When I see the Blood We Look for New Heavens and a New Earth Matthew 24 In time of dispute . . . The Good Old Church Abiding in the Doctrine In The Likeness The Resurrection Already Royal Shall Come Fourth To My Mom and Dad Meetings Tour Through The Bible Obituaries
By Elder Bill Walden
[Exodus 12:13: "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."]
"When I see the blood" is an emphatic statement, it is final, and it is the only way God spares poor sinners. Blood is frightening to the human eye, and blood flowing unchecked from a human body is a sure sign of death, for surely the life is in the blood.
There is a trail of blood that began in the garden of delights, inside the boundaries of beautiful Eden. Its flow enters the gates of heaven and inspires the heavenly anthems sung by an innumerable host, a song the angels themselves cannot sing: "...Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood..." [Rev. 5:9], blood which touched the family of God in every kindred [family] and tongue and people and nation. "Dear lamb of God, thy
precious blood shall never lose its power, 'til all the ransomed church of God is saved to sin no more."
The shedding blood in Eden was the consequence of two other factors, the depths of which no mortal tongue can fully express; yet every son and daughter of Adam have experienced the effects of sin, and eventually corporal death, except for those who remain at His second coming who will then be caught up together with them [the resurrected dead in Christ] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. [1 Thessalonians 4:17].
As we open our Bibles, the very first statement we see is,"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" [Gen. 1:1]. Let us take a moment to consider this bold statement. If a lecture were to be given in a 'scientific setting' on the origin of the universe, and they attributed this existence to some evolutionary process as the cause, they would have a long list of footnotes and references to consult to try and prove their hypothesis.
Again, consider the statement in the Bible, "In the beginning God created." There are no efforts to persuade the reader, and there are no supporting references. Whether it is accepted or not, it is a fact. He simply proceeds with the only inspired account of creation, and this is not a detailed account; God told us what it pleased Him for us to know. Any conclusions beyond this are purely speculation. Without the Genesis account of creation we have no account at all. There are numerous references to creation in the Old and New Testaments but every reference is to the Genesis account.
There has been a concerted effort, especially in the last century, and in the present, to erase any reference to God. One professed atheist persuaded a nation that God offended her and we heeded her demand. In our public buildings the Ten Commandments and references to God are being erased, but God cannot be erased. All the movements in the public sector, all the self-serving political maneuvering to accommodate such efforts cannot erase God or His judgments, which hang heavy over every nation that forgets Him.
In the old creation of the heaven and the earth before the beginning here was no universe, only the eternal God, the "I AM".
Christ, the eternal Son of God did not have His beginning one snowy December eve in Bethlehem. God, the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the eternal self-existent God, acting according to His own good pleasure, created the heaven and the earth just as it pleased Him to do.
Job tells us it pleased God to hang the earth on nothing, and it's still where He hung it. "He stretched out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." [Job 26:7]. The carnal wisdom of modern man says this is not scientific enough, not technical enough. Paul was confronted with the mindset of the Greeks in his day who claimed to be seeking after wisdom, which was no different than today.
In the garden God saw sin, He saw death, and He saw blood.
God saw the blood in Goshen put there at His command. The difference between life and death was the blood, between bondage and blessed freedom. "When I see the blood I will pass over you." He did not say, "when I see your pitiful flight, see your tired bodies, remember your long history of bondage, I will pass over you [spare your lives]," but "when I see the blood." That was their salvation and ours. The greatest work system ever developed by men is not enough for Him to say when He sees our good works, our good intentions, our doing the best we can, "I will pass over you."
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;" [Romans 5:12] This one man, Adam, sinned and they covered themselves with fig leaves. Many precedents were set in Eden. At the very fountain head of the human works system the first humans on earth tried to provide their own covering to hide from the all-seeing eye of God.
An innocent animal had to be sacrificed to provide a covering for them. Every sacrificial lamb pointed to what John saw when he said of the Lord Jesus, "Behold, the lamb of God which taketh the sin of the world." [John 1:29]
Elder Bill Walden
August 29, 2002
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By Brother Norman Gowens
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Pet. 3:13.
Is our "looking" a future eternal resurrection view or a present-time looking for a place where righteousness now dwells? Must we wait until the resurrection to enjoy a place of perfection where God dwells with us and where there are no tears, no death, neither sorrow, nor crying nor pain?
Under the law service, the Jews could only look by promise through prophecy that in the last days the mountain of the Lord's house would be established in the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills; and all nations would flow unto it and out of Zion would come forth the law. Isa. 2:2-3. There was no place for the Jews to go up into a high mountain in their flesh bodies where righteousness dwelled. Their conversations were in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
The law under Moses only condemned, convicted, and sentenced sinners. Now our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Phil. 3:20. Micah 4:1, "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. [Read verses 2-7] Notice verse 1 doesn't say in the "last day," but in the "last days."
According to scripture we are now living in the last days. Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:1-2, so, where is this great mountain where the Lords's house is? Is it literal, figurative, allegorical, or spiritual? Is His kingdom yet to be built?; Premillennialists believe God's kingdom is yet to be rebuilt in natural Jerusalem. God knew what He was saying that in the last days the Lord's house would be established in the top of the mountains. Christ fulfilled the old law service and his physical and material kingdom was purged from the law of works to the law of grace. Christ is now our law in His spiritual kingdom. Where works once dwelled in the keeping of Moses' law, grace now dwells in Christ directly into our hearts.
Scripture tells us there is a natural Jerusalem and a spiritual Jerusalem. Gal. 4:26 says, "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." This is spiritual Jerusalem. Isa. 52:1, Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Isa. 61:10, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decked himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorned herself with jewels. God is a jealous God and He espoused us to one husband, that He may present us as chaste virgins to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:2. No longer are we married to the law of Moses. We are married to Christ.
Prophecy promised something new. Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into
mind. Isaiah 66:22. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. [If the new heavens and new earth are in the resurrection future, why will God "make" them? Will there be a new Heaven for the elect of God or is Heaven where God already is?]
Abraham sought by faith this great city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Heb. 11:10. Heb. 11:16 says, "But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Heb. 12:22 says, "But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels." [Read 23-29].
Heb. 13:12-13 refers to the time that the Jews suffered without the camp and those Jews had no continuing city, but sought one to come. Jesus said in Rev. 3:12, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. John called this holy city a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
If this new heaven and new earth is eternal in the resurrection, then surely works are required on our part to enter for Jesus said, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God." But the new heaven and new earth is this holy city, new Jerusalem and it comes down to us from heaven itself. This is a spiritual city on a high spiritual mountain, where the Lord's house [temple] is.
This is allegorical language showing the kingdom of heaven where our spirits commune with the spirit of God. It is a real place, a real present existing new heaven and new earth. Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
Rev. 2:17," John was carried away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." Rev. 21:10, and read on about the spiritual temple in verses 11-27. The temple of God is now established in the holy city, new Jerusalem and it is called the mountain of the Lord's house. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of the holy city. Rev. 21:22.
[Read 2 Peter 3:1-10 In verses 11 and 12, Peter said, "Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of person ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heart?
Peter then turns attention back to Now in verse 13, saying, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." The words "look" and "dwelleth" are in the present tense, active voice, and indicative mood. This indicative mood makes an assertion of fact and is used with all six Greek tenses. It is the only mood in which distinctions can regularly be made about the time when an action occurs. The present tense in the indicative mood represents contemporaneous action [in the present time], as opposed to action in the past or the future.
We assemble in the physical militant church, looking to be carried up into the kingdom of heaven to the mountain of the Lord's house where new heavens and a new earth comes down to us out of Heaven, in which we offer up praise unto God. This holy city is available to us now. We don't have to wait until the resurrection to enjoy the inner courts of His temple. Glory to His name, for some sweet day we shall be carried into Heaven itself where we will ever be with the Lord.
There shall be no more need for this holy city, the new heavens and the new earth, to come down to us, for we shall go up to and before the very throne of God in Heaven. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2.
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Thank you for putting our 50th Wedding Anniversary in your paper. A lot of Old Baptists said they saw it. Thanks, again.
We sure enjoy the paper.
Vera Dean [Poteet] Powell
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By Elder Hulan Bass
There are three (3) areas of contextual discussion in this chapter.
Matt. 24:3 - "And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world.?"
Matt. 24:4-13 Prelude of General Conditions pertaining to the immediate and distant future.
Matt. 24:37-51 Continues to list the situation found in this Time World during the Remainder of the Church Age, Dispensation and Generations, with references in illustrations, from O.T. History, and visions of the last moment of the End-Time. In this Church Age, we look for and watch for (V.42-43) the 2nd Coming of Christ, and not as some who are described in Matt. 24:44-51.
Incidentally, this same case scenario of the Church Age continues on into most of Chapter 25.
1. The Destruction of Jerusalem = Verses 14-28
2. Sign of His Coming = Verses 29-34
3. End of the World = Verse 36 Only
Then there are many points of identity as to the TIME of the CHURCH AGE, V.37-51, while waiting for the END OF THE WORLD - Literally and Physically, as the 2nd Coming and Final Parousia of Christ Jesus at the Resurrection of the Bodies at the END-TIME. In other words - "meanwhile, back at the ranch." During this "time-frame" we are advised to be watchful, since we know not the exact moment of the END TIME, and at the End of the Church Age.
SIGN of HIS COMING
Corresponding Scriptures which more clearly identity the "Sign of His Coming" which is a "Spiritual Sign" as He comes frequently as the COMFORTER - the HOLY GHOST - John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7-16. The initial manifested advent of the HOLY GHOST - COMFORTER is found on the Day of Pentecost as recorded prophetically in - Joel 2:28-32; Luke 24: 46-49; Acts 2:16-21; Romans 10:11-13. Then such is found as FULFILLED in - Acts 2:1-4-15.
The Signs of His Coming is continuous as the HOLY GHOST - COMFORTER.
Commentary reflecting the ENTIRE 24th Chapter of Matthew, in all three (3 areas) of its categories =
Hassell's History: Quote from Page 251-252 =
While John, in the Revelation, had in view, primarily, the overthrow of Jerusalem and of heathen Rome, the two great foes of Christianity at that time, his vision was not confined to these momentous events. It extends even to the remotest future when death and Hades shall be no more, and a new Heaven and a new earth shall appear. Although the fulfillment is predicted as being near at hand, he puts a Millennium and a short intervening conflict before the overthrow of Satan, the beast and the false prophet. We have an analogy in the prophecy of the Old Testament and the eschatological discourses of our Lord (in Matt. 24; 25; Mark 13; Luke 21), which furnish the key for the understanding of the Apocalypse. He describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the general judgment in close proximity, as if they were one continuous event. He sees the end from the beginning. The first catastrophe is painted with colors borrowed from the last, and the last appears as a repetition of the first, on a grand and universal scale.
It is the manner of prophetic vision to bring distant events
into close proximity, as in a panorama. To God 1000 years are as one day - every
true prophecy admits of an expanding fulfillment. History ever repeats itself,
though with new variations. The Apocalypse is not a prophetical manual of church
history and chronology in the sense of a prediction of particular
persons, dates and events. This would have made it useless to the first readers, and would make it useless now to the great mass of Christians. It gives, under symbolic figures and for popular edification, an outline of the general principles of Divine government and the leading forces in the
conflict between Christ's kingdom and His foes, which is still going on under ever-varying forms. In this way it teaches, like all the prophetic utterances of the Gospels and epistles, lessons of warning and encouragement to every age. We must distinguish between the spiritual coming of Christ and His personal arrival, or parousia. The former is progressive, the latter instantaneous. The spiritual coming began with His ascension to Heaven (see Matt. 26:64) - "Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of Heaven," and goes on in unbroken succession of judgments and blessings (for the history of the world is a judgment of the world); hence the alternation of action and repose, of scenes of terror and scenes of joy, of battles and victories. The personal arrival of the Bridegroom is still in the unknown future (Matt. 24:36), but is as certain as the first advent of Christ. The hope of the church will not
be disappointed, for it rests on the promise of Him who is called "the Amen, the faithful and true witness." - Rev. 3:14.
Compiled by: Hulan F. Bass (elder)
LETTERS FROM HOME
Thank you for the wonderful "letters from home." Enclosed is for two years subscription and a donation.
Our Love and prayers,
The Howards: Donn, Lynette, Seth, Owen, Grant, Trevor and Marbie
Note: So proud to hear from you Sister Marbie! Thank you for the donation! Opal Richards
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by Don R. Richards
Have you ever been involved in family dispute?
Have you or any one in your family been through a bitter divorce? Have you or any in your family married into a family involved in bitter family disagreements?
It is not fun. It is difficult, and it can strain the best of personal relationships.
As an attorney in my secular life, I have been witness to numerous family disputes ó usually involving a divorce and the resulting legal battles over child custody, child support payments and property division. Occasionally I have witnessed bitter disputes over claim to an estate following the death of a parent.
These are tough, difficult to resolve disagreements. We take such things personally when they involve us. It can affect not only those of us who may be directly involved, but it also directly impacts later personal and family relationships which develop, such as when there is remarriage after a bitter dispute. The new spouse or family member automatically inherits the issues, and tension can be created at a time when a new couple needs to be developing a loving bond.
What do we do in such a situation? How do we address the situation when we have been personally affected, or when we inherit a problem through a new developing relationship? Do we simply join in the dispute, aligning ourselves without on the side of our joined family?
Well, letís start from the basics. What are we told to do with our bitter enemy? Are we to take revenge? Are we to encourage the wrath and actively engage in battle?
Or, are we supposed to "give place unto wrath"? "Avenge not yourselves" ... vengeance belongs to the Lord. Rom. 12:19. If there is repayment due, are we to do it, or are we to lt the Lord repay?
"Recompense to no man evil for evil....Live peaceable with all men." Rom 12:17-18.
What we are told to do for our enemies, surely is also good advice to former friends and family, now involved in dispute. "Love your enemies, bless them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." Matt. 5:44.
What we want to do is totally opposite to what the Lord instructs us to do. We are to pray for them, and ask the Lord to solve the problem or reconcile you to it. Instead of spending all our spare time worrying and fretting over a family dispute, turn the prayer and turn the problem over to the Lord. He is much better equipped to deal with it than we are.
The greatest commandment after our love of the Lord, is to love our neighbor. Matt. 22:36-40. It makes no distinction between a friendly neighbor or an unfriendly one.
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." Rom. 12:11-12.
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" Rom 12:20.
"An this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." Rom 12:21.
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16.
There generally is little faith in family disputes. Most get frustrated, as there is no answer in sight.
Most people involved easily and quickly give up hope. They find they cannot answer the problem themselves and they either get bitter, depressed, seek vengeance, or lose faith. People turn in almost every direction, seeking almost every solution they can think of, except the solution which will work the best -- one which the Lord has directed.
If you are involved, or are close to someone involved, step in with the words of Jesus and the Apostles. Pray. Turn it over to the Lord. Remind them and encourage them to try it.
Ask the Lord to intervene. This provides two solutions ó one for the problem with the other party, and one to remove the personal bitterness of ourselves.
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C. M. DOUBLE
1. Well wife, I've found the good old church,
It filled my heart with joy;
It made me think of good old times
When I was just a boy;
The meeting house was finer built Than they were years ago,
But then I found when I went in
It was not built for show.
2. You should have heard the singing, wife.
It had the old time ring;
The preacher said with trumpet voice,
"Let everybody sing";
"Old Coronation" was the tune;
The music upward rolled,
Until it seemed the angel choir
Struck all the harps of gold.
3. My deafness seemed to melt away,
My heart was filled with praise;
I joined my feeble trembling voice
As in my youthful days;
We sang it as we used to sing,
"Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of All."
4. I tell you wife, it did me good
To sing that song once more;
I feel like some poor sailor feels
Who gets a glimpse of shore;
I almost want to lay aside
This weather-beaten form,
And anchor in the blessed port
Forever from the storm.
5. 'Twas not a flowery sermon, wife,
But simply gospel truth;
It fitted humble men like me,
It suited hopeful youth.
To tell the people of the Christ,
The earnest preacher tried;
He talked not of himself, or creed,
But Jesus crucified.
6. Dear wife, the toil will soon be o'er,
The victory already won.
The shining land is just ahead,
Our race is nearly won.
We're nearing Canaan's happy shore,
Our home so bright and fair;
Thank God, we'll never sin again,
There'll be no sorrow there.
[I found this poem in my mother's things after she passed away. It is, "The Good Old Church" by C. M. Double....Leon Watson.]
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ENJOY THE BANNER
My wife and I enjoy reading The Banner of Love each month. May the Lord continue to bless you in providing this publication for His children.
Your brother in Christ,
Elder Greg Dorough
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ANXIOUSLY AWAIT EACH MONTH
Suzanne and I love the Banner and anxiously await each month for it's arrival. Please accept our humble donation.
It is our wish to support the paper by writing about God's Word and by our prayers.
God bless you for your labors in His service.
Andrew W. Stull, Elder
Note: Elder Stull we appreciate the contribution and also your kind words. We appreciate you writing. Opal Richards
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By ELDER ANDREW W. STULL
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. "Together" speaks of unity.
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead man shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.
Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, and that we may be also glorified together.
Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace are ye saved];
And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Unity, which removed all enmity by the reconciling grace by the which we have been so placed in Christ Jesus from a covenant standpoint before the world began.
2 Timothy 2:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
We have been so placed together with our Savior, that we have the doctrine of Eternal Salvation wholly by the Grace of God. Being placed in Christ, we cannot finally fall away for in 2 Timothy 2:13 we read, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." For Christ to Eternally lose one of His chosen people which he foreknew, he would have to deny Himself, which he cannot do.
Oh how sweet to declare what is written, what is true, what is lead in the Rock forever; our sweet unity with Christ, with the gospel and our precious brethren.
In creation we were created in the likeness of God. Upon the entrance of sin into the world by Adam's fall from his first estate, so far was the great gulf of separation from our God that it confounds the mind. "Death by sin for that all have sinned." But our scripture says, and notice its significance, "in the likeness of his death." The mother of Zeb-edees' children said, "grant that these my two sons may sit one on the right, the other on the left in the Kingdom. Matthew 20:21. Jesus answers and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized into? They say unto him, we are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with." How sweet to see our glorious Savior whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Romans 3:25. Christ our mercy seat, our vicarious substitution, the Expiation of our sins by His death, has justified His chosen people. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, the planting is the grace by which God imputed righteousness. Righteousness is imputed unto us upon Regeneration and we are translated into His Kingdom.
In Psalms 92:13-14 "Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age. How glorious to be thoroughly identified with Christ, in death, as well as in life. Psalms 17:15 David said, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."
In Christian love
Andrew W. Stull
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ENJOY THE WRITING OF ELDERS
Enclosed is a check for $15.00 for the renewal of The Banner of Love for another year.
Enjoy the writing of Elders and also enjoy reading the church news of the yearly meetings, as I've attended several of those churches.
May God continue to bless you in editing the paper.
In Christian Love,
L. Cleone Stidman
Note: Thank you Sister Stidman and thanks for the extra.
Voice of the Past...
By Elder W. J. Chambers
[A sermon delivered at Pilgrim Rest Church, Stratton, Texas, Feb. 12, 1950]
It is a great privilege that we have in being permitted to assemble ourselves at any time in the house of God for prayer and supplication to be made. I feel that if there was ever a time in the world that I desired the prayers of God's people, it is now. The Apostle said he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God. I'm not ashamed of the Gospel, but sometimes I am ashamed of my weak way in preaching the Gospel.
I would like to read from the 5th chapter of St. John, the 21st and the 25th verse, concerning the Resurrection. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." The 25th verse says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God; and they that hear shall live." The dead is the thing I would like to talk about for just a little while, and then I would like to talk about life.
What "dead" is it that is under consideration in the text where it says, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. The word "quickeneth means "made alive" and as the father did that, even so in the same way the Son quickeneth whom He will. The dead in the above expression is talking about those that are dead in trespassing and sin.
We find in the beginning that God created the heaven and earth and everything that he made; then he made man and gave man a law. "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." So that man did the very thing that God told him not to do--he ate of that fruit, and he died.
I know that some people think that God did not reckon time as we reckon it, because a thousand years is as one day, or one day is as a thousand years with God. God could look down through the annals of time and view the end from the beginning, and we hear him saying, "And the
evening and the morning were the first day," and so on until the seventh day, which He blessed, according to the teachings of God's word. He also said, "are there not 12 hours in the day?"
That man violated the law of God and that man died the very day that he ate of the forbidden fruit. He died a death in sin. He didn't have a contemporal death, he didn't have a spiritual death because he wasn't a spiritual being, but the Bible says that he died a death in sin, so death has passed upon all men for they all have sinned. This is teaching that human beings are born into the world as sinners and are naturally dead in trespassing and in sin; and if God doesn't do something for that individual he will ever remain dead in trespassing and in sin. But we have this great text, the words of our blessed Savior, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them: [and made alive] "even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."
If there was no other text in all of the Bible on this thought, that would prove that spiritual, eternal life comes only by the expression of the spirit of God in the hearts of men and women. Notice this verse says, "even so the Son quickeneth
whom he will." So, Jesus Christ is at that great work. I remember I made a statement including men and women; I would like to add boys and girls and infant babies, many of whom are quickened and made alive in the Lord Jesus Christ probably before they were born into the world.
The Bible teaches that God quickens them from a dead state of trespassing and sin to a live state. If the Bible is true [and I know that it is], that individual who has been made alive in the Lord Jesus Christ by the quickening word of God has something about him that never dies, and that is a spiritual eternal life. At the death of the body the Bible teaches us that dust thou art, and dust shalt thou return, but the spirit goes to God who gave it. This is the resurrection from a death in sin to a life in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the only way that people will ever be made alive in the Lord Jesus Christ is by the quickening of the spirit of God or the Grace of God.
There has never been a power in the world that could give anything life but God alone, who gives natural life. God alone gives spiritual life. There is no other source from which it comes. Take for instance, an individual who is dead in trespassing and sin. God comes to that individual and doesn't try to give him life, doesn't offer to give him life, but he gives him life. The words that God speak are the spirit and the life.
The 25th verse of the 5th chapter of St. John says that "The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." Who would get up in the face of this text and say that God wants to do something, but he can't do it without the individual being willing. When the text says that he is dead, he is dead to spiritual things. The Bible teaches us that the man in this death has ears, but can't hear, has eyes, but can't see, has a heart but can't understand. Jesus says, "I will take away the stony heart, and I will give you a heart of flesh." That is teaching that God quickens who he will--not who might let him, but whom he will.
God comes and quickens someone from a death in sin to a life in the Lord Jesus Christ. We see a man or woman, boy or girl, born in the world and who is living an ungodly life. Maybe the father and mother have talked to him. Maybe the preacher has talked to him, but he can't understand what it's about. When God speaks peace to that individual's soul that individual
hears and is a child of God. Whether he tells his mother about it; whether he tells his father about it; whether he ever tells a living human in the world about it, heaven will be his home. How will it be? It will be by what God has done for that individual. The text will prove that. I remember reading where it says, "Being confident of this one thing he which hath begun a good work in you will remain there until the days of Jesus Christ." But now, we want to notice the rest of that verse after telling that "the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." He says "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves" [that means those who are naturally dead] shall hear his voice and shall come forth." I want you to notice the expression, "shall hear." This is not only teaching how that man or woman, boy or girl, or infant baby is saved in heaven and immortal glory, but it also teaches how our bodies will be raised and fashioned like the glorified body of the blessed Son of God. God speaks to that man, woman, boy or girl who is dead in trespassing and in sin, and that individual hears the voice of God and he is alive. That same voice is going to speak to us on that morning when our bodies will be raised and fashioned like unto the body of the blessed Son of God. Now, I know that this seems like too great a mystery, but I want you to notice in the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, he says, "Behold" which means for us to give attention to something, "I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep." That means we will all not die. When Jesus was alive here in the world talking about death, he called it a "Sleep."
When Lazarus died a natural or contemporal death, Jesus told the disciples that "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." Then in order to make the disciples understand, Jesus said, "Lazarus is dead." As Jesus and the disciples drew near the place, one of the poor girls who was heartbroken over the going of her brother, Lazarus, saw Jesus coming and went to meet him. She said, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus began to talk with her and said that her brother would rise again. She believed in the resurrection of our bodies, and she said, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life." Jesus wanted to know where they had laid the body, and he was led there.
When they got to the sacred place among the dead, Jesus asked them to roll away the stone. His sister said, "Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath been dead four days." Why did Jesus have the stone rolled away? I am going to say that he could have raised the body without the stone being rolled away, but because of the people standing around who doubted Jesus and might not believe that Lazarus was really dead, the stone was cast aside.
Jesus spoke the words, "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus raised up out of his grave, and Jesus said, "Loose him, and let him go." If our God could raise a man's body that had been dead for four days, buried in the heart of the earth, and give him life, then why doubt that God could speak to a dead sinner in the world today and make him a child of God.
Now, let us notice again. He says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." This has reference to that day of all days when God shall speak and the Bible says he will speak, to the earth to give up its dead and the Seas to hold not back, and bring my sons and daughters from the ends of the earth. The Bible says the angel of the Lord will place one foot upon the sand and one upon the sea and declare that time shall be no more. I am glad that he said something about the sea giving up its dead, because there are many thousands of bodies that have been buried in the great briny deep. The voice of God is all-powerful. All He had to do to make this great universe and everything in it was to speak, and it was done. So, God is going to speak to our bodies after death, and our bodies will live again. I know that we hate to think about death. I know that sometimes we get so cast down in the world that we think perhaps there is no resurrection of our bodies--that all our loved ones will be gone and we'll never see them again.
But yet, when we get that way, that hope springs up in our soul, as Job once stated, "If a man die, shall he live again?"
Job answered his own question as he said, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou have a desire to the work of thine hands." "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom shall I see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." No wonder that Job said, "Oh, that my words were not written! Oh, that they were printed in a book! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."
You know that this world is full of trials; it is a world of trouble to the children of God. Yet, we should be thankful for the great evidence we have that God had the power, and not only the power, but the love for his people that he has blessed them. Christ tells us, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; it if were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
Dear Children of God, I love to speak to you and tell you to struggle on. I know that sometimes we feel that we had just as well give up and that there is no need of our going on in this world. But there is something to live for! It doesn't matter to me whether you belong to any denomination or not--if you love God. God has first loved you. The Bible says that we love God because He first loved us and gave His life for us; therefore, if you have at any time said, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner" I am going to say that heaven will be your home, although, you may never be baptized into the fellowship of any denomination. Yes, heaven will be your home. How will it be? Through and by the quickening word of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Lots of people think that we believe that if infants die they are lost, and say that we preach infant damnation. But I am going to tell you that the same God who speaks to an old man, an old woman, a boy or girl, will speak to a little infant boy who will then be made alive in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not going to tell you just what you will look like in heaven. The Bible tells us that it is enough to know that when we see Him be shall be like Him.
Let us notice in the Bible where Jesus was speaking to his disciples. He was preparing to lay down his life. He knew He was going to die and he knew they would be grieved and worried about Him. The same is true in our lives today. Many times there are fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, who see they haven't much longer to live. They want to speak words which will linger in the hearts of their loved ones in order that they might not weep. Christ says, "Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me." When I see an individual and have the evidence that he is a child of God, there is something about him that I love. I love every Child of God.
My oldest son was only eight or nine years old when his mother died. Just two months after his mother died, Brother Redford was preaching on the Resurrection. My son was sitting in the row beside me. I could see the tears running down his face as he looked at me and said, "Papa, that's the sweetest think I ever heard." At that moment, I had the evidence that he loved God and God loved him. I had the evidence which made me believe with all my heart and soul and mind, that this boy would live with God in heaven. The Bible says, "It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption." So the body goes into the grave weak and is raised in power. God speaks to a man and quickens him from a death in sin to a life with Jesus Christ. The very moment that man hears His voice, he is a Child of God.
God says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." I believe there will be some living upon the earth when Jesus comes again, but those who are living will not hinder those who are asleep.
The Bible says, "The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
That is a wonderful thing to look forward to, and if you are a child of God, you are just as sure of that home not made with hands as anything in the world. God began his work and God will finish it. Knowing and believing this is a wonderful thing. You or I might go to sleep on the job and overlook doing some of the things we should, but you can trust God, who never sleeps on the job.
"The hour will come when the dead in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth!" God has the power and the means for the resurrection of our bodies on the day when we will all be caught up to meet our Lord in the air. "Comfort ye one another with these words." It is indeed a comfort to know that we will be with God.
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A MEMBER FOR 59 YEARS
Please send me the Banner of Love Primitive Baptist publication. I have been a member of the Union Primitive Baptist Church at Grandfield, OK for for fifty-nine years.
Mrs. W. P. Cozby
By Elder Dale E. Magers
The Apostle John in his second letter addresses the church (the Elect Lady and her Children). The first thing he tells them is that he loves them in the truth, "The Elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth". He goes on to say that he is not the only one that loves them, but that they are loved by all them that know the truth.
We can see by this statement that all true believers love the people of the church. When we find a person that has known the truth as it is in Christ Jesus we know that person loves the church. In the second verse we are told why: "For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us and shall be with us forever." What is this truth? It basically consists in knowing that we all died in Adam in sin and that God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to redeem us from sin.
He came as the son of man, kept the law that we have never kept, and died for us on the cross taking our sins away. He brought us out from under the judgment of sin forever. He became our resurrection and life by dying in our place. Through this work upon the cross all of his people will live with him in glory. (John 6:37-39) When we meet another person that believes this truth there is a fellowship that arises through grace that brings a mutual love and rejoicing. Our greatest rejoicing is that God's love for us is with us for ever. John starts this short letter speaking of love. Remember that he is the disciple that leaned on Jesus breast who often is spoken of as the apostle of love. He has so much to say about love, it seems to be the principle grace that he thinks about. In his first letter chapter three, verse one he says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God." In verse 14 of this same chapter John says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.
He that loved not his brother abideth in death." Where there are divisions, strife, anger, and hatred there is no evidence of life, but when every brother sees that he is an undeserving sinner saved by the grace of Christ he rejoicing when he meets another believer in Christ. There a mutual fellowship in this experience for he knows that the person he has met that also loves Christ is a better person than he is. In chapter 4, verse 8 John tells us, "He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love."
God has not only loved us with an everlasting love and drawn us with loving kindness, but his very nature is love. In verse 9 of chapter 4 John tells us, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world." No wonder in verse 19 of the 4th chapter he says, "We love him, because he first loved us." What a great God of love to have loved us when we were his enemy and hated him! No wonder Paul would say, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief." When we truly feel to be the worst of sinners and thank God for having saved us, we are truly embraced in God's love.
In my own experience, on the day of my gospel conversion, I felt that I was looking at a holy group of brothers, wondering if a sinner like me could ever be worthy to live with such a great people. Since then through the years I have discovered that their greatness does not lie in their personal righteousness, but in that one who hath bestowed his love upon us all! How glorious to know that this great truth of salvation in Christ shall always abide with me, as John told us and shall be with us for ever. Yet through the years we have seen many departing from this truth. How can this be? There are two ways that people come to this knowledge.
Some pick up the bible and read it and grasp the fact that these things happened intellectually. This is knowledge that they obtained through their natural abilities and strengths. What we acquire through our own ability we can change our minds and get rid of it, but what God reveals through the Spirit of God abides with us forever. A study of the 8th chapter of the gospel of John will reveal this, for Christ says, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:33).
What has truly been revealed can never be lost, but what we acquire through the gospel can be lost, for John tells us in verse 9 of this second letter, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine (teachings) of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." When John uses the word (transgresseth) he is saying whoever goes on and does not walk in the teachings of Christ does not have God. Can you remember how joyfully and powerfully when the truth came to you the day you took up your cross to follow Christ? How we thought that we would walk more and more with him.
As time passed we placed our affections on other things drifting from the truth. Reading God's word less and less, in afflictions realizing that we have departed from God when we call upon him and he seemingly does not answer! But he is always there, he dwells in our hearts through the Spirit. When we draw near to him, he draws near to us. It is a terrible place to be walking in God's truth when God does not seem to be there.
He has not walked away from us, but we have walked away from him. AMEN:
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By Elder George Walker
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29) We as Primitive Baptist have always believed in the resurrection of the just and of the unjust. We have always believed that there is an eternal place called heaven that awaits the sinner saved by grace and that there is an eternal place called hell that awaits the wicked; it is called the lake of fire.
In these two verses that I have quoted embraces both the elect and the none elect. Christ says, "Marvel not at this:" We live in a world today of great marvel. When we see things of great interest we sit back in amazement of the magnitude of it all. Sometimes we marvel at what a great speaker that we are listening to, sometimes we hear a sermon that is preached with such power that we marvel at the impact that it has upon us. Here Christ says, Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. Is it such a great thing that we believe this to be true? We are speaking about the voice of the Son of God that speaks and it is done, the one that spoke the world into existence, this is the one that says (let) and it comes to pass. There is power in the voice of Jesus Christ the one that has all power. Even the strength and the little power that we have are in him and come from him. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice." We are dealing with these dead of ours bodies being in the grave, these helpless dead bodies that have already gone back to the dust of the earth that has taken on the form of the earth again, these bodies will hear the voice of Christ. Just as Lazarus laid in the tomb after four days and his body had saw corruption, yet when Christ spoke, Lazarus, come forth, Lazarus came forth still bound in his grave clothes. I tell you today that Christ is coming again and when he speaks we will hear his voice, both the just and the unjust.
"And shall come forth;" There is not a possibility that they will not hear and will not come forth. "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." You might be thinking about now that we need to start doing good, that we need to continue to do good until Christ comes again in order to be raised unto the resurrection of life. I want to assure you this day that we are not talking about a condition placed upon us, but that we are dealing with our position in Jesus Christ. We are talking about the righteousness of Christ being imputed unto us, that is, (charged to our account} and to go a step further our sins being imputed to Jesus Christ, that is, (charged to his account.) Paul says; he that doeth righteous is righteous. How much good do we have to do in order to be an evidence of grace? If we ever do one righteous act it is evidence that the righteousness of Christ has been imputed unto us. Christ said in the 25th chapter of Matthew, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And says, "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
So when Christ comes again he will speak come forth and we will all hear his voice and shall come forth. He will say to the sheep on his right hand come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Can we not see in this text of what we have been saved from? We have been saved by grace, saved from an eternal separation from God, saved from being cast into the lake of fire and tormented forever and forever, saved from being judged according to our works, saved from getting what we deserved, but instead getting something that is far better, getting what we do not deserve, a home in heaven, a body of perfection and holiness, being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. AMEN:
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By Elder Mark Green
"For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests" (Rev. 5.9-10).
We sing a hymn that makes the statement, "When we all get to
heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" Indeed it will be! Who could
describe the glory that shall be revealed in us and to us when we enter the
portals of the manifest presence of God? Sometimes the only thing that keeps us
going amid the cares and toil of this life is the thought of how wonderful it
will be in heaven. We long for that "great rising day" when all that troubles us
will be taken away. We rejoice to think what it will be like to view the
throne room of glory. There is no doubt that God's people suffer much hardship and tribulation and that one of the sweetest parts of our religion is the anticipation of the glory world.
In our longing for heaven, however, let us not forget that we have something very special here. Notice the verb tense of our text: "hast made us." This is in the present perfect tense, meaning that the thing being contemplated was already accomplished at the time the speaker spoke. When John wrote this, it was already true. John had been and we have been made kings and priests - royalty. Indeed, the apostle Peter tells us that we are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (1 Pt. 2.9). You are this, he told them. It was nothing something in the future, but something that was already fact. Though they were strangers and pilgrims scattered by persecution throughout a large area, despised and abused by many, yet, unobserved by those who had no eyes to see, they were "a seed royal." They were children of the King. If they were, then we are - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
When I was a child, my mother would let us scrape the mixing bowl and lick the beaters after she finished making a batch of cookies. It did not fill us up, and so we longed for the finished product, but it surely was sweet and served to whet our appetites for that which was to come. So it is with God's children. We seem to always be hungering and thirsting after righteousness and never get quite filled up, but on those occasions when our Righteousness is revealed to us and we see Him high and lifted up - my, but isn't our religion sweet to us then!
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TO MY MOM AND DAD
WHOM I LOVE SO DEARLY
Such a blessing its been these
Past years to have you both so near me.
I love you so both so much,
I think My heart will surely overflow.
Every day of our lives I feel
My love and respect for you grow.
When finally a few years ago
I was able to leave the nest.
I knew I'd miss the two sweet parents
With which I've been blest.
Though I was living amongst hoboes
Ex-cons and those who are mental,
Thank God He blessed me to remain
Sane and gentle.
Even then you two, and through
You the Lord Jesus Christ
Were examples of the right way to live
And thank God I did as you advised.
Through those dark days and months
Even a couple of years.
Thank God, I was able to turn your disappointed
Sobs into joyous tears.
And always through prayer to Jesus Christ
I climbed out of that old dark pit
I found that life sober and honest
Would lead to our dear Lord ever watching over
Shining His grace upon us.
And through these days of sickness,
Nurses and meds.
The Dear Lord blessed us with
A roof for the rain and protected us from
Curses in our heads.
Always Mom and dad you have helped me
And given aid.
Though you're not full of wealth,
So many of my bills you paid.
Every night before bed I pray and
Thank God for carrying me through.
Thank you dear Lord for a Mom
And Dad as caring and considerate as you.
I love you both so much.
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