The Wednesday Word: I Am he!

“I said therefore unto you that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I AM (he), you shall die in your sins.” John 8:24

Jesus is the great ‘I Am,’ the mighty God of Scripture….. (Exodus 3:14; John 1:1-7; John 6:33-35; John 8:12; John 8:58; John 10:7-9; John 10:14-15; John 10:30).

Nevertheless, many misguided people say He was merely a good teacher. Consider, however, what the Master taught in John 8:24. There, He makes a most outrageous claim…one that is hardly the mild assertion of a modest and temperate instructor of righteousness. He declares,

“I said therefore unto you that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I AM (he), you shall die in your sins.”

This is scarcely the contention of a good teacher who although a good man, was not God. Christ was claiming, in this verse, that unless we believe that He is the eternal, self-existent one, we will perish.

It should be noted that the word ‘he’ in verse 24 is in italics thereby showing that it does not appear in the original. Rather, the translators supply it. In this verse, therefore, Jesus makes a direct claim to deity! So, was this man Jesus mad or was He actually telling the truth?

By saying ‘Unless you believe that ‘I am’ Jesus asserts that we must believe that He is the mighty God; We must believe that He is the eternal deity. We must believe that He is the promised Messiah. We must believe that He is the faithful covenant God.

“I am”—what a claim! It is a shocking declaration if it is honest and equally outrageous if it is not!  If it is not true, it is a scurrilous affair for any mere man to make such an alarming and blasphemous assertion. Off with His Head!

If it is true, however, Jesus is claiming that there is no salvation outside of believing that He is Yahweh, the eternally self-existent One (Isaiah 43:10).  Christ is teaching that belief in His true identity is not an option.  “If you reject my identity, you shall die in your sins” is His solemn, twice-repeated warning.

So you say you are a Christian, yet you reject Christ as God?  You then must assume Christ to be confused for, He whom you call your Saviour says He does not save those who reject Him as God. 

He says you will die in your sins if you reject His deity. 

You will die as a wretch without a mediator.

You will bear responsibility for your sins before the judgment seat.

Neither a super-angel nor a God-inspired man can deliver you.  Indeed, no one can deliver you from the coming wrath except He who is fully God and man! Reject Christ’s deity, and you will perish.

William Romaine is judicious on this point of Christ’s Deity.  He writes;

“Let no person think that this is a speculative point. It is not an indifferent thing whether you receive it or not, but your eternal state depends upon it, you must receive it, or perish forever; for whosoever disbelieves it shall be damned. This may sound very harsh to the ears of free and candid inquirers, but I really cannot soften it.  … The Almighty has threatened to inflict it (damnation) upon the deniers of Christ’s divinity and let men make ever so light of it, He will infallibly inflict it; and, therefore, I must again admonish you, that whoever does not believe Jesus Christ to be self-existent, … shall be damned.”
William Romaine: The Self-Existence of Jesus Christ:

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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A Treatise on Church Order: The Church Universal- Chapter III- Section VI- Relation to Christ’s Kingdom

CHAPTER III

THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

SECTION VI.–RELATION TO CHRIST’S KINGDOM

The doctrine of the Scriptures concerning the kingdom of Christ, has been investigated in the Manual of Theology, pp. 221-229. The result of the investigation, so far as our present subject is concerned, may be briefly stated as follows:–

The kingdom of Christ is the kingly authority with which he, as mediator, is invested, and which he exercises over all things, for the glory of God and the good of his church. The peculiarities of this divine reign are, that it is exercised in human nature, and that it grants favor to rebels. An incomplete administration of it commenced, immediately after the fall of man; but the full development was not made till the man Christ Jesus was crowned with glory and honor, and seated at the Father’s right hand. The subjects of his reign are divided into two classes; the obedient, and the disobedient. To the obedient, all the blessings of his reign are promised; and the disobedient, he will ultimately gather out of his kingdom, and banish to everlasting misery. The obedient subjects of his reign, are the same persons that compose the church universal, which has been defined “the whole company of those who are saved by Christ.” For the benefit of this church, his kingly authority over all things is exercised.

As theological writers have maintained that there is a visible church catholic, distinct from the spiritual universal church of the Scriptures; so some of them have maintained that there is a visible kingdom of Christ, a society of external organization, into which men enter by baptism. But the kingdom of Christ is not a society of men, bound together by external organization, like a family, a nation, or a local church. This view of it is not authorized by the Holy Scriptures.

The kingdom of Christ is properly the kingly authority with which he is invested; and the phrase is used, by metonymy, to denote the subjects of his reign, and especially the obedient subjects on whom the blessings of his reign are conferred. But the tie which binds these obedient subjects to their king, and his reign, is internal. “Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”[83] These men constitute a holy nation, a nation bringing forth the fruits of the kingdom; but they are not made a nation by external organization.

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”[84] We are not to understand this declaration to imply, that his reign had nothing to do with the men and things of this world. The other sentence just quoted, which was spoken in connection with this declaration “Every one who is of the truth, heareth my voice,” claimed the men who receive and love the truth as the subjects of his kingly authority. Having all power in heaven and earth committed to him, he rules in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Hence every relation among men, and all the duties arising from it, come under his authority. The family, the nation, and the local church, are all institutions in his kingdom, or under his reign; and the external organization of these institutions should be regulated according to the will of the sovereign king; but the kingdom itself exists, independent of all external organization.

Some passages of Scripture have been supposed to favor the opinion, that the kingdom of Christ is a society of external organization, including good men and bad. The kingdom of heaven is compared to a net cast into the sea, which brought good fish and bad to the shore;[85] to a sower, who sowed seed that fell in bad ground as well as in good;[86] to a field, which contained tares as well as wheat.[87] These parables are designed to illustrate important truths connected with the reign of Christ. The gospel of the kingdom was to be preached to every creature; and the commission to preach it, was accompanied with the declaration, “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”[88] However variously men may be affected by the word preached, and however difficult it may be to distinguish their true character, and separate the bad from the good in the present life, the separation will be made in the last day, and none will be admitted to enjoy the blessings of the reign but obedient subjects. To suppose an organized religious society, including good men and bad, to be intended by the net which enclosed good fish and bad, or the field containing tares and wheat, is to overstrain and misapply the parables. The Saviour does not so explain them. The field is the world, and not an organized society in the world. The command was given that the tares and wheat should be permitted to grow together until the harvest, which is the end of the world. Then the King will sit in judgment on the whole world, and not on a particular society in it; and will separate the good from the bad, whom he has permitted to remain together in his kingdom. Then he will remove out of his kingdom all that offends; and will say concerning his enemies, in the midst of whom he now reigns, “Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”[89] Yet it is the will of the King that bad men and good should be permitted to remain together in the world; but instead of commanding that they should be permitted to grow together in religious association with each ocher, he commands his followers, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.”[90] Moreover, though the tares and the wheat grow together in the field, the tares are called the children of the wicked one; and the good seed, the children of the kingdom. The kingdom does not embrace the good and bad alike, as sustaining the same relation to it; but a society embraces all its members, irrespective of their moral character.

Families, nations, and local churches, are societies of external organization; and they are organized for the present world. At the end of the world, all these organizations will cease. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world; but at the end of the world, when earthly organizations shall have passed away, he will gather the wicked out of his kingdom; and the kingdom itself, freed from all rebellious subjects, will continue for ever. Then shall the righteous, who alone are the children of the kingdom, shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.

[83] John xviii. 37.

[84] John xviii. 36.

[85] Matt. xiii. 47-50.

[86] Matt. xiii. 3-8.

[87] Matt. xiii. 24-30.

[88] Mark xvi. 16.

[89] Luke xix. 27.

[90] 2 Cor. vi. 17.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2

Here is an example of how scripture is set forth in an orderly fashion

The special design of Luke was to set forth the perfections of our Lord’s humanity, and it is very blessed to trace out the different passages in his Gospel where Christ is seen as a Man of prayer. “It came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened” (Luke 3:21). Luke is the only one who supplies this significant detail, and a most precious one it is. The Savior’s baptism marked the end of His private life, and the beginning of His official mission. And here we learn that He was in the act of devotion at the very outset of His public ministry. He was engaged in dedicating Himself unto God, seeking grace for the stupendous work that lay before Him. Thus the first sight which the multitude had of Him was in prayer! “And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (v. 16). This occurred just after His miracles of mercy, when there went “a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him.” His response to this show of popularity was striking, and full of instruction for His servants. He retired from the acclaims of the masses, and got alone with God. Again,

“He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).

This followed immediately after the scribes and Pharisees were “filled with madness” against Him, and right before He selected the twelve. Our Redeemer made no attempt to fight His enemies, but retired to commune with the Father. Before calling the apostles, He spent the night petitioning God.

“And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him: and He asked them saying, Whom say the people that I am?” (Luke 9:18).

This was just following His feeding of the multitude: after engaging in public duty, He withdrew in order to have private devotion. We may infer from the question which He asked His disciples that the unbelief of men was beginning to cast a shadow upon His soul, and that He now sought relief and strength from above.

“And went up into the mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistening” (Luke 9:28, 29).

It was while engaged in prayer that Christ was transfigured— how significant, and instructive!

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Only God can heal a broken heart

Then again, God only may do it. Suppose we could heal your broken heart, it would be good for nothing. I do beseech the Lord, that I may never get a broken heart healed, except it is by God. A truly convinced sinner will always rather keep his heart broken than have it healed wrongly. I ask you who are suffering, whether you would not rather keep your broken heart as it is, than allow a bad physician to cure it for you, and so deceive you, and send you to hell at last? I know your cry is “Lord, let me know the worst of my case; use the lancet; do not be afraid of hurting me, let me feel it all; cut the proud flesh away rather than let it remain.” But there are not a few who get their wounds glossed over by some pretended good works or duties. Oh! my hearer, let no man deceive you. Be not content with a name to live while you are really dead. Bad money may pass on earth, but genuine gold alone will be received in heaven. Can you abide the fire?

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Healing the Wounded” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, November 11, 1855

The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is

December 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. Xxxii. 35).

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

APPLICATION

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. — And consider here more particularly,

3. The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a mind to show how terrible their wrath is, by the extreme punishments they would execute on those that would provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar, that mighty and haughty monarch of the Chaldean empire, was willing to show his wrath when enraged with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; and accordingly gave orders that the burning fiery furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was before; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost degree of fierceness that human art could raise it. But the great God is also willing to show his wrath, and magnify his awful majesty and mighty power in the extreme sufferings of his enemies.

Romans 9:22. “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?”

And seeing this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show how terrible the unrestrained wrath, the fury and fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will be something accomplished and brought to pass that will be dreadful with a witness. When the great and angry God hath risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the whole universe to behold that awful majesty and mighty power that is to be seen in it.

Isaiah 33:12- 14 “And the people shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be burnt in the fire. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites, ” etc.

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might, and majesty, and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you, in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty.

Isaiah 66:23, 24. “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 149

December 28, 2017 Leave a comment

TO REV. W. J. MAYERS

NIGHTINGALE LANE, Sept. 25.

DEAR FRIEND, —

I am going away in November and I am anxious during my absence to keep the flame burning. Would you come and hold a week of services in the Tabernacle for the conversion of sinners? There are several brethren who would help you, and we could get others whom you may name, or try for them. I have no brother Win. Olney now, and must look to some of my brethren for aid.

Would the week beginning Nov. 8 suit you? I shall feel joyful confidence in leaving the work in your hands. Do come if you can.

Yours ever lovingly,

C. H. SPURGEON.

A Treatise on Church Order: The Church Universal- Chapter III- Section V- Progress and Duration

December 27, 2017 Leave a comment

CHAPTER III

THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

SECTION V.–PROGRESS AND DURATION

The Church Universal is in progress of construction, and will be completed at the end of the world, after which it will endure for ever.

The words of the Saviour, “On this rock will I build my church,” prove that the building was not then completed. In another place, speaking of the church under the figure of a fold: “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”[72] The calling of the gentiles, and the introduction of them into the privileges of the gospel, are here intended. By the ministry of the word accompanied with the influence of the Holy Spirit, great multitudes were converted in the days of the apostles. These converts are described by Peter as lively or living stones, built on Christ the living stone disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious.[73] Paul uses the same figure; and both of these inspired writers speak of the edifice as a growing temple.[74] The work is still in progress; and innumerable multitudes are yet to be gathered, who are to complete the glorious structure. On the last day, when all the redeemed shall have been brought in, Jesus will present them to the Father: “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”[75] This will be the church completed in number, sanctified and glorified, a glorious church, without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. The church will remain throughout eternity: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”[76]

Some difficulty exists in determining the date at which the church of Christ may be properly said to have commenced. The same difficulty exists respecting the beginning of the gospel, and of Christ’s mediatorial reign. Mark dates the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ from the ministry of John the Baptist;[77] but Paul says that the gospel was before preached unto Abraham.[78] The reign of Christ is dated from the time of his exaltation at the right hand of the Father; yet saints were saved by his mediation, and he was David’s Lord, under the former dispensation. So Christ said, “on this rock will I build my church,” as if the work was still future; and yet the edifice is said to be built on the foundation of the prophets, as well as of the apostles.[79] The Scriptures represent a gathering of all things under Christ, both in heaven and on earth,[80] at the time of his exaltation in human nature to supreme dominion. The Old Testament saints who had been saved by the efficacy of his blood before it was shed, and who had desired to understand what the Holy Ghost signified when it testified to their prophets concerning the sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow, were waiting in heaven for the unfolding of this mystery. Moses and Elias evinced their interest in this theme, when, during their brief interview with the Saviour on the mount of transfiguration, they discoursed of the decease which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.[81] The angels had desired to look into this mystery, but the fulness of time for its disclosure did not arrive until the man Christ Jesus entered the heavenly court, and was crowned with glory and honor. Then the angels gathered around and worshipped the Son. Then the saints drew near, and adored him as their Lord and Saviour. The proclamation was made throughout the courts of glory, and every inhabitant of heaven rendered willing homage to the Mediator. The Holy Spirit brought the proclamation down to Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, that it might go thence through all the earth. They who gladly received it, were received into his royal favor, made citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, and members of the great ecclesia.

In the words of Christ before cited, the church is represented as a building. The beginning of an edifice may be dated back to the first movement in preparing the materials. In this view the church was begun, when Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham first exercised faith. But in another view, the building was commenced when the materials were brought together in their proper relation to Jesus Christ. To the Old Testament saints, until gathered under Christ with the saints of the present dispensation, Paul attributes a sort of incompleteness, which may be not unaptly compared to the condition of building materials not yet put together: “These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”[82]

[72] John x. 16.

[73] 1 Peter ii. 4, 5.

[74] Eph. ii. 21.

[75] Heb. ii. 13.

[76] Eph. iii. 21.

[77] Mark i. 1, 2.

[78] Gal. iii. 8.

[79] Eph. ii. 20.

[80] Eph. i. 10.

[81] Luke ix. 31.

[82] Heb. xi. 39, 40.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology- Volume 2