Posts Tagged ‘god’s word’

NEW BOOKLET: God’s Help and Comfort Through It All

NEW BOOKLET: God’s Help and Comfort Through It All by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of God’s Help and Comfort Through It All, click here.

God’s Help and Comfort Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7)

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)

Henry Francis Lyte completed the lyrics of his hymn Abide With Me shortly before his passing in 1847. Aware that death was near, he directed his hymn to God who he described as the “Help of the helpless.”

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

The 1719 hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts and William Croft, reminds us that God has been our help in the past and will continue to be our hope in the years to come:

O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come; Be Thou our guide while life shall last, And our eternal home.

The following Scriptures refer directly to the help and comfort God brings to those who put their faith and trust in Him:

God’s Help

God is Our Helper
Behold, God is mine helper. (Psalm 54:4)

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:6)

God Helps Us
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7)

God is Our Help and Our Shield
Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)

God is Our Help and Our Deliverer
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. (Psalm 40:17)

But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying. (Psalm 70:5)

God Helps Deliver Us From the Wicked
And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. (Psalm 37:40)

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. (Psalm 94:16-17)

We Pray to God for Help
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 108:12)

Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it. (Psalm 109:26-27)

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

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. (Psalm 71:12)

Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. (Psalm 38:21-22)

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (Psalm 40:13)

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. (Psalm 59:2-4)

God is Our Help in Times of Trouble
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

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 4:16)

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 60:11)

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. (Psalm 116:5-6)

We Rejoice in God’s Help
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. (Psalm 63:7)

God Helps With Our Infirmities
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:6-8)

God’s Comfort

God is the God of All Comfort
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

God Comforts His People
I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass. (Isaiah 51:12)

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

God’s Holy Spirit is Our Comforter
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

God’s Holy Spirit Abides with Believers Forever
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. (John 14:16-17)

God Comforts with His Word
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

God Comforts Those Who Are Cast Down
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:6)

God Comforts in Our Tribulation
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

God Comforts in Times of Despair
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

God Comforts on Every Side
Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! Thou, which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. (Psalm 71:19-21)

God Comforts Those Who Mourn
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound . . . to comfort all that mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

God’s Comfort Can be Maternal
For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:12-13)

God Comforts us With the Promise of His Return
. . . we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

Forty Helpful and Comforting Verses

The Lord is Around His People
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. (Psalm 25:2)

He Goes Before Us
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He Never Leaves Us or Forsakes Us
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of God
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

He Has Given Us His Word
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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

His Word is Quick and Powerful
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. (Hebrews 4:12)

His Word Never Passes Away
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

He Gives Us Wisdom
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

He Will Guide Us Continually
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

He Will Direct Our Paths
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

He Supplies all our Needs
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

The Lord’s Compassion Never Fails
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

He Gives Strength to the Weary
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

He Gives Us His Peace
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

He Keeps Us in His Peace
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

His Peace Keeps our Hearts and Minds
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

He is Our Refuge
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)

He Delivers Us From Affliction
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

He Gives Us Rest
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

He Perfects His Strength in Our Weakness
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Us
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

He Works All Things For Good For Those Who Love Him
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

He is Able to Keep Us From Falling
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)

He Protects Us
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (Isaiah 43:2)

He Lifts Up a Standard Against the Enemy
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

No Weapon Shall Prosper Against Us
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

He Gives Us the Victory Through Jesus Christ
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

He is Faithful to Complete His Work in Us
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

He is Our Guide Unto Death
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)

He Gives Us Eternal Life
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. (John 3:16)

Eternal Life is a Gift from God
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

God Sent His Son to be the Propitiation for Our Sins
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

If We Confess Our Sins He Forgives Us
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Whoever Calls Upon the Lord’s Name Shall be Saved
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

By Grace We Are Saved Through Faith
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

He Has Prepared a Place for Us
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

He Will Raise Us Up
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (2 Corinthians 4:14)

His Glory Will be Revealed in Us
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

He Will Wipe Away All Tears
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

What God Has Prepared For Those Who Love Him
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Our Helper and Our Comforter

Lines from the following two hymns echo what the Bible makes very clear. God is our rock, our hiding place, our refuge and defense—our helper ever near. He is our shelter in the time of storm, our wonderful Savior and comfort sweet. In good times and in bad, He is our Helper and our Comforter through it all.

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide, A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night, A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright, A Shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat, A Shelter in the time of storm;
We’ll never leave our safe Retreat, A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be thou our helper ever near, A Shelter in the time of storm.

 Shelter in the Time of Storm
Vernon J. Charlesworth (1878)

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

Near to the Heart of God
Cleland B. McAfee (1903)

To order copies of God’s Help and Comfort Through It All, click here.

“Thinking Outside the Box”

By Tamara Hartzell
(Author of Reimagining God and In the Name of Purpose)

“Thinking outside the box”

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

The importance of the Word of God simply cannot be overstated. Without it, we do not have the truth, faith, or salvation of God. And without the truth, faith, and salvation of God, we do not have God. Scripture is replete with teachings and warnings that make this perfectly clear. One example of many is 2 John 1:9:

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

Where do we get the doctrine of Christ in which we are to abide to have God? From the Word of God.

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 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.” (2 Timothy 3:14-16)

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

It is the faith of God that comes by the Word of God. Not only does the Word of God give us the truth and faith we are to believe in order to have God, but it also gives us the truth and faith we are to obey in order to please and serve God. And yet people in today’s Christianity are no longer willing to accept this faith as is. Rather than simply believe and obey, people want the freedom to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His Word into a fashion that they are willing to accept and, incredibly, even go so far as to claim that God’s own Word of truth puts God in a “box.” In other words, they want the truth and faith of God set “free” from the Word of God. Thus, they do not see the Word of God as the truth but as merely a “story” with “changeable” and “debatable” “metaphor” that can be interpreted and retold however anyone chooses. This then gives people their desired freedom to “think outside the box” where they can conveniently “reimagine” their own “story” of who they “rethink” God to be.

Naturally, whether or not these stories line up with God’s Word is irrelevant to those who prefer to “think outside the box” of God’s Word. In fact, if they did line up with the Word of God, then it would defeat their purpose of “thinking outside the box.” And since “rethinking” and “reimagining” God and His Word is what people today actually want, they are turning to fables for their faith and “truth.” Fables are not the truth, and the truth is not a fable. This is why God’s Word warns that people are turning away from the truth and unto fables. Nevertheless, more and more people are trying to turn fables into the truth—i.e., “reimaginings” into reality—and are dancing around in circles desperately trying to bring the two together as one in a harmonious relationship. This is, in essence, turning the light off to look for “truth” in the corner of a dark round room.

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21)

The light of God’s Word is just too bright for today’s light-intolerant eyes. More and more people are seeking relief outside the “box” and are intentionally turning away from the Word of God, away from the truth, away from the faith, trying to “find God” in the darkness. However, in the darkness people can no longer tell the difference between what is true and what is false, even when it is obvious. And as a result, they are blindly bearing with those who present them with “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” and “another gospel” that deceptively affirm their shift from light to darkness, and even lead them astray to another “God.” But they don’t see it that way. Since people imagine that God’s Word of truth is just a manmade “box” from which God and His truth need to be set free, they see it as simply a matter of “finding God” wherever they choose to look. Sadly, this rapidly increasing deception is clearly seen in today’s shifting Christianity.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.… But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7, 11-12)

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Since more and more people in today’s shifting Christianity are rejecting the Word of God as the word of man, and even accepting the word of man as the word of God, one needn’t go far to see the many counterfeits being sold to the eager buyers who see no need to beware. In fact, since people now imagine that outside the “box” of God’s Word is the “genuine” and inside the “box” of God’s Word is the “counterfeit” they will only see a need to beware of God’s Word inside the “box.” Thus, reviling those who believe the genuine is the genuine and the counterfeits are the counterfeit, they are heeding those who believe the counterfeits are the “genuine” and the genuine is the “counterfeit” because the counterfeits are the “genuine” they are willing to accept. But, naturally, those who prefer to “think outside the box” don’t see it that way.

Many people are likewise choosing to see man’s fables as the “truth” about God because man’s fables are a “reimagined” “truth” they are willing to accept. Absurdly, those who seek to justify “reimagining” God and His Word even claim that Jesus taught parables in order to teach truth to the multitudes. This claim in itself “reimagines” God’s Word in order to justify “reimagining” God’s Word. Jesus Himself gave the reason for His parables, which is the opposite of man’s imaginations in more ways than one. He spoke in parables to keep the truth away from those who did not have ears to hear and had already chosen to close their eyes and ears to the truth. Sadly, some things never change.

“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:4)

“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.… For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:9-13, 15-16)

If that isn’t clear enough:

“And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.… Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” (Luke 8:10, 18)

Those who have chosen to turn their ears away from the truth and unto fables only seem to have the truth. The truth is “Thus saith God,” “Thus saith the Lord,” and “It is written.” This is the settled truth of God, which He has recorded for us in His Word. God’s truth is what it is and never changes despite man’s never-ending vain attempts to “rethink” and “reimagine” God’s Word for God. Truth tells us what is and what is right or wrong. Stories are the opposite. Stories are relativism and allow each person to decide for themselves what they want the meaning to be. This is exactly the freedom desired by those who are shifting from truth to fables. They want the freedom of uncertainty rather than the what is of certainty. Since having ears to hear the truth is necessary to be able to hear the certainty of its meaning, it was to His disciples and not to the multitudes that Jesus told the meaning of His parables:

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.… And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.” (Mark 4:23-24, 33-34)

Because the Lord Jesus Christ is God, even His parables to the multitudes are “Thus saith God” and “Thus saith the Lord.” And since even the meaning of His parables has been recorded in God’s Word of truth, for us the meaning is not relative as many now think, but rather, “It is written.” On the other hand, man’s imaginative fables are nothing more than “thus imagines man.” Contrary to the popular opinion of those blinded in the darkness, they are not the truth and not the Word of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings are not a “style” to emulate. He is the Lord, Whom we are to believe and obey.

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.… From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:63-64, 66-68)

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Too many people in today’s shifting Christianity are seeking to set the truth of God free from the “box” of God’s Word rather than seeking to be set free themselves by God’s Word of truth. Instead of looking for “truth” in the corner of a dark round room they would be far better served looking for truth in a corner of the “box.” But, sadly, those who are shifting from the light of the narrow way of absolute truth to the darkness of the broad way of relative “truth” are doing so on purpose, albeit blindly, along with their eyes closed and ears covered. They feel “boxed” in by the narrow way, and the broad way gives them the freedom outside the “box” to “rethink” and “reimagine” God and His narrow way into a broader “truth.” With this freedom, people can have a relationship with God however they choose, right?

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)

(This is an excerpt from Tamara Hartzell’s book, Reimagining God: Turning the light off to look for “truth” in the corner of a dark round room; used with permission.)

Volume One

Volume Two

NEW BOOKLET: Blessings Through It All

Our newest booklet tract, Blessings Through it All? by Warren B. Smith is the newest in Warren’s Through It All Word of God series of the Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tracts.  The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Blessings Through It All, click here.

rp_bkt-blessed.jpgBlessings Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

A number of traditional hymns speak of our many blessings in Christ. Count Your Blessings reminds us that even in our darkest moments we can rejoice and count our blessings:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

In his book Then Sings My Soul, Robert Morgan recounts how Howard Rutledge, a captured American soldier in Vietnam, was able to help conquer the loneliness and despair of his long captivity by recalling hymns from childhood. The following is a quote from Rutledge’s own book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, describing how he suddenly remembered lines from the hymn There Shall Be Showers of Blessing during a heavy monsoon rainstorm:

I tried desperately to recall . . . gospel choruses from childhood, and hymns we sang in church. The first three dozen songs were relatively easy. Every day I would try to recall another verse or a new song. One night there was a huge thunderstorm—it was the season of the monsoon rains—and a bolt of lightening knocked out the lights and plunged the entire prison into darkness. I had been going over hymn tunes in my mind and stopped to lie down and sleep when the rains began to fall. The darkened prison echoed with wave after wave of water. Suddenly I was humming my thirty-seventh song, one I had entirely forgotten since childhood.1

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need!
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There Shall Be Showers of Blessing was inspired by words spoken by the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel when He said how He would cause showers of blessing to rain down on His people:

Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:22-26)

Rutledge, the formerly downed soldier, made it clear that scriptural hymns like There Shall Be Showers of Blessing were an incredible blessing to him in captivity. As other soldiers lost hope, gave up, and died, he was able to press on and survive.

In this same regard, the hymn Blessed Assurance (written by Fanny Crosby, a blind woman) reminds us that when it is all said and done—whatever our circumstances may be—Jesus Christ is our blessed hope, and He is our ultimate blessing.

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Scripture tells us that “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” (James 1:17). Thus, we praise God in singing the traditional doxology—recognizing that it is from God that all of our good gifts and blessings flow.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

In Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, we are encouraged to sing songs of loudest praise for God’s blessings and endless mercies:

Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of God’s unchanging love.

Blessings From God

Blessed Are Those Who Trust in God
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psalm 34:8)

Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (Psalm 40:4)

O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (Psalm 84:12)

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:11-12)

Blessed Are the Faithful

A faithful man shall abound with blessings. (Proverbs 28:20)

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3:6-9)

Blessed are the Seed of Abraham
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (Acts 3:25)

Blessed Are Those Who Fear the Lord
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. (Psalm 112:1-2)

Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. (Psalm 128:1-2)

Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. (Psalm 128:4-5)

Blessed is the Man Whose Strength is God
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee. (Psalm 84:5)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep His Ways
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.(Proverbs 8:32)

Blessed Are Those Who Hear the Lord
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (Proverbs 8:33-34)

Blessed Are Those Who Walk in God’s Law
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. (Psalm 119:1)

Blessed Are Those Who Hear God’s Word and Keep it
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:28)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep His Commandments
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep His Testimonies
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (Psalm 119:2)

Blessed Are Those Whose Sins Are Forgiven
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1)

Blessed Are Those to Whom Sin is Not Imputed
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalm 32:2)

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:8)

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Blessed Are They That Mourn
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Blessed Are the Meek
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

Blessed Are They That Hunger After Righteousness
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

Blessed Are the Merciful
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Blessed are the Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Blessed are They That Are Persecuted
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Blessed Are Those Who Are Hated
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23)

Blessed Are Those Who Are Not Offended
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Matthew 11:6)

Blessed Are Those Who Endure Temptation
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)

Blessed Are Those Who Give
I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

Blessed Are Those Who Consider the Poor and the Unfortunate
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. (Psalm 41:1-2)

Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. (Luke 14:12-15)

Blessed Are Those Who Are Chastened By the Lord
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law. (Psalm 94:12)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep Judgement
Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. (Psalm 106:3)

Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it. (Isaiah 56:1-2)

Blessed Are Those Who Dwell in the House of the Lord
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. (Psalm 84:4)

Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen the Lord But Believe
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:27-29)

Blessed Are Those Who Receive Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly Places in Christ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4)

Blessed is the Gospel of Christ
And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:29)

Blessed are the Just
Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:6)

Blessed Are the Doers
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:25)

Blessed Are Those Who Don’t Walk in the Counsel of the Ungodly
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)

Blessed Are the People Who Know Justice, Judgement, Mercy, and Truth
Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. (Psalm 89:13-15)

Blessed Are Those Who Are With the One Shepherd
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd…And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:23, 26)

Blessed is the Nation whose God is the LORD
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)

The Seven Revelation Blessings

Blessed Are Those that Read, Hear, and Keep the Revelation of Jesus Christ
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 1:1-3)

Blessed Are Those Who Die in the Lord Henceforth
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Revelation 14:13)

Blessed Are Those Who Watch and Keep Their Garments
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (Revelation 16:15)

Blessed Are Those Called to the Marriage Supper
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Revelation 19:9)

Blessed Are Those That Are Part of the First Resurrection
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep the Sayings of This Book
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 22:6-7)

Blessed Are Those Who Keep God’s Commandments
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:12-14)

Jesus Christ—Our Blessed Hope

Blessed Are Those Who Wait
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. (Daniel 12:11-12)

Blessed Are Those Who Wait and Watch for the Lord
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. (Luke 12:35-37)

And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:38-40)

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; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:11-15)

Blessings Through it All

While God promises that blessings accompany our faith in Him, we are also promised hatred and persecution from the world. However, the blessed assurance of our faith in Jesus Christ enables us to endure and persevere through it all.

To order copies of Blessings Through It All, click here.

Endnotes
1. Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul Book 2 (Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2004), p. 193.

Would Jesus Magnify His Presence Above the Word of God?

jesus-callingBy Warren B. Smith
(from his book “Another Jesus” Calling)

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” promotes the experience of his presence above God’s Word.

Psalm 138:2 tells us:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (emphasis added)

Because God has magnified His Word above His name, this lets us know we will never experience His presence in any way that is not totally consistent with the truth of His Word. Thus, we can know that any presence that comes calling and claims the name of “Jesus” as its own but does not line up in every way with God’s Word is not the presence of God. God will never put His name or experiencing His presence above His Word.

The true Jesus Christ tells us:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

God is always present with us—a presence that will never be magnified above His Word. If we choose to put experiencing God’s presence above His Word, we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to the visits of a counterfeit presence.

For the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, experiencing His presence is everything. This is his invitation:

Open yourself to My loving Presence, so that I may fill you with My fullness. I want you to experience how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you, so that you can know My Love that surpasses knowledge. This vast ocean of Love cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced.1

Taste and see that I am good. This command contains an invitation to experience My living Presence. It also contains a promise. The more you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness.2

It is not surprising that a counterfeit presence will emphasize its own presence above the Word of God because the Word of God is where we find the truth of God. And this false Christ uses Psalm 34:8 which says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good,” to make the case for “tasting” his presence. But as we see in Psalm 119:103-104, we are to “taste” the Word of God:

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (emphasis added)

Also, we are told in the next verse of this Psalm:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

It is God’s Word that is the light of our path—a light in which we can clearly see that a presence is counterfeit. It is for good reason that God will never put His name or experiencing His presence above the light of His Word. But in Jesus Calling, “Jesus” goes out of his way to promote the experience of his presence—an experience that lets the “Light” of his presence “soak into you” as a substitute for the revealing light of God’s Word:

My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.3 (emphasis added)

Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings.4 (emphasis added)

It is in the revealing light of God’s Word that the true Jesus Christ warns:

Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. (Luke 11:35)

However, the “Jesus” that comes calling as an “abiding Presence” wants to “soak” you with the light that is dark. And he says:

My abiding Presence is the best road map available.5 (emphasis added)

Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence.6 (emphasis added)

You need the certainty of My loving Presence in order to weather the storms of life. During times of severe testing, even the best theology can fail you if it isn’t accompanied by experiential knowledge of Me.7 (emphasis added)

But Scripture tells us:

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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

As mentioned, the word “Presence” is found more than 365 times in Jesus Calling. And in both God Calling [the occultic book that inspired Sarah Young to write Jesus Calling] and Jesus Calling, “Jesus” states that experiencing his presence will unlock secret teachings, new revelations, and future things to come. The “Jesus” of God Calling states:

For you, My children, I will unlock the secret treasures hidden from so many.8 (emphasis added)

You must ponder on these truths I give you. They are not surface facts, but the secrets of My Kingdom, the hidden pearls of rare price.9 (emphasis added)

And the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling states:

Instead, I will lead you along fresh trails of adventure, revealing to you things you did not know. Stay in communication with Me. Follow My guiding Presence.10 (emphasis added)

As you follow Me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never imagined.11 (emphasis added)

Sarah Young wanted “more” than what was communicated in God’s Word—and “more” is exactly what she got. It would seem that “a word from God” became more important than the Word of God. This yearning for “more” is what helped open her up to experiencing a presence that is only too glad to give her its new revelations and new truths. She writes in Jesus Calling:

The following year, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.12 (emphasis added)

The presence that came calling on Sarah Young is extending an invitation to the readers of Jesus Calling to experience his presence as well—an invitation that is depicted in the book cover’s inviting hand. Keep in mind that another invitation is also taking place. If we choose to sit “with pen in hand” waiting to hear “more” than God’s inspired Holy Word, we, too, have an inviting hand. But what presence are we actually inviting into our lives?

If one becomes dependent on a subjective presence rather than the objective Holy Bible, deception is inevitable. That is why it is crucial to compare what is taught by anyone or anything to the revealing light of God’s Word. Test the spirits of any presence that may appear in your devotions and quiet times.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Endnotes:

1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 234.
2. Ibid., p. 187.
3. Ibid., p. 233.
4. Ibid., p. 3.
5. Ibid., p. 13.
6. Ibid., p.135.
7. Ibid,. p. 352.
8. Two Listeners; Edited by A. J. Russell, God Calling (Grand Rapids, MI: A Spire Book published by Jove Publications Inc., for Fleming H. Revell, 2005), p. 43.
9. Ibid., p. 21.
10. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 314.
11. Ibid., p. 189.
12. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., pp. XI-XII.

Related Articles:

The 2nd Coming of the “Presence”

The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion (and Francis Chan and John Piper’s Involvement with IHOP)

The Present of “His Presence” (and Should We Practice “His Presence”?)

LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS NEW RELEASE: HOW TO PREPARE FOR HARD TIMES AND PERSECUTION

rp_pfp-lg.jpgEureka, MT – JUNE 4, 2015

Lighthouse Trails is pleased to announce the release of our latest book, How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution by Maria Kneas.

Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through “sensitivity training” in order to “rehabilitate” from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing.

American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it.

The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution
is based on years of research into current events looked at from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live.

As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1/Understanding the Times
2/Brainwashing Christians?
3/Thought Police in Colleges
4/Teaching Kids to be Sociopaths
5/A Biblical Warning for America
6/Heading Toward Dictatorship
7/Mainstreaming Occultism
8/Dealing with Shock
9/Fighting Fear
10/The Bottom Line
11/Building Faith
12/Learning to Trust God More
13/Don’t Give the Devil a Beachhead
14/Giving Thanks to God
15/Jesus Told Us to Forgive
16/The Importance of Integrity
17/Loving Difficult People
18/Overcoming Humanist Brainwashing
19/The Big Picture—Eternity!
Appendix A—Goddess Worship in America
Appendix B—Creation Versus Evolution
Appendix C—Creation in Scripture
Endnotes
Photo Credits
Index

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God and Satan: Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

sunsetBy Nanci Des Gerlaise
(Canadian Cree author of Muddy Waters)

God and Satan are not two equal powers in a dualistic battle between good and evil. God’s power is infinite whereas Satan can only do what the Lord gives him permission to do, as evidenced in the Book of Job. Therefore, Satan’s power is limited whereas God’s power is without limit. Our Lord reigns as the supreme Creator and King of the universe, and His purposes are being accomplished in the world whether or not His creatures accept Him as Lord. The following information illustrates the relationship between God and His creation.*

ETERNAL
GOD
He is before all things. (Colossians 1:17)

MAN
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:8)

SATAN
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20-9-11)

KING
GOD
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13)

MAN
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

SATAN
. . . an angel come down from heaven . . laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him . . . And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. (Revelation 20:1-2, 10)

SHEPHERD
GOD
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

MAN
God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

SATAN
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

LORD
GOD
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalm 18:2)

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. (1 Timothy 6:15)

MAN
Rejected His Lordship: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took . . . and did eat, and gave . . . to her husband . . . and he did eat. (Genesis 3:6)

SATAN
Deceives people through lies, threats, deception, twisted truths and counterfeit promises . . . [F]or Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

. . . the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)

JUDGE
GOD
Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalm 96:13)

MAN
Faced with spiritual death and bondage as a consequence for sin. (See Genesis 2:17 and Romans 4:12.)

SATAN
Charged with rebellion. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! . . . Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12, 15)

CREATOR
GOD
Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Psalm 96:13)

MAN
Faced with spiritual death and bondage as a consequence for sin. (See Genesis 2:17 and Romans 4:12.)

SATAN
Charged with rebellion. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! . . . Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12, 15)

SAVIOR
GOD
[W]e . . . know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (John 4:42)

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

MAN
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. (John 1:11-12)

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15)

SATAN
Has limited access to faithful believers: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

In God’s economy, He takes what was meant for even the worst evil and works it all to His good: “. . . the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2).

VICTOR
GOD
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

MAN
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

SATAN
. . . ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound . . . lo, these eighteen years, be loosed . . .? (Luke 13:16)

. . . healing all that were oppressed of the devil . . . (Acts 10:38)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

PROVIDER
GOD
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:30-32)

MAN
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed. (Genesis 1:29)

And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. (Deuteronomy 29:5)

SATAN
Assigned limited power—yet ultimately accountable to God. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:12)

Therefore, Satan’s power is but a droplet in the ocean of God’s power!

(From Appendix I in Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality) –

*Most of the material from Appendix I has been taken from Kjos Ministries website, used with permission. You may view this and other valuable information at: http://www.crossroad.to/charts/spiritual_war.htm.

Ironside: What is Redemption?

grunge-crossBy Dr. Harry Ironside

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21)

The word “redemption” is one that runs all through the Bible; in fact, we can say without any suggestion of hyperbole that it is the great outstanding theme of Holy Scripture. This important truth runs through the Book like the proverbial red strand that, we are told, runs through the cordage of the British navy. Everywhere, from Genesis right on to Revelation, you find God in one way or another presenting to us the truth of redemption—redemption in promise and in type in the Old Testament; redemption in glorious fulfillment in the New Testament.

 THE MEANING OF THE WORD

What do we mean when we use the term “redemption”? Ordinarily, and in Scripture too, the word means to buy back, to repurchase something that has been temporarily forfeited; or, it means to set free, to liberate, as we speak of redeeming one from slavery; or, it means to deliver, as to redeem one from some grave danger.

Back there in Israel in olden times, if a man fell into difficult circumstances, found himself burdened with debt, he might mortgage his entire property, and if that was not enough to satisfy the claims of his creditors, he could even mortgage his own strength, and ability, his own physical powers. He could sell himself into a kind of slavery until his debt was paid. Sometimes, he found himself hopelessly thus enslaved. Scripture says, however, “After that he is sold, he may be redeemed again.” One of his brethren may redeem him, or, if he is able, he may redeem himself. It would be almost impossible in most instances for anyone to redeem himself. Probably, the only way would be if he suddenly fell heir to some vast estate. But on the other hand, if he had a rich relative who cared enough for him to undertake to meet the liabilities and discharge them, he might thus be set free.

THE KINSMAN-REDEEMER

The one who did this was called a kinsman- redeemer, and he was a wonderful type of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Hebrew word is goel. He comes before us in Scripture long before the time of Israel. Even in the book of Job you read of him. It was the goel that Job spake when he said, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”

Then one may, as I say, have forfeited his property. Well, some wealthy one could come and pay off the mortgage and thus redeem the property. We are used to such transactions today, and we attach that meaning to the word “redemption.”

Now, in thinking of man, we know he is a sinner, sold under judgment. It was his own fault. God says in His Word, “You have sold yourselves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” It is not possible for any man to redeem himself from the sad condition in which he finds himself because of sin, but that is why we need a kinsman-redeemer who is more than man, one who is divine as well as human.

REDEMPTION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

When we turn to consider this subject of redemption in the New Testament, we find it presented in three different ways: first, redemption from judgment. That is redemption from the guilt of sin, which is through the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ. But that is not all. It is not only the will of God that we should be redeemed from the judgment due to sin, but Scripture also has a great deal to say about redemption from the power of sin, so that we might be redeemed from those evil habits and unholy ways which at one time held sway in our lives. This redemption is through the indwelling Christ, through the risen Christ working in the power of the Holy Spirit, who makes Christ real to His people down here.

And then Scripture speaks of a third aspect of redemption: the redemption of the body. I have been redeemed as far as my soul is concerned, if I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am daily being redeemed from sin’s power, if I am walking in subjection to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. But though I am thus redeemed in measure, I am made to realize every day that this very body of mine is often a hindrance instead of a help in regard to the my practical deliverance; but I am looking forward to the time when the body itself shall be redeemed and made like unto the glorious body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then I shall be redeemed from the very presence of sin and from all the evidences of its corruption.

THE JEWISH FEAST OF PASSOVER

Here in the first Epistle of Peter, the apostle carries our minds back to a wonderful event that took place in the land of Egypt centuries before, that event which the Jewish people to this day celebrate annually in the Feast of the Passover. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, suffering under Pharaoh’s cruelty, and God, you remember, said, “I am come down to deliver them,” and He told Moses of something that was to take place whereby, He says, “And I will put a division (or literally, a redemption) between my people and thy people (the Egyptians).” That redemption was made by the blood of the passover lamb; and it is to this that the apostle Peter is referring typically in his first Epistle when he says, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (empty behavior) received by tradition from your fathers (ancestrally handed down); but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

The blood of the lamb shed so long ago was God’s picture of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which was shed on Calvary’s cross fifteen hundred years later, but to which we now look through the mists of nearly two thousand years. How can that blood avail for our redemption today? The blood had to be sprinkled of old on the actual lintel and door posts and then they were safe inside. It is centuries since Christ has died. In what sense, then, can we be made secure from judgment through the blood that He shed so long ago?

FROM THE LINTEL AND DOOR POSTS TO THE HUMAN HEART

We read in the Epistle to the Hebrews of having our hearts sprinkled by the blood of Christ. How is that blood applied to our hearts? Through simple faith. In the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 3, after dwelling on the lost condition of all men by nature and practice, the apostle says in verse 23 and on, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”; and then adds:

 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26)

What is he telling us? That the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus is all-availing, that it is sufficient for all men everywhere, that it settled for the sins of all men in past ages, who looked on to the cross in faith, and it settles now for all in the present age and in all the years to come, who look back to that cross in faith—”through faith in his blood.”

In other words, when we trust the One who shed His blood at Calvary, then we are numbered amongst those who have redemption through the sacrifice that He offered, and that means that we are secure forever from the judgment due to sin, just as Israel, sheltered beneath the blood of the passover lamb, was secure from the judgment that was to fall upon Egypt, for God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” So today, we who put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are redeemed from the judgment that is hanging over this poor world—the judgment that sin deserves. And so we can enter into the meaning of that Scripture which says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”

WHAT DOES YOUR SALVATION DEPEND UPON?

Some of you have only lately come to Christ; you have not known the Lord very long. Oh, I beg of you, do get this clear. Your salvation, your security from judgment does not depend on anything that you can be or do. It depends upon the work that the Lord Jesus did for you when He suffered in your place upon the tree, and you enter into the good of that redemption through faith in Him. When Satan comes to tempt you, when you discover things in your own heart that you did not realize were there, just meet him with this: the redemption that is in Christ Jesus has settled everything, has made me free, has given me deliverance from the judgment of a holy God.

The believer is said to be redeemed from the curse of the law. He was exposed to that curse because of sin. God has declared, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” We have failed; we have broken God’s law; we are under that curse. But our Blessed Redeemer was made a curse for us, as it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Redemption guarantees our safety from judgment.

REDEEMED, BUT DISOBEDIENT

When we turn to the Epistle to Titus, we have another aspect of redemption. In chapter 2, verses 11-14, we read:

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 Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

It cannot be too often insisted that salvation is not of works, that no works of ours could avail for our redemption; but here in this message we have another side of the truth emphasized, and that is that our blessed Lord not only died to redeem us from the judgment due to our sins, but He died to redeem us from all iniquity, that is, from all lawlessness. And sin is lawlessness. He died, as Mrs. Alexander’s beautiful old hymn put it, not only to save our souls, but “He died to make us good.” The Gospel has not accomplished its purpose if it only frees people from judgment. It has not completed its work until it presents every believer in the glory, fully conformed to the image of God’s blessed Son.

We have been called to holiness, to purity of life, to uprightness of behavior, and if any of us who profess the name of Christ are playing fast and loose with unholy things with worldliness, with carnality, with impurity, with things that defile these temples of the living God, these bodies in which the Holy Spirit dwells; if we are in any way living so as to bring dishonor upon the name of the One who died to save us, we are just to that extent thwarting one of the purposes for which Christ died. He died to redeem us from all iniquity. Here the word “redemption” is used in the sense of deliverance. He died to deliver us from all iniquity, to draw us away from evil things that peril our Christian experience and that would wreck and ruin our lives.

Redemption was illustrated in a stirring news article that appeared in our daily papers recently. Many read the story of those men shipwrecked in the South Pacific in connection with the world war. A number of them were huddled upon a raft and only one of them was able to swim, and he a big, burly black man. When those sailors saw nothing but death and despair before them, this black man sprang into the sea and towed that raft as he swam for over six miles through shark-infested waters, until he brought them all to a place of safety. That was redemption, and that man was a redeemer.

WHAT OF GOOD WORKS?

Our Lord Jesus not only risked His life but gave His life, not only to save us from judgment, but also to “redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Dear young Christian, I beg of you, do not allow yourself to be careless as to this aspect of redemption. Do not be content to know that you have trusted Christ as your Savior from hell, and forget that you are called upon to live a heavenly life here upon this earth. Do not be content to say that at a given time or at a certain meeting you went into an inquiry room and told the Lord Jesus you would trust Him not only as the Savior of your soul but as the One who is to be Lord of your life, the One who died to redeem you from everything that is unholy.

We read, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Do not let it ever be said of you that you are not concerned about good works, and do not ever tell people that because salvation is not works, it does not matter what kind of lives they live. Our Lord Jesus Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” They cannot see your faith, but they can see your works, and if your life is not in accordance with your faith, they will soon realize it and will put you down as a fraud and a hypocrite, and instead of your influence being for good, it will be for evil.

“THIS IS A FAITHFUL SAYING”

James says in his Epistle, “Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” You cannot show your faith without works, and so in that sense faith without works is dead. Justification is by faith, absolutely without works, but the same scripture that tells us that, puts emphasis on our works as the evidence of our salvation. In the Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 2, we read: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” But Paul immediately adds, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This is our practical redemption. If one Scripture tells me that “this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief,” another Scripture says, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” Our Lord Jesus, the living Savior, has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, in order that as we walk in the Spirit we may find this practical redemption from the power of evil in the life.

WE GROAN AND TRAVAIL

But there is a third aspect of redemption, and that is brought before us in the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. In verse 22 we read:

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

“We ourselves groan within ourselves.” Of whom is he talking? Christians. Groaning Christians? Yes! Oh, I thought Christians were always happy; I thought they were always shouting and singing! Well, you have a lot to learn. Thank God, it is possible to joy even in the midst of sorrow, and Christians have their griefs and sorrow and trials. But they have a wonderful Savior to carry them through those trials—One to sustain and help them in every hour of distress.

One of our chief causes of groaning is that of physical infirmities, and that is what the apostle is talking about here. In our unconverted days our groaning was caused by our sins. We cried out in pain as we longed for deliverance. Then we were groaning in bondage. Now as Christians we groan in grace, because of physical infirmities that are often such a hindrance in our lives. Perhaps you were just getting ready to go to prayer meeting one night. (I hope you love the prayer meeting.) But you did not get there. You were preparing to go, when suddenly you came down with such a sick headache that you had to stay at home. When others were gathered for prayer and praise, there you were, lying on the couch sniffing at camphor, and you were saying to yourself, “What a wonderful day it will be when I get a new body and a new head that will never ache.” Well, that is what the apostle means when he says, “We that are in this tabernacle (body) do groan.” We are so often hindered by physical weakness, but we are looking on to the day of the redemption of the body. We have the firstfruits of the Spirit, but we are looking forward to the full “son placing,” for that is what the word “adoption” means. Then we shall be fully conformed to the Son of God.

“FOR OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN”

When will that be? That “redemption of the body”? In Philippians, chapter 3, verses 20-21, we read, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body.” He is drawing our attention to that wonderful event which should now be the hope of the Christian, and I am thinking again of you young Christians. He wants you now to get before your soul as the lodestar, the blessed hope of the Lord’s return. The One who died for you on the cross is coming again, and He is coming to receive you to be with Himself. He could not have you there in the glory as you now are. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” So in order that you might be suited for the place to which He is going to take you, He will give you a new body, a glorified body; and when you receive that, you will be fit for a place in the Father’s house.

He said before He went away, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” And we learn from other Scriptures what will take place in order to prepare us for the Father’s house. The first Epistle of the Thessalonians, chapter 4, is a wonderful passage as to this. It says:

“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”

That is the time when the body will be changed, and our redemption will be complete. Already we have the redemption of the soul; we have been redeemed from judgment. We are experiencing day by day, as we walk in obedience to the Lord, practical redemption, redemption from the power of sin. When our blessed Savior returns, our redemption will be complete—spirit and soul and body will be fully conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(This is an excerpt from Dr. Harry Ironside’s book, Great Words of the Gospel in the public domain. You may freely copy and distribute this article.)

 

 

 


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