Thursday, July 24, 2008

Warning Against Altering The Word Of God

The following is taken from pages 326-327 of Myths About The Modern Bible Versions by David Cloud, and is a quote by Charles Spurgeon taken from The Sword And Trowel, September 1888. I want to thank Brother Cloud for putting this material in his book, as I cannot find it online or on the CDRom of Spurgeon's material that I have. In light of the date written, this material would now be in the public domain.

Every motive that could move men to alter the Word of God has been fully delineated in various portions of the Bible. It shows that God was aware from the first of the reception that would be given to His truth; and it is as instructing to the humble believer as it is humiliating to the modern lover of penknife criticism.

The tendency to alter the Word of God is HUMAN. It is manifested in the first religious conversation on record. The Divine voice had asserted 'Thou shalt not eat of it'; the human voice added 'neither shall ye touch it.' The addition was the precursor of the fall.

The desire to alter the Word of God is DANGEROUS. In the wilderness God Himself points this out. 'Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it' (Deuteronomy 4:2). The nations they were advancing to conquer had long cast aside their allegiance to their Maker, and the least tendency to question or alter God's Word might result in the same downfall for Israel. 'Thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.' That idolatry does result from such daring rebellion is proved by the state of the Roman Catholic community today.

The act of altering the Word of God is SINFUL. 'Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar' (Proverbs 30:5, 6). 'Every word of God is pure'; and he who assays to improve upon it imputes error to the All-wise. Only unholy minds could attempt it.

The desire to alter the Word of God is WEAKNESS. Jeremiah's was a terrible message, and even he might yield to feelings of pity for his race. God saw this, and in words that could not be misunderstood, He said to the prophet, 'Diminish not a word' (Jeremiah 26:2). If God's message is diminished its power is lessened, and its results are consequently less certain. The authority, the power, the meaning, the terror of God's truth must be preserved in all their fulness if God's purposes are to be carried out.

The ambition to alter the Word of God is PHARISAIC. To break the perfection of the law and teach our own alterations or additions as if they were of God is vile indeed (Matthew 5:19, 20). Our Lord reproved this spirit in scathing and unmistakable language. Why is it His Words are forgotten? 'Ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition,' He says. 'They teach for doctrines the commandments of men' (Matthew 15:6-9). The Pharisaic spirit thus renders impossible obedience to God the Supreme Teacher.

The craving to alter the Word of God is ACCURSED. Revelation 22:18-19 should be read with fear and trembling. Thus all down the ages God has warned men against this crime. He is a jealous God, and has determined to visit with the direst punishment all who dare to alter His completed and full revelation.

This is the crime of the present day: the Lord preserve us from it.

The Fruit Of The Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Working all nine of these traits into our lives seems impossible, and indeed it is. But the moment we became a Christian, the Holy Spirit began a divine work to produce Christ's character in you. Regardless of who you are, the Spirit works from the same model, Jesus Christ. The Spirit looks to Christ in order to find the blueprint for your character.

1. The Spirit will immediately begin helping you experience and practice the same love that Jesus had when He laid down His life for His friends. Another way to see this is LOVE is the caring of Jesus.

2. The same joy He experienced will now fill you. JOY is the celebration of Jesus. This is one of the main elements missing from American Christianity. Walking in the Spirit does not put on a long face.

3. The identical peace that guarded the heart of Jesus, even as He was being beaten and mocked, will be the peace that the Spirit works to instill in you. PEACE is the calmness of Jesus. Walking in the Spirit doesn’t worry or fret.

4. The long-suffering/patience Jesus had for His most unreachable disciple will be the patience that the Spirit now develops in you. LONGSUFFERING is the constancy of Jesus. Jesus is faithful and dependable.

5. The gentleness Jesus showed toward children and sinners will soften your heart toward others. GENTLENESS is the comforting of Jesus. Gentleness is not passivity or being docile. It is being kind and considerate.

6. There will be a goodness about you that is only explainable by the presence of the Spirit of God. GOODNESS is the charity of Jesus.

7. The Spirit will build the same faith into you that led Jesus to be entirely obedient to His Father. FAITH is the confidence and conviction of Jesus.

8. The Holy Spirit will blossom the same meekness that made Christ great. MEEKNESS is the consideration of Jesus.

9. The Spirit will teach you temperance/self-control so that you will have strength to do what is right and to resist temptation. TEMPERANCE is the constraint and control of Jesus.

May God help us to have this precious fruit in our lives!

Excerpted from a sermon entitled, The Fruit Of The Spirit by:
Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church Smithfield, NC

If you enjoy reading/studying sermon outlines, you will truly be blessed by joining this Yahoo mailing list. Most of the articles sent out are by brother Mike Walls.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Daily Devotionals Emailed To You

There are some daily devotionals that I receive in my email that I believe are worthy of passing on. Here are the links to the main ones I receive (or have received in the past), and each of these pages has a link you can click on to sign up to receive them for yourself. These first two links are ones I have been receiving for approximately two years now (since fall 2006), and Days Of Praise for significantly longer. These first three devotionals solely use the King James Bible; however, you will find the rare comment in Days Of Praise where they say, "a better rendering/translation would be..." Just ignore anything like that, and you will find much to be blessed by. I have used many devotionals from each of these sources for meal devotionals at the Gospel Mission.

Devotionals from Mount Zion Baptist Church - By Pastor Thomas Smith. These are excellent, sound, separated and soulwinning devotionals. Pretty meaty with a lot of application. I highly recommend signing up for this one. He sends out a year's worth of devotionals, then rotates them again.

Daily In The Word - by Paul Chappell. These ones are fairly good - ranging from really meaty to short, but edifying. My only problem with him is he quotes without a disclaimer C.S. Lewis (and some others) at times that I could never endorse. Read with discernment and you will be blessed.

Days Of Praise - by Institute For Creation Research (ICR). Normally, these are fairly meaty (in contrast to the fluff found in Our Daily Bread) and worth reading. There is the occasional one I would disagree with. Look up the passages that are brought forth, consider what is being said. Much to be blessed by, even if you don't agree with all. You can sign up to receive these by email and/or in print for free.

I don't have current links for the next two devotionals, but you should be able to find them online at various sites (suggestion: do a Google search for their titles). Unlike the daily devotionals listed above, the ones below contain the same articles sent out every year (as they are based on printed works). You might want to sign up for one this year and a different one next year.

Morning And Evening devotional - by Charles Spurgeon. Excellent! One of my favourites! There is a devotional for every morning and evening of the year.

Streams In The Desert - by Mrs. Charles Cowman. There are some truly encouraging devotionals and poems in this book that are a tremendous blessing when you are going through trials - BUT I cannot endorse all of them. There are also some Bible references used from other versions. Please read these devotionals with discernment, look up each passage in your King James Bible, and throw out the ones that don't line up completely with God's Word.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No Wonder Mormons Like C.S. Lewis!

I found a copy of C.S. Lewis' book, Mere Christianity, in a box at work (containing books left by clients at the Mission). Years ago, I had read the introduction and found some things in there very offensive. Last night, I was skimming through it to find those parts, and started reading and skimming other parts of it too. So far, I haven't found any Scripture in it (from all that I have read in the book, he certainly has a low view of the inspiration of Scripture - believing it is simply men writing their religious experience down, not as the Word of God and the only source of objective truth) - and he is so off the wall it isn't funny. Where are Christians' discernment?!?

Aside from various references about believers being/becoming Christs themselves (rather than becoming more Christlike), this was quite disturbing:

"The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor it is a command to do the impossbile. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible), that we were 'gods' and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him - for we can prevent Him, if we choose - He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said." (Taken from pages 205-206 of the edition I have, the last 2 pages of chapter 9.)

If you read C.S. Lewis or have ever promoted his books - or especially this book - Wake up people!!

C.S. Lewis also believed in Universalism:

This is taken from pages 202, and 204-206 of The Last Battle, the seventh book in the Narnia series.

In chapter 15, one evil character, Emeth, finds himself through the door (representing Heaven), surprised to be there. He thought he was going to meet Tash (the god of evil - and yes, the series does teach dualism and does refer to Tash as a god) in there. Instead, he runs into Aslan. (This is not the account of some evil person repenting and turning to the Lord - ie. Aslan, according to the novel - in faith, but of someone who was still determined to pursue evil [going through the door specifically to meet/see Tash face to face] and was surprised at where he was and at Aslan's attitude towards him.)

"For always since I was a boy I have served Tash and my great desire was to know more of him, if it might be, to look upon his face. But the name of Aslan was hateful to me...

Then I looked about me and saw the sky and the wide lands and smelled the sweetness. And I said, By the Gods, this is a pleasant place: it may be that I am come into the country of Tash. And I began to journey into the strange country to seek him...

...there came to meet me a great Lion... Then I fell at his feet and thought, surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him... But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me... I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him... But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek."

So, according to Lewis, if we serve Satan all our days, as long as we are sincere, God accepts that as service to Himself. What blasphemy!!