actually encompasses two other areas, inspiration and preservation. There are two questions that we answer when we begin to speak of inerrancy.

1. Did God give us a perfect Bible?
2. Did God preserve a perfect Bible?

Both questions have to do with God’s ability. Can God give us a perfect Bible? I think the answer would have to be yes. Can God preserve a perfect Bible? I think the answer would have to be yes. If he can do it then the question becomes did he do it? Did God give us a perfect Bible? I believe he did. Did God preserve a perfect Bible? I believe he did.

Another important thing to recognize about this issue is that faith is involved. Can I prove beyond any doubt that God did both of these things? No, I cannot. Is there compelling evidence that God did both of these things? Yes there is. Can it be proved beyond any doubt that God did not do both of these things? No, it cannot. Is there compelling evidence that God did not do both of these things? Well, what we have is the word of “scholars”, and textual critics. They tell us that God didn’t. God said that he did. The “scholars” and textual critics do not even agree among themselves. So there may be many witnesses against the inerrancy of Scripture, “But neither so did their witness agree together.” Just as there were false witnesses paraded against the Living Word.

I readily admit that I start with the premise of faith. I believe what God says in his word about his word. Having believed what he says, I conclude that whoever disagrees with what God says is in error. If they disagree with the Word of God I am not impressed or intimidated by their credentials. I don’t care how many books they have written or how many followers they have. When it comes to this issue you can find “scholars” on both sides. So really it comes down to whom we are going to believe.

Do we believe God was able to give us an inerrant word? Do we believe God was able to preserve an inerrant word? The answers are limited.

1. No I do not believe he could? Fine, then we disagree.
2. I believe he could and he did. That’s great then you will be able to take the word of God with confidence.
3. I believe he could but he didn’t.

Why wouldn’t he if he could? Why would he allow error if he had the power to keep it out?

When we speak of inerrancy we are dealing with the issue of the recording of God’s words. The word inerrant means not liable to prove false or mistaken. When we speak of the inerrancy of Scripture we are contending for the fact that it was written down correct in every detail. Inerrancy provides for the exact divine message to be given. The issue of inerrancy is discussed in the context of inspiration and preservation. Preservation includes the copying and translating of Scripture.

To begin with let us examine the doctrine of inerrancy in the context of inspiration.

2 Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The breath of God gives scripture. They are God-breathed. Inspiration goes beyond the thoughts and concepts to the very words.

Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Matthew 5:18 - For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Psalms 12:6 - The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Proverbs 30:5 - Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Deuteronomy 6:6 - And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Matthew 4: 4 - But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Revelation 22:18 - For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

God gives attention to words.

There is an amazing passage in 2 Peter.

2 Peter 1:16-21 - For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

What does Peter tell us in this passage? He relates how that he had heard God himself speak in the holy mount (mount of transfiguration). Then he proceeds to inform us that we have a more sure word of prophecy, more sure than if God himself spoke from heaven. Peter says ye do well that ye take heed to this more sure word of prophecy. We should look upon this more sure word of prophecy as a light that shines in a dark place. This prophecy did not come by the will of man. It was by the breath of God as Paul tells Bro. Timothy. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I think the crux of the matter here is that God inspired his word and when he did so it was without error. When he gave it there were no errors in it. The real question becomes does inerrancy come to bear in the doctrine of preservation? Most people ascribe to the fact that God inspired his word. Most doctrinal statements say something along the lines of, “we believe in the inspiration of the original autographs.” While this is a good and right thing to believe there is a problem here. We do not have the original autographs. So a more important question is what do you believe about preservation. If God gave us an inerrant word did he preserve it in its inerrancy?

Again it comes down to whom you believe. God speaks to the issue of the preservation of his word. Christ bears testimony to the word being preserved inerrant. The “scholars” and textual critics raise questions about the preservation of the word. To them the word of God is in a continual state of flux. This passage is legitimate; this one is not. This passage has strong textual evidence the other does not. They argue, they dispute, they study, they write paper, books and pamphlets. They scoff at those that contend there is an inerrant Bible. Yet the alternative is to deny what God said about preserving his own word and embrace the uncertainty of the textual critics. This is a perilous path! They cannot tell us with any certainty or unanimity what is the word of God and they want us to believe them with all certainty.

God declares in his word that he would preserve his word.

Psalms 12:6,7 - The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

God’s words are pure.
God will keep his words.
God will preserve his words.
God will preserve his words forever.

Psalms 100:5 - For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalms 117:2 - For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

We are told in these two verses that his truth endureth forever and to all generations. Compare this with the following:

John 17:17 - Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

His word is truth and his truth endures forever, consequently his word endures forever.

Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

2 Timothy 3:15,16 - And that 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. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Timothy had the Scripture. Did he have the original autographs? No he did not. He had what would amount to copy upon copy upon copy of the scripture. And yet these copies are given the full authority of Scripture. In fact it is in relation to these copies that the statement is made that all scripture is given by inspiration. While inspiration only happened once and that was with the original autographs if God preserved the words of those original autographs then those copies contain the inspired inerrant word of God. Paul believed they did and recommended them without reservation to Timothy.

1 Peter 1:23-25 - Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The word of God is not corruptible seed. It is incorruptible seed. The word of God lives and abides forever. The word of the Lord endures forever.

The Lord Jesus throughout his ministry made reference to the Old Testament. He referenced passages, prophecies, and narrative. He encouraged people often to look to the Scriptures, to examine the Scriptures and chided some for not knowing the Scriptures. Never once do we find him hinting that they may not be reliable because what they had were not the original autographs of Moses and the Prophets. He never calls into question a single passage or word. He accepts these copies as the authoritative word of God. The same goes for the Apostles. Jesus never once indicated that this passage was spurious, or there were certain writing that failed to make it into the cannon, etc… ad nausea.

For me the bottom line is this. God has told us two things.

1. I have given you all Scripture by my breath.
2. The Scripture that I have given by my breath will have its words preserved forever by me.

Now, what will I do with these two things that God said. I believe he can do those things. I believe he did do those things. Thus I start from the premise of faith, which seems to be a good solid premise for the believer. Many have been hoodwinked into starting from a premise of skepticism. Because I start with the premise of faith (not blind faith but faith that is rooted in the word of God) I examine the historical record concerning the transmission of the text and expect to find there the story of an inerrant Bible.

Where is the consistency in trusting him to save our souls and not trusting him to preserve his word, not his thoughts or ideas, or concepts but word. We trust him to save our souls because he said he would. Well, he promised to preserve his word also.

So for me the question is not one of inerrancy. God said he gave and preserved for us an inerrant Bible. Now I must determine which Bible that is, and if that Bible has been translated into the English language.

I believe that the inerrant Bible can be found in the King James Bible and the Hebrew and Greek text from which the King James Bible was translated.

When given the choice between, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” and “there clearly are errors and in the Bible” I believe the first statement before I do the second. Especially when you consider that the first statement is the record of the omniscient God who will never learn anything, and the second statement is made by men who know nothing as they ought to know.