For some weeks I have been battling to understand what comprises true faith and I commend the illustration and the sermon it comes from to your examination (especially 40-45 minutes into the message). Click on slides to enlarge.
Many times we find ourselves saying, I should start reading the Bible, or I need to get into the Word. Often this thought gets put aside due to our hectic schedules and the trials of the day. If this sounds like you, I’ve got great news…Today is a new day, a day to purposely choose to get to one of the most important things we as those called by Christ can do, read God’s word and learns His plan for us and this world that seems to be collapsing in on itself. It is where you will learn we can have peace and joy. Courage in times where worldly men fear. Hope in the many promises God has given to us. And to come to know the One who created all things for Himself, including you!
Commit yourself to reading the Bible. Begin by praying for wisdom and understanding through the Holy Spirit. Be still. Admit you are EMPTY, then read yourself FULL!
This comes from the Home Mission worker in the Free Church continuing in Inverness……….
This candlestick has been removed! (Revelation 2:5)
Here is a rich source of Reformed Arabic material for any who are in the Middle East or have friends out there needing materials.
A great encouragement for God’s people as they age!!!
“All the remnant of the house of Israel; those that remained of the ten tribes that had been carried captive long ago. These may, in a spiritual sense, design those who are Israelites indeed; the household of the God of Jacob; the chosen of God, and called; the remnant according to the election of grace:
which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: here the Lord distinguishes himself from the idols of the Babylonians; they were laid as burdens upon beasts, and bore and carried by them; but the Lord is born and carried by none, but bears and carries his people. The allusion is to tender parents that have compassion on their children as soon as born, and take care of them, and bear them in their bosoms, and carry them in their arms; and may have respect, in the literal sense, to the infant state of the Jews, both as a church and commonwealth, when the Lord took pity on them, and care of them, and bore them as a father bears his son; and bore with their manners too, and carried them all the days of old through the wilderness to Canaan’s land; see Numbers 11:12. It may be applied to the care of God in the preservation of men by his providence, especially his own people, whose God he is from their mother’s belly; who takes them under his protection as soon as born, and carries them through every state of infancy, youth, manhood, and old age, and never leaves nor forsakes them; see Psalm 22:10, and with great propriety may be applied to regenerate persons, who, as soon as born again, (and even before, as angels guard them-JK) are regarded by the Lord in a very visible, tender, and compassionate manner; he “bears” them in his bosom, and on his heart; he bears them in his arms; he puts his everlasting arms underneath them; he bears with them, with all their weakness and infirmities, their peevishness and frowardness; he bears them up under all their afflictions, and sustains all their burdens; he bears them through and out of all their troubles and difficulties: he “carries” them, in like manner, in his bosom, and in his arms; he “carries” them into his house, the church, which is the nursery for them, where they are nursed and fed, and have the breasts of consolation drawn out to them; he carries on the good work of grace in them; he carries them through all their trials and exercises safe to heaven and eternal happiness; for they are poor, weak, helpless creatures, like newly born babes, cannot go alone, but must be bore up and carried.
Verse 4. And even to your old age I am he,…. The same he ever was, the eternal and unchangeable Jehovah; the same in his love and affections; in his sympathy and care; in his power and protection; in his promises, truth, and faithfulness to his people, in their last days, as at the first moment of their conversion; and therefore they are safe; see Psalm 102:27: and even to hoar hairs will I carry you; which is doing more than the most tender parent does, or can, or need to do! God will not leave his people in the decline of life, when pressing infirmities are upon them, and they stand in as much need as ever of being bore up, supported, and carried: wherefore it follows, I have made; these persons, not merely as creatures, but as new creatures; they are formed for myself; they are my sons and daughters, the works of my hands: I have an interest in them, therefore I will bear, even I will carry: from the first of their regeneration, to their entrance into glory; And will deliver you; out of all affliction; out of all temptations; out of the hand of every enemy; from a final and total falling away; from a body of sin and death; from death eternal, and wrath to come; and even at last from the grave and all corruption. This seems to express more than old age, as Ben Melech observes hence the Jews say, a man sixty years old is come to old age, and one of seventy to hoary hairs.”
John Gill’s commentary.
Sang Psalm 18:1-7
The three key verses on which Roman Catholic teaching is based are:
1. Thou are Peter and on this rock I will build my church (see above). Peter as pope.
2. This is my body etc., (Matt.26:26-28). The Mass
3. Hail thou that art highly favoured (Mary). Luke 1:28. Worship of Mary.
To prove the papacy
1) Peter would have had to have reached Rome. This is not mentioned in Scripture, he was the apostle to the Jews, I Peter 5:13 might apply but none of these is clear evidence.
2) Peter was bishop in Rome. He was married (Mark 1 and I Cor.9:5). The apostles were peripatetic (moved around). There are no bishops in the church. Bishops and elders are synonyms (Titus 1:5-7).
3) Peter was the first pope. Not Biblical. No office of pope mentioned.
4) Peter appointed a succession. No evidence.
5) This was an unbroken succession. Not the case, and at one point there were three competing popes.
The main disqualification of the RC church and the idea of a pope is that it teaches a host of unbiblical doctrines and so does not hold to the truth which the church is meant to, its sacraments are unbiblical and it’s discipline non-existent.
The key point they must prove is that Peter himself is the rock on which Christ builds his church and this we will disprove next week.
I make peace, and create evil; peace between God and men is made by Christ, who is God over all; spiritual peace of conscience comes from God, through Christ, by the Spirit; eternal glory and happiness is of God, which saints enter into at death; peace among the saints themselves here, and with the men of the world; peace in churches, and in the world, God is the author of, even of all prosperity of every kind, which this word includes: “evil” is also from him; not the evil of sin; this is not to be found among the creatures God made; this is of men, though suffered by the Lord, and overruled by him for good: but the evil of punishment for sin, God’s sore judgments, famine, pestilence, evil beasts, and the sword, or war, which latter may more especially be intended, as it is opposed to peace; this usually is the effect of sin; may be sometimes lawfully engaged in; whether on a good or bad foundation is permitted by God; moreover, all afflictions, adversities, and calamities, come under this name, and are of God; see Job 2:10:
John Gill on Isaiah 45:7.
Encouraging message on Reformed Witness Hour by Rev.Rodney Kleyn
“Dying will not herald a change in the quality of our living fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, only the quantity.”
Forsake Not Wisdom
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 4:6: “Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.”
In verse six, David speaks to Solomon as though Solomon could have a personal relationship with wisdom. David presents wisdom to Solomon as a woman who would provide great benefits in his life by keeping her close at hand observing her instruction.
God gives us two commands in this verse which are then followed by two benefits for doing as we are told.
God commands us not to forsake this woman, wisdom. It is assumed that we have a relationship with wisdom already. One cannot forsake another if there does not exist a relationship. We cannot forsake complete strangers. We know wisdom. Those who grow up in the sphere of the covenant and were blessed with dedicated godly parents were taught God’s wisdom from the time we were very young. This lifetime of instruction should infuse us with an appreciation of how good wisdom is. We can see the horrible results in modern society of walking in the foolish way of sin. Countless families and lives are being ruined every day and society suffers for it, although they will never admit the root cause of such suffering: living in the foolishness of one’s own wicked ways. They have forsaken God’s wisdom.
We must love wisdom. We must have a deeper affection for wisdom than just a casual friendship. We must find wisdom attractive because we admire her. We see her value. We recognize what she does for us and what our lives would be without her. She is the only one for us. It is the love Abraham had for Isaac, the only son of the promise he had. It is Isaac’s love for Rebecca, his only wife.
Wisdom will keep us. With both of the results given in this verse, the word “shall” is used. This is the AV’s way of letting us know that this is a guarantee. It is a definite effect. There is no doubt but that wisdom will preserve and keep us. Wisdom does not keep us the way wardens keep violent prisoners locked in prison. She will watch over us because she truly cares about us and seeks to maintain our spiritual lives. She will keep us because she values us.
May God give us the spiritual eyes we need not to forsake wisdom but to love her faithfully. God’s wisdom in Jesus Christ will preserve and keep us from the spiritual destruction which comes from joining the world in the way of sin. (Adapted)
CONSIDER THE CREATION
Click here for A wonderful message on snow by Rev C.Haak
The “law of first mention” in Scripture means that generally the first time we come across a word it is very significant. In this case snow is first mentioned in relation to the sign God gave Moses to encourage him and help him to authenticate his position as God’s deliverer of his people in Exodus 4:6. “And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.” Leprosy was a greatly feared disease and still is. In those days it could mean any one of a variety of skin problems from the actual deforming and crippling disease but also to include other possibilities like psoriasis which causes white scaly plaques to form on affected areas and is not life-threatening. In scripture leprosy also stood for the uncleanness of sin and when Miriam rebelled against Moses God smote her temporarily with the disease in Numbers 12:10. A similar fate befell Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, who lied to him and went after Namaan for gain in II Kings 5:27 but in his case it was permanent. These instances are significant because only God can inflict these ailments or signs upon people, they are his prerogative, just as is the formation of real snow of course. Job was well aware that snow was a form of water and it is mentioned in 6:16, 9:30 and 24:19 but 37:6 explains that God is the source of this amazing frozen precipitation, “ For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.” In fact God tells Job that He stores up this element to pour it out upon earth (Job 38:22,23) and so also does the Psalmist in Psalm 147:16 “ He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.”
Job 38:22 “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? “
Snow forms from frozen water vapour in clouds, it requires an ice nucleus or dust particle to start the process. For snow to form there has to be excess water vapour and very low temperatures. It is true that no two snowflakes are alike because there are more than ten to the power of one hundred and fifty eight different combinations of pattern which is more than the number of atoms in the universe! ” Every snowflake tells the story of God’s grace”-Rev Carl Haak. A particle of dust (us) is clothed with or covered by a beautiful crystal structure that reflects light as we are clothed with the spotless righteousness of Jesus Christ whose blood washes us whiter than snow.
Snow is also very beautiful as it covers foliage and houses and is examined under the microscope to see the regular branching hexagonal forms caused by the molecular structure of frozen water vapour.
Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless subjected to external pressure as when we make snowballs. When compressed hard it also forms ice, lowering friction and thus when a suitable hill is found, giving many the pleasure of tobogganing.
Everyone recognises that snow is a perfect and beautiful pure white colour, and indeed the Hebrew word for snow is SHAWLAG meaning to be white. God uses the picture of snow to describe his own purity, for example when both Daniel and the Apostle John see him in visions viz Daniel 7:9 “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Revelation 1:13,14 “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;” This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who in the days of his flesh was transformed similarly.Mark 9:3 reads, “And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.” Hence God gives us snow as a picture of his impeccable purity, righteousness and holiness. An heaven where it descends from is also absolutely pure! God also uses it as a picture of the man who is forgiven his sin in Psalm 51:7, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” This picture is repeated in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” This purity is a picture of imputed righteousness as in Isaiah 61:10 and Revelation 7:9-14, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Revelation 7:14 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Apart from places like Mount Hermon in Lebanon, snow would have been unusual in Israel but if it did fall, say on a warm autumn day of harvesting, probably from a thundercloud, it would be very refreshing (Prov.25:13). Snow for the most part means cold weather and thus the need to wrap up and protect yourself, something that the faithful mother in a family is well aware of (Proverbs 31:21). Along with rain, snow coming down from heaven is a picture of the word of God having its effect upon the hearts of men (Isaiah 55:10, 11).”For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” In other words precipitation HAS to have an effect on the earth, it brings life, just as drought makes the earth crack and become lifeless.
Hence God uses the marvellous creation of snow to signify:
1) His own beautiful purity of being.
2) The imputed righteousness of his people
3) His power and unique creativity in nature.
4) The effectiveness of His word.
5) His power to inflict punishment for sin.
References: Wikipedia and the Science of snowflakes.