Friday, November 8, 2019


It has often been pointed out that thinking precedes thanking. When we are presented with a gift, it is because we think of its significance and meaning that we are led to express our appreciation.

What, then, are the thoughts that, entertained by the Christian, lead to thanksgiving?

Predominant in our thinking should be thoughts of God. God–what a train of thought should be started when we think of Him! Power, wisdom, goodness, grace, love, care: these are just some of the thoughts that cluster around the Word God.

When Paul traces the downward path of mankind, he begins by saying that men,  “when they knew God…glorified him not as God, neither were thankful” – Romans 1:21. Men were not thankful that they had a revelation of God; indeed, they sought to suppress that knowledge and to evade its power.

In addition to thought on God, we should see our own insignificance in the light of the facts we know about God. We should see and confess our own frailty and failures. We should admit our commitment to earthly things. But we should not stop there. We should think thoughts about our privileges in Christ. God has loved us and made us significant, through sending His Son to die for us. The Father has accepted us in His Beloved Son.

In the light of these thoughts, we should be led to think of our responsibilities. We now have the privilege to live for God’s glory – thanks-living. Redeemed, we should seek to serve Him faithfully. We should recognize our responsibility to be thankful, and from our lips there should come a daily song of praise.

Why is it, then, that we are not more thankful? The truth probably is that we don’t stop to think. The cares and riches and pleasures of this life choke the plant of gratitude, and our lives become unfruitful.

Thanksgiving is thus really the product of careful cultivation. It is the fruit of a deliberate resolve to think about God, and our privileges and responsibilities. By giving thanks we make manifest the fact that our lives are not controlled by the imperious cares and concerns of this life. We give testimony to the fact that material things do not dictate the horizons of our soul.
- selected


Jack Davis

We read this statement of the thanksgiving of the Saints with the sounding of the seventh trumpet. This trumpet sound was not one short blast, but evidently a prolonged sounding as we read in Revelation 11:7 of the days of the voice of the seventh angel. Therefore what we read in Revelation 11:15-19 must be somewhat a synopsis of the events of that time.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” Rev. 11:15-17.

The joyous thanksgiving proffered here is first for who He is, and then for what He has done, as answered prayer. They speak of the Lord God Almighty, which “art’ as the omnipotent, and eternally self-existent One. See Rev. 19:6. The One who could say, before Abraham was, “I Am.” This was before the eternal living Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

Let us look at Rev. 11:17 in relation to Isa. 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”


“A child is born.” His birth was announced “good tidings of great joy” for He was born to be the Savior of the world. Oh, how thankful we are today for good news. Those people of that day were in need of that good news, as are we in need of good news today.


“A son is given.” The son that was given was the Beloved, well-pleasing Son of God. What shall we say to these things? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” What can we say to Him “that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,” that He might with Him also freely give us all things? Shall we not say in word and deed, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift” II Cor. 9:15. Thank God for His sinless Son, that was given for us on the cross.


“The government shall be upon His shoulder.” The thanks going to Him that was, is, and is to come, seems to climax here. The Savior of the world, the Son of God, is also worshipped as the Sovereign of the universe. Glory to God in the highest, For He must reign, He shall reign, and these say here, “Thou hast reigned.”

Therefore, He is the Song of the Saints with the sounding of the seventh trumpet. What intense emotion, as they sound out the Sovereign’s triumph!

These same Saints are seen falling down before Him that sat on the throne and worshiping the Creator, Revelation 4:9,11. Then we hear from them again in Revelation 5, singing that beautiful melodious song of the redeemer, as a Lamb that was stain, who also as a Lion, had risen to reign. In chapters 4 & 5, we read that they fall down before the throne. In Revelation 11, they seem to bow even lower, “they fell upon their faces.”

Who are these that are so excited? Their proclamation, “We give thee thanks,” is not a matter of committee vote. They don’t sit down, saying, “Let us talk this over and decide. Well, we guess this would be the proper, possible appropriate thing to do.” Thank God, they don’t say, “Well, we suppose we should, and we could if asked, and the majority deems it necessary.”

Glory to God, these are those that have been submitting To Him, and supplicating Him for some time. These know well His right to reign, for He has held the throne-room of their hearts. Those he will reward with crowns of righteousness, co-heirs with the eternal One, kings and priests unto God, those He has redeemed to reign, have been bowing the knee, deeply earnestly supplicating “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Their constant, continual prayer, moment by moment, day by day, year after year, will finally gloriously have been answered. “We Give Thee Thanks” !!!


Anita Clark – Pastor – Carbondale, KS

“Prepare the way of the Lord, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3

This verse is a prophecy of John the Baptist who was the forerunner of Christ. In John 1:22-23, John answered those who inquired who he was, by saying, “I am the voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).” This is exactly what John was called to do. He did exactly that. The word, “prepare” used in Isaiah in the Hebrew means “to clear the way or remove the obstructions and make smooth and straight,”

How do we follow this example of clearing the way of the Lord Jesus and His coming? When we prepare for guests that are coming to visit for a meal or lodging, there’s a lot of planning and preparation that has to take place. Making ready the house, planning the meals, supplying everything that the guests may need. How much more should we be preparing for our Beloved Lord and His soon return.

Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you..I will come again and receive you unto myself.” The place where Christ went to prepare everything for us is, when He went to die on the cross. Some think Jesus is up there building mansions for us, and that is what He’s speaking about, but every provisions for our salvation, and bringing many sons to glory was provided for when He died the death there on the cross. Everything that we will ever need has been “prepared” for us by Christ through His death. Every trial, every victory, we may have, He already fought that battle and won. LAY HOLD OF THIS PROVISION BY FAITH!

Someone may say, “I don’t have enough faith! Romans 10:17 states, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” If you are not regularly hearing the Word of God, you lack faith in your tests and trials of life. Read the Word, and attend the meeting where you can hear the Word expounded, where you will learn of the promises of God. You will be prepared by the Word of God. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” Letting Him give His preparation to us, brings victory everyday through everything.

Noah is an example of “preparation.” Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” This took 120 years to complete the ark until the flood came. Note this was all “by faith.” He believed what God said. He did not reason that it never had rained, that he lived inland, and how could he get all those animals to come and get in. His faith was in the God that had prepared the plan and knew the end from the beginning, and knew that the ark would float. What a miracle!

It is the same today. Matthew 24:36-39 says speaking of the coming of the Lord Jesus, “But of the day nor hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Son of Man is the name given to Jesus Christ in the book of Daniel 7:13-14 “...The Son of man came with the clouds of heaven...And there was given Him dominion, and glory and a kingdom.”

As Noah obeyed God and prepared the Ark, Jesus Christ obeyed God, even to the death of the cross to make provision (to prepare) for all who believe to enter into the safety of the Ark of Love, to gain eternal life by believing in Christ as their Savior.

II Chronicles 35:4, God told Israel to “Prepare yourselves.” Amos 4:12, “Prepare to meet your God.” How can we prepare the way of the Lord’s soon coming? The signs of the times show there is coming a change soon. First, yield to God ourselves, than make sure that our family is giving Jesus first place in their lives. Be a Godly example to our children showing them love and compassion. Telling others that Christ is coming and loving Jesus vehemently, which means passionately, ardently, intensely, and earnestly.


An heir is one who is entitled to possess. In the natural, it is expected that the children will inherit from their parents. This teaches us something about what God wants us to know about our spiritual situation.

In Romans 8:14-17 we read: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” This is a spiritual inheritance. Certainly, we would enjoy having an earthly inheritance from our parents, but that would, sooner or later, be used up. Or we would have to leave it when we leave this world. The spiritual inheritance that God offers to us, is eternal.

I just want to think about what we are considering here. Maybe we are a little too quick to just read these words or say them without understanding what we are reading. The Almighty God, the Self Existent One, the Creator of all things, is saying that we are His children and heirs. Can you comprehend that? I can’t. If you told me that I was to inherit the richest man on earth, I would not be able to comprehend that, and here we are talking about the owner of all the universe.

What makes me so special that I am heir of God and co-heir with Christ? Nothing except that Jesus died for me and offered me the privilege of a new birth. I have been born into God’s family by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood for me. Nothing that I did or could ever do would bring me to this place. We are heirs by grace. Notice in the original verses that we “received.”

Consider what 2 Corinthians 8:9 tells about our Lord Jesus becoming poor, as He lived here, so that we might be rich, with God’s riches. Paul refers in Romans 11:33 to the depth of the riches of Christ. He also refers to the uncertain riches of this world in  1 Timothy 6:17. So, which do you think are more important? Unsearchable or uncertain?

So many of God’s precious children live as though they were spiritually poor, when they are heirs to all of God’s riches. How sad that must be for our Father who wants us to enjoy all that He makes available to us. Our children in the natural enjoy the use of our wealth even as children. Imagine if they chose to go live under a bridge while you are offering them a good home and food and clothing.

Our Father offers us unsearchable wealth in Christ, and all is ours to enjoy even now. We certainly will have and enjoy more in eternity, but that is no reason to live spiritually poor now. Not sure how to lay hold of your inheritance now? Study God’s Word. Ask His Holy Spirit to reveal your wealth in Christ. You will find there that He shows you what those riches are, and you will find that your faith to lay hold of them is increased. We do not want to be like the children of Israel that missed out because they failed to believe. Numbers 14.

The world would have us believe that the riches of this world are to be sought after and fought for. God’s Word tells us that they pass away (Proverbs 23:5). The world would have us to run after worldly riches and gain, but our Lord would have us run after Him. We have an unrivaled privilege to inherit eternal riches in heaven, but we must lay hold of them by faith. We will surely miss out, if our focus is on the earthly riches.

What is the purpose of wanting to inherit all that God offers? It will bring glory to Him. Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Based on our understanding of natural wealth, we might think that all those people inheriting the riches of Christ will diminish His inheritance, but it is quite the opposite. The more we lay hold of what He has, the more He is enriched and glorified.

Don’t be a spiritually poor child of God when He offers you so much. Gratefully reach out and lay hold of His Grace.
Gordon Crook


Kenneth Devers

“And all did drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” I Cor. 10:4. All spiritual drink or refreshment comes from Christ. The rock speaks of durability, unchangeableness, strength and refuge. All of these refer to what Christ is and can be to every believer.

He is viewed as the smitten rock in Ex. 17:6, “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink…” Paul refers to this in I Cor. 10:4. Christ was smitten of God at Calvary, while being made sin for lost mankind. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Cor. 5:21. Out of this Rock (through death) came life everlasting. He not only refreshes but satisfies.

In Num. 20:7-11, Israel was in need of water. The Lord told Moses to speak to the rock and it would give water, but he was so tempted, because of the peoples’ attitude that he lifted up his hand, and with the rod, smote the rock twice. This is a different setting then Ex. 17. The Rock had already been smitten, and this great leader failed to do what was asked of him. This shows leaders can fail, and will, by looking at people and their shortcomings instead of unto the Lord. The rock smitten is a type of Christ dying ONCE for all. “…but now ONCE in the end of the world (age) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
“So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many…” Heb. 9:26,28. Now all that is necessary to partake of the water is reach out by faith and drink, yea even abundantly. God, by his marvelous grace, over-ruled even in this act of disobedience, by causing the water to come out abundantly. “Grace, wonderful grace, great boundless and free.” Christ’s sacrifice fully satisfied the Father and was sufficient to meet the needs of the whole world. Out of him flows blessing to all mankind.

“For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges (are void of understanding).” Deut. 32:31. Rock, spelled with capital R, is used five times in this chapter. Moses distinguishes this Rock from the heathen’s rock or gods. He reminds his people of the greatness of their ROCK, His perfect acts, their salvation, creator, deliverer and only by faith can He be comprehended. No wonder the heathens were void of understanding. Whatever people depend upon, whether talents, ingenuity or genius minds, abilities, riches, etc., all can fail; but our ROCK, never. It makes a person different to trust Him.

“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; by God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psa. 18:2. David claims the Lord in this verse, as “MY ROCK,” a personal refuge, a safe hiding place from his many enemies, Saul being the chief one. This Rock is our home or abiding place, even as the rocks were for the conies. Prov. 30:26. David “encouraged himself in the Lord” Through faith in his Word, even in times of battles, as well as after. Rock in this verse also means recuperation. After the battles, bruises, wounds, and many hurts, don’t we also find him to be our place of recuperation and comfort, the one who applies the mollifying ointment? We rest in him and prepare for the next battle. All of this is qualifying us for a throne. Satan can’t touch us, as we take refuge in the Rock.

“Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake then to pieces.” Dan. 2:34. (Read vs. 44-45). This stone is Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings, who will crush the gentile nations as they stand in defiance of Him, at the close of the seven years tribulation. The greatness of the nations are “…counted to Him less then nothing, and vanity.” Isa. 40:15,17. They’re no match for him; for the fulness of his conquering power will be manifested as recorded in Rev. 19:11-16.

“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.” Mt. 16:18. Here Christ declares himself to be a foundation rock for His church. He is called the chief corner stone in Eph. 2:20. Paul instructs the church how to build upon this foundation in I Cor. 3. The song says, “I hold not the rock but the rock holds me.” What a firm foundation, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” – Hallelujah!

The same quality found in this Rock is reproduced in His saints also. “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psa. 57:7. Fixed means–that which is set, permanent, established, unchanging, to remain, and one dedicated to a cause. Doesn’t this sound like a rock? Have you ever heard the expression, “they’re sure set in their ways?” Let this be our attitude toward the cause of Christ and the Word of His wonderful grace. This characteristic of Christ is found in dedicated saints. I am not, and will not be changed in attitude toward Him but desire to be consecrated to and for His cause, to hold forth the word of truth faithfully. Thank the Lord for faithful saints, who maintain and unchanging purpose of heart toward our ROCK.


Part 2
Carson Richards

Once more, we will give the definition of will – “That faculty or power of the mind by which we determine to do or not to do something which we conceive to be in our power.” John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” THE WILL OF MAN – It seems to me that this is the expressive interplay of the trinity that man is; body, soul and spirit; on the will of man, the new birth being given as an example of being a part of that will; after the wheels of another will were set in motion. The will of man does enter into the new birth in this manner, that of believing God’s will of redemption. Let us explore a little some branches of this will of man.

At the outset, consider this part of man’s will, likely the most vital part, the spirit. The spirit is mentioned in the final departure, the crucial one, of the first civilization. The climax of this is in Rom. 1:28, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” This is the big twenty-three, one of my descriptions of the various sorties of the flesh that the Word of God gives. So this will finally takes its abode fully in the mind, and it, without God, can’t be good.

Ephesians gives the ultimate of this: Ch. 4:17, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” And the picture gets worse as you read on…even “past feeling.” Here it refers to feeling in the mind or spirit. So this entrenchment of the will of man in the mind is a sad state.

Now I say that there is an individual will, or course, in each of us. Nevertheless in a big percentage of cases, it must conform to the composite mind, the joining of the wills of the mass of men in the different divisions of society such as government, religion, economy, customs, traditions. Few can counter the total will of man in which they were born; or the totality of human will which surrounds us. If this sounds kind of heavy, I have a reason. I want to remind us, that there is a danger in submitting docilely to this individual will with which we are born, or this totality of the human will which we have already touched on.

I remember another Scripture in Rom. 12 where it states not to conform your mind or spirit, or will to that of this world’s will. Again we have to use wisdom, for the mavericks, those nonconformists without God, who basically fall into four categories. If he contradicts the law, he is a criminal, that is not favorable to God’s will. If he deviates too much from common practice of thinking, he is crazy. If he withdraws from human contact, he is a hermit. If he resists the overall structure of society, he is a revolutionary, and of course there are more.  So we are not advocating any of the above, but will put all our picture together, and perhaps it will make sense. Now here are a few examples of the general paths of the will of man en masse according to the Bible.
Gen. 4:3-7, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

So there is a primitive entering of the human will into the matter of religion, or the way toward God. This way which Cain used is human works. Cain was a worker. His name means “fabricator;” he even slew his brother because his works were evil – in whose sight? It was in God’s sight.  So the will of man has always been to earn a place in earth and with God.

Paul tells us in Rom. 10:3, “For they (Israel) being ignorant of  God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” So the ultimate test of religion was this people, and what a will they had! To this day, they are a champion of do-it-yourself in religion, and everything else. Lots of works, yes, and even the church went that way, and will continue, for in Rev. 2:19 Jesus prophesied that the works of the harlot system would be greater at the end of this Church Age than at the first. The great build-up of the human will in human works is displayed in that final system. They look good, but if they are against God’s way they are finally evil.

Gen. 10:2-5, “Now these are the sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” So the will of man tended to expansion. That spirit ever prevails in history, and does now. Of course, Psalm 115 tells us that God owns the heavens, but has given the earth to man, and Isaiah says that it was meant to be inhabited. So I don’t say this is all bad, but simply giving examples of the exercise of the human will. The individual will must give in. We might not like it, but it is always so. But it does go that way – expand. Paul tells us in Acts 14:16, “God…who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways,” nationally, culturally, and religiously have they spread out.

Gen. 11:4, “…Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” So the human conglomerate will rose up in independence of God. As the second Psalm prophetically says, Vs. 2, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” This spirit or will, will prevail all down to the end of this age, for we read in II Thess. 2:4 of the great anti-christ…” Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God…” Such a vicious, foolish will flaunts itself.

Mt. 15:1-9, “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” So there you have it; tradition and custom and habit are substitutes for the Word of God in the religious sphere, and related spheres. Paul, the traditionalist in the early part of his life, had a miraculous turnaround. He wrote the Galatians of the traditions of his fathers that he had followed faithfully. Amen, the human being goes that way, too.

So that’s that. Here is a cursory view of the human will in prominent fields. And from there, we will look at two great wills or forces that finally dominate this human will, as we lay it open the them. First, we will consider the evil will of an evil taskmaster. I don’t say that all man’s will is entirely dominated by him, there seems to be a bit of leeway for man, but in the crisis he can, and the words of God show that he has taken over the human will.
     To be continued