Sunday, November 4, 2007

List Of Articles By Authors

You can also view the Alphabetical Table Of Contents

Anonymous/Author Unknown - or Articles Adapted From Various Sources:

Are You The Man Of Vision, Or The Man of Ambition? - Author Unknown
Divisions In The Psalms - Author Unknown
Do You Have A Job Or A Ministry? - Author Unknown
For Whom Did Christ Die? - Author Unknown
Job Or Ministry? - Anonymous
The ABC's Of Thanksgiving - Author Unknown
The Believer's Riches In Christ From A To Z - Author Unknown
The Lord Is Like An Eagle - Adapted From Various Sources
What Will Be In Heaven - Author Unknown

A-E:

The Devil's Armour - John Bunyan
"The Designer Lust Church" - by Terry Coomer
The Difference Between Character And Integrity - by Terry Coomer
Hope For Backsliders - A.C. Dixon
Because They Have No Changes - Tim Dunkin

F-J:

The Lord's Deputy - Tim Fisher
The Love Of God - by Oliver B. Greene
ABC's In The Book Of Ephesians - Paul Henderson
Inside The Veil And Outside The Camp - Harry Ironside
The Greatest Text In The Bible - Harry Ironside
"Whosoever" Of John 3:16 - by H.A. Ironside
The Life Of Faith - Don Johnson

K-O:

New Translations and the Authorised Version - Martyn Lloyd Jones
Wanted: Faithful Men - by Bobbly Mitchell
In The Beginning - Henry Morris

P-T:

Inoculated With The Gospel - by Edgar Lee Paschall
Scofield's Introduction To The Bible - C.I. Scofield
A New Breed Of Sheepdog - Buddy Smith
God Manifest In Flesh - Buddy Smith
Grapes And Giants - Buddy Smith
How God Preserves His Word - Buddy Smith
Theological Dinosaurs - Buddy Smith
Stay Out Of Egypt - Thomas Smith
Spurgeon's Account Of His Conversion
An Embarrassment Of Riches (The Preacher's Dilemma) - Charles Spurgeon
Going Forth With Tears - Spurgeon
Raised Up With Princes - by Spurgeon
Specific Prayers, Specific Answers - Charles Spurgeon
Warning Against Altering The Word Of God - Charles Spurgeon
Your Calling In Christ - Charles Spurgeon
Within A Yard Of Hell - C.T. Studd

U-Z:

The Fruit Of The Spirit - by Mike Walls
The Valley Of Baca - Part 1 - Mike Walls
Others May, You Cannot - by G.D. Watson
What Is Biblical Predestination? - God's Eternal Purpose - Norman H. Wells
God's Complete Forgiveness In Jesus Christ - George Zeller

Books Available On This Blog:

A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream - by Alfred Gibbs
Giants of the Missionary Trail - by Eugene Myers Harrison
The Companion Of The Way - by H.C. Hewlett
Till He Come - by Charles Spurgeon
Union And Communion (Thoughts On The Song Of Solomon) - by Hudson Taylor

Other links worth noting:

Daily Devotionals Emailed To You

Alphabetical Table Of Contents

You can also view the List Of Articles By Author

A-E:

ABC's In The Book Of Ephesians - Paul Henderson
An Embarrassment Of Riches (The Preacher's Dilemma) - Charles Spurgeon
A New Breed Of Sheepdog - Buddy Smith
Are You The Man Of Vision, Or The Man of Ambition? - Author Unknown
Because They Have No Changes - Tim Dunkin
Divisions In The Psalms - Author Unknown
Do You Have A Job Or A Ministry? - Author Unknown

F-J:

For Whom Did Christ Die? - Author Unknown
God's Complete Forgiveness In Jesus Christ - George Zeller
God Manifest In Flesh - Buddy Smith
Going Forth With Tears - Spurgeon
Grapes And Giants - Buddy Smith
Hope For Backsliders - A.C. Dixon
How God Preserves His Word - Buddy Smith
Inoculated With The Gospel - by Edgar Lee Paschall
Inside The Veil And Outside The Camp - Harry Ironside
In The Beginning - Henry Morris
Job Or Ministry? - Anonymous

K-O:

New Translations and the Authorised Version - Martyn Lloyd Jones
No Wonder Mormons Like C.S. Lewis!
Others May, You Cannot - by G.D. Watson

P-T:

Raised Up With Princes - by Spurgeon
Scofield's Introduction To The Bible - C.I. Scofield
Specific Prayers, Specific Answers - Charles Spurgeon
Spurgeon's Account Of His Conversion
Stay Out Of Egypt - Thomas Smith
The ABC's Of Thanksgiving - Author Unknown
The Believer's Riches In Christ From A To Z - Author Unknown
"The Designer Lust Church" - by Terry Coomer
The Devil's Armour - John Bunyan
The Difference Between Character And Integrity - by Terry Coomer
The Fruit Of The Spirit - by Mike Walls
The Greatest Text In The Bible - Harry Ironside
The Life Of Faith - Don Johnson
The Lord Is Like An Eagle - Adapted From Various Sources
The Lord's Deputy - Tim Fisher
The Love Of God - by Oliver B. Greene
Theological Dinosaurs - Buddy Smith
The Valley Of Baca - Part 1 - Mike Walls

U-Z:

Wanted: Faithful Men - by Bobbly Mitchell
Warning Against Altering The Word Of God - Charles Spurgeon
What Is Biblical Predestination? - God's Eternal Purpose - Norman H. Wells
What Will Be In Heaven - Author Unknown
"Whosoever" Of John 3:16 - by H.A. Ironside
Within A Yard Of Hell - C.T. Studd
Your Calling In Christ - Charles Spurgeon

Books Available On This Blog:

A Dreamer And His Wonderful Dream - by Alfred Gibbs
Giants of the Missionary Trail - by Eugene Myers Harrison
The Companion Of The Way - by H.C. Hewlett
Till He Come - by Charles Spurgeon
Union And Communion (Thoughts On The Song Of Solomon) - by Hudson Taylor

Other links worth noting:

Daily Devotionals Emailed To You

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Devil's Armour

As related in a conversation between Diabolus (the Devil) and the town of Mansoul (man's soul). This was taken from John Bunyan's allegory entitled The Holy War. As you read this, contrast it with the Armour of God in Ephesians 6, and realize how much Satan is a deceiver and counterfeiter of the truth and of spiritual things.

Up, and stand to your arms, that now, while you have any leisure, I may learn you some feats of war. Armour for you I have, and by me it is; yea, and it is sufficient for Mansoul from top to toe; nor can you be hurt by what his force can do, if you shall keep it well girt and fastened about you. Come, therefore, to my castle, and welcome, and harness yourselves for the war. There is helmet, breastplate, sword, and shield, and what not, that will make you fight like men.

‘1. My helmet, otherwise called an head piece, is hope of doing well at last, what lives soever you live. This is that which they had who said, that they should have peace, though they walked in the wickedness of their heart, to add drunkenness to thirst {De 29:19}. A piece of approved armour this is, and whoever has it, and can hold it, so long no arrow, dart, sword, or shield can hurt him. This, therefore, keep on, and thou wilt keep off many a blow, my Mansoul.

‘2. My breastplate is a breastplate of iron {Re 9:9}. I had it forged in mine own country, and all my soldiers are armed therewith. In plain language, it is a hard heart, a heart as hard as iron, and as much past feeling as a stone; the which if you get and keep, neither mercy shall win you, nor judgment fright you. This, therefore, is a piece of armour most necessary for all to put on that hate Shaddai, and that would fight against him under my banner.

‘3. My sword is a tongue that is set on fire of hell, and that can bend itself to speak evil of Shaddai, his Son, his ways, and people. Use this; it has been tried a thousand times twice told. Whoever hath it, keeps it, and makes that use of it as I would have him, can never be conquered by mine enemy. {Ps 57:4; 64:3; Jas 3:6}

‘4. My shield is unbelief, or calling into question the truth of the word, or all the sayings that speak of the judgment that Shaddai has appointed for wicked men. Use this shield: many attempts he has made upon it, and sometimes, it is true, it has been bruised; but they that have writ of the wars of Emmanuel against my servants, have testified that he could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief. Now, to handle this weapon of mine aright, it is not to believe things because they are true, of what sort or by whomsoever asserted. If he speaks of judgment, care not for it; if he speaks of mercy, care not for it; if he promises, if he swears that he would do to Mansoul, if it turns, no hurt, but good, regard not what is said, question the truth of all, for it is to wield the shield of unbelief aright, and as my servants ought and do; and he that cloth otherwise loves me not, nor do I count him but an enemy to me. {Job 15:26; Ps 76:3; Mr 6:5-6}

‘5. Another part or piece,’ said Diabolus, ‘of mine excellent armour is a dumb and prayerless spirit, a spirit that scorns to cry for mercy: wherefore be you, my Mansoul, sure that you make use of this. What! cry for quarter! Never do that, if you would be mine. I know you are stout men, and am sure that I have clad you with that which is armour of proof. Wherefore, to cry to Shaddai for mercy, let that be far from you. Besides all this, I have a maul, firebrands, arrows, and death, all good hand weapons, and such as will do execution.’

The Lord Is Like An Eagle

Deuteronomy 32:9-12 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

1. The eagle's nest also has a great lesson for us.

The eagle ladens its nest with glass and sharp stones that she finds along the ground. After the nest is sufficiently uncomfortable - the eagle then finds a rabbit and such like and takes its soft downy pelt and lines the nest with it.

When the eaglets are hatched, they find themselves in a most comfortable domain. Their mother has insured they will spend their times as chicks in an environment so soft and pleasant.

Alas, the time comes when it is time for the eaglets to leave their nest. Rather than hold a long talk with her babies about the necessity to spread their wings, she does something rather cruel - to our standard. She pulls away the soft down of the rabbit and exposes her young to the jagged rocks and sharp glass. The eaglets, finding this most uncomfortable - decide it is time to leave the nest.

A pastor told me once how like the Lord this is. When it is time to move - He often makes circumstances unbearable. Some have been led to leave a church for this very reason. Perhaps it is a job situation, or a geographical change. The Lord may use oppression to make His children move.

A lesson in history shows us that Israel is still God's chosen nation. God desired that Israel would return home again so that she could once again become a nation in 1948. Unfortunately, the Jewish people had become comfortable in their adopted lands - many becoming quite wealthy through trade and craft. God rose up a Hitler, a demonic fiend, to cause His people to flee to their native land. God took away the feathery down of the nest and exposed His beloved people to the rocks.

2. The eagle takes her young to great heights in order to teach them to fly.

One-by-one the great eagle takes her young unto her wing and begins the arduous process of flight training. Higher and higher she soars to incredible heights and drops her baby. Downward, downward does the eaglet fall - helpless, without the knowledge or the skill to flap its wings - with greater and greater velocity it falls toward the earth.

Fortunately for the chick, an eagle can fly downward faster than her babies can fall. Before the baby can smash upon the rocks the mother eagle swoops under her babe and carries it back up to the heavens.

How often, Christian, have we felt like we were falling only to discover our great God often at the bottom of our fall. How often must we learn that it is at the bottom of ourselves - when we have no other course to turn to - that we find the Lord an ever present help. Yet, is this not the Lord's way to bring maturation to His child?

So, the eagle mounts again into still greater levels; then she will try again, and the little one is cast off into the immeasurable air, and it begins to understand the mechanics of flight. But so soon does it tire and again fall. The eagle again descends and receives its babe in its mighty iron pinions - claws of death - claws of life.

Thus the process is continued until the eaglet is trained to fly - the eaglet becomes strong - drops its inexperience - and becomes complete. The eaglet turned eagle, the worm turned butterfly - has been trained to swim in God's air, to fly in God's firmament, and to beat its strengthened wings in the face of the sun.

Again, is this not God's way with us? We so often fly poorly - if at all. We fall, but we find that the wing of the Most High is under us - and we rest upon it. So we fly a little and soon find our weakness, and before our testimony can crash on the rocks below and again we find that we rest in high-places in the midst of the danger.

We do not always fly as we ought and fear is often stronger than the little strength we think we have. We are scoffed at and jeered at by the wicked - but take heart, my companion in Christ - we are only still learning to fly.

Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

It is so easy to stand on the ground and laugh at the young eaglets in their early flight training - but God's wings are under us. God will not forsake us - not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father.

(Used with permission from: Baptist Bible Believers Website)

Spurgeon's Conversion

Mr. Spurgeon's Account of his Conversion and Early Preaching

I will tell you how I myself was brought to the knowledge of the truth. It may happen the telling of that will bring someone else to Christ. It pleased God in my childhood to convince me of my sin. I lived a miserable creature, finding no hope, no comfort, thinking that surely God would never save me. At last the worst came to the worst - I was miserable; I could do scarcely anything. My heart was broken in pieces. Six months did I pray - prayed agonizingly with all my heart, and never had an answer. I resolved that, in the town where I lived, I would visit every place of worship in order to find out the way of salvation. I felt I was willing to do anything and be anything if God would only forgive me.

I set off, determined to go round to all the chapels, and I went to all the places of worship; and though I dearly venerate the men that occupy those pulpits now, and did so then, I am bound to say that I never heard them once fully preach the gospel. I mean by that, they preached truth, great truths, many good truths that were fitting to many of their congregation - spiritually-minded people; but what I wanted to know was, How can I get my sins forgiven? And they never once told me that. I wanted to hear how a poor sinner, under a sense of sin, might find peace with God; and when I went I heard a sermon on "Be not deceived: God is not mocked," which cut me up worse, but did not say how I might escape.

I went again another day, and the text was something about the glories of the righteous: nothing for poor me. I was something like a dog under the table, not allowed to eat of the children's food. I went time after time, and I can honestly say, I don't know that I ever went without prayer to God, and I am sure there was not a more attentive hearer in all the place than myself, for I panted and longed to understand how I might be saved.

At last, one snowy day - it snowed so much, I could not go to the place I had determined to go to, and I was obliged to stop on the road, and it was a blessed stop to me - I found rather an obscure street, and turned down a court, and there was a little chapel. I wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know this place. It was the Primitive Methodists' chapel. I had heard of these people from many, and how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they made my head ache ever so much I did not care. So, sitting down, the service went on, but no minister came. At last a very thin-looking man came into the pulpit and opened his Bible, and read these words: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." Just setting his eyes upon me, as if he knew me all by heart, he said: "Young man, you are in trouble." Well, I was, sure enough. Says he, "You will never get out of it unless you look to Christ."

And then, lifting up his hands, he cried out, as only, I think, a Primitive Methodist could do, "Look, look, look! It is only look!" said he. I saw at once the way of salvation. Oh, how did I leap for joy at that moment! I know not what else he said: I did not take much notice of it - I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, they only looked and were healed. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard this word, "Look!" what a charming sound it seemed to me. Oh, I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away! and in heaven I will look on still in my joy unutterable.

I now think I am bound never to preach a sermon without preaching to sinners. I do think that a minister who can preach a sermon without addressing sinners does not know how to preach.

On Oct. 11, 1864, the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle preached a sermon to five hundred hearers in the chapel at Colchester (in which, he was converted), on the occasion of the anniversary in that place of worship. He took for his text the memorable words, Isaiah 45:22, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved," etc., and the preacher said , "That I heard preached from in this chapel when the Lord converted me." And pointing to a seat on the left hand, under the gallery, he said: "I was sitting in that pew when I was converted." This honest confession produced a thrilling effect upon the congregation, and very much endeared the successful pastor to many hearts....

Early in the month of January, 1856, Mr. Spurgeon preached a sermon to his own congregation on Sunday morning, which is entitled "Sovereignty and Salvation." In that sermon he says: "Six years ago today, as near as possible at this very hour of the day, I was in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, but had yet, by divine grace, been led to feel the bitterness of that bondage, and to cry out by reason of the soreness of its slavery. Seeking rest and finding none, I stepped within the house of God, and sat there, afraid to look upward, lest I should be utterly cut off , and lest his fierce wrath should consume me. The minister rose in his pulpit, and, as I have done this morning, read this text: 'Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.'

"I looked that moment; the grace of faith was vouchsafed to me in that instant; and

"'Ere since by faith I saw the stream
His flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.'

"I shall never forget that day while memory holds its place; nor can I help repeating this text whenever I remember that hour when first I knew the Lord. How strangely gracious! How wonderfully and marvelously kind that he who heard these words so little time ago, for his own soul's profit, should now address you this morning as hearers from the same text, in the full and confident hope that some poor sinner within these walls may hear the glad tidings of salvation for himself also, and may today be turned 'from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,' (Acts 26:18)!"

(Henry Davenport Northrop, Life And Works Of Spurgeon, pages 21-24, bolded emphasis mine)

From this account, we can see that Spurgeon's extended search caused him to greatly desire that others would hear the truth of salvation every time he preached. The Lord used that trying time in Spurgeon's life for his good and for the good of others. I (Jerry) well recall my own time of desperate searching for the truth before I came to know the Lord as my Saviour in November 1992. I truly did not know there was such a thing as a way to Heaven or a gift of eternal life. Spurgeon's example in this area has been an inspiration to me, and every time I preach - even if I think that all present are believers - I desire that the Gospel be clearly presented, so that no one else need wander hopelessly through life, lost and uncertain about their eternal future. We can know for certain that if we place personal faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary that we have His gift of eternal life and a home forever in Heaven!

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

God's Complete Forgiveness In Jesus Christ

By Pastor George Zeller

The following verses speak of the complete forgiveness that a person receives when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is perfect. God forgives ALL SINS - past, present and future. God in His grace is free to fully justify and forgive the believing sinner based on the blood of Christ (the work which He accomplished on the cross on our behalf, dying as our Substitute). Recognizing God's gracious forgiveness ought to be cause for thanksgiving and thanks-living, and should be a stimulus for holy conduct (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13). How can we not serve and love the God who has forgiven us so!

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:12)

"If Thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared." (Psalms 130:3-4)

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

"Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back." (Isaiah 38:17) If something is behind your back, then you cannot see it! If our sins are behind God's back, then He will not see them and will not look at them, as it were.

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee." (Isaiah 44:22)

"In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve." (Jeremiah 50:20) Our sins are not to be found!

"Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19) Our sins, as it were, have been cast into the sea, never to resurface again! They are gone forever!

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;" (Ephesians 1:7)

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12 and 10:16)

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake." (1 John 2:12)

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2:13) Notice that it says, "ALL"!

"To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins." (Acts 10:43)

"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." (Romans 4:4-8)

HAVE YOU PERSONALLY RECEIVED GOD'S SON AND THE FORGIVENESS THAT IS FOUND IN HIM?

Within A Yard Of Hell

Taken from C.T. Studd - Cricketer And Pioneer, by Norman P. Grubb (Pages 158-160):
(I disagree with the first statement, but the rest is good.)

Christ's call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture men from the Devil's clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of Hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an Almighty Army of God. But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church nor State, neither man nor traditions are worshipped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified. Not to confess Christ by fancy collars, clothes, silver croziers or gold watch-chain crosses, church steeples or richly embroidered altar cloths, but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches.

When in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the Devil, neat little Biblical confectionary is like shooting lions with a peashooter. One needs a man who will let himself go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, trusting in the Holy Ghost. It's experience, not preaching, that hurts the Devil and confounds the world, because unanswerable; the training is not that of the schools, but of the market; it's the hot, free heart and not the balanced head that knocks the Devil out. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ's service.

I am more than ever determined that no ring nor limit shall be placed around us other than that of our Lord Himself, "to the uttermost parts," "to every creature." I belong and will ever belong to "The Great God" party. I will have nought to do with "The Little God" party.

The difficulty is to believe that He can deign to use such scallywags as us, but of course He wants faith and fools rather than talents and culture. All God wants is a heart, any old turnip will do for a head; so long as we are empty, all is well, for then He fills with the Holy Ghost.

The fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost will change soft, sleek Christians into hot, lively heroes for Christ, who will advance and fight and die, but not mark time. Let us race to Heaven; an accident means dashing into the arms of Jesus - such accidents are God's choicest blessings. Don't be a luggage train.

Fools would "cut" the Devil, pretending they do not see him; others erect a tablet over his supposed grave. Be wise; don't cut nor bury him; kill him with the bayonet of evangelism.

Hugh Latimer was an inextinguishable candle; the Devil lit him, and ever since he has been kicking himself for his folly. Won't someone else tempt the Devil to make a fool of himself again?

Nail the colors to the mast! That is the right thing to do, and, therefore, that is what we must do, and do it now. What colors? The colors of Christ, the work He has given us to do - the evangelism of all the unevangelized. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible but grabbers of the impossible by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and wisdom of the Almighty Saviour Who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it. Are there lions and scorpions in our way? We will trample them under our feet. Does a mountain bar our progress? Saying, "Be thou removed and cast into the sea," we will march on. Soldiers of Jesus! Never surrender! Nail the colors to the mast!

Such as look to Jesus become grasshoppers in their own sight, but giants in the estimation of the Devil.

Some wish to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell,
I want to run a rescue shop
Within a yard of Hell.

Theological Dinosaurs

(Permission obtained personally by Buddy Smith to use this article - though, since he had first given permission to Brother Cloud to use it, Buddy Smith has requested that I keep Bro. Cloud's headers and footers with the article.)

November 9, 2004 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

The following article is by Pastor Buddy Smith, Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland, Australia:

NEWS FLASH

Theological dinosaur fossils discovered in Canberra Seminary

"A complete fossil skeleton has been unearthed at Unity Theological Seminary in Canberra," The Rev. Dr. Ms. Barbarous Theorem commented to the press, "This is the most exciting discovery in the history of the Seminary. We have cause to believe this is the first complete skeleton of Pulpitosaurus Extinctus ever to be found." She identified the excavation site as being beneath the Seminary chapel platform. "The chapel, sealed up for almost fifty years, was opened only recently for research purposes."

After reading the above article, Mr. Steadfast, reporter for The Pilgrim Way, requested an interview with Ms. Theorem, and we print the following:

PW: "Ms. Theorem, can you give our readers any details as to the site where Pulpitosaurus Extinctus was found?"

MT: "Yes, but I should fill you in on the background first. We have an excellent history professor at the Seminary named Dr. Revision. He and some of his post grad students have been wanting to have a look in the old chapel for a couple of years. When permission was granted recently, they went right to work. He consulted me, and asked where he would most likely find remains of a theological dinosaur if there were any to be found. I told him that I had read in the Seminary archives that the chapel platform had been their domain, and would be a good place them to begin."

PW: "What do you mean by 'their domain'?"

MT: "Hmmm. I see I'm going to have to tell you about the early days of the Seminary. It was not always as broadminded as you see it at present. Many years ago it was a training college for the Baptist ministry. The founders were all Pulpitosaurus Extinctii -- real living fossils, theological dinosaurs. We call it 'The Dark Ages'. They were stuck in the swamps of primitive methods, old fashioned doctrines, and fire and brimstone preaching. Thank goodness, those days are gone forever. We are much more enlightened now. For instance, take the Feminar (Feminism Seminar) recently held here at the Seminary. We had almost 2000 women ministers, we dedicated the new meditation centre to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, and had tremendous media coverage. I was privileged to chair the meetings that met to discuss re-imaging God, and to promote the new Politically Correct Bible Version (PCBV)."

PW: "I see. But I still don't understand about the chapel platform being the domain of Pulpitosaurus."

MT: "You men are all so dense. Didn't you understand what I just told you about the incredibly old fashioned beliefs of those relics of a bygone age? They used to stand on the chapel platform and roar at the poor helpless students. They actually thought the Bible was true. They believed in all those hopelessly outdated theories of inspiration, atonement, forgiveness, holiness, heaven and hell, etc. And they didn't just keep it to themselves. They tried to get everyone else to believe it as well! And they used the platform in the chapel to actually shout their beliefs at their hearers. That's why we describe it as being their domain. Is that simple enough for you?"

PW: "Yes, I understand it better than you think. Can you describe the Pulpitosaurus to our readers? The artist's sketches don't give much detail."

MT: "Gladly. The head of our Evolution Department, Dr. Darwin Huxley, has written several books on Pulpitosaurus. He says he believes this species had the largest backbone of any dinosaur, and that it had only three vertebrae, making it almost impossible for it to bend. It also had a really large chest cavity. Some of his colleagues think that indicates it had a very large heart. Others are of the opinion it had four lungs instead. The neck structure was such that it probably had a very efficient voice box and could project its cries for great distances. The capacity of the skull, according to Dr. Huxley, was quite small, leaving hardly any space for a brain. And he said one specimen even had a piece of very thick skin still attached."

PW: "Thank you for that interesting description. The old fossil must have been quite an impressive sight. Can you tell us about the subspecies that have been discovered?"

MT: "We are still collating much of the information that has been sent to us, but I can tell you about three subspecies of Pulpitosaurus we have identified so far. "The earliest relative was called Pulpitosaurus Apostolos. It had the longest legs of any theological dinosaur we have discovered, and covered great distances quickly, leaving offspring everywhere, Fossil remains of Apostolos have been found in the Himalayas, the Indus Valley, the Andes, Siberia, the Aleutian Islands and the Australian deserts."

PW: "Very interesting! What was the second subspecies?"

MT: "Actually the second and third subspecies seem to have developed simultaneously as offspring of Apostolos. The type most common seems to have been Pulpitosaurus Pastorus, He was amazingly prolific. Some nest sites discovered indicate the Pastorus may have cared for hundreds, even thousands of offspring at times. This species exerted such a great influence on their environment that whole primitive cultures were altered."

PW: "Amazing! And what about the third subspecies?"

MT: "This is the one that gives me nightmares! When reports first began to come in on this old fossil, we didn't know what to call it. We finally decided on Pulpitosaurus Evangelisticus. It had really sharp teeth, its voice box was the largest of all and its backbone had no vertebrae at all! Some researchers believe it was capable of breathing fire, and it was good at stirring the nests ruled over by the Pastorus. Amazingly, its visits to the nesting sites appear to have resulted in a great increase in the number of eggs that hatched out into Evangelisticuses and Pastoruses."

PW: "I wonder if you could tell our readers why the Pulpitosaurus became extinct?"

MT: "Most of our faculty hold the view that it was simply unable to evolve. It couldn't keep up with the changes happening all around it. One of our faculty members, Dr. Maverick, thinks it died out because it changed its diet from meat to milk. He thinks the latest specimens show symptoms of malnourishment and vitamin deficiency."

PW: "What creatures replaced them?"

MT: "Our research indicates the next step up the evolutionary ladder was much more sophisticated. Thankfully, it did not have a backbone at all, or teeth, or a thick hide. It didn't breathe fire or produce fear in others' hearts. Rather, it moved with the tide, adapted to its culture easily, and preferred lukewarm conditions...."

PW: "Pardon me for interrupting, but what you are describing sounds awfully like a jellyfish...."

MT: "You might say that. It has nice ring to it, doesn't it? Evangellyfish ... Hmm, I think that might be the very name. It conveys the thought of softness, conforming, drifting with the wind and current. Quite a suitable name that is."

PW: "I want to ask your opinion about this. From time to time we hear reports of living specimens of Pulpitosaurus Extinctus. Do you think it is possible that there may be some of these theological fossils still alive?"

MT: "Oh, no! Definitely not! Those are just unfounded rumours. People with small intellectual capacity will believe anything. Admittedly, some eggs were found recently in quite good condition. (Of course, the Board of Regents had them put in cold storage.) Pulpitosaurus Extinctus alive? It's not possible ... at least, I certainly hope not! Oh, my. that's a horrible thought! Modern society couldn't stand the shock. Dear, dear ... surely not! Oh, my ..."

PW: "We had some other questions to ask, but the Rev. Dr. Ms. Theorem became so distressed she had to take some Prozac and lie down. We will keep you informed as to any further developments."

[Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, a listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Our goal in this particular aspect of our ministry is not devotional but is TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR. This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the list. If somehow you have subscribed unintentionally, following are the instructions for removal. To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE: go to the web site and sign up or change addresses there: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbis/subscribe.html. We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6). Some of these articles are from O Timothy magazine, which is in its 21st year of publication. Way of Life publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at the web site: http://www.wayoflife.org/catalog/catalog.htm Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061. 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org (e-mail). We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications, but for those who are, OFFERINGS can be made at http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/offering.html PAYPAL offerings can be made to https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=dcloud%40wayoflife.org]

What Is Biblical Predestination?

God's Eternal Purpose

by Norman H. Wells

Pastor, Central Baptist Church
Cincinnati, Ohio

c. 1960

Biblical Predestination

GOD has an "eternal purpose" in all that He has done. GOD, in absolute sovereignty, carries out this "eternal purpose."

The one theme that runs through the entire Bible is the glory of GOD. Creation, man, CHRIST, salvation, Christians, the Church, etc. all, in fulfillment of GOD's "eternal purpose," will glorify His name.

GOD created man in His own image but man fell and thus separated himself from GOD. Man, as a totally depraved sinner, cannot, in himself, bring glory to GOD's name.

GOD DOES NOT SUFFER DEFEAT! Despite sin, His "eternal purpose" will be accomplished. GOD has made certain that His "eternal purpose" is accomplished. HE HAS PREDESTINATED IT!

To clearly understand what the Scriptures teach about predestination it is necessary to have a definition of the word.

The dictionary states that "predestination" means, "To decree beforehand." It means to predetermine.

A spiritual definition is given in the Scofield Bible which states that "predestination" is, "That effective exercise of the will of GOD by which things before determined by Him are brought to pass."

GOD, before the foundation of the world, predestinated that certain events would come to pass. GOD in His power and in exercise of His will makes certain that these predestinated events do happen.

DESPITE WHAT MAN AND SATAN CAN DO, GOD HAS PREDESTINATED THAT HIS "ETERNAL PURPOSE" WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED. GOD DOES NOT SUFFER DEFEAT. HIS NAME WILL BE GLORIFIED IN ALL THAT HE HAS DONE.

The word "predestinated" is used four times in the Bible. It is used twice in the first chapter of Ephesians and twice in the eighth chapter of Romans. Let us lok at these verses.

"Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (Eph. 1:5).

This verse says, "Having predestinated US." Who is being referred to by the pronoun "us"?

The epistle to the Ephesians is addressed to "the saints which are at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." This very first verse in the book reveals that, what is to come, is addressed to saved people -- not lost sinners.

Notice the following expressions: "Who hath blessed us" (vs. 3). "He hath chosen us" (vs. 4). "He hath made us accepted" (vs. 6). "We have redemption" (vs. 7). "made known unto us the mystery of his will" (vs. 9). "we have obtained an inheritance" (vs. 11). "we should be to the praise of his glory" (vs. 12). "Ye heard the word of truth" (vs. 13). "Ye believed" (vs. 13). "Ye were sealed" (vs. 13).

THESE SCRIPTURES WERE ADDRESSED TO SAVED PEOPLE

This epistle was written to those who had heard the Gospel, had believed it, and were redeemed. They had an inheritance in heaven and were eternally sealed.

THESE SCRIPTURES REFER TO WHAT GOD IS DOING FOR THE SAVED PERSON ... AFTER HE IS SAVED. Note again the verse where the word "predestinated" is used.

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleaure of his will."

Predestinated unto what? This verse does not say, "Having predestinated us unto salvation." The predestination is, "unto the adoption of children."

THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN. The word "adoption" as used by Paul, has more meaning than the way the word is generally used today.

Unger's Dictionary says, "Adoption is a word of position rather than relationship. The believer's relation to GOD as a child results from the new birth (John 1:12), whereas adoption is the divine act whereby one already a child is, through redemption from the law, placed in the position of an adult son."

IN ONE SENSE, THE ADOPTION IS YET FUTURE FOR THE BELIEVER

"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY"
(Rom. 8:23).

The adoption will take place at the time of the redemption of the body. When will this take place?

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and 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" (I Thess. 4:16-17).

THE ADOPTION AND THE REDEMPTION OF THE BODY WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

What does Ephesians 1:5 mean? Let us look at it again!

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

This verse is addressed to those who were already saved. They had heard, believed and were sealed.

These saved believers were predestinated unto the adoption of children.

GOD HAS PREDESTINATED THAT EVERY BELIEVER WILL MAKE IT TO THE ADOPTION WHICH WILL OCCUR AT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.

Predestination has to do with what GOD did for the believer to make certain he would stay saved! It is the fulfillment of GOD's "eternal purpose."

GOD has predetermined that man will glorify His name. He has chosen the believer in CHRIST to accomplish this purpose. He has predestinated that the believer shall stay saved in order to fulfill this "eternal purpose" of GOD.

Listen again to the words of GOD: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children." GOD gives the grand assurance that by the effective exercise of His will, all who come to JESUS, will be adopted. They will receive the redemption of the body. They will ever be with the LORD. GOD has predestinated it. They can never again be lost ... GOD decrees it!

The second time that the word "predestinated" is used in the book of Ephesians is in Eph. 1:11.

"In whom also we have obtained an inheritance BEING PREDESTINATED according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: ..."

This verse, like Eph. 1:5, is addressed to those who were already saved. It has to do with what GOD is doing for the saved person, not the lost person. This verse does not say that a sinner is predestinated to salvation.

PREDESTINATED TO WHAT?

It will be noticed that verse 11 is not a complete sentence. It ends in a semi-colon and the sentence continues in verse 12.

"THAT WE SHOULD BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY, who first trusted in Christ."

The meaning is clear. These verses are addressed to those, "who first trusted in Christ." Those who had "first trusted in Christ" were predestinated to "be to the praise of his glory."

GOD has predestinated that the saved believer will bring praise to GOD's glory. Predestination was what GOD did for the saved believer to make certain that the believer would bring praise to His glory. GOD predestinates that His "eternal purpose" will be accomplished in the life of the believer.

The third time the word "predestinate" is used is in Romans 8:29.

"For whom he did foreknow he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Again it will be noticed that this verse does not say, "predestinated to be saved."

PREDESTINATED TO BE WHAT?

"... predestinate TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON." This is the object of predestination ... not salvation.

When shall we be "conformed to the image of his Son"?

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doeth 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" (I John 3:2).

When shall we be like Him? When shall we be conformed to the image of His Son? WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR! These events will occur at the second coming of CHRIST.

GOD has predestinated that every saved believer will be conformed to the image of His Son. Predestination makes certain the believer stays saved and accomplishes the "eternal purpose" of GOD.

PREDESTINATION HAS TO DO WITH THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER, NOT THE SALVATION OF THE UNBELIEVING SINNER.

The fourth time the word "predestinate" is used is in Romans 8:30.

"Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

This 30th verse is understood in the light of the 29th verse which we have just discussed. GOD predestinated that the believer would be conformed to the image of His Son. This will occur at the second coming of CHRIST.

Notice the three things in this verse.

"... them he also CALLED: ..."
"... them he also JUSTIFIED: ..."
"... them he also GLORIFIED."

THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT GOD PROVIDES TO MAKE SALVATION CERTAIN AND ETERNAL. Compare this with verse 32.

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS."

GOD has predestinated that the believer will have everything he needs to be eternally saved. HE GAVE HIS OWN SON ... HE CALLS THE BELIEVER ... HE JUSTIFIES THE BELIEVER ... HE MAKES CERTAIN THE BELIEVER WILL BE GLORIFIED.

We have now looked at the four times the word "predestination" is used in the Bible. Every time it is used it refers to what GOD has predestinated for the believer to assure the believer staying saved and accomplishing the "eternal purpose" of GOD.

~ from the booklet, "GOD'S ETERNAL PURPOSE" by Norman H. Wells. No copyright information.

The Lord's Deputy

The Lord’s Deputy stands in the night, face covered by the darkness. At the ready the Lord’s Deputy stands, prepared to defend the weak, help the helpless, and protect the innocent. He knows the risk and understands the dangers around him. He knows he may have to pay the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice, he knows he may have to give his life.

The Lord’s Deputy is not afraid. His heart is prepared; he is wearing his armor. The Armor is special, different from any other kind of armor ever fashioned. It is stronger than any bulletproof vest, harder than any helmet, more powerful than any weapon.

The Lord’s Deputy wears this special armor, never taking it off.

The Armor girds his loins with truth. Truth has no flaws, it can never change, and it is absolute.

His chest is covered with a special breastplate. It is the breastplate of righteousness. Nothing can penetrate it. Evil cannot stand against righteousness. Evil cannot hurt the Lord’s Deputy who is clad in armor.

On his feet are shoes like no other. Shoes of the gospel of peace. Ready to go to anyone, no matter where or who they are, if they are willing to hear the truth of Jesus Christ and be shown the way to eternal life.

He takes with him a shield. The Shield of Faith, knowing that faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than any weapon the enemy may fashion. He knows the enemy can kill the flesh, but can never hurt the soul. His soul belongs to the Lord.

He carries only one weapon; the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. It is sharper than any two edged sword which is able to penetrate even the heart of stone.

The Deputy of the Lord battles evil on the earth. He fights against not only flesh and blood, but also principalities and powers of this dark world. He must deal with the sin of man for the Lord does not bear the sword in vain.

Yes, the Lord’s Deputy knows the dangers, he knows the cost, but he is ready. He has on the Armor of God.

Written by Tim Fisher
(Used With Permission)

How God Preserves His Word

The Anvil of God's Word

Last eve I paused beside a blacksmith's door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had," said I,
"To wear and batter all these hammers so?"
"Just one," said he, and then, with twinkling eye,
"The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."

And so, thought I, the anvil of God's Word,
For ages sceptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed - the hammers gone.

John Clifford

Broken hammers! Those two words sum up the entire history of men's attacks on the Word of God. The anvil of God's Word has for centuries suffered countless hammer blows from its enemies, yet it bears not a dent or scratch from all their spite! I see inscribed upon the broken hammers the names of those who wielded them! I see Sennacharib's name. Jehoiakim's name is there (Jer. 36). Diocletian, Voltaire, Paine, Hegel, Hume, Griesbach, Semler, Lachman, Strauss, Baur, Ingersoll, Fosdick, and a thousand others have wielded their infidel arguments against the Word of God, and yet it endures. The floor of history is littered with the broken hammers of critics, but the anvil is unharmed!

The Answer to a Great Mystery

There is a great mystery here. How is it possible that the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament and the Received Text of the Greek New Testament, and so very many of the faithful translations of the Bible have survived the enmity of wicked men so that we have the very Word of God in our possession today? The Scriptures give us the answer, God has preserved His Word for us. He told us in His Word He would do so,“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Psalm 12:6, 7 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. 5:18 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matt. 24:35 Add to these verses Psa. 33:11; 100:5; 105:8-10; 111:7,8; 117:2; 119:89, 152, 160; Isa. 40:8;, and I Tim. 6:14 Our Lord Jesus stated this truth when He said, “...the Scripture cannot be broken.” Without a doubt, God has preserved His Words for us in English in the King James Bible.

When I was a young Christian it used to trouble me that men were forever attacking the Word of God. Since I came to understand the doctrine of preservation, I no longer fear that we will ever lose the Word of God or see the King James Bible displaced by the modern mistranslations. As a little boy fifty years ago, I remember listening to our dear old pastor as he preached on the Inspiration of the Bible, its Inerrancy, its Authority, and its Preservation. At the time, the doctrine of Inspiration was under attack. Faithless men hammered away at the Holy Scriptures with their pompous words while sceptics laughed and applauded, but they all passed away, and the anvil was unharmed. Some years later, the Inerrancy of the Scriptures came under attack. For many years now the Authority of the Word of God has been under attack. And over the past twenty or thirty years “scholars” have angrily attacked the doctrine of the Preservation of God's Word. Without exception, these “scholars” have held to what is called Modern Textual Criticism.

The Origins of Modern Textual Criticism

We must remember that the men who devised the basic principles of Modern Textual Criticism earned their degrees at the feet of the early modernists. In the eighteenth century modernists were known as German Rationalists. Using the “scientific” methods of the Renaissance, they sat in judgement on the Word of God and dispensed with everything supernatural in the Bible. This view came to be called Higher Criticism. The students of the Higher Critics carried their modernism one step farther and devised theories of modern textual criticism to hammer away at the Inspiration, the Inerrancy, the Authority, and the Preservation of the Bible. Over the past century most Bible colleges and seminaries have embraced modern textual criticism and, as a result, have jettisoned the doctrine of Preservation.

They seem to have forgotten that God has always preserved certain things.

The Doctrine of Preservation

Holy Scripture tells us in II Peter 3:7, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.” Two separate words are used here to describe God's preservation of the cosmos for the day of judgement. “Kept in store” is from the Greek word “thesaurus”. It carries the meaning of something being laid up as a treasure. “Reserved” is from the word “teereo” and means to keep, to preserve, or to hold fast. This verse agrees with Col. 1:17, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” God is always actively preserving and keeping and holding together the heavens and the earth. He has a plan for them and will not allow them to be destroyed until His plan is fulfilled.

God has, for thousands of years, preserved the nation of Israel. Surely the words of God to Jacob in Gen. 28:15 “ And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest...” were not to Jacob alone, but to all his seed. Again and again, God promised to Israel that He would preserve them. Exodus 23:20 reads, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.” And the Jews were instructed to bless one another with the words of Num. 6:24, “The LORD bless thee and keep thee...” History bears solemn witness to the keeping power of God. He has preserved His covenant people in the face of bitter enmity and will yet bring them to faith in His Son. God has a plan for Israel and will not allow the Adolph Hitlers of the past, present, or future to destroy them.

God keeps His own children so that they can never be lost. Jude addressed his epistle to those who are “sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” We are preserved and kept and held fast. Oh, brother, if you are washed in the blood of the Lamb, you can swing over the pit of Hell on a rotten cornstalk singing Amazing Grace and never fear that you will fall in! We are assured in Romans 8:38, 39 that no created thing or circumstance can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” My dear Saviour gave this poor little lamb all the assurance he would ever need when He said, “ And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than I, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:28, 29) In Ephesians 4:30 we are told that we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit.” What could be clearer than the fact that every member of the Trinity is involved in keeping us. God has a plan for us and will keep us all the way to Heaven. We are preserved!

How God Preserves His Word

It should not surprise us then, to read the verses on the preservation of the Bible. It is God's way to preserve those things for which He has a great purpose and plan. In simple faith we say a loud “AMEN” to every text that tells us God will preserve His Word. Church historians agree (often very reluctantly, I fear) that God HAS preserved His Word. Many preachers who should boldly preach this great truth (and don't!) will nod their heads ever so timidly and sheepishly admit that it seems to be true, but then they will qualify that admission by saying that there are no verses in the Bible that specifically state the doctrine of Preservation. And then they will say that there are no verses that tell us how God preserves His Word.

We Baptists used to believe that everything in life is basically theological. By that we mean that we believe that every subject, every issue, and every doctrinal controversy MUST be looked at from God's perspective, and we believe that His perspective is to be found in His Word. If you still hold that as a conviction, you will find that you are out of step with a great many Bible college professors and their graduates. And you wouldn't be able to pass some of the courses in their learned institutions. Why do I say this? Simply because it is now taboo in many circles for you to approach the subject of textual criticism from the perspective of faith. That is the perspective which believes that God has revealed in His Word how to discern which Greek text is reliable and which is not. We believe God has laid out for us in the Bible all the guidelines we need. If you hold to this position, you are pleading guilty to having a biblical bias. Most Bible “scholars” tell us that this perspective is not “neutral.” (Say, that sounds a lot like straddling the fence to me. I thought “neutralism” was something that new evangelicals were into.) When the “scholars” say they can find no verses in the Bible that teach that God has preserved His Word or how He does it, we are reminded of the three reasons a burglar can't find a policeman. 1) He isn't really interested in looking. 2) He tends to look in the wrong places. 3) And he would be in deep trouble if he did find one.

A Key Word

Now I would like to propose a little challenge for the scholarly gentlemen who tell us that the Bible has nothing to say about preservation. Since God uses the word “preserve” in the Bible, why not take the time to look up all the verses in the Bible that use the Greek word translated “preserved” (as in I Thess. 5:23 and in Jude 1)? It is the word, “teereo”. It is translated “preserved” twice, “reserved” eight times, “hold fast” once, “hold” once, “watch” twice, “observe” four times, “prison” once, and “keep, keepers, kept, keepeth, and keeping” almost sixty times. The overall definition we perceive through the Holy Spirit's uses of the word “teereo” is that of someone exercising a protective, custodial, watchful care over someone or some thing. The Spirit used it to describe the soldiers watching Jesus on the cross (Matt. 27:36, 54). It is used to describe those who watched the tomb of our Lord (Matt. 28:4). The ruler of the feast accused the bridegroom in John 2:10 of keeping back the best wine till last. In Acts 12:5, 6 and 16:23, Peter and Paul were kept in prison. In I Cor. 7:37 and I Tim. 5:22 a man is told to keep his body free from immorality. The Ephesian church was exhorted to keep the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3). Paul faces death in II Tim 4:7 with the confidence that he has kept the faith. James writes that we are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. The truth of preservation is very clearly taught in all these verses. In each case someone or some thing is being watched over protectively. If we believe that “every word of God is pure” (Prov. 30:5), if we believe in the Verbal Inspiration of Scripture, then we believe that God very carefully chose this word to convey to us the fact that men commonly exercise a custodial and careful watchfulness over things that have value and importance.

The Surprising Uses of the Word

So what does this word have to do with the preservation of God's Word? Simply this, the word, “teereo”, is used 28 times in the New Testament to describe men “keeping” the sayings of Christ, His commandments, His words, and God's law. See, for example, John 8:51, “If a man keep my saying, he shall never die.” and John 8:55 “...I know him and keep his saying.” John 14:15 is the best known of these verses, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Verses 21, 23, 24 emphasise the same truth, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me...”, “ If a man love me, he will keep my words...”, and “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings...” I John 2:3, 4, 5 add these words, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whose keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby we do know that we are in him.” For over forty years I have been reading those verses and assuming that they were only describing the simple obeying of God's Word, but that is not all that is in the word “keep”. (It should be emphasised that there are three basic words for “obey” in the Greek New Testament, but this word “teereo” is never once translated “obey”.) The Holy Spirit's consistent use of the word “teereo” in the New Testament shows that it means to exercise a protective, watchful, custodial care of the thing kept. That is the basic meaning of the word. The verses which use the word “teereo” in reference to keeping our Lord's commandments teach us that God would have His children to preserve His Word. So have we been altogether wrong in supposing that we are to obey the words of Christ? I think not. God intended for us to lovingly exercise a protective watchcare over His Words, and in doing so, to obey them. If God's people have a grasp of the importance of standing guard over the purity of God's Word, and having a loving watchfulness over the Bible, they will also “keep” it in obeying it. Obedience to the Bible and Preservation of the Bible are inseparable. When the Lord Jesus said to His disciples in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” He was instructing them to lovingly preserve His commandments from corruption by obeying them without alteration. That makes sense to this old hillbilly preacher. I will preserve God's Word so I can obey it carefully and I will obey it carefully so I can preserve it unchanged for the next generation of God's children. If I become careless in obeying it, I will become careless in preserving it. Say, have you noticed that those who are so opposed to the doctrine of preservation also become increasingly careless in obeying the Bible? And those who are most vocal in their support of the preservation of the Bible tend to be most concerned about simple obedience to it? It stands to reason that carelessness in preserving God's Word goes with carelessness in obeying it, and diligence in preserving it goes with diligence in obeying it.

Simple Steps of Preservation

Now, I think I hear someone saying, “You still haven't told us how God's Word is preserved.”

First, we should recognise that when the Lord told men to keep His words He was addressing His disciples. This charge is given to the Lord's disciples not only individually but collectively. In the simplest analysis churches are gatherings of disciples of Christ. It was the churches' task then and it is the churches' task now to “keep his commandments!” The little church I pastor has been given a divine mandate to preserve the Bible. It is not the task of parachurch organisations such as denominations, Bible societies, Bible colleges, seminaries, Christian universities, or museums to preserve God's Word. It is the work of the local church. This is how God has preserved His Word since the time of the apostles, through local churches standing guard over it. Read the history of the primitive churches in every land. They preserved the Word of God without anyone's help but God's. Roman emperors and Roman popes tried their hardest to take the Bible away from the churches, but they would not give it up.

Churches in this century must realise that no group of people in the world has the right to tell a local church that it is exceeding its mandate when it stands guard over the purity of the Bible. No author, no Baptist pope, no fellowship of churches, no university, and no seminary has the right to overrule our Saviour's charge to the local church to preserve God's Word.

Second, any church that sets out to preserve their Saviour's sayings commits itself inevitably to obey it in the letter and the spirit. The Great Commission of Christ to His disciples contains the words, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:20) “All things” teaches preservation. “Observe” teaches obedience. Preservation and obedience are forever joined together.

We need to read with discernment the histories of the churches. When the “scholars” of the 19th century discovered the mangled and mutilated manuscripts of the Alexandrian Greek text they should have exercised discernment as to the places they found them. The Vaticanus manuscript was discovered unused, unpreached, and unloved among the papists who had no desire to preserve it or obey it. Its credibility is immediately suspect because of the lawless obscurantism of its hosts. The Sinaitic manuscript was discovered in no better company. Godless priests were using it to kindle a fire. One of the rooms of the monastery was filled with the skulls of deceased priests. Dead rituals, dead prayers, dead doctrines, dead priests, and and a dead text, they all belong together.

A live text, the Received Text, should be found in a live church, filled with live doctrines, with a live preacher and live saints. They should actively worship the living God. They should be empowered by the Spirit of life. When the Spirit of God spoke through the apostle Paul, he described the local church as being “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Tim. 3:15) A church which trembles at the Word of God (Isa. 66:2, 5) will preserve it in the very fullest sense, lovingly obeying it.

And third, God has given us the very simplest instructions for the preserving of His Words. He tells us again and again not to add to it or take away from it. This is preservation in all its simplicity. Deut. 4:2 is the first text that warns us not to add to, nor take away from the Word of God, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Note how preservation and obedience go together in this and the next text!) Deut. 12:32 states this truth again, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” The wise man of Proverbs 30:6 warns, “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” God's commission to Jeremiah in chapter 26:2 is, “...(S)peak all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.” Rev. 22:18, 19 are possibly the best known verses on the preservation of the Bible. They come at the close of the canon, and warn men most solemnly not to add to nor take away from the words of this book. What is not commonly known is that the 22nd chapter also contains two verses that speak of our part in preservation. Verse 7 promises a blessing on the man that “keepeth the sayings of this book.” And verse 9 identifies the angel who spoke with John as being the fellowservant of them which “keep the sayings of this book.” The word, again, is “teereo”. There is a blessing on the man who preserves the Word of God and avoids every alteration to the Bible. And a curse on those who add to or take away from it.

So God tells us how His Word is preserved. It is kept by those who love it and obey it. Down through the centuries He has kept His Word through His people. Wherever we find a church, large or small, that is committed to walking in the light of the Bible, we will find a church that takes its stewardship of the purity of God's Word seriously. And we will find that they measure everything, including Modern Textual Criticism, by the Word of God.

Many years ago, I pastored a church near an aboriginal mission. There was a missionary living and working there who told me one day that someone had donated copies of a modern translation for the church in the settlement. He said that after a few weeks, the people came to him and said, “Brother ________, we don't like this new Bible. We want the old one back again.” When he asked why, they said, “This Bible got no teeth!” In simple faith, with barely enough education to read, they knew the difference between the true Scriptures and the mangled thoughts of men. They knew that the Holy Scriptures have “teeth”, and they had discerned that the new “bible” didn't. They discerned that somebody had pulled the teeth of their Bible when they left verses out and added in the words of men.

They also knew that they should “keep” the sayings of Jesus by asking for their old Bibles back. Those old Bibles were the King James Version.

One of the saddest statistics of our generation is that more and more Bible colleges and seminaries have become hammer factories for sceptics. But we should be greatly encouraged to know that there are more and more faithful churches who believe in God's preservation of His Word. Many good books on preservation are being written and sermons preached and research done, so that there is an ever increasing body of Scriptural evidence that proves clearly that God is keeping His Word through His people.

I hear a new sound in the world today. It is the sound of hammers breaking as they beat themselves to pieces against the Word of God. It is music to our ears.

But it is not the hammers that make the music.

It is the anvil.

God is preserving His Word.

By Buddy Smith
(Used With Permission)