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The Wednesday Word: The Day is at Hand. Part 2

September 11, 2019 Leave a comment

We, as God’s people, are deeply interested in the day when the Lord returns. It will be the day of our full redemption.

I´m looking forward to that.

It will be the day of complete deliverance from sin and all its awful consequences.

I´m looking forward to that.

When Jesus comes back, He will unveil our perfection in Him, and we will never sin again.

I´m looking forward to that.

That day will be the day of resurrection. Our Lord spoke of it when He said, “This is the Father´s will who has sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:39-40, 44, 54).

Martha knew of this day. She said of her brother, ” I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24).

All those who love the Lord’s appearing shall, at that day, receive a crown of righteousness. BTW, what a delightful description of the Lord´s people .. we are those who love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

May the Holy Spirit continually witness to our hearts of what a glorious day it will be for the people of God!

George Muller said it like this, “He is coming again, and in the meantime our business is to wait for Him, to glorify Him, and to be occupied in His service ´til He does come again, so that when at last that day shall arrive, we may be as delighted to receive Christ as He will be delighted to receive us to Himself, in order that where He is we may be also.”

On that day, the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. All who have died in the Lord will rise from their graves. Living believers will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and they will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Death shall be swallowed up in victory. The redeemed will be delivered forever from sin and sorrow, and where the Redeemer is, there they will be also, “forever with the Lord.”

There is, however, a dark side to that day. The same day which will bring full and eternal blessedness to believers will bring judgment and woe on the unsaved. The day when the Lord comes to be glorified in His saints will be the day on which He will take vengeance on them that know not God, and who obey not the Gospel.

We read of “the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,”(Romans 2:5).

“the day when GOD shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,”(Romans 2:16).

“the day of judgment,” (2 Peter 2:9).

“the day… of perdition (2 Peter 3:7).

“He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He has ordained” (Acts 17: 31).

Now here´s the good news, since through infinite mercy we are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” we need have no fear.

He is coming soon. May we continually look for and expect Him.

The powerful Scottish preacher, Horatius Bonar, lived his life expecting Christ´s return.

At night, as he retired to bed, his last action before he laid down was to draw aside the curtain and looking up into the starry heavens, say: “Perhaps tonight, Lord?” Then, in the morning, when he got up, his first thing he did was to open the ¨curtain, and looking out upon the gray dawn, remark: “Perhaps today Lord?”

Yes indeed, perhaps today!

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Day is at Hand Part 1

September 4, 2019 Leave a comment

“The day is at hand” Romans 13:12.

To the family of God who were living in Rome Paul announces,“The day is at hand.”

More than 2000 years have passed since the inspired apostle wrote these words, nevertheless ´the day´ has not arrived… but it will. That day has been appointed and fixed by Divine purpose. We are closer than ever to the Return of Christ!

As believers, we eagerly look forward to this coming day. Right now, we are living in the night (Romans 13:12). Indeed, the whole period from our Lord’s ascension into heaven until His return can be characterized as night. It is a period of moral and spiritual darkness. It is a period during which the god of this world is blinding and leading men captive at his will (see Ephesians 4:4, 2 Timothy 2:26).

It is true that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ has been and is shining. And yes, it is true that multitudes have been turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, but the great majority still live in spiritual darkness. It is high time to awake out of sleep (Romans 13:11).

The day is at hand!

Think of the millions upon millions who are still in Hindu and Islamic darkness. Think of the darkness of sin, superstition and idolatry. Think of the many in America and Europe who profess to follow the Lord´s Lamb yet who turn their backs on the clear teaching of His Word.

The world which God created is a beautiful masterpiece, but sin has marred it, and along with sin, suffering and sorrow flourish and prosper. It is a time of night, but be encouraged, “the Day is at hand.”

So, what did the apostle mean by “the Day?” It was evidently a day well known to the believers in Rome. That´s why Paul doesn´t explain the expression to them. However, we can gather its meaning from his use of the word in other Epistles. For example, “He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

“A crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Peter uses the expression” until the day dawn” (2 Peter 1:19), and in the Epistle to the Hebrews we read “exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the day approaching ” (Hebrews 10:25).

What then is this day?

It is the day when the Bridegroom will come for His bride,

It is the day when the Redeemer will come for His purchased ones.

It is the day when the Shepherd will come for His sheep.

It is the day when Christ will come to fetch His ransomed people Home.

That day is Christ´s day. He is coming back.

This is our hope. He is coming back.

Writing to the Corinthians the apostle says, “You come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8).

We look for that day because it will be the day of our full redemption.

It will be the day of complete deliverance from all the awful consequences of sin in respect to the redeemed people of God.

We are “waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our body.” This corruptible body will put on incorruption, and this mortal will put on immortality, when that day dawns

(1 Corinthians 15:52-54).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Mary

Doubtless, Mary, the Mother of Jesus was a wonderful woman. However, the Church of Rome calls her ‘the Mother of God.’

What a ¨terminological inexactitude! ¨

Logic, however, would dictate that, if she is indeed the ‘Mother of God’, she must have preceded Him, for the mother is first then the child. But the genealogy of Mary, according to Luke’s Gospel, stops her lineage at Adam (Luke 3:38).

As for the history of God, the Scriptures declare, Him to be ‘From everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90: 2). How then can Mary exist before the everlasting One?

God is the Creator of all things. He created Adam. Mary was the creation of God through Adam but not the ancestor of God. Yes it´s true, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus, but she was not and never will be the parent of the Eternal Creator.

Having incorrectly called her the Mother of God, the Papacy, in addition, calls her the ‘Mother of the Church.’ Did the Church proceed from her? Did she give birth to the church? I think not!

But, according to the Papacy, not only Jesus, but Mary, Joseph, and other saints as well as angels, make intercession with God on behalf of men. So emphatic is this teaching that in the Compendium of the Catholic Faith authorized by Pius X, Mary is stated to be the most powerful advocate with God next to Jesus for it is impossible for her to go unheard by Him, seeing He is her Son.

Nevertheless, the Scriptures state, ‘… there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (l Timothy 2: 5).

Jesus declared, ‘No man comes to the Father but by Me’ (John 14: 6).

He also said, ‘Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). There is nary a word to indicate that Mary must placate and soothe Jesus on behalf of sinful man.

Which is to be believed, the Scriptures or the Bishop of Rome? Apart from the birth of Jesus, there is nothing told in the Bible concerning Mary other than that which is ordinary and human.

Now, consider this, the wise men offered their gifts to the young child Jesus–not to the mother (Matthew 2: 11).

The aged Simeon said things that caused Mary to wonder, … which she certainly would not have done if she had been the Mother of God (Luke 2:25-32).

Mary, in her song, before the birth of Jesus attributed her salvation to God her Saviour (Luke 1:47). Only sinners need a Saviour.

Notice how Mary made no attempt to perform a miracle at Cana, she left it to Jesus to do what He thought best (John 2:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the coming work and comfort of the Holy Spirit; but not a word of our Master is recorded in Scripture referring to His mother also being a comforter and teacher of men.

Nowhere does the Lord Jesus indicate that Mary should be worshipped. The opportunity was afforded Him to do just that when the woman in the crowd cried out how blessed His mother was. He deliberately refrained from endorsing any such notion, but says only, ‘Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it’ (Luke 11: 27-28).

Let´s say it again, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus through the power of the Highest. Afterwards, by natural generation she was the mother of four sons and at least two daughters, thereby doing away with any reason for ever calling her the perpetual Virgin (Mark 6:2-3).

Let´s say it again, Jesus is God. In fact, He is the God-Man. He has two natures in one person. Mary was in no way mother to His deity but rather to His humanity.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Eight Wonderful Facts about Jesus

´´ God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Hebrews 1:2-3.

In these verses we are told eight wonderful facts about the Lord Jesus

1. God´s final word to us is in Jesus.

Jesus is the full and final revelation from Heaven. There are no new Gurus or Messiahs to come. There are no new divine revelators. God has already spoken in the full and final manner in Christ.

2. Christ Jesus has been appointed heir of all things.

Everything belongs to him; everything in the world, every part of our lives is subject to him. Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3) and knowing that all things that the Father had were His (John 16:15) declared that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

3. By Christ Jesus, God made the world.

In the beginning God created the world by the word of his power. Jesus Christ is the WORD. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3). Spurgeon said, ´¨I love to think that He who created all things is also our Saviour, for then He can create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. If I need a completely new creation—as I certainly do—He is equal to the task. ¨

4. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory.

No Prophet could claim this. The Glory that is in God is the Glory that is in Christ. No wonder that His name is above every name (Philippians 2:9). One day every knee shall bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).

5. Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) person.

There is but one God. When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told him that whoever had seen him had seen the Father (John 14:9). He also said, ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ (John 14:11). As Spurgeon remarked, ’ ’Whatever God is, Christ is. The very likeness of God, the very Godhead of Godhead, the very Deity of Deity, is in Christ Jesus. ¨

6. Jesus is upholding all things by the word of his power.

Not only was the world created by him, but the forces of nature are upheld by him. The wind, the ocean, the rain are all are under his control. The small details of our lives are under His control too. He is carrying us along, bearing us toward that great and final day.

7. Jesus has purged our sins.

Notice how the writer moves effortlessly from Christ´s power to His purging. “The Creator and the Sustainer became the Sin-bearer. In order to create the universe, He only had to speak. In order to maintain and guide the universe, He only has to speak… but in order to put away our sin once for all, He had to die on the cross. It is staggering to think that the sovereign Lord would stoop to become the sacrificial Lamb. (Believer’s Bible Commentary)

8. Jesus is now sitting in cosmic authority.

Christ Jesus is now exalted—He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is now seated in highest honour. The seated posture is one of rest. Redemption has been accomplished. We are saved by His precious blood.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

Duty of Believing in Jesus Christ: Offices of Christ: Conclusion- Book Fifth

Book Fifth

CONCLUSION

“What think ye of Christ?” We may now, with great propriety, consider this question solemnly addressed to us. We have contemplated the person, states, and offices of Christ. What impression does the contemplation leave in our minds? What emotions has it produced? Have the words of the prophets been fulfilled in our case: “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him”? Or, can we say, “He is the chief among ten thousands, and altogether lovely”? According as Christ appears in our view, the evidence of our spiritual state is favorable or unfavorable; and by this test, we may try our hope of acceptance through him, and of reigning with him for ever.

In the ordinary experience of mankind, the affections are attracted most strongly by objects near at hand. To the imagination, distance may lend enchantment; but the affections of the heart play around the fireside, and fix their firmest hold on those with whom we converse most familiarly. In accordance with this tendency of our nature, the son of God attracted the hearts of men, by dwelling among them, and exhibiting himself in familiar intercourse with them, and in the endearing relations well known in human society. We see him, as the affectionate brother and friend, weeping in the sorrows of others, and alleviating their sufferings by words and acts of kindness. The tenderness with which, when hanging on the cross, he committed his mother to the care of his beloved disciple, is an example of filial love, which cannot be contemplated with an unmoved heart. In the simple narratives of his life, which have been given for our instruction, we trace his course in his daily walk as a man among men, going about doing good, and the traits of character exhibited in this familiar intercourse, call forth our love. The heavens have now received him out of our sight, but we know that, in fulfillment of his promise, he is always with us; and we are taught to regard him, not only as near at hand, but also as sympathizing with our infirmities, having been tempted in all points as we are. In the humanity of Jesus, we see the loveliness of the divine perfections familiarly and intelligibly exhibited.

It sometimes happens, in the experience of mankind, that persons of extraordinary merit remain for a time in obscurity, and that those who have been most intimate with them have been taken by surprise, when the unsuspected greatness of their character has been disclose. Writers of fiction know how to interest the feelings, by presenting great personages under disguise, and unveiling them at a fit moment, to produce impression. But incidents, infinitely transcending all fiction, are found in the true history of Jesus Christ, in which the concealed majesty of his divinity broke forth, and caused surpassing astonishment. The humble sleeper in the boat on the Lake of Tiberias, comes forth from his slumbers, and stills the raging water; and the beholders of the miracle exclaim: “What manner of man is this?” The weary traveller arrives at Bethany, and claims to be the resurrection and the life, and demonstrates the truth of his claim, by calling the dead Lazarus from the tomb. As a condemned malefactor, he hangs on the cross, and expires with such exhibitions of divinity, that the astonished Roman centurion cried: “Truly this man was the Son of God.” We have contemplated the divinity of Jesus Christ, not merely in these transient outbursts which occurred while he was on earth, but in the full demonstration which has been given since he ascended to heaven, and the impression on our hearts ought to be strong and abiding. The disciples who attended on his personal ministry loved and honored him; but when they saw him ascend to heaven, being more deeply impressed with his divinity, they worshipped him. Let us devoutly join in rendering him divine honor.

We read with interest the history of men who have passed through great changes in their condition, and who, in every condition, have displayed great and noble qualities. But no changes of condition possible to men, can equal those which the Son of God has undergone. Once rich in his original glory, he became so poor that he had not where to lay his head: and from his depth of poverty, he has been exalted to supreme dominion, and made proprietor and ruler of all worlds. Through these changes he has ever exhibited such moral perfections as have been most pleasing to God. In whatever condition we view him, let us delight in him, as did his Father.

The offices which Christ sustains toward us, are such as have been in highest repute among men. Prophets, priests, and kings have always been accounted worthy of honor. We should give the highest honor to Christ, who, as a prophet, is superior to Moses; as a priest, superior to Aaron; and as a king, the Lord of David. These offices, as exercised by Christ, deserve our honor, not only because of their excellence, but also because of their adaptedness to us. We are, by nature, ignorant, guilty, and depraved. As ignorant, we need Christ, the prophet, to teach us; as guilty, we need Christ, the priest, to make atonement for us; and as depraved, we need Christ, the king, to rule over us, and bring all our rebellious passions into subjection. These offices of Christ are also adapted to the graces which distinguish and adorn the Christian character. The chief of these, as enumerated by Paul, are faith, hope, and love; in the exercise of faith, we receive the truth, revealed by Christ, the prophet; in the exercise of hope, we follow Christ, the priest, who has entered into the holiest of all, to appear before God for us; and we submit to Christ, the king, in the exercise of love, which is the fulfilling of the law, the principle and sum of all holy obedience.

In the theology of the ancient Christians, Christ held a central and vital place. If we take away from the epistles of Paul all that is said about Christ, what mutilation shall we make? If, when we have opened anywhere to read, as at 1 Cor. ch. i., we expunge Christ, what have we left? Paul, while in ignorance and unbelief, thought that he did God service, by persecuting Jesus of Nazareth. But when his eyes were opened, to see that the despised Nazarene, whom his nation had crucified, was the Lord of Glory, when he learned that in him are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, unsearchable riches, and the fulness of grace, the heart of the persecutor was changed, and he became devoted to the service of him whom he had sought to destroy. Henceforth, he counted all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Has our knowledge of Christ produced a like effect on us? If our hearts are in unison with that of the great Apostle, we are prepared to say, from the inmost soul, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel,” a gospel of which Christ is not the centre and the sum, “let him be accursed.”[1] “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be an anathema maranatha.”[2]

In our investigation of religious truth, we have found four sources of knowledge: our own moral feelings, the moral feelings and judgments of others, the course of nature, and the book of divine revelation. The first three of these can give us no knowledge of Jesus Christ and his great salvation. For this knowledge we are wholly indebted to the Bible. Yet, when we have learned our lost and helpless state by nature, the scheme of salvation which the Bible reveals is so perfectly adapted to our condition, that it brings with it its own evidence of having originated in the wisdom of God.

When Paul preached the gospel of salvation, he know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. He gloried in nothing, save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have tarried long in our meditations on the doctrine concerning Jesus Christ; and, before we dismiss the subject, it may be profitable to linger yet a little time at the cross, that we may again survey its glory, and feel its soul-subduing power.

In the cross of Christ, all the divine perfections are gloriously and harmoniously displayed. Infinite love, inviolable truth, and inflexible justice are all seen, in their brightest and most beautifully mingled colors. The heavens declare the glory of God; but the glory of the cross outshines the wonders of the skies. God’s moral perfections are here displayed, which are the highest glory of his character.

The cross of Christ is our only hope of life everlasting. On him who hangs there, our iniquities were laid, and from his wounds flows the blood that cleanses from all sin. Our faith views the bleeding victim, and peacefully relies on the great atoning sacrifice. It views mercy streaming from the cross; and to the cross it comes to obtain every needed blessing.

In the cross, the believer finds the strongest motive to holiness. As we stand before it, and view the exhibition of the Saviour’s love, we resolve to live to him who died for us. The world ceases to charm. We become crucified to the world, and the world crucified to us. Sin appears infinitely hateful. We regard it as the accursed thing which caused the death of our beloved Lord; and we grow strong in the purpose to wage against it an exterminating war. By all the Saviour’s agonies, we vow to have no peace with it for ever. The cross is the place for penitential tears. We look on him whom we have pierced, and mourn. Our hearts bleed at the sight of the bleeding sufferer, murdered by our sins; and we resolve that the murderers shall die. The cross is a holy place, where we learn to be like Christ, to hate sin as he hated it, and to delight in the law of God which was in his heart. In the presence of the cross, we feel that omnipotent grace has hold of our heart; and we surrender to dying love.

The wisdom of man did not devise the wonderful plan of salvation. As well might we suppose that it directed the great Creator, when he spread abroad the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. But as in the heavens and earth human reason may see the power and wisdom of God, so, to the Christian heart, Christ crucified is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. The doctrine of the cross needs no other demonstration of its divine origin, than its power to sanctify the heart, and bring it into willing and joyful subjection to Christ.

[1] Gal. i. 8.

[2] 1 Cor. xvi. 22.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

A form of sound words must be one that exalts God and puts down man

January 26, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeonThis morning I shall first attempt to tell you what I conceive to be a “form of sound words,” which we are to hold fast. In the second place, I shall endeavor to urge upon you the strong necessity of holding fast that form. In the third place, I shall warn you of some dangers to which you will be exposed, tempting you to give up the form of sound words. Then, in the last place I shall mention the two great holdfasts, faith and love in Christ Jesus, which are the great means of “holding fast the form of sound words.”

What is a “FORM OF SOUND WORDS?” Ten thousand persons will quarrel upon this. One will say, “MY creed is a form of sound words;” another will declare that his creed also is sound if not infallible. We will not, therefore, enter into all the minute, which distinguish creeds from each other, but just simply say, that no system can be a form of sound words unless it is perfectly scriptural. We receive no doctrines as the doctrines of men; whatever authority come to us which is not the authority of the Holy Spirit, and inspired by God, is no authority at all to us.

We laugh to scorn all the dogmatism of men, we care for nothing they assert however strongly they declare it, or however eloquently they plead for it; we utterly reject and discard it; we hold it a sin to “take for doctrines the commandments of men;” we give no heed to the traditions that are handed down to us. If our opponent cannot quote text or verse for anything he advances, we hold no argument with him. Scripture is the only weapon we can acknowledge.

But since it is said that texts may be found to prove almost everything, we must remark, that a form of sound words must be one that exalts God and puts down man. We dare not for a moment think that any doctrine is sound that does not put the crown upon the head of Jesus, and does not exalt the Almighty. If we see a doctrine which exalts the creature, we do not care one fig about what arguments may be brought to support it, we know that it is a lie, unless it lays the creature in the very dust of abasement, and exalts the Creator. If it does not do this, it is nothing but a rotten doctrine of pride; it may dazzle us with the brilliant malaria rising from its marshes, but it never can shed a true and healthful light into the soul, it is a rotten doctrine, not fit to be builded on the gospel, unless it exalts Jehovah Jesus, Jehovah the Father, and Jehovah the Holy Spirit.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Merry Christmas 2014

December 25, 2014 2 comments

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Merry Christmas: from Reformed on the Web.