Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Welcome

April is now posted.


We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. A PDF file (large print) can be downloaded under the Archives tab and printed if desired, as well as past editions.

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

PROVING GOD’S WILL


Jack Davis


“I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing  of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of  God” - Romans 12:1-2.

God’s will for us is also His good will toward us, and always good for us. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, but we also are to know in experience God’s perfect will.

“Wherefore be ye  not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” Eph. 5:17. In fact, Paul prayed that the saints be “filled with the (exact) knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” Col. 1:9-10.

We are beseeched, pleaded with, implored by the mercies of  God to that which will prove in experience the will of God. In other words, we are to come to know the reality of God’s will far beyond theory – human logic.

It seems evident that the perfect will of God is occupied far more with what we become, than with what we are able to accomplish, or how we appear to others. What difference will it make who all we please, or what all we do, if we miss the will of God for our life?

“The mercies of God:” of all that is expressed in the preceding chapters of this book of Romans (Rom. 11), the mercies of God are spelled out in clear detail.  As the inspired writer comes to the close of the eleventh chapter, dealing with those marvelous facts concerning God’s ways of dealing with Jew and Gentile, he seems to get carried away in a spirit of praise, beside himself unto the Lord. Those verses, thirty-three through thirty-six, make up quite a song of praise. Now here in Romans twelve, those “mercies” are pointed to as Divine leverage to move believers to a willing response to the will of God.

“Present your bodies:” He is speaking of the believer’s entire devotion to  God. In such devotion we may find the sweet display of the life of Christ, a demonstration of the power of an endless life, and especially in the presenting believer, the discovery  of God’s perfect will.

In such “presenting” we totally commit, turning the controls over to the Lord. Submitting to His choice we let Him have His way, making a determination to be Available for His will. “”Not my will but thine be done.”

I remember a time in my youth, going up for prayer with the request and earnest desire that the Lord’s will be done in my life. One of the brethren, praying for those that came up for prayer, said, “It will be.” As I thought about it later there seemed to be some wisdom in that statement, yet at the time, it made me feel somewhat foolish in asking. May the Lord help us to never be flippant about His will, nor with the young that ask.
I cannot say like Jesus said, “I do always the things that please the Father.” But praise God, we are so blessed to have in us the very life of Him that did, and still does, the perfect will of the Father. It is our sweet privilege, and to our glorious benefit, to absolutely yield to that victorious life within.

Thank God, as we get a heart grasp of the tender mercies and loving kindness of our God and Father, or rather as these get hold on us, we more readily give up the control of our life. I don’t believe that we actually do what we want when we go against the sweet will of God  for our lives, but rather what our adversary wants. If we truly know what is good for us, we find we will want what He wants for us.

“A living sacrifice:” It is God’s will that we live, and that our sacrifice be living; our worshipful service be of those raised from the dead. It is those that are alive that are manifesting His life. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Gal. 2:20.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” II Cor. 4:7-10.

As we present our bodies a living sacrifice, not only is the life of Christ manifested, but also may be magnified.

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing shall I be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” Phil. 1:20-21. Letting Him do the living in us demonstrates the will, wisdom and power of God.

“Your reasonable service:”  is such too much to ask, in view of Eph. 5:1-2? Is not this a logical service, by the reasoning of His abundant mercy? Realizing such mercy we earnestly desire Him to have the greatest possible return on His costly investment. Legal service… – His will in the whole matter is that it all comes from a loving heart.

“For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” II Cor. 5:13-15.

“And be not conformed:” it is not His will that we fit the style, nor follow the course of this age. Thank God, we are different, and we are enabled to act differently. Not conforming to this world is indeed a very real part of how we present our bodies a living sacrifice.  We are not obliged to give ourselves to the dead, and yet deadly forms it follows. Don’t allow it to squeeze you into its mold, especially the religious forms. II Tim. 3:1-5.
“Be ye transformed:” Faith in the power of the Word to work effectually, build us up, and give us an unsearchable inheritance, powerfully transforms us from within. As Christ is being formed in us, we are being conformed to the image of God’s dear Son. What a privilege we have of beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and of being changed into the same image from glory to glory, II Cor. 3:18.

“By the renewing of your mind:” Thus as we meditate, ruminate and assimilate His Word; He regenerates our thinking to Him and His - powerfully proving the will of God.

Witnesses of the Resurrection


Anita Clark – Pastor 
Carbondale, Kansas

     
After the ascension of Jesus into heaven, recorded in Acts 1:10 & 11, His disciples returned to Jerusalem and were gathered in an upper room, continuing, “with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Vs. 14).  Peter stood up in their midst and declared they should appoint another to take the place of Judas Iscariot.  One who had “companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us...unto the same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection” (Vs. 21,22).
In Acts 2 after the out pouring of the Holy Ghost and Peter’s declaration that “this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel,” in Vs.16, he goes on to state, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; Him...ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be holden of it” (Vs. 22-24).  Again in Vs. 32, Peter says, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” 
The resurrection of Christ is of such vital importance for all believers.  He had affirmed throughout His ministry that He would die and rise again.  The disciples then witnessed the “Infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) of the empty tomb and His appearances to them and others.
In Acts 4:33 as many that believed were gathered together at Jerusalem it is written of them, “And with great power gave they witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”  Today we also give witness of our resurrected Lord and Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul encountered the resurrected Jesus as recorded in Acts 9, as he journeyed to Damascus intent to do harm to those who believed and preached this risen Savior. When the brightness of the risen Lord shined about him and revealed Himself saying, “I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest” (Vs. 5), Paul from that time forward gave witness to Jesus’ resurrection. In Paul’s first recorded sermon as preached at Antioch in Piscidia, He declared, “When they had  fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher.  But God raised Him from the dead; And he was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people” (Acts 13:29-31).
Paul continued to say, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Vs. 38-39).  This message we gladly affirm yet today.  It is the only message which can change men and bring hope.  And we are witnesses to the power of the resurrected life that has been imparted to us who believe.

                 STILL


  It has been twenty years since “Y2K”
  And still the Bride is not caught away.
So the scoffers still louder sing their tune
  That Jesus really isn’t coming so soon!

But we remain steadfast in our sure Hope,
  Knowing by Faith we are able to cope.
Keeping our focus on  God’s living Word
  Until that first trumpet sound is heard.

  So to answer the unbelief and doubt,
  We may boldly stand fast and shout,
   Whether at morn or night or noon,
“Yes, Jesus is STILL coming so soon!”


For YET A LITTLE WHILE,
AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME,
AND WILL NOT TARRY.

(Hebrews 10:37)

David Beck, pastor
Sedalia, Missouri

Know God, Know Peace
No God, No Peace


As I sit here watching the news, they are closing the schools for the rest of the school year. There have been many difficult decisions made in an attempt to reduce the impact of a virus and possibly save some lives.

I also have watched as many have panicked and acted very selfishly. Fear of the unknown drives many to act in ways they might not otherwise, but it shows us the true nature of mankind.

This is not intended to shame people or to be some preachy article about never being afraid. Fear is a natural part of our humanity. It is also useful as a mechanism to protect ourselves from harm. If you are not afraid of the poisonous snake, you might just get bitten. If you are not afraid of the tiger, you might get eaten.

I cannot make predictions about what might happen, let alone some kind of guarantee. However, I want to bring some perspective and some encouragement. As God’s children, we have a hope that transcends all of the difficulties of this life. Times of difficulties are opportunities to share Jesus with the world that needs to know Him.

There are many encouraging scriptures to lay hold of. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” Psalm 46:1-3. This passage gives us a perspective on the world around us. It can be a scary and dangerous place, and without God it should be. However, for God’s people, it is only a temporary place where we can cling to God as our refuge.

This does not mean that we never have fear, but it does mean that we have a different reaction to fear. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh  my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2. We have our Heavenly Father that we can look to for help. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say  of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover  thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Psalm 91:1-7. We place our trust in our God because He is the only one that can deliver us. If we put our trust in ourselves or in a government institution, we will end up disappointed.

There is no other place to put our trust. And, it is not enough to just to say we trust in God, it needs to be in our heart. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting  in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7. Having our heart fixed in the Lord will keep us from drifting with the sentiment of the world.

It is so important that we stay in God’s Word. Every day that we choose to not send time with our Lord in His word, we come a little closer to being overtaken by the world and the things that will overwhelm our heart. “Yea, though I walk  through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4. Be sure that you are not walking through that valley without the rod and the staff. It really can be a scary place.

While we have an enemy that is real and is very dangerous, we have a Father who is real and is truly in control. We CAN trust in Him. How do we know we can trust Him. First, He is the only one that is truly able to deliver. History (God’s Word) clearly proves that God is the only one that can do all that He claims. Secondly, He is our faithful Father. His love for us exceeds any that we could imagine form anyone anywhere.

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow  not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31.

While I cannot offer any guarantees for what will happen, I can offer some guarantees. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor  forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6.

Jesus made some promises: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. What is there about this world that we would fret over when we know we have something better awaiting us. If God has prepared a place for us, do we think He is unable to care for us here?

When the world is full of fear, let us, as God’s precious people, show the world what we have and offer them real peace and rest.

Gordon Crook

Prophecy



Earlene Davis


The Seed of Abraham
(2nd mountain peek of prophecy of Jesus)

Many years passed after the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was given (The Seed of the Woman), until the time of Abram. God called Abram out from Ur of the Chaldees (an idolatrous people) into the land of promise. Abram was childless when God gave him gracious promises found in Genesis 12:1-3. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee (in thy Seed) shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Notice the “I will’s,” these promises are unconditional in every way. Abram doesn’t have to do anything to receive these blessings, just believe God will do what He said. God said through Abram’s Seed all the nations shall be blessed. Later Abram had a son born to him, Isaac, but he was not the particular promise Seed meant. Yet, he was a most wonderful type of the future One, and the chosen line through which Jesus Christ should come. Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.”

Only in Christ shall nations be blessed. This promise will have its fulness during the Kingdom dispensation. When Christ is reigning, all the nations will be blessed because Israel will be blessed. Israel will be the predominate nation in the whole world during that Age. All other nations will pilgrimage into Jerusalem, which will be the center of all spiritual activity. Christ (the Seed of Abram) will rule and because of Him all nations of the earth will be blessed. Isaiah 2:2, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

The promise spoken to Abraham in Genesis 22:17 is two-fold. “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore…”. We are counted as of the many seeds of Abraham spiritually.

Romans 4:3, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” V. 5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Thus Abraham is the
Father of all them that believe; those who walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham – Vs. 11-12. “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed…” (V. 16). Abraham is our father in the faith because of Christ (the Seed of Abraham).

Israel as a nation is the sand of the sea and the church is the fulfillment that his seed would be multiplied as the stars of heaven. The promises to the church are heavenly. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” To Israel as a nation their promises are earthly. This is the difference between the promised dispensation to come, the Kingdom Age and the present Church dispensation or Grace Age.

All prophecy circles around these mountain peaks of prophecy.
Next issue: The Seed of David

JONAH


Debra Isenbletter, pastor
Springfield, Missouri


Jonah 1:5: “Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.”

In this verse we see two different events: The Pagans Praying; and Jonah Sleeping. What a contrast, what a difference! This verse begins with their Fear: They were afraid and there was cause for their fear because “the ship was like to be broken [in pieces].” Fear is like a single coin that has two sides, two pictures, i.e. “heads” or “tails.”  On one side is “reverence” and “awe” and on the other side “terror and dread.” One is positive, the other negative. They felt only the terror and the dread. They did not know the Lord but they understood His Power. They felt hopeless and helpless and this is the place the Lord must bring everyone before they cry out.

Following their Fear is their Cry: “every man unto his god.”  That is the first step, a necessary step and there are two different cries.  There is a cry of fear or there is a cry of faith.  In this case they had both but they will find out that their faith in their gods will prove fruitless.  But “every man” did cry out, “every man” did pray.  All the men prayed and they were earnest and zealous in their prayers.  Almost everyone will pray in a moment of crisis or fear or zeal. These were religious men, at least they were religious in a moment of crises. There were many gods that were prayed to that day because each man prayed to “his god” though the names of the gods are not mentioned. These could have been personal deities or national deities or even storm deities. The Canaanites and especially those that sailed had several storm gods that were both revered and feared. On land they were revered because they brought much needed rain and at sea they were feared because they brought destructive storms. The circumstances we find ourselves in determines the tone of the prayer, petition or praise.  What is going on around us influences us. Like other pagans, they will find that fear and faith is not enough. The priests that prayed to Baal had both faith and zeal and yet nothing happened when they prayed and Elijah mocked them and their gods. (1King 18:26) They exhausted themselves and the sacrifice as not consumed by fire.  Elijah prayed a simple prayer and the Lord answered in a mighty way.  The point is that every nation worshiped gods, it is not enough to be religious.  Only Israel knew and worshipped the true God.  Not one sailor prayed to the God of Israel and not one sailor knew what Jonah knew. But Jonah hid who he was and he hid what he knew when the hid in the ship.  It will take a terrible storm and desperate circumstances to cause the sailors to see their need.

Following their fear and their cry is their Loss. They “cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea.”  They threw everything they could overboard. This was not a passenger ship, this was a ship with valuable cargo on board.  We don’t know what the cargo was, it could have been grain, wine, oil, clothing, pottery, jewels, gold, silver—whatever the cargo was it was costly. The choice was, lose the ship, lose our lives or lose the cargo.  They were forced by judgment to let go of everything to save their lives.  They wanted to live at all costs.  This is what every man must do, let go of everything and cry out to the Lord.  Sometimes the Lord will forcibly strip those things from us.

Jesus taught about the greediness of man, that it easy to fix our eyes on those things and hard to let go of them. “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luk.12:19-20). Paul learned to let go of those things willingly, joyfully.  “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ)” (Phil.3:7-8). There comes a time when each man must choose between the World and the Word; a time to choose between the god of this world and the God of this world. The men on the ship are about to have an opportunity to choose and an unlikely man will show them the way—Jonah!

In the meantime, after praying, and receiving no answer, they begin.  They threw everything they could overboard.  This was a common practice among sailors, the sailors on the ship Paul was on did the same thing, “they lightened the ship” (Act.27:18-19). It was a last desperate effort to save themselves.  What is so striking is that the Lord brings the ship to the very verge of destruction, yet keeps the ship from being destroyed. They need to be this desperate before they seek Jonah.
Where is Jonah’s Location? “But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship.” Again, we notice the word “down.”  Jonah went “down” to Joppa (v3); he went “down” to the ship (v3) and he went “down” into the ship (v5). While all of this is going on, where do we find Jonah? Not where Paul was in the midst of the storm, not encouraging, not praying, he is hiding.  Jonah keeps going down, thinks that he is hidden but the sailors are going to bring him up briefly and he will have to give an account of himself.

What is Jonah’s Condition? “and he lay, and was fast asleep.” He lay down in a dark place. He thought he was safe and secure, he thought he was hidden, he was wrong.  Jonah “lay” down exhausted and he slept.  He was probably exhausted physically from traveling, from searching, from trying to find a way to avoid God.  He was probably exhausted spiritually because what he was trying to do was impossible. He was struggling against himself, against his calling, against his ministry. He was struggling against God and his exhaustion is a picture of no spiritual strength and no spiritual purpose.  So, Jonah “lay” down to rest and the result is he “was fast asleep.”  The phrase comes from “to stun (paralyze, knock out).” It speaks of a “deep sleep;” a “heavy sleep;” of being “unconscious.” Jonah was so deeply asleep that the storm did not wake him.  He was impervious (unreceptive, unmoved) and he was oblivious (unconscious, responsive). There are examples of this condition in the Bible.  Sisera was asleep when Jael slew him. (Judges 4:21).  Samson was asleep when Delilah cut his hair (Judges 16:19).  The disciples were asleep when Jesus prayed (Mat.26:40) and it makes you wonder what would have happened had they stayed awake.  Saints today can be asleep to what is going on around them.  We need to be awake to see how close is our deliverance (Rom.13:11).  We need to “not sleep as do others,” we need to “watch and be sober” (1Th.5:6).

Jonah was asleep to God’s Word, God’s Voice, God’s Power. He was a prophet of God and yet he was asleep.  It will take the pagan sailors to wake him, it will take judgment to wake him. The great contrast is that Jonah did not see the danger because he was asleep but the sailors did because they were awake.  God will use the sailors to shame and to chastise Jonah, that is what the Church is doing with Israel, our faith should “provoke them to jealousy” (Rom.10:19; 11:11). The Lord set Paul “to be a light to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:47), that is what Israel should have been, could have been and one day will be.  That is what God wanted Jonah to be.

God will use Jonah to preach to the sailors and in doing that Jonah is doing what he was running from.  He will so this when he goes to Nineveh. He will preach to the pagan Gentiles and they repent.  Whether he likes it or not, that is what he is forced to do by circumstances to the pagan sailors.  What he says and does will cause them to glorify God, it may not be his intention, but it is God’s.  I find it interesting that Jonah ends up doing what he didn’t want to do on the ship, he preached to Gentiles and they believed God. It foreshadows what he will do in Nineveh.  The response of the sailors is the same response of the Ninevites.  They acknowledge God and praise God. The Lord is teaching Jonah a practical, though painful lesson.