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nChrist
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« Reply #4725 on: November 23, 2017, 04:56:00 PM »

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Why Not a Wall?
by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries…” (Ezra 3:3).

At first glance, this verse doesn’t seem to make much sense.  Back in Ezra’s day, a city’s walls were its main line of defense.  The citizens of Jericho felt very secure within the confines of the massive wall that surrounded them.  So here, if fear had fallen upon the Jews because of the enemies that surrounded them, why would they build an altar, and not a wall?

Well, as you may know, at one time Jerusalem had a wall, but when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, his armies “brake down the wall of Jerusalem” (II Chron. 36:19).  And the people of Israel knew why God had allowed this to happen.  He had warned them,

    “…if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God…a nation of fierce countenance…shall besiege thee…until thy high and fenced walls come down…” (Deut. 28:15,50,52).

So God’s people knew that, if they continued in sin, the strongest of walls could not protect them.  But they also knew that if they hearkened unto the voice of the Lord, He would protect them.  And now that God had allowed them to return to the land after their captivity in Babylon, hearkening to the voice of the Lord included building this altar so that they could keep the Law by observing the feast of tabernacles with a burnt offering (Ezra 3:4 cf. Lev. 23:34-36).

In the coming kingdom of heaven on earth, when God’s people will be filled with the Spirit and caused to hearken to His voice (Ezek. 36:27), God has promised them that He will be “a wall of fire round about” them (Zech. 2:5).  In that day, “salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks” (Isa. 26:1).  That’s part of what will make it heaven on earth!

But here we have a dispensational difference.  Your salvation is no defense against earthly enemies.  You are not in the kingdom of heaven on earth, and you are not under the Law that promised Israel that God would protect them if they were good.  As a responsible member of the Body of Christ, you need to take whatever precautions necessary to protect yourself from wicked men.

We once knew a teenage girl who would go out jogging at night, assuring her mother that “the Lord will protect me.”  She had obviously been listening to preachers who had applied the promises of the Law or the promises of the kingdom to us.  While what she said sounds very spiritual, please don’t follow her example!  This is one area where a failure to rightly divide the Word of truth could cost you your life.
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« Reply #4726 on: November 24, 2017, 04:41:41 PM »

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Resurrection Power
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


How comes this flower to bloom so fair,
With loveliest fragrance to fill the air?
A short time ago the seed lay dead,
The cold, wintry ground its desolate bed.

But now, behold, from the dampened earth,
Without a sound to betray its birth,
This thing of beauty has blossomed and grown
To possess a loveliness all its own.

And as we view it, standing there
With a majesty quite beyond compare,
A mighty conviction grips the heart:
This beautiful flow’r has a counterpart.

Our Savior once suffered and died for sin.
Though no one so righteous as He had been.
It seemed that the devil had sealed His doom
As they buried His body in Joseph’s tomb.

But what is this wonder that greets our eyes
As the rays of the third morning’s sun arise?
Behold, He is risen! The grave could not hold
The Author of Life; the Anointed of God!

And now the dead who have trusted in His name,
Though sleeping in Jesus, will rise again
With bodies more glorious than this flower
–Sown in weakness, but raised in power!

C.R.S.
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« Reply #4727 on: November 25, 2017, 05:22:48 PM »

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The Little Foxes That Spoil The Vines
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Many Christian people entertain the notion that apostasy from the truth begins with a denial of one or more of the fundamentals of the faith, such as the infallibility of the Bible, the deity of Christ, or the efficacy of His redemptive work. The moral aspect of apostasy, they suppose, comes about in much the same way.

This view is not wholly correct, for apostasy generally begins, not with holding, but with condoning spiritual or moral error.

Eve fell into sin, not by denying what God had said but by listening to Satan.

In the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite damsel, doubtless quoting the words of Solomon, her beloved bridegroom, notes that the vineyards are in full blossom. Soon the grapes will be ripe for the marriage feast. But a danger threatens the harvest: “the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.” These must without fail be “taken,” or caught (Song of Solomon 2:15).

What a striking lesson we have here! How often God’s people have stood at the threshold of great blessing, the refreshing odor of an abundant spiritual harvest in the air when, alas, all has been lost — not through a frontal attack by the adversary, but by those wily little foxes that had been permitted to spoil the vines. Some doctrine or practice clearly unscriptural and subversive of spiritual blessing, had been condoned when, like the little foxes of Solomon’s song, they should have been caught and disposed of.
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« Reply #4728 on: November 27, 2017, 10:34:06 AM »

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Paul, the Pattern -- His Conversion
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


No conversion in sacred history is given so much attention as that of St. Paul. Besides the many references to it, we find three detailed accounts of it in the book of Acts. As Saul of Tarsus, the learned Pharisee, he had led his nation and the world in rebellion against God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Luke says: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church” (Acts 8:3). The believers at Damascus feared Saul’s presence among them, saying: “Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem?” (Acts 9:21). Paul himself later testified: “Many of the saints did I shut up in prison…and when they were put to death, I gave my voice [vote] against them” (Acts 26:10). “…beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it [laid it waste]” (Gal.1:13).

There must have been an important reason why God saved this rebel leader. Clearly it was that He might make Paul, not only the herald, but the living example of “the exceeding riches of His grace” to sinners. Paul himself said:

    “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…for…putting me into the ministry; who was before A BLASPHEMER, AND A PERSECUTOR, AND INJURIOUS: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. AND THE GRACE OF OUR LORD WAS EXCEEDING ABUNDANT….This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS, OF WHOM I AM CHIEF. HOWBEIT FOR THIS CAUSE I OBTAINED MERCY, THAT IN ME FIRST JESUS CHRIST MIGHT SHOW FORTH ALL LONGSUFFERING, FOR A PATTERN TO THEM WHICH SHOULD HEREAFTER BELIEVE ON HIM TO LIFE EVERLASTING” (I Tim. 1:12-16).
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« Reply #4729 on: November 27, 2017, 10:35:19 AM »

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Words Well Chosen
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


We have all had the unfortunate experience in life of having to speak with someone who is demeaning and offensive in how they approach a matter. They seem to relish putting people on the spot. Somehow they think that taking a hard-hitting approach will drive home their point more effectively. Usually the opposite is true, because their manner of speech is speaking more loudly than what is being said. Rather than relationships being strengthened, they are destroyed by abrasive words.

This type of response from the unsaved shouldn’t surprise us, but it should never be true of a believer in Christ. Sadly though, it is becoming increasingly true in the Christian community. One of the graces that nearly has been lost in the Church today is tact. Tact is a “keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or to avoid offense.” Essentially, it is having perception and grace when dealing with others. The Apostle Paul was a seasoned veteran in the art of tact. While he could be firm when it came to confronting error, he always did so with grace, hoping to restore the offender. More often than not, however, he exercised tact to accomplish his purpose.

A good example is when Paul addressed his countrymen in Jerusalem who were determined to take his life. As he was being led away to the castle, he requested that the chief captain allow him to speak to the unruly mob. We’re sure this probably seemed to be a strange request to the Roman captain, but he gave Paul permission to speak to his countrymen.

    “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel…” (Acts 22:1-3).

Before Paul shared his conversion on the road to Damascus, he, tactfully addressed them with titles of respect, “men, brethren, and fathers.” Then he perceptively spoke to them in the Hebrew language, the mother tongue of the chosen nation. Notice their response, “they kept the more silent.” Once he had their undivided attention, Paul identified himself with them, revealing that he was a Jew, born in Tarsus, but lived most of his life in Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of one of their revered doctors of the law, Gamaliel.

That’s tact! May the Lord give us this type of discretion when we minister to others! And may it be to the praise of His glory.
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« Reply #4730 on: November 28, 2017, 06:09:18 PM »

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The Wise and the Otherwise
by Pastor John Fredericksen


An excerpt from Pastor John Fredericksen’s commentary on Matthew
Who did Christ say was a wise man, or what made one wise? Matthew 7:24-27

    “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Our Lord is Master of all things, including the use of illustrations. In this instance, the Lord Jesus gave an illustration, with the meaning so obvious, that all who heard Him understood. Yet, He could also lay within that illustration a much deeper meaning that only those who paid close attention and knew the Scriptures would fully comprehend. Let’s examine both.

    The obvious meaning of this illustration was our Lord urging these disciples not to be merely “hearers” of His words but “doers.” (James 1:22).

        Those who chose to “seek…first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33), and “enter” through the “straight gate” of strict obedience (Matt. 7:13), would enter the Kingdom and receive eternal life.

        These obedient followers would be, figuratively, like a wise man building his house on a solid foundation. The foundation here would be His doctrine. Their obedience would keep them forever safe and secure in eternal life.

        Those who would not continue to obey His doctrine were likened to one building a spiritual house on sand. As that house would crumble and fall, so would they, without obedience that brought eternal life or entrance into the Millennial Kingdom that awaited Israel.

        We discover the deeper meaning of this illustration by looking closely at the symbolism of several key words and tracing their usage elsewhere in Scripture.

        The word “Rock” in Scripture consistently refers to the Lord.

        Moses sang of the Lord saying, “He is the Rock…a God of truth…” (Deut. 32:4).

        David wrote, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress…” (Psa. 18:2).

        Peter quoted to fellow Jews, “It is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded” (1 Pet. 2:6; see also Acts 4:11). Peter was calling Christ God, and the Father’s provision for life.

        When Christ said, “Whosever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them…[he is like] a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matt. 7:24), He was urging His listeners to build their hope for eternal life on Him, the rock of their salvation (Psa. 95:1).

        The word “house” consistently represented Israel.

        This is a figurative term that we use in this sense to this day. For example, the House of Windsor represents the family by that name. Likewise, in 1 Tim. 3:5, an elder is to “rule his own house.” Obviously, it is not the house, but who it represents, that is in view.

        Quite frequently, the Lord referred to the entire nation of Israel as the “house of Israel” (Compare Ex. 16:31; 40:38; Lev. 10:6; 17:3).

        In Matthew 7:24, our Lord has a subtle implication to the house of Israel needing to build their spiritual house upon Him. They would be safe if they did, in peril if they did not.

        The “winds” that would blow and the “rain” and the “floods” represented the coming tide of God’s judgment ready to fall on Israel in the Tribulation. Since the days of Daniel and the prophets, this time had been predicted.

        The entire twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew deals with the Tribulation that will precede Christ’s Kingdom being established. There, the Lord referred to the trials of these days being “as the days of Noe” (Matt. 24:37).

        The first thing that comes to our minds when we think of Noah is God’s judgment of a world-wide flood (Gen. 6-9). Surely, it was the same for each Jew who heard our Lord refer to Noah. From long ago, this man had come to represent God’s judgment.

        Therefore, in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, Israel would only be safe during God’s coming judgment in the Tribulation if they built their spiritual life upon Christ.
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« Reply #4731 on: November 29, 2017, 04:55:26 PM »

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Grace, And How This Affects Us
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Ask the average believer what the Bible word “grace” means, and he will doubtless reply, “unmerited favor”.

Actually, however, grace is much more than this.

Subjectively, it is that loving attitude, or disposition, on God’s part, from which all His kindness toward us flows.

Objectively, it is all the kindness that flows from His love toward us.

Thus we read in Ephesians 2:2-6 that we were “the children of disobedience” and therefore “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

    “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Note: This passage begins with those who were “children of disobedience” and “children of wrath” and, saving them “by grace,” gives them a position in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus!

God’s grace to us as sinners was great indeed, for:

    “In [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS [God’s] GRACE.”

But now, having given us a position in His beloved Son, God’s grace goes out to us in still greater measure.

Ephesians 1:6 declares that God has “made us accepted [Lit., ‘engraced us’] in the Beloved”.

Beholding us in Christ, God loves us and delights in us more than any father ever delighted in his son, or any grandfather in that precious grandchild.

Thus, while in Ephesians 1:7 we read that we have “redemption… the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”, in Ephesians 2:7 we see these riches of grace increased to us “exceedingly”, now that we occupy a position “in the Beloved”:

    “That in the ages to come He might show THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE…”

How?

    “…in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”!

What a prospect! Through the ages of eternity God will lavish His loving kindness upon us to demonstrate to all the universe “the exceeding riches of His grace”!

    “What a prospect, child of glory,
    Doth the future hold in store!
    By the wildest flights of fancy
    Thou couldst never ask for more.

    Heir of God; joint heir forever
    With His own beloved Son
    God could not to you have promised
    More of bliss than He has done!”

    -Author Unknown
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« Reply #4732 on: November 30, 2017, 02:18:19 PM »

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The Bible On The Floor
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “…Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name” (Psa. 138:2).

As I passed by my study the other night, I noticed that I had left a Bible lying on the floor next to a chair. In studying I had put it down momentarily to consult a reference book and had neglected to pick it up again.

Now, as I caught a fleeting glimpse of that blessed Book lying there, it bothered me; in fact it bothered me enough to make me go back and pick it up and put it where it belonged.

Then I began wondering why so trivial a matter had troubled me. Was it because I remembered how dad would never allow anything to lie on top of the Bible? Had mere sentiment confused my thinking?

Surely the Word of God is forever settled in heaven and that book lying on the floor was only paper, ink and a leather cover. Or was it? Was it not also the Word of God as given to us? And as such, was it not representative of God Himself? If our country’s flag must be treated with honor and respect; if it is sacrilege to treat it as mere cloth, how much more is this so where the Holy Bible is concerned!

No, it was not merely dad’s example that came to mind as I saw the Bible lying there: certainly it was not only that. Rather it was a Scripture passage of which he often reminded us; the inspired words of David quoted above:

    “Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name.”

To be sure God would have us use His Word as a textbook from which to learn His will. It is no sign of reverence for this great Book to leave it lying untouched on the shelf. He would have us use it and study it, perhaps underlining important passages and marking significant connections. But with all this we must never forget to treat it with the reverence and honor due the written Word of God.
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« Reply #4733 on: December 02, 2017, 04:33:38 PM »

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The Seventh From Adam
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Scripture Reading:

    “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.”
    — Jude 14

About two weeks prior to teaching the Dispensation of Conscience in my Dispensational Survey class at the Berean Bible Institute, I raised the following question to the student body. What is the significance of Enoch being addressed as “the seventh from Adam”? The entire class drew a blank — they were stumped!! Although it may seem rather insignificant at first glance, the Holy Spirit has added this phrase for good reason. In fact, this phraseology is only used in reference to Enoch.

A number of the students gave some thought to the matter and even ventured a couple of explanations, which were true, but not the answer I was looking for. Finally, one student eventually got two or three hints out of me and came up with the answer. Upon arriving at the fourth and fifth chapters of the Book of Genesis, I explained to the class that there were two Enoch’s before the days of the great flood. Therefore, we must carefully distinguish between the Enoch who descended from Cain, and the Enoch who was the “seventh from Adam” (Gen. 4:16-18 cf. 5:22-24). The first Enoch walked in the way of Cain — his descendants were morally bankrupt.

God would have us follow the example of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, who walked in the way of faith. Thus “Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found [implying everyone searched for him], because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5). In addition, the path of the coming Redeemer would pass through Enoch, the seventh from Adam, not Cain’s Enoch (Gen. 3:15). So then, a seemingly insignificant phrase suddenly helps us better appreciate that:

    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).
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« Reply #4734 on: December 02, 2017, 04:37:40 PM »

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When I Say Goodbye
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


When to this world I say goodbye, Whether Christ shall come or I shall die;
I shall not fear my future state, Nor yet resign my soul to fate;
‘Tis neither boast no carnal pride, Nor natural worth I have inside;
My trust is not in human creeds, Nor in my good religious deeds.

If man, by works, could heaven gain, Then ‘tis true, Christ died in vain.
There was no power on earth could save, Nor offer hope beyond the grave.
Salvation is from heaven above; God’s book declares that God is love.
God loved the world and sent His Son To die for sinners, for every one.

Christ tasted death for every man: It was God’s own redemption plan.
On Calvary’s cross the debt was paid, For there on Christ our sins were laid.
In death the Saviour bowed His head, There His precious blood was shed.
God has for sin no other cure. By Christ’s shed blood the way is sure.

When Christ had put our sin away, In Joseph’s tomb His body lay.
But on the third day Christ arose To conquer thereby all His foes;
Then He ascended through the sky To take His Father’s throne on high.
Now in the Father’s presence there Unceasing is the Saviour’s prayer.

Still He prays, “All Thine are Mine,” Forever kept by power Divine.
Christ promised to prepare a place For all who will receive His grace.
Some day the age of grace will end; The Lord from heaven shall descend.
The dead in Christ will hear the shout, And from their graves they will come out.

The living saints shall with them rise, And meet the Saviour in the skies;
And we shall then His glory see, And like the Saviour we shall be.
When we reach our heavenly home, Throughout the ages yet to come,
God’s grace in Christ the saints shall know, For God has promised this to show.

Eternal life, God’s gift, is free ‘Tis all by grace for you and me.
So in God’s Word I rest my case, Trusting His unfailing grace.
God cannot lie, His Word is sure; And in His Son I am secure,
Because Christ’s work has satisfied, And by that work I’m justified.

God has pardoned every sin; My hope of glory, Christ within.
I am prepared my God to meet, For in His Son I am complete,
And sealed unto redemption day. So if by death, or I’m caught away.
I shall not fear my future state, But, loving Christ, I’ll serve and wait.
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« Reply #4735 on: December 03, 2017, 12:41:26 PM »

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The Other Sheep
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


Scripture Reading:

    “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” — John 10:16

A short time ago I made a passing reference to the “other sheep” which generated a lot of interest among our readers. Some were under the impression that this phrase had to do with the reunification of the divided kingdom. Others had been taught that the “other sheep” is the Church, the Body of Christ. Having been in the ministry for many years, it has been my experience that when someone has a question such as this, there are normally twenty standing in the wings wondering the same thing. So, with God’s help I shall do my best to shed additional light on the matter.

Those who are Acts 2 dispensationalists normally hold the position that the ones who “are not of this fold” are the members of the Body of Christ. This is an unfortunate dispensational oversight, but it is understandable since they do not consistently rightly divide the Word of truth. Once again, we must ask ourselves the question: To whom was our Lord speaking, and at what time? The discourse on the Good Shepherd was delivered by Christ when He was on the earth at least two years before the Apostle Paul was given his special revelation.

Inasmuch as Paul was the first to receive the truth of the One Body, the “other sheep” in the above context could in no way be the Body of Christ.

But there’s more. None of the Apostle Paul’s Gentile epistles contain a reference to the members of Christ’s Body being sheep, much less a sheepfold. However, these metaphors are found throughout the pages of prophecy, which serves as another distinguishing factor between the two programs of God.

THE HOUSES OF ISRAEL

    “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31).

Under the reign of Rehoboam the kingdom was divided in Israel. The division proved to be devastating as the ten northern tribes, which came to be called the house of Israel, appointed Jeroboam as their King. He, of course, destroyed the religious unity of the nation when he erected altars at Dan and Bethel and caused the children of Israel to offer sacrifices unto the gods of Egypt (I Kings 12:16-31).

On the other hand, the house of Judah (tribes of Judah and Benjamin) followed in the ways of the Lord and continued to offer their sacrifices in Jerusalem, thus obeying the Law and the prophets. They remained in the Lord’s favor in spite of the fact that He allowed them to be carried off into the Babylonian captivity for their lapse of faith. These two tribes were by far the more spiritual tribes in Israel, not to mention that it was in Bethlehem of Judaea where the Prince of Peace chose to be born.

Consequently, some believe that the “other sheep” are the ten northern tribes who will be brought back into the fold at the Second Coming of Christ. Hence, there will be one fold and one Shepherd. We surely concur that there will be a reunification of the tribes of Israel as represented by the binding of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:15-28.

This, however, must not be confused with the sheepfold. Israel is the sheep of God, whether they were of the northern or southern tribes. The Lord would have never called His chosen people the “other sheep.” They are the sheep and therefore the primary fold.

If we say that the ten northern tribes are the “other sheep,” then what about the kingdom Gentiles — where do they fit into the picture?

It is often overlooked, but God had made a provision in prophecy for the Gentiles to be saved through Israel. Thus, they are also said to be joined to the Lord. And Isaiah goes on to add, “Even them [the Gentiles] will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer…” (Isa. 56:6,7). Insofar as the Gentiles are the last non-Jewish converts to be reached under the Great Commission, the classification “other sheep” fits them perfectly. But some are sure to inquire: “Are the Gentiles ever called sheep in prophecy?” Indeed they are, please read prayerfully Matthew 25:31-46.
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« Reply #4736 on: December 06, 2017, 04:18:04 PM »

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The Mighty Power Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In 1866 Alfred Nobel invented an explosive made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material. It was by far the most powerful explosive that had so far been invented.

When Nobel and his friends saw what his invention could do, and had to decide on a name, they sought for the strongest possible word for power — in any language. The word they finally chose was the Greek word dunamis, from which our word dynamite is derived.

This word, in Greek also the strongest word for power, is used again and again in the New Testament and is generally translated simply “power”.

When our Lord wrought miracles, for example, St. Luke testifies that “the POWER [dunamis] of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17). In promising His apostles that they too would work miracles, He said: “Ye [shall] be endued with POWER [dunamis] from on high”(Luke 24:49).

When the Sadducees questioned the resurrection, Jesus answered: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the POWER [dunamis] of God” (Matt.22:29), and St. Paul declares that Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with POWER [dunamis]…by the resurrection from the dead”(Rom. 1:4).

Using this same word, Paul, by inspiration, declares that “the gospel of Christ…is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, to every one that believeth…” (Rom. 1:16). This is because, according to this gospel, or good news, “CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS”, and “THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS”, he says, is to believers “THE POWER OF GOD”(I Cor. 1:18.).

But not only are believers saved by the power of God; they are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD” (I Pet. 1:5). Indeed, the adjective of this same word “dunamis” is used in Hebrews 7:25, where we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is “ABLE…TO SAVE…TO THE UTTERMOST [THOSE] THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM”. Thus the Bible uses the very strongest word for power to show how secure is the salvation of those who trust in Christ.
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« Reply #4737 on: December 06, 2017, 04:19:13 PM »

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Legitimate Prayer
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Prayer, in Old Testament times, was based upon a covenant relationship with God, or it was an appeal to His revealed nature as merciful, gracious, etc. Today it is based upon the redemptive work of Christ, whose death opened the way for us into the Father’s presence. This is why acceptable prayer today is offered “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”. With our Lord’s departure from this world in view, He said to His disciples:

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6).

    “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name…At that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me…” (John 16:24-27).

Thus today we pray directly to the Father in the name of the Son.

Our prayers, however, are often faltering and sometimes the way is so dark before us that we do not even know what to ask for. Thus Paul declared: “We know not what we should pray for as we ought”(Rom. 8:26). But he was quick to follow this with the declaration:

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28.).

This is why the Apostle Paul encourages God’s people:

    “Be careful [anxious] for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God:

    “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).

    “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
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« Reply #4738 on: December 06, 2017, 04:20:25 PM »

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Does Misery Love Company?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


We have all heard the statement: “Misery loves company.” It is true that when one is sick or in trouble he does not feel quite so sorry for himself when he realizes that others are as unfortunate, and perhaps more so, than he.

However, some have used this phrase: “Misery loves company,” in speaking lightly of hell. Perhaps you have heard someone say: “Well, if I go to hell, at least I’ll have lots of company.” This is true, but the company the lost will have when cast out of God’s presence will hardly afford them comfort.

The Bible story of the rich man and Lazarus brings this fact out with great force. The rich man, you will remember, “fared sumptuously every day,” while Lazarus “was laid at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.”

In the process of time both died, and the rich man, having felt no need of salvation, suddenly was made to experience God’s wrath upon sin, for the sacred record says: “In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23). From his place of torment the rich man saw Lazarus with Abraham “afar off,” but this surely afforded little comfort, while we do read that “Lazarus was comforted.” The rich man, then, still with haughty superiority, asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his five brothers, “lest they come into this place of torment.” He did not wish his brothers to join him in hell. “Misery” among those cast out of God’s presence, then, does not “love company.”

The story is brought to a close as Abraham refuses the rich man’s request, explaining that if his brothers would not hear the Word of God “neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

The way to avoid the lot of the rich man, then, is to believe the Word of God, particularly that part of the Word which tells how Christ died for our sins that we might be justified by grace through faith. Don’t be deceived by the old adage: “Misery loves company.” Receive Christ as your Savior today.

    “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
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« Reply #4739 on: December 07, 2017, 05:44:54 PM »

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Believers Justified
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Our Lord’s appearance to Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) on the road to Damascus, changed the pitiless persecutor in a moment into the docile, yes the devoted follower of the Christ he had so bitterly hated.

This transformation took place not only because he had now seen the risen, ascended Christ; it was caused also by what he had learned from Christ. From heaven the Lord had revealed to Paul the glory of His finished work of redemption and had sent him forth to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

This is seen in the closing words of the Apostle’s first recorded sermon, delivered at the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. After mentioning the death and resurrection of Christ, the Apostle said:

    “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).

Paul never changed this message, but kept emphasizing it wherever he went as well as in his writings. He saw in this truth the answer to man’s condemnation for breaking God’s holy law. Thus he wrote to the Romans:

    “…by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:20,21).

    “[We] declare, I say, at this time, [Christ’s] righteousness; that [God] might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).

Mark well: He does not say, “believeth and is baptized.” This was the message committed to the twelve (Mark 16: 16; Acts 2:38.). With the ushering in of the dispensation of grace God was manifested as “the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
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