Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Quote of the Day

  It is certainly to be deplored that error and fanaticism have been so often mingled with prophetic studies.  God has been thereby dishonored, and his word profaned.  The lips of scoffers have been opened in taunt and derision, while timid believers have kept silence, as if unable to reply. 
  We need not keep silence.  Let us admit the fact on which the mockery is founded, and there let it rest.  It will humble us; it will inspire caution; it will teach us wisdom, but it will do no more.  It will not deter us from such studies, nor will it lead us to impeach the Word of God for consequences in which man alone is the delinquent.  It will not lead us to join in the fears of the over-prudent respecting the perilous nature of these investigations, nor to relinquish the field as either impracticable, or barren, or injurious.  Because visions of futurity, drawn professedly from Scripture, have, with unholy fire, kindled some burning fancies into the wildness of a frenzied enthusiasm……are we, therefore, to shut up the prophetic record, and turn away our eyes from pages tamped so broadly with the seal, and encircled so brightly with the blessing of God?  Are the prophets to be treated as if belonging to the kindred of the sybils, and their books to be buried out of sight? Nothing more profane has ever been uttered against Scripture, than that the study of any part of it is fitted to unhinge the mind, or raise its temperature beyond the point of calm and solemn inquiry.  No Romanist ever promulgated an idea so indefensible as that any region of Scripture is unfruitful or forbidden ground, to be employed merely as a field out of which a casual text may be culled as taste or fancy may incline; that whole chapters and books of Scripture are wrapt in such studied mystery that the very endeavor to understand them betokens rashness and folly. 

  "Secret things belong to God," says an objector.  Most certainly; and whoever insists on prying into God's secrets will only proclaim his own pride and plunge himself into profounder ignorance.  But prophecy is no secret thing; it is a thing revealed.  It is not truth over which God has drawn the veil.  It is just the opposite.  It is truth from which God has withdrawn the veil, on purpose that we may know it and profit by it.……We hear much of the difference between things essential and things non-essential; but who will undertake to draw the dividing line?  Or who will venture to affirm that the prophetic portions of the Word are its non-essentials?  Do not such truths as the advent, the resurrection, the judgment, form some of the chief scenes of prophecy; and are these non-essentials?  Strange, truly strange, that man should make such a division of the Word of God!  Stranger still, that he should make it for the purpose of excusing himself for the neglect of so large and precious a portion of revelation.  Is not the fact of its being revealed enough to show us that God thought it essential; or if not essential absolutely and with reference to salvation, at least essential relatively and as pertaining to holiness?  If a man will persist in calling it non-essential, surely he will not irreverently pronounce it unimportant?  And if it be admitted to be important, then surely all farther argument is at end.  It must be studied.  We dare not overlook or postpone the duty.

- Horatius Bonar 
From his book: Prophetic Landmarks

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Quote of the Day

Satan has now transformed himself into an angel of light, and under this fair disguise he is working with marvelous success.  He is teaching us to build the tombs of our fathers, that we may rest content with the mere approbation of their principles without any imitation of their practice.  He leads some astray into fatal error under the pretext of candor and love of truth; others he saturates with the orthodoxy of the head, that they may become Indifferent to the state of their heart before God.  Some he persuades to deny the Bible; to others he lauds it, that he may make it a substitute for the God of the Bible.  He cries up faith, that he may set it as a substitute for the object of faith.  With some he denies the possibility of assurance, that he may keep them from peace with God; with others he maintains the necessity of it, only in order that he may lead them to make a god of it, and substitute their being sure of salvation for believing in the Savior.  He cries down the Arminianism of making works our Savior, that he may lead us into the more subtle delusion of making a Savior of our faith.  He allows us a wide range of religious feeling and sentiment, if he can only succeed in making them a substitute for God.  He hinders not our being serious, earnest, solemn, if he can thereby feed the cravings of a restless, empty soul with something which may prevent us from seeking the bread of life.  He permits us to denounce the world's vanity and hollow pleasures - to be weary of its unsatisfying round of folly, that he may delude us into the idea that this dissatisfaction with the world is a proof that we are religious, and thereby cause us to sit down contented when yet a great way off from our Father's house.  He tolerates the circulation of useful, nay, of religious knowledge, that we may rest satisfied with something short of the fullness of God himself.  He may countenance, too, the routine of religious societies or Church courts, and the false excitement of crowded assemblies, eloquent speeches, glowing reports, that he may administer thereby that opiate to the soul by which it may be kept in a delusive day-dream, which seems so like the "sober certainty of waking bliss," that we cannot think of breaking the luxury of the pleasant spell.  He inculcates the necessity of providing for our children what is called a liberal education, that he may make that a substitute for a father's blessing and a mother's prayers.  He urges the obligation of Christian liberality, the necessity of large funds, that he may bring men to rest religious enterprise upon funds, not upon faith, - upon prudence, not on prayer. 

These outward things may be in themselves right and good, but what are they without the indwelling Spirit?  What is truth without the True One?  What is the perfection of Church order without the vital power from above?  - The body is there, but the living spirit has fled; the alter and the sacrifice are there, but the fire from heaven descends not; the temple is perfect and the worshippers are thronging its courts, but the glory is departed, Jehovah has left his shrine!
  - Horatius Bonar
From his book: Prophetical Landmarks

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quote of the Day

I am consistently struck during my travels how a bond is immediately created with other believers, regardless of the cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences between us.    In many respects, this bond is stronger than the biological bonds that exist between father and son, or mother and daughter.  In face, Jesus plainly says that his advent will break such biological bonds, and if we are not willing to forsake these natural relationships when necessary, we have no business seeking a supernatural relationship with Christ.    

- Victor Kuligin

Quote from his book:

Friday, August 4, 2017

Quote of the Day

Freedom from sin is only granted to Christians.  Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells  believers that they have not been seized by any temptation that cannot be overcome.  He is not talking to non-Christians, who Paul establishes elsewhere are controlled by the sinful flesh and cannot do anything spiritually pleasing to God (Rom. 8:7-8)...."...walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh..."(Gal 5:16-17).  Again, this command is to Christians.  Unbelievers cannot "walk by the Spirit."  However, believers walking by the Spirit have the ability  to "not gratify the desires of the flesh ."  If this is true, that no temptation has ever come across a Christian that is not common to all, and that sin is nothing more than a Christian yielding to his fleshly desires, then how can addiction as commonly understood (i.e., uncontrollable urges and impulses) actually exist for believers?
......Granted, sin can certainly feel irresistible, but perhaps it feels that way because we capitulate to it far too readily.  We have not built up the essential perseverance to repel it.  We have repeatedly said yes, and like muscles that have atrophied from disuse, our spirit has become weak because we have not exercised the fortitude to resist temptation as we ought.

- Victor Kuligin
Quote from his book:
The Language of Salvation:  Discovering the Riches of What it Means to Be Saved

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

As long as we treat sin as a minor category, we will always question the atoning death of the God-man to solve our problem.  Show me a person who questions the incarnation and you have shown me a person who takes the categories of sin and God's holiness rather lightly…..The second step is to belittle God.  The biblical picture of God banishing Adam and Eve from Eden for eating a piece of forbidden fruit is replaced with a God who will basically put up with anything.  He is a God more interested in sincerity than holiness, content to tolerate anything we do because he has a love affair with human free will.
….Once we have neutered God of the attribute of his holy wrath and toned down talk of sin by minimizing its dastardly effects - fashioning ourselves as good people who occasionally err - we have effectively removed the requirement for atonement.  It is then a short step to questioning the incarnation.  Why insist on God becoming human and solving a problem we are quite capable of solving ourselves?  The modern propensity to  downplay the divinity of Jesus is tied to a watered-down version of what constitutes sin, and a wishy-washy portrayal of a God too tolerant and friendly to worry about it.  

Victor Kuligin
Quote from his book:
The Language of Salvation:  Discovering the Riches of What it Means to Be Saved

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Quote of the Day

The longing to see Christ that burned in the breasts of those first Christians seems to have burned itself out.  All we have left are the ashes.  It is precisely the 'yearning' and the 'fainting' for the return of Christ that has distinguished the personal hope from the theological one.   Mere acquaintance with correct doctrine is a poor substitute for Christ and familiarity with New Testament eschatology will never take the place of a love-inflamed desire to look on His face.

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today there must be a reason for it; and I think I know what it is, or what they are, for there are a number of them.  One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it.   The saved man's relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal.  The 'work' of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ.   Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification.   What He did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me.   Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we 'accept,' and the whole thing lacks emotional content.   We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.  

Another reason for the absence of real yearning for Christ's return is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it.   For those leaders who set the pace of religion and determine its content and quality, Christianity has become of late remarkably lucrative.   The streets of gold do not have too great an appeal for those who find it so easy to pile up gold and silver in the service of the Lord here on earth.   We want to reserve the hope of heaven as a kind of insurance against the day of death, but as long as, we are healthy and comfortable, why change a familiar good for something about which we actually know very little?   So reasons the carnal mind, and so subtly that we are scarcely aware of it.

Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what's the hurry about heaven anyway?   Christianity, contrary to what some had thought is another and higher form of entertainment.   Christ has done all the suffering.   He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus.  So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ's second coming.

- A. W. Tozer

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Quote of the Day

"Snacking (on isolated verses in the Bible) hides things to be sure, but it also distorts the things it does show us.  For example, ,the Snacking Bible is not great news. It has gospel verses, but no gospel, because the gospel is the announcement of a particular turn of events within an ongoing story.  The gospel is not a sentence about justification by faith or a verse reference on the forgiveness of my sins.  The gospel is not the Romans Road.  The gospel is not John 3:16.  What the apostles Paul and John wrote - what God's Spirit enkindled in them - was something entirely different than these boiled-down reductions.  Evangelist D. L. Moody said he could write the gospel on a dime.  Well, Paul and John couldn't, and didn't."

- Glenn R. Pauuw

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quote/Excerpt of the Day

We do have our favorites.  They tend to fall into the general category of Scripture Encouragement.  There are many sacred words and they say many things, but it’s the Bible Balm that has caught our eye.  With a partitioned Bible preparing so many options for us, you might think it would be hard to choose.  But no.  The people have voted.  The customers know what they want. 

·        *  Jeremiah 29:11

·        *  John 10:10

·         * Philippians 4:13

·         * Joshua 1:9

If you didn’t already know, the addresses direct us to these:

·         “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

·         “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

·         “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

·         “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Good, positive verses all.  But the shocking news to most people is that there is a parallel universe Bible.  It is rarely talked about and almost never explored.  In that other world every positive and negative is reversed.  Every verse has its anti-verse.  In the parallel universe Bible, the favorite anti-verses are:

·         * Deuteronomy 28:29

·         * 2 Corinthians 2:16

·         * Isaiah 49:4

·         * Deuteronomy 28:65

What? You don’t know these?  You’ve never seen them on a scenic piece of Christian framed art?  OK, well, here’s what they say:

·         “You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.”

·         We are an aroma that brings death.”

·         “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all”

·         “The LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.”

The real revelation may be that these anti-verses too are in the Bible (our Bible, in this universe).  They are set apart, numbered and included in the lineup just like all the rest.  It’s just that nobody ever wants to use them.  They aren’t ever selected.  They are more like bombs than balm.  But there they are.  Why?  If they are unusable, why are they there?  Do we need them for anything at all?  (And why do I have a suspicion that anyone being confronted with these verses will suddenly develop a strong interest in the original context, so as to nicely distance themselves from any unpleasant implications?)

- From "Saving the Bible from Ourselves" - By Glen Paauw

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quote of the Day

 Jesus didn't treat these interruptions like intrusions, He let needy people elbow into His life, even when His closest friends tried to block their way.  In fact, one could argue that Jesus did much of His work during moments of interruption.  We often grown annoyed at disruptions, feeling as if life has been put on hold.  When are we missing out on some of life's holiest moments?

- Apply The Word Study Bible

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Quote of the Day

When Satan cannot hide the truth, he works to hinder the practical application of it.

- William Gurnall

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quote of the Day

Writing specifically of the veil which Satan casts over the minds of men, F.C. Jennings states:  'He so weaves the course of this age:  its religious forms, ceremonies, external decencies, respectabilies, and conventionalities as to form a thick veil, that entirely hides 'the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus,' which consists in righteous mercy to penitent sinners only.  This veil is not formed by evil-living, depravity, or any form of what passes as evil amongst men; but by cold formality, heartless decency, proud self-complacency, highly esteemed external respectability, and we must add, church-membership - all without Christ.  It is the most fatal of all delusions, the thickest of all veils, and the most common.  It is the way that because it is religious, respectable, decent 'seems right unto a man but the end thereof is death'; for there is no Christ, no Lamb of God, no blood of Atonement in it'

- From Lewis Sperry Chafer's Systematic Theology (section on Satan's motives)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quote of the Day

When you look around and see the devil's vast empire and what a little spot of ground contains Christ's subjects - what heaps of precious souls lie prostrate under Satan's feet and what a tiny regiment of saints arch under Christ's banner of grace - perhaps you ask yourself, "is hell stronger than heaven?  Are the arms of Satan more victorious than the cross of Christ?"  But if you consider what I am about to tell you, you will wonder that Christ has any to follow Him rather than that He has so few. 

Every son of man is born in sin (51:5).  So when the prince of this world first approaches a young soul with this or that wicked proposal, he finds the soul unarmed and in its natural state already familiar with his policies.  Yielding to Satan's control will therefore not cause much of a stir in the naturally sinful heart.  But when Christ campaigns for a soul, He proposes sweeping changes.  And the selfish soul, which generally likes things as they are, answers Him with the same scorn as the rebellious citizens in the parable:  "We will not have this man to reign over us!" (Luke 19:14).  The vote is unanimous:  All the lusts cast their ballots against Christ, and rise up like the Philistines against Samson, whom they called the destroyer of their country (Judges 16:23-24).  If God's grace did not step in and override the veto, the whole world would be held in Satan's sway. 

Satan's conquests are limited to itnorant, graceless souls who have neither strength nor strength to oppose him.  They are born imprisoned to sin; all he has to do is keep them there. But when he assaults a saint, whose freedom was won at the Cross, once for all, then he is laying siege to a city with gates and bars.  Sooner or later, he must retreat in shame, unable to pluck the weakest saint out of the Savior's hand.  Doubt your own strength, but never doubt Christs's.  In your gravest conflicts with Satan, trust Him to bring you out of the devil's dominion.

- William Gurnall (Daily Readings from: The Christian in Complete Armour)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quote of the Day

 You should find great strength and encouragement in the knowledge that your commission is divine.  God Himself underwrites your battle and has appointed His own Son "the captain of [your] salvation" (Hebrews 2:10).  He will lead you on to the field with courage, and bring you off with honor.......For bravery none compares with our Lord.  He never turned  His head from danger, not even when hell's hatred and heaven's justice appeared against Him.  Knowing all that was about to happen, Jesus went forth and said, "Whom seek ye?" (John 18:4).  Satan could not overcome Him - our Savior never lost a battle, not even when he lost His life.  He won the victory, carrying His spoils to heaven in the triumphant chariot of His ascension.  There He makes an open show of them, to the unspeakable joy of saints and angels.    As part of Christ's army, you march in the ranks of gallant spirits.  Every one of your fellow soldiers is a child of a King.  Some, like you, are in the midst of battle, besieged on every side by affliction and temptation.  Others, after many assaults, repulses and rallyings of their faith, are already standing upon the wall as conquerors.  From there they look down and urge you, their comrades on earth, to march up the hill after them.  This is their cry: "Fight to the death , and the City is your own, as now it is ours! For the waging of a few days' conflict, you will be rewarded with Heaven's glory.  One moment of this celestial joy will dry up all your tears, heal all your wounds, and erase the sharpness of the fight with all the joy of your permanent victory."

- William Gurnall
from Daily Readings from The Christian In Complete Armour (William Gurnall)