Sunday, November 20, 2016


Part 2

Jack Davis

In the epistles of our apostle Paul we are instructed in dealing with uncertainty and enjoying the greatest certainty. In charging us to show all diligence to a full assurance of hope, he was inspired to occupy our attention with the engrossing effect of expecting the fulfillment of God’s promises. He also urges us to draw near unto the Lord in full assurance of faith. He was inspired to pray that God’s people enjoy a close-knit comfort in full assurance of understanding (Col. 2:2). He deeply desired that God’s people have the confidence and freedom of mind that is revealed in Christ Jesus in order to keep us on course. In these epistles Paul writes of uncertain sites, uncertain signals and uncertain supplies.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery in temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so sun, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” – I Cor. 9:24-27.

We must allow the Word of God’s grace to focus our sites on our definite goal. Thank God for visual adjustment. We cannot afford to be distracted and waste energy getting off course. We won’t be running aimlessly if we will keep our eyes on Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. We, Like Paul, should be running straight toward the goal with purpose in every step and hitting our target with every punch. Visual focus and concentration are very important to the success of any athletic competitor,  and how much more important are these with eternal values in view (II Cor. 4:16-18). He has promised the victors crowns of glory that fade not away, as well as crown of righteousness and life. We may run haphazardly and be an “also ran” or make sure, like Paul, and finish our course with joy.

“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church” (I Cor. 14:7-12).

With the instruction of the wise and profitable use of the spiritual gifts, we are urged to excel to the upbuilding of the body of Christ. Paul uses examples from the natural realm to illustrate exercises in spiritual excellence. He speaks of the importance of distinction in sounds. It is most important that that which is spoken be understood. Trumpets signaling preparation for battle must not give an uncertain sound. When we think of all the different kinds of voices in the world today, it behooves us, as we give diligence, to make sure that our lives do not give an uncertain sound.  As we prepare for the sounding of that first trumpet, our lives should give off sounds of certainty. As the Word of the Lord is sounded out from us, it should give others much assurance (I Thess. 1:8,5).

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they lay hold of eternal life” (I Tim. 6:17-19).

Therefore, instead of making a god of our wealth, let us realize our wealth in God.

What does the Bible say?

Does not the Scripture declare that one can lose their salvation? Gal. 5:21, “…of the which I tell you before… that they which do such thing shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Eph. 5:5, “…ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”

When we receive Christ as our personal Savior, we are born of God, His child. We have eternal life (the life of Christ), which is the gift of God (Rom. 6:23). But our inheritance is according to our growth and maturity, our walk and fellowship and suffering with Christ. All of God’s children are potential heirs of God, but only some will be joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). Believers who walk after the lusts of the flesh rob themselves of spiritual inheritance. If we do not feed on God’s Word we cannot grow up into Christ in all things. If we fail to judge our own flesh, it will rob us of our life (Rom. 8:13). Satan is allowed to destroy the physical body of one who though a member of Christ, walks in his own way continually and does not repent breaking fellowship with Christ. Also, it will rob us of our crown; Rev. 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

Will all the church go up together? Will it be before the tribulation period, during it, or following it?

There are three ranks plainly seen in the church, that arrive at different times in heaven. The first rank are kept out of tribulation days (Rev. 3:10), they are rewarded for keeping the word of His patience. They arrive in heaven first and are given crowns of gold (Rev. 4:4) which they cast at the feet of Christ (Rev. 4:10-11). They are redeemed humans (Rev. 5:9-10). The second rank, a great multitude which no man could number come out of tribulation days and taken up to heaven (Rev. 7:9-17). They have no crowns and serve Christ day and night. A third rank is seen in heaven in Revelation 14, the hundred forty and four thousand. They are all of Israel (Rev. 14:1-5), which were sealed while on the earth (Rev. 7:3-8). No doubt taken to heaven in chapter 12. These three ranks are also seen in Rev. 19 at the marriage of the Lamb. There we view the wife (Rev. 19:7); the servants (Rev:19:5); and the guests (Rev. 19:9).
E. J. D.

The Last Days

Anita Clark – Pastor

Carbondale, Kansas

“Thus saith the LORD...It shall come to pass, when they days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his throne for ever. He shall build me a house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. ... I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established forevermore” I Chronicles 17:7, 11, 12, &14.

The date of this pronouncement from God to David, King of Israel was about B.C. 1042. Many years later (BC. 7) God brought forth His Son upon the earth, (Who had always been with Him in the glory), born of a woman, whose name was Mary. Luke 1:30 tells us that the Archangel Gabriel sent from God announced to her concerning the child that would be conceived in her by the Holy Spirit, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father, David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

Today, we in the U.S.A. are anticipating again he election of our president. There is so much uncertainty. Is this one the best or that one? God has already declared that He is ultimately in control. In Daniel 4:17, God declares this, “ the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Daniel 5:21, speakinig of Nebuchadnezzar, the prideful king of Babylon, “...God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever He will.” You see - “Our God Reigns.” Commit all to the Lord. He will work it out according to His master plan. It may not seem that the one who comes to power is the best one, but remember time is short on this old earth. The Bible declares that there will be a one world government in the endtime and the “basest of men” will be in charge, the Antichrist. We are living in the last days. Very soon Jesus Christ will return and set up that everlasting throne declared to King David.

We look for that kingdom of the Dear Son of David. We know there are two kingdoms mentioned in the Bible which both pertain to the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “kingdom” in the Greek means “royalty, rule or realm.” Apostle Paul spoke of the “kingdom” sixteen times in his writings. In Colossians 1:12, &13, Giving thanks unto the Father... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” In other words when we receive Jesus Christ, God places us into the spiritual realm and into the “heavenly kingdom.” In the Gospels, Jesus spoke often of the “heavenly kingdom.” Later, Paul said in 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 Jesus.” We are a heavenly people belonging to a heavenly kingdom and celestial realm.

Right now though, we are still earth bound, Christ should be allowed to reign in our hearts as King (supreme ruler). God’s grace has given us a place with Christ to rule and reign with Christ on His glorious throne. We see that taking place in Revelation 4, where at the beginning of the tribulation Jesus will take His place in heaven, ruling on His throne. Read this glorious chapter. As Sister Mary Bodie brought out so many years ago in Prophecy Class at Grace an Glory Bible School, “For the Antichrist to rule in the tribulation as the counterfeit Christ, Christ Jesus the true king has to be reigning in heaven. There cannot be a counterfeit without the true king in His place.”

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM - Some Christians think that believers today will be part of the earthly Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. They even teach that we all will worship Christ in the earthly Jerusalem someday. One even said, “I haven’t been able to get to Jerusalem in my lifetime, but I will get there later when Jesus comes.” Notice, that the Scripture speak of “... a new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven “ (Rev. 20:10). This is where the believers of the Church Age will be dwelling. Remember, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 - Jesus Christ will sound the trumpet and the dead in Christ will rise from their graves, and those living and remaining will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air and SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD.”

I Corinthians 15: 24-28 explains how that Christ Jesus will reign on the throne during the Kingdom Age (also called the Millennial Age) on the earth. The believing Jews who have endured through the tribulation will continue to live on the earth during that time as well as Gentiles who believed on Christ and managed to endure through the seven years of judgment. They will still be in their human bodies. Many Old Testament Scriptures detail life here during that time. It will be Utopia on earth. Wild animals tame, everyone living in harmony and enjoying the beautiful earth, which will bloom like a rose. It will be an agricultural society, with plenty for everyone. Industry will have been destroyed during the tribulation. Life will be simple. People will be occupied with worship of God and their beloved King Jesus. All will go up to Jerusalem to worship. What a time that will be. Again, we of the Church Age will dwell with Christ in heaven. Our part will be so much greater than being earth dwellers.

Daniel 7:13-14 says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven... And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

To summarize this truth: Jesus will begin His reign in heaven just previous to the tribulation of seven years. Antichrist will make a covenant with Israel to protect them for seven years (Daniel 9:27.) Revelation 4 shows Christ ruling in the heavens with His overcoming believers (Rev. 4 - 5:6). God’s wrath will be poured out especially in greater measure the second half of these seven years. All the believers of the Church Age will be with the Lord in heaven. Christ and His bride will be united toward the end of this time of wrath (Rev.19). Christ and His heavenly army (no doubt His bride - overcomers of this Age) will descend to complete the final judgment of the tribulation (Rev.19:11-20). “He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet” (I Cor. 15:25). Rev. 20 tells of Satan being cast into the “bottomless pit” for one thousand years. The millennial reign on earth will begin here with all the prophesies fulfilled. Israel (those remaining after the great purge of the tribulation) will be the dominant nation on the earth, ruling with Christ on the earth. The twelve disciples will rule “... on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). It will be a time of peace and blessedness.

After the thousand years Christ will reign in another capacity because the Scripture states His reign will be “forever.” During this one thousand years it is not made clear if we will come down with Christ to the earth. We know that the Bride of Christ will be with her beloved Husband. We also have the Scripture, I Thess.4:17 “... And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” The overcomers of the Church Age will rule and reign with Christ. They are seen in Rev. 19: 11-16 descending with Christ as He carries out the final judgment.

We’re looking forward to that time of being with Christ, our Lord ruling and reigning with Him.

He will come very soon. All the signs in heaven and earth show that the time until He arrives is very short. “...Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and the Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the joy cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).

Loss To Gain

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yes 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

The Greek word that Paul uses in verse 7 for “gain” is the same word used in verse 8 for “win.” One kind of “gain;” things that are important to the world, exchanged for a greater eternal “gain:” winning Christ as bridegroom.

The Greek word Paul uses for “loss” carries the meaning of something detrimental. Not only does Paul cast those old “gains” aside, he considered them detrimental to his intent to “gain” Christ. How often do we hang tight to things that are detrimental to deepening our relationship with our Lord Jesus.

The things that Paul was letting loose of and setting aside, were not necessarily bad things in themselves. They were the kinds of things that people consider important. It is not necessarily the “bad” things that get in our way, but our own self sufficiency and self righteous will.

Paul’s main desire and intent was to attain to a deeper knowledge of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we consider the depth of revelation that Paul had, it will help us to understand that there is an ongoing deepening of our relationship with Jesus. Not matter how far we have gone, and how deep our knowledge of our Lord, there is still more to attain.

So, what things are getting in your way today? When Paul writes this passage in Philippians, he writes it as a very personal expression. Notice the use of the word ‘I’ here instead of ‘you’ or ‘we.’ Each one of us must take the very same approach. What is getting in my way today? What things do I need to consider loss and release from my grip to be able to know Jesus better?

We each have those things. While it is easy to look at others lives and try to find things in their lives, it is necessary to look at our own, and allow the Holy Spirit to point out the things that need to be loosened in our life. It might even be things that we think are good.

Nothing that we have here, whether it be material things, friendships, status, even ‘ministry’ is more important than our personal relationship with our Lord. We must not allow the enemy to distract us from the prize, which is Jesus.
Gordon Crook

Think on These Things

Martha Wainright

Gladstone, Missouri

“It is better to trust in the LORD than
to put confidence in man” – Psalm 118:8.

In verse five of this psalm David says he called upon the Lord in distress and the Lord answered. Verse six records, “the LORD is on my side.” Then in verse seven David declares, “the Lord taketh my part.” These statements lead up to the profound declaration of verse eight. We can read between the lines of these verses, and we can also tell by reading about the life of David that he had many occasions that necessitated his dependence on the Lord. He had many disappointments, experienced numerous broken confidences, and it is evident he despaired of life even to the point of revealing some of his inner-most feelings. Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm, and no man…” (Even in this low point in his life, the Lord was faithfully using him as he was prophesying about the suffering of Christ).

We never cease to learn, as did David, that we never come to the “bottom” in experience of learning to depend on the Lord. Let us look at the word confidence for a moment. Actually, the word is close in leaning to the word “trust;” but the word “trust” has a deeper meaning. Notice to whom these words confidence and trust are related.

In Psalm 118, the word confidence is associated with mankind, and that confidence can be broken again and again. Of course, there is a certain confidence we have to have in people to live in this world -confidence that others will obey the laws of the society where we live, such as stopping at stop signs, etc. These laws (confidences) are broken constantly; therefore, causing us to be wary even when driving a car.

However, we are really not considering this area of confidences. We are thinking, as David was, of relationships, a more personal use of the meaning of the word confidence. The Apostle Paul instructs us to have “no confidence in the flesh” – Philippians 3:3. That in our flesh is “no good thing” – Romans 7:18. So it stands to reason that if we put confidence in mankind, and that includes our self, that we are going to be disappointed and disillusioned.

These experiences can leave us confused and perplexed about the value of any relationship. Our confidence can be imperfect in relation to friends, relatives, people we work with, other saints, and any other human being with whom we have contact. And, indeed, we become disappointed with ourselves. This is a pretty dismal picture, isn’t it? I’m sure each reader can think of times of feeling betrayed due to a confidence in a relationship that was broken. You know the feeling. In fact, the very ways of mankind can be frustratingly disappointing. If we put confidence in the myriad of advertisements (through the various media), we are  in for a disappointment.

There is a better way – to trust the Lord. God’s ways are perfect, and His relationship and His dealings with His children are perfect. “God is love” – I John 4:8. This last statement is important because it cushions the blows of life. Even when we are trusting the Lord, everything won’t be perfect, because we live in an imperfect world. But we identify with the new creation, and we can trust the Lord to ultimately work all things for our good. Man cannot promise this. Therefore, we can see that it is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in men.

Does this mean, then, that we can have no faith in each other? I think not. When our trust is in God, He gives us the faith to trust one another, knowing that even in our relationship with one another the Lord wants to be LORD. We come to the place of not expecting perfection from others. We expect it of God; we can have complete trust in His divinity. The Holy Spirit leads us down this path of righteousness “for His name’s sake.” The more we learn to trust the Lord, the more confidence we have in Him and in His will for our lives.

Perhaps you have been broken in spirit by lack of confidence in anything, any one and even in yourself. Then you (and I), like David, can call on the Lord in times of distress and believe that He is on our side and will take our side against the enemy of defeat. We can put our trust in the Lord and be strengthened in the inner man by the words of Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who, (or what), can be against us?” The very circumstances of life that may bring us to despair are useful in that they can also bring us to the place of trust in the Lord. Think on these things.


Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 3:17 – “And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.”

First Ruth tells Naomi what Boaz had said (vs16), now she shows Naomi what Boaz did (vs17). She shows Naomi what Boaz gave her: “These six measures of barley gave he me.” Ruth “counted her blessings and named them one by one,” she knew what they were, she appreciated every one of them! She knows what she has been given is a Gift – it is a picture of Grace. She didn’t work for what he gave her, she didn’t ask for what he gave her, she only had to receive what he gave her! What wonderful GIFTS we receive from our Boaz! The Gift of Righteousness (Rom 5:17). The Gift of Eternal Life (Rom 6:23). The Gift of Salvation (Eph 2:8). The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:45). Spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:1) seen in the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-10). The Gifts given for the “perfecting of the saints” (Eph 4:8,11-12) (apostles; prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers). So many gifts, so many blessings and all we are asked to do is to receive them and then joyfully tell others!

After showing Naomi what Boaz gave to her, she repeats the words of Boaz to Naomi: “for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.” On her first day in Boaz’s field she shared what she had received with Naomi (2:18-19). On her last day in Boaz’s field she again shared with Naomi (3:17). Ruth shared her blessings! From the first day to the last day Naomi has been blessed through Ruth. Naomi had come back saying that she was “empty” (1:21). Boaz wants her to know that her circumstances have changed! This verse is a wonderful companion verse and explanation of 3:15. In 3:15 we see the six measures given to Ruth. In 3:17 we see the six measures were for Naomi also. So what did Ruth do with the blessings she received from Boaz? She passed on those blessings to Naomi, she tells Naomi that this is also for her.

Naomi had given to Ruth, who in turn gave back to Naomi and then Boaz gave to both of them. They are both being rewarded for giving to each other. Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over…” (Luke 6;38). The abundance of these blessings shows that they are meant to be shared, not hoarded away but given to others. Ruth who had been taught by Naomi shared now what she had received with Naomi. How wonderfully this pictures what Paul wrote: “Let him that is taught in the word communicate (share) unto him that teacheth in all good things.” (Gal 6:6). And I can see in Ruth’s giving to Naomi, not only an obedience to the words of Boaz but also it was part of her “sacrifice of praise,” it was both a verbal and physical sacrifice. Paul describes two kinds of sacrifices, one that is verbal and one that is physical. We do both by Christ, just as Ruth did this by what Boaz had supplied: “By him (Jesus, our Boaz) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God (verbal) continually (and at all times), that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (verbal). But to do good and to communicate (share, give) forget not (physical): for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb 13:15-16). Ruth both said something and she did something and both are counted as a sacrifice of praise!

So what do these six measures given to Naomi mean to her? I believe Naomi will understand the true meaning of Boaz’s gesture and generosity. First his words “as the Lord liveth” (v13) were an oath. Next his actions in giving the “six measures of barley” (v15) were a promise. Boaz did not want Ruth to return empty but to carry back a visible blessing, proof of further blessings. For Naomi this was proof Boaz would do what he had promised, what he had sworn an oath to do. I thought of two wonderful examples of how God’s people are not sent away empty. First when they left Egypt, they did not leave empty! They left with the bounty of the Egyptians and they left with the promise of the Lord that “when ye go, ye shall not go empty” (Ex 3:21). The other example is when a Hebrew was freed from service, he did not go away empty. God told them “when thou sendest him out … thou shalt not let him go away empty…” (Deut 15:12-14).

In both these examples there is a coming out of bondage and out of adversity, out of suffering and not coming away impoverished they are enriched! So also are we. Boaz’s gift to Ruth and Naomi will both enrich and enlighten them. Naomi will be enriched with the six measures of grain and she will also be enlightened, for this tells her something. She will know this is a promise from Boaz that they will be taken care of. What a wonderful reminder to us that we will never go away empty from the presence of the Lord, we leave both enriched and enlightened!


Verta Giddings

Sand Lake, Michigan

Acts chapter 4 – The First Persecution

Peter had the opportunity to preach to many people after the lame man was healed. The healing didn’t please everyone. The priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees same to question him. The Sadducees were one of the “religious” groups in Israel at that time. Sad to say, they didn’t believe in the resurrection – Mk. 12:18. It says in Acts 4:2 that they were “grieved” that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Some leaders in Israel, especially the Pharisees, did believe in the resurrection, for the Old Testament prophets declared it – Job 19:25-26; Psalm 16:10; 49:14-15; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2-3. Even those leaders didn’t want to hear that it was through Jesus  that there would be a resurrection.

Why did Peter insist on preaching the resurrection? He speaks of the resurrection eleven times in the first five chapters of Acts. The reason is that without the resurrection of Jesus, there would be no salvation – I Cor. 15:17; Rom. 4:25.

The leaders put Peter and John in hold (prison) until the next day – V. 3. The witnessing did its desired work however, for many believed. Now their number was about five thousand – V. 4.

The next day a lot of people came to hear what these believers had to say. They asked them, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” Peter was only too glad to tell them the answer. V. 8 says Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost. The lame man was healed by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom they crucified, and whom God raised from the dead – Vs. 9-10. He said Jesus was the STONE which the builders rejected, but now was the head of the corner. The Old Testament had many references to this stone or rock, such a Psa. 118:22; Ex. 17:6; Dan. 2:34-35. Then Peter went on to tell them that the only way they could be saved was through this Jesus, who they were now rejecting – V. 12.

They marveled when they saw the boldness of Peter and John. They perceived they were unlearned and ignorant men. It is great that they knew these two had been with Jesus – V. 13. What could they say against this healing, for the healed man stood right there before them? – V. 14. They conferred together. They knew they couldn’t deny the man had been healed, but they didn’t want them to keep preaching about Jesus. They told them not to speak anymore in Jesus’ name – V. 15-18. Peter never agreed to that – Vs. 19-20. Then all they could do was to threaten them and let them go – Vs. 21-22.

Where do you suppose Peter and John went? They went to where other believers were gathered, and told them all about what had taken place. They started praying, and quoting Scripture. They didn’t pray that the leaders would quit persecuting them. They didn’t ask that they would never again be put in jail. Instead they asked for boldness to keep right on witnessing. God answered by shaking that whole place and giving them a renewed filling with the Holy Ghost – Vs. 23-31.

The Lord wants to use everyone of us to witness for Jesus, to tell of what He has done for us, how He has saved us, and how He wants to save everyone who will believe. It is true that everyone won’t believe you. They may laugh at you, or choose not to listen or be with you. Regardless of this, we must keep right on telling others about Jesus. Like Peter and John, you will receive a great blessing afterward. They felt that they HAD to tell others. May the Lord show us that, also.
Chapter 5 – next issue

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Jack Davis

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure” II Peter 1:10. Are you sure? How can you be sure? Of what are you certain? Peter says in essence, “Let us be sure.” It seems he is inspired to encourage us to go after and be sure of an “abundant entrance” (V. 11) into that eternal state. God’s Word promises sure reward on wise investment. The most experienced businessman and financial experts cannot be one hundred percent certain that a new venture will succeed. Most will tell you that there is no sure thing. In any new investment opportunity, you just take a chance. Some will tell you that real estate property is the only REAL ESTATE. But my Bible tells me that the elements will melt with a fervent heat, and the earth and the things therein shall be burned up. It is sad to see someone in the natural investing everything they have and lose it.

“Your calling and election:” In the gospel message all have been invited – “Whosoever will may come.” All that come unto Him by faith have the choice to gain God’s best, and reign with Jesus Christ. Yet, even though we have been called to supernatural heights to be endowed with glorious rights, not all are entering into the full meaning and blessing of this calling and election. We are urged to confirm our call. The Spirit by the scripture challenges us to be partakers of that which is stable, firm, of force or steadfast.

We are called in one hope of our calling, Eph. 4:1.4. This hope is founded and grounded in Jesus Christ our only hope, I Tim. 1:1. He is also our secure anchor even in stormy times, Heb. 6:18-19. Thank God our Holy calling is entirely according to His own purpose and grace, II Tim. 1:9. If it were according to our works, how uncertain it would be. The believer’s calling is Heavenly, and as we partake of this calling, we consider Him, focus our attention upon Him, direct our energies toward Him, diligently seek Him as the Prize of the high calling, Phil. 3. Paul had the right focus when He said, “This one thing I do.”

We are called by the sure Word of God, which is incorruptible, lives and abides forever, I Pet. 1:23. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take need, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day down, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” II Pet. 1:19-21.

If the word came by the will of man (human impulse), we would be foolish to anchor our trust therein. Bless God, we are assured that it is inspired of God, II Tim. 3:16. God used many individuals to record the thoughts of His heart toward mankind. If we search the Scripture, we know it’s spiritual harmony. I don’t believe any one line, verse, chapter or book says it all on any given subject. Human “wisdom” will at times take a verse, or a statement from a verse, and try to make it stand alone. Then people will try to build a doctrine around it, wresting the scriptures to their own destruction. Human reasoning would keep us from building on a firm foundation. Thank God for giving us the wisdom to let the Word comment on and interpret itself. When Peter says, “a more sure word,” he is not saying that whatever was said before this was less sure, but rather that the Word had been confirmed in the coming and work of the One of whom it prophesied. Jesus has fulfilled much of prophecy, therefore are we safe in expecting fuller future fulfillment?

“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people,” Isa. 55:3-4. We notice that prophecies of God’s eternal covenant, even the “”sure mercies of David” which point us to His loving kindness toward mankind, find their fulfillment in God’s beloved Son. The cross of our Lord Jesus confirmed its fulfillment.

“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house,” Isa. 22:22-24. God promises for Israel and for us hang upon our dear Lord Jesus Christ, our “nail” in a sure place. In Him we find our only firm support. God will soon say to all fickle rebellion, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste,” Isa. 28:16.

We find in Him secure trust, and are safe from shame, as we rest in Him as the “Rock of our salvation.” He is indeed the rock on which His church is built, and even though it is under fierce attack by Satanic forces, yet the “gates of hell” shall never prevail against it. Mt. 16:18. Praise God, the foundation of God standeth sure.” II Tim. 2:19. “He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty,” Isa. 33:16-17. What comfort to consider Jesus as our sure supply, even in symbolic terms. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” Jn. 6:35. Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Phil. 4:19.

“Called to glory and virtue:” “GRACE and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” II Pet. 1:2-4. By the glory (radiance, splendor) and virtues (excellence) of Jesus Christ we are not only attracted and drawn, but these are also expressions pointing us to the end product: “We shall be like Him.”

“Give diligence:” Let us realize from this portion that our surety and security is in the “promises” of God’s Word, the “Provision” of the Son’s work performed for us, and the “power” of the Holy Spirit’s work performed in us. Yet we are urged (twice repeated) “give diligence” in making sure. In other words, make it your business: eagerly, earnestly give it your major concern. Seek seriously the realization and fulfillment of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises. His Word encourages holy enthusiasm and clearly rejects indifference.

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God,” Prov. 2:1-5. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute,” Prov. 12:24. This fact holds true throughout the ages. Our attitude toward the things of God here and now will determine whether we will govern or serve there and then.

“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul; of the diligent shall be made fat,” Prov. 13:4. This being made “fat” here is speaking of being amply supplied, abundantly gratified, prosperous. Our heavenly Father greatly desires our spiritual prosperity. He would have us prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. His Word often urges us to give forethought and diligence to that which is sure profit, Prov. 21:5. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which He possesseth. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Lk. 12:15,31,34. These facts hold true in every age.

“But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation…For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love…And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises,” Heb. 6:9-12. Thank God for the testimony of Abraham and those like him, who after he had patiently endured, obtained the promise. This pleases our faithful Father. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Heb. 11:6.

Paul admonished, “Follow me,” Praise God for such a worthy example of “giving diligence.” He was indeed a crown winner by faithfully fighting the good fight, finishing his course, and keeping the faith. Let us be admonished by his expressions of “giving diligence.” He said, “I follow after,” “reaching forth” and pressing toward.” What holy zeal!

What does the Bible say?

Are some people predestined
to be saved and some to be loss?

Only one man was ever predestined and that was Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:18-20 says, we were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ who was foreordained before the foundation of the world. Acts 2:22-24 tells us, He was delivered by the foreknowledge of God which men have crucified and slain and whom God hath raised up from the dead. The Lamb of God was predestined to suffer and die for our sins; and to be raised again, thus becoming the Head of a new creation. It was the new creation that was predestined (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4-6). No one can say that they were predestined to be lost. For God has predestined all who will believe in the Son of God to have eternal life. Those who reject Christ, are predestined to eternal damnation (Mark 16:16). Salvation is God’s gift of love for all mankind who will receive it by faith; “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; Acts 2:21; 6:31; Rom. 10:13; I Tim. 2:4; Titus 2:11). II Peter 3:9, “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
E. J. Davis


Anita Clark – Pastor

Carbondale, Kansas

“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

In this world of corruption and confusion which we face everyday in these last times, we must learn to rest in the Lord to have the peace of God in our hearts. Life is so full of disrupting things which constantly seek to rob us of our rest in the Lord. The first requirement to obtain this rest is to “Come” unto Jesus. He is the only One Who can give us peace, and rest.

In Luke 10:38-42 we find the story of Jesus visiting in the home of Martha. In verse 40 it says she was “cumbered about with much serving.” The word “cumbered” in the Gk. means “to drag all around, to disturb with care.” Often times in our lives we find ourselves in this situation. In verse 41, Jesus told this troubled woman, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.”

The word “careful” in the Greek language means, “full of care or anxiety, while the word, “troubled” means “to crowd, disturb or (turbid).” Mary chose the good part which Jesus said would not be taken away from her. That was resting at Jesus’ feet hearing His words. Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6 “Be careful (anxious) for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Peace and rest are joined together. When you have peace, you will have rest.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me.” The word “yoke” means “a coupling,” speaking of a yoke of oxen. Christ Jesus on one side and us on the other, joined together. It’s the only way of victory over restlessness and anxiety. We are joined unto the Lord. We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. The Scripture declares it. Notice that in Vs. 30 Jesus says, “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He is our burden bearer! He is the strength of our life! Our burden can be many things - whatever it is that is our lot in life. He is able and willing to bear it. In Vs. 29, Jesus says, “...and ye shall find rest for your souls.” This is a positive statement, and we find it really works. Psalms 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

“Learn of Me” Vs. 29. How? By listening to the voice of the Person who is close by in the other side of the yoke - our dear Lord Jesus. Guiding us, leading us, turning us into the path we should go. He will never lead us into a wrong path, and He always gives us strength to go where ever He leads us. How precious this is - to rest on Him and let Him control our lives.

Satan, our enemy, is always the perpetrator of an unrestful, unpeaceful spirit in a Christian’s heart. Psalms 37:7 says, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.” Here in this place the Hebrew word for the word “rest” means, “to stop, cease, quiet self, be still, stand still, wait,.” Psalms 55:1-6 is a precious passage - speaking of how sometimes we feel oppressed in our trials and we may cry out, “...Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest.” This word “rest” means permanently stay, or reside or lodge, dwell or have habitation.”

We may at those times wonder where is the REST of the Lord. But then we cry out to God, and He gives peace that passes understanding and we learn that wonderful place of His rest. We may think, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be in this place all the time?” Psalms 116:3-9 states, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the LORD, and I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.”

All of us have gone through times of sorrow and trial. Yet, many of you have learned to rest on our sweet Jesus. Remember, “Underneath is His everlasting arms.” As we look around us we see so much evil and crime and drug addiction. Many of us have relatives whom we love very much, who are addicted to drugs. We are often grieved at all the evil manifest in the world and in our country and our state and even town. Satan is rampaging because he knows that his time is short.

We will be victorious over these trials, and disappointments as we rely and rest upon the Lord.
He is coming very soon. Will He find us faithful and resting upon Him?

Safety In Reminders

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.  Philippians 3:1

The truth is that everyone of us needs reminders constantly. This is especially true spiritually. We are so prone to forget what we have seen, heard and learned. Often in scriptures, we find things repeated, whether directly or in other words. Paul reminds us that this is safe for us, or for our safety.

The children of Israel we privileged to see and experience the great power and miracle working of their God. However, just a short period after they were miraculously liberated from Egypt, they began to complain and doubt as they were caught between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army. God had to remind them of His power to save them.

Just a few days later, after seeing the mighty hand of God divide the Red Sea, Israel again began to complain about dying of hunger in the desert. How quickly we forget. We constantly need reminded of God’s faithfulness, and also of the dangers that we face in this world.

Paul tells us that This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Tim 3:1). He is not speaking of the violence and other physical dangers we face today, but rather the spiritual perils.

We are so bombarded by the world today in so  many ways, that we sometimes do not even consider or realize the dangers that might lie in our way. We quickly forget the things that we hear and learn from God’s Word.

The increased availability of information from the internet and other sources means that we have to filter more. There is so much that claims to be spiritual or “Christian,” but is not. We must be able to discern these things, and the only way is to know what God’s Word says. Let us not be taken in by things just because they sound good on the surface.

Another important reminder in God’s Word is this: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25). This one seems to need continual reminding. So many of God’s people have forgotten this.

We need to be reminded continually, and those reminders come from God’s Word. I encourage you to continually study your Bible, and gather with God’s people to study and encourage and remind one another.
Gordon Crook

Holy  Spirit  Blessings

W. J. Franklin

There are many reasons for which I am deeply thankful for the anointing with the Holy Spirit.

?    Joy, lasting joy, fulness of joy. When the Spirit filled my being I was also filled with an ecstasy with which nothing of earth can compare. This joy made me forget all my surroundings and those about me, and caused me to be entirely occupied with the Lord. I just wanted to praise the Lord and not stop, and so I did and have not stopped.

?    Personal benefits of the Spirit. He has given me a satisfied feeling and quietness inside which nothing else can possibly give. The Scripture speaks of this as the “peace of God that passeth understanding.” Nothing can disturb the inward restfulness of the one who is controlled by the mighty Spirit of God. The Spirit took away much of my timidity. Timidity can hinder one as much as many other things, but God makes the righteous to be bold as lions.

?    Love for the Word of God. It is my sword, counsel and adviser. These two wonderful promises concerning understanding of the Word were made real to me: “Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: – John 16:13. And, “Now we have received…the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God” – I Cor. 2:12. The Spirit enabled me to take hold by faith of these promises, as well as the statement from Moses, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever…” – Deut. 29:29.

?    The enabling for deeper service. He enlarges our service and ministry, and causes them to mean something to God. Jesus promised, “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” – Acts 1:8. He gives us power to testify, to pray, to serve, to endure all things for the Gospel’s sake. The Spirit has helped me to be a “workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth: – II Tim. 2:15.

?    Preparation for the final consummation of our salvation, and God’s plan for us at the end of this age. The hope of the coming of Christ actually burns in our hearts after we are empowered experimentally with the Spirit. This inspired hope moves us on, keeps us looking up, prevents us from getting discouraged. My heart sings and rejoices in this glorious expectation. Everywhere, the Spirit has witnessed to this truth of the coming of the Lord in positive terms, both by preaching and by tongues and interpretations. I use to know this truth as a doctrine only, but now it is my living present constant hope.

?    Control of the unruly member. He takes our tongues and makes us speak in other languages “the wonderful works of God” – Acts 2:11. Paul said, “He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself” – I Cor. 14:4. It is a great joy to have God use our tongue and it is edifying to us as individuals. Many people grow ashamed of the speaking in tongues. Why should we be ashamed of what God does? Maybe we ought to be ashamed of people who are ashamed, but never ashamed of God’s work or activity. Surely it is a privilege to speak in another tongue “as the Spirit gives utterance.”

Think on These Things

Martha Wainright

Gladstone, Missouri

“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whiter shall I flee from thy presence?” Psalm 139:7.

It is impossible to go away from God. As Christians we know, by faith, and often with emotions conviction, that God will not leave us. But it is another matter to realize that we cannot leave Him. We may even have times of being out of complete harmony with Him, but we cannot leave His Spirit or His presence once the Spirit of Christ has been given to us by the new birth. Let’s think About times in our lives when we may have tried to escape the presence of God. Now we don’t usually verbalize it this way nor do we even form those words in our subconsciousness, but if we are to be purely honest, there are times when the humanity in us wants God to leave us alone. Not leave us, just leave us alone. There’s a difference.

Davis said, “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be slight about me” – Ps. 139:11. In practical experience, when we surrender ourselves and our will to Jesus Christ as the Head of our life, there is no escaping His handiwork. There are parts of the Lord’s natural handiwork in creation that are breathtakingly beautiful, but that is temporary and the beauty of nature pales in comparison to the working of God in our own individual life.

“For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” – Phil. 2:13. We need a vision of this truth. When the Lord, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, corrects us and chastens us as Sons of God, it is because He loves us – Heb. 12:6. And through these times of testing and training we are glorifying God, We are a delight unto Him (Prov. 29:17). But we need a vision of this truth, a divine vision, because “where there is no vision, the people perish.” This is not speaking of losing our eternal life in Christ, that’s impossible. But we can perish in the sense of losing the spiritual sight of our calling and perish in hope. Instead we need “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power” – Eph. 1:18-19.

Jonah could not escape from God. We don’t know exactly why Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh to cry against it. But Nineveh speaks to us of this whole wicked world, and we, especially who now have a vision of the truth of an overcoming walk, rebel against being in the world. We are not citizens of this world; we are pilgrims and strangers and we feel out of place. There are times we want to escape. But we learn over and over again that our only refuge and hiding place is God Himself.

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” – Jonah 1:3. Verse 4 begins, “But the Lord…”. There He is. He is there – through our ups and downs and even knows what our reaction will be to these times before we experience them (Ps. 139:2). He may not “prepare a fish” for us, but He will do what it takes to keep us in His will. The message of the grace of God is that we do God’s will by His enabling. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” – I Cor. 6:20.

We are not of the world, but we are in it and as Jonah was called by God to cry out against the wickedness of Nineveh so our very presence and witness in the world cries out against the wickedness of this present evil age. This testimony is expelled in many ways – verbal, yes, but also in a tactile (touching) way. Those we rub shoulders with daily are touched by the presence of God through us.

In summary of these thoughts, as comfort, assurance, and instruction, Jesus said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Heb. 13:5. And he meant it. Selah.


Pastor Debra Isenbletter

Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 3:16 – “And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.”

After Ruth left the presence of Boaz, who did she go to? “And when she came to her mother in law” – we find that Ruth went home to Naomi. She came to the one who had sent her. She came to the one who had instructed her. She came with a happy heart! She came with Good News!

Though I see in Ruth a wonderful picture of the Bride of Christ, I can also see something else. In her returning home we can glimpse also the joy of the return of the remnant. Having heard the call of the Lord, they will return as a sign, with speed and with strength renewed. (Isa 5:26-27): “And he will lift up an ensign (banner, signal) to the nations from far…behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken.” They will return with singing, with gladness and joy: (Isa 51:11): “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

This is about returning home after receiving the Promises of God. We can see the joy of the Bride laying hold of the promises of Christ. We can see the joy of the Remnant laying hold of the promises of God. Whether Jew or Gentile, whether Church or Kingdom, the joy is the same! The Bride of Christ will return with joy and the Bride of Jehovah will return with joy.

What question did Naomi ask Ruth? Naomi said: “Who art thou my daughter?” Naomi still calls her “my daughter,” she knows this is Ruth, but she is asking her something else. This question can be translated two ways: The CJB (Complete Jewish Bible) translates this as two questions: “Who are you? My daughter? It is as though Naomi is asking Ruth: Are you still my daughter, or do you belong to someone else now? The NVSV, Amplified, NIV and NAS translate this as asking Ruth how things went: “How did things go with you, my daughter?”

How it went reveals who she is, so both translations teach us something. Naomi wants to know how Boaz responded to her request. It is as if Naomi is asking: Are you still Ruth the Moabitess or something more? She asks: “How did it go?” and “Who are you?” How it went will tell Naomi who she is! Ruth will answer both of these questions! Naomi knows that if Boaz had become Ruth’s “kinsman-redeemer” that this was an important question. I believe she knows who Ruth really is and this question is a test for Ruth. Does she know? Does she realize who she is? Naomi knows if Boaz has accepted his responsibility as her “kinsman-redeemer” that this question needs to be asked. Ruth must know who she is and Ruth’s answer shows she does, and she will tell Naomi!

Ruth had left Naomi earlier in the evening as her daughter, but she has come back something more. Ruth had come to Boaz as his handmaid for she said to him, “I am Ruth thy handmaid” (3:9) but she left as something more, as his “espoused” or “betrothed” (2 Cor 11:2), as belonging to him in a personal way. She left carrying with her all the promises of Boaz. She left having laid hold of the full potential of her redemption. Boaz had given to her the desires of her heart (Ps 37:4) and by faith she had committed her way to him. (Ps 37:5). What a wonderful picture of those who come and lay at the feet of Jesus and wait for Him to pour out upon them all His blessings; of those willing to lay hold of Jesus is that deeper way, who truly commit to Him every aspect of their life and lay hold of Him as their Bridegroom! If someone was to ask us, “Who are you?” do we know who we are and what we are to Christ?

What did Ruth tell Naomi? She told her everything! “And she told her all that the man had done to (for) her.” The word “told” comes from “announce (by word of mouth to one present).” It means “certify,” “to declare;” “to explain” or “reveal.” Boaz had revealed to Ruth what he would do and now Ruth will reveal the same to Naomi. The word “done” means to “accomplish, appoint, bestow.” She will tell everything that Boaz has done and in her telling she holds nothing back, she tells “all” and she knows “all” that he will do for her. She knows how she “ought to answer” (Col 4:6) and gives an answer and her speech is filled with grace (about every word and act of Boaz) and her speech reveals her comprehension of and appreciation of that grace. Ruth’s answer points to all those that know “what is the hope of his calling.” She has heard and accepted that call. She knows the “greatness of his power” (Eph 1:19) and the depths of his “love” (Eph 3:18-19). She knows “him,” his “power” and his “fellowship” (Phil 3:10). She knows this because she has spent time in his presence, in communion and fellowship with him.

Ruth in her answer to Naomi uses the phrase “had done,” she sees it by faith as already done! The meaning of the word “done” shows this. It means “to accomplish;” “bring forth” – He has done this! It means to “appoint;” “bestow” – He has done this! It means to “perform;” “prepare” and “provide” – He has done this. No one else can, only Boaz can, and for us, only Jesus can do all these things! All of these meanings are different manifestations of grace in our lives! The good work that began (Phil 1:6) in her (and in us) has been accomplished. Now he will finish the work that has begun by claiming her. When his is done he will “bring forth” this woman as his wife. All that she receives from him are gifts that he “bestows” – they are gifts – they are manifestations of grace. He has “prepared” her and will “provide” for her. He will “perform” and keep his promise to her. Like Ruth, we can know what “the man has done” – that man is Christ and what He has done will take eternity to tell! But oh, the wonderful voices of those who proclaim it, of those who are able to tell what Christ has done for them!


Verta Giddings

Sand Lake, Michigan

Acts chapter 3 – Healing at The  Beautiful Gate

This healing is the first recorded miracle after Pentecost. Remember that Jesus had told the disciples that the ones who believed on Him would do greater works than He had done – John. 14:12. Jesus had promised they would receive power after that the Holy Ghost had come upon them – Acts 1:8.

One day when Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray, they saw this lame man lying at the gate of the temple which is call Beautiful. He was begging for money, since he could not make a living because of his lameness. Peter fastened his eyes on the man and said, “look on us” (V. 4). Of course the man expected to receive money from them. Imagine his surprise when Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none.” His hopes must have dashed to the ground. It was true that they had no money, but they had something far better. They had the wonderful name of Jesus.

Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” There was no way this man could have done this in his own strength. He had never walked. You know that when a baby starts to walk, they aren’t very steady for awhile. Not this man! Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up.     IMMEDIATELY his feet and ankle bones received strength. He leaped up, he stood, he walked, he leaped, and he praised God!

People saw what had happened (Vs. 9-11). They knew it was that same man they saw in that condition every day. Now look! The folks were filled with wonder and amazement.

This gave Peter the opportunity to preach about Jesus. Right away he said it was not because of Peter’s and John’s power or holiness. He said this healing glorified Jesus. He came right out and told these Jewish people that they had killed the Prince of Life, but God had raised Him from the dead and Peter and John were witnesses (Vs. 12-15).

Peter told them that it was through faith in Jesus’ name that the man was healed (V. 16). He did say they had killed Jesus through ignorance (V. 17). He said the Prophets had told that the Messiah (Jesus) would suffer, and so Jesus did (V. 18). The trouble was, the people did not believe that Jesus was alive again. This healing should have convinced them, for after all, a dead Christ could not give power to heal. Then he offered them repentance (V. 19). They must change their minds about Jesus. Then Jesus would change their hearts.

In order to be saved and go to heaven, we must believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, Believe in our hearts, confess with our mouths, that He died for us and rose again. and we will be saved.

Chapter 4 – next issue

Thursday, September 1, 2016

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.


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!


Verta Giddings

Sand Lake, Michigan

Acts chapter 2 – God’s Gift of The Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 – “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”.

Acts 2:1-4 – The day of Pentecost was fully come (this feast was 50 days after the resurrection). Since Jesus walked the earth 40 days after He raised, they waited 10 days for this special day to come. The 120 were all waiting together for the Promise of the Father. They were all in one accord, which means agreement, of the “same mind, unanimous.” They didn’t really understand what would take place, but they just believed and obeyed. Suddenly the Holy Spirit came. Look at the three manifestations that day:
 There was a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind. Must have sounded like a tornado. This filled all the house where they were sitting. They could feel this.
) There appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire. They could see these. It sat upon each of them. Fire is powerful, fire is cleansing, it burns up chaff. These were tongue shaped, flame-like in appearance.
 They began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit had them speak. These people didn’t know other languages, just their own. This was of the Lord, supernatural. 

This great event is called “The Baptism of the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 12:13). This is sometimes called, “The birthday of the church.” The Lord was doing a new thing. There was an immediate response.

Acts 2:4-7 shows this brought amazement! How come? “These men are just Galilaens,” they said, “and they don’t know all these languages.” Jews were there to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost from all these different countries. The ones from away from that area, knew the languages of the countries where they were born, and recognized them when they were spoken by those filled that day.

Acts 2:12-13 tells us that all were amazed and in doubt. Some seemed to want to know when they said, “What meaneth this?’ Others figured this group was drunk.

Peter answered that last thought right away, by saying, “these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day” – 9 o’clock in the morning. Then he went on to tell them that this was spoken by the Prophet Joel many years before. He quoted Joel 2:28-32. Peter began to preach Jesus to them. He told them that Jesus of Nazareth was approved of God among them by miracles and wonders and signs. He came right out and told them they had crucified the Son of God. He further told them that the fact of their being filled with the Holy Ghost was a direct proof that Jesus had been raised from the dead – Acts 2:32-33. Why? Because Jesus had said that when He went away, He would send the Holy Ghost. They would have to know that these 120 were living proof that the Holy Ghost had come. Conclusion – He must have gone to heaven in order to send the Holy Ghost.

Imagine Peter, who had denied Jesus three times, was now able to stand up and tell those people that they were so very wrong, and that they had crucified Jesus who is both Lord and Christ! Acts. 2:36.

We will ask if this message touched their hearts? The answer is, “yes” – V. 37. Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and they would have their sins remitted (forgiven) – V. 38. Not only that, but they, too, would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said that this promise was to them, to their children, to those afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Do you know that means YOU? 

3,000 People were saved that day. After that the believers continued to meet for fellowship. Wonders and signs were done by the apostles. They shared what they had with each other. They praised God, and people kept being saved daily. Wasn’t that a wonderful way for the Lord to start His church? He said He would build His church, and sure enough He started it then and there, and He is still in the building process – Mt. 16:18.
Chapter 3 – next issue.