Thursday, April 2, 2015

Welcome

Aprilis now posted.

Check out the latest Bible Study on "Galatians" and "Philemon"

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.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT


 Jack Davis

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

I thank God that we may, by meditation on the Word of God, both put on our spiritual helmet, and feed the new life.

“FINALLY”
The Apostle enters here some concluding thoughts in view of that which had been spoken before to the “lovers of the race.” He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to offer for consideration that which is of excellence, of worth; to be prized and praised.

“THINGS THAT ARE TRUE”
What priceless value there is to be found in that which pertains to, and proves God to be true! Who can measure the value of that which is unconcealed, manifested, that which is conformed to reality, is actual, genuine?

God is true; this is His nature. He cannot lie. He is always faithful in fulfilling His promises. Jesus is the perfect expression of all that is real. Jesus, is the perfect expression of all that is real. Jesus, as a man, embodied truth in all its fulness and scope.

Satan, the exact opposite of Jesus, is the great deceiver and has long been offering falsity to mankind. He has filled this world with his vain fantasies, illusions and imaginations against the knowledge of God. He paints many a false picture but God offers, for our faith, only fact. Therefore, we are always making the choice in our thoughts: is it fantasy or fact?

Whatever thought we are feeding our hearts and minds may be weighed by faith in the Word that God has spoken. It can be measured right when brought under scrutiny of the rightly divided Word of Truth. The Word is living and powerful and discerns the very thoughts and intents of our hearts. The Apostle said, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” – I Thessalonians 5:21.

Falsity brings into bondage, and would hold one there, but thank God the Truth sets free. Truth strengthens but untruth weakens. We make the choice to have our loins girt about with Truth. Peter says, “…gird up the loins of your mind” (I Peter 1:13). I am thankful that our Father has provided, so that we are able to refuse to meditate on the false by bringing our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

As we think of Him who is true and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, we not only enjoy His virtues and praise, but space is also crowded out for that which is false.

Right thinking precedes, and leads to conduct according to the Truth. I speak of thinking which is guided by the
Spirit of Truth. This also provides for the sweet enjoyment of the Presence and Power of the God of Peace.

“My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord” – Psalm 104:34. Let us ever be mindful, that God makes such thoughtful believers into thankful worshippers.
J. D.

THE LAST DAYS


Anita Clark

"...I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD: and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive" Jeremiah 29:14.

God allowed His chosen people to be taken away into captivity. First Israel (the ten tribes in the northern part of the land) captured and taken away by Assyria, and then Judah taken away by Babylon. He did let Judah come back to their land, but not all of them desired to return. We read of this history in Ezra and Nehemiah. However, the far reaching fulfillment of this prophecy is the fact that "the dry bones" (Speaking of Israel - Ezk. 36) have been coming together over a period of some time. Especially after World War II and the holocaust, Jews began to come to Israel, their ancestral homeland, and many continue to arrive to this day.

In Matthew 24:32, Jesus speaks of the fig tree. He says, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all things be fulfilled." The "fig tree" represents the Jews. We have been seeing a drawing to Israel of the Jews over a period of several years. Remember, God does not count time as we do. Some of Israel has returned, but there will be a greater gathering at the end of the tribulation. God will send out a cry for His elect (Israel) to come from all the places of the world where they have been scattered, and they will come back to their homeland given to them by the promise to Abraham (Gen.15:18) .

After an attack on a kosher deli in East Paris, where a gunman killed four Jewish hostages, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel called for French Jews to immigrate to Israel. France harbors the third largest Jewish population in the world, behind Israel and the U.S. Then, at a later time he said, "I call on all the Jews around the world: to come to Israel." He further said, "This is your land, this is your birthright and the only place you can proudly proclaim "I am a Jew. These days we are blessed with another privilege, a privilege that didn’t exist for generations of Jews - the privilege to join their brothers and sisters in their historic homeland of Israel."

Matthew 24:31 says, "And He (Christ) shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of the heaven to the other." Even the American Jews, who are left after the great tribulation will hear the trumpet and return to the land of promise. The sad thing is that according to Zechariah 13:8-9, "And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die: but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God." This purging of Israel will come during the last half of the tribulation, known as "the time of Jacob’s trouble." which Jesus describes in Matthew 24:15-31.

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISH MAPS WITHOUT ISRAEL – This map company has given into pressure from Arab Countries, who have declared that they won’t accept a map into their schools that shows the state of Israel. This company declares that their atlas is "developed specially for schools in the Middle East." (According to www.virtualjerusalem). This does not change the reality that exists; Israel has been a state since 1948, some sixty-seven years. This definitely shows the hostility that these Arab countries holds against Israel. This, however, does not change the plan of God, nor the reality that Israel exists miraculously according to the divine purpose of God.

NETANYAHU’S REELECTION MAY PUT HIM ON COLLISION COURSE WITH OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND E.U. – Prime Minister Netanyahu was trailing behind in the Israeli election, but He abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state and promised to go on building settlements on land considered "occupied" by the U.S. and E.U. This brought about a great and unexpected victory for him, after the last opinion polls four days before the vote had shown his party, Likud, trailing the Zionist Union by four seats, looking like sure defeat.

The U.S. and E.U. both are weighing steps including trade measures to sanction Israel for its settlements in what they call "occupied territories." An article from Reuters.com says that Prime Minister Netanyahu made a statement, "There would be no Palestinian State on his watch." Since then in a news conference he said he didn’t mean he would not negotiate with the Palestinians to seek a peaceful solution.

Some day there will be a man arise from among the Gentile nations who will claim to have the answer for obtaining peace. That man will be the Antichrist. He will make a covenant with Israel, and they will think that they have finally achieved peace and security (Daniel 9:27). This will happen at the beginning of the Seven Years of Tribulation. We will be caught up to be with our Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ before Antichrist will be manifest as to who he really is. Antichrist will ride in on a white horse (Rev. 6:2) pretending to be the God of peace.

THE POPE EMPRESSES THE WORLD – Secretary Ben Ki-moon of the United Nations has announced that Pope Francis will visit the international assembly of the U.N. on Sept. 25, 2015 to address that group. He will also address the congress of the U.S. The Pope says that he will "...push for international commitments this year to curb greenhouse gases and to help poor countries to protect themselves against climate change." He also has spoken out for the need to address global inequality, and desires that Europe be willing to accept more refugees fleeing war in the Middle East and North Africa.

Pope Francis has been amazing the world as he has traveled around, talking with the people in crowds, kissing and holding babies and even hugging and kissing an AIDS patient. He announced on March 13, 2015 that this year is an extraordinary "Holy Year for Mercy." He wants to inspire the international community "to redouble its efforts to achieve human dignity for all through ensuring greater social justice, tolerance and understanding among all the world’s people." It is interesting that Pope Francis has said several times that he does not feel that he will be Pope for a very long time.

We wonder if He might be the False Prophet as Revelation 13:11-18. God only knows that. Many are being deceived by this man. We wrote before how that several leaders of Charismatic groups are enamored with him, even going to visit him in the Vatican in the recent past. Now other religious church leaders have been reported as agreeing with him on certain issues. God knows the end from the beginning and "...knows them that are His."

CONTINUED TROUBLE WITH ISIS – This group took the credit for twin suicide attacks in the capital of Yemen, the city of Sanaa, that reportedly killed more than 100 people, and injured a hundred or more others during mid-day prayer. The battle rages between the Sunni Muslims, who include Al Quada affiliates, and Shia (or Shiites who are backed by Iran). These terrible enemies battling one another has brought much sorrows to many, but we need to focus on Jesus and the safety He gives us, and all the good and glorious benefits and victories Jesus has given us.

MANY SIGNS POINT TO THE LORD’S SOON COMING AGAIN – The wickedness of this world, the coldness in the heart of many Christians, the drug culture, the intrusion by the Government into Spiritual things, the terrific storms that we have had in the U.S.A. This was an unprecedented cold snowy winter we had in the U.S., and we also, hear reports that the stock market will crash again this year. We must conclude that we are living in the last days. Jesus Christ will come, sounding the trumpet and will call us up to Himself to join Him in the air. It will be very soon. Run on, faithful Christian! Keep your eyes on the prize! He has conquered all things for us because of His resurrection from the dead, and He is head over all principalities, and powers. We are triumphant in Christ Jesus! Be an overcomer in Him with His strength.

Where Have They Gone?

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. Psalm 12:1

The Psalmist wrote this thousands of years ago, and yet it seems like he could have written it yesterday. As we look around today, we ask the same question. It seems that those that are truly faithful are lacking today.

The world has such an attraction that it pulls at God’s people. Our faithfulness is hindered because we find other things more attractive or more interesting or more important. This is nothing new, but we certainly see the effects more and more. Paul mentions this in 2Timothy 4:10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” Paul needed faithful men to assist him, and there certainly were some, but Demas was not one of them.

God has always been seeking those that would be faithful. He has certainly shown Himself to be faithful on our behalf, and He promises to make us faithful if we let Him. My faithfulness is not dependent on someone else’s faithfulness or lack thereof. 1Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1Thessalonians 5:24  “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

Faithfulness is a trait of maturity. As we allow God to work in our lives, which brings about spiritual maturity, one of the things He works in us is faithfulness. 1Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”  1Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”  2Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” I am faithful because He is faithful, and because my own personal spiritual growth leads to personal faithfulness.

Psalms 119:90 “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” It is His faithfulness that enables us to be faithful. We have nothing to boast of. So what then is our motivation to be faithful to Him? His faithfulness to us. God has been more than faithful to us, more than we could ever begin to imagine. And yet, in return, we put many other things before Him.

Oh, that God would find us faithful to Him every day. That we would seek His faithfulness to be made real in our lives. In this way we can show His faithfulness to all generations.

Gordon Crook

GOD DOES NOT LIKE A MIXTURE


 Earlene Davis

“Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.” Deuteronomy 22:9

What is divers seeds? It means different kind of seeds. There is to be no mixture of seeds. God does not like a mixture. The seed speaks of the Word of God (Luke 8:11). We are to sow only the pure Seed. We are not to mix His Word with philosophy, logic or reasonings of men. Our Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Again, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

Is there much mingled seed sown today? Yes, there is very little of the pure unadulterated Word of God being preached. Those who confine themselves to the Word of God might as well abandon all thought of popularity. They are looked upon as narrow and not flexible. I want to be just as narrow as the Word of God, don’t you? I used to buy packages of mixed grass seed because they were a lot cheaper than the pure seed. But one day I sat down and read the label. I have not purchased any since, because a certain percentage of it is just weeds. I was sowing mixed seed and getting a defiled crop. A minister can enlarge his congregation by not getting unto a deep study of the Word and sowing mixed seed. But how much better to have a precious few who love the pure Word, than a mixed multitude.

Is sound doctrine important? In Paul’s epistle to Timothy, a young minister who would carry on after his departure, Paul put great emphasis on sound doctrine. “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee” (I Timothy 6:20-21). Oh, the devil is so sly. He is a sly old fox. We have seen in recent years how the charismatic groups have gone. It’s wonderful to hear of so many from different denominations being filled with the Holy Ghost. But where is the pure Word? It is neglected so they can meet together and not have division. One group has as one of their mottoes, “We agree to disagree agreeably.” It is a popular thing to forget the Word or else have as little of it as possible, and mixed seed at that. Just having what they call “worship and praise services,” music to entertain and stir the emotions, which satisfies the sourish nature but not the Word which feeds the spirit.

Let us not neglect God’s Word. If you truly love God, you will love His Word. If we leave out His Word, we can become one-sided, having power without the steadying influence of God’s Word. The flesh gets carried away without the instruction and correction of the pure Word. Some start playing with the gifts of the Spirit, teaching how to sing in tongues, even to laying hands on each other and giving them gifts of the Spirit and so on. I Corinthians twelve – Who gives the gifts of the Spirit? The Holy Spirit, of course. Even though we are to “covet earnestly the best gifts,” (V. 31) the Holy Spirit dividing to every man “severally as He will” (V. 11). So not having the pure Word, we see man has put his hand in where it does not belong, giving gifts of the Spirit, and so forth, we see flesh, flesh, flesh.

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to work. We could get lopsided the other way, as a result of mixed seed. Some who are Spirit-filled will go to teachers who are not filled with the Holy Spirit to learn how to apply the scripture to their lives. There are all kinds of ‘How to…’ seminars in the religious world (spiritual self-help programs or self-improvement). Again, we see men’s hands doing things, instead of the working of the Spirit. They have the Word (mixed seed); but try to perform the Word in their lives. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is replaced by Christian psychology, men’s formulas and steps (how to be mighty in spirit, four steps to maturity, eight steps for this and twelve steps for that, how to become an overcomer, etc. So much good is mentioned with scripture applied to the formulas and steps. It is mixed seed without power. Matthew 22:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Mark 7:7,13, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men…making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Sugar coated error: the error is disguised by so much that is good, a mixture of truth and error. It makes the error so easy to swallow, just like sugar-coated medicine. See why God hates a mixture? When we start following formulas and steps to improve as a Christian, we are leaving out the working of the Holy Spirit. We cannot even take the Scripture and hack away at ourselves to make us come to perfection. “O foolish Galatians, who hath be witched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3).

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. That is what God instructed Israel in Deuteronomy 22:10. Why? Because they do not walk together, their gait is different, they do not pull together, they do not go together. The ass is an unclean animal and speaks of the Old Creation. The ox is a clean animal and speaks of the obedient New Creation that cannot plow with the rebellious ass of the Old Creation. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would…This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:17,16). The ox and the ass yoked together is the result of mixed seed sown – the flesh trying to perfect itself. We cannot do this work in us even if we have the Scripture, the right Scripture. As we look into God’s Word, we must by faith believe it – agree with God and what He says. We lay hold of it by faith, yielding ourselves to it, saying to God, “Make this practical in me.” Then it is the Holy Spirit who works it in us, and it becomes part of us. We must give the Holy Spirit His right place.

Quench not the Spirit(I Thessalonians 5:19). Some think this is referring only to speaking in tongues and interpretations, and so forth. Oh, this means much more than that. Quench not the operation of the Holy Spirit in your life, of making the Word of God practical in you. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). The Holy Spirit is the Agent of all God’s operations in our lives. The Holy Spirit is the moisture that makes the seed (the Word) grow.

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:11). When washed the wool would shrink, but the linen would not thus making a real problem. Sowing mixed seed results in yoking together the Old and New Creation; and a result of that is the wearing of mingled stuff, which speaks of mixed conduct. This surely is confusion. The woollen garment is from animal life, and speaks of our standing in Christ over which we have no control. We are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). The linen garments are from plant life and speak of our state, our practical sanctification, the Word of God worked in us by the Holy Spirit as we yield. “And to her (the bride of Christ) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness (or righteous acts) of saints” (Revelation 19:8). Do not try to mix them. The devil would deceive us, fool us if he can, and disguise the mixture so that we do not see it. Never measure the standing by the state, always judge the state by the standing. To lower the standing because of the state is a death-blow to practical Christianity. This would not only be a failure to God, but of our neighbor, we owe to both maintenance of our testimony and singleness of life. Beware, be on guard, for the result is confusion. “For God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33). “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9). “Some having swerved have turned aside…Some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (I Timothy 1:6,19). We must take a stand for the truth.
by E. J. Davis

RUTH


Debra Isenbletter


Ruth 2:18 – “And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.”
In this verse we see Ruth making her journey back home and bringing with her the fruit of her labors. Notice what she did: “she took it up” – Ruth carried it herself. The phrase “took it up” means “to lift,” “to bear,” “to carry.” Ruth “took up” this burden with gladness and joy, though she may have been tired. It was a burden that looked heavy but felt light. There are times we “take up” burdens in our lives. We “take up” His cross (Mt 16:24) and we bear the trials. But there are also times we “take up” His blessings, and receive them – Ruth did this. The trials and blessings go hand in hand in our lives, we can’t have one without the other. Ruth couldn’t have had the blessing without the trial of the day, without the labor. Ruth now “takes up” and receives the blessings from Boaz, they are hers! She has received “the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness” (Ro 5:17). She has received her “own reward according to (her) own labor” (1 Cor 3:8). She has “done the will of God” that she “might receive the promise” (Heb 10:36). And because it is a reward, that burden is light! Ruth “went into the city,” she walked home. We don’t know how long a journey this was, it may have taken some time, others may have seen her. But during this walk home, Ruth had time to think about all Boaz had said and did. She had time to rejoice and to give thanks. “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Ps 107:1). After the trials and the blessings, we need time alone, time apart, time to give thanks. She gave thanks for both: “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess 5:18). We need time apart, time alone with the Lord to tell Him all that is in our heart and to thank Him. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Mt 6:6).

When Ruth goes home, Naomi, “her mother in law saw what she had gleaned.” Can you imagine the joy and gladness of her heart? She had to wait in faith and in hope and in prayer, for she didn’t know what Ruth’s day would bring forth. Naomi saw the answer to her prayers in what Ruth had gleaned. Next we see the two things Ruth did, she showed Naomi what she had: “and brought forth” what she had gleaned. This is the fruit of her labor. She “spread it out” for Naomi to see. Ruth was eager to show Naomi how she had “found grace” (v2,10). Ruth is showing the blessings and emphasizing those and not talking about her labors. Next she shared with Naomi: “and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.” This was an additional blessing, this is the fruit of her fellowship with Boaz. She gave what she had saved! The word “gave” means “to show, to bestow, to offer.” The word “reserved” means “preserved” and “set aside.” Ruth gave to Naomi of what Boaz gave to her. He had given her more than she needed. She shared from the abundance of what she had received. She shared with Naomi from the portion she had “set aside” or “reserved.” She knew Naomi would need this at the end of the day and made sure she was provided for. We share with others what we receive from the Lord!

This also shows that the Lord will always give more than we need, it is always “much more.” This portion that is reserved pictures the “five times” more Benjamin received from Joseph (Gen 43:34). It is like the “five much mores” of Romans 5 that Paul speaks of (Ro 5:9,10,15,17,20). It is the abundance from “his banqueting house” (Song 2:4) that the Shulamite speaks of. It is like the “fatted calf” (Lk 15:25) that the prodigal son enjoyed. There is always “much more” than we need from what the Lord gives us. Ruth shared her blessings and through Ruth Naomi would also be “sufficed” or satisfied. Nothing was wasted, it will be used later. Jesus taught His disciples this after the multitudes were fed. Jesus said, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (Jn 6:12). How precious this is, that Ruth made sure that nothing was lost, that she reserved what was left to give to her mother in law. Ruth saved and shared from the table of fellowship with Boaz. What an example for us, to share with others the richness of the bounty that we receive from Christ!

Ruth 2:19 – “And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned today? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought today is Boaz.”
In this verse we see Naomi’s reaction to Ruth’s return and the abundance Ruth brings back. Naomi asks Ruth where she has been! She asks two questions: Where did yhou glean: “Where hast thou gleaned today?” and Were did you work: “and where wroughtest thou?” We see here Ruth’s labor. She “gleaned” which means “to gather” (the grain) and this describes the type and purpose of her labor. She “wrought” which means “to be industrious” and “to labor” and this describes the extent of the labor. She worked hard, she worked all day, she was industrious and not lazy. Naomi through her questions points our eyes to Ruth, what an example she is! This is an important question that is asked of all of the Lord’s servants. It is: Where have you gleaned today? – Have you been in the Word, have you been reading and meditating on the scriptures? Have you been gleaning the precious truths the Lord of the harvest has set before you. Have you labored today? Have you put to use in your life the things that you have gleaned? Has the Word energized you? Have you gone out to labor for the Lord of the harvest, not for your own needs, but for others?

After Naomi saw what Ruth had done and brought home she said something. This is her second reaction, it is PRAISE! She said: “Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee.” The word “Blessed” comes from “to kneel,” it means “to bless God, to praise.” Naomi blesses “he” (the man) who has blessed Ruth. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor” (Ps 41:1). Naomi does this before she even knows the name of the man! She knows why Ruth comes back blessed (she has gleaned and wrought), but she doesn’t know who has blessed Ruth, who has allowed her to do this. She acknowledges that (because of God) someone noticed Ruth: “Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee.” The phrase “take knowledge of” comes from “to scrutinize, to look intently at.” It means “to acknowledge, to notice.” It also means “to deliver.” Boaz had looked at Ruth, examined her, noticed her, and delivered her! What did Boaz “take knowledge of?” What did Boaz see? He saw Ruth’s poverty and her need. He saw Ruth’s faith and her love. In response to that he met that need! What grace, what love, what blessing!

Next we see what Ruth did in response to Naomi’s questions. She testified!

She showed Naomi: “And she showed her mother in law with whom she had wrought.” She showed Naomi by telling her about what happened, by telling her about the man she met (she hasn’t name him yet). She showed Naomi by her testimony, she testified! It’s interesting that Ruth says “with whom” she worked not just “for whom” she worked. Ruth saw her labor not only for Boaz but also with Boaz. Was Boaz out in the field with his laborers encouraging them? Our labors are not only for the Lord but with the Lord, we are joined to Him and He is joined to us. The servant is linked to the Master, the Master is linked to the servant, they labor together. Our labors are not only for the Lord but with the Lord, our Boaz walks by our side, and He works with us and through us.

She told Naomi: “The man’s name with whom I wrought today is Boaz.” This is how Ruth ends her testimony, she tells “The man’s name.” She knows who she has labored for, he is no longer a stranger, he is her Master. Jesus is our Master, He is not a stranger, we know His Name and He knows our name. In 2:1 Boaz is mentioned but Naomi isn’t aware of him yet, now after Ruth’s testimony, she knows about him and knows what he has done for Ruth and for her.

 “The last time we met Naomi, she was sharing her bitterness with the women of Bethlehem and blaming God for her sorrow and poverty. Now we hear a new word from Naomi's lips: "Blessed!" She not only blessed Ruth's benefactor, but she also blessed the Lord! We have moved from bitterness to blessedness. When Naomi saw the grain, she blessed the man who allowed Ruth to work in his field; and when she heard that the man was Boaz, Naomi blessed the Lord. What a change has taken place in the heart of this grieving widow! This change came about because of the new hope she had in her heart, and the one who gave her that new hope was Boaz.” (Warren Wiersbe)
Continued next issue

THE DISPENSATIONS



Earlene Davis


Sixth Dispensation: The Age of Grace

The Age of Grace is also called The Church Age. It is the dispensation in which we live. It began at the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and has continued over 2,000 years now. It will end with the second coming of Christ.

The covenant of Law made between God and man was abolished because it was weak and unprofitable. It could not change men’s hearts, Heb. 7;18-19. This dispensation if based on the everlasting covenant made between the Father and the Son before the foundation of the world, Heb. 13:20 and Acts 2:23. Christ is the mediator of this better covenant, Heb. 8:6. It was ratified by the shed blood of Christ, Heb. 12:24; it was once for all, Rom. 6:10 & Heb. 9:24-28.

John 1:14,17, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Verses 10-12, “He was in the world, and world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not…But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” II Cor. 8:9, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”

This gospel of grace is not just for the children of Israel, but also to the Gentiles, Acts 9:15. God is visiting the Gentiles to take out a people for His Name, Acts 15:14. God so loved the world that He gave His Son to redeem whosoever would believe on Jesus, John 3:16. In this grace space of time God is dealing with all humanity and their attitude toward His Son and His work of grace on the cross.

God was is Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (II Cor. 5:19), bring many sons unto glory (Heb. 2:10). Man’s responsibility is to “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” Acts 16:31. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – Eph. 2:8.

We know by scripture that man’s failure is apostasy and the rejection of Christ which will bring the tribulation days on this earth. God will pour out His judgment on the ungodly nations. The Antichrist and false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire, Rev. 19:20.

The Apostle Paul is the steward of this Age. He said, “
A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” – I Cor. 9:17. See also Col. 1:25; I Thes. 2:4; I Tim. 1:11 and Titus 1:3. He said in Acts 20:32, “…brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

As the chief apostle to the church, it is so important to study and know the epistles written by Paul. For therein we learn that God would have us to grow up in Christ (Eph. 4:13); bear fruit (Phil. 1:11); be rich in good works that will glorify God; that we can be overcomers through Christ (Rom. 8:37); and run to win Christ as our Bridegroom on this Christian race course (Phil. 3:8-14).

Next issue: The Kingdom Age