Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome

September is now posted.

Check out the latest Bible Study on "Dispensations"

We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. The previous month's publication will be found under the Archive tab as pdf's. We will begin posting some studies, as pdf's and as ebooks in the coming months.

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Substance for Singing





“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in you hearts to the Lord.” Col. 3:16

“LET”
This little word is quite characteristic of Paul’s epistles. As we consider it we think of submission, obedience, yield. God invites us to give opportunity to, permit, and not prevent. We often prevent the Word access to our lives by indifference. The Word will run, take free course, and be glorified in us if we will just “Let.”

“THE WORD OF CHRIST”
The Scripture in its entirety is the Word of Christ,” including the whole scope, for Jesus is God’s thought and theme from beginning to end. In history, symbol, and in character, He is the Alpha and Omega of divine truth.

“DWELL”
What dwells in us? Only that which we take in. While on the earthly scene, we daily feed ourselves something. There are those things which our eyes see, our ears hear, and our minds comprehend. As we assimilate our natural food it becomes part of us.
This is also true in the spiritual realm. You may have heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” The Word of Christ must be taken in, in order to dwell in us.

In Psalm 45:10, we hear the admonition to the bride and queen to be, hearken consider, incline thine ear. In Revelation, chapters two and three, we read repeatedly, “He that hath an ear let him hear, what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” God will write indelibly on our hearts and minds the Word we take in. We should count it a privilege to be able to allow Christ’s enriching message ample room in our innermost being, so that we give unrestricted liberty not as to a visitor, but as to a resident. We need to be so familiar with the Word that it not be a stranger to us or in us, but rather enjoy a certain at homeness in our being.

The Holy Spirit speaks to us and guides our lives by the Word abiding within. His work may be gauged by the Word we know in our hearts. He brings us into experiences and situations that call forth the application of that which abides within. He produces the growth by which we grow up into Christ in all things by that indwelling Word. Spiritual growth is stunted when some hear the Word outwardly but fail to heed the Spirit; others drink in of the Spirit in a measure, but ignore the Word.

“RICHLY”
It is God our Father that gives us the capacity to allow His enriching Word to abide abundantly, and as we take it in He is always increasing it. Oh, how unsearchable is the wealth of His abiding, life-giving Word! His truth bounds in us, in order to regulate our ways, words, and walk.

“IN ALL WISDOM”
This phrase points to and qualifies the “teaching and admonishing.” This fact clearly follows that the only teaching and admonishing in divine wisdom is by the indwelling Word. Some seem to think that to admonish means to warn and reprove, but it also carries the thought of encouragement.

This phrase and the rest of the verse teaches us some of the practical and beneficial results of the indwelling Word. We are able to share Jesus with others by this measure. If we are not taking it in individually we are unable to profitably teach and admonish others collectively or one on one.

“IN PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS”
Paul admonished that this great ministry be carried out in his day. Thank God this has been going on for a long time in assemblies around the world. The truth we teach the children has been taught by song as well as other means. The special songs when sung in the Spirit and are scriptural, and clearly understood have often ministered grace to the hearers. Psalms are generally sung to instrumental accompaniment. Hymns are songs of praise usually addressed to God, composed by believers. Spiritual songs (odes) are designated by the word “spiritual.” This should qualify all of our singing. It is quite possible for the same song to be all three. As scriptural songs, they are the outward expression of the indwelling Word. We appreciate spiritual songs instead of the carnal (fleshly) singing. The Holy Spirit doesn’t inspire unscriptural songs, those out of harmony with the rightly divided Word of truth.

The Holy Spirit indies our singing playing on our heart strings. To me there is nothing more uplifting than congregational singing of the truth in the Spirit. I felt the saints in our meeting here greatly admonished me, during my wife’s two month convalescence with a broken neck (in 1970), by their song selection. I enjoy observing the song selection being directed by the Holy Spirit, instead of a preplanned program.

“SINGING WITH GRACE”
A sad condition seems to creep into congregational singing at times. We seem to be prone at times to miss the message and the spirit of the song we are singing. It often comes from singing by habit or from either being thoughtless or preoccupied. This ought not be true, Lord help us. Believers sometimes sing happy joyous songs with the longest faces, as a sister once said; “Notify your face if you are happy.” People sometimes sing solemn songs with thoughtless hilarious clapping. I feel hand clapping is a good expression of praise and worship, but it seems to fit some songs more than others. The point I am trying to make is that we should be mindful of the “words” we are singing. We sometimes sing songs of freedom, with tenseness, or songs of steadfastness, with an attitude of laxity.

Oh, let us sing “with grace in our hearts to the Lord.” This is the key to good singing as far as God is concerned. This singing is not dependent upon musical knowledge nor great vocal ability. When our singing comes from thankful hearts it sounds sweet to our loving Father. We sing in harmony with heaven when He puts His grace into our hearts. Where the Word of Christ is dwelling, our hearts with grace are swelling, let us sing with one accord, the highest praises of our glorious Lord.
                               Jack Davis

What does the Bible say?




How Is God Our High Tower?

David said, “The Lord is…my high tower” – Ps. 18:2. He wrote this love song of thanksgiving when the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul – II Sam. 22. David used the word “my” nine times claiming the wonderful things of God (Ps. 18:1-3). The Lord is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength in whom I will trust, my buckler (or shield), the horn of my salvation and my high tower. “My” is a possessive pronoun. May we lay hold of God and claim Him in all our ways. May we review God wonderful goodness toward us as David did and then tell Him about it, thus blessing the Lord while also comforting our hearts. The Hebrew meaning of the words “high tower” (Strong’s Concordance) is a high lofty place of refuge, a high fort or tower, inaccessible. That is what the Lord does for us when we lay hold of Him as our high tower. He raises us up in our spirits above trying circumstances (trials, trouble, sorrows, disappointments) to a heavenly place of peace and rest in Him. In that place of victory over our tribulations, Satan cannot touch us. The situation may still be present, but the Lord has raised us up above it when we believe and claim Him as our High Tower.

Can The Trinity be found in The Old Testament?

Yes, in many places, in fact in the very first verse of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Hebrew word for “God” here is ELOHEEM which is plural. And in verse 26 of chapter one, “And God (ELOHEEM) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” In the New Testament, I John 5:7 says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy ghost: and these three are one.” Genesis 1:1-3 proves this, V. 2 says, “…the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (the Holy Ghost); V. 3, “And God said (the Word), Let there be light: and there was light.” I found it interesting how the Hebrew reads in Deut. 6:4, Moses said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Jehovah) our God (ELOHEEM) is one LORD (Jehovah).” There are three distinct personalities or Spirits and they are ONE. We read in John 1:1-3 that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Then in verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

How Was Man Made in The Image of God?

God made man a trinity, three natures in one person (body, soul, and spirit); while God is a Trinity of personalities in One nature. Also man was made ruler, given dominion over the earth. Genesis 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” But man fell, he disobeyed God and became a sinner forteiting his dominion to Satan. Gen. 3:17-19 & 23.
Rom. 5:19 “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Rom. 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Col. 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” Read II Pet. 3:9.                    
 E J. Davis

Think on These Things


Martha Wainright

Gladstone, Missouri


Most of us seem to be going down the highway of life in the fast lane, slowing down now and then for a red light or a yellow caution sign. A very common saying is, “Where did this week or month, go?” Perhaps there are logical reasons for this; many working all day, taking educational courses of one kind or another, various interests that are time consuming, relatives, friends, normal responsibilities, etc. But let us think about our mental business as well as our physical occupation.

Our mind runs rampant during waking hours. According to some specialists, at night also, as evidenced by dreams. Just as it is hard to slow down physically, it is just as difficult to control and gear down the flow of thoughts, ideas and memories that flood our mind.

An old hymn called some of these thoughts, “Precious memories.” We may have these, but what about the tide of thoughts that come to our mind that we don’t like, that cause for example, fear. As stated by many, fear can be beneficial (such as fearing to drive on the railroad track in front of a moving train), but we aren’t going to consider this type of fear. Let us think more realistically about the times when we feel fearful concerning; our job, the welfare and future of our family, health, finances and so on. As you read this you will think of many more things that cause fear to well up inside, although as Christians we hate to admit this because we are trusting our Heavenly Father and know we need not be afraid. Yet, there it is, big as life, and at times threatening to choke out every ounce of peace within.

David said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” – Ps. 56:2. This gives us the reassurance that we aren’t alone in this misery. The same shepherd who wrote about the Lord being his Shepherd also spoke of fear. David was honest enough to not be ashamed of this admittance. We can follow his example. But then, I can just imagine many of you have already mentally quoted I John 4:18, “…perfect love casteth out fear….” Amen.

He also gives us the spiritual answer for this over and over in the Psalms. First of all, he sought the Lord. Secondly, he believed that the Lord heard him and thirdly, he experienced deliverance from fear. David knew the Lord in a personal way just as the Apostle Paul did and many others we read about in the Bible.

Each of us has that same opportunity. When Christ atoned for sin, once, for all, the vail of the temple was “rent in twain.” This signified, that by faith we can commune with God face to face, Jesus Christ being our mediator. When we come to know God, through Jesus, we have fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we abide in divine truth and love, all fear is cast out. Perhaps not all at once, but one fear at a time; as is the order of any warfare – one battle at a time. We have a guard over our mind, “the peace of God.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” – Phil. 4:7.

While we wait for the coming of the Lord let us believe that He is our deliverer. Then we can continue to trust the Lord amidst our fears and battles, anticipating deliverance from them.

How Long Halt You

Between Two Opinions?



And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21

At this stage in Israel, they are worshiping two gods, Baal and God. They seem to consider them to be the same thing, just a god to worship and some religious rituals to follow. They have forgotten that they are the people of the living God.

This condition is not exclusive to Israel, it is written for our instruction and admonition, because we can be just like Israel. Most Christians today would very vehemently deny that they are worshiping two (or more) gods. And yet, many are certainly halting between two opinions.

Israel’s problem was not that they had completely abandoned God, it is that they had placed God in the same category as Baal. They were going back and forth between the two as if they were the same thing. They had lost the “fear of the Lord,” and forgotten who their God really was.

Proverbs tells us over and over again that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The “fear” of the Lord is a deep reverence for our Lord, which only comes from understanding who He really is. Lack of desire to get to know who our God really is will lead us to the same place Israel found themselves.

Halting between the world and God. Allowing our relationship with God to become just another ritual that we perform in the ritual of our life. It all just seems like the same thing.

Israel had to have a reminder. Elijah reminded them that they did not just serve another god, but that they served the Living God. The only One that can hear and answer our prayers. The One we serve because He really matters.

We do not want to end up like Israel. We need to know who our God is. We need to never forget what He has done for us, and what He does for us every day. Get into God’s Word. It is a great reminder to us. We don’t need to see fire coming down and consuming a sacrifice. God will remind us of the only true sacrifice which too the fire of God’s wrath for us; Jesus Christ.

Elijah put a question to Israel, and I think that same question needs to be answered by each one of us individually. Are you halting (jumping back and forth) between the world and the Lord? What takes priority for you? Do you give equal priority to the things of the world as the things of the Lord?

Gordon Crook

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES


W. J. Franklin


“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39

We are exhorted and authorized by the Lord to “search the Scriptures.” Let us take a few moments to learn why we should search the Word of God.

The sources of the Scriptures: “All Scripture in given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction in righteousness” – II Tim. 3:16. If there were no other reason, the fact that God inspired the Bible should be enough to cause us to desire to read it. God has spoken. His Word determines destiny. Our attitude to His Word is our attitude to Him. Since this is true let us study His Word.

The Scripture is Holy: “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ” – II Tim. 3:15. All of our Bibles are called Holy Bibles. This is fitting and right title. The Bible is the only holy book in the world. It is the only material thing God has put in our hands that is holy. There are many good and useful books in the world. Many of these tell about God and His truth. Yet, none of them can claim rightfully to be Holy. Of the Lord we read, “For thou art holy” – Rev. 15:4. So of His Word, we may say only it is holy.

The Scripture is pure: “Every Word of God is pure. He is a shield to them that put their trust in Him” – Prov. 30:5. In the above quotation, we find that each individual word of the Bible is pure. The word translated “Pure” means “to fuse metal, that is refine.” Every word of God has been tried and proven. There are no idle words, no lies, nothing superfluous, everything just as it should be. All good. If people desire purity and holiness of life, there is no other way to obtain it than through the Scriptures.

The Scripture is active: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” – Gal. 3:22. The word of God convicts men of the fact that they are under sin and causes them to see that they should be saved. It comforts – Rom. 15:4. We are taught in John chapter 8 that the words of Jesus acted so powerfully on the consciences of those guilty Jews that one by one they passed out of the place and left the accused sinner along with the Man who became Her Savior.

The Scripture foresees: “And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham” – Gal. 3:8. It is surprising to find that the Scriptures foresaw this time of the dispensation of the grace of God when God is saving all classes of men simply through faith in Jesus. Throughout the Bible are many notable things which were foreseen. Also we learn that the Scriptures preached to Abraham. When we read the Word of God, it preaches to us. It separates us from that which is not of God. It builds into our lives that which is well pleasing to Him. Some of us have more ability and some have more gifts than others, but we all have the same Word of God to read and ponder and meditate in.

The scripture talks: Many times in the Bible we read, “As saith the Scriptures.” How much God can speak to our hearts in a moment! The Scripture is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. The story is told of a very wealthy man who came to have great respect for a Jewish Rabbi. To show his appreciation he gave him a very costly present. In return the Rabbi gave him a scroll of the Scripture. The prince, for such he was, felt that the present was not worthy as compared with that which he had bestowed. The Rabbi wisely replied, “What you gave me, I must keep. I must guard it at night lest thieves take it away. What I gave you is the opposite. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest it shall keep thee; when you wakest, it shall talk with thee” – Prov. 6:22. Such is the Word of God. A road for the feet, a pillow for a weary head, refuge for a tired soul. It is the wisdom of time, but also of eternity. It blesses us today, but provides for tomorrow. “These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word of God with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these thing were so” – Acts. 17:11.

RUTH



Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Springfield, Missouri


Ruth 3:15 – “Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.”

What does Boaz tell Ruth to do? He tells her to bring her veil to him: “Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee.” Strong’s says this word “bring” comes from words “to come;” to grant; to permit” – This is an invitation. He will “give” and “provide” for her but before he does this he asks her to “permit” him to do this, she must give her permission, for he will not force a blessing upon her. What a wonderful picture showing that in order to receive the blessings of the Lord we must be willing to Him. He will never force a blessing upon us, He asks us to come in faith and receive. There is also another meaning for the word “bring.” Brown translates this as “come now!” – This is a command. The word is imperative and the tone is urgent, he doesn’t want her to delay. It also means to “to give; to provide.” Boaz is both inviting and commanding her to come near so that he can give her something, so that he can provide for her.

After Ruth does this, after she comes near to him, then Boaz tells her to hold out the veil: “and hold it” or “to take hold of it,” to “take as a possession.” The veil is hers already, but she is to “take hold of” and “take possession of” what he will put in it! Here is another step of faith on Ruth’s part. Ruth responds in perfect obedience, she does exactly what Boaz asks and in doing this she will receive from him a wonderful blessing. We are to take hold of the things of the Lord. God told His people in the Old Testament what they could and should take hold of, there were so many things. Through Isaiah God told them to: “take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me” (Isa 27:5) and “choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant” (Isa 56:4). Paul encouraged others to take hold of or lay hold of by faith. He said to “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Ti 6:12,19) and to “lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Heb 6:18). There are so many things that we can lay hold of that will enrich us and enable us.

What she holds out to Boaz is the veil that she is wearing: “the veil that thou has upon thee.” The veil is hers, it is her covering. The word “veil” means “mantle, shawl, or cloak. This was a large outer garment. “Eastern veils are like large sheets, they are wrapped around the head, and fall down over the shoulders, enveloping the whole person.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown). She was wearing it, ready to leave. This covering was before Boaz and before man. It showed her modesty and her subjection and it also served two purposes, it was what concealed her from others and protected her at the same time. What a wonderful picture of her separation and her subjection. She came wearing it and she left carrying it because Boaz is her protection now!

What did Ruth do? She obeyed, she held out her veil: “And when she held it.” She “held it,” she “took hold of” it and by faith came to Boaz. After he filled it she would take “possession” of what he put in it! What a wonderful picture of both waiting to receive and receiving – both of which are done by faith.

Boaz then does something wonderful to seal the promise he has made to her. He “measured six measures of barley” to give to her. The word “measured” is in italics, it has been added. The Hebrew mentions no quantity! He chose the amount that he gave her, “six” but the amount is a mystery. This shows that there is no limit to what Jesus gives us. This shows that Jesus gives to us what we can appropriate, what we can carry. Boaz didn’t give to Ruth something she was not able to take home with her. It was more than enough, just enough, the right amount.

I think that the number “six” is interesting and thought about how that if we wanted to look at this in type and look at what Ruth would take back with her we could see the six as something that would also come forth from her. These “six” could figure six important descendents from Ruth and Boaz that end with Christ. 1) Obed; 2) Jesse; 3) David; 4) Solomon (the kingly line from Joseph); 5) Nathan (the righteous line of Mary); 6) Jesus. There are a lot of other descendents between those individuals leading to Christ but those five leading to the sixth, to Christ are so important. I thought about Ruth carrying back those six measures of barley that Boaz gave to her and how that from her would come forth these six men. I know that is speculation and not doctrine but it was such a blessing to my heart.

What we do see is that Boaz chose to give her from his supply, from that portion of grain that he had harvested and that he had guarded. He gave to her from his supply, his storehouse; he gave to her from the fruit of his labors. He gave to her and in the giving he “laid it upon her.” The word “laid” means “appoint, or lay (up).” He gave her what she was able to carry, no more – no less. He gave her what would sustain both her and Naomi. Ruth left the presence of Boaz carrying a veil filled with grain, but she was also carrying in her heart his promises. These are “all the promises of God” in Christ (2 Cor 1:20); they are the “better promises” (Heb 8:6); they are the “great and precious promises” (2 Pet 1:4). She had come to Boaz empty and she left full. She had come with nothing and left not just with something but with everything, she left by faith with “all things”! These promises, six measures of barely, are all the things that Jesus promises us!

Paul went to Damascus believing Jesus would tell him “all things” (Acts 20:35). There it was all the things he would do, all the will of God for his life. He said he believed “all things” (Acts 24:14) written in the law and prophets. Later Paul tells us about these “all things” – these many things. He says “all things work together for our good” (Ro 8:28); that Christ will “freely give us all things” (Ro 8:32); that through Christ are “all things” (Ro 11:36). He says these “all things” are the “deep things” (1 Cor 2:10) the Spirit shows us, and that all these things are ours. (1 Cor 3:21). What blessings Ruth left with when she left the presence of Boaz!

Finally, in this verse we see the wonderful promised provision given to Ruth by Boaz. This is a down payment on all the future blessings that will be hers. This is his assurance and his promise that he will provide for and care for her. And having been given this gift by Boaz she left and he left. “and she (or he) went into the city.” They both went home to do what they had to do. She went home to wait on his promise and he went home to full his promise. Boaz would not let her leave his presence without a blessing. Earlier he had blessed her in secret and she wasn’t aware of it (Ruth 2:16). It was a provision based on her labors as his servant. Now his providing for her is done openly, she knows he is the one giving to her. It is a provision based on his grace alone, not her service and she is no longer a servant but a bride! What is so wonderful in this portion is that it shows that when we leave the presence of Christ, we will always leave with a blessing!