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Author Topic: Give Me That Old Time Gospel  (Read 93790 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« on: January 07, 2007, 12:04:17 PM »

Just give me that old time Gospel  ...

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

We see daily where people are changing theology and the doctrines of churches to "fit" the society of today. It is said by some that the Bible is a "living, breathing, changing" book, that teachings change from it as society changes. The truth is that no matter how much man wants it to change to meet their desires and understandings, the Bible, God's word, does not change. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same. Jesus Christ came to us in the flesh to proclaim things that had been kept secret from the foundation of the world. That foundation cannot be changed nor modified to fit our desires. No man can pay the price to build an equal foundation.

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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 12:16:58 PM »

Have You Tasted My Jesus? 

At the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they have what is called Baptist Day. It is a day when all the Baptists in the area are invited to the school because they want the Baptist dollars to keep coming in. On this day each one is to bring a sack lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every Baptist Day the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center.

One year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich. Dr. Tillich spoke for two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.

After about thirty seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium.

"Docta Tillich, I got one question," he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. "Docta Tillich ..." CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "My question is a simple question, "CRUNCH, CUNCH ..."Now I ain't never read them books you read ... "CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "and I can't recite the Scriptures in the original Greek ... " CRUNCH, MUNCH ... "I don't know nothin' about Niebuhr and Heidegger ..."CRUNCH, MUNCH . He finished the apple.

"All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate-was it bitter or sweet?"

Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: "I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven't tasted your apple."

The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich and said calmly, "Neither have you tasted my Jesus."

The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr. Tillich thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.

— Author Unknown


We see all sorts of doctrines and theologies today. Man in his finite wisdom attempts to understand scriptures, dissecting it in his own fashion, putting in his or her own desires into what it all means. These people go so far as to throw out portions of scripture because it doesn't seem to fit what they believe or it "just doesn't seem right" to them.

God gave His inspired text for a reason. That reason is to remove any doubt in those that are truly seeking Him as to how He desires us to be, the things that He wants us to do.

Why the old time gospel, what's wrong with todays gospel? What's the difference anyway? Well, the simple truth is, todays gospel, for the most part, is another gospel altogether. Paul wrote, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:"   Galatians 1:6

What Paul said, was that the Galatians had removed themselves from the truth, to a strange and altered gospel, unfamiliar with the teachings of Christ. Brass had replaced the gold, "...and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields..." 1 Kings 14:26-27.

There is alot of brass in the church today, sadly most professing christians don't know the difference, they don't know the God they have come to worship. We have self proclaimed prophets and apostles that live by their own wisdom and are directed by their own greed.

The old time gospel worked, when people got saved, they stayed saved, they stayed holy, they stayed humble, giving all the glory to God. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls"   Jeremiah 6:16.

The Old, Old Way

Refrain
Are you walking in the light,
In the blessèd, blessèd light?
Is it shining in your soul today?
With a firm abiding faith
That will triumph over death,
Are you walking in the old, old way?

By:  Fanny Crosby   (1820-1915)

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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 12:24:26 PM »

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 02:13:33 PM »

The Gracious Invitation

"Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." —Matthew 11:28.

Gracious "word" of a gracious Savior, on which the soul may confidingly repose, and be at peace forever! It is a present rest—the rest of grace as well as the rest of glory. Not only are there signals of peace hung out from the walls of heaven—the lights of Home glimmering in the distance to cheer our footsteps; but we have the "shadow" of this "great Rock!" in a present "weary land." Before the Throne alone is there "the sea of glass," without one rippling wave; but there is a haven even on earth for the tempest-tossed—"We who have believed DO enter into rest."

Reader, have you found this blessed repose in the blood and work of Immanuel? Long going about "seeking rest and finding none," does this "word" sound like music in your ears—"Come unto Me"? All other peace is counterfeit, shadowy, unreal. The eagle spurns the gilded cage as a poor equivalent for his free-born soarings. The soul's immortal aspirations can be satisfied with nothing short of the possession of God's favor and love in Jesus.

How unqualified is the invitation! If there had been one condition in entering this covenant Ark, we must have been through eternity at the mercy of the storm. But all are alike warranted and welcome, and none more warranted than welcome. For the weak, the weary, the sin-burdened and sorrow-burdened, there is an open door of grace.

Return, then, unto your rest, O my soul! Let the sweet cadence of this "word of Jesus" steal on you amid the disquietudes of earth. Sheltered in Him, you are safe for time, safe for eternity! There may be, and will be, temporary tossings, fears, and misgivings—manifestations of inward corruption; but these will only be like the surface-heavings of the ocean, while underneath there is a deep, settled calm. "You will keep him in perfect peace" (lit. peace, peace) "whose mind is stayed on You." In the world it is care on care, trouble on trouble, sin on sin, but every wave that breaks on the believer's soul seems sweetly to murmur, "Peace, peace!"

And if the foretaste of this rest be precious, what must be the glorious consummation? Awaking in the morning of immortality, with the unquiet dream of earth over—faith lost in sight, and hope in fruition—no more any bias to sin—no more latent principles of evil—nothing to disturb the spirit's deep, everlasting tranquility—the trembling magnet of the heart reposing, where alone it can confidingly and permanently rest, in the enjoyment of the Infinite God. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace."
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 02:16:31 PM »

The Comforting Assurance

"Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." —Matthew 6:32

Though spoken originally by Jesus regarding temporal things, this may be taken as a motto for the child of God amid all the changing vicissitudes of his changing history. How it should lull all misgivings; silence all murmurings; lead to lowly, unquestioning submissiveness—"My Heavenly Father knows that I have need of all these things."

Where can a child be safer or better than in a father's hand? Where can the believer be better than in the hands of his God? We are poor judges of what is best. We are under safe guidance with infallible wisdom. If we are tempted in a moment of rash presumption to say, "All these things are against me," let this "word" rebuke the hasty and unworthy surmise. Unerring wisdom and Fatherly love have pronounced all to be "needful."

My soul, is there anything that is disturbing your peace? Are providences dark, or crosses heavy? Are spiritual props removed, creature comforts curtailed, gourds smitten and withered like grass?—write on each, "Your Father knows that you have need of all these things." It was He who increased your burden. Why? "It was needed." It was supplanting Himself—He had to remove it! It was He who crossed your worldly schemes, marred your cherished hopes. Why? "It was needed." There was a lurking thorn in the coveted path. There was some higher spiritual blessing in communion with God. "He prevented you with the blessings of His goodness."

Seek to cherish a spirit of more childlike confidence in your Heavenly Father's will. You are not left unfriended and alone to buffet the storms of the wilderness. Your Marahs as well as your Elims are appointed by Him. A gracious pillar-cloud is before you. Follow it through sunshine and storm. He may "lead you about," but He will not lead you wrong. Unutterable tenderness is the characteristic of all His dealings. "Blessed be His name," says a tried believer, "He makes my feet like hinds' feet" (literally, "equals" them), "he equals them for every precipice, every ascent, every leap."

And who is it that speaks this quieting word? It is He who Himself felt the preciousness of the assurance during His own awful sufferings, that all were needed, and all appointed; that from Bethlehem's cradle to Calvary's Cross there was not the unnecessary thorn in the crown of sorrow which He, the Man of Sorrows, bore. Every drop in His bitter cup was mingled by His Father: "This cup which You give me to drink, shall I not drink it?" Oh, if He could extract comfort in this hour of inconceivable agony, in the thought that a Father's hand lighted the fearful furnace-fires—what strong consolation is there is the same truth to all His suffering people!

What! one superfluous drop! one unessential pang! one unneeded cross! Hush the secret atheism! He gave His Son for you! He calls Himself "your Father!" Whatever be the trial under which you are now smarting, let the word of a gracious Savior be "like oil thrown on the fretful sea;" let it dry every rebellious tear-drop. "He, your unerring Parent, knows that you have need of this as well as all these things."

"Your word is very sure, therefore your servant loves it."
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 02:17:15 PM »

The Power Of Prayer

"Whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." —John 14:13

Blessed Jesus! it is You who has unlocked to Your people the gates of prayer. Without You they must have been shut forever. It was Your atoning merit on earth that first opened them; it is Your intercessory work in heaven that keeps them open still.

How unlimited the promise—"Whatever you shall ask!" It is the pledge of all that the needy sinner requires—all that an Omnipotent Savior can bestow! As the great Steward of the mysteries of grace, He seems to say to His faithful servants, "Take your bill, and under this, my superscription, write what you please." And then, when the blank is filled up, he further endorses each petition with the words, "I WILL do it!"

He farther encourages us to ask "in His name." In the case of an earthly petitioner there are some pleas more influential in obtaining a benefit than others. Jesus speaks of this as forming the key to the heart of God. As David loved the helpless cripple of Saul's house "for Jonathan's sake," so will the Father, by virtue of our covenant relationship to the true Jonathan (lit., "the gift of God"), delight in giving us even "exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think."

Reader, do you know the blessedness of confiding your every need and every care—your every sorrow and every cross—into the ear of the Savior? He is the "Wonderful Counselor." With an exquisitely tender sympathy He can enter into the innermost depths of your need. That need may be great, but the everlasting arms are underneath it all. Think of Him now, at this moment—the great Angel of the Covenant, with the censer full of much incense, in which are placed your feeblest aspirations, your most burdened sighs—the odor-breathing cloud ascending with acceptance before the Father's throne. The answer may tarry—these your supplications may seem to be kept long on the wing, hovering around the mercy-seat. A gracious God sometimes sees it fitting thus to test the faith and patience of His people. He delights to hear the music of their importunate pleadings—to see them undeterred by difficulties—unrepelled by apparent forgetfulness and neglect. But He will come at last—the pent-up fountain of love and mercy will at length burst out—the soothing accents will in His own good time be heard, "Be it unto you according to your word!"

Soldier of Christ! with all your other armor, do not forget the "All-prayer." It is that which keeps bright and shining "the whole armor of God." While yet out in the night of a dark world—while still camping in an enemy's country—kindle your watch-fires at the altar of incense. You must be Moses, pleading on the Mount, if you would be Joshua, victorious in the world's daily battle. Confide your cause to this waiting Redeemer. You cannot weary Him with your importunity. He delights in hearing. His Father is glorified in giving. The memorable Bethany-utterance remains unaltered and unrepealed—"I know that You hear me always." He is still the "Prince that has power with God and prevails"—still promises and pleads—still He lives and loves!

"I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait; and in his word do I hope."
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2007, 02:17:56 PM »

The Unveiled Dealings

"What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter." —John 13:7

O blessed day, when the long sealed book of mystery shall be unfolded, when the "fountains of the great deep shall be broken up," "the channels of the waters seen," and all discovered to be one vast revelation of unerring wisdom and ineffable love! Here we are often baffled at the Lord's dispensations; we cannot fathom His ways—like the well of Sychar, they are deep, and we have nothing to draw with. But soon the "mystery of God will be finished;" the enigmatical "seals," with all their inner meanings, opened. When that "morning without clouds" shall break, each soul will be like the angel standing in the sun—there will be no shadow; all will be perfect day!

Believer, be still! The dealings of your Heavenly Father may seem dark to you; there may seem now to be no golden fringe, no "bright light in the clouds;" but a day of disclosures is at hand. "Take it on trust a little while." An earthly child takes on trust what his father tells him: when he reaches maturity, much that was baffling to his infant comprehension is explained. You are in this world in the childhood of your being—Eternity is the soul's immortal manhood. There, every dealing will be vindicated. It will lose all its "darkness" when bathed in the floods "of the excellent glory!"

Ah! instead of thus being as weaned children, how apt are we to exercise ourselves in matters too high for us! not content with knowing that our Father wills it, but presumptuously seeking to know how it is, and why it is. If it is unfair to pronounce on the unfinished and incomplete works of man; if the painter, or sculptor, or artificer, would shrink from having his labors judged of when in a rough, unpolished, immature state; how much more so with the works of God! How we should honor Him by a simple, confiding, unreserved submission to His will—contented patiently to wait the fulfillment of this "hereafter" promise, when all the lights and shadows in the now half-finished picture will be blended and melted into one harmonious whole—when all the now disjointed stones in the temple will be seen to fit into their appointed place, giving unity, and compactness, and symmetry, to all the building.

And who is it that speaks these living "words," "What I do?" It is He who died for us! who now lives for us! Blessed Jesus! You may do much that our blind hearts would like undone—"terrible things in righteousness which we looked not for." The heaviest (what we may be tempted to call the severest) cross You can lay upon us we shall regard as only the apparent severity of unutterable and unalterable love. Eternity will unfold how all, all was needed; that nothing else, nothing less, could have done! If not now, at least then, the deliberate verdict on a calm retrospect of life will be this—"THE WORD of the Lord is right, and all his works are done in truth."
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2007, 02:18:31 PM »

The Father Glorified

"This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." —John 15:8

When surveying the boundless ocean of covenant mercy—every wave chiming, "God is Love!"—does the thought ever present itself, "What can I do for this great Being who has done so much for me?" Recompense I cannot! No more can my purest services add one iota to His underived glory, than the tiny candle can add to the blaze of the sun at noonday, or a drop of water to the boundless ocean. Yet, wondrous thought! from this worthless soul of mine there may roll in a revenue of glory which He who loves the broken and contrite spirit will "not despise." "Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit."

Reader! are you a fruit-bearer in your Lord's vineyard? Are you seeking to make life one grand act of consecration to His glory—one thank-offering for His unmerited love? You may be unable to exhibit much fruit in the eye of the world. Your circumstances and position in life may forbid you to point to any splendid services, or laborious and imposing efforts in the cause of God. It matters not. It is often those fruits that are unseen and unknown to man, ripening in seclusion, that He values most—the quiet, lowly walk—patience and submission—gentleness and humility—putting yourself unreservedly in His hands—willing to be led by Him even in darkness—saying, Not my will, but Your will—the unselfish spirit, the meek bearing of an injury, the unostentatious kindness—these are some of the "fruits" which your Heavenly Father loves, and by which He is glorified.

Perchance it may be with you the season of trial, the chamber of protracted sickness, the time of desolating bereavement, some furnace seven times heated. Herein, too, you may sweetly glorify your God. Never is your Heavenly Father more glorified by His children on earth, than when, in the midst of these furnace-fires, He listens to nothing but the gentle breathings of confiding faith and love—"Let Him do what seems good unto Him." Yes—you can there in the furnace, glorify Him in a way which angels cannot do in a world where no trial is. They can glorify God only with the crown; you can glorify Him with the cross and the prospect of the crown together! Ah, if He is dealing severely with you—if He, as the Great Husbandman, is pruning His vines, lopping their boughs, stripping off their luxuriant branches and "beautiful rods!" remember the end!—"He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit," and "Herein is my Father glorified!"

Be it yours to lie passive in His hands, saying in unmurmuring resignation, Father, glorify Your name! Glorify Yourself, whether by giving or taking, filling my cup or "emptying me from vessel to vessel!" Let me know no will but Yours. Angels possess no higher honor and privilege than glorifying the God before whom they cast their crowns. How blessed to be able thus to claim brotherhood with the spirits in the upper sanctuary! no, more, to be associated with the Savior Himself in the theme of His own exalted joy, when he said, "I have glorified You on earth!"

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2007, 02:19:05 PM »

The Tender Solicitude

"The very hairs of your head are all numbered." —Matthew 10:30

What a "word" is this! All that befalls you, to the very numbering of your hairs, is known to God! Nothing can happen by accident or chance. Nothing can elude His inspection. The fall of the forest leaf—the fluttering of the insect—the waving of the angel's wing—the annihilation of a world—all are equally noted by Him. Man speaks of great things and small things—God knows no such distinction.

How especially comforting to think of this tender solicitude with reference to His own covenant people—that He metes out their joys and their sorrows! Every sweet, every bitter is ordained by Him. Even "wearisome nights" are "appointed." Not a pang I feel, not a tear I shed but is known to Him. What are called "dark dealings" are the ordinations of undeviating faithfulness. Man may err—his ways are often crooked; "but as for God, His way is perfect!" He puts my tears into His bottle. Every moment the everlasting arms are underneath and around me. He keeps me "as the apple of His eye." He "bears" me as a man bears his own son!"

Do I look to the future? Is there much of uncertainty and mystery hanging over it? It may be, much foreboding of evil. Trust Him. All is marked out for me. Dangers will be averted; bewildering mazes will show themselves to be interlaced and interweaved with mercy. "He keeps the feet of His saints." A hair of their head will not be touched. He leads sometimes darkly, sometimes sorrowfully; most frequently by cross and circuitous ways we ourselves would not have chosen; but always wisely, always tenderly. With all its mazy windings and turnings, its roughness and ruggedness, the believer's is not only a right way, but the right way—the best which covenant love and wisdom could select. "Nothing," says Jeremy Taylor, "does so establish the mind amid the rollings and turbulence of present things, as both a look above them and a look beyond them; above them, to the steady and good hand by which they are ruled; and beyond them, to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that hand, they will be brought." "The Great Counselor," says Thomas Brooks, "puts clouds and darkness round about Him, bidding us follow at His beck through the cloud, promising an eternal and uninterrupted sunshine on the other side." On that "other side" we shall see how every apparent rough blast has been hastening our boats nearer the desired haven.

Well may I commit the keeping of my soul to Jesus in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator. He gave Himself for me. This transcendent pledge of love is the guarantee for the bestowment of every other needed blessing. Oh, blessed thought! my sorrows numbered by the Man of Sorrows; my tears counted by Him who shed first His tears and then His blood for me. He will impose no needless burden, and exact no unnecessary sacrifice. There was no unnecessary drop in the cup of His own sufferings; neither will there be in that of His people. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

"Therefore comfort one another with these words."
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 02:19:59 PM »

The Good Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me" —John 10:14

"The Good Shepherd"—well can the sheep who know His voice attest the truthfulness and faithfulness of this endearing name and word. Where would they have been through eternity, had He not left His throne of light and glory, traveling down to this dark valley of the curse, and giving His life a ransom for many? Think of His love to each separate member of the flock—wandering over pathless wilds with unwearied patience and unquenchable ardor, ceasing not the pursuit until He finds it. Think of His love now—"I AM the Good Shepherd." Still that tender eye of watchfulness following the guilty wanderers—the glories of heaven and the songs of angels unable to dim or alter His affection—the music of the words, at this moment coming as sweetly from His lips as when first He uttered them—"I know my sheep." Every individual believer—the weakest, the weariest, the faintest—claims His attention. His loving eye follows me day by day out to the wilderness—marks out my pasture, studies my needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities—every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket.

"He goes before them." It is not rough driving, but gentle guiding. He does not take them over an unknown road; He himself has trodden it before. He has drunk of every "brook by the way;" He himself has "suffered being tempted;" He is "able to support those who are tempted." He seems to say, "Fear not; I cannot lead you wrong; follow Me in the bleak waste, the blackened wilderness, as well as by the green pastures and the still waters. Do you ask why I have left the sunny side of the valley—carpeted with flowers, and bathed in sunshine—leading you to some high mountain apart, some cheerless spot of sorrow? Trust me. I will lead you by paths you have not known, but they are all known to me, and selected by me—Follow Me."

"They know Me!" Reader! can you subscribe to these closing words of this gracious utterance? Do you "know" Him in all the glories of His person, in all the completeness of His finished work, in all the tenderness and unutterable love of His every dealing towards you?

It has been remarked by Palestine travelers, that not only do the sheep there follow the guiding shepherd, but even while cropping the herbage as they go along, they look wistfully up to see that they are near him. Is this your attitude—"looking unto Jesus?" "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths." Leave the future to His providing. "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not lack." I shall not lack!—it has been beautifully called "the bleating of Messiah's sheep." Take it as your watchword during your wilderness wanderings, until grace be perfected in glory. Let this be the record of your simple faith and unwavering trust, "These are those who follow, wherever He sees fit to guide them."

"The sheep follow him, for they know his voice."
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2007, 02:20:29 PM »

The Abiding Comforter

"And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." —John 14:16

When one beloved earthly friend is taken away, how the heart is drawn out towards those that remain! Jesus was now about to leave His sorrowing disciples. He directs them to one whose presence would fill up the vast blank His own absence was to make. His name was, The Comforter; His mission was, "to abide with them forever." Accordingly, no sooner had the gates of heaven closed on their ascended Lord, than, in fulfillment of His own gracious promise, the bereaved and orphaned Church was baptized with Pentecostal fire. "When I depart, I will send Him unto you."

Reader, do you realize your privilege—living under the dispensation of the Spirit? Is it your daily prayer that He may come down in all the plenitude of His heavenly graces on your soul, even "as rain upon the mown grass, and showers that water the earth?" You cannot live without Him; there can be not one heavenly aspiration, not one breathing of love, not one upward glance of faith, without His gracious influences. Apart from him, them is no preciousness in the Word, no blessing in ordinances, no permanent sanctifying results in affliction. As the angel directed Hagar to the hidden spring, this blessed Agent, true to His name and office, directs His people to the waters of comfort, giving new glory to the promises, investing the Savior's character and work with new loveliness and beauty.

How precious is the title which this "Word of Jesus" gives Him—the COMFORTER! What a word for a sorrowing world! The Church militant has its tent pitched in a "valley of tears." The name of the divine visitor who comes to her and ministers to her needs, is—Comforter. Wide is the family of the afflicted, but He has a healing balm for all—the weak, the tempted, the sick, the sorrowing, the bereaved, the dying! How different from other "sons of consolation!" Human friends—a look may alienate; adversity may estrange; death must separate! The "Word of Jesus" speaks of One whose attribute and prerogative is to "abide with us forever"—superior to all vicissitudes—surviving death itself!

And surely if anything else can endear His mission of love to His Church, it is that He comes direct from God, as the fruit and gift of Jesus' intercession—"I will ask the Father." This holy dove of peace and comfort is let out by the hand of Jesus from the ark of covenant mercy within the veil! Nor is the gift more glorious than it is free. Does the word, the look, of a suffering child get the eye and the heart of an earthly father? "If you, then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit unto those who ask Him?" It is He who makes these "words of Jesus" "winged words."

"He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you."
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2007, 02:21:04 PM »

The Gracious Verdict

"Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more" —John 8:11

How much more tender is Jesus than the tenderest of earthly friends! The Apostles, in a moment of irritation, would have called down fire from heaven on obstinate sinners. Their Master rebuked the unkind suggestion. Peter, the trusted but treacherous disciple, expected nothing but harsh and merited reproof for faithlessness. He who knew well how that heart would be bowed with penitential sorrow, sends first the kindest of messages, and then the gentlest of rebukes—"Do you love Me?" The watchmen in the Canticles smote the bride, tore off her veil, and loaded her with reproaches. When she found her lost Lord, there was not one word of upbraiding! "So slow is He to anger," says an illustrious believer, "so ready to forgive, that when His prophets lost all patience with the people so as to make intercession against them, yet even then could He not be gotten to cast off this people whom He foreknew, for His great name's sake."

The guilty sinner to whom He speaks this comforting "word," was frowned upon by her accusers. But, if others spurned her from their presence—"Neither do I condemn you," Well it is to fall into the hands of this blessed Savior-God, for great are His mercies.

Are we to infer from this, that He winks at sin? Far from it. His blood, His work—Bethlehem, and Calvary, refute the thought! Before the guilt even of one solitary soul could be washed out, He had to descend from His everlasting throne to agonize on the accursed tree. But this "word of Jesus" is a word of tender encouragement to every sincere, broken-hearted penitent, that crimson sins, and scarlet sins, are no barrier to a free, full, everlasting forgiveness. The Israelite of old, gasping in his agony in the sands of the wilderness had but to "look and live;" and still does He say, "Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth." Upreared by the side of His own cross there was a monumental column for all time, only second to itself in wonder. Over the head of the dying felon is the superscription written for despairing guilt and trembling penitence, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." "He never yet," says Charnock, "put out a dim candle that was lighted at the Sun of Righteousness." "Whatever our guiltiness be," says Rutherford, "yet when it falls into the sea of God's mercy, it is but like a drop of blood fallen into the great ocean.

Reader, you may be the chief of sinners, or it may be the chief of backsliders; your soul may have started aside like a broken bow. As the bankrupt is afraid to look into his books, you may be afraid to look into your own heart. You are hovering on the verge of despair. Conscience, and the memory of unnumbered sins, is uttering the desponding verdict, "I condemn you." Jesus has a kinder word—a more cheering declaration—"I condemn you not: go, and sin no more!"

"And all wondered at the gracious WORDS that proceeded out of his mouth."
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2007, 02:22:00 PM »

The Wondrous Relationship

"Whoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." —Mark 3:35

As if no solitary earthly type were enough to image forth the love of Jesus, He assembles into one verse a group of the tenderest earthly relationships. Human affection has to focus its loveliest hues, but all is too little to afford an exponent of the depth and intensity of His love. "As one whom his mother comforts;" "my sister, my spouse." He is "Son," "Brother," "Friend"—all in one; "cleaving closer than any brother."

And can we wonder at such language? Is it merely figurative, expressive of more than the reality?—He gave Himself for us; after that pledge of His affection we must cease to marvel at any expression of the interest He feels in us. Anything He can say or do is infinitely less than what He has done.

Believer! are you solitary and desolate? Has bereavement severed earthly ties? Has the grave made forced estrangements—sundered the closest links of earthly affection? In Jesus you have filial and fraternal love combined; He is the Friend of friends, whose presence and fellowship compensates for all losses, and supplies all blanks; "He sets the solitary in families." If you are orphaned, friendless, comfortless here, remember there is in the Elder Brother on the Throne a love deep as the unfathomed ocean, boundless as Eternity! And who are those who can claim the blessedness spoken of under this wondrous imagery? On whom does He lavish this unutterable affection? No outward profession will purchase it. No church, no priest, no ordinances, no denominational distinctions. It is on those who are possessed of holy characters. "He who does the will of my Father who is in heaven!" He who reflects the mind of Jesus; imbibes His Spirit; takes His Word as the regulator of his daily walk, and makes His glory the great end of his being; he who lives to God, and with God, and for God; the humble, lowly, Christ-like, Heaven-seeking Christian—he it is who can claim as his own this wondrous heritage of love! If it be a worthy object of ambition to be loved by the good and the great on earth, what must it be to have an eye of love ever beaming upon us from the Throne, in comparison of which the attachment here of brother, sister, kinsman, friend—all combined—pales like the stars before the rising sun! Though we are often ashamed to call Him "Brother," "He is not ashamed to call us brethren." He looks down on poor worms, and says, "The same is my mother, and sister, and brother!" "I will write upon them," He says in another place, "my new name." Just as we write our name on a book to tell that it belongs to us; so Jesus would write His own name on us, the wondrous volumes of His grace, that they may be read and pondered by principalities and powers.

Have we "known and believed this love of God?" Ah, how poor has been the requital! Who cannot subscribe to the words of one, whose name was in all the churches—"Your love has been as a shower; the return but a dew-drop, and that dew-drop stained with sin."

"If a man love me, he will keep My Words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2007, 02:22:32 PM »

The Befriended Orphans

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said"—
"No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you." —John 14:18

Does the Christian's path lie all the way through Beulah? No, he is forewarned it is to be one of "much tribulation." He has his Marahs as well as his Elims—his valleys of Baca as well as his grapes of Eschol. Often is he left unbefriended to bear the brunt of the storm—his gourds fading when most needed—his sun going down while it is yet day—his happy home and happy heart darkened in a moment with sorrows with which a stranger (with which often a brother) cannot understand. There is One Brother "born for adversity" who can. How often has that voice broken with its silvery accents the muffled stillness of the sick-chamber! "I will not leave you comfortless—the world may, friends may, the desolations of bereavement and death may; but I will not; you will be alone, yet not alone, for I your Savior and your God will be with you!"

Jesus seems to have an especial love and affection for His orphaned and comfortless people. A father loves his sick and sorrowing child most; of all his household, he occupies most of his thoughts. Christ seems to delight to lavish His deepest sympathy on "him that has no helper." It is in the hour of sorrow His people have found Him most precious; it is in "the wilderness" He speaks most "comfortable unto them;" He gives them "their vineyards from thence"—in the places they least expected, wells of heavenly consolation break forth at their feet. As Jonathan of old, when faint and weary, had his strength revived by the honey he found dropping in the tangled thicket—so the faint and woe-worn children of God find "honey in the wood"—everlasting consolation dropping from the tree of life, in the midst of the thorniest thickets of affliction.

Comfortless ones, be comforted! Jesus often makes you portionless here in this world, to drive you to Himself, the everlasting portion. He often dries every rill and fountain of earthly bliss, that He may lead you to say, "All my springs are in You." "He seems intend," says one who could speak from experience, "to fill up every gap love has been forced to make; one of his errands from heaven was to bind up the broken-hearted." How beautifully in one amazing verse does He conjoin the depth and tenderness of his comfort with the certainty of it—"As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you, and you SHALL be comforted!"

Ah, how many would not have their wilderness-state altered, with all its trials, and gloom, and sorrow, just that they might enjoy the unutterable sympathy and love of this Comforter of the comfortless, one ray of whose approving smile can dispel the deepest earthly gloom! As the clustering constellations shine with the most intense luster in the midnight sky, so these "words of Jesus" come out like ministering angels in the deep dark night of earthly sorrow. We may see no beauty in them when the world is sunny and bright; but He has laid them up in store for us for the dark and cloudy day.

"These things have I told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them."
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2007, 02:23:04 PM »

The World Conquered

"In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." —John 16:33

And shall I be afraid of the world, which is already conquered? The Almighty Victor, within view of His crown, turns round to His faint and weary soldiers, and bids them take courage. They are not fighting their way through untried enemies. The God-Man Mediator "knows their sorrows." "He was in all points tempted." "Both He (that is, Christ) who sanctifies, and they (His people) who are sanctified, are all of one (nature)." As the great Predecessor, He heads the pilgrim band, saying, "I will show you the path of life." The way to heaven is consecrated by His footprints. Every thorn that wounds them, has wounded Him before. Every cross they can bear, He has borne before. Every tear they shed, He has shed before. There is one respect, indeed, in which the identity fails—He was "yet without sin;" but this recoil of His holy nature from moral evil gives Him a deeper and more intense sensibility towards those who have still corruption within responding to temptation without.

Reader! are you ready to faint under your tribulations? It is a seducing world?—a wandering, wayward heart? "Consider Him who endured!" Listen to your adorable Redeemer, stooping from His Throne, and saying, "I have overcome the world." He came forth unscathed from its snares. With the same heavenly weapon He bids you wield, three times did He repel the Tempter, saying, "It is written."—Is it some crushing trial, or overwhelming grief? He is "acquainted with grief." He, the mighty Vine, knows the minutest fibers of sorrow in the branches; when the pruning knife touches them, it touches Him. "He has gone," says a tried sufferer, "through every class in our wilderness school." He loves to bring His people into untried and perplexing places, that they may seek out the guiding pillar, and prize its radiance. He puts them on the darkening waves, that they may follow the guiding light hung out astern from the only Ship of pure and unsullied humanity that was ever proof against the storm.

Be assured there is disguised love in all He does. He who knows us infinitely better than we know ourselves, often puts a thorn in our nest to drive us to the wing, that we may not be grovelers forever. "It is," says Evans, "upon the smooth ice we slip; the rough path is safest for the feet." The tearless and undimmed eye is not to be coveted here; that is reserved for heaven!

Who can tell what muffled and disguised "needs be" there may lurk under these worldly tribulations? His true spiritual seed are often planted deep in the soil; they have to make their way through a load of sorrow before they reach the surface; but their roots are thereby the firmer and deeper struck. Had it not been for these lowly and needed "depths," they might have rushed up as feeble saplings, and succumbed to the first blast. He often leads His people still, as He led them of old, to a "high mountain apart;" but it is to a high mountain—above the world; and, better still, He who Himself has overcome the world, leads them there, and speaks comfortable unto them.

"I hope in your Word."
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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