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The Old Time Gospel:       "The Holy One"       Editor's Notes

The Body and the Blood

He that eateth my flesh,
and drinketh my blood,
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The Holy One

"To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One." Isaiah 40:25

The first lesson in holiness is that God and God alone is holy. No amount of effort on our part, no amount of sacrifice, no amount of works on our part will even scratch the surface of true holiness. I've seen men go to great lengths to convince others just how holy they are. Fact is, those who profess to be holy in this way have the least amount of holiness of all as genuine holiness bears with it the mark of deep humility.

The great test of whether the holiness we profess to seek or to attain is truth and life will be whether it be manifest in the increasing humility it produces. In the creature, humility is the one thing needed to allow God's holiness to dwell in him and shine through him. In Jesus, the holy one of God who makes us holy, a divine humility was the secret of his life and his death and his exaltation; the one infallible test of our holiness will be the humility before God and men which marks us. Humility is the bloom and the beauty of holiness.   — Andrew Murray

Holiness in God is not some aspiration achieved sometime in His eternal past, nor is it merely a characteristic of God. But much like a man is clothed in flesh, so God is clothed in holiness, it is His very being and because He is holy, all His attributes are holy. It is for this reason that man can never be holy apart from God dwelling in him. We are only as holy as God is in us.

"Holiness or Sanctification is not a quality or attribute which can be attributed to us apart from the indwelling of the Holy One. If we would be holy, we must be indwelt by Him who is holy. If we would have holiness, we must be infilled by the Holy One." — F. B. Meyer

The prophet Ezekiel gives us this hope of God's holiness in us, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:26-27)   Notice all the work of holiness in us is done by God Himself, or as Jesus said, "for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

The problem I have seen in the Church is that men seek the characteristics of God, holiness, love, goodness, and so forth, without seeking God Himself. (Never rely on moral virtue, it is at best filthy rags and no where near the holiness of God.) Men seek the gifts of the Spirit, they seek the promise of heaven and eternal life, all without seeking God Himself. The Church is run by men who are without God, who minister the holy things without ever truly seeking God. Multimillion dollar ministries with their super-star ministers all void of the knowledge of God and His infinite holiness. The blind leading the blind down what they perceive is the narrow way, rather lead men to destruction. "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." (Luke 11:52)   The key to knowledge is God Himself.

God is a jealous God and for man to presume to seek holiness while excluding the very source of Holiness is an inexcusable sin. Moreover, to presume to live the Christian life while excluding the very source of Life is an inexcusable sin. Holiness has become little more than a church cliche because so few are willing to pay the price of worldly separation to attain He who alone makes Holy.

True holiness is in the deep searching out of God Himself, it is the drawing near unto Him, the yielding up to Him in brokenness. Far too few seek Him this way which is why there are far too few genuinely holy men. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)

Continued

Devotional Studies:       "Bible Thoughts & Themes"       by Horatius Bonar




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Devotional Studies


Bible Thoughts & Themes #3     by Horatius Bonar

The Way of Cain

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord." – Genesis 4:16

"Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." – I John 3:12

"Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." – Jude 11

As "the way of Cain" is spoken of by the apostle Jude, as specially the way of the last days, let us inquire what it was. It was evil, not good. He is an open and defiant sinner; and in him sin takes its full swing. He is the first child of the fall, and the offspring of the fallen; he is no common transgressor; he runs no ordinary career of wickedness; he rushes to the extremity of evil. He is given as a beacon, yet as a true specimen of man, of the human heart even in the most favorable circumstances. He came into the world, not like Adam, full-grown, but a child, and therefore with the least possible amount of evil. He is the child of believing parents; for Adam showed his faith by calling his wife, and Eve showed hers by the way in which she received her first-born. He had a most godly brother, and was one of a pious household; brought up within sight of Paradise, and from childhood taught the knowledge of the true God, and the woman's seed.

He was exposed to no outward temptation; he had no companion in sin; he walked the broad way alone. He was warned, no doubt, against the serpent and his seed. He was more than once spoken to directly by God. He had every possible advantage, in the absence of evil and the presence of good. Much might have been expected from him; yet he turns his back on God, on Paradise, on the altar, on the sacrifice, on all that is good and blessed. But let us see more specially what the apostle calls "the way of Cain.

Message Continued

Classic Sermon:       "Godly Sorrow"       by Arthur W. Pink

Also by
Arthur W. Pink


Godly Sorrow
by Arthur W. Pink

"Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner." II Corinthians 7:9

In his former Epistle the Apostle had sharply rebuked the Corinthians for sins which had not only been committed by them but tolerated among them. Though it be far from a pleasant task, yet it is the bounden duty of the ministers of the Gospel to rebuke sin when it is found in those under their charge. "Preach the Word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Timothy 4:2). In this instance it pleased God to bless the faithful admonition of His servant, so that those to whom he wrote had been brought to mourn over and right their wrongs. It is to this repenting of theirs that Paul here alludes, in the course of which he draws an important distinction between carnal and spiritual sorrowing over sin, a distinction which it is most essential we should duly note and take to heart.

"Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance." The preacher takes no more delight when he witnesses the anguish of those who are under conviction of sin than does the surgeon when he inflicts pain on his patients. The servants of Christ experience no pleasure in looking upon the distress of their hearers: it is only because the sinner's sorrow is a hopeful sign of his return to God and of his future happiness as the outcome, that they rejoice at such fruits of their labours. A parent, when he sees his child weeping because of his offenses, sincerely rejoices however much he sympathizes in his grief. So, too, was the Apostle made happy when he perceived that the Corinthians had sorrowed to good effect, namely, unto repentance or reformation of conduct. Here is proof that evangelical repentance is not only a change of heart, but a transformation of life as well.

"Ye sorrowed to repentance" distinguishes two things which are often confounded. Sorrow for sin and repentance are by no means identical. Sorrow for sin may be awakened in a man, or even in an assembly, yet without any real or lasting benefit therefrom. There is a grief (from wounded pride) which produces resentment and anger against the one who reproves our wicked ways. There is a sorrow (aggravated by Satan) which results in nothing but melancholy and despair. Sorrow in itself is not repentance; neither is remorse, self-condemnation, nor external reformation. True, these are all the attendants and consequences; but repentance itself is a turning from sin to holiness. In the case here before us the Apostle rejoiced over a sorrow in the Corinthians which was followed by a putting away of those evils for which he had reproved them.

"Ye sorrowed to repentance." Here, then, is a statement which supplies us with an invaluable criterion by means of which the quality of all real and lasting sorrow may be estimated. Grief may arise, and even reach a passionate extreme, and yet be as unproductive of any transforming effect upon its subjects as the summer dew upon the rock. Such is a self-allaying and not a self-abasing sorrow. There is a sorrowing over folly and its consequences which is nothing more than self-pity, and remorse is ever blind toward Heaven. The vital question, then, is, has our sorrow for sin issued in a genuine repentance? Evangelical repentance is a real change of heart, it is a radical change of views, feelings and aims, resulting in a complete and lasting change of life. Unless our sorrow causes us to put away the evils which formerly characterized us, then it is a repentance which needs to be "repented of," for it is fruitless and valueless.

Message Continued

Preach the Word:       "Professing Christians, Awake!"       by Asahel Nettleton

Also by
Asahel Nettleton

Previous Words

Professing Christians, Awake!
by Asahel Nettleton

"Now it is high time to awake out of sleep."   Romans 13:11

The language of this text is borrowed from natural sleep, in which a person is in a great measure unaware of what is happening around him but life remains in the body. This condition is applied to Christians who have grown insensitive to divine things, they sleep, but life remains in their souls. In particular, the exhortation is for those who find themselves in a state of spiritual slumber to shake off their drowsiness and awake to spiritual realities.

Signs of Spiritual Slumber

1. Sleeping Christians allow personal ease to compete with spiritual duty. Religion is the great business of the Christian's life. It imposes on him many responsibilities that are in painful opposition to his fleshly desires. However, to neglect spiritual duties for the sake of personal comfort is to indulge in spiritual slothfulness. Great care must be taken to fight this natural tendency toward laziness with regard to spiritual things. For this reason, the Scripture instructs Christians to encourage one another daily 'lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin' (Heb. 3:13).

Avoiding reproach is a common way Christians shirk their godly purpose in the world. It is easy to live quietly as long as you will not disturb your fellow sinner with a reminder of his sin. Ignoring the sinful behavior of others requires no effort, and thousands of professing Christians resign themselves to rest in a state of passivity. Whole churches often shut their mouths in silence in the name of charity or goodwill, but in so doing they actually display an awful indifference to the souls of men.

2. Sleeping Christians are no longer deeply affected by divine things. In this frame of mind, it is no wonder that Christians regularly attend the house of God but soon forget the instruction they receive. Although they once saw the glory of God in the face of Christ, now they walk in darkness. Where once they were stirred by a deep sense of the worth of souls and could weep over perishing sinners, now they can endure the sight of transgressors almost without emotion.

Their lack of interest in spiritual things is further manifested by their conversation. At one time, they spoke often of eternal matters, but now all their attention is engrossed with the world. They converse with ease about the temporal issues of life but have almost nothing to say about the great things of eternity. When they do speak of heavenly themes, it is in a dull and lifeless manner. The weight of eternal realities does not stir their soul, and thus they talk like a person in sleep.

3. Sleeping Christians are reluctant to pray secretly. Prayer has been properly described as the breath of the Christian. When a Christian continues in a state of prayerlessness for a prolonged period, it is a sign that he is asleep. If not shortly awakened from this breathless state, it is reasonable to wonder whether such a person is actually spiritually dead.

Message Continued

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
      — II Timothy 4:2

Pen of the Puritans:       "The Table and Shew-Bread"       by John Gill

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The Table and Shew-Bread
by John Gill

"Every sabbath, he shall set it in order before the Lord, continually; being taken from the children of Israel, by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron's and his sons', and they shall eat it in the holy place for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, for a perpetual statute."   Leviticus 24:8, 9

Every sabbath he shall set it. This refers to the shew-bread, which was to be always, continually before the Lord, according to Exodus 25:30. And thou shalt set upon the table shew-bread before me always. This was made of fine flour, as in the context, verse 5. And this fine flour was made into unleavened cakes; and these cakes were in number twelve. And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof; two tenth deals shall be in one cake. (Leviticus 24:5)

These twelve cakes answer to the twelve tribes of Israel. And being set upon the table continually was in commemoration of the bread the twelve tribes of Israel were fed with in the wilderness. These were set upon a table called, in verse the 6th, a pure table: called so, because it was overlaid with pure gold; because upon it was set the pure shew-bread; bread made of fine flour, and used in the pure service of God. Of the form, matter, and decorations of this table, you read at large in the 25th chapter of the book of Exodus.

This table was set in the holy place, on the North side of it, over against the veil that divided between that and the holy of holies; and so was before the ark, the symbol of the Divine presence. And these twelve cakes were set in two rows, six in a row; and frankincense was put upon these rows, denoting the acceptableness of them to the Lord. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row; that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord. (Leviticus 24:7) This was done, as our text says, every sabbath, Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord. These cakes were first placed there on the sabbath day; and there they continued the whole week following.

The next sabbath day they were removed from off the table, and twelve more new ones put in their room. As fast as the priests took off the old loaves, there was another course of priests that placed upon it new hot loaves; so that the table was never empty; therefore it is said, they were before the Lord continually. Hence this bread is called continual bread: (Numbers 4:7) and this shew-bread was the portion of the priests.

The twelve cakes of the old bread, when taken off the shew-bread table, were divided between the courses of the priests, that carried in, and brought out; and they were not to be carried to their own houses, or families; only Aaron and his sons were to eat of it, and that only in the holy place, the court of the tabernacle: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord, made by fire, by a perpetual statute. (Leviticus 24:9) Hence our Lord observes, in answer to the rebuke the Jews gave his disciples for plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath-day, "Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread; which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?" (Matthew 7:3, 4)

Message Continued

Manna for the Soul:       "Why Don't They Stir Themselves?"       by Leonard Ravenhill

Also by
Leonard Ravenhill


Why Don't They Stir Themselves?
by Leonard Ravenhill

America cannot fall, because she is already fallen! This goes for Britain, too. She cannot go into slavery, because her people are fettered at the moment in the chains of self-forged, self-chosen moral anarchy. Here are millions, diseased morally, with no longing for healing. Here are men paying for shadows at the price of their immortal souls.

An unprecedented tidal wave of commandment-breaking, God-defying, soul-destroying iniquity sweeps the ocean of human affairs. Never before have men in the masses sold their souls to the devil at such bargain prices. "There is none... that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee" (Isaiah 64:7). What hell-born mesmerism holds them? How does the spell bind? Who brainwashed them? Why don't they wake and stir themselves? If the Church had something vital and victorious to offer, these men who choose golf clubs by day and night clubs by night, they might be drawn from these fleshpots.

This is an hour in need of burning hearts, bursting lips and brimming eyes! If we were a tenth as spiritual as we think we are, our streets would be filled each Sunday with throngs of believers marching to Zion - with sacks on their bodies and ashes on their shaking heads, shaking at the calamity that has brought the Church to be the unlovely, unnerved, unproductive thing that she is!

If we wept as much in the prayer closet as devout Jews have done at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, we would now be enjoying a prevailing, purging revival! If we would return to apostolic practice - waiting upon the Lord for apostolic power, we could then go forth to apostolic possibilities! This is the hour when we are asked over and over again, "Is everybody happy?" God's purpose for us is not happiness, but HOLINESS!

Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry?
Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die?
Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand?
Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?

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Bible Verse:       "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God..."       Romans 8:14




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Bible Verses


"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."   Romans 8:14

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,... Not by the spirit of the world, or of the devil, or by their own spirits: the act of leading ascribed to the Spirit is either in allusion to the leading of blind persons, or such who are in the dark; or rather to the leading of children and teaching them to go; which supposes life in those that are led, and some degree of strength, though a good deal of weakness; and is a display of powerful and efficacious grace, and is always for their good: the Spirit of God leads them from sin, and from a dependence on their own righteousness, in paths they formerly knew not, and in which they should go, in the paths of faith and truth, of righteousness and holiness, and in a right, though sometimes a rough way; he leads them to the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, and to the fulness of grace in him; into the presence of God, to the house and ordinances of God; into the truths of the Gospel, from one degree of grace to another, and at last to glory; which he does gradually, by little and little he leads them to see the iniquity of their hearts and natures, to lay hold on Christ and salvation by him, into the doctrines of grace, and the love and favour of God, and proportionally to the strength he gives: now such persons,

they are the sons of God: not in so high a sense as Christ is; nor in so low a sense as Adam was, and angels are; much less in such sense as wicked magistrates be; nor merely as professors of religion in common; but by adoption, not national, such as that of the Jews, but special; and which has some agreement with civil adoption, it being of persons to an inheritance, which they have no legal right unto, and it is done freely: though there is a difference between the one and the other; for in divine adoption there is no need on the adopter's side; nor no worth on the side of the adopted; proper qualifications are conveyed to them for the enjoyment of the inheritance, and which is enjoyed, the father and firstborn being living, and is an inheritance which vastly exceeds all others: now this blessing of being the sons of God, is owing not to ourselves, nor to our earthly parents, but to God; to the Father, who predestinated to it, and fixed it in the covenant of grace; to Christ, it is by him, as the Son of God, it is through him, as the Mediator, and it is for him, it is for his glory; and also to the Spirit of God, who manifests it, works faith to receive it, witnesses to it, and seals up to the full enjoyment of it. This favour is an instance of surprising grace, exceeds other blessings, makes the saints honorourable, is attended with many privileges, and lasts for ever: such who are in this relation to God, ought to ascribe it to his grace, to require him with thankfulness, and a becoming conversation, to be followers of him, and to love, honour, and obey him.

— John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The Gospel Libray:       "Man – The Dwelling Place of God"       by A. W. Tozer

Also by
A. W. Tozer

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Man – The Dwelling Place of God
by A. W. Tozer

Chapter 13   The Sanctification of the Secular
THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES that all things are pure to the pure, and I think we may assume that to the evil man all things are evil. The thing itself is not good or bad; goodness or badness belongs to human personality.

Everything depends upon the state of our interior lives and our heart's relation to God. The man that walks with God will see and know that for him there is no strict line separating the sacred from the secular. He will acknowledge that there lies around him a world of created things that are innocent in themselves; and he will know, too, that there are a thousand human acts that are neither good nor bad except as they may be done by good or bad men. The busy world around us is filled with work, travel, marrying, rearing our young, burying our dead, buying, selling, sleeping, eating and mixing in common social intercourse with our fellowmen.

These activities and all else that goes to fill up our days are usually separated in our minds from prayer, church attendance and such specific religious acts as are performed by ministers most of the week and by laymen briefly once or twice weekly.

Because the vast majority of men engage in the complicated business of living while trusting wholly in themselves, without reference to God or redemption, we Christians have come to call these common activities "secular" and to attribute to them at least a degree of evil, an evil which is not inherent in them and which they do not necessarily possess.

The Apostle Paul teaches that every simple act of our lives may be sacramental. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." And again, "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Some of the great saints, who were great because they took such admonitions seriously and sought to practice them, managed to achieve the sanctification of the secular, or perhaps I should say the abolition of the secular. Their attitude toward life's common things raised those above the common and imparted to them an aura of divinity. These pure souls broke down the high walls that separated the various areas of their lives from each other and saw all as one; and that one they offered to God as a holy oblation acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Continued

The School of Christ:       "Learning by Revelation"       by T. Austin Sparks

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T. Austin Sparks

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The School of Christ     by T. Austin Sparks
Learning by Revelation     Chapter 3

Revelation Bound up with Practical Situations

The third thing is this. God always keeps the revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. I want you to get that. God always keeps the revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. You and I can never get revelation other than in connection with some necessity. We cannot get it simply as a matter of information. That is information, that is not revelation. We cannot get it by studying.

When the Lord gave the manna in the wilderness (type of Christ as the bread from heaven) He stipulated very strongly that not one fragment more than the day's need was to be gathered, and that if they went beyond the measure of immediate need, disease and death would break out and overtake them.

The principle, the law, of the manna, is that God keeps revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations of necessity, and we are not going to have revelation as mere teaching, doctrine, interpretation, theory, or anything as a thing, which means that God is going to put you and me into situations where only the revelation of Christ can help us and save us.

You notice that the Apostles got their revelation for the Church in practical situations. They never met around a table to have a Round-Table Conference, to draw up a scheme of doctrine and practice for the churches. They went out into the business and came right up against the desperate situation, and in the situation which pressed them, oft-times to desperation, they had to get before God and get revelation.

Continued

The Imitation of Christ:       "Internal Consolation"       by Thomas À Kempis

Thomas À Kempis

The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas À Kempis


The Imitation of Christ     by Thomas À Kempis
Internal Consolation     Book III

A Man Should Not be Unduly Solicitous about his Affairs
The Voice of Christ
MY CHILD, always commit your cause to Me. I will dispose of it rightly in good time. Await My ordering of it and it will be to your advantage.

The Disciple
Lord, I willingly commit all things to You, for my anxiety can profit me little. But I would that I were not so concerned about the future, and instead offered myself without hesitation to Your good pleasure.

The Voice of Christ
My child, it often happens that a man seeks ardently after something he desires and then when he has attained it he begins to think that it is not at all desirable; for affections do not remain fixed on the same thing, but rather flit from one to another. It is no very small matter, therefore, for a man to forsake himself even in things that are very small.

A man's true progress consists in denying himself, and the man who has denied himself is truly free and secure. The old enemy, however, setting himself against all good, never ceases to tempt them, but day and night plots dangerous snares to cast the unwary into the net of deceit. "Watch ye and pray," says the Lord, "that ye enter not into temptation."

Biography:       "William Carey"       (1761-1834)

William Carey

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William Carey   "Father of Baptist Missions"
(1761-1834)

"I hope, dear father, you may be enabled to surrender me up to the Lord for the most arduous, honorable, and important work that ever any of the sons of men were called to engage in. I have many sacrifices to make; I must part with a beloved family and a number of most affectionate friends. But I have set my hand to the plough." (From William Carey's letter to his father, telling him of his decision to go to the mission field.)

William Carey, the "Father of Baptist Missions," was born in Paulerspury, England, in 1761. He grew up in the poverty-stricken home of a weaver. Carey early distinguished himself by his love of reading. Saved at a young age, he learned Greek so that he could read the New Testament in its original language.

Carey was a shoemaker by trade, but his true love was preaching the Gospel. He preached his first sermon at age 21. A church in a neighboring village soon arranged for him to come preach every other Sunday. Carey gladly walked the six miles each way to do so.

In 1785, convinced by his study of Scripture that their position was biblical, Carey joined the Baptist church. He became pastor of the Baptist church in Moulton in 1787. Reading the books written about the voyages of Captain James Cook to the Pacific Ocean sparked in Carey's heart a desire to reach the natives Cook described with the gospel.

Read the entire Biography

Scripture Studies:       "Matthew 6:7-13"


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Scripture Studies       Matthew 6:7-13   MH Comm.
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7.   But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. JG Expo.

8.   Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. JG Expo.

9.   After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. JG Expo.

10.   Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. JG Expo.

11.   Give us this day our daily bread. JG Expo.

12.   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. JG Expo.

13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. JG Expo.


Key:     JG Expo. = John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible       MH Comm. = Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

Think On These Things:       "Five Reasons for the Decline and Fall of Rome"       By Edward Gibbon


Historian Edward Gibbons' Five Reasons for the Decline and Fall of Rome

  1. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
  2. Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
  3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting, more brutal, more immoral.
  4. The building of great armaments when the great enemy was within; the decay of individual responsibility.
  5. The decay of religion, fading into a mere form, losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people.

From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

        "Any of this sound familiar?"

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

A Word in Season:       "A Deeper Fellowship with God"       by Vance Havner

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Season Archives

A Deeper Fellowship with God

By Vance Havner

"And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee..." II Kings 2:1,2

"Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" We stand before Jordan today and wave our wands, but the waters do not divide. The reason is not hard to find. Few there be of Elisha's sort who will not be stopped at Gilgal or Jericho, but who press on for the double portion. The men whom God has blessed with His Spirit in unusual power through the ages have been men in such dead earnest that they would not let the good keep them from the best. They craved a deeper fellowship with God, and found it through prevailing prayer, while the rest, like the sons of the prophets at Bethel and Jericho, stood by the roadside and watched them go by.

Call it what you will, there is a waiting before God that we hurried, modern mortals do not know; that sends a man back to his task with the hand of God upon him in such a fashion that the waters of Jordan part before him. It is not that God puts a premium on fasting and night-long prayers and tears, and austerities of the flesh; but He does reward burning desire for His very best that leaves no stone unturned, and follows Elijah across Jordan while others merely watch him go by.

Our Lord himself lived perfectly in the will of God; yet He found it necessary to spend nights in prayer. Shall we poor failing mortals casually snatch from heaven the power that others gained only by fervent and importunate intercession? It is true that our Father in heaven giveth and upbraideth not; but He keeps His choicest blessings for those who really press through, and who will not stop at the Gilgal of a mild, average experience?   — Vance Havner

"The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary..."
  Isaiah 50:4

Old Time Hymns:       "He Leadeth Me"       by Gilmore & Bradbury



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He Leadeth Me
Words by J. H. Gilmore, 1862
Music by William B. Bradbury, 1864

1. He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.

Refrain
He leadeth me, he leadeth me,
by his own hand he leadeth me;
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me.

2. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
by waters still, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis his hand that leadeth me.

3. Lord, I would place my hand in thine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since 'tis my God that leadeth me.

4. And when my task on earth is done,
when by thy grace the victory's won,
e'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.

John 16:13-14
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me:"




Psalms 23:3
"...he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake."

Great Quotes:       "Quotes by Great Men of God"

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Quotes by Great Men of God

"He who loveth God with all his heart feareth not death, nor punishment, nor judgment, nor hell, because perfect love giveth sure access to God. But he who still delighteth in sin, no marvel if he is afraid of death and judgment."   Thomas à Kempis

"Ignorance of God and of ourselves is the great principle and cause of all our disquietments; and, this ariseth mostly not from want of light and instruction, but for want of consideration and application."   John Owen

"Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our "accepting" and "willing" are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God."   A. W. Tozer

"Fall on your knees and grow there. There is no burden of the spirit but is lighter by kneeling under it. Prayer means not always talking to Him, but waiting before Him till the dust settles and the stream runs clear. "   F. B. Meyer

"I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to him."   Charles H. Spurgeon

"Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and to be able to put your meaning into appropriate and fitting expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin while you are actually confessing it; melted with free grace even while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the awareness of God's infinite holiness, and to keep your heart in this state not only in, but after these duties, will surely cost you some groans and travailing pain of soul"   John Flavel

"Prayer is the highest activity of the human soul, and therefore it is at the same time the ultimate test of a man's true spiritual condition (there is nothing so much as prayer life that tells the truth about us as Christian people.) Everything we do in the Crhistian life is easier than prayer."   Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones

"The spirit of prayer is pressing forth of the soul out of this earthly life; it is a stretching with all its desire after the life of God, to be one life, one love, one spirit with Christ in God."   William Law

"One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always."   A. W. Tozer

"Here God gives his people some taste, that they may not faint; and he gives them but a taste, that they may long to be at home, that they may keep humble, that they may sit loose from things below, that they may not break and despise bruised reeds, and that heaven may be more sweet to them at last"   Thomas Brooks

"Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire, that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only."   Thomas à Kempis

The Martyrs:       "The Christian martyrs at Rome"

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The Martyrs

Fox's Book of Martyrs

The Christian martyrs at Rome
Nero's Persecution of 64-67 A.D.

Nero's persecution began by an early morning fire on July 19, 64. It broke out in a small shop by the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly to other regions of Rome, and raged for nine days, destroying much of the city. This was the worst in a series of fires that beset the crowded city of more than a million people, packed tightly into apartment blocks of wooden construction, among narrow streets and alleyways. Only two areas escaped the fire; one of them, the Transtiberum region, Trastevere, across the Tiber River, had a large Jewish population.

Nero was at his seaside villa in Anzio when the blaze began, but he delayed returning to the city. They say that when he heard the news, he began composing an ode comparing Rome to the burning city of Troy. His indifference to the suffering caused by the tragedy stirred resentment among the people. Rumors began that he himself set the fire in order to rebuild the city with his own plans.

To stop the rumors, Nero decided to blame someone else, and he chose a group of renegade Jews called Christians, who had caused trouble before, and already had a bad reputation in the city. Earlier, about the year 49, the Emperor Claudius had banished some of them from Rome for starting upheavals in the Jewish synagogues of the city with their disputes about Christ.

"Nero was the first to rage with Caesar's sword against this sect," wrote the early-Christian writer, Tertullian. "To suppress the rumor," the Roman historian Tacitus says, "Nero created scapegoats. He punished with every kind of cruelty the notoriously depraved group known as Christians." Just how long the process went on and how many were killed, the Roman historian does not say.

"And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; Of whom the world was not worthy..."
Hebrews 11:36-38

The Word of Life:       "Psalms 66:10-20"       Authorized King James Version


Scripture Memory

The Word


Psalms 66:10-20   Authorized King James Version

  1. "For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
  2. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
  3. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
  4. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
  5. Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
  6. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
  7. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
  8. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
  9. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
  10. But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
  11. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

II Timothy 3:16

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."
Psalms 119:130

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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."