First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR?

September 23, 2019 Leave a comment

Concerning the Bible, I have three things to say to-night and they are all in my text. First, its author, “I have written;” secondly, its subjects — the great things of God’s law; and thirdly, its common treatment — It has been accounted by most men a strange thing.

1. First, then, concerning this book, who is THE AUTHOR? The text says that it is God. “I have written to him the great things of my law.” Here lies my Bible — who wrote it? I open it, and I find it consists of a series of tracts. The first five tracts were written by a man called Moses. I turn on and I find other. Sometimes I see David is the penman, at other times, Solomon. Here I read Micah, then Amos, then Hosea. As I turn further on, to the more luminous pages of the New Testament, I see Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Paul, Peter, James and others, but when I shut up the book, I ask myself who is the author of it? Do these men jointly claim the authorship? Are they the compositors of this massive volume? Do they between themselves divide the honor? Our holy religion answers, No! This volume is the writing of the living God: each fetter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit. Albeit, that Moses was employed to write his histories with his fiery pen, God guided that pen. It may be that David touched his harp and let sweet Psalms of melody drop from his fingers, but God moved his hands over the living strings of his golden harp. It may be that Solomon sang Canticles of love, or gave forth words of consummate wisdom, but God directed his lips, and made the Preacher eloquent. If I follow the thundering Nahum when his horses plough the waters or Habbakok when he sees the tents of Cushan in affliction; if I read Malachi, when the earth is burning like an oven; if I turn to the smooth page of John, who tells of love, or the rugged, fiery chapters of Peter who speaks of the fire devouring God’s enemies; if I turn to Jude, who launches forth anathemas upon the foes of God, everywhere I find God speaking: it is God’s voice, not man’s, the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth. This Bible is God’s Bible; and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, “I am the book of God: man, read me. I am God’s writing: open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for he is my author, and you will see him visible and manifest everywhere.” “I have written to him the great things of my law.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855

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The Covenants-Chapter 9d- The Teachings of the Covenant

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

3. The covenants, thirdly, clearly teach us that all the peculiar purposes of God in relation to the Jewish nation, are now fully accomplished.

Their separate nationality was, as we have seen, secured, and perpetuated, as an essential part of those means by which the fulfilment was certified, of the “promise of God in Christ to Abraham.” When Christ came, and the proof of his Messiah-ship was established, that end was gained perfectly. They, in the providence of God, were soon afterwards dispersed, and have never since enjoyed a national being. And why should they? What is to be gained by it? Yet it is believed by them, and the opinion prevails very generally among Christians, that they will at some future day, be restored to Canaan, and there yet become a great nation. Are the Jews really to be restored as a nation, to Canaan? If they are restored, by what laws will they there be governed? By those of the old covenant? They are all fulfilled, and superseded. As the laws of God, they no longer exist. Sacrifices, oblations, priesthood, circumcision, are not now even when practised by Jews, obedience to God. Will they be governed by the new covenant. Then they will be Christians, and why should they be separated from other Christians of different races? But do not the prophecies declare that they will be restored? Let us examine them. Among the passages which are considered most conclusive on this subject, are such as these:- “Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they have gone, and gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall reign over them all; and they shall no more be two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all; neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions. But I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them. So shall they be my people; and I will be their God; and David my servant, shall be king over them; and they shall all have one Shepherd; and they shall walk in my judgments, and obey my statues, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; and I will place them, and multiply them; and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forever more.”[9]

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 236

September 19, 2019 Leave a comment

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [The Philadelphia Conference of Baptist Ministers].

DEAR SIR, —

I beg you to thank all the brethren on my behalf. I am deeply affected by your brotherly love. One touch of grace has, in a truer sense than a touch of nature, made us all akin. I rejoice every day in the prosperity of the Church of God in the United States. Your nation is but in its youth, and you are educating it for a high career; ours is old, and slow to learn, and we are with much difficulty lighting its candle, lending it spectacles, and opening the Bible before it. We cannot expect to teach Mr. Bull quite so readily as you teach Master Jonathan. We will, however, do our best; and you will pray for us, and God will bless us.

I feel as if I was even now squeezing the hand of each minister, and receiving a return grip. Take it as done. Thank your God bless you!

Yours heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word – When I get to Heaven

September 18, 2019 Leave a comment

There are certain things I look forward to seeing in Heaven when I get there. Brother McKee, you say ´WHEN´ you get to heaven. Are you not being too cocky? No indeed! However, I would be being boastful if I were depending on me for eternal life. The truth is, I am a wretch saved by grace but I´ve been bought and paid for by precious blood. I´m safe and secure in Christ. That´s why I say WHEN I get to Heaven

There are things I´d like to see there. For example, there are radiant crowns of pure gold that the elders wear (Revelation 4:4). Then there´s a river, a crystal-clear river, (Revelation 22:1). What must that look like? Then the Throne, the very Throne of Heaven from where our Sovereign majesty rules and reigns. And as I stand in awe and gaze upon the majestic rainbow around it (Revelation 4:3), I´d remember that I want to see and understand why there is a sea of glass mixed with fire (Revelation 15:2-3).

I´d also love to contemplate the brilliance of the costly stones and crystal-clear jasper that are in use everywhere. I´d delight to see the twelve gates (Revelation 21:12) and the twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14). The foundations of those gates are garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation is jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. (See Revelation 21:19-20). Totally amazing!

Then I´d make sure to hear the music. John says he heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (Revelation 14:2-3). I can only imagine what those harpers must sound like. It will be utterly magnificent.

There´s also a street constructed of pure gold. Walking on gold! I think that when I stand there it, I will be abandoned to astonished speechlessness (Revelation 21:21).

But magnificent as all these things are, the great attraction of Heaven for me will be JESUS, in His own divine and glorious Person. The great desirability of heaven will neither be the prophets, apostles, martyrs; nor “the general assembly and Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven. “

Much as I look forward to seeing the place where there is no sickness and death and where tears never fall, the main attraction will neither be the “great cloud of witnesses,” nor the song of the redeemed but JESUS HIMSELF-

JESUS-

JESUS-

JESUS HIMSELF.

He will be the one grand and glorious object of universal attraction and delight. There´s an old saying I fully endorse which says, “Were I in heaven without my God, it were no heaven to me.”

So true! Heaven means we will get to meet face to face with the God-Man, the one who was wounded, bruised and slaughtered on our behalf. May Jesus be our entire salvation and all our desire. May He not be a stranger to us when we arrive in Glory.

The old-time preacher, Joseph Irons, said it like this,

“Heaven is where Jesus is and, consequently, I am not going to say a word about its locality. All I want to know of heaven, before I get there, and all I shall want to know of heaven, when I get there, is that I am to be with Jesus–everlastingly with Jesus; immortal as He is-yes, more, as safe as He is. For, He says, “Because I live, you shall live also,” so that I may boldly assert that the life of a believer is as safe as the life of Christ and must be so to all eternity.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XVII- That it make God the Author of Sin

September 18, 2019 Leave a comment

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XVII

That It Makes God the Author of Sin

2. INSTANCES IN WHICH SIN HAS BEEN OVERRULED FOR GOOD

Throughout the Scriptures we find numerous instances In which sinful acts were permitted and then overruled for good. We shall first notice some Old Testament examples. Jacob’s deception of his old, blind father, though a sinful act in itself, was permitted and used as a link in the chain of events through which the already revealed plan of God that the elder should serve the younger was carried out. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were permitted to wrong the Israelites, that by their deliverance God’s wonders might be multiplied in the land of Egypt (Exodus 11:9), that these things might be told to future generations (Exodus 10:1, 2), and that His glory might be declared throughout all the earth (Exodus 9:16). The curse Balaam tried to pronounce upon the Israelites was turned into a blessing (Numbers 24:10; Nehemiah 13:2). The proud, heathen king of Assyria unconsciously became the servant of Jehovah in executing vengeance upon an apostate people: “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so,” Isaiah 10:5-15. The calamities which befell Job, as seen from the human viewpoint appear to be mere misfortunes, accidents, chance happenings. But with further knowledge we see God behind it all, exercising complete control, giving the Devil permission to afflict so far but no farther, designing the events for the development of Job’s patience and character, and using even the seemingly meaningless waste of the storm to fulfill His high and loving purposes.

In the New Testament we find the same teaching. The death of Lazarus, as seen from the human viewpoint of Mary and Martha and those who came to mourn for him, was a very great misfortune; but when seen from the divine viewpoint it was “not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby,” John 11: 4. The manner of Peter’s death (which apparently was by crucifixion) was to glorify God (John 21:19). When Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee with His disciples He could have prevented the storm and have ordered them a pleasant passage, but that would not have been so much for His glory and the confirmation of their faith as was their deliverance. Paul, by his stern rebukes, made the Corinthians “sorry unto repentance,” “after a godly sort ;“ “for godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret; but the sorrow of the world worketh death,” 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10. The Lord often temporarily delivers a person over to Satan, that his bodily and mental sufferings may react for his salvation, (1 Corinthians 5:5). Paul, in speaking of the adversities which he had suffered, said, “Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel,” Philippians 1:12. When he saw that his “thorn in the flesh” was something which had been divinely sent upon him, “a messenger of Satan to buffet him,” so that he “should not be exalted over much,” he accepted it with the words, ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. In that instance God made the poison of the cruelest and most sinful monster of all time to be an antidote to cure the apostle’s pride.

To a certain extent we can say that the reason for the permission of sin is that, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Such deep, unfathomable grace could not have been shown if sin had been excluded.

As a matter of fact we gain more through salvation in Christ than we lost by the fall in Adam. When Christ became incarnate, human nature was, as it were, taken into the very bosom of Deity, and the redeemed reach a far more exalted position through union with Christ than Adam could have attained had he not fallen but persevered and been admitted into heaven.

This general truth was expressed by Calvin in the following words: “But, God, who once commanded light to shine out of darkness, can marvelously bring, if He pleases, salvation out of hell itself, and thus turn darkness itself to light. But what worketh Satan? In a certain sense, the work of God! That is, God, by holding Satan fast bound in obedience to His Providence, turns him whithersoever He will, and thus applies the great enemy’s devices and attempts to the accomplishment of His own eternal principles.3

Even the persecutions which are permitted to come upon the righteous are designed for good purposes. Paul declares that “our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:17. To suffer with Christ is to be more closely united to Him, and great reward in heaven is promised to those who suffer in His behalf (Matthew 5:10-12). To the Philippians it was written, “To you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him but else to suffer in His behalf,” Philippians 1 :29; and we read that after the apostles had been publicly abused, “They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name,” Acts 5:41. The writer of the book of Hebrews stated this same truth when he wrote, “All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit to them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness,” Hebrews 12:11.

The acts of the wicked in persecuting the early Church,” says Dr. Charles Hodge, “were ordained of God as the means for the wider and more speedy proclamation of the Gospel. The sufferings of the martyrs were the means not only of extending but of purifying the Church. The apostasy of the man of sin being predicted, was predetermined. The destruction of the Huguenots in France, the persecution of the Puritans in England, laid the foundation for the planting of North America with a race of godly energetic men, who were to make this land the land of refuge for the nations, the home of liberty, civil and religious. It would destroy the confidence of God’s people could they be persuaded that God does not foreordain whatever comes to pass. It is because the Lord reigns, and doeth His pleasure in heaven and on earth, that they repose in perfect security under His guidance and protection.”4

Many of the divine attributes were displayed through the creation and government of the world, but the attribute of justice could be shown only to creatures deserving punishment, and the attribute of mercy or grace could be shown only to creatures in misery. Until man’s fall into sin, and redemption from it, these attributes, so far as we can learn, had been unexercised and undisplayed, and consequently were unknown to any but God Himself from all eternity. Had not sin been admitted to the creation these attributes would have remained buried in an eternal night. And the universe, without the knowledge of these attributes, would be like the earth without the light of the sun. Sin, then, is permitted in order that the mercy of God may be shown in its forgiveness, and that His justice may be shown in its punishment. Its entrance is the result of a settled design which God formed in eternity, and through which He purposed to reveal Himself to His rational creatures as complete and full-orbed in all conceivable perfections.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

The Father covenanted with Christ that He should be the federal head of His people

September 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Let us consider now the various features of the everlasting covenant.

1. The Father covenanted with Christ that He should be the federal head of His people, undertaking for them, freeing them from that dreadful condemnation wherein God foresaw from eternity they would fall in Adam. This alone explains why Christ is denominated the “last Adam,” the “second man” (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). Let it be very carefully noted that in Ephesians 5:23 we are expressly told “Christ is the head of the church, and He is the saviour of the body.” He could not have been the Savior unless He had first been the head; that is, unless He had voluntarily entered into the work of suretyship by divine appointment, serving as the representative of His people, taking upon Him all their responsibilities and agreeing to discharge all their legal obligations; putting Himself in the stead of His insolvent people, paying all their debts, working out for them a perfect righteousness, and legally meriting for them the reward or blessing of the fulfilled law.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

Here lies my text — this Word of God

September 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Oh! how ten-thousand-fold merciful is God, that, looking down upon the race of man, he does not smile it out of existence. We see from our text that God looks upon man for he says of Ephraim, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” But see how when he observes the sin of man he does not dash him away and spurn him with his foot; he does not shake him by the neck over the gulf of hell, until his brain doth reel, and then drop him for ever; but rather, he comes down from heaven to plead with his creatures; he argues with them, he puts himself, as it were, upon a level with the sinner, states his grievances, and pleads his claim. O Ephraim, I have written unto thee the great things of my law, but they have been unto thee as a strange thing! I come here to night in God’s stead, my friends, to plead with you as God’s ambassador, to charge many of you with a sin; to lay it to your hearts by the power of the Spirit, so that you may be convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of a judgment to come. The crime I charge you with is the sin of the text. God has written to you the great things of his law, but they have been unto you as a strange thing. It is concerning this blessed book, the Bible, that I mean to speak to-night. Here lies my text — this Word of God. Here is the theme of my discourse, a theme which demands more eloquence than I possess; a subject upon which a thousand orators might speak at once; a mighty, vast, incomprehensive theme, which might engross all eloquence throughout eternity, and still it would remain unexhausted.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Bible, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning March 18, 1855