Saturday, August 31, 2013



“And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.” Deut. 12:7

“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.”  John 13:1

These words occur amid the most careful and urgent instructions on the matter of worship, as it were to be observed by these people when they came into the land. All the false places of worship which they would find in the land were to be utterly destroyed. In that land, God would appoint them a place of worship, attendance at which was to be obligatory. That is to say that they must go and worship at this place; and that they must not set up any other place of worship. The particular value of these words is that they reveal the Divine thought of worship. It is an exercise of rejoicing, resulting from blessedness. God blesses men, and He blesses them because He loves them perfectly and in that blessedness they are to rejoice before Him. It is important that we remember this. Solemnity, reverence, awe, there must always be when men draw near to God in worship of how He has blessed them; but solemnity is not sadness, reverence is not cringing fear, awe is not dullness. All our worship should have the note of joy, of gladness. It should be full of song. It should be of such a glad nature that all our households, children and servants, should find happiness therein. If when we worship, we do, in special sense, come into the presence of God, then let us remember that in His presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. There is a place for sadness, for contrition, for penitence before God, but that is the place of preparation for worship. When that preparation is fulfilled, worship becomes a joy and gladness.
This rejoicing through worship ultimately takes place in Rev. 19:1-10. God has from the beginning wanted fellowship with those He loves and is pictured through the sharing of a meal. John 13 gives the church instructions concerning a threefold communion and worship service where Christ’s threefold ministry is symbolized in a way that has its roots here in Deut. 12. Rejoicing in a completed work not yet fulfilled when He gave the church instruction concerning the symbols. Few today comprehend because they do not practice what He taught. "If ye know these things (through doing them) you are blessed if ye do these things." (John 13:17). You can only know through doing. Experiential knowledge.
The penitence spoken above takes place at the foot washing portion of the service where sin is to be dealt with before the actual enjoyment of the supper where the worship of a fulfilled ministry of Christ is enjoyed where He loved them entirely as John 13:1 states and they have finally "came into the land."
This foundation of this joy was the sharing of His body and blood on the cross of Calvary. But His love did not stop there. He cleanses His soon to be bride through a cleansing of His word. And after cleansing He takes her home to His Father's house for the wedding supper of the Lamb takes place and where His friends join in the celebration. All pictured through symbols in John 13.
Do you know? If you know then happiness is yours through His threefold blessing. If you only know the foundation go to a church where the rest of His blessing is celebrated through worship.

Friday, August 30, 2013



“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Prov. 29:18

The Revisers have helped us by changing the word "perish" to "cast off restraint." Quite literally the Hebrew word means to "break loose." The central word, quite simply and literally, sight, and refers both to the thing seen and to the power to see it. "Where there is no vision," the thing seen; "Where there is no vision," the power to see, "the people cast off restraint." The condition is that of anarchy. Anarchy is lawlessness, not being without law, but refusing to be bound by law. That is the one fundamental trouble with man. John declared that, when he wrote: "Sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4). We have been living in the days when lawlessness has been rampant. Men have been breaking through covenants, regulations, agreements; refusing to abide by any decisions, even those of their appointed leaders, and even our leaders are casting off the restraints of our constitution forged at the start of our countries outset and to which they swore to abide. In this word of wisdom the reason for this casting off of restraint is given. It is that of lack of vision. That is true on lowest levels of consideration. Men who so act have no true vision of what they are actually doing, no true vision of the consequences of their action. They have no true vision of society as a whole, and of the necessary obligations of all those individuals who constitute society. They do not see that lawlessness in personal life destroys the possibility of true social conditions, and that false social conditions in turn destroy the individual. But the deeper note is that the lack of the vision of God issues in lack of vision in all these regards. To see God, is, as in tbe case of Jacob to bring healing to the individual; and that is to create a healthy community. To lose that vision, is to have no vision which is adequate to meet the needs of man; to have no authority to which man can be submitted. The vision of God is given to man in the law of God and today in that law as it has been interpreted in Christ and made possible of realization through Him. "He that keepeth that law, happy is he." America will surely perish with blind leadership according to the writer.



“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”  Daniel 8:25

The vision of Daniel recorded in this chapter came to him in the third year of Belshazzar. As the explanation of it, given by Gabriel, shows, it was concerned with the overthrow of the Medo-Persian Empire by that of the Greeks. It was a remarkably lucid foretelling of all that came to pass, and especially of the doings of Antiochus Epiphanes. His pride carried him so far that by his actions he openly challenged and defied God, as he violated His sanctuary. The title of "Epiphanes" which he assumed means "Manifest," and the assumption of that title was in itself a claim of Deity. Thus he stood up against the Prince of princes. This is the logical issue of autocratic ambition. It sets itself against all rule and authority other than its own, and if it be successful over human competitors, it attempts to fling off the final authority, which is that of God and this it does by claiming Divine power and authority for itself. This has happened again and again in human affairs; and it will happen at least once more, in the Man of sin, the Antichrist. But when it does this, it comes to its doom; it falls upon Rock, and is broken without hand, that is, not by human intervention, but by the direct act of God. Antiochus died, not in battle, but by the swift stroke of God taking the form of mental derangement. Whereas this vision of Daniel had to do primarily with Greece its principles are of perpetual application, and will have their complete fulfillment in the final things of this age.
May the rulers in our age be careful not to think too highly of themselves or their regime.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



Location given in Psa. 94:13. (Center of the earth)
7 aspects to hell (Gehenna)
1. Separation from God and Christ (Matt. 7:23).
2. Outer darkness (separation); extreme anguish with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12).
3. Where the worm doesn't die. (Mark 9:44. 46, 48).
4. Unquenchable fire; (Matt. 7:19; Mark 9:42-43
5. Solitary Confinement (Acts 1:25) "his own place" and not a party going on
6. Eternal in its make-up (Matt. 25:41, 46)
7. Degrees of punishment (Mark 12:40; Luke 12:47, 48).

Men make their own hell by living a life developing lusts that they attempt to satisfy while in their body. (Hab. 2:5) But something happens at death (separation) where their body is left behind. The problem is they still possess their desires that it took years to develop. Sheol is the place where there are requests and demands but no vehicle to satisfy the demand or the request. The root of the word is to request, to demand. Sheol is the land of darkness, where perpetual demands are made and never answered.
The agony of the insatiable longing which has no answer [Psalms 116:3] Seen in the statements in Psalms 22:1; Luke 16:23.


1 Samuel

The two books of Samuel constitute one account. The first gives the history of the transition from Theocracy to Monarchy. The inwardness of that transition is revealed by a paragraph in the eighth chapter "Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah: and they said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing dis­pleased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them." Two brief statements from that passage, "Make us a king to judge us like all the nations," and "They have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them," tell the account of the transition, as to the human desire which produced it, and as to the Divine attitude towards it. The nation asked for "a king to judge us like all the nations." The reason for their ex­istence as a nation was that they should be unlike the nations. The unlikeness consisted in the fact that this nation had as its only King Jehovah. The real meaning of their request is therefore interpreted by the language of Jehovah to Samuel, "They have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them." The days of the judges were days of religious apostasy, political disorganization, and social chaos; and religious apostasy in the case of these people meant that they refused to obey the King eternal, immortal, invisible. This attitude expressed itself in the re­quest they brought to Samuel, "Make us a king to judge us like all the nations." Sin forever issues in an attempt to substitute the false for the true. That is the history of idolatry. Every idol is witness to man's need of God. The lack of God creates the necessity for putting something in His place. These men, turning from God as King, desired a king like the nations. The first book of Samuel tells the account of the immedi­ate issues of this desire.
The permanent values of the book may be exclusively expressed in two statements. Its highest revelation is that of Jehovah reigning by adaptation, in order to advance. Its second value is that it reveals the fact that, under this government of God, men cooperate with Him towards the final issues, either by failure or by loyalty. It would appear as though the first of these statements—namely, that Jehovah reigns by adaptation in order to advance—contradicts His declaration concerning the people, "They have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them," and yet it is by no means a contra­diction. It is one thing to reject Jehovah, but it is quite another to dethrone Him. The first is possible. The second is impossible. This is the ultimate lesson of the book. The people, chosen to exhibit the breadth, the beauty, and the benefi­cence of His government, rejected Him from being King, but they did not dethrone Him. As I watch the movement of this account, gathering around the three central figures, Samuel, Saul and David, the highest revelation is not of these men, but of Jehovah reigning by the adap­tation of His method to the requirements of the hour, and so through disobedience or obedience, through success or failure, through men loyal or rebellious, moving quietly, steadily, and surely on. As our analysis of the book suggests, the whole movement gathers round three personali­ties, and centering our attention upon them for the purpose of this article, we must yet keep in mind the prevailing conditions.
The account of Samuel is introduced by that of Hannah. Hannah was a woman whose faith became Jehovah's foothold, and whose song be­came Jehovah's interpretation. While it is the glad thanksgiving of a woman whose prayer has been heard and answered, it is infinitely more. All the values of the book are gathered up into this song of the God who reigns, and concern­ing whom she affirms in 1 Sam 2:6-10 knowing He was a Despot:
"The Lord killeth, and maketh alive:
He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich:
He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
He lifteth up the needy from the dunghill,
To make them sit with princes,
And inherit the throne of glory."
The song moves on:
"They that strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
Against them shall He thunder in heaven:
The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth;
And He shall give strength unto His king,
And exalt the horn of His anointed."
Samuel was a prophet. Peter, speaking in the presence of the assembled multitude in Jeru­salem, said, "The prophets from Samuel and them that followed after." In that reference he included the whole of the Hebrew prophets, be­ginning with Samuel. There is a sense in which there had been prophets before him; indeed, Moses himself was a prophet of whom it is said there never arose another like him. Yet, in one particular respect, Samuel was the first of the prophetic order. The kings were never media­tors between God and man. The people rejected Jehovah from being King, and so passed out of close communion and intimate relationship with Him; and He consented in order to the fulfilling of His purpose, but He never recognized the king as standing between Himself and them He chose their kings for them, He allowed the lust for a king to work itself out in the ultimate disaster of the centuries, but He never spoke to men through the king, but always through the prophets.
With Samuel, then, the prophet emerges as the authoritative representative of Jehovah. Samuel, as prophet, became the king-maker, finding Saul, and anointing him; finding David, and anointing him; and from that point forward, when a Divine mes­sage had to be delivered to the people, it did not come directly from God to the king, but to the king and all the people, through the prophet. In the economy of God, the prophet's office was always superior to that of the king. Thus, when Jehovah was rejected by the will of the people, and they clamored for a king like the other nations, He took this man, the child of a woman's simple faith, trained him through quiet days in the temple courts, called him while yet a boy, and gave him a strange message to deliver, and made him at last the one to anoint Saul a king after the people's own heart, and David a king after God's own heart. The prophets became the mediators, the messengers, the interpreters of the law. They stood between God and the people. Thus Jehovah reigned; and adapting His methods, found Samuel, equipped him for his work, and delivered His message through him.
The history of Saul is one of the most tragic recorded in the Bible, full of fascination and of tremendous power in its appeal to individual life. In placing this man upon the throne, God answered the prayer of the people's rebellion, "Make us a king to judge us like all the na­tions." Consequently, in the economy of God, Saul became a revelation, an interpretation, and a discipline. The meaning of the psalmist's word is revealed in the method, (Psalm 106:15)
"He gave them their request;
But sent leanness into their soul."
Saul stands out upon the page of Israel's his­tory, an object lesson in the real meaning of their choice. He was a man of enormous physical strength, yet fitful and failing from first to last; a man of undoubted mental acumen, yet a man of moods, who presently became a madman; a man as to spiritual life characterized from the very beginning by apathy and slowness, and at last, so devoid of spiritual illumination and power, that he turned his back upon Jehovah, and con­sulted a witch who muttered and worked incanta­tions. He was a revelation to the people of what the possession of a king like the nations really meant.
Then look at the kingdom under Saul. After he was chosen, for a time they were practically without a king. He manifested his weakness by hiding among the stuff when he ought immediately to have taken hold of the scepter. I am perfectly well aware that others interpret that account differently. They affirm that Saul was a man of such extreme modesty that after he was appointed he went back to work in quietness, without taking the kingdom. Such modesty is sin. It is as great a sin to urge modesty, and keep in the background when God calls to the foreground as it is to go to the front, when God's appointment is in the rear. Then came the period of the wars--wars ending ultimately in the most terrible disaster. Under Saul's reign the king­dom became disorganized.
When we come to David again we see adapta­tion and advance. Once again God gave His people a king, hut this time a man after His own heart. The king of God's choosing was a shepherd, whose youthful days had been spent in the fields; a courtier who, passing from the fields to the palace, became Saul's son-in-law; an outlaw for long years, to use his own graphic descrip­tion, hunted like "a partridge in the mountains." Through all these processes God was preparing him for a kingdom, not merely to reign over it, but to realize it. As a shepherd, he loved the sheep under his care, and rescued them from the paw of the lion and the bear. In the king's pal­ace he became accustomed to courtly ways. As an outlaw he was prepared through discipline, and created a new type for the future strength of the kingdom. Thus God was remaking the king­dom in a cave, while the nation was going to pieces round the king after their own heart. The kingdom itself was thus being prepared for re­newal through disaster. The special note in all this is that of Jehovah reigning, moving definitely forward, pressing into the service of His own progress, towards the fulfillment of His purpose, Samuel, Saul, David; governing by adaptation; taking hold of the child of faith and making him a prophet; taking hold of physical magnificence, and by its failures making it a revelation of the sin that had been committed; taking hold of the shepherd lad, and by processes making him king. Thus God ever sits high enthroned, and moves in victory across disaster towards ultimate purpose.
The second value of this book is but the ob­verse side of the first, teaching that man coop­erates with God by failure, and by loyalty. Again our examination centers round the three person­alities, and its purpose is not so much to show the result of their attitude as the process of God.
Samuel found his opportunity in his parentage, his call, his appointment. He responded to his opportunity by loyalty. The issues were that the messages of God were delivered to the peo­ple, and the work of God was advanced.
Saul found his opportunity in his call and anointing, in Samuel's friendship for him, and in his popularity and personal equipment. He responded by vacillation, by self-will, by diso­bedience. The issues were the revelation of his failure and the warning of his death.
David's opportunities were his call and anoint­ing, his long waiting and suffering, and finally the crisis of the battle with Amalek in the hour of Saul's death. He responded by obedience and patience and at the decisive moment by definite action. The issues were that he became the instrument of Jehovah's progress, a man through whom God moved forward towards ultimate realization.
That rapid survey shows that each man had his opportunity; each man made his response to that opportunity; two of them the response of obedience, one that of disobedience; but whether by failure or by loyalty, men cooperate with God towards the final winning of His victory. If a man does not cooperate with God loyally, he is compelled by the sovereignty of His throne, by the sov­ereignty of His government, to cooperate even through his own disaster and defeat.
I may quite briefly state the living message of this book. The permanent values constitute that living message. Let me state them in other terms. In this book I see the despotism of God and the relation of man to that despotism. It first reveals the despotism of God (Jude 4; 2 Pet. 2:1). There is no territory outside His jurisdiction; no person be­yond His control, or who finally escapes His government; no event outside His conscious­ness, or beyond His overruling. This book not only reveals these things, it interprets them. It shows that this despotism of God is operating towards accomplishment, includes in its operation all adverse facts and forces, and creates its own agents whenever it is necessary so to do. It is this living message that we need tremendously to­day.
What, then, is the relation of man to this despotism of God? The ultimate victory is independent of the attitudes of individuals or peoples towards Him. Through Samuel, Saul and David, He moved right on towards the Anointed and the ultimate Kingdom. The ultimate destiny of individuals is dependent upon their attitude towards Him. Samuel was obedient, and was used and saved. Saul was disobedient, and was used and destroyed. David was obedient, and was used and saved. It does not at all matter what my attitude towards God is, as to His ulti­mate victory. It matters everything as to my ultimate destiny. Everything depends upon me as to my own destiny. Nothing depends upon me ultimately as to His victory. He will press into His service for His final victory all souls who are loyal to Him, and they will share in the rap­ture of His victory. He will press into the serv­ice of His ultimate victory all souls in rebellion, and they will share in the wrath of His victory. So my responsibility must be, so far as my own destiny is concerned, the responsibility of obe­dience. This book inspires a great song, which can best be uttered in the words of the psalmist, "The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice." (Psalms 97:1)