31 March 2008

Too Busy to Say Much...

by Phil Johnson

'm just back from the Dallas area and too busy to blog properly today. But I wanted to point you to a friend's blog. Doug McMasters is pastor of Trinity Road Chapel, Upper Tooting. That's a London-area church within short walking distance of the home where Spurgeon lived for several years. Spurgeon helped inaugurate Trinity Road Chapel.

Anyway, Doug has been posting some selections from the 1894 isue of The Sword and the Trowel. These articles were initially published two years after Spurgeon's death, and they include some letters, rare sermon excerpts, and other items of interest not published during Spurgeon's lifetime. Enjoy, and I'll pick up the Acts 17 series later this week, Lord willing.

Phil's signature

PS:

My friend and favorite radio talk-show personality Todd Friel started a new daily television program today: "Wretched."

That's the name of the program, not my assessment of it. It's on FamilyNet, which means as far as I can discover, it's not on DirectTV, so I can't watch. But check it out if you get FamilyNet.



22 comments:

steve said...

Would that every church take heed to that earnest charge to Trinity Road Chapel!

Within that charge are some quoteworthy gems.

Thanks for the link to McMaster's blog, Phil.

S.J. Walker said...

Thanks Phil, I'll Check it out today if I can.

A Lion Has Roared!

Strong Tower said...

"men-millenery and gewgaws" will never sate the soul-

Translated- fancy women's hats worn by men and fake pearls and bangles and fancy dancy prancy is not spiritual food.

"Then, too, the preaching of the truth, and the whole truth, will bring a power of union among you, so that you who love the Lord will he heartily united. When Christian people quarrel, it is generally because they do not get sufficient spiritual food. Dogs fight when there are no bones, and church-members fall out when there is no spiritual food. We must give them plenty of gospel; for the gospel has the power of sweetening the temper, and making us put up with one another.

Wow, and I thought all along that the it was the sugar coating and not the meat that made communion sweet.

Vintage, indeed!

Stefan said...

Wrote Spurgeon:

The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

Doggonnit! Is there any trend in the church today that Spurgeon didn't already see and confront over a century ago?

Doug McMasters said...

Phil,

I just arrived home from a meeting at TRC where we launched our church-wide study of Mark Dever's book, What is a Healthy Church?, a congregant-adapted version of his book Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.

After doing some reading on a few websites, I went to my blog and discovered the readership spike you caused by your referral. I'm grateful to share among us all the Spurgeon gems I'm discovering. I've been challenged and encouraged by them and I trust all the regular readers of Pyromaniacs will find similar benefit.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Can Todd Friel interview Doug Pagitt again for his new TV show, "Wretched"?

If not Pagitt, how about Brian McLaren? Or some other well-known postmodern emerging leader.

BTW, I was astounded by the number of postmodern emergent people who complained about Friel's style of interviewing while giving a complete pass to Pagitt for being substance-less.

ALL FOR ONCE/ ONCE FOR ALL said...

Yeah, I hear you TUAD. If F.T.F. could get Bell, Pagitt and Mclaren on at once - WOW- what would that look like? Prolly like the Sex Pistols on Ed Sullivan Show. :)

Never mind, Friel is nothing like Ed Sullivan.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

If F.T.F. could get Bell, Pagitt and Mclaren on at once - WOW- what would that look like?

I have a better hypothetical. How about Bell, Pagitt, and McLaren in Mixed Martial Arts Ultimate Theological Fighting Championship against TeamPyro champions Phil Johnson, Dan Phillips, and Frank Turk? Make it pay-per-view. I'd be one of those geeks who'd pay money to see these guys jumping around and bumping bellies (figuratively speaking of course) about epistemology, contextualization, and orthopraxy.

The ratings of Todd Friel's new show would go through the roof! It would be a YouTube sensation!

;-)

VcdeChagn said...

I don't have to learn Greek?

Woohoo!!!!!

Really enjoyed the Spurgeon.

This was the best part (besides the I don't need to know Greek bit)

(Paraphrased)

Universalism: People realize that it's either false or pointless.

Johnny Dialectic said...

"You need power; not the power of money, or mind, or influence, or numbers; but “power from on high.” All other power may be desirable, but this power is indispensable. Spiritual work can only be done by spiritual power. I counsel you in order to get spiritual power in all that you do to keep the King’s commandment, for “where the word of a king is, there is power.”

This sounds very much like what Moody and Torrey were preaching on this side of the pond. God raised these men up in their time, for a purpose, and that purpose continues, in our day.

ezekiel said...

We would all be best served, I think, if we realize that the best we can ever do is serve up an appetizer. The real meal is flesh and blood.

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, This is a hard saying; who can listen to it? 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail.***** The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.***** 64 But there are some of you who do not believe. (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father. 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.


Just as the Jews did, we question this, we fail to understand it and we certainly fail to preach it.

We ought to be teaching “The Words that I have spoken are spirit and life”, “eat my flesh and drink my blood” in the context of John 1. “and the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us”....

We have dead and dying sheep wandering all over the mountains of Israel (the modern day churches) and we stand in pulpits every weekend and serve up appetizers. In reality, the only one that can deliver the meal already has. We just don’t point folks to Him.

It is to long to go into here but for those interested, take a look at Jeremiah 23 and see what the Lord has to say about it. There were those in that day that were doing the exact thing that we do today. There has been much discussion lately about “the burden of the lord”. We don’t call it that but that is the way many refer to the the WORD. It is a burden, impossible to follow and unnecessary. After all, we are free, Right? Grace and Mercy has it all covered......And when we preach "once saved always saved" why do we then even need the WORD?

WE should be teaching that the Word that we find burdensome today is in reality LIFE. And the only way to get LIFE is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of CHRIST. The WORD. For the WORD to abide in us, we have to abide in HIM.

That is what we are saying when we observe the Lord’s supper.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

So I don’t really like the example that Spurgeon uses. In reality, if we are christians, we have been invited to the wedding feast and each of us has a place prepared for us at the table. We don’t have to eat crumbs or fight over scraps. The meal can be found between the front cover and the back cover of the WORD.

Rick Frueh said...

Ezekiel - I wish I could break the code.

Strong Tower said...

Rick- You lost your ring?

ezekiel said...

Rick, ST,

That is scary guys. You don't understand that Jesus is the bread of life? You don't understand that we talk about spiritual things, Spiritual food?

If he was telling his early disciples that they had to eat and drink His flesh and His blood, do you think He has changed his message? Are you a different sort of disciple?

It seems pretty clear to me in the scripture provided that the WORD is the spiritual food we are talking about and that food has already been served. Anyone invited to the feast is eating at the same table. Eating the same food. That is of course unless you are claiming some special status, maybe you don't eat at the same buffet we do.

It was apparently a hard saying then, I don't expect it would be any different today.

Do you have the same problem with Psalms 23? Green Patures and still water are ideal sheep food the last time I checked. What do you think is on the table that He has prepared?

What about Peter in John 21? What was he to feed the sheep? The WORD?

I direct your attention to a commetary by Matthew Henry. All of it is good but see especially section IV.

False prophets preaching Grace and Mercy as a license to sin

False prophets are still here. The true ones preach repentance and turning from sin. The false ones preach "God loves you just the way you are" and Grace and mercy as a license to sin.

What do you preach Rick? What do you preach ST?

Strong Tower said...

False prophets are still here. The true ones preach repentance and turning from sin. The false ones preach "God loves you just the way you are" and Grace and mercy as a license to sin.

"Just as the Jews did, we question this, we fail to understand it and we certainly fail to preach it.

We ought to be teaching “The Words that I have spoken are spirit and life”, “eat my flesh and drink my blood” in the context of John 1. “and the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us”....

We have dead and dying sheep wandering all over the mountains of Israel (the modern day churches) and we stand in pulpits every weekend and serve up appetizers. In reality, the only one that can deliver the meal already has. Wejust don’t point folks to Him.

It is to long to go into here but for those interested, take a look at Jeremiah 23 and see what the Lord has to say about it. There were those in that day that were doing the exact thing that we do today. There has been much discussion lately about “the burden of the lord”. We don’t call it that but that is the way many refer to the the WORD. It is a burden, impossible to follow and unnecessary. After all, we are free, Right? Grace and Mercy has it all covered......And when we preach "once saved always saved" why do wethen even need the WORD?

WE should be teaching that the Word that we find burdensome today is in reality LIFE. And the only way to get LIFE is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of CHRIST. The WORD. For the WORD to abide in us, we have to abide in HIM."

Boy, you "we"'s need to quit it zeke...

No one here can tell whether your confession to being a false prophet is sincere, but, if you're born again, you can rest assured that God will never leave you nor forsake you, there is no where you can run or hide to get away from abiding in his love, as Paul said convinced that nothing, not even hisself was able to separate him from the vine. Thank God, Jesus has not yoked us with a heavey burden but one that he alone carried for us. In fact he condemns those who would bind a heavy burden on his children. Thank God that he has once saved us, and that those who know him will always be saved by him and will walk according to the prophets reward, in Him once and for always.

"What do you think is on the table that He has prepared?"

Why don't you ask him? Or, just let Jesus answer. He said that the cup was his and the food that he ate was to do the will of his father. And David's table is the way of the cross of the Lord. Psalms 23 is a continuation of 22- For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet...You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.


Are you not glad that he has drunk and ate in your stead the Word? So that by grace and mercy you follow him all the days of your life?

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Isn't it wonderful that we are now and for evermore in the house of the Lord? "...remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places...And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them...

Do you walk in them zeke, this resurrection life given in faith and that by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, never to die again. Amazing faith, that never can die, zeke. Honestly, if today you hear his voice do not harden your heart in rebellion to the grace and mercy which God has provided in Christ so that once you are saved you are always saved.

Questions now for you. Can you lose your salvation? Can anyone?

Time for disclosure. God hates you just the way you are zeke, but he will receive you just as you are, for he did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners. Are you a sinner zeke, or have you mastered the "possibility" of walking in perfect obedience? Tell us, what is the secret code?

Are you Apostolic Pentecostal? Or was that just a link to bible helps? If you are, that explains a lot. From their site: This Apostolic Pentecostal Doctrine being the Bible standard of full salvation, which is the absolute essentiality of repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. (Acts 2:1-4, 2:37-39)

We believe the Bibles teaches that the above statement to be essential and not subsequent to salvation.


Do you believe this statement?

Just curious.

Yes, zeke, the meal is found between Genesis and Revelation, now, won't you eat all that is on the table. It is wonderful, have a bite!

ezekiel said...

ST,

Nope, not pentecostal that I know of, was just the first internet site with MHC that come up on the search engine.

You complain when I use "you" and you complain when I use "we", would you prefer "it"?

I think you missed one. "We would all be best served, I think, if we realize that the best we can ever do is serve up an appetizer. The real meal is flesh and blood."

"Are you not glad that he has drunk and ate in your stead the Word?"

Have you got scripture for that or am I to assume that comes from one of those books you read?

Strong Tower said...

Yes I do, and not one but many. Want one, catch-

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit...

Or this one: But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Oh, by the way, thanks, that is a nice reference site in spite of its sponsors.

The real meal is flesh and blood...so true, now the question is, how it is that we are made partakers of it, is it by eating it ourselves like the Jews did, and missed the sustenance of it, or is it by Christ partaking of the cup and the bread for us and that through that we feed upon his Word?

ezekiel said...

ST,

" or is it by Christ partaking of the cup and the bread for us and that through that we feed upon his Word?"

It appears that you imply that Jesus ate Jesus and through Him eating Him, I eat Him. I think you confuse that with being crucified and raised with Him.

No, the way I read it is much like Ezekiel ate the scroll, we eat the WORD. That is the only way that I see we abide in Him and He abides in us. John 15:7.


John 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

The only thing that I can find that Christ ate or drank for me is the cup of God's wrath.

John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?

He drank the cup so we don't have to.

More Matthew Henry references

The same thing works for Spurgeon. Just search Yahoo for whatever works you want.

Spurgeon too

Strong Tower said...

Really, that is how we get Jesus in us?

"He drank the cup so we don't have to."

But, he also ate the bread. In the Lord's Supper he partook in too, remember. And, do not forget that it is he who serves the meal to us as babes.

But, thanks for saying it, he did it so that we don't have to. That doesn't mean that we won't. In fact, by the sharing of the bread and the cup, he indicates that we have to. Mark 10:38-39.

Do you like this Scripture? "And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." What a relief it should be, that he has taken the burden and striving for acceptance away. Being engrafted we have confidence that we will bear fruit, for that is why he came; to provide us with the Father's good pleasure, working in us the willing and the doing. It is the Father's will that we will bear fruit, unfailingly.

The only way that we get the Spirit, and thereby the Word is by him doing it through us. Which means that we will, without fail, follow. His Word never fails, Isaiah 55. It was those who said that there is more to do that Paul condemned as preaching another Gospel. Jesus likewise condemned the teachers of the law because by their teaching they made the free offer of salvation contingent upon some action of man.

I know that you a zealous for the things of God. But, Zeke, God hates an unequal balance. Preach the law, but preach grace and mercy also, preach the security of the believer, for that is the promise of the Gospel. It is the only means. Jesus took the burden of the Word upon himself for us. It is finished.

ezekiel said...

ST,

I think what really disturbs me the most is that you and many others fail to see the mercy and the grace in my message. It is there. As I have asked before, is it mercy and grace to see people as they are today and not warn them of what is to come? I can’t begin to explain why or how I have come to proclaim this message. As I have said before, up to a couple of years ago, I would have been the last guy you would have expected to hear it from. I certainly don’t propose to be any better than anyone else or more righteous by any means. But the message isn’t mine and I only serve in the capacity given me. Now that is all I need to say about me.

Ezekiel was a watchman. (EZ 33:7) When I read his words today, I am awe struck at how they are just as current today as they were when they were written. People (I am one of them) remark all the time about how timeless Spurgeon is. Well, I see the same thing in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I have come to view OT prophecy as prophecy concerning Israel (all of it, Romans 9:6-7 and Romans 2:29) and their relationship with God. Some of the more horrific fulfilled with Senecherib, Nebuchadnezzar and Titus and other prophecy fulfilled and culminating in Rev. Much of the OT prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.

I see EZ 16:30-31 as a picture of many of our churches today. We have them on every corner, and rather than honor Jesus their husband, they chase after world, invite them in and even in some cases spend countless money to adorn herself and make herself attractive to the world. The abominations they are willing to commit in the name of my Jesus! The sad part of that is that many don’t have enough WORD in them to even be able to see the abominations much less be able to avoid them.

Now this is where I have a problem with mercy and grace as we hear it preached today. It is easy believism, we don’t have to obey the word, we don’t have to repent, just walk the isle and believe. Claim to be a Jew. (Romans 2:29) claim to have a circumcised heart but live any way they want to after Sunday morning.

Apparently, I am not the only one looking at it that way.

Revelations 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Revelations 3:8 I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you.

Many claim that the OT prophecy is fulfilled and then turn around and don’t teach Revelations because it is to hard to understand or sounds too harsh. Isn’t that just another way of saying it doesn’t line up with “mercy and grace”. After all, the church is raptured anyway and won’t see all this...Right? The real question when we hear this is then why is Jesus warning the churches in Rev 2 and 3? We are to be raptured, what difference does it make anyway? (Sarcasm there in case you missed it)

There are many churches out there today that are not heeding the warnings. Many individuals are not reading the WORD and so never hear the warnings. Many people in the pews with us claim to be Jews....

The teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans are alive and well in the churches today. Balaam as I understand it was teaching for his own gain. Sound familiar? The people were interested in their own gain and easily led astray. Sound familiar? We have well renowned preachers these days doing everything they can to solidify control and domination over their flocks. Just take a look at what is going on in the SBC. That is none of Christ and all of Nicolaitans. Control and authority rather than humble servitude.

So I look at His Mercy and Grace as the many repeated attempts he has made by sending all his prophets, even his own son to tell us to repent and obey Him, as so much mercy and grace than we can ever deserve.

Others look at “Mercy and Grace” that implies just forget about it, it is ok, don’t worry so much about your sin just know that Jesus paid it all. Just continue on in your ignorant bliss on the broad highway that leads to destruction.

Now in the context of the whole counsel of God, the WORD, I think the first is more accurate than the last. So I am not going to change my message to make it sound better. I am going to point folks to the WORD. What does He say versus what people are telling you it says?

If I have one point and can get it across to one person it is none other than simply read the WORD for yourself. Don’t simply sit back and relax in a sense of security that you get from assurances from other people or preachers. Get into the WORD and find true security.

Strong Tower said...

Okay, Zeke...

If that is what you are doing...is it?

I fully agree with your take on the OT, all things remain the same as they were in the beginning, these things continue. What I have perceived, and what others do too, is that balance which the Word requires appears lacking in your presentation. It may just be appearance, and not reality.

I asked do you believe that someone can lose their salvation. This is still unclear to me. Scripture teaches security of the believer, it also teaches perserverence as the mark of true discipleship. It is the second I see you emphasize. Good! It is the first that I do not know that you believe.

After all, the church is raptured anyway and won’t see all this...Right? No, I part company with pretrib/dispensational/premillinarians. I am 'uniformitarian' (one covenant made with Adam affirmed in the promise made to Eve) in my approach to the convenant of grace/works as restated: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." People mock and laugh at me because I believe in an "evernew covenant" which does not fit into either NCT or CT, and definitely not DT.

The "last trumpet" cannot be put at any point except the end of the tribulation. Dispensationalists that hold to a pretrib rapture simply ignore the meaning of the word last in context and assume a pretrib rapture. I believe we are the body of Christ and will go through tribulation just as he did, till the end. I side with others that the two witnesses are the Church, both Jew and Gentile and for all practical purposes will become as dead in the end and raised, but not in apostasy will the remnant be preserved, but because, having done all to stand they will stand, and be persecuted for their faithful testimony having perservered through tribulation. It is a simple and continued revelation, the body of Christ crucified, Christ centered as the primal source, "For the revelation of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy." But, this goes into another subject...

It impinges upon our conversation though in that the growth in maturity of understanding commanded in Ephesians is necessary to put on the Armor. Most people want to jump to putting on the armor before they have prepared themselves (grown to manhood) to stand. So, in this I fully agree, the Church is woefully unprepared to put it on, and you're right it is laid at the feet of its shepherds and not the sheep who follow, though they bear their own responsibility. It is the job of the shepherds to prepare the bride. It is here also that I part company with you. For the way that the preparation is made palatable is the 'gaurantee' that the groom is indeed a groom who will come and not put his betrothed away. It is the confidence, love shed abroad in our hearts (another word for faith), that gives us the true foundation upon which we can build. It is not by law that the foundation is established, which must first take place, but by grace and mercy the foundation is laid, which is our faith. Truly the law is given as an instructor, but it is for us the instruction of a Father for sons who are now full heirs with the Son. That promise is the promise that drives the sons of Abraham to seek a city above and not below. It is not a promise far off, but one that is now here among us, having been finished by Christ, it will also be established in us and for us a city, his bride prepared by the Spirit a holy habitation for the Lord: The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. So we do, as one flesh with the Lord, eat the bitter scroll (his Word) which is made good tasting food and drink for us by the one sacrifice which cannot fail but to satisfy.

Here then is what we offer as priests: our flesh, putrified and rotting. Upon the alter we present our bodies, though cleansed and dressed in the robes of the priest, though we wear the ephod and have our head covered, our rotting flesh is still there, yet we approach by grace and mercy with boldness. Upon the alter we offer the only thing we own and so by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh. We cannot present a clean sacrifice, but the Spotless Lamb has done so for us and by that has imputed to us what is his, and his alone, righteousness. Accounted to us who have no worth, he accepts our reasonable act of worship through the one sacrifice given on our behalf. We present ourselves as he did living sacrifices, that are holy by imputation, not as ones having our own righteousness, but a righteousness which is revealed from above, not of law, but of grace and mercy. Grace and mercy came in Jesus Christ, just as he, we are concieved from above. And as a man concieves a child, the grace and mercy are not something we receive as a matter of what we do after we are born again, it is the new nature of Christ which, who is grace and mercy, with which we are born again, one with it. For no man has anything except that which he has received, and that is by the Spirit and not by the works of the law which is the flesh. It is done by his Spirit and not by us. Some, contrary to our confession, believe in sloth, and a laid back, let God hit me with it attitude, but that is not the mark of sonship, if indeed we take Jesus as the Son. For he did the will of the one who sent him. We then must pay due diligence in the exercise of godliness, if indeed we are being conformed to the image of Christ. Otherwise our testimony is that we are not in the Son, at all.

Which is why I press the law through the sieve of grace and mercy, that the true wine of the covenant is wholly and soley his work and not mine.

God bless you Zeke, keep up the good fight,

Grace and mercy and peace in Jesus,

tt

ezekiel said...

ST,

Eternal security? Yes, but after many struggles. But that is what it says in Hebrews 12:2, and Phil 1:6. To say otherwise would be doubting His ability and that seems rather unwise to say the least. How is squares with Ez 18, I don't know. That appears to contradict but that has to be my lack of understanding, not any error on the part of the Word.

I agree with you on the rapture, I think we are in the tribulation now. I think there will be another one, the Great one after the 1000 year reign when satan is loosed again for a short time. Many point me to the Thess scripture which is how it will happen but doesn't tell us when.

I hadn't looked at the two witnesses being the Gentile and Jewish church. Not sure there is scriptural basis for Jewish and Gentile church. I will think on that a bit. I read the two churches as being the true church and the other the harlot church. Rev 17.

I disagree with the idea that it is the shepherds that are charged with preparing the bride. They are woefully inadequate for that job. I think more the WORD himself will refine and purify with fullers soap and the washing of the WORD. Malachi 3:2, Eph 6. We can preach but we can't open ears, soften hearts You give me Romans 10:14 and I will raise you 10:16-17.

Thanks for your comments. God bless you too.

Peace, brother.