Month: May 2014

FREEDOM FROM SEEKING APPROVAL

FREEDOM FROM SEEKING APPROVAL

I cannot believe in the spirituality of any Christian man who keeps an eye open for the approval of others, whoever they may be. The man after God’s own heart must be dead to the opinion of his friends as well as his enemies. He must be as willing to cross important persons as obscure ones …

When we are wholly lost in Him [Christ] the frantic effort to please men will come to an end. The circle of persons we struggle to please will be narrowed to One. Then we will know true freedom, but not a moment before.

A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)
The Price of Neglect
page 141

Religion, vs Faith in God

Religion, vs Faith in God

The sad fact is that most people tend to think that faith in God, and religion, go hand in hand. Nothing could be farther from the truth!  Faith in God, and religion exist in direct conflict with one another!  Religion comes in many forms, but when you break it down to its essence, it exists to deceive people on a mass scale by creating followers in order to deny the power or existence of God.  It is simply a system of deception.

My own comparison of bible based religion and a secular religion, Darwinism.

Christendom is a religion that accomplishes much the same thing as the secular religion that teaches Darwinian evolution.  Both religious systems deny the power or existence of God and seek to glorify man, but in different ways.

Bible based religion – Its Never good!

In Christendom this denial of God’s power comes in several forms but the basic formula that most sects use involves the process of teaching followers of the sect that, despite that fact that God desires to save all mankind (1 Tim 2:4), He is powerless to accomplish this because the will of man is greater than the will of God. This is the Arminianistic doctrine of ‘Free will’.  This single doctrine denies God’s power to accomplish His will, and glorifies man by making the will of man more powerful that the will of God.   According to this doctrine, man saves himself where God is unable to do so.  If you don’t believe me, just google “the five points of Arminianism” and read for yourself, here is a quote to illustrate the point.

 “Christ’s redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone.”

 

When a teacher in this system challenges the key doctrines of that system, the teacher is stripped of credentials and cast out of the system.  In this way, they perpetuate the false teachings and maintain the system of deception.

Secular Humanistic Religion – It’s Never good!

In the secular realm, this denial comes in different forms as well but the most popular form seeks to deify human intellect.  Darwinism takes theories about the origin of life and presents them as if they are fact.  These theories of men are based on inconsistent and incomplete information and are based purely on human supposition.  Make no mistake about it, Darwinian evolution is a religion! It has its own sacred texts, it has its own doctrines, its own ‘seminary’ schools and ‘preachers’ and masses of blind followers.  In the exact same fashion as bible based religions, when a teacher in this religion (a scientist in this case) deviates from the doctrines espoused by the Darwinian religious system, that teacher is stripped of his credentials and cast out of the system in order to perpetuate the Darwinian system of deception.

Ben Stein is from an opposing religion but in “Expelled, no Intelligence allowed“, he documents this phenomenon in the Darwinian religious system.  This same phenomenon exists in every religious system. It also exists in political systems.

The Faithful Atheist

I had a conversation with one of my father’s good friends the other day.  He is an extremely intelligent man and a very devout atheist.  He argued that like him, I too am an atheist.  Here was his reasoning:

“During the history of mankind, there have been thousands of Gods that man has made up.  Let’s say that the number is three thousand. Now, DH, you have denied the existence of 2,999 of these Gods which makes you an atheist.  I’ve only denied one more than you have.”

We ended up letting it go there but later it occurred to me how I could have replied:

“Actually, I reject the same 3,000 Gods that man has made up and believe in the one you have yet to hear about.  Now, let me turn your argument around on you.  I am going to argue that you and I are both men of faith.  The only difference between you and I is that you place your faith in human intellect and human reasoning, while I place my faith in a God that you’ve never heard about.”

I am not religious, I am faithful.               

Let me make one thing clear.  I despise religion.  All religion.  Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianism, Darwinism, Nationalism, Patriotism, Conservatism, Progressivism, and every other ism.  Thee systems only serve to glorify mankind, I don’t like any of them.

I don’t belong to any sect or denomination.  I have no group or organization to which you can join.  I have no rules for anyone to follow, I have no dues for anyone to pay, and I have not commandments for anyone to follow.  If you want any of this, join a religion.  I have no interest in “converting” anyone or striving to convince others to adopt my beliefs.

I believe what I believe and make no apologies.  What I believe is the most wonderful news that anyone could every believe so I love to share it with anyone who will listen.  It gives me peace and joy to know that there is a God Who is Love, Who is in control, Who will bring His entire creation back to Himself, and Who will dispose of evil and suffering when they have fulfilled their purpose.

I enjoy sharing the truth as I understand it even if most are indifferent or scoff at what I share.  It pleases me to share it, and every once in a while it brings peace and joy to someone else.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s pretty neat to be part of.

– DH

 

Satan’s Sphere of Activities

Satan’s Sphere of Activities

The history of Genesis 3 is intended to teach us the fact that Satan’s sphere of activities is in the religious sphere, and not the spheres of crime or immorality… We are not to look for Satan’s activities today in the newspaper press, or the police courts; but in the pulpit, and in professors’ chairs.

E.W. Bullinger(1837-1913)
The Companion Bible, Appendix 19.

Just one verse?

Just one verse?

Recently, while talking to someone about my faith, I gave reference to Philippians 2:10 which clearly states that every knee will bow, and every tongue confess Christ as Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.  I explained that, although I don’t believe that “everyone goes to heaven”, I do believe that the scriptures make clear that what Christ accomplished on the cross will affect all mankind. In the end, all mankind will be reconciled to God through the blood of the cross.  “Yes, all will be saved”, I told Him.

“So, you hang your entire belief in the salvation of all on one verse?”, my friend asked.   I responded with a couple more off the top of my head  (1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Timothy 2:4) and we continued talking about it until I had to leave.

 

Here are a few more:

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2, 3).

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee” (Psalm 22:27).

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:8-10).

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isaiah 2:2).

“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:5,6).

“That was the true Light [Jesus Christ], which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto Him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32).

“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift cameupon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous”(Romans 5:17-19).

“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:30-36).

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (I Corinthians 15:21-28).

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead … To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:14,19).

“And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20).

“Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:6).

“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (I Timothy 4:10).

“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:2).

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him” (Ephesians 1:10).

I could keep going but I have to get to work sometime today…

– D H

PRESENTING THE TRUTH IN LOVE

PRESENTING THE TRUTH IN LOVE

0e2435793_1378060787_sermon-grace-titleIT IS ALWAYS PLEASING to God for His saints to imitate Him, in His latest revelation of Himself. Our characters should conform to the truth we teach. The marvelous message of the ultimate reconciliation of all to God is the most powerful incentive to peace. We look upon all our enemies as potential friends. We welcome and anticipate the time when all enmity and every difference will vanish, and it is bound to have a soothing and salutary effect on our present conduct, in the measure in which it has gripped our hearts.

But that is future. A still more potent truth is God’s present attitude toward mankind. Only those who have peace with God are reconciled to Him, nevertheless He is conciliated to all mankind. The estrangement between man and his Creator is a one-sided enmity. It is all on man’s side. God is not at all at war with mankind. Alas that this great truth should be most denied by those who seek to preach the gospel, and picture Him as a distant, angry god, who must be sought, who must be implored, who must be entreated for the smallest favor! Can any course more effectively conceal the grace He displays in seeking and beseeching the sinner to be conciliated to Him?

Great as is God’s grace in the gospel, how excessively redundant is its outflow to those who have received the conciliation and are reconciled! We are to imitate Him, not merely in our attitude to His enemies, but more especially toward those whom He has taken to be His friends. Here is where we all fail. Here is where we all place limits on His favor.

The highest evidence of a close communing with God is not a haughty holding of the truth and a separation from all who do not see it as we do. We are to endeavor to correctly partition the word of truth, but we are also to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the tie of peace. Truth, too often, has been held in hate. Truth in love is the key to the approval of God and to the hearts of His saints.

In this day of apostasy the truth must often be most unwelcome and unwanted, even by the saints. That most of them are steeped in error is almost an axiom, for, if even one of the many conflicting divisions should be absolutely correct (which is most unlikely) that would convict all the rest. All want a confirmation of their position, right or wrong, though truth itself must be spurned. But truth, in love, has a power difficult to resist.

Truth, in love, is sometimes silent, for fear of offending. It is often grieved, but does not retaliate. Above all it does not, like Peter, cut off the ears of those who oppose, for it is patiently waiting for the time when the ears will be healed, not hurt.

Let us, who believe in ultimate reconciliation and present conciliation complement our belief by a most gracious and loving exercise of the grace we have received in our contact with the world and with His beloved saints!

bu A. E. Knoch

ART AND SCIENCE

ART AND SCIENCE

book1imagesThe concordance method of analysis makes philology a science, not an art. Art takes license. Art is allowed to “give the sense” as it appears to the artist. In consequence no two artists paint the same scene alike, or give the same rendering, for the reason that no two people have the same sense of proportion or values. When it comes to words of truth, the fallibility of translations rises or falls with the individual’s standard of truth. Now, the whole point of inspiration is just this: that man has no standard of truth, and therefore requires a revelation from God. This means, of course that all God’s words and elements of speech are used in a pure sense, and as scientifically precise as the laws of light. Consequently, personal opinion is excluded, and no Scripture is of any private interpretation. Once let the translator find the definition that is right and it will be as much at home in one place as in another. The overlooking of this principle has not prevented the light of God’s word from shining, but it has obscured the light. Those of us who watch the progress of the concordant method are vibrating with expectancy of the precious gems now about to see daylight after centuries of obscurity. It is 300 years since Thomas Hobbes, tutor to Lord Cavendish in 1610, warned philologians, but it is only now that concern is shown. These are his words:

“Seeing that truth consisteth in the light ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth, hath need to remember what every name he useth stands for, or else he will find himself entangled in words as a bird in lime-twigs. For the errors of definitions multiply themselves, according as the multiplying proceeds, and lead men into Absurdities…from which proceed all false and senseless tenets. For words are wise men’s counters—they do but reckon by them—but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever, if but a man.”

HORATIO MATTHEWS, M. D.

UNSEARCHABLE RICHES FOR OCTOBER, 1922 BEING THE FIRST NUMBER OF VOLUME FOURTEEN

The Long Lesson of Love

The Long Lesson of Love

“God is love” (I John 4:16).

Divine love has to be learned. There is natural affection which does not need to be learned – the love of parents for children, of children for parents, of friend for friend; but it is not natural to love our enemies, to love unlovable people, to be unselfish, to return kindness for unkindness. We have to learn this love – and it is the great business of life.

“Beloved, since God so loved us – we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:11).

J. R. Miller (1840-1912)
The Lesson of Love (1903)

Good and Evil

Good and Evil

Why did not God plant two trees, one for the knowledge of good, and the other for the knowledge of evil? Was it not because the two are inseparable? Can good be known apart from evil, or evil apart from good? Are they not like light and darkness, which we know only by contrast? Never let us doubt God’s wisdom in planting one tree for the knowledge of both good and evil. Rather let us rejoice that the knowledge of evil will always constitute the prime ingredient in our appreciation of good when evil itself is no more.

A.E. Knoch
Unveiling of Jesus Christ, p. 167

WEAKENED AND LOST DISTINCTIVES

WEAKENED AND LOST DISTINCTIVES

I fear there is a tendency abroad to exaggerate the standing and state of the Old Testament saints in order to make little difference between the Body of Christ and Israel, and thus the heavenly distinctiveness is weakened and lost. The aim of the enemy from a very early date was to draw the saints from their heavenly calling. Once heaven as a present position and portion is surrendered, the great privilege and position of the Body of Christ is drained away.

James Butler Stoney (1814-1897)

We Rely On The Living God

We Rely On The Living God

download (1)In this article we wish to test one of the principle arguments used in defending the doctrine of unending loss as opposed to the teaching that God is the Saviour of all. This is the claim that the words aion and aionios have different and even opposite meanings in different passages of Scripture. There is a likeness between the arguments for “free will” and those for giving aion (“eon,” CV) the idea of endlessness. In both cases, the actual issue, that which is most pertinent and important, is unrecognized. The entire case for everlasting punishment is built on faulty arguments. Definite, intrinsic meanings are denied to Scriptural terms. The ideas of certain good and wise men are made decisive when apparently contradictory passages such as Matthew 25:46 and Romans 5:18 are considered. But perhaps most dangerous of all, there is a clear tendency to deny to God the achievements through the work of Christ that He has claimed. He is the reliable, the living, the saving God, Who cannot fail to achieve His purpose.

by James Coram, His Achievement are We Part 14