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Free Ebook- The Sovereignty of God

January 29, 2016 2 comments

Sov of God PinkAvailable in Epub, Mobi. And Pdf.

Pink’s classic work on divine sovereignty.

“Present day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible; it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God.”—from the Introduction

“Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” —Revelation. 19:6

 

 
Pages: 188.

Item code: sogo.

Format: paperback.

 

 
Source [Chapel Library]

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1-Chapter 21-The Sovereignty of God

April 24, 2015 2 comments

CHAPTER 21-THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places” (#Ps 135:6). “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (#Ps 115:3).

We have been writing without conscious fear or favor of men. We endeavor to write each chapter as if the Lord were present personally, looking over our shoulders and passing judgment upon what He sees. We believe the honest reader will agree that what we have been, and are writing is honoring to God our Creator and Lawgiver. We are trying to magnify Him in the eyes of the reader and show what a great God we have to fear and love and worship and serve.

The writer is an old-fashioned Baptist without any frills or modern notions. He has lived in spirit with, and has learned much from such men as Paul, Augustine, Bunyan, Gill, Fuller, Carey, Judson, Spurgeon, Graves, Jeter, Boyce, Strong, Carroll, and Mullins. He is in fellowship with those who wrote our various Confessions of Faith, such as the London, the Philadelphia, and New Hampshire.

We began our Christian career, as most men do, in Arminian togs, but with an inward experience that made us susceptible to Calvinistic teachings. It should be well known that there are two and only two schemes or systems of divine grace, unalterably opposed to each other, and mutually exclusive. The two systems represent the only two possible positions or views on the subject of grace. Whether or not one is willing to wear either name, does not alter the fact that he is either Calvinistic or Arminian in his views. Calvinism stands for the truth that salvation is of the Lord; Arminianism makes salvation the result of human merit, The one system postulates irresistible grace; the other postulates inherent human goodness.

A good way to locate or label oneself is to turn to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, where the two systems are fairly set forth. Here are the five points of Calvinism: unconditional election or predestination, limited atonement or particular redemption, total depravity necessitating prevenient grace, effectual calling or irresistible grace, and preservation or perseverance of the saints. And the writer does not hesitate to subscribe to all five points. Nor does holding the five points cause him to deny human responsibility or to be lax in missionary endeavor.

If we may judge by Confessions of Faith or public utterances of their leaders, the champions of Arminianism are the Catholics, the Methodists, the disciples of Mr. Campbell, the Free Will Baptists, and many other smaller groups. Judging by the same standards, the champions of Calvinism are the Missionary Baptists, the Anti-Mission Baptists, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterian and Reformed churches, and a few smaller bodies. It is doubtless true that many preachers in the Calvinistic bodies have departed from their historic faith, and no longer teach what they took an oath to teach. In many cases it is a Calvinistic creed and an Arminian clergy.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD A BIG DOCTRINE

Sometime ago we read where somebody called for “big doctrines.” Well, the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty is a big doctrine. It is almost too big for us to attempt to define. But the two texts (as do many others) at the head of this chapter declare and affirm it. Mr. Spurgeon delighted to proclaim this big doctrine, and he could do it about as well as anybody we know. The reader will do well to read and ponder the following paragraph from the pen of this prince among preachers:

“There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained afflictions, that Sovereignty over rules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. On the other hand there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense alms and bestow blessings. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever moving ocean; but when God ascends His throne, His creatures gnash their teeth, and when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on the throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne we love to preach. It is the God upon the throne Whom we trust.”

Oh for a Spurgeon today to reach the masses with this God honoring and man humbling truth! God is nothing more than a big man with a lot of people, and with many He is not even a very big man. Of old God complained to an apostate Israel, “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes” (#Ps 50:21). This is the trouble today: people’s conception of God is too human. And we believe this accounts for much of the alarming irreverence in the average congregation. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them” (#Ps 89:7-9).

THE MEANING OF SOVEREIGNTY

The Sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy. God is the one supreme and independent Being. He is the only one in all the universe who has the right and the power to do absolutely as He pleases. He sits on no precarious throne, nor borrows leave to be. He is the only one who has the right to act for His own glory. The sovereignty of God means that He does as He pleases, always as He pleases, and only as He pleases. God is in control of all things and people, and is directing all things after His own will and to the praise of His own glory. He even makes the wrath of man to praise Him, and the wrath of man that does not praise Him, He does not allow. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain “(#Ps 76:10).

There is no alternative between an absolute sovereign God and no God at all. A man once wrote that he believed God was a sovereign, but not an absolute sovereign. A woman once talked of two supreme beings. But we believe in a sovereign God whose will is not subject to veto by His creatures. In his poem, “There Always Will Be God,” Albert Leonard Murray describes Him as a Sovereign:

“They cannot shell His temple,
Nor dynamite His throne;
They cannot bomb His city,
Nor rob Him of His own.

“They cannot take Him captive,
Nor strike Him deaf and blind,
Nor starve Him to surrender,
Nor make Him change His mind.

“They cannot cause Him panic,
Nor cut off His supplies;
They cannot take His kingdom,
Nor hurt Him with their lies.

“Though all the world be shattered,
His truth remains the same,
His righteous laws still potent,
And ‘Father’ still His name.

“Though we face war and struggle
And feel their goad and rod,
We know above confusion
There always will be God.”

SOVEREIGNTY IN CREATION

God acted as a Sovereign in His work of creation. He did not create from necessity, but from His own imperial pleasure. And in creating, He was free to create whatever He pleased. He did not create for the sake of creatures, for creatures in view must exist for their Creator, and not the Creator for the creature. “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (#Pr 16:4). “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (#Ro 11:36). “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (#Re 4:11).

SOVEREIGNTY IN ADMINISTRATION

God is the Sovereign Ruler in His universe. He is in control of all things and of all men, of demons and the Devil. He rules everywhere as seemeth good to Himself. He seeks counsel from none. He controls and directs in the realm of nature. The Scriptures rarely ever use the expression “it rains”; they speak of God sending rain. “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (#Mt 5:45); “Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (#Ac 14:17); “When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder” (#Job 28:26).

The Bible does not ascribe the recurring seasons to the laws of nature; it says that God changeth the times and the seasons: “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (#Da 2:21). Job did not talk about his disease as the cause of death, but looked up to God and said, “For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living” (#Job 30:23). In the face of the many foes, who sought his life, David cried to God and said, “My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me” (#Ps 31:15).

And there have been demonstrations of God’s control over, and direction of, irrational creatures. He locked the jaws of the lions so that Daniel was not hurt. “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt” (#Da 6:22). He directed the cock to crow just when He said it would. “Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew” (#Joh 18:27). He caused the cows, contrary to natural instinct, to leave their calves and make a “beeline” for the borders of Israel with the ark of God. “And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place. And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you. Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go. And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us. And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods. And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh” (#1Sa 6:1-12).

God also controls men, all men, whether good or bad, individually or collectively. He exerts upon the wicked a restraining power. He does not allow them to do all their nature would lead them to do. God said to Abimelech, “And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her” (#Ge 20:6). How often it is said that God will not infringe upon man’s free will. But if God had not controlled the will of Abimelech, that heathen king would have harmed Sarah. Yes, even “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (#Pr 21:1). God was controlling and directing the will of Cyrus, king of Persia, when he ordered the building of the temple at Jerusalem: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” (#Ezr 1:1,2). God was controlling and directing Titus and his army in the destruction of Jerusalem; yea, they are called “His armies”: “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (#Mt 22:1-7).

SOVEREIGNTY IN SALVATION

By this we mean that God was under no obligation to save His rebellious creatures. His purpose to save was entirely free to the praise of His grace. He could send every sinner to hell and remain absolutely just. Salvation cannot be of grace and of debt too. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (#Ro 4:4). Sovereignty in salvation also means that God saves whom He pleases. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (#Ro 9:18). “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (#Joh 17:2).

“Tis not that I did choose Thee
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
But Thou hast chosen me.

“T’was sovereign mercy called me,
And taught my opening mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heavenly glories blind.”

SOVEREIGNTY IN PHYSICAL HEALING

We believe most heartily and sincerely in Divine healing, but we have neither patience nor respect for men who pose as Divine healers. All healing is Divine, whether with or without the use of medicine. God’s usual method is to bless the means that are used, but sometimes He heals without medicine. Moreover, He heals some and keeps others on the sick bed, or brings them to death. “For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living” (#Job 30:23). “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (#Ex 15:26). He is sovereign both as to whom and how He heals.

In the days of public miracles, Paul had the gift of healing, but he could not always exercise that gift. “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them” (#Ac 19:11,12), we read of special miracles God wrought by the hands of Paul, but “Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick” (#2Ti 4:20). Isaiah prescribed a fig poultice for Hezekiah’s boil and God blessed it to his cure. “For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover” (#Isa 38:21). Paul prescribed a little wine for Timothy’s poor stomach. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (#1Ti 5:23).

God heals whom and when and how He pleases. Let the sick saint pray, “Lord, if Thou wilt thou canst heal me.” “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (#Jas 5:14,15). It may be His will for you to be sick for your good and for His glory. It may be His will for the thorn in the flesh to remain to the praise of the sufficiency of grace.

The very order and safety of creation itself rests upon the sovereignty of God. If God is not in control, working all things after the counsel of His own will, then an absolute blackout is ahead for all of us!

C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1

Angels are the ministers and dispensers of the divine bounty towards us

April 22, 2015 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Angels the dispensers of the divine beneficence to us.

6. But the point on which the Scriptures specially insist is that which tends most to our comfort, and to the confirmation of our faith, namely, that angels are the ministers and dispensers of the divine bounty towards us. Accordingly, we are told how they watch for our safety, how they undertake our defense, direct our path, and take heed that no evil befall us. There are whole passages which relate, in the first instance, to Christ, the Head of the Church, and after him to all believers. “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Again, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” By these passages the Lord shows that the protection of those whom he has undertaken to defend he has delegated to his angels. Accordingly, an angel of the Lord consoles Hagar in her flight, and bids her be reconciled to her mistress. Abraham promises to his servant that an angel will be the guide of his journey. Jacob, in blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, prays “The angel which redeemed me from all evil bless the lads.” So an angel was appointed to guard the camp of the Israelites; and as often as God was pleased to deliver Israel from the hands of his enemies, he stirred up avengers by the ministry of angels. Thus, in fine, (not to mention more,) angels ministered to Christ, and were present with him in all straits. To the women they announced his resurrection; to the disciples they foretold his glorious advent. In discharging the office of our protectors, they war against the devil and all our enemies, and execute vengeance upon those who afflict us. Thus we read that an angel of the Lord, to deliver Jerusalem from siege, slew one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the camp of the king of Assyria in a single night.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 14-Henry Beveridge Translation

Angels are mere creations of God and should not be worshiped

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The doctrine concerning angels expounded.
1. That we may learn from them also to acknowledge God.
2. That we may be put on our guard against the errors of the worshippers of angels and the Manichees. Manicheeism refuted. Rule of piety.

3. But before I begin to treat more fully of the nature of man, (chap. 15 and B. 2 c. 1,) it will be proper to say something of angels. For although Moses, in accommodation to the ignorance of the generality of men, does not in the history of the creation make mention of any other works of God than those which meet our eye, yet, seeing he afterwards introduces angels as the ministers of God, we easily infer that he for whom they do service is their Creator. Hence, though Moses, speaking in popular language, did not at the very commencement enumerate the angels among the creatures of God, nothing prevents us from treating distinctly and explicitly of what is delivered by Scripture concerning them in other places. For if we desire to know God by his works, we surely cannot overlook this noble and illustrious specimen. We may add that this branch of doctrine is very necessary for the refutation of numerous errors. The minds of many are so struck with the excellence of angelic natures, that they would think them insulted in being subjected to the authority of God, and so made subordinate. Hence a fancied divinity has been assigned them. Manes, too, has arisen with his sect, fabricating to himself two principles — God and the devil, attributing the origin of good things to God, but assigning all bad natures to the devil as their author. Were this delirium to take possession of our minds, God would be denied his glory in the creation of the world. For, seeing there is nothing more peculiar to God than eternity and “autousia”, i. e. self-existence, or existence of himself, if I may so speak, do not those who attribute it to the devil in some degree invest him with the honor of divinity? And where is the omnipotence of God, if the devil has the power of executing whatever he pleases against the will, and notwithstanding of the opposition of God? But the only good ground which the Manichees have, viz., that it were impious to ascribe the creation of any thing bad to a good God, militates in no degree against the orthodox faith, since it is not admitted that there is any thing naturally bad throughout the universe; the depravity and wickedness whether of man or of the devil, and the sins thence resulting, being not from nature, but from the corruption of nature; nor, at first, did anything whatever exist that did not exhibit some manifestation of the divine wisdom and justice. To obviate such perverse imaginations, we must raise our minds higher than our eyes can penetrate. It was probably with this view that the Nicene Creed, in calling God the creator of all things, makes express mention of things invisible. My care, however, must be to keep within the bounds which piety prescribes, lest by indulging in speculations beyond my reach, I bewilder the reader, and lead him away from the simplicity of the faith. And since the Holy Spirit always instructs us in what is useful, but altogether omits, or only touches cursorily on matters which tend little to edification, of all such matters, it certainly is our duty to remain in willing ignorance.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 14-Henry Beveridge Translation

Holding on to sound doctrine will bring peace in your conscience

Spurgeon 1II. Now let me SHOW YOU THE NECESSITY OF HOLDING FAST THIS FORM OF SOUND WORDS, AND KEEPING IT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, FOR THE CHURCH’S SAKE, FOR THE WORLD’S SAKE.

First, for your own sake, hold it fast, for thereby you will receive ten thousand blessings; you will receive the blessing of peace in your conscience. I protest, before God, that if at any time I ever doubt one of the great things I receive from God, instantly there comes an aching void which the world can never fill, and which I can never get filled until I receive that doctrine again, and believe it with all my heart. When at any time I am cast down and dejected, I always find comfort in reading books which are strong on the doctrines of the faith of the gospel; if I turn to some of them that treat of God’s eternal love, revealed to his chosen people in the person of Christ; and if I remember some of the exceeding great and precious promises made to the elect in their covenant head, my faith at once becomes strong, and my soul with wings sublime, mounts upwards towards its God. You cannot tell, beloved if you have never tasted, how sweet is the peace which the doctrines of grace will give to the soul; there is nothing like them. They are —

“A sovereign balm for every wound,
A cordial for our fears.”

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

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

The Five Most Disturbing Things About a Benny Hinn Miracle Service

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

My comment:

I don’t know if these are the five most disturbing things about a Benny Hinn miracle service, but nevertheless they do rank high on the things that are disturbing about Benny Hinn’s miracle services. Notice number 2 of this article. I have also made this same point when writing against Pentecostalism. You can read my previous article right here.

 

 

 

There are a lot of things you should try at least once in your life — skydiving, eating some exotic delicacy, traveling alone. Let me give you one thing not to add to that list: attending a Benny Hinn Holy Spirit Miracle Service.

I recently went to one in New York. Before going, I knew little about Hinn — a man who’s worth some $42 million — other than that he’s a big-deal televangelist among countless charismatic Christians. As someone who’s fairly unfamiliar with that sphere of Christianity, I was mostly just wary of being in a crowd of people speaking in tongues and being slain in the Spirit.

But that turned out to be the least uncomfortable thing about the service. What did happen was so much more upsetting, difficult, and unnerving. If you ever go, here are five unsettling things you’ll experience:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Letter Two By Mrs. Marjorie Bond

October 31, 2014 1 comment

1505 Scotland Street
Calgary, Alberta
November 6, 1959

Dear Dr. Cole:

Do you think you can stand another letter from me? I shall try not to be so verbose this time!

Your wonderful and most helpful letter came two weeks ago tomorrow, so you can see it was in plenty of time for our meeting last night. I was going to acknowledge it immediately; then it occurred to me that if I waited till after the meeting, I could “kill two birds with one stone,” so to speak—thank you for the letter and report on the meeting as well.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate the time and trouble you have taken to help a complete stranger—and yet, perhaps, we are not such strangers after all, as we are related through the bonds of the gospel. But you went to a great deal of work, I am afraid, to answer my letter at such length and in such detail and I appreciate it more than I can say. But above all, I feel I owe you a debt of boundless gratitude for your article on Election which sparked off my interest in it and subsequent study of it. I feel as if a completely new world has opened up to me; I get almost excited over it all, Dr. Cole. I do hope it is not wrong to attach so much importance to it, but somehow, I feel as if it is the most significant and personal doctrine in the whole Bible. Nothing should eclipse the Atonement I know; but I feel that even my conversion, somehow, never made the impression on me that Election has. When you have been brought up in a Christian family, heard the Scriptures from childhood and been active in the Church, there isn’t the marked cleavage, somehow, when one becomes a Christian that there is if you have been turned from a life of vice. Is it because we don’t feel, in the innermost recesses of our being, that we need Christ as badly as the other type does?

I don’t know; but I have often felt that I didn’t have the joy in my Christian life that I should. It seemed stale and flat, so often; one did things for the Lord from a sense of duty. Sometimes I have even wondered if I were saved at all. Now all that is changed. The very fact that my salvation is all of grace—in the application of it as well as the provision of it—has transformed everything for me. And I have you to thank for it. Oh, how wonderful it must be to a minister to be so used of God.

When I first read your pamphlet, in addition to all my other objections to Election, I didn’t like the idea that (in a sense) I had nothing to do with becoming a Christian. I had always supposed that, with the Spirit’s help, I had had sense enough and intelligence enough to recognize something worthwhile and take it! It didn’t appeal to me at all to think that if I had been elected, I really had nothing to do with my salvation at all—even in the accepting of it. But now that is almost the best part of it! It is humbling and breath-taking and frightening and thrilling all at once. I just can’t get over it, Dr. Cole. To think that all these years (I am 41), I have missed this tremendous teaching and the thrill and joy of it.

It has made my salvation and conversion much more real and personal. I have always envied people who spoke with such joy of their conversion and felt that something had happened, I never could. I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t believe, if you know what I mean. And it has worried me; I’ve had a sneaking fear that maybe all I had was a head or credal belief because I was brought up in a Christian home and accepted that as I did other patterns of behaviour and thought. I have prayed off and on for months that if I were saved the Lord would make me realize it beyond all shadow of doubt and give me “the joy of His salvation”. Not just a barren orthodoxy.

Never did I dream of getting the “witness of the spirit” through the doctrine of Election. I wouldn’t want the Lord to think I’m not grateful for salvation. I am; but right now, I feel as if I’m more grateful for Election. Is that wrong?

Over and over I keep saying to myself, like someone rescued from a sinking vessel, when others are lost, “Why me? Why me?”. When I wake up in the morning, I used to feel tired and exhausted and wish I didn’t have to go to work (I am a war widow); now, almost as soon as I am conscious, I have the feeling that something new and exciting has happened—and then it flashes across my mind in a wave of remembrance—”you are elected” and I get so excited I am wide awake instantly and ready to be up and doing.

I cannot explain it—but somehow as long as you feel that you had the least little bit to do with your own conversion, it takes away some of the thrill and bloom of it. But when the full impact of the thought and realization hits you—that not only the provision of salvation is due to God’s grace but also His choice of you as recipient, one can only stand back and marvel—lost in wonder, love and praise.

Now, I must tell you about last night. There were nearly 30 women out. Nothing that we have studied in the 7 or 8 years that I have taught that class has so stirred them as this Doctrine! They came with Bibles and pens—and objections! I went all over it again very carefully, reminding them first that:

1. The depravity of man required it (election) elaborating on your point that we are just deceiving ourselves if we think any of us would ever want or seek God in our unregenerate state apart from the Holy Spirit and election. (#Ge 6:5 Ps 14:3 Isa 64:3 Ro 3:10 Eph 2:1 —I had them look up and read aloud these references).

2. The sovereignty of God justifies it—He has the same rights over us as the potter with the clay, etc., emphasising such qualities of God as His absolute Righteousness, Holiness, Omniscience, Self-Existence, etc. which entitles Him to act in a sovereign way.

3. The righteousness and Holiness of God safe-guards it; it cannot be unjust for it is absolutely impossible for God to do anything wrong, be unfair, unjust, unfaithful… “He cannot deny Himself”. Regardless of how it may appear to us we have this knowledge and comfort that the Judge of all the earth will do righteously.

Well, after I had made my points, the members asked questions. I felt really sorry for one woman in my class. She has come to our church from the United Church. I think she is saved—but periodically one detects in her thinking and from her remarks, a throwback to the United Church doctrine of salvation through works! Evidently she has been really wrought up over this subject—which I consider a good sign. I told her she couldn’t have been any more disturbed than I was at first. She cannot see that it is not unjust of God. I thought your illustration of being on the fence and God pushing them to one side or the other excellent, so I elaborated on that. I think, with most of them, they finally began to see a glimmer of light that if God hadn’t elected some, none would be saved.

We all seem to have the same reaction—that if the decision had been left to us, we had a better chance of getting saved than by having God settle it all in Eternity; because we don’t or won’t accept that teaching that of ourselves we are incapable of reaching out for God. I told them that in our natural state, we are dead in trespasses and sins and a corpse just cannot flicker even an eyelash! So they were just deceiving themselves if they thought for one minute that they would ever accept Christ, apart from God taking certain measures to make them.

Well, our discussion went on for about 1 1/2 hours! This woman also thought as did others that Scriptures elsewhere we contradicted by Election—such as #Joh 3:16 1Jo 2:2. I was glad to have your explanation of “all” and “world” rarely being used in the absolute sense.

Also, #Joh 6:37 —”Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out” —I told them to look up the first part of that verse and they would get a shock! I had! “All that the Father hath given unto me shall come unto me—etc.” Of course Christ wouldn’t cast out any who came because any who came would be those whom the Father had given! They were simply stunned! But seemed to react more as if it made sense and were opening up new worlds of thought.

Afterwards, while we were waiting for tea, this one particular woman came to me. I did feel so sorry for her; she was flushed and almost tearful and I said, “Edythe, is it any clearer?” She hesitated and said, “Yes, in some respects. But there are other things that I just feel I can’t reconcile with my ideas of God and the Bible”. I said, “Don’t try, Edythe, Dr. Cole told me not to attempt to reconcile all points of this teaching with other passages of Scripture because I would only confuse myself, and I believe he is right”. By the way, that was a wonderful help to me, personally, what you told me about just getting a confused mind. I just let go all the arguments, after reading your letter, and told the Lord that I guessed I had struggled long enough trying to crowd the ocean of His theology into the teacup of my mind and I wasn’t going to fuss anymore about the points I didn’t understand. He understood them and that was good enough for me. And it is since then that I have had such peace.

I tried to tell something of this to Edythe; she said, “Marjorie, I have nearly gone out of my mind this week”. And her voice broke. She said, “I can’t think of anything else and I go over and over it until I am nearly crazy”. I just ached with pity for her because I had been through the same thing until I got your letter back.

It flashed across my mind that perhaps your letter would help her too. So I asked her if she would like a copy of my questions to you and your reply. She was terribly grateful. I had them with me so was able to let her have them right away. Would you pray with me that she will get peace and learn, by the help of the Holy Spirit to love this doctrine as we do?

One other member, a new-comer to my class although she has been in our church several years, said to me with the sweetest smile afterwards, “I am like you; I know now I have been elected and it is simply thrilling. I wish you could have seen my husband, though. He wanted to come so badly tonight—he asked me if I thought you would mind if he slipped into a back seat”! It seems her husband took her pamphlet and read it; was so thrilled and worked up over it, he read it again and said that never in all his life had he heard anything like it—why don’t we hear about it? And do you know, Dr. Cole, person after person has said that to me; “Why don’t our ministers preach it??”

One girl, also from the southern states (Texas—but not the one I mentioned in my first letter; she wasn’t out last night) has been very keen on this, but admitted to me on different occasions that it simply upset a lot of her ideas and understandings! However, last night, as I closed she said, in front of all the others, almost with a blissful sigh, “Well, it certainly takes the fear out of dying, doesn’t it”? And you know, that is what I have felt so strongly. I just stared at her for a minute when she said it—it was the echo of my own heart. Sometimes I feel I can’t wait to get to heaven and learn more about Election and all the rest of the Bible.

A third woman, mother of a 6 year old boy, said to me, “Marjorie, I don’t know. It is wonderful. I feel that since this study and the thought I have given to Election that everything has cleared up in my mind. And so many passages of Scripture fit in and make sense now when they didn’t before”.

Yet another girl has talked to me different times and said that at first she felt (when I taught my first lesson in Sept.) that she was opposed to it. But the more she read your pamphlet and thought about it, the more she thought the doctrine really was taught in the Bible and therefore she should be willing to believe it and leave the parts she didn’t understand until she got to heaven! Last night, after we were finished, she whispered to me across the table, “Well, I’m happy too, tonight Marjorie. But I’m afraid some aren’t. But it’s more a case of won’t with them.

However, I am praying that the Holy Spirit will do His work in the hearts of those that are confused or resisting. I feel their very interest is encouraging and, as you so truly put it, none of us likes this doctrine; it takes the Holy Spirit to teach a person to love it.

Now, I promised you I wouldn’t write such a long letter and I have. I do hope you aren’t bored. But I am so full of it all and so indebted to you that I felt I had to overflow to you. Have you, by any chance, had any of your other teachings put up in pamphlet form? I was looking over some old Witnesses the other day and saw several of yours in serial form, on Sin, Salvation, etc. I should love to have them complete. I sent away for 40 copies of your ELECTION pamphlet and distributed them to my class in Sept., so they have had them to study and mull over ever since! I can never thank you enough for your article. Certainly God must have led you to have it printed.

It would be so wonderful to sit under that kind of preaching today. Why don’t ministers preach doctrinal sermons anymore—instead of this milky, predigested, topical preaching that so many give? No wonder Christians today aren’t strong and virile and know what they stand for—they have never got off the milk of the Word onto the strong meat. I heard one Baptist minister say that we are “snackbar” Christians today when we should be dining-room Christians. And I think he had something.

Now, I must go. Again, my heartfelt thanks for all you have done for me. I pray God’s richest blessings upon you and yours and your ministry for Him which will be fruitful, I am sure, beyond your deepest imaginings and hopes.

Yours in Him,

(Mrs.) Marjorie Bond

 

Dr. C. D. Cole-The Bible Doctrine of Election-Part II-Questions and Answers on Election

All blessings are gifts and we have no claim to them by our own merit

September 22, 2014 1 comment

SpurgeonWe must assume, before we commence our discourse, one thing certain, namely, that all blessings are gifts and that we have no claim to them by our own merit. This I think every considerate mind will grant. And this being admitted, we shall endeavor to show that He has a right, seeing they are His own to do what He wills with them — to withhold them wholly if He pleaseth — to distribute them all if He chooseth — to give to some and not to others — to give to none or to give to all, just as seemed good in His sight. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856

Is it not lawful for God to do what he will with his own?

September 1, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 1“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matthew 20:15).

The householder says, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” and even so does the God of Heaven and earth ask this question of you this morning, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon-Divine Sovereignty-Delivered May 4 1856