Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Welcome

July is now posted.


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

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

WISE UNTO SALVATION


Jack Davis

Part 2


WISE IN PRESERVATION


“The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks” – Proverbs 30:26.

Who could take wisdom from such feeble folk? There are different ideas as to what these Conies of that day were, but by most they were thought to be among the most defenseless of God’s little creatures. Oh, how wise are those today that have fled to the “rock of our salvation for refuge.” The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies” – Psalm 104:18.

Where do we build, and where do we abide? The love-life of Solomon was told of being “in the clefts of the rock.” Those feeble folk today, that are not able to defend themselves, are wise to build for security.

“Whosoever cometh unto me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” – Luke 6:47-48.

What marvelous instruction we have in God’s Word for being spiritually constructive. Taking the Word of our Lord into receptive hearts and acting upon it, we build upon a good foundation. The Lord gave the Apostle Paul the blueprint for the church, specifying lasting building materials, that must be used, I Cor. 3:9-15. Thank God that we are given the materials to build with that will stand the fire test. He made it so very clear that this wasn’t a competitive business that necessitated tearing down the work of others in order to be successful.

Paul says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” – II Cor. 10:12. What security is there in such? We become stronger in our stand when we are used by the Lord to strengthen and edify our brother.

It is a great privilege to be one of the Lord’s “feeble folk” that have been learning to lean on the Beloved, and not on our own understanding. To the world, and the majority of Christendom they are considered small and insignificant, if considered at all. Yet these “feeble folk,” out of weakness, are being made strong in the power of His might. Such are chosen of God to confound the worldly wise, and the things of worldly might. Oh yes, God has chosen the base and despised things which are considered to be nothing, to bring to nothing the things that are considered of great import. The ultimate purpose in such choice is that the truly wise may glory in the Lord - I Cor. 1: 25-31.

These find their happy home in Him, and therein abide, being richly satisfied. They are fully aware that their “life is hid with Christ in God” (precious stones in the rock within the rock). In their “little strength” they “lay hold upon the hope set before us.”
The only safe building place is in the Rock.

WISDOM IN PROGRESSING

“The locust have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands” – Proverbs 30:27.

The king that we are wise to let rule in our hearts and lives, has not yet claimed the universal throne, and is not yet visible to the natural eye. Yet His faithful co-heirs are not without clear direction. I Tim. 1:17, and 6:15-16. The Holy Spirit was went to direct wise movement in the will of God. May we not learn from the locust, of the unity of the Spirit? Eph. 4:3. Is there not a great waste in energy and effort in Christendom today? I wonder why?

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” – Eph. 5:17-18. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” I Cor. 12:13. We enter this body by spiritual birth - John 3:6-8. We each then need to drink in of God’s Spirit, and by spiritual growth, grow up into Christ in all things. He (the Holy Spirit) is our wise guide and teacher into all truth - John 16:13; I Cor. 2:9-16. “For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons on God” – Rom. 8;14. But if ye be lead of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” – Gal. 5:18. It is easy to see where the Spirit leads, and know His realm of operation. Paul was inspired to write “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another –  Gal. 5:16, 25-26.

In the living creatures (Cherubims) we seem to find the ultimate expression of the unity of the Spirit. As with the locust, “go they forth by bands.” We see the full overcomers prophetically imaged, hence, symbolically expressed. We read in Eze. 1:9, “Their wings were joined one to another, they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. Thus were their faces; and their wings stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went - Eze. 1:9, 11-12.

May we not sense in these, their wings expressing their ability to rise and reign, mounting up over all hindering obstacles. In this power to overcome the strivings of the earthbound flesh, they are united. Joined one to another, they rise above the things that cause divisions, and go straight forward, where the  Spirit was to go.

UNTIL THEN


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS



I Timothy 6:12-14 - “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession. That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our focus today should be the “Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Apostle Paul called the world of his day, “this present evil world (Gal. 1:4). The world at that time was full of sin and debauchery. As we read about the history of that time, we are amazed at the riotous living and sinfulness that went on during the Roman Empire in Paul’s day. He admonishes Timothy to keep his view Spiritual and looking toward the soon appearing of Christ. Paul thought that Christ would come in the time they lived in, but He has not returned yet, over 2,000 years later. The world is in worse condition than when Apostle Paul was here. II Timothy 3:13 tells us, “Evil seducers shall wax worse and worse.” This prophecy has definitely came to pass. But the child of God, who vehemently looks for the Lord’s appearing, will be ready to go to be with the Lord, when He calls whether by life or by death. As Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:20, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that my boldness as always, so now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”

In Luke 19:12-13, Jesus told a parable, “ A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come.” the word “occupy” means in the Greek, “To busy one’s self with, to trade.” In other words, “I must be about my Father’s business (As Jesus said).” In the English “occupy” means “to fill or preoccupy the mind and thoughts.” Other words that describe this are, “to busy, absorb, engross, preoccupy, or hold the attention.” So, we are to occupy doing God’s will until Jesus comes back.

Philippians 4:8-9 tells us to occupy our mind with, “...whatsoever things are true, ... are honest, ... are just, ... are pure, ... are lovely, ... are of good report, ... if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are the things to meditate on until He comes back to take us to dwell with Him forever. Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore, be you also ready, for in such an hour that you think not, the Son of man cometh.”

In Philippians 1:6, Apostle Paul says, “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Until Jesus comes back again to catch away His waiting Bride, work in our lives goes on. There’s a little song which says, “He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.” Until He comes this wonderful work is going on to change us into His image. It is not done by gritting our teeth to try to overcome in our own self effort. Any of us who have ever tried that, know that we cannot achieve what we would like. Our part is to yield to the Lord’s working, which will go on until He comes. He will have a bride who is prepared, as is seen in Revelation 19:7-8.

In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ tells of the future events, of the coming judgment and the endtime scenario of the wickedness of the world and the Antichrist. In verse 32, He speaks of the “fig tree” which is representative of the nation of Israel. Jesus says, “When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generations shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Here again we have the word “till” or until. This shows that certain prophetic things must happen before the Lord will return in power and glory. This is speaking of His return at the end of the seven years of tribulation, not His appearing before the tribulation which is mentioned in I Thess 4:13-18.

In Job 14:14, he says, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change comes.” This word he uses “wait” means in the Hebrew, “be patient, have hope, stay or trust.” Paul speaks of this truth in I Corinthians 15:51-52, “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be changed.” We are certainly waiting for the change. Praise the Lord! “Death will be swallowed up in victory (Vs. 54).”

As we wait, “Until Then” we worship and serve the Lord and others. In I Corinthians 11:23-26, Apostle Paul instructs about remembering the Lord’s death by eating and drinking of the bread and the wine. This is a blessed time to remember and think of what the Lord did for us on Calvary, as He gave His life for us to be redeemed. In Verse 26, the Apostle says, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup you do show forth the Lord’s death, till He comes.”

Until He comes, what are we to be doing? Walking with God everyday - Letting God lead and direct us everyday - Yielding to His divine will for our lives - Praying and seeking Him on every occasion for every need that comes up - Loving Him supremely, above all else - Looking and watching for Him to come today! Praise the Lord!

Hear Ye Him


And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Matthew 17:1-5

I think Peter had a reaction that is common to many. There are many monuments/religious “sacred” sites that man has created because he felt something important happened there. However, it seems clear that God was not interested in that kind of distraction from His people. His statement is really clear and clearly heard by those that were there. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

So then, the question is: are we hearing Him? Maybe more succinctly, are we listening to Him? Or, are we too distracted by our own ideas and desires, even if they be “religious.” Being able to listen to someone requires some closing of our own mouth and concentration on the person speaking.

When the disciples heard the voice from heaven, it caused them to fall on their face, and I think they were very quiet at that point. What is the effect on us when God speaks? Falling on their face is a sign of absolute reverence. “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,” Psalm 95:6-7.

The first thing needed to be able to truly hear Him speak to us is reverence – the fear of the Lord. If we do not believe that He is who He claims to be, how are we going to listen to Him? “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9. We must believe that this is true, and so then, whatever God has to say is of extreme importance and not subject to our conclusion about it’s truth. It is absolute truth.

Secondly, we must be quiet (mouth and mind) to concentrate and meditate on what He has to say to us. Halfway listening is not listening at all. There is so much noise today from the world around us that distracts us from listening to the Lord. So many are listening to the latest thing that is posted on Facebook or some other social media that they cannot hear the truth of God’s Word. Just remember that only God’s Word is truth. Everything else is based on some person’s interests and desires. Be careful what you hear, and more importantly, who you hear.

Gordon Crook

UNITY OF THE BODY


Alice S. Mooneyhan


“For by one Spirit are we all
baptized into one body…”
I Cor. 12:13

The unity of the body of believers was made on the day of Pentecost through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that others who believed, were added to the Church by the Lord, or were added to the Lord (Acts 2:47).

“…he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). “There is one body…” (Eph. 4:4). The reason we do not see the unity among God’s people is because all members do not allow Christ, our only and all-sufficient Head to direct them.

Either they are ignorant of the truth, or else they permit others to usurp the headship of Jesus Christ and lead them away after themselves, of whom Paul warned us in Acts 20:29-30: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

In writing to the church at Corinth, “with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,” Paul stated: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” – I Cor. 1:10

Is it any wonder then that he warns us in Rom. 16:17: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

We do not break the unity of the body of Christ when we judge the evil within the Church and separate from it. On the other hand, it is only by separation from evil that the unity and holiness of the body of Christ is maintained. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us…Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” – II Thess. 3:6,15.

WHAT’S IN A NAME


Part 1


Kathryn Devers


The ancestry of Abraham is recorded in Gen. 11:10-26 through the line of Shem. The Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel, was born of the seed of Abraham. In this section of scripture, from the meaning of at least eight of these names, the character and mission of Christ are foretold. To study the meaning of names has always been of great interest to me and I trust this will be a blessing to you.

SHEM means “a name.” Even before the conception of the Lord Jesus, the angel told Mary his name. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” – Luke 1:31. He was indeed unique. In this name is authority, power, excellency, majesty, etc. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”– Acts 4:12.

The lame man in Acts 3 was healed through faith in this “name.” “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know.” All service rendered in His name shall be rewarded. “And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance.” – Col. 3:17,24.

Because of His condescension “…God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – Phil. 2:9-11. O, praise God for the precious name of Jesus; just to bow before Him now in humble adoration and acknowledge His worthiness of all honor! I highly treasure this name; the sweetest I know. Hallelujah!

ARPHAXAD: “One that heals or releases.” Jesus returned to His home town, Nazareth, after His temptation in the wilderness, and entering the synagogue on the sabbath day. Stood up and read from the book of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” – Luke 4:16-18.

The word “heal” means “cure, make whole, restore health.” This is exactly what Jesus did during His short earthly ministry, which was a foreshadow of the effectiveness of His sacrifice at Calvary - Matt. 8:17. The gospels record many deliverances, such as: healing the lame, blind, deaf and dumb, lepers, a woman with “an issue of blood,” raised the dead, (Lazarus, Jairus’ only daughter, the widow’s only son). This certainly healed the brokenhearted, cast out unclean spirits, etc. He had power to forgive sins and did - Matt. 9:1-6. Bless God, His blood has never lost its power! What a man! He is just the same today as yesterday, and worthy of our trust.

One day, this same Jesus is going to “heal, restore,” His people Israel of all their woes. “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” -Hosea 6:1-2.

SALAH: “Mission, Sent forth.” It was in the mind of God to send His dear Son on a mission, even before the foundation of the world. “Sent” means “send away to a place appointed.” “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” – John 3:17. He was willing to leave that intimate place of fellowship with the Father (John 1:18) by coming to this sinful world (the appointed place) to fulfill His will.

The world was already condemned or under the sentence of death because of Adam’s sin. “…as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” – Rom. 5:12. The only way of deliverance for the guilty sinner was death, and Jesus was willing to pay the debt by taking the sinner’s place. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” – Heb. 9:28; John 3:15. Thus He accomplished “the definite task” of the Father and “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” – Heb. 5:9. What a gracious Savior!


PELEG: “A Channel, Passage Way.” “God is a Spirit,” and must have a channel through which He can exhibit His divine attributes, i.e. love, mercy, grace, etc., to both sinners and saints. Jesus Christ is that channel. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.” “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” – John 1:14; Heb. 1:3.

Thus Christ was the representation of God’s substance, deity in the world. He is the “passage way” for every blessing that flows into this world from a loving gracious God. “…we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” “…having made peace through the blood of his cross” – Col. 1:14,20. “…saved from wrath through him.” “…we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” – Rom. 5:9,11. “…a son and…heir of God through Christ” – Gal. 4:7. Made rich THROUGH His poverty - II Cor. 8:9. He gives us freely all things THROUGH Him - Rom. 8:32. Ultimate victory over death is THROUGH Him – I Cor. 15:57. O, what eternal riches and blessings are ours to enjoy! “That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” – Eph. 2:7. O, to be found in Him, and to have that righteousness, which is THROUGH the faith of Christ, is my desire! How about you?
To be continued

HOPE THAT IS SEEN IS NOT HOPE


Gladys Crook


“Blessed be the  God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein we greatly rejoice…” I Peter 1:3-6.

This is a living hope, and I believe, speaks of when we receive our glorified bodies, the first phase of our inheritance. We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and surely, that salvation is when we receive our new bodies. It is a hope that is sure and steadfast as are all the promises of the Lord.

In Hebrews 6:18-20 we read, we have “strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus…” That is why it is sure, because Jesus Himself has gone before.

Then we read of the Blessed Hope in Titus 2:11-13. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Surely it is a Blessed Hope. When the storms of life surround us, we have the upward look above the clouds and are blessed.

I John 3:2-3: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as she is pure.” So this is a purifying Hope. That is why we are told to live soberly, righteously, in this present world. It surely does purify and sanctify our hearts.

Then we read in Romans 5:2-5 of the Hope of the glory of God in which we rejoice. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts…” We shall never be put to shame for the Hope that we have because of the love of God in our hearts, and because it is sure and stedfast.

The last verse of I Corinthians 13 tells, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).” One of these days soon, Faith and Hope will no longer be needed, but Love will be with us throughout Eternity. Praise the Lord!

GALATIANS 6:1


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor

Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Vs. 1-2
Forgiving Brother: restore such a one. The word “restore” means “to repair, too restore to a former good condition; to prepare, to equip.” This speaks of both a repairing and a repairing.
It has a medical use: “The Greeks used the word to describe the action of a physician setting a broken bone. Such a procedure called for knowledge, skill, and care. It was not a task for just anyone. Mishandling of a fracture could make it worse” (John Phillips). I think this emphasis on “knowledge, skill and care” really shows that when we “restore such a one” it must be according to God’s Word. If it is done apart from the Word, then that restoration can cause greater damage to the individual and the assembly. It should be done carefully and skillfully like a surgeon with knowledge in the procedure.
It has multiple uses: “The word “restore” is used of reconciling factions, setting bones, of putting a dislocated limb into place, of mending nets, of manning a fleet, of supplying an army with provisions” (Kenneth Wuest).
The same word is used when the Lord found James and John “mending their nets” (Mat.4:21). It is used of God’s creative power: “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb.11:3). Paul used this word when he prayed that believers be made “perfect in every good work” (Heb.13:21), and that the saints be “perfectly joined together …” (1Co.1:10). Peter also prayed that “the God of all grace … make you perfect…” (1Pe.5:10).
The phrase “such a one” points to the one that is “overtaken.” It is the one who knows he has sinned, who confesses his sin and who repents of his sin. The person who had stumbled and become entangled either in sin or legality was like a broken bone in the Body of Christ. They needed to be set back in place so they could heal, so the assembly can heal. The whole body is hurt if one bone is broken, even a bone as small as a finger. The purpose of Grace is to join us together so there is a perfect fit, that we function together perfectly in harmony.
When saints stumble in sin or wander off the road of grace, they can be restored. Paul is not speaking of those who have been put out of the meeting, who will not repent, will not submit. These are those that are repentant and see they were “overtaken in a fault” – they are “such a one.” They are restored because they want to be restored. We see that attitude in the man from Corinth who was put out of the meeting and repented and the admonition of Paul to “forgive and comfort him” (2Co.2:7).
Meek Brother: in the spirit of meekness. This is your spirit yielding to the Holy Spirit in an attitude of meekness, which means “gentleness” or “humbleness.” This attitude is a fruit of the Spirit. It is amazing how everything is tied together, how everything works in harmony when we yield ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly.
The “spirit of meekness” is not one of anger or superiority, it is not overbearing, it is the exact opposite. It is “gentleness, humbleness.” It is a fruit of the Spirit. I know that this fruit is the character of Christ, I know His Life resides within me, I know each portion of that fruit is there waiting to be seen and I know it is constantly growing. What I was struck by was that sometimes it takes something, some circumstance, some trial, some adversity, something to activate the manifestation of that fruit. It is one way of looking at – Why did this have to happen? – Why do I have to deal with this or face this? Sometimes we need to be put in a position or place where the Holy Spirit is given an opportunity to bring forth this fruit in our lives. It could be that only that particular circumstance can bring forth that particular fruit. And each time that fruit is brought forth, whatever it is, it will grow. Here in this circumstance of a brother being “overtaken in a fault” is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to bring forth the fruit of “meekness.”
Discerning Brother: considering thyself. The word “considering” comes from “watch, mark, look at observe.” It is translated as: “heed” (Luk.11:35); “mark” (Rom.16:17; Phil.3:17); “look” (2Co.4:18; Phil.2:4); “considering” (Gal.6:1)
The idea is not just look at others but look at yourself. The idea is to remember that you can stumble, you can be “taken in a fault” just as easily. There is no superior ‘holier than thou’ attitude. There is no ‘I am better than you.’ There is only an acknowledging that we are each in a body of flesh, we each can be tempted, we each can stumble. It reminds me of the phrase: “There but for the Grace of God go I.” Supposedly John Bradford in the 16th century said that when he saw a group of prisoners going to the scaffold. Paul revealed this attitude when he said: “For I am the least of the apostles that am not meet (fit) to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am …” (1Co.15:9-10)
Tempted Brother: lest thou also be tempted. The word “tempted” is from piercing, a test “scrutinize, examine, prove.” In a bad sense it means: “to test one maliciously, craftily, by enticement to sin; to solicit to sin; temptations of the devil. In a good sense it means: “to try, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quantity; to put to the proof his feelings or judgments, to try or test one’s faith, virtue, character.
The fact is that we will be “tempted” or “tested.” That is what our Christian experience is all about. That is what sanctification is all about. For those yielding to the Holy Spirit, those submitting to the Word of God, that testing can be an opportunity to overcome. Paul is reminding us that if we fail in some way because we have been “tempted,” if we failed in that test, would we not want someone to “restore” us in “a spirit of meekness”?
Moses was put to the test this way: He had his problems but his overall testimony after 40 years was that you “saw my works” (Heb.3:6). There was a consistency and constancy in his life.
Jesus was put to the test in this way: It is good to remember when we are being “tempted” that we have a Savior Who was tempted (Heb.2:18). He understands. He intercedes (Heb.4:15).
We are put to the test in this way. But Paul reminds us that there will always be a way of escape and that we will be able to bear it (1Co.10:13).
We need to understand that we all can be tempted and “taken in a fault.” We cannot be arrogant (1Co.10:12). We cannot blame God (Jam.1:13-14). Instead we can one day at a time, “walk in the Spirit” – “live in the Spirit” – and manifest “the fruit of the Spirit.” When we do this, then the following admonition in Gal.6:2 becomes a precious privilege and opportunity to let that life of Christ be made visible in a very real and very powerful way.

Monday, June 10, 2019

WISE UNTO SALVATION


Jack Davis

Part 1


II Tim. 3:15-17, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

Thank God for the insight we are given to the Scripture’s real value. Herein we gain access to every aspect of this great salvation. The Holy Scripture is sent to guide us in spiritual resourcefulness, teaching us to redeem the time, and as we have opportunity, to do good to all men, especially to the household of faith. Realizing the profit of the Scripture is indeed great gain. Our Apostle Paul admonished Timothy (and us) to meditate on the things he had written, and to give himself wholly to them, that his profiting may appear unto all, I Tim. 4:15-16.

Paul asked in Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.” Hebrews 6:9, “But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” He wrote in II Tim. 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” Therefore the partakers of eternal salvation have so much to gain by the exercise of God-given wisdom.

WISDOM FROM ABOVE: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth” James 3:13-14.

Those among us, endowed in heart and mind to holy conduct, by a holy walk, demonstrate a heavenly wisdom and power. Consider I Cor. 2:4-5 and I Thess. 1:5. James describes, in 3:14-16, an unwise attitude which leads to such foolish conduct. These are not something to boast about, or glory in. We do well to seek the Lord earnestly for deliverance from these for they will only hurt and hinder us. The wonderful Word of truth searches out the heart, and would make us know that there is no deliverance realized in denying their presence…”lie not against the truth.”

“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:15-18.

Wisdom from above is not sent down that we may glory in how wise we, or our actions, are. Col. 2:23. This wisdom is divinely produced in us as we feed upon the Word, drink in of the Holy Spirit, and whole heartedly submit to His control in our life. If we will give Him heed, He checks wrong actions, and prompts us to do the will of God. Consider well eight New Creation characteristics of wisdom from above, V. 17.

What a rich treasure trove is God’s Word, shall we not invest time, energy, the most earnest interest therein? Our Father often uses the most unlikely creatures to teach us profound truth. Consider Prov. 30:24-28, “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

WISE IN PREPARATION: “The Ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;” “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O Sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man? – Prov. 6:6-11.

Shall we learn from the ant to make hay while the sun shines? Some of God’s people, that are not strong in themselves, are making present opportunities count for eternal worth. The Psalmist wrote, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” – Psalm 90:12. He was not just counting days, but having our days count for the Lord. Who can measure the eternal loss a “little” present neglect will bring?

The apostle Paul urges us to “watch, and be sober.” “Wherefore he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See than that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” – Eph. 5:14-16.

This is our time to prepare for eternity. The ant can teach us to be spiritually industrious, resourceful. Israel was told to prepare to meet their God, Amos 4:12. We are wise to prepare for that meeting in the air. God would teach us to be “Laying up in store for (ourselves) themselves a good foundation against a time to come, that (we) they may lay hold on eternal life,” hence, all the wealth accompanying this great salvation - I Tim. 6:19.

Read Luke 16:1-13. Oh, let us conduct our business as children of light, far more wisely than the children of this world. Has not God committed to our trust true riches?

The “children of this world” seem to be showing greater prudence and zeal in going after the temporal, material things, than the “children of light” are in interest of their spiritual eternal inheritance. May we not learn of the wise use of our material means in interest of spiritual increase?

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Those aware of their spiritual need enough to be more than passive concerning His abundant supply are blessed indeed. He also said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matt. 5:3,6. Herein we may sense an aggressive attitude of those wise unto salvation toward divine provision. We may see more on this as we consider the wisdom of the spider.
Continued in the next issue.

THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND


Anita Clark – Pastor – Carbondale, KS


“When He [Jesus] was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold there came a leper and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Matthew 8:1-3

Leprosy is an ancient disease, and was incurable in the past, but now early diagnosis and treatment can cure it. It is transmitted by coughs and sneezes - droplets through the air spread the disease. Leprosy represents sin in the world and in the life of an unbeliever. In Jesus day there was no cure or medicine to help stop the ravages of this disease. But, “Jesus put forth His hand and touched him.” This touch of Jesus to this man with leprosy shows the first touch that we need from Jesus the Son of God to bring deliverance from our sin.

Leviticus 13 is dedicated to what Israel was to do if any of them developed leprosy. In that portion of the Word it speaks about the infection being in the flesh of the body. Germs from outside the body enters the body and affects the nerves killing the tissue. It is very destructive to the tissue of one’s body. Leprosy speaks in type, of sin in all humanity because of the fall of Adam and Eve. Romans 5:12, says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men.” Every one who is born in this world has a sin nature, and as the Scripture says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. There was no cure of the sin of mankind. Jesus had to come to provide salvation for us. We could never be righteous enough to please a holy God by our own good works.

The helpless condition of this poor leper was not solved by his good works, only by the Lord Jesus, curing his condition. The same is true of all humanity. There was no way to cure us of the dread disease of sin without the Lord Jesus’ death for us on the cross, only through faith in what Jesus did to pay the penalty for us, are we delivered from our dread condition.

In Matthew 8:14-15, we read of Peter’s mother-in-law being healed by Jesus. “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and ministered unto them.” A fever is manifested when there is some internal problem. When she was healed she immediately got up and prepared a meal for Jesus. As we saw with Jesus touch in healing the leper, now we see Him healing to restore this woman’s ministry and service. Philippians 2:13, says, “For it is God which works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.” By His touch, He cures the inward need bringing about deliverance from sin by the new birth, and then He brings service to God by touching us inwardly so we can serve Him with ability from within - from the life of Christ in us and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 8:22-26, we read another incidence where Jesus touched another person. “And He cometh to Bethsaida, and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch him. And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of town, and when he had spit on his eyes and put His hands upon him...And he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” At first the man could not see very clearly. He saw a blurred vision of men walking as trees. After Jesus put His hands on him the second time, he saw clearly. When Jesus touches us supernaturally our spiritual sight gets better and better, as we keep on believing, and stay close to Jesus. This is called “revelation.” Our eyes are opened to some truth, but as we meditate, staying in the presence of Jesus through His Word, and depending on Him for help, and of course the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, we begin to understand with Spiritual insight greater revelations.

Hebrews 11:1-2 states, “Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith....” He opens our eyes to revelations of His written word, as we seek Him and believe. He touches us and gives us Spiritual vision, which grows more and more as we keep looking unto Him and His Word.

In Matthew 20:29-34 two blind men sat by the road, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Thou son of David.” The multitude rebuked them and told them to hold their peace, but they cried out even louder, “Have mercy on us, O Lord…” They asked Jesus to heal their eyes, and He came over to them, (verse 34), “So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

Again the Master’s touch made them absolutely whole. Anytime we need Spiritual insight from the Lord, whether its is a revelation of the Word of God, i.e. some thing we do not understand, if we earnestly call out to Him, He will hear and give us insight of His divine truth. Are you walking in the light and in full sight of God’s Word and plan, or can you not see or understand what the Lord is doing in your life? Keep on seeking His help. He will come to you and reveal His truth.

Mark 7:31-37 is another account where the Lord Jesus touched an individual who had a problem. Verse 32 says, And they bring unto Him one, that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech Him to put His hand upon him.” We can look at this in a Spiritual sense - that is for an individual to have a problem with hearing the Word of God and all the truth, and also to have a problem speaking forth the Truth revealed to him by the Lord and Holy Spirit. The Lord is the one who calls an individual to bring forth the Word of God, but first that one must hear the Word and learn what is the truth. Revelation 2 & 3 the Lord says several times, “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” After we are cleansed from our spiritual leprosy, we need to “hear the word of the Lord.” This is spoken of in the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:3, the Lord God asked Exekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live? Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, Oh ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Again, when we are deaf to the Word of the Lord, we can not speak it plainly. So the results is, we begin to be able to teach others, for our tongue is set free by the touch of the Lord Jesus.

Isn’t it wonderful to feel the touch of the Master’s hands. I used to model clay, and I was impressed with the steps it takes for a pot or anything to be molded. The very first step is to “wedge” the clay. This takes quite a long time. One method is to throw the clay down hard on the work surface several times. Another is to roll and cup the clay at least 75-100 times, working it very hard. It makes the clay more pliable, and must be done before the clay is ready to be molded into something like a pot or bowl, etc. formed by the potter. After the pot is formed, then its time to fire the pot in a furnace, called a kiln. Can you see how all this applies to what the Scripture is speaking of, when it says, “But now, Lord, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our Potter, and we the work of Thy hands” Isaiah 64:8. A promise is “Now know I that the Lord saveth His anointed, He will hear from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand” Psalms 20:6. This applies to the Lord rescuing us from danger, but also think of it too in His molding us into His image by all the trials and tests we go through in this life. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Phil. 2:13. Praise the Lord for His mighty work! The Following Poem expresses this wonderful work God does in our lives, which starts with His touch in giving us salvation and then His continued touch, working in us until we are completely what He wants us to be.

Is God Wrong?


There seems to be a lot of people that find the need to correct God. Many of them even claiming to be Christians. They would have us believe that what is written in God’s Word is either misunderstood, or just no longer valid. Things that do not align with their desired lifestyle or behaviors must be wrong or outdated.

So, this leaves us to determine who is right and who is wrong. “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome  when thou art judged.” Romans 3:4. “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” Job 40:8. “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160.

I may be called in question for using God’s Word to demonstrate that God is never wrong, and He alone can be true. Let me suggest this: if God is not always true and right, then none of what He says can be trusted. Therefore, we must throw out the entire Bible. But no one is suggesting that, only that certain things are no longer true.

It is the way of mankind to want the truth to be such that it justifies his behavior. Satan’s very first attack was against God’s integrity. Genesis 3:1-5. He did not completely throw God out, just that not everything God said was true. This tactic is still in use today by our enemy Satan. He is not looking to completely discredit God, only enough doubt about God’s truthfulness to swerve people aside. 1 Timothy 1:6, 6:20-21, 2 Timothy 2:18.

Swerving is very dangerous. If you swerve just a small amount from the straight road, it does not take very long to be very far away from the original path. A one degree deviation, puts you almost two feet from the path at one hundred feet of travel. Satan is not looking to turn God’s people 180 degrees, just enough to get off the path and start losing their testimony for God’s glory.

So, is God wrong? No, never. He is the origin of truth, and He never changes. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do  it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19. “For I am the LORD, I change  not; . . .” Malachi 3:6a. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8.

If there is ever any doubt about what God’s Word says compared to what man says, always go with God’s Word. It will always prove to be right. We will always be better off for believing God’s Word and following Him.

Gordon Crook

LIVING THINGS: GOD


E. C. Richards


In this subject, and the common faith referred to in the book of Titus, it would seem superfluous to refer to God as “living,” for it was to be taken for granted. Nevertheless, in the fog of unbelief, the lack of treating God as living, and as the whole scope of the way of faith we are called to, it has some justification to think on these lines. We had previously considered the Word of God as living, and so continuing on with that premise, the Word of God, the Bible, says “living God” some twenty-eight times. It has as emphatic ring and perhaps some exasperation on the part of the divine Revelator, the Holy Spirit. We understand that God is a Trinity of Persons, but there let  us think for a bit about the One called the Father. He is living and we have living contact with him. He is our Father, as the Son so kindly told us on the day of His resurrection.

One of the Scriptures that speak of this great Being in these terms is I Tim. 3:15. “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thy self in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Here our own people by His own placing, the church an age-long people in formation and with an eternal future, are called the “church of the living God.” It would seem that He thinks it very important that this part of His great people know that He is living. Surely, the church hasn’t always acted as if He were living, for they often direct their own steps actually ignoring Him. Of course, there is that which is called “church,” that is, not actually His, but is an imitation, and hence, He is not their God. Let us not ignore our Maker, our Owner, our Keeper for that is not the attitude of wise men. At any rate, we know that He is living for His Word declares it so.

John 6:57: “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” He, the Father, is given as the ultimate source of all human life, both Jesus and all those who believe in Jesus. This passage is in the discussion which Jesus had with the murmurers concerning Himself as living Bread, the Giver and Sustainer of spiritual life. There is reason for His stressing this quality of the Father, “living,” for there was question about the validity of Jesus’ claim of being this Central One of human spiritual and permanent life. So, our second important point presenting God as living is that He is the Father of real lasting humanity. It is a blessed thought, that of God being our actual Father by right of bringing us into being. He created us in Adam, and after falling away from Him, He has begotten us of His own nature and life which cannot fall ever.

James 1:17-18 days, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Specifically, we want to point out the reality of “begetting” that this Great Being has performed. Again we say, that is certainly an attribute of a living Person, that of propagating its own kind. Our reverend Father has done that.

II Cor. 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” The wonder of these words is that this One so Mighty, so Wise, so Great, is willing to actively be a Father in life to those born of Him in this earth which is too antagonistic to Him and His ways. Praise God, He will do such. As we take in His Word and look to Him, we will have the joys, and sometimes the severity, resulting from His very practical Fatherhood.

John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Jesus here describes this God of His (and ours) as One that desires worship. It would be foolish to worship something or someone that didn’t actually exist in some life-form.

David said in Psalm 96:5, “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD MADE THE HEAVENS.” The real Almighty God lost out in the life-contact with the mass of peoples long ago. Even the people, Israel, deteriorated into idol worship, which was extremely lamentable and foolish. These were literal figures of man’s fabrication. Even the irreligious have materials of secular meaning that are as gods to them.  The spiritually wise know that men does not have a spiritual vacuum. Something will always take the place which belongs to Him in their passions, if there is not there the living God. The real worship takes place unto a real Being and is accepted of Him.

Acts 14:14-15, “Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” After a great act of healing performed by this living God, the prime apostles of His gave the simple appeal to turn from the idolatrous practices to that God who so dramatically had demonstrated His living quality. That makes sense today, too. We may turn the worship tendency, which is built into our spirits, into a direct worship of the living God, instead of to the myriads of substitutes thrown at us.

I Thess. 1:9, “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Here Paul, the Apostle, gives it succinctly as the relationship with God as of servant to Master. It doesn’t make sense to serve someone that is either dead or never existed. As implied earlier, the medium of faith is a fertile field for deception, and is energetically fertilized as such. An absentee God can be quite vague to the unspiritual mind. This informs us that He is not a Phantasm, but a real Person. We can’t be practical directed by a flighty theory, but a lively existent Spirit is the real Master of the believer. It was so at Thessalonica, in Rome, in London, in New York, in Kansas City, In Los Angeles, in Tokyo and in Seoul. In some of these places, and perhaps in all of them, people have given their spiritual and life-direction to this behind-the-scenes Being and been happy to do so. Praise the Lord for that! He had promised to direct the steps of a good man (a redeemed one) and He has, does, and will do so.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And finally, let us fix our eyes on another aspect of a living Being, that of emotions. The greatest emotion is love.  The Great One has fully demonstrated this at the cross of His Son as given in the above Scripture. Love is very vital, meaningful and healing to the human soul. We have this exemplified in the cross, and verified and continued by the resurrection and present intercession of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Look at a few Scriptures evidencing motion: Matt. 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Note: “pleased,” a very vibrant emotion. Psalm 7:11, “…God is angry with the wicked every day.” Anger in very indicative of life. Again, Neh. 8:10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So, this wonderful emotion, joy, the people of God are privileged to have. It surely comes from the life of its source. He, too, has joy, jealousy, peace, compassion.

Many emotions stem from this fountain of life that is God. I rather think that even in nature, which He set in motion and still has final control over, the emotions of a great living Being are reflected. Remember, that at both the death and resurrection of Christ there were great earthquakes, and an eerie darkness, too, at the time of the final hours of the cross. Likely, the many motions of nature such as: violent storms, falling rain, penetrating rays of the sun, beautiful heavenly bodies, flora and fauna of diverse attractions, cold and heat, surging seas, majestic mountains, inspiring waterfalls, wide prairies, flowing rivers, all express something felt by the Creator and Ruler of it all and, in fact, of us all.

Friends, bow before the LIVING GOD, and be thankful He is benevolent and not like His competitor, the mighty Satan, who is a lier and a murderer. Bless the name of the living God, our Lord’s, yours and mine. Amen!

GALATIANS 6:1


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor

Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Vs. 1-2
 Paul begins with an admonition to all brethren, to all believers, but the foundation for being able to do what Paul asks goes back to the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). There is a sharp contrast in the previous chapter between the “works of the flesh” and Rev. 19:13, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”
 The “fruit of the Spirit:” The flesh has no fruit, only works and none of them are good. Fruit comes from within, from the life of Christ because it is the very nature of Christ. It is Who He Is. That fruit was seen in everything He said and everything He did, in every miracle, in every lesson taught, in every interaction with those he came in contact with. The fruit of the spirit is spiritual, not natural it is a testimony of the spiritual life we have in Christ. Therefore, to have the attitude in v1 and then do what Paul admonishes in v2 is only possible through the manifestation of that fruit in a yielded heart.
I like to break a verse down when I study it and take it in small portions and have given a title to each portion of this verse to show the differences in brethren. There are differences and yet in a yielded heart they become balanced and work in harmony, which is how the Body of Christ should be seen.
 1.    Every Brother: Brethren,
 2.    Guilty Brother: if a man be overtaken in a fault,
 3.    Spiritual Brother: ye which are spiritual,
 4.    Forgiving Brother: restore such a one,
 5.    Meek Brother: in the spirit of meekness;
 6.    Discerning Brother: considering thyself,
 7.    Tempted Brother: lest thou also be tempted.
Every Brother: The word “brethren” can speak of natural brethren, such as those born of the same two parents or those who have the same father or mother. It can refer to those having the same national ancestor therefore they belong to the same people. Abraham is an example of being the same national ancestor to the Jews. The word “brethren” can speak of spiritual brethren, such as a fellow believer; those united to one another by a bond of affection. The affection is their affection for Christ which enables them to have an affection for one another.
Paul emphasizes our relationship with one another. We are all “brethren” in Christ, we are all “brothers” by blood – His Blood. The “brethren” Paul is writing to are all those in the Body of Christ. We are “brethren” whether we are Jews or Gentiles (Gal. 3:28) because Christ unites and binds us together. We are all connected to one another. How we act (whether good or bad) affects the rest. How we react to that act also affects the rest. Our remembrance of this relationship will give us balance and the right perspective. Since all are included in this admonition, that inclusion also refers to both the sheep and the shepherds. All are responsible.
Guilty Brother: if a man be overtaken in a fault. The phrase “if any man be” refers to every man, to anyone. This applies to all believers. Any one of us can be overtaken. Any one of us can sin.
Paul had just written about the “works of the flesh” in the previous chapter. Those depending upon the Law would find that their dependence only showed up the weakness of the flesh. And along with that failure of the flesh, in trying to keep the law there was the danger of religious self-righteousness. That self-righteous attitude left no room for compassion or understanding.
The word “overtaken” means “to anticipate;” “to have an opportunity” “to take one unawares.” The idea is of a believer being caught by surprise and falling into sin. This does not seem to be a deliberate sin, one thought out and planned. If we are walking after the flesh, the flesh will look for “an opportunity” there is an “anticipation.” But there can also be a sudden temptation that takes us by surprise, that gets the better of us. Peter did not plan on denying Jesus but was caught in a moment of weakness. We all have things that we struggle with and as long as we are in a body of flesh we will always have those battles. There is a difference between deliberate sin and being “puffed up” and not grieving over that sin (I Cor. 5:1-2) and those that have let their guard down and are caught off guard. This really shows how we need to be constantly vigilant, which goes back to the previous chapter where we are admonished to “live in the Spirit” and “walk in the Spirit.” Our dependence is our greatest strength and our independence our greatest weakness.
The word “in a fault” comes from to “fall aside, fall away.” It is “a side-slip; a lapse, a deviation.” It can be “a (willful) transgression” or it can be “an (unintentional) error.” The Holy Spirit will show us which. Here it is a false step, or a slip and it stands in contrast to the word “walk” which means “walk in a straight line” (Gal. 3:5). It is not the “transgression” used in Gal. 3:19, which there is “a willful stepping beyond the limits imposed by the law” (Wuest). Here the “fault” does not seem to be deliberate or intentional. It is being “caught off guard” by sin. It is “a slip” or “a lapse” into sin. It can also speak of a “falling away” from the truth.
In Galatians we see this “fault” which is a “lapse, deviation” in many different forms. We see it when they received “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6). We see it when Peter compromised because of legalists and he refused to eat with the Gentiles (Gal .2:12). We see it when the Galatians did not “obey the truth” of grace (Gal. 3:1). We see it in the split between Jews and Gentiles, in not acknowledging “ye are all the children of God by faith” (Gal. 3:26-28). We see it in the “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21)
There was a falling away from the truth of grace to legality seen in the above examples. In that context, those caught up in the teaching of the Judaizers who realized what had happened, were to be restored. Whether the fall is moral or doctrinal, when someone is “overtaken,” they can be restored. The safeguard for the saint is faith in and dependence upon the Gospel of Grace.
Spiritual Brother: ye which are spiritual. The word “spiritual” comes from “a breath (blast) or breeze.” It speaks of one who is filled with the Spirit and who is governed by the Spirit. The Amplified translates: “you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit].” Going back to the foundation of the word, those that are “spiritual” are a “breath of fresh air” in the Church. They can be a gentle “breeze” of refreshing. They can be a mighty “blast” of power. They are a breath of fresh air because they yield to the Word of God.
 1.    Those that are spiritual— “live” and “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25)
 2.    Those that are spiritual— manifest the “fruit of the Spirit”. (Gal. 5:22-23)
 3.    Those that are spiritual— are able to “judge all things” (I Cor. 2:15)
The spiritual person is not only discerning but also gracious in dealing with a brother “overtaken in a fault.” He is like the Good Samaritan who pours oil and wine on the open wound, who picks up the wounded one and carries him to a place where he can heal and be restored. (Luke 10:30-35).
A.S. Copley writes that this “implies that some of those Galatian Christians were spiritual. They were not all under law. They were to do their part in recovering the legal from legality, or from any offense by which they might be overcome. Those that are spiritual dare not boast in their spirituality. “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?” (I Cor. 4:7) They, too, may be tempted; for they still dwell in a mortal body. No matter how spiritual we may become, we can glory in the cross only (Gal. 6:14).”
To be continued in the next issue.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

THE HOLY SPIRIT


Jack Davis


Luke 11:11-13, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

The Holy Spirit is a “good” and special gift from God, the greatest of all givers. How foolish we would be to think of our God, and His gifts, as any thing but good. James 1:16-18, “Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

A FAMILY GIFT
A gift is not something to be earned, but this gift is only for God’s children, those begotten or “born again” into the family of God. We read here “If a son shall ask” and “…shall your heavenly Father give…”

A REQUESTED GIFT
He does require this one thing of His children. The heavenly Father gladly gives the Holy Spirit to His own that ask Him in faith. Oh, no, this gift does not automatically become our’s at birth, or why would He say “ask?”

A NEEDED GIFT
How wonderfully our Father teaches us of our great need for the Holy Spirit, both in His precious Word, and in our experience. If we will give heed to His Word, and submit to His will, He will create in us a burning desire and almost unquenchable thirst that can only be satisfied by Him. It is a joy to consider the way He expresses the development of this craving or yearning in us, and the promises to answer it.

Isaiah 44:3, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” John 7:37-39, “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

A CONTINUOUS SUPPLY
The preceding Scriptures promise for us from our Father, a supply that will never run out. In these we are also called to an aggressive attitude toward the Spirit’s provision rather than that of passiveness, or indifference. See also Revelation 22:17, and Isaiah 55:1-4. “Come unto me and Drink.” Let us keep on coming and drinking.

A PROMISED PERSON
Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother, promised to send back from heaven another Person of the Trinity for our personal comfort. John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Before Pentecost, the Holy Spirit had been with our Lord’s disciples. He had come and gone from time to time upon Old Testament believers, but now Jesus was promising One, soon to come, that would be with them for ever.

A GIFT PRAYED FOR
Jesus Christ, our great high Priest, has risen from the dead, ascended on high, and is even on the right hand of the Father. He has prayed for us that we each accept all that the Father has given.

PROPHESIED ADVENT WITH SIGNS
Isaiah 28:9-12, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing…”.

Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” “Tongues” as a sign or evidence of the Holy Spirit’s fulness is refused by the unbelief of many, as is “divers kings of tongues” as a “gift” of the Holy Spirit. Tongues also are misused by the fleshly zeal of many. Yet these do not change the fact of Scripture. Thank God! Consider God’s Word and believe.

We read in Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This began as the Spirit gave utterance, and was to continue until He shall determine that knowledge shall vanish away, and tongues shall cease, I Cor. 13:8. Oh, yes, that day when we see Him face to face, and know even as we are known. Shall unbelief deny this supernatural act? How could these unlearned Galilaeans speak in about sixteen different discernable languages of the wonderful works of God? I suggest, what they said was understood.

Thank God, this gift was also to go to believing Gentiles. When Peter was speaking at the house of Cornelius the Gentile, Peter said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Verses 44-46, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Acts 11:17, “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”

In Acts 18:24-28, we read of a man named Apollos that was mightily used of God. He was “an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, “yet evidently not filled with the Holy Spirit. He knew only the baptism of John. John preached the “baptism of repentance.” He had an effectual ministry to the Jews, before the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.

We read in Acts 19:1-7, Paul ministering to those at Ephesus who were believers that had been baptized and yet had not been filled. If you will read this with an open heart, you will see their receiving the Lord as their Savior and the receiving the gift of the Holy
Spirit as a separate experience. After they were baptized in the name of Jesus, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, spake with tongues, and prophesied. The children of God that are not filled with the Holy Spirit are not useless at all, but they are lacking part of what Jesus paid His precious life-blood for. Paul knew that they needed more. Paul admonishes those who are filled also, “be filled with the Spirit,” keep drinking and submit your life to His influence and control.

OUR VICTORY IN CHRIST

Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, KS



The words of an old Hymn - Christ The Solid Rock says:

“My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus name.”

Notice the phrase in the song, “But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” In II Chronicles 32:8, King Hezekiah of Judah spoke words of comfort to the people when they were besieged by Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Hezekiah encouraged them to trust in the Lord, saying in Vs. 7-8, “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed, for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him, for there be more with us that with him, With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”

Apostle Paul says in Galatians 1:3-5 “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Paul speaking of the “last days” in II Timothy 3:13 says, ‘But evil seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” If we watch the news on T.V. we see awful, frightening and evil things. Satan is having his “hayday.” Corruption and everything that once was called sin is permissible in society today.

Our victory is - placing our faith in the Lord our God. II Corinthians 4:16 gives us the secret of victory over all things we go through. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” This is the true victory over all our trials and tests, keeping our eyes elevated to the eternal things - i.e. “We shall reign with Christ some day, when all these trials, tests and illnesses is over.” II Corinthians 10:7 says, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?” This is a good question to ask ourselves. If this is happening in our lives, it may be why we have a lack of victory. I Samuel 16:7, God spoke to Samuel, “...the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”

In Mark 8:22-26, they brought a blind man to Jesus. Jesus healed the man and when the man looked up he began to see, but not clearly. “Jesus put His hands on him again upon his eyes, and made him to look up and he was restored, and saw clearly.” This is the way to gain victory over our flesh, the world, and Satanic attacks. Look up! The victory comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.

I was asked one time, “What does it mean for a Christian to gain victory?” The word “victory” in the Greek, used in various places in the Bible means, “deliverance over, to triumph over.” I Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We learn to rise over the test by God’s strength and grace. I John 5:4 says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.” II Corinthians 2:14 says, “Now thanks be unto God which always causes us to triumph in Christ.”  The word “triumph” in the Greek speaks of a “victory parade, or a procession. To conquer, to give victory.” In olden days this is what conquerors of armies or enemies did after winning the battle. They paraded through the cities or vicinity celebrating their victory. Paul says in Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” I John 5:4 declares, “...this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In Revelation 2-3, each of the churches spoken to by the Lord Jesus Christ were rewarded in various ways, if they would overcome or triumph over their situation or sin. In Revelation 3:21 we see Christ’s promise to those who overcome fully and are faithful in yielding and walking with God, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also have overcome and am set down with my Father in His throne.” In chapter 4 we see the Lord sitting upon His throne, and 24 elders sitting on thrones with Him and 4 Living creatures worshiping and casting their crowns at His feet. In chapter 5:8-10, it says these are “redeemed out of every kindred, nation and tongue.” There will be a day when the Lord will reward His people for their faithfulness to Him, and for gaining the victory through Him in all their trials and tests of this life.

Merciful High Priest


“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17

For Jesus to be a merciful and faithful High Priest, He needed to be able to understand our condition and our temptations. He had to suffer and endure temptations and rejection as a human man. Anything less than that would have left Him as a distant God with a feeling for our infirmities.

Jesus came for the purpose of redeeming fallen humanity. He must be a perfect sacrifice. All of the sacrifices of the Old Testament were just pictures, because they were not a perfect human being who could atone for the sins of all other human beings. The only way was for Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, to take on the form of a man and become our sacrifice.

In doing so, He also took on Him the sufferings and temptations of fallen humanity. As we consider the life of Jesus, we find Him being tempted in the wilderness in Matthew 4.

In that temptation, we find such a great example for us in our temptations. Jesus responds to Satan each time by quoting scripture. I’m quite convinced that Jesus could have said something very profound in those times, as He did many times with the Pharisees. However, our example is that scripture is what we need to overcome the temptations.

If Jesus had given in and made the stones into bread, He could no longer have fully identified with us who are not able to do the same. Instead, we are reminded that God’s Word is more important than anything else.

We find throughout His time here that He was rejected and persecuted, even unto death. Couldn’t He have just come as a King, and then by martyred? That would make a great story and headline. But then He would not have suffered the common things that all persons might suffer. He was hungered, tired, thirsty, no real place to call home. Think about all the things that He went through to bring us to God.

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” Hebrews 12:3-4.

We can surely consider our wonderful Lord who endured more than we can even imagine. We are reminded that we have not yet suffered in such a way. Consider Him in the garden before the cross, praying in agony. He knew that He would have to take on Himself the sins of the whole world, and that would necessitate that His Father turn from Him for that moment in time.

When our trials, sufferings and temptations seem to overwhelm us, we can be certain beyond doubt that Jesus understands. He feels each and every one of our sufferings. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

We are never beyond Jesus’ ability to understand and sympathize with our circumstances. We need to be careful that the enemy not cause us to think that our Lord no longer cares about us or our situation.

Satan will often try to get us thinking that God is against us or no longer cares. Nothing could be further from the truth. While we may not always realize it, He is with us through our trials. Just like the three young men in Daniel who were cast into the fiery furnace. They found the Lord walking in there with them. He is still in the fire today. We never walk alone. Hebrews 13:5

The world today would have us think that no one should suffer at all. They will even ask why God would allow such suffering. We need to understand that suffering has a purpose. God allows suffering in our lives to accomplish His purpose for an eternal benefit. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” 2 Corinthians 4:17. Romans 5:3-5.

Are you suffering today? Are you in the fiery trial? Are you being tempted by the enemy? I have the answer for you. Go to the throne of grace in prayer. You will find there a merciful and faithful High priest that understands and will walk with you. Jesus is preparing us to be part of that bridal company that He longs for. Hebrews 12:2. He had a “joy set before Him” and we have a “joy set before us”. Selah

Gordon Crook

LIVING THINGS – THE CHURCH


E. C. Richards


I Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Here the church is called “the church of the living God,” so it is surely a living entity. That great Being is not about to be preoccupied with dead things. It is below His dignity as the very essence of life. He is living, so any group He brings into being to participate in His great plan will be living too. Perhaps this seems a self-evident subject that has no meaning in being discussed. Well, it is quite evident out there, being bandied about in the minds of men, that the church is a kind of unrealistic concoction of some old toads in the dim unenlightened past. Hence, let us consider some Scriptures and let the Holy Ghost breathe life into them, and also reemphasize in our hearts the living character of our body politic, the church.

Romans 15:16, “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.”

You view here one of God’s hard Scriptures, to us, but most clear to Him. You see, He is in the area and atmosphere of life and all around Him is life, and He has to reveal His Words to us for any sense to be able to sift through to us. Christ died for us, but there was so much of a living offering ascending up to God, that it is difficult for us to understand. The whole mass of us Gentiles rise up to Him in this life–thing that is the church, begotten by the gospel, the living message from the Living Word. I wonder what dimensions are involved in God’s vision as revealed in statements like the above Scripture. The Gentiles entering the church by faith are surely a living group, for that is God’s interest. Remember that, even under the law, contracting the dead was a cause for intense cleansing, and even resulted in being put out of the camp for a time. God never seemed to have a hankering for dead things as His creatures do. Praise Him for the opportunity to come into a living group of humanity, The Church.

Eph. 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”. Here the word declares how the kind loving God changed the deplorable state of humanity that come under His grace and faith with life instead of death, the way we were. This is the evaluation of the prime One of life. What He calls life, spiritual life, suitable to Him, just wasn’t man’s after sin. Now He says we are diametrically changed. Bless His name! This is something that happens now on this earth not in some vague future. Life has happened already, believing friend. We are rolling on in life. Amen!

Heb. 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” So, the living people get a living food, the Word of God. In some mysterious way, God acquaints us with the fact that our spiritual man, that is what is in the church, has life from His Word. So, we study it, think on it, let it work obedience and work in us; and we gather around it to the amazement and ridicule of the dead folk all around us. I never yet sat under the Holy Ghost indicted Word, that I didn’t feel life inside the spirit. Yes, it is so, not a fable as the mass of humanity think.

In John 6:48 Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Even His death produced life, and the ensuing issue in the supernatural touch of God gave life to the believer in the church. It is quite a mystifying and wonderful line of the life-productivity. God doesn’t throw away anything; the same Word produces life in the eater by faith, over and over again. Though our whole system involves death, (that of Christ and ours) it is not an end in itself. It in to give real life.

Just today, we read a long chapter, I Corinthians 14, regulating the vocal gifts of the church. In I Corinthians 14:3 it says, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” We well know that vocalizing is not for inanimate things. The great prophecy of the Antichrist’s image and the speaking, however it is effected, which will be a clincher for all the unbelieving world, shows the identifying of vocalization and life together. So again, the church is a living organism, and God speaks to it in ways strange to us, though not crazy ways. He notes that, too.

I Cor. 15:9, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” The enemy, for sure, considers us a living mass of humanity, for he persecuted it, and still does one way or another. He is the stimulator of persecution, even by honest men as Saul was. The devil doesn’t understand the church, but fears it for He has been clipped by its faith too many times, and hates it to the death. He uses more sense than silly men who ignore the reality of the church. They stay away from it in droves. Not the veil-spirit one; he goes to all the services he can. He is quite a religious character. I have even heard him testify.

Matt. 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Here Jesus declared emphatically the living perpetuity of the people of the church. The great agent of destruction and judgment, hell, should not ever touch it. We shall not spend any time there, praise God. That is the place of the dead.

Col. 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” The force, motive power, actual fiber of all this organism of spirit called church, is Christ, and He is shot through it in every generation and individual. We shall have more to say of Him later. Praise the Lord, when we were added to the church we got in on life, a very important part of God’s great accumulation of life in His eternal sphere.

Eph. 3:10, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” So God, very life itself, displays to the higher forms of life, angelic beings, the way He can show movement of life in the spiritual way. That shows far more than our finite minds, senses and consciousness realizes. The features of it all: faith, spirit, prayer, vocal utterances, cooperation with the will of God, all are alien to our mode of thinking. There is life on the move in the church, nevertheless. There is more to this than meets the eye. If the church shows off God now, and His wisdom now, what will it be in the final manifestation? Surely, it is all too much for us, but let’s keep on believing any way.

GALATIANS 5:1

Part 2

Debra Isenbletter, 

Pastor Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
Next, we are to See our Liberator, “wherewith Christ hath made us free.” We are to see Christ. Our Liberty and our Liberator cannot be separated. This is also translated: “Christ has made us free [completely liberated us]” (Amplified); “What the Messiah has freed us for is freedom!” (Complete Jewish Bible). Christ is our Liberator! What did Jesus say would set us free? He said the truth sets us free (John 8:32). Jesus is that Truth (John 14:6). What did Jesus do to set us free? He came to fulfill the Law (:17). His obedience was better and His sacrifice was a better (Heb.10:5-9).
And Paul tells us the truth about Christ and what He has done for us. When He sets us free we are free indeed (John 8:36). The Greek word “made free” comes from “to liberate.” It means “to deliver” and once delivered we are free; it is very similar to the word “liberty,” so there is a double emphasis with “liberty” and “made free.” We have liberty because we have been made free. We have been “made free” from the bondage of sin. We have been “made free” from the legality of the Law. We have been “made free” and we are free to be servants of righteousness and servants of God (Rom. 6:18,22). Paul states that Christ has made them free – free from what? Free from the Law. How did He do this? He did this by keeping the Law Himself. They no longer have to do this. It is not necessary. The Law has been satisfied by His Obedience and His Sacrifice. Christ is the end of the Law – He lived by the Law – We live thru Him. (Rom. 10:4-5) To lay hold of Liberty they need to see their Liberator!
The 2nd Admonition:
See the Trap: “and be not entangled again.” This is translated the following ways:
“and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to (Amplified); “and stop being subject again to a yoke of bondage [which you once removed].” (Wuest) “and don’t let yourselves be tied up again to a yoke of slavery.” (Complete Jewish Bible)
The meaning of the word “entangled” means “to hold in a fixed position;” “to restrain and restrict” and “to be ensnared.” Traps are hidden so that the animal was caught, either in a pit or a net. It was not easily seen and once ensnared not easy to escape. That is what a trap does, that is what legality does. Their liberty would be restricted and it would be done bit by bit, by taking small steps, each leading to a more committed step. Paul has already spoken of observing “days and months and times and years” (Gal. 4:10), which seemed like such a small thing but something the flesh enjoys. In chapter 5 the issue of circumcision is introduced and that is a big step. Once circumcised they would be committed to keeping all the law, and all of its requirements and practices. Paul reminds them that even as Gentiles they had been bound by religious laws that had brought them into bondage. The pagans had their feast days, their festivals, their religious practices that were required. So, Paul uses the word “again” meaning “one more” or “once again.” It doesn’t matter that this entanglement is Jewish and not Gentile. Paul reminds them of their past condition. He does not want them repeating the same mistake. He warns them the result will be the same. Bondage whether to Gentile idolatry or Jewish legality is bondage. The results are still the same, bondage and not liberty. It reminds me of a saying used in 12 step programs and some attribute it to Albert Einstein. It is the definition of insanity: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” The results of legality, whatever the sources are the same, entanglement and once entangled in something, the more you struggle the more you become entangled. The more you keep trying to do the law, the more futile it is.
See the Yoke: “with the yoke of bondage.” The word “yoke” comes from “to join, a coupling, serves to couple two things together;” it speaks of service and servitude. It speaks on joining two things together. It is seen in the yoke of oxen and the yoke of slavery. The danger and damage is found when you have two opposites yoked together.
Two Opposite Doctrines – Law and Grace and Faith and Works. Paul addresses this in Romans when he talks about the desire to and inability to boast in the law, in the works of the law. It is excluded by faith because we are justified by faith. (Rom. 3:26-28).
Two Opposite Natures – Believer and Unbeliever. Paul addresses this in the fellowship of believers and unbelievers. (2 Cor. 6:14) Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed. (Amos 3:3). One is an New Creation and the other an Old Creation. They are like oil and water.
The yoke Paul is speaking of is yoke is the Law. Once they are circumcised, they have put that yoke on and are fully committed to keeping all the Law. Legality and Liberty are two separate concepts, they cannot be yoked together. There is only one yoke we have and it is the yoke that Jesus offers to us. It speaks of submission and meekness, of grace and love. He does not put the yoke upon us, He offers it to us.
“Take my yoke (Meekness) 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 (Grace) is easy, and MY burden (Love and Faith) is light.” (Mat. 11:29-30) This is the yoke that brings true Liberty! Jesus has set us free!