Eternal life.

Heidelberg Catechism, LD 22

Q. 58.  What comfort takest thou from the article of “life everlasting”? A.  That since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life I shall inherit perfect salvation, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, and that, to praise God therein for ever.

SERMON

Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary pastor of Limerick Reformed fellowship.

Herman Hoeksema: “[Eternal life] is both a present reality in the believers, and a future state of glory. It is a life that has its source, its fountain in God, and that reaches us only through Jesus Christ, the Son of God come into flesh. In order to obtain and possess this life, we must, therefore, have fellowship with God through Christ. We must dwell in him, and he in us, by faith. It is, therefore, wholly the gift of grace. And its essence is this, that we know God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent… Adam knew the love of God as it was revealed in all the goodness of creation: he did not know the love of God in that depth of blessedness and in that unchangeable faithfulness that is revealed in the death of the Son of God. In the state of rectitude, man tasted the grace of God positively, as his favor: he did not know the depth of that grace as it is revealed in redemption, even the forgiveness of sins. He knew and tasted that God is merciful, for he was encompassed with divine blessings, but the abundant mercy revealed in the wonder of deliverance, whereby God saves us from the power of sin, the curse, and death, to raise us to the highest possible blessedness of heavenly glory in his tabernacle—this he could not possibly know. He certainly knew God in his great power, knowledge, and wisdom, for the things that are made loudly declared them unto him: but he could not possibly know the mighty power of God revealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (Triple Knowledge, pp. 304, 311-312).

I believe he knew Christ afar off, in his state of grace after the gospel was shared with him by God in Gen.3:15 and thus he inherited eternal life-JK

Albert Barnes: “The word [translated as ‘undefiled’] does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. As applied to an inheritance, it means that it will be pure. It will not have been obtained by dishonesty, nor will it be held by fraud; it will not be such as will corrupt the soul, or tempt to extravagance, sensuality, and lust, as a rich inheritance often does here; it will be such that its eternal enjoyment will never tend in any manner to defile the heart. ‘How many estates,’ says Benson, ‘have been got by fraudulent and unjust methods; by poisoning, or in some other way murdering the right heir; by cheating of helpless orphans; by ruining the fatherless and widows; by oppressing their neighbours, or grinding the faces of the poor, and taking their garments or vineyards from them! But this future inheritance of the saints is stained by none of these vices; it is neither got nor detained by any of these methods; nor shall persons polluted with vice have any share in it.’ Here no one can be heir to an inheritance of gold or houses without danger of soon sinking into indolence, effeminacy, or vice; there the inheritance may be enjoyed for ever, and the soul continually advance in, knowledge, holiness, and the active service of God … The word [‘that fadeth not away’] is properly applied to that which does not fade or wither, in contradistinction from a flower that fades. It may then denote anything that is enduring, and is applied to the future inheritance of the saints to describe its perpetuity in all its brilliance and splendour, in contrast with the fading nature of all that is earthly. The idea here, therefore, is not precisely the same as is expressed by the word ‘incorruptible.’ Both words indeed denote perpetuity, but that refers to perpetuity in contrast with decay; this denotes perpetuity in the sense that everything there will be kept in its original brightness and beauty. The crown of glory, though worn for millions of ages, will not be dimmed; the golden streets will lose none of their lustre; the flowers that bloom on the banks of the river of life will always be as rich in colour, and as fragrant, as when we first beheld them” (Notes on 1 Peter, pp. 113-114).

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Precious Remedies (1-7)

Contents summarising Brook’s book:

CONTENTS

The Epistle Dedicatory

A Word to the Reader

Introduction

I. THE PROOF OF THE POINT

II. SATAN’S DEVICES TO DRAW THE SOUL TO SIN [12 devices and their remedies]

1. By presenting the bait and hiding the hook: For remedies, consider that

1) we ought to keep at the greatest distance from sin and from playing with the bait 2) sin is but a bitter sweet 3) sin will usher in the greatest and the saddest losses 4) sin is very deceitful and bewitching

2. By painting sin with virtue’s colors: For remedies, consider that

1) sin is never the less vile by being so painted 2) the more sin is so painted the more dangerous it is 3) we ought to look on sin with that eye with which within a few hours we shall see it 4) sin cost the life-blood of the Lord Jesus

3. By the extenuating and lessening of sin: For remedies, consider that

1) sin which men account small brings God’s great wrath on men 2) the giving way to a less sin makes way for the committing of a greater 3) it is sad to stand with God for a trifle 4) often there is most danger in the smallest sins 5) the saints have chosen to suffer greatly rather than commit the least sin 6) the soul can never stand under the guilt and weight of sin when God sets it home upon the soul 7) there is more evil in the least sin than in the greatest affliction

4. By showing to the soul the best men’s sins and by hiding from the soul their virtues, their sorrows, and their repentance: For remedies, consider that

1) the Spirit of God records not only the sins of the saints, but also their repentance 2) these saints did not make a trade of sin 3) though God does not disinherit his sinning people, He punishes them severely 4) God has two main ends in recording the falls of His saints

5. By presenting God to the soul as One made up all of mercy: For remedies, consider

1) It is the sorest of judgments to be left to sin upon any pretense whatever 2) God is as just as He is merciful

3) sins against mercy will bring the greatest and sorest judgments on men 4) though God’s general mercy is over all His works, yet His special mercy is confined to those that are divinely qualified 5) the saints now glorified regarded God’s mercy as a most powerful argument against, and not for, sin

6. By persuading the soul that repentance is easy and that therefore the soul need not scruple about sinning: For remedies, consider that

1) repentance is a difficult work above our own power 2) repentance changes and converts the whole man from sin to God 3) repentance is a continued act 4) if repentance were easy, the lack of it would not strike millions with terror and drive them to hell 5) to repent of sin is as great a mark of grace as not to sin 6) Satan now suggests that repentance is easy, but shortly he will drive his dupes to despair by presenting it as the hardest work in the world

7. By making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin: For remedies, consider

1) certain scriptures expressly command us to avoid occasions of sin and the least appearance of evil 2) there is no conquest over sin unless the soul turns from the occasions of sin 3) saints now glorified have turned from the occasions of sin as from hell itself 4) to avoid the occasions of sin is an evidence of grace

8. By representing to the soul the outward mercies enjoyed by men walking in sin, and their freedom from outward miseries: For remedies, consider that

1) we cannot judge of how the heart of God stands towards a man by the acts of His providence 2) nothing provokes God’s wrath so much as men’s abuse of His goodness and mercy 3) there is no greater curse or affliction in this life than not to be in misery or affliction 4) the wants of evil men are far greater than their outward blessings 5) outward things are not as they seem, nor as they are esteemed 6) God has ends and designs in giving evil men outward mercies and present rest from sorrows and sufferings that cause saints to sigh 7) God often plagues and punishes those whom others think He most spares and loves 8) God will call evil men to a strict account for all the outward good that they have enjoyed

9. By presenting to the soul the crosses, losses, sorrows and sufferings that daily attend those who walk in the ways of holiness: For remedies, consider that

1) all afflictions suffered by Christians turn to their profit 2) all such afflictions only reach their worst, not their best, part 3) all such afflictions are short and momentary 4) all such afflictions proceed from God’s dearest love

5) it is our duty and glory to measure afflictions not by the smart but by the end 6) God’s design in saints’ afflictions is to try, not to ruin, their souls 7) the afflictions, wrath and misery consequent upon wickedness are far worse than those linked with holiness

10. By causing saints to compare themselves and their ways with those reputed to be worse than themselves: For remedies, consider that

1) to be quick-sighted abroad and blind at home proves a man a hypocrite 2) it is far better to compare our internal and external actions with the Word than to compare ourselves with others worse than ourselves 3) though our sins may not appear as great as those of others, yet without repentance responding to mercy, we shall be as certainly damned as others

11. By polluting the souls and judgments of men with dangerous errors that lead to looseness and wickedness: For remedies, consider that

1) an erroneous vain mind is as odious to God as a wicked life 2) it is needful to receive the truth affectionately and plenteously 3) error makes its owner suffer loss 4) it is needful to hate and reject all doctrines that are contrary to godliness, that lead to self-righteousness, and that make good works co-partners with Christ 5) it is needful to hold fast the truth 6) it is needful to keep humble 7) errors have been productive of great evils

12. By leading men to choose wicked company: For remedies, consider that

1) there are express commands of God to shun such company 2) wicked company is infectious and dangerous 3) it is needful to look upon the wicked in such terms as Scripture describes them 4) the company of wicked men was once a grief and burden also to saints now glorified

III. SATAN’S DEVICES TO KEEP SOULS FROM HOLY DUTIES, TO HINDER SOULS IN HOLY SERVICES, TO KEEP THEM OFF FROM RELIGIOUS PERFORMANCES [8 devices and their remedies]

1. By presenting the world in such a garb as to ensnare the soul: For remedies, consider that

1) all things here below are impotent and weak 2) they are also full of vanity 3) all things under the sun are uncertain and mutable 4) the great things of the world are hurtful to men owing to the corruption of their hearts 5) all the felicity of this world is mixed 6) it is needful to get better acquainted with, and assurance of, more blessed and glorious things 7) true happiness and satisfaction does not arise from worldly good

8) the value and dignity of the soul is to be a subject of contemplation

2 By presenting to the soul the dangers, losses and sufferings that accompany the performance of certain religious duties: For remedies, consider that

1) all such troubles cannot harm the true Christian 2) saints now glorified encountered such dangers, but persevered to the end 3) all such dangers are but for a moment, whereas the neglect of the service of God lays the Christian open to spiritual and eternal dangers 4) God knows how to deliver from troubles by troubles, from dangers by dangers 5) In the service of God, despite troubles and afflictions, the gains outweigh the losses

3. By presenting to the soul the difficulty of performing religious duties: For remedies, consider that

1) it is better to regard the necessity of the duty than the difficulty of it 2) the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to the obedient soul and thus make the service easy 3) the Lord Jesus has Himself engaged in hard service and in suffering for your temporal and eternal good 4) religious duties are only difficult to the worse, not to the more noble part of a saint 5) a glorious recompense awaits saints who serve the Lord in the face of difficulties and discouragements

4. By causing saints to draw false inferences from the blessed and glorious things that Christ has done: For remedies, consider that

1) it is as needful to dwell as much upon scriptures that state Christian duty as upon those that speak of the glorious things that Christ has done for us 2) the glorious things that Christ has done and is now doing for us should be our strongest motives and encouragements for the performance of our duties 3) other precious souls who have rested on Christ’s work have been very active and lively in religious duties 4) those who do not walk in God’s ways cannot have such evidence of their righteousness before God as can those who rejoice in the service of the Lord 5) duties are to be esteemed not by their acts but by their ends

5. By presenting to view the fewness and poverty of those who hold to religious practices: For remedies, consider that

1) though saints are outwardly poor, they are inwardly rich 2) in all ages God has had some that have been rich, wise and honorable 3) spiritual riches infinitely transcend temporal riches, and satisfy the poorest saints 4) saints now appear to be ‘a little flock’, but they belong to a company that cannot be numbered 5) it is but as a day before these despised saints will shine brighter than the sun 6) the time will come even in this life when God will take away the reproach and contempt of His people, and make those the ‘head’ who have been the ‘tail’

6. By showing saints that the majority of men make light of God’s ways and walk in the ways of their own hearts: For remedies, consider that

1) certain scriptures warn against following the sinful examples of men 2) those who sin with the multitude will suffer with the multitude 3) the soul of a man is of more worth than heaven and earth

7. By casting in vain thoughts while the soul is seeking God or waiting on God: For remedies, consider that

1) the God with whom we have to do is great, holy, majestic and glorious 2) despite wandering thoughts it is needful to be resolute in religious service 3) vain and trifling thoughts that Satan casts into our souls are not sins if they are abhorred, resisted and disclaimed 4) watching against, resisting and lamenting sinful thoughts evidences grace and the sincerity of our hearts 5) we must labor to be filled with the fullness of God and enriched with all spiritual blessings 6) we must labor to keep up holy and spiritual affections 7) we must labor to avoid multiplicity of worldly business

8. By tempting Christians to rest in their performances: For remedies, consider that

1) our choicest services have their imperfection and weaknesses 2) our choicest services are unable to minister comfort and aid in days of trouble 3) good works, if rested upon, will as certainly destroy us as the greatest sins that we commit 4) God has met our need of a resting place in Christ Himself

IV. SATAN’S DEVICES TO KEEP SAINTS IN A SAD, DOUBTING, QUESTIONING AND UNCOMFORTABLE CONDITION [8 devices and their remedies]

1. By causing saints to remember their sins more than their Savior, yes, even to forget and neglect their Savior: For remedies, consider that

1) though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from sin’s presence, He has freed them from its damnatory power 2) though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from the vexing and molesting power of sin, He has freed them from the reign and dominion of sin 3) it is needful to keep one eye on the promise of remission of sin, and the other eye on the inward operations of sin 4) believers’ sins have been charged to the account of Christ as debts which He has fully satisfied 5) the Lord has good reasons for allowing His people to be troubled with sinful corruption 6) believers must repent of their being discouraged by their sins

2. By causing saints to make false definitions of their graces: For remedies, consider

1) there may be true faith, even great faith, where there is no assurance

2) the Scriptures define faith other than Satan tempts the saints to define it 3) there may be true faith where there is much doubting 4) assurance is an effect of faith, not faith itself

3. By causing saints to make false inferences from the cross actings of Providence: For remedies, consider that

1) many things, though contrary to our desires, are not contrary to our good 2) God’s hand may be against a man when His love and His heart are set upon him 3) Cross providences are sent by God to work some noble good for saints 4) all the strange and deep providences that believers meet with further them in their way to heaven

4. By suggesting to saints that their graces are not true, but counterfeit: For remedies, consider that

1) grace may mean either the good will and favor of God, or the gifts of grace 2) there are differences between renewing grace and restraining grace, between sanctifying and temporary grace (to particulars given)

5. By suggesting to saints that the conflict that is in them is found also in hypocrites and profane souls: For remedies, consider that

1) the whole frame of a believer’s soul is against sin 2) a saint conflicts against sin universally, the least sin as well as the greatest 3) the conflict in a saint is maintained for several reasons 4) the saint’s conflict is constant 5) the saint’s conflict is within the same faculties 6) the saint’s conflict is blessed, successful and prevailing

6. By suggesting to the saint who has lost joy and comfort that his state is not good: For remedies, consider that

1) the loss of comfort is a separable adjunct from grace 2) the precious things still enjoyed are far better than the joys and comforts lost 3) the glorified saints were once in the same condition 4) the causes of joy and comfort are not always the same 5) God will restore the comforts of His people

7. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin formerly repented of and prayed against: For remedies, consider that

1) many scriptures show that such relapses have troubled saints 2) God nowhere promises that such relapses will not happen 3) the most renowned of glorified saints have, on earth, experienced such relapses 4) relapses into enormities must be distinguished from relapses into infirmities 5) involuntary and voluntary relapses must be distinguished 6) no experience of the soul, however deep or high, can in itself secure the soul against relapses

8. By persuading saints that their state is not good nor their graces sound: For remedies, consider that

1) the best of Christians have been most tempted by Satan 2) all the saints’ temptations are sanctified to them by a hand of love 3) temptations cannot harm the saints as long as they are resisted by them

V. SATAN’S DEVICES TO DESTROY AND ENSNARE ALL SORTS AND RANKS OF MEN IN THE WORLD [5 devices and their remedies]

I. DEVICES AGAINST THE GREAT AND HONORABLE OF THE EARTH

1. By causing them to seek greatness, position, riches and security: For remedies, consider that

1) self-seeking sets men upon sins against the law, the Gospel, and Nature itself 2) self-seeking exceedingly abases a man 3) the Word pronounces curses and woes against self-seekers 4) self-seekers are self-losers and self-destroyers 5) saints have denied self and set public good above personal advantage 6) self hinders the sight of divine things: hence prophets and apostles, when seeing visions, were carried out of themselves

2. By causing them to act against the people of the Most High: For remedies, consider that

1) all who have acted against the saints have been ruined by the God of saints 2) the Scriptures show that God gives victory to His people against their enemies 3) to fight against the people of God is to fight against God Himself 4) men of the world owe their preservation from instant ruin, under God, to the saints

II. DEVICE AGAINST THE LEARNED AND THE WISE By moving them to pride themselves on their parts and abilities, and to despise men of greater grace but inferior abilities: For remedies, consider that

1) men have nothing but what they have received, gifts as well as saving grace coming alike from Christ 2) men’s trusting to their parts and abilities has been their utter ruin 3) you do not transcend others more in parts and abilities than they do you in grace and holiness 4) men who pride themselves on their gifts and set themselves against the saints will find that God blasts and withers their gifts

III. DEVICE AGAINST THE SAINTS By dividing them and causing them to ‘bite and devour one another.’ For remedies, consider that

1) it is better to dwell on the saints’ graces rather than on their weaknesses and infirmities

2) love and union best promote safety and security 3) God commands and requires the saints to love one another 4) it is better to eye the things in which saints agree rather than those things wherein they differ 5) God is the God of peace, Christ the Prince of peace, and the Spirit the Spirit of peace 6) it is needful for the saints to make more care and conscience of maintaining their peace with God 7) it is needful to dwell much upon the relationship and union of the people of God 8) discord is productive of miseries 9) it is good and honorable to be the first in seeking peace and reconcilement 10) saints should agree well together, making the Word the only touchstone and judge of their words and actions 11) saints should be much in self-judging 12) saints should labor to be clothed with humility

IV. DEVICE AGAINST POOR AND IGNORANT SOULS By causing them to affect ignorance and to neglect and despise the means of knowledge: For remedies, consider that

1) an ignorant heart is an evil heart 2) ignorance is the deformity of the soul 3) ignorance makes men objects of God’s hatred and wrath 4) ignorance is a sin that leads to all sins

APPENDIX

I. FIVE MORE OF SATAN’S DEVICES

1. By suggesting to men the greatness and vileness of their sins [Eight Remedies] 2. By suggesting to sinners their unworthiness [Four Remedies] 3. By suggesting to sinners their want of certain preparations and qualifications [Three Remedies] 4. By suggesting to sinners that Christ Is unwilling to save them [Six Remedies] 5. By causing sinners to give more attention to the secret decrees and counsels of God than to their own duty [Two Remedies]

II. SEVEN CHARACTERS OF FALSE TEACHERS

III. SIX PROPOSITIONS CONCERNING SATAN AND HIS DEVICES [Five reasons of the point added]

IV. CONCLUSION: TEN SPECIAL HELPS AND RULES AGAINST SATAN’S DEVICES

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

Precious Remedies (39)

IV. DEVICE AGAINST POOR AND IGNORANT SOULS

Fourthly, As Satan has his device to destroy gracious souls, so he has his devices to destroy poor ignorant souls, and that sometimes, By drawing them to esteem ignorance, and to neglect, slight, and despise the means of knowledge. Ignorance is the mother of mistake, the cause of trouble, error, and of terror; it is the highway to hell, and it makes a man both a prisoner and a slave to the devil at once. Ignorance  makes a man a beast, yes, makes him more miserable than the beast which perishes. (Ignorant ones have this advantage—they have a cooler hell.) There are none so easily nor so frequently captured in Satan’s snares—as ignorant souls. They are easily drawn to dance with the devil all day, and to dream of supping with Christ at night. ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ Hosea 4:6. ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.’ Matthew 22:29.

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That an ignorant heart is an evil heart. ‘Without knowledge the mind is not good’ (Prov. 19:2). As an ignorant heart is a naughty heart, it is a heart in the dark; and no good can come into a dark heart—but it must pass through the understanding: ‘And if the eye be dark, all the body is dark’ (Matt. 6:22). A leprous head and a leprous heart are inseparable companions. Ignorant hearts are so evil that they let fly on all hands, and spare not to spit their venom in the very face of God, as Pharaoh did when thick darkness was upon him.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That ignorance is the deformity of the soul. As blindness is the deformity of the face, so is ignorance the deformity of the soul. As the lack of fleshly eyes spoils the beauty of the face, so the lack of spiritual eyes spoils the beauty of the soul. A man without knowledge is as a workman without his hands, as a painter without his eyes, as a traveller without his legs, or as a ship without sails, or a bird without wings, or like a body without a soul.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That ignorance makes men the objects of God’s hatred and wrath. ‘It is a people who err in their hearts, and have not known my ways. Therefore I swear in my wrath, they should never enter into my rest’ (Heb. 3:10, 11). ‘My people are a people of no understanding; therefore he who made them will have no mercy on them’ (Is. 27:11). Christ has said that he will come ‘in flaming fire, to render vengeance on them that know not God’ (2 Thess. 1:8). Ignorance will end in vengeance. When you see a poor blind man here, you do not loathe him, nor hate him—but you pity him.  God has sworn that ignorant people shall never come into heaven. Heaven itself would be a hell to ignorant souls. They must needs err that know not God’s ways, yet cannot they wander so wide as to miss of hell. ‘My people are destroyed for want of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you’ (Hosea 4:6).

The Catholic Church says that ignorance is the mother of devotion—but the Scripture says, it is the mother of destruction. In Orwell’s “1984” the totalitarian state said , “Ignorance is strength.”

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That ignorance is a sin that leads to all sins. All sins stem from ignorance. ‘You do err, not knowing the Scriptures’ (Matt. 22:29). It puts men upon hating and persecuting the saints. ‘They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because bthey have not known the Father or me.’ (John 16:2, 3). Paul thanks his ignorance for all his cruelties to Christians. ‘I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly’ (1 Tim. 1:13). (It seems right to note that the apostle does not allege his ignorance, for which he was responsible, as the ground of the ‘mercy’ shown him—but only as the source and explanation of his sin and violence. The clause, ‘but I obtained mercy,’ is parenthetic, and it is of importance to note this.) It was ignorance that put the Jews upon crucifying Christ: ‘Father, forgive them,’ says Christ of his murderers, ‘for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). ‘For if the princes of this world had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’ (1 Cor. 2:8).

Sin at first was the cause of ignorance—but now ignorance is the cause of all sin. ‘Swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and whoring abound,’ says the prophet, ‘because there is no knowledge of God in the land.’ There are none so frequent, and so impudent in the ways of sin, as ignorant souls; they care not, nor mind not what they do, nor what they say against God, Christ, heaven, holiness, and their own souls. ‘Our tongues are our own, who shall control us?’ ‘They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens; and their tongue walks through the earth. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord?’ ‘Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. They say—’How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?’ Look at them—the wicked!’ Psalm 73:6-12

Adapted

The Sin Offering (3)

The Sin Offering-“Without the camp”

Psalm 40:6-10

Heb.13:1-17

Lev. 4:11,12,21.

What is the significance of “outside the camp”?

Outside meant not being among God’s people, with the unclean e.g. lepers, not being safe/secure, excommunicated. Examples: those executed (and presumably buried), Lev. 10:4,5, 13:45,46, contaminated buildings 14:41,45, Num. 31:13,19, 5:1-4, toilet area Deut. 23:12-14, Lev.24:23, Num. 15:35,36, Deut. 17:4,5, I Kings 21:13, Acts 7:58, II Chron. 33:15.

This is why in fulfilment of this offering and all it represented, namely uncleanness, curse etc., Christ died outside the city of Jerusalem John 19:20,41.

Hebrews 13 makes it clear Christ fulfilled the sin offering including the blood of atonement sprinkled on the mercy seat I Peter 1:2 and the body suffering under the burning of God’s wrath outside the city.

I Cor.5:5 is the NT equivalent of being put outside the camp (church) by excommunication, hence being consigned to the realm of Satan I Tim. 1:20 and ultimately if unrepentant or unbelieving etc.,into hell and everlasting fire Rev.21:14,15.

As an aside it is worth noting that believers only have a right to communion (close communion) who are able to be excommunicated i.e. are church members.

Our sacrifices now consist praise, thanks, sharing, doing good, submitting to church leaders and being willing to suffer shame.

Further info on outside the camp. Outside the city of Jerusalem which was the city of God and the place of his dwelling was the Valley of Hinnom (south of the city walls in pic). See description. It typifies everlasting destruction in hell which is outside the holy city of the Jerusalem which comes down from above (Rev.21). This was also where Jeremiah pronounced some of his woes (Jeremiah 19:2) which included the captivity or destruction of most of the Jews.

Hinnom a deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called “Hill of Evil Counsel.” It took its name from “some ancient hero, the son of Hinnom.” It is first mentioned in Joshua 15:8 . It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the valley was called Tophet, or the “fire-stove,” where the children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.

The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed; and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. “It might be shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment.” About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word is used eleven times in our Lord’s discourses ( Matthew 23:33 ; Luke 12:5 ; Matthew 5:22 , etc.).

Precious Remedies (38)

III. DEVICES AGAINST THE SAINTS

Thirdly, Satan has his devices to destroy the saints; and one great device that he has to destroy the saints is, By working them first to be cold, and then to divide, and then to be bitter and jealous, and then ‘to bite and devour one another‘ (Gal. 5:15). Our own woeful experience is too great a proof of this. The Israelites in Egypt did not more vex one another, than Christians in these days have done, which occasioned a deadly consumption to fall upon some. )

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell more upon one another’s graces than upon one another’s weaknesses and infirmities. It is sad to consider that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces, that they should use spectacles to behold one another’s weaknesses, rather than looking-glasses to behold one another’s graces.

Tell me, saints, is it not a more sweet, comfortable, and delightful thing to look more upon one another’s graces than upon one another’s infirmities? Tell me what pleasure, what delight, what comfort is there in looking upon the enemies, the wounds, the sores, the sickness, the diseases, the nakedness of our friends? Now sin, you know, is the soul’s enemy, the soul’s wound, the soul’s sores, the soul’s sickness, the soul’s disease, the soul’s nakedness; and ah! what a heart has that man who loves thus to look! Grace is the choicest flower in all a Christian’s garden; it is the richest jewel in all his crown; it is his princely robes; it is the top of royalty; and therefore must needs be the most pleasing, sweet, and delightful object for a gracious eye to be fixed upon. Sin is darkness, grace is light; sin is hell, grace is heaven; and what madness is it to look more at darkness than at light, more at hell than at heaven!

Tell me, saints, does not God look more upon his people’s graces than upon their weaknesses? Surely he does. He looks more at David’s and Asaph’s uprightness than upon their infirmities, though they were great and many. He eyes more Job’s patience than his passion. ‘Remember the patience of Job,’ not a word of his impatience (James 5:11).

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That love and union makes most for your own safety and security. We shall be invincible if we are inseparable. The world may frown upon you, and plot against you—but they cannot hurt you. Unity is the best bond of safety in every church and commonwealth.

Pliny writes of a stone in the island of Scyros, that if it be whole, though a large and heavy one, it swims above water—but being broken, it sinks. (No doubt a volcanic, porous product.) So long as saints keep whole, nothing shall sink them; but if they break, they are in danger of sinking and drowning.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon those commands of God which require you to love one another. ‘This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.’ ‘These things I command you, that you love one another.’ ‘Owe no man anything—but love one another: for he who loves another, has fulfilled the law.’ ‘Let brotherly love continue.’ ‘Love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.’ ‘See that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.’ ‘Finally, be all of one mind, having compassion one for another. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.’ ‘For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.’ ‘And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.’ ‘Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.’ Oh! dwell much upon these precious commands, that your love may be inflamed one to another. (John 15:12, 17; Rom. 13:8; Heb. 13:1; 1 John 4:7; 1 Peter 1:22, and 3:8; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:11.)

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell more upon these choice and sweet things wherein you agree, than upon those things wherein you differ. Ah! did you but thus, how would sinful arguments be abated, and your love raised, and your spirits sweetened one to another! You agree in most things, you differ but in a few; you agree in the greatest and weightiest things, as concerning God, Christ, the Spirit, and the Scripture. You differ only in those points that have been long disputable among men of greatest piety and parts. You agree to own the Scripture, to hold to Christ the head, and to walk according to the law of the new creature.

Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That God delights to be styled—’the God of peace’; and Christ to be styled—’the Prince of peace, and King of peace’; and the Spirit is a Spirit of peace. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace’ (Gal 5:22). Oh! why then should not the saints be children of peace? Certainly, men of froward, unquiet, fiery spirits cannot have that sweet evidence of their interest in the God of peace, and in the Prince of peace, and in the Spirit of peace, as those precious souls have, who follow after the things that make for love and peace. The very name of peace is sweet and comfortable; the fruit and effect thereof pleasant and profitable, more to be desired than innumerable triumphs. Peace is a blessing which ushers in a multitude of other blessings. Where Peace is, there is Christ, because Christ is peace. (2 Cor. 13:11; Is. 9:6).

Remedy (6). The sixth remedy against this device of Satan is, To make more care and conscience, of keeping up your peace with God. Ah! Christians, I am afraid that your remissness herein is that which has occasioned much of that sourness, bitterness, and divisions that be among you. Ah! you have not, as you should, kept up your peace with God, and therefore it is that you do so dreadfully break the peace among yourselves. The Lord has promised, ‘That when a man’s ways please him, he will make his enemies to be at peace with him’ (Prov. 16:7). Ah! how much more then would God make the children of peace to keep the peace among themselves, if their ways do but please him! All creatures are at his beck and check. Laban followed Jacob with one troop. Esau met him with another, both with hostile intentions; but Jacob’s ways pleasing the Lord, God by his mighty power so works that Laban leaves him with a kiss, and Esau met him with a kiss; he has a promise from one, tears from the other, peace with both. If we make it our business to keep up our league with God, God will make it his work and his glory to maintain our peace with men; but if men make light of keeping up their peace with God, it is just with God to leave them to a spirit of pride, envy, passion, contention, division, and confusion, to leave them ‘to bite and devour one another, until they are consumed one by another.’

Remedy (7). The seventh remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell much upon that near relation and union that is between you. This consideration had a sweet influence upon Abraham’s heart: ‘And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray you, between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen—for we are brethren’ (Gen.13:8). The Hebrew signifies, ‘Oh! let there be no bitterness between us—for we are brethren.’

Remedy (8). The eighth remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the miseries of discord. Dissolution is the daughter of dissension. Ah! how does the name of Christ, and the way of Christ, suffer by the discord of saints! How are many who are entering upon the ways of God hindered and saddened, and the mouths of the wicked opened, and their hearts hardened against God and his ways—by the discord of his people! Remember this—the disagreement of Christians is the devil’s triumph; and what a sad thing is this, that Christians should give Satan cause to triumph! Our dissensions are one of the Jews’ greatest stumbling-blocks. Can you think of it, and your hearts not bleed?

Remedy (9). The ninth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That it is no disparagement to you to be first in seeking peace and reconciliation-but rather an honour to you, that you have begun to seek peace. Abraham was the elder, and more worthy than Lot, both in respect of grace and nature also, for he was uncle unto Lot, and yet he first seeks peace of his inferior, which God has recorded as his honour.

Ah! how does the God of peace, by his Spirit and messengers, pursue after peace with poor creatures! God first makes offer of peace to us: ‘Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God’ (2 Cor. 5:20). God’s grace first kneels to us, and who can turn their backs upon such a blessed and bleeding embrace—but souls in whom Satan the god of this world reigns? God is the party wronged, and yet he sues for peace with us at first: ‘I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name’ It is doubled to show God’s exceeding forwardness to show favour and mercy to them. (Is. 65:1).

Ah! how does the sweetness, the freeness, and the riches of his grace break forth and shine upon poor souls. When a man goes from the sun, yet the sunbeams follow him; so when we go from the Sun of righteousness, yet then the beams of his love and mercy follow us. Christ first sent to Peter who had denied him, and the rest who had forsaken him: ‘Go your ways, and tell his disciples and Peter, that he goes before you into Galilee: there shall you see him, as he said unto you’ (Mark 16:7). Ah! souls, it is not a base, low thing—but a God-like thing, though we are wronged by others, yet to be the first in seeking after peace. Such acting will speak out much of God with a man’s spirit. They shall both have the name and the note, the comfort and the credit, of being most like unto God, who first begin to pursue after peace with alienated mankind.

Christians, it is not matter of liberty whether you will or you will not pursue after peace—but it is matter of duty that lies upon you; you are bound by express precept to follow after peace; and though it may seem to fly from you, yet you must pursue after it: ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man can see the Lord.’ So the psalmist: ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it’ (Psalm 34:14). ‘Let us follow after the things that make for peace, and things wherein one may edify another’ (Rom. 14:19).

Remedy (10). The tenth remedy against this device of Satan is, For saints to join together and walk together in the ways of grace and holiness so far as they do agree, making the word of God their only touchstone and judge of their actions.  And be sure you make the word of God the only touchstone and judge of all people and actions: ‘To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Is. 8:20). It is best and safest to make that to be the judge of all men and things now, that all shall be judged by in the latter day: ‘The word, says Christ, that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). Make not your dim light, your notions, your fancies, your opinions, the judge of men’s action—but still judge by rule, and plead, ‘It is written.’

When an ignorant man cried out in contest with a holy man, ‘Hear me, hear me,’ the holy man answered, ‘Neither hear me, nor I you—but let us both hear the apostle.’

Remedy (11). The eleventh remedy against this device of Satan is, To be much in self-judging. ‘Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged by the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:31). Ah! were Christians’ hearts more taken up in judging themselves and condemning themselves, they would not be so apt to judge and censure others, and to carry it sourly and bitterly towards others who differ from them. There are no souls in the world who are so fearful to judge others—as those who do most judge themselves; nor so careful to make a righteous judgment of men or things—as those who are most careful to judge themselves. There are none in the world who tremble to think evil of others, to speak evil of others, or to do evil to others—as those who make it their business to judge themselves. There are none who make such sweet constructions and charitable interpretations of men and things—as those who are best and most in judging themselves.

‘Judge not (hypocritically-JK), that you be not judged; for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you mete out, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt. 7:1, 2). ‘Judge not according to appearance—but judge righteous judgment’ (John 7:24). ‘The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.’ (Rom. 14:3, 10, 13).

‘We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Let us not judge one another any more—but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.’ ‘Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.’ (1 Cor. 4:5). ‘Speak not evil one of another, brethren: he who speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law—but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy’ (James 4:11, 12). ‘Who are you that judges another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls; yes, he shall be held up, for God is able to make him stand’ (Rom. 14:4).

Remedy (12). The twelfth remedy against this device of Satan is this, above all, Labour to be clothed with humility. Humility makes a man peaceable among brethren, fruitful in well-doing, cheerful in suffering, and constant in holy walking (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility fits for the highest services we owe to Christ, and yet will not neglect the lowest service to the lowest saint (John 13:5). Humility can feed upon the lowest dish, and yet it is maintained by the choicest delicacies, as God, Christ, and glory. Humility will make a man bless him who curses him, and pray for those who persecute him. An humble heart is an habitation for God, a scholar for Christ, a companion of angels, a preserver of grace, and a fitter for glory. Humility is the nurse of our graces, the preserver of our mercies, and the great promoter of holy duties. Humility cannot find three things on this side heaven: it cannot find fullness in the creature, nor sweetness in sin, nor life in an ordinance without Christ. An humble soul always finds three things on this side heaven: the soul to be empty, Christ to be full, and every mercy and duty to be sweet wherein God is enjoyed.

Humility can weep over other men’s weaknesses, and joy and rejoice over their graces. Humility will make a man quiet and contented in the lowest condition, and it will preserve a man from envying other men’s prosperous condition (1 Thess. 1:2, 3). Humility honors those who are strong in grace, and puts two hands under those who are weak in grace (Eph. 3:8). Humility makes a man richer than other men, and it makes a man judge himself the poorest among men. Humility will see much good abroad, when it can see but little at home.

Ah, Christian! though faith be the champion of grace, and love the nurse of grace, yet humility is the beautifier of grace; it casts a general glory upon all the graces in the soul. Ah! did Christians more abound in humility, they would be less bitter, willful, and sour, and they would be more gentle, meek, and sweet in their spirits and practices. Humility will make a man have high thoughts of others and low thoughts of himself; it will make a man see much glory and excellency in others, and much baseness and sinfulness in himself; it will make a man see others rich, and himself poor; others strong, and himself weak; others wise, and himself foolish.

Humility will make a man excellent at covering others’ infirmities, and at recording their gracious services, and at delighting in their graces; it makes a man rejoice in every light which outshines his own, and every wind which blows others good. Humility is better at believing, than it is at questioning other men’s happiness. I judge, says a humble soul, it is well with these Christians now—but it will be far better with them hereafter. They are now upon the borders of the New Jerusalem, and it will be but as a day before they slide into Jerusalem. A humble soul is more willing to say, Heaven is that man’s, than mine; and Christ is that Christian’s, than mine; and God is their God in covenant, than mine. Ah! were Christians more humble, there would be less contention, and more love among them than now is.

 

Importance of Doctrine

Beautiful article on the vital importance of faith and that our faith and Christian walk stand on Biblical doctrine.

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Doctrine

BLOG POST | October 29, 2018

The Hebrew word for doctrine means “to take, receive, seize”; then it means that which is received mentally: instruction. The Greek has a whole family of words relating to our topic: one means that which is taught; another refers to the one doing the teaching, the doctor or master; the verb form simply means to instruct or indoctrinate. The word doctrine appears fifty-two times in scripture, good evidence of its importance. Strikingly, when we read of doctrines in the plural the reference is always to strange doctrines, the doctrines of men, or the doctrines of devils. False doctrines are legion and contradictory, but true doctrine is one, for it has its unity in Jesus Christ.

The doctrine of God drops from heaven as rain (Deut. 32:2), it is pure and good (Job 11:4). The people were amazed at the teaching of Jesus, saying, “What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he . . .” (Mark 1:27). But Jesus did not teach new doctrine; it was not his but the Father’s, and it agreed with the teaching of Moses (John 7:16–19). The children of God obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto them (Rom. 6:17). Since all scripture is given by inspiration of God, it has the primary profit of giving us doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16). Adding to the peril of the times in which we live is the fact that men “will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3). The purpose of God in giving ministers to the church is “that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . .” (Eph. 4:14). Of such central importance is the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is come in the flesh that the denial of this is antichrist, and “if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 10).

Christ is the master, the teacher, the prophet sent from God. When he was but twelve years old he was found in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions; already then the people were astonished at his understanding and answers (Luke 2:46). Six other times we read that men were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught with authority and not as the scribes. Christ declares the Father whom no man hath seen (John 1:18); he makes known unto us all that he has heard of his Father (John 15:15); he was ordained to be our chief Prophet and Teacher to reveal to us fully the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption (Heidelberg Catechism, LD 12).

Because ministers are called by Christ in the service of his word, they are given to the church as pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11); teaching or indoctrinating is an important aspect of their work. Thus, ministers are to give themselves to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13); they are to take heed to themselves and the doctrine, by meditating upon these things and giving themselves wholly to them (1 Tim. 4:15–16). Those who labor in the word and doctrine are to be counted by the church as worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17). Great care must be taken that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. (1 Tim. 6:1). Sound doctrine is able to convince the gainsayers (Titus 1:9). All the minister’s speech must be in harmony with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1, 7). And the elders must be apt to teach—doctrine (1 Tim. 3:2).

We are saved by doctrine, for by taking heed to and continuing in sound doctrine ministers save themselves and those that hear them (1 Tim. 4:16). Some will ask, “But are we not saved by faith in Christ?” Indeed. But who is Christ as to his person and natures? What does his anointing consist of, and what is his place in the covenant of grace? What was the nature of his death and resurrection? For whom did he suffer, die, and rise again? And what is this faith, and what does it hold for truth? Faith in the heart, embracing Jesus Christ the Lord as he is set forth, described, delineated in the doctrines of that word of God, that is able to make us wise unto salvation. To deny the importance of sound doctrine for our salvation is to fly in the face of the scriptures and show ourselves either ignorant or unappreciative of church history. Controversies raged between adherents of the doctrines of men and the doctrine of God; confessions were written which condemned heresies and set forth the orthodox faith. Today we are called upon to contend earnestly for that faith because the great matter of salvation depends on pure doctrine, and the greater matter of God’s glory is wrapped up in it. We must be of the mind that characterized the writer(s) of the Athanasian Creed when he wrote after the Arian controversy, “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic (universal) Faith, which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”

The doctrine of God our Savior, held to with iota-like precision, embraced with believing hearts, must be adorned with good works (Titus 2:10). Here Paul shows the foolishness of trying to separate doctrine and practice, or even preferring one above the other. Scripture is profitable for doctrine…that we may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Doctrine is the root and branch; good works are the fruit. And there is a harmony and inner consistency between the two. True doctrine is itself beautiful, for it reveals God in Christ! When that doctrine brings forth good works by the Spirit, what adornment that is! How God is praised by it!

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This article was written by Rev. Dale H. Kuiper, and published in the Standard Bearer (12/15/1992, Volume 69, Issue 6).

Precious Remedies (37)

 

Brooks now turns to II. DEVICE AGAINST THE LEARNED AND THE WISE

Satan has his devices to ensnare and destroy the learned and the wise: and that, sometimes by working them to pride themselves in their abiilties; and sometimes by drawing them to rest upon their abilities; and sometimes by causing them to slight  those who lack their abilities. They will use their abilities in the service of sin against Christ. The truth of this you may see in the learned scribes and Pharisees. (John 5:44; 1 Kings 22:22-25; 1 Cor. 1:18-29.)

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That you have nothing but what you have received, Christ being as well the fountain of providence as of saving grace. ‘What have you,’ says the apostle, ‘that you have not
received? And if you have received it, why do you boast as though you had not received it?’ (1 Cor. 4:7). ‘Whatever you are, you owe to him who made you; and whatever you have, you owe to him who redeemed you’ (Bernard).

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That men’s learning and trusting to their own wits and abilities have been their utter overthrow and ruin; as you may see in Ahithophel, and those princes that engaged against Daniel, and in the scribes and Pharisees. God loves to confute men in their confidences. He who stands upon his abilities, stands upon a quicksand that will certainly fail him. There is nothing in the world which provokes God more to withdraw from the soul than this (pride!-JK); Ah! how many in these days have lost their estates, their friends, their lives, their souls, by leaning upon their admired abilities! The saints are described by their leaning upon their beloved, the Lord Jesus (Cant. 8:5). He who leans only upon the bosom of Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life. Miseries always lie at that man’s door that leans upon anything below the precious bosom of Christ; such a man is most in danger, and this is none of his least plagues, that he thinks himself secure. It is the greatest wisdom in the world to take the wise man’s counsel: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding’ (Prov. 3:5).

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider that you lack grace and holiness. There may be great ability where there is but little grace, yes, no grace. And there may be, and often is, a great deal of grace, where there is but weak ability. You may be higher than others in gifts of knowledge, utterance, and learning, and those very souls may be higher than you in their communion with God, in their delighting in God, in their dependence upon God, in their affections to God, and in their humble, holy, and unblameable walking before God. Is it folly and madness in a man, to make light and slight of another, because he is not so rich in money or goods as he, when he is a thousand thousand times richer in silver and gold, in jewels and in pearls, than he? The scribes and Pharisees had great ability—but no grace. The disciples had grace—but weak learning. (Luke 11:1; 24:19-28.) It was the sad complaint of Augustine in his time: ‘The unlearned,’ says he, ‘rise up and take heaven by violence, and we with all our learning are thrust down to hell.’ It is sad to see how many of the rabbis of these times do make an idol of their abilities, and with what an eye of pride, scorn, and contempt do they look upon those who lack their ability and who do not worship the idol that they have set up in their own hearts. Paul, who was the great doctor of the Gentiles, did wonderfully transcend in all  abilities the doctors and rabbis of our times, and yet, ah! how humbly, how tenderly, how sweetly, does he carry himself towards the lowest and the weakest! ‘To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some’ (1 Cor. 9:22). ‘Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not? Wherefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend’ (1 Cor. 8:13). But, ah how little of this sweet spirit is to be found in the doctors of our age, who look sourly and speak bitterly against those who do not see as they see, nor cannot speak as they speak.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That there is no such way for men to have their gifts and parts blasted and withered, as to pride themselves in them, as to rest upon them, as to make light and slight of those who lack them, as to engage them against those people, ways, and things, that Jesus Christ has set his heart upon. Ah! how has God blasted and withered the parts and abilities of many among us, that have once been famous shining lights! How is their sun darkened, and their glory clouded! ‘How is the sword of the Lord upon their arm, and upon their right eye! how is their arm clean dried up, and their right eye utterly darkened!’ as the prophet speaks (Zech. 11:17). This is matter of humiliation and lamentation. Many precious discerning saints see this, and in secret mourn for it; and oh! that they were kindly sensible of God’s withdrawing from them, that they may repent, keep humble, and carry it sweetly towards God’s jewels, and lean only upon the Lord, and not upon their understanding, that so the Lord may delight to visit them with his grace at such a rate as that their faces may shine more gloriously than ever, and that they may be more serviceable to the honour of Christ, and the faith of the saints, than formerly they have been.

Precious Remedies (36)

Brooks continues his treatise on the sins of superiors:

DEVICE 2: By engaging them against the people of God, against those who are his jewels, his pleasant portion, the delight of his eye and the joy of his heart. i.e. persecution.Thus he drew Pharaoh to engage against the children of Israel—and that was his overthrow. So he engaged Haman against the Jews—and so brought him to hang upon that gallows that he had made for Mordecai (Esther 7). So he engaged those princes against Daniel— which was the utter ruin of them and their relations (Dan. 6). So in Revelation 20:7-9, “When the thousand years end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations from every corner of the earth, which are called Gog and Magog. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty host, as numberless as sand along the shore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.”

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider, That none have engaged against the saints—but have been ruined by the God of saints. Divine justice has been too hard for all who have opposed and engaged against the saints, as is evident in Saul, Pharaoh, and Haman ‘He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm’ (Psalm 105:15). Ah! what a harvest has hell had in our days, of those who have engaged against the Lamb, and those who are called, chosen and faithful!

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell some time every morning upon the following scriptures, wherein God has engaged himself to stand by his people and for his people, and to make them victorious over the greatest and wisest of their enemies. ‘No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, says the Lord.’  ‘Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege, both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.’ (Is. 8:9, 41:14, 15, and 54:17. Micah 4:11-13; Zech. 12:2, 3.)

Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, When you persecute saints you persecute God himself-JK. That you cannot engage against the saints—but you must engage against God himself, by reason of that near and blessed union that is between God and them. You cannot be fighters against the saints—but you will be found in the casting up of the account to be fighters against God himself. And what greater madness than for weakness itself—to engage against an almighty strength! The near union that is between the Lord and believers, is set forth by that near union that is between a husband and his wife. ‘They two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church; we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,’ says the apostle (Eph. 5:32). ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute you me?’ (Acts 9:4); and ‘in all their afflictions he was afflicted’ (Is. 63:9).

Remedy 4. Even the wicked are preserved to some extent by their proximity to the saints. Ah! had not the saints many a time cast themselves into the breach between God’s wrath and you, you had been cut off from the land of the living, and had had your portion with those whose names are written in the dust. Many a nation, many a family, is surrounded with blessings for the Josephs’ sakes who live therein, and are preserved from many calamities and miseries for the Moses’, the Daniels’, the Noahs’, and the Jobs’, sakes, who dwell among them. That is a sweet word (Prov. 10:25), ‘As the whirlwind passes, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation, or is the foundation of the world.’ The righteous is the foundation of the world, which but for their sakes would soon shatter and fall to ruin.

From the believers’ point of view they must remember that God superintends the persecution. He decrees the opposition, the violence, the imprisonments, even the martyrdom of his people. (Acts 4:28)-JK

Adapted.