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Lowell Brueckner

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I Saw the Lord

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Remember: We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expository lesson. 

8. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 6

I wonder if Isaiah had any idea how many people in all the world and at different times would read and marvel at this account of his calling. It is probably the chapter of this book that is most preached, only exceeded by chapter 53. It is the personal testimony of the calling from the Almighty that began his prophetic ministry. His calling was timely, necessary and purposeful.

Men disappoint us

He was being prepared during the long reign of King Uzziah, which was for the most part good. As happens in the case of so many who taste the blessing of God and experience success, Uzziah became proud and thought himself indispensable. He took the responsibility out of God’s hands and went beyond his limitations. He was not the only king, who attempted to presume the duties of a priest. Israel’s first king, Saul, made that fatal error and immediately lost favor with God. The road of self-importance is a dangerous one to take. Uzziah became a leper, was placed in quarantine and his son took on the administrative responsibilities.

…And he died, like the poor mortal being that he was. Show us, Isaiah, the true picture of our life and end every one, and help us, oh God, not to forget: “All flesh is grass and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades” (40:6, 7). In the year of Uzziah’s death, God raised up Isaiah, to bring the necessary word from God, a living word that accomplished His purposes for Israel in that day and continues over the centuries to this day. This is the word that was so honored by Jesus and His apostle, Paul. It was the one book that was preserved in its entirety in a cave above the Dead Sea for over 20 centuries.

Six Woes

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7. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 5:17-30

Photo from "Shrine of the Book" in Jerusalem
It would seem that the Lord is a good deal gentler in judgment with Israel, than He is with pagan world powers. A little later in Isaiah (13:20-22), in the destruction of Babylon, for example, it is depicted as a place totally uninhabited forever. Not even shepherds will use it as a place to rest their flock, never mind to feed them. The nomadic Arabian would not stop to pitch his tent. Instead, it would be a place, where wild desert creatures, owls, ostriches, hyenas, and jackals would make their caves and nests undisturbed. In another example, the Lord, through Ezekiel, said of Tyre, “I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock… and you will never be found again” (Ez.26:4,21).

However with Israel, God, in judgment, remembers mercy. The Lord will be exalted and men will be abased, and where the rich possessed the lands, the lambs would graze and the nomad would eat (v.17). What once was regulated by the rich landowner, has now become pastures for open grazing. It is quite a contrast with the total destruction of other countries. To this day, 250,000 Arabic Bedouins pitch their tents and feed their flocks in the open fields of Israel.

God Exalted in Judgment

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Remember: We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expository lesson.

6. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 5:1-16

This message is sung by the prophet. Intimate love between God and His people is the theme of the entire revelation of God in the Bible. Isaiah, the prophet, sings to his well-beloved source of inspiration in this “Gospel of Isaiah” (v.1). John, the beloved disciple, wrote his Gospel of intimacy (“I have called you friends,” John heard Jesus say), based on the word that he found in the Old Testament. He learned it from Isaiah and the Psalmist, from the Song of Solomon, from the beloved Daniel, from Abraham, the friend of God (Is.41:8), and from Moses, whom God spoke to, “just as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex.33:11). What John personally experienced of the holy love of God, from being at the Savior’s side, had already been declared in the sacred Scriptures. It was the purpose of creation.

Isaiah receives from the Lord and he ministers to the Lord in song. It reminds me of Psalms 45, which is called A Song of Love: “My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King…” The heart of the Psalmist overflows, as God fills it with revelation concerning the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. What the Lord gives him, he returns to the King. In the primitive church, their primary purpose was to minister to the Lord (Ac.13:1), and from that intimacy, the church was edified and ministry flowed out to the world.

The Need for Christ

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Remember: We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expository lesson.

5. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 4

Chapter divisions are not inspired and sometimes this is quite obvious. For instance, the last verse of chapter two, “Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; for why should he be esteemed.” connects perfectly to the first part of chapter three. The kind counsel from the Lord prepares his people for the deterioration of the leadership described in chapter three. As we enter chapter four, we can easily see a continuance of the last two verses of chapter three. In fact, the first verse begins with the word “for”, obviously joining it grammatically to 3:26.

The consequences of war

Verses 25 and 26 speak of war, the death of the young and mighty and the mourning that follows. As a result, the male population has been severely decimated and chapter four begins with a description of the conditions. “For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, ‘We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach!’”

My Sister Jean

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The following excerpts are from a letter, given recently to my sister, Phyllis, from a friend of our family. She was a teenager during the years that our dad pastored a group of Native Americans in Oneida, Wisconsin. The lady’s father helped Dad in that work. The letter was written to this friend by our sister Jean, just a few months before Jean went to be with the Lord in 1957. She had acute leukemia and was 18-years-old. She graduated to her heavenly home shortly before she would have graduated from high school. The letter came to Phyllis about the same time, I think, that she received the document from our neighbor with Dad´s testimony, which I have recently posted on this blog.

If you have read, What Our Hands Have Handled, you know a little about Jean´s story and also about how the Holy Spirit was moving in that area in a powerful manner. I have never experienced anything like it since. The Lord allowed Jean to profit from those days, before her home going. If you have not read What Our Hands Have Handled, you certainly may do so. Please let me know. Some have shared how they were blessed through tears of joy and sadness by reading the book. The comments have been many. It has been translated into Spanish, German, Romanian, and, as I write, the book is at the printers, having been translated into Bulgarian.

I am not writing this, however, to push my book, although as I infer, I believe it would be a blessing to you. No, I just want God’s people to know that we have a Friend, who sticks closer than a brother and takes us through valleys, where no human friend can be at our side. Please be sure that you have that Friend… the Friend who died in your place and will be at your side, when you die. You will never have another like this one.

Words and Actions Uncover the Heart

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We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expository lesson.

4. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 3

Not one Word in the Bible is wasted or insignificant. Here is a word that we might tend to overlook: It is “Behold!” Pay attention! Take your eyes and ears off all else, and focus on the Word of the Lord. Lay aside all the forms of media, the news, world events, teaching and information, and focus on the prophet Isaiah, the man who is hearing from God. What God is communicating has incomparably more value for your soul. Be sure you get the word from God. It is a word that never dies; that holds the same value today that it had when it was first spoken. Jesus saw that Isaiah also spoke to the people of His day, and so we should see that the living word addresses our generation.

Incompetent leadership

He is presented as the Sovereign, the absolute Lord over all… Lord over all lords. Jehovah of hosts means that He is the Captain of unnumbered armies, which He enlists from wherever He wants to enlist them, whether among angels in heaven or men on earth. He will not fail to carry out everything that He has said that He will do. If God be for us, who can be against us and, if God be against us, who can be for us. Regardless of who we are and when we appear in history, we don’t want to have God for an enemy.

The Story of my Life

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My sister, Phyllis, received this document from Ruby Gerner, a neighbor of ours, when I was growing up in Wisconsin in the 1950’s. It is typewritten on a page yellow with age. The Gerner’s had a farm next to our place and worked the land all around our home. They were Roman Catholics.

I’m sure that my dad gave them this document, not only so that they would know his story, but with the intention of sharing the gospel with them through it...a gospel that had nothing to do with the religion we profess My parents’ witness and the prayers for our neighbors that went up from our family altar every morning bore fruit. Ruby came to know the living Christ in her later years. I’m not sure of the details, but I have heard also that some, at least, of her children have also found the Lord and that her husband expressed hope in Christ on his death bed.

I have had an entire lifetime to observe the faithfulness of God in answering prayer and the sureness of the promises of His word. Read, then, this simple testimony of a simple country preacher, who only had the opportunity of going to grade school for six years. I have written his complete story in a book called, “What Our Hands Have Handled” and if you are interested in obtaining it, please let me know.

The Millennium

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We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expository lesson. Here, very near the beginning of his book, Isaiah refers to the Millennium. There will be more references to follow.

3. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 2

Knowing that there have been, and still are, wonderful Christians, who do not believe in a literal millennium, I hold the conviction that every true Christian should believe in the literal thousand-year reign of Christ, along with His saints, on the earth. Historically, there are many, who did not and I can understand their conclusions, due to the fact that in their day signs did not exist, such as those we are seeing today. Jonathan Edwards, in writing to other Christian leaders in the 18th Century, stated that it would be impossible to ascertain prophetical accuracy until the church drew near to the time of Christ’s second return. He was echoing Daniel’s frustration at the end of his book: “I heard but could not understand; so I said, ‘My lord, what will be the final end of these events?’ He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time’” (Dn.12:8,9). Even the tremendous intellect of Edwards couldn´t grasp them.

However, a great and clear sign appeared around the turn of the 20th Century that had men, such as J. C. Ryle and C. H. Spurgeon, talking about the literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 37. This chapter, 2500 years old, and many other Old Testament prophecies spoke of the literal return of the Jews to their promised land and their sovereign self-government. This is to happen in preparation to the literal reign of Christ from Jerusalem. “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land” (Ez.37:21,22). This mass movement was underway as the 20th Century began and on May 14, 1948, Israel became a sovereign nation! On that day, the displacement theory (the assumption that the Church had replaced Israel) should have been thrown out the window, along with all the theories that the fulfillment of such prophecies was spiritual, not literal.     

Restoration through Judgment

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We will not be writing the whole portion of Scripture in the article, so you will have to have your Bible open and follow along, as I attempt an expositional lesson.

2. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 1, verses10-31

The Lord God never accepts heartless, ritualistic religion. Isaiah addresses first the rulers of Israel in the name of the Lord and likens them to the leaders of ancient, extinct Sodom (v.10). That is their likeness and, as those rulers, they are headed for extinction. Their people, the remnant excluded, are like the evil population of Gomorrah and God lets them know His displeasure with their sacrifices (v.11).

Numerous sacrifices, assemblies, and prayers

The Lord’s assessment of their religion must have come as quite a shock to them. After all, they have been sacrificing to Him great quantities of animals, but He tells them that they are worthless to Him. God is never impressed with quantities, but always measures by quality. In the days of Isaiah, He spoke of multiplied sacrifice, burnt offerings of rams, fat of fed cattle, bulls, lambs, goats and incense. The Lord continues to see things His way, when He judges the state of the church. Quantities of money, beautiful buildings and fancy equipment are not taken into account.

God is not speaking of worshiping other gods in high places, but of legitimate sacrifice, offered in the right places. This is typical of the kind of worship, to which Isaiah’s book refers, and for this reason, it is often quoted in the New Testament. Jesus said, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me, but in vain do they worship Me” (Mt.15:7-9).

Whose Image is on Your Life?

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I can testify of the mark of God on David's life from his youth. Even as a student in a Christian school, Dave was often called into the office to help counsel problematic students. As a teenager, the Lord began to move upon his life, preparing him for the future. For many years, Dave lived in the Republic of Ireland and gained a reputation there, as an able teacher of the Word of God. He worked with the youth and saw a gang of boys turn their attention towards heaven. Fruit still remains and even other members of their families now belong to Christ.  

Dave now lives in the same area of Vermont as his twin brother, Daniel. Daniel pastors the Swanton Christian Church and Dave contributes his valuable teaching from time to time. He also works in house construction, which might have something to do with his insight on the house of God in this message. He is also sought out as a photographer at weddings and I will add a little sample of his photography to this article. I will also introduce you, by photos, to his three sons. 
(click on any photo for a larger view)

Jared and his guitar
Jacob, the youngest
Ethan, JV soccer captain


Judah Abandons Its God

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1. An expository study of Isaiah, chapter 1, verses 2-9

Isaiah begins a declaration in the name of the Lord to Judah and to Jerusalem, but his message holds true in the entire world. How clearly and with what detail God speaks to His prophet! It is a protest against His people, but also gives counsel towards repentance. It is a call to rational thinking, with an intention of offering forgiveness, followed by blessing. The Lord speaks of Israel’s fall into corruption and they have become His enemies. From sons of God they become offspring of evildoers. In the end, they will be brought to repentance through a work of righteous judgment.

God speaks: Heaven and earth must pay attention

The Lord wants to be heard (v.2a); He wants to communicate, therefore throughout the Bible He commands His servants to write. His words sweep the heavens, fall down to earth and fill all of time. He reveals His thoughts and the feelings of His heart.

A Very Small Bookstore



Let me take you into a very small bookstore to let you browse for a while. There are only eight books, so you will be able to pick up each one and read its description on the back cover. If any one of them catches your attention and you think you would like to read it, please order it at the following email address: loelmarga@telefonica.net . The price of each one is $6.00 or euros, plus postage, except for the Psalms meditation book, which is $8.00 or euros, plus postage.

The Christ of the Apocalypse

Here is a small book written with an unskilled pen. It concerns the most magnificent personality ever to cross the paths of mortal men. I am not worthy to pronounce His name, much less am I capable of expounding on the least of His qualities. Yet the Psalmist commands, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.” Therefore, I hope I am not too presumptuous in attempting to exhale a little of what I have inhaled as I meditated on the Christ of the Apocalypse.
Lowell Brueckner

Leonard Ravenhill said: “Of a dozen books I have on the Apocalypse, this one has moved me most.”


Introduction to Isaiah

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Introduction to the Prophecies of the Book of Isaiah

Chapter 1

Verse 1: The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

After having finished reading through the Old Testament in October, 2014, I began an intensive study of the book of Zechariah. I benefitted immensely, poring verse by verse over this book, rich in prophecy, concerning the first and second coming of the Messiah. I have an obligation to share what I learn with the lambs and sheep of God’s flock and, for that reason, I wrote commentaries in expository form on the whole book. In the same way, I gave expository messages, wherever I travelled. I hope that the listeners and readers have profited, as much as I have, from those extraordinary prophecies.

Dr. Shepson's Testimony

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This is not a very artful presentation, but it is a tremendous testimony, written by Dr. Charles
Shepson himself. Dr. Shepson was a friend of my brother, who worked with Shepson to found a church north of St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a man who trusted God in practical form. While still attending Bible school, Shepson got in line at the office to pay his semester's tuition with no money in his pocket. Before he reached the window, someone came up to him and presented him with enough to cover it.

Since I am pasting scans here, there are spaces between the pages and there are eight pages altogether. Be sure not to stop scrolling before you reach the next page...

USA, Romania and Greece

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August 27 through October 8

(click for larger photos)

Volunteers' camp at Lepsa, Romania
Several months ago, I made a commitment to speak at a weekend retreat for summer volunteer workers at Teen Ranch in the mountains near Lepsa, Romania. According to camp director, Ionut Lerca, these young people had dedicated time, throughout the camp season, not only to help with the many chores on the campsite, but also to reach out a helping hand and a caring heart to the campers.

The week following the retreat, families would come from various areas of Romania to gather around the Word of God, as well as to enjoy a time of fellowship. I requested that these dates would be placed, as late as possible in September, so that there would be a little distance between them and our granddaughter, Jessica’s, wedding on September 12.

Margaret and I planned to leave Spain on August 27, in order to spend as much time as possible with different members of our family before the wedding. Because of a legal stipulation, I thought it would be necessary to return home shortly afterwards. Upon further thought and investigation, I saw that this condition would not apply to our trip. Therefore, in order to make the most of it, we extended our time in the States to September 22.

Exposé of Mormon Polygamy

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An early Mormon polygamist family
It is extremely important to know the roots of any spiritual tree. Jesus taught that if a tree is evil, it cannot produce good fruit. He said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?” (Mt.7:15-16)

John the Baptist said, “The axe is already laid to the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Mt.3:10). John is preaching repentance and repentance is absolutely necessary, if there is to be entrance by faith into the gospel. Bad fruit comes from bad roots and good fruit cannot be expected until the old roots are dug up and abandoned. What is apparently “good fruit” is a deception, unless repentance has taken place.

The Mormons, the second fastest growing movement on earth have been on a campaign for legitimacy among evangelicals. This should not happen without a thorough renunciation of their founder, Joseph Smith, and his teachings. Yesterday, I became aware of a reopening of a Mormon museum, in which Smith’s polygamy is admitted. He had over 30 wives and this fact is documented to the degree that the Mormon Church can no longer hide it. However, polygamy, in Smith’s case, was preceded by adultery, which was later justified as “polygamy”, which became, then, an accepted practice by Mormons. The attempt to make polygamy a biblical doctrine was only a cover-up for mass adultery. Joseph Smith had sexual relations with eleven women, married at the same time to other men.

Dylan and Jessica’s Wedding

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(please click on photos for larger images)

I remember hearing on two occasions, people speaking of someone, who they had never met before, but who caught their attention in a public place. They told me that person, a woman on both occasions, “looked like a Christian”, because of long hair and dress, and a lack of make-up and earrings. I have to say that these are things that I also prefer to see in Christian women. However, I think that if a Christian is only recognized by superficial things, he or she does not need the Holy Spirit to give testimony of Christ, nor do those, who recognize a person in this way, need the Holy Spirit in order to discern the spiritual state. The Spirit of God gives invisible witness to the attributes of God and Christ receives more glory from those who demonstrate what they have from the inside out, rather than those who can only demonstrate superficial signs and acquired customs from a certain group of religious people. Jesus rebuked those, who were “hypocrites… and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness… straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel… First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” We should be very clear about these priorities. The apostle said, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” What I look for first, personally, is for concrete evidence of the life of Christ in a believer. 

Three Highways to Hell, download


We have good reason to take a look at the three major cults, which originated in the New England area of America in the 19th Century. First of all, we need to be impressed with the hideousness of their history and doctrine. It shows how far they strayed from Bible truth. They have deceived millions around the world. When their representatives come to our doors, we will see how far we should stay away from listening to their errors. We see that our attitudes should be far from sympathetic to those, who offend God and incite His wrath. The apostle John warns us seriously, “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God… If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting” (2 John 1:9-10).

How important it is for God’s people to be firmly grounded in good doctrine and to have understanding of the essential doctrines of the faith! Never entertain the assertions of some, who tell us that doctrine is not important. They teach that the important thing is to live the Christian life. That is a dangerous lie! How can you live the Christian life, if you do not know the important teachings about what it entails? “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (2 John 1:3).

John Bunyan thought that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit end by believing the errors of false religion. Few escape from the snares and pitfalls of the cults once they have fallen into them. So please take to heart the subjects that we are dealing with at this time… three important lessons concerning three poisonous serpents from hell. 

I place the link to easily find and download or print:


  


The Organic Church, download



Today I am offering another PDF document to help those interested in a study on the organic church. It consists of three articles that have been posted earlier on this blog. It begins with a chapter on the Laodicean Church, a church that typifies a lot of what we see in these times. Needless to say, this church does not please the Lord and He had nothing to say in her favor.

In the second chapter, I attempt to portray Jesus as the sovereign head over His church and in the third, you will find a demonstration of an organic church. I hope that these will give you a deep desire to see it in action in our days.

To download the document, print it or simply read it, click the following link:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70625813/Organic%20Church.pdf

Food for Sheep, download

I have previously offered three articles individually, called, 1) How Deep the Love of God, 2) Intense Desire, and 3) The Individual Call. Now, I have combined the three in one PDF document called "Food for Sheep". I am providing the link below, so that you can easily download it.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/70625813/Food%20for%20Sheep.pdf

How many times have I said, at the beginning of a message these days? "This is something that is strictly for sheep. If there are "goats" here, close your ears." People always laugh, but truthfully, in every congregation, of any size at all, you can be sure that there are goats among the sheep. Goats are not true Christians and they cannot enjoy the delights that God wants to share with his sons and daughters. 

It is extremely important that the sheep are taken to pasture. Christ gave Peter a commandment to feed His lambs and sheep, showing thereby His concern for them. At tmes, we are so preoccupied in evangelizing an unbeliever or two, who might come to a meeting, or we feel the need to give advice or scold the Christians, and we forget that the sheep need to eat.


I think that these three studies, given in PDF format, will provide green pasture for true disciples of Christ. 
I hope and pray from my heart that each reader will receive something from heaven that will  truly provide nourishment to your soul.


Oh, Supreme Moving Cause

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"Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass?    Job 38:25-27

Synchronized water ballet

Years ago during the Olympic Games, I walked into the room of someone watching a performance of synchronized water ballet on TV. Sitting next to him, he expressed to me that he didn’t like the individual efforts of the various athletes, because they tended to exalt one person, but he enjoyed the perfect unity of the team events, such as water ballet. It didn’t take much discernment to see that he was spiritualizing what he was watching, comparing it to the intentions of believers to carry out the will of God.

I didn’t respond to the comment at the time, but that rather poor example gave me much to think about and I really have meditated over the matter. I would like to share the view that I have of Christians involved in fulfilling God’s purposes on earth. In doing so, I am considering Christ’s Church, which He said that He would build (Mt.16:18) and, according to Paul, Christ would give gifts to men to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and to build His body (Eph.4:8,12). I will make use of the same water ballet analogy.  

John Bunyan's Confessions

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Some sincere pastors and teachers have “goat-phobia” and I hope that I can include myself in their number. What I mean by “goat-phobia” is that we hesitate to state some things, which are very true, but we are afraid that people, who feign Christianity (goats… Mt.25:32), might take advantage of these doctrines to justify themselves. The subjects can be quite delicate and they are meant to feed and comfort the sheep. The “goats” need awakening and conviction of sin; comfort is not on the menu for them. So, I have hesitated, but now I want to share a page and a half of a very rich offering from John Bunyan…

Grace Abounding

John Bunyan 1628-1688
Of all the temptations that ever I met with in my life, to question the being of God and the truth of His gospel is the worst, and the worst to be borne; when this temptation comes, it takes away my girdle from me and removes the foundations from under me. Oh, I have often thought of that word, “Have your loins girt about with truth”, and of that, “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Sometimes when, after sin committed, I have looked for sore chastisement from the hand of God, the very next that I have had from Him has been the discovery of His grace. Sometimes, when I have been comforted, I have called myself a fool for my so sinking under trouble. And then, again, when I have been cast down, I thought I was not wise to give such way to comfort. With such strength and weight have both these been upon me…

The Church - A living Body

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A few days ago, I wrote an article called “The Individual Call", in which I had comments about the Laodicean Church. The church continued to function even after it had abandoned Jesus, and at the same time rejoiced in being “rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”. See the self-sufficiency: “I have become wealthy” and in the satisfaction that it gives: “I have need of nothing”. I can’t enjoy it with them, because my eyes have seen the invisible and my mouth has tasted the sweetness of heavenly honey.
  
Few Christians these days know anything about a church that is not under man’s control, where only Christ is the architect with the plan and is building His people beyond human knowledge. I mentioned that I had written more fully about the church in the book, God Made the Country, and I thought it might be good to post the chapter that I referred to. It will give an idea of the true church and how it functions, even in modern times, if Christ is the Head and has the control.


GOD MADE THE COUNTRY


Chapter 16

THE CHURCH – A LIVING BODY

 “(The Father) put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.”            Ephesians 1:22-23                                                                                             

A Christian of German descent in Wisconsin was reading a small-town newspaper from North Dakota. His eyes scanned the church announcements and suddenly he felt a compulsion to pray for one of these churches. It seemed strange to him, because the church wasn’t of the same denomination as his own church and he had never visited it. Every year he drove 500 miles to North Dakota to help relatives (who sent the paper to him) with their harvest. Months later, during the next harvest season, in his curiosity to discover the reason behind the strange desire to pray, he walked into the little church in Finley, ND.

J W's Hatred of Truth

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The love of the truth

How important is truth? How important is it to love truth? I cannot think of anything that is more important. The opposite of truth is falsehood and falsehood invalidates every good thing. Joy, peace, humility, righteousness, and all the other virtues in the world, have their counterfeits. Even love, if it lacks truth, becomes a false love and is probably the most deceptive of the whole spectrum of lies.

Love is of vital importance in Christianity to the degree that the person, who does not walk in love, according to the Apostle John, “does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jn.4:8). The Apostle Paul ranks love above all gifts and virtues: “Now abide these three, faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Co.13:13). Because this is so and because the father of lies understands its power, he comes under the guise of love and today millions of people are deceived… in the name of love.

Paul calls truth the girdle of the armor of God (Eph.6:14) It ties the whole armor together and without it, everything falls apart. Truth stands by itself and because of the virtue of its very name, it cannot deceive. Truth reigns eternal. Christ proclaimed, “I am the truth” and therefore everyone, who comes to Christ, must face truth: “He who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (Jn.3:21).  

Very carefully consider the following warning of Paul to the Thessalonians and you will see that God values and loves truth more than He loves men! “That lawless one will be revealed… the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth…” (2 Thes.2:3-12).

The Individual Call

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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”    Rev.3:20

The Laodicean identity

What we are considering in this lesson is a call of Christ from outside the Laodicean church. From the very beginning of this lesson, I would like you to notice two Greek nouns. One is apostasion and its feminine form is apostasia. The first means divorce and the second means apostasy. They are obviously very closely related in definition and a common meaning would be separation. When Paul speaks of an apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, he is speaking of an end-time condition in the church, which can easily be interpreted as a divorce from Christ… a bride gone her own way.

Would this not describe the situation in Laodicea? Christ is outside seeking entrance and inside, the church is operating without the presence and direction of the Lord. One of the evidences of the divorce is that the mentality of the church is very different, even opposite, from the mind of Christ. The church says, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”; Jesus says, “You are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” Not long ago, a believer told me that he had come out of a certain group thinking that he knew just about everything. Shortly thereafter he joined a good Bible study course and very humbly confessed, “I found out I knew nothing.” The light of truth is painful to our spiritual eyes, when it gives us an accurate picture of our condition.

Roots of Seventh-day Adventism

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Miscalculated prophecies and a blow in the head

In eight words, this is the story of the roots of Seventh-day Adventism. It is the second in a series of three articles, in which I am making an attempt to give the reader a basic knowledge of three major cults, all having their origins in the United States. They are the Mormons, or more formally, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. The second cult is the Seventh Day Adventists and the third sect is the Jehovah Witnesses. I entitled the first article, “The God of Mormonism” and you can read or review it at the following link: http://calltocommitment.blogspot.com.es/2015/06/the-god-of-mormonism.html .

Let me list a number of characteristics and ideas that these three groups have in common.

1.     The founders had unstable spiritual beginnings that show no evidence of a biblical new birth, therefore they are not born or taught by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that without the new birth it is impossible to “see” the Kingdom of God (Jn.3:3). The apostle Paul tells us that the “natural man”, that is, man alone without the Holy Spirit, cannot understand the things of God (1 Co.2:14). Any person in that position is doomed to be led by his own mind into multiple kinds of error (not to mention the fact that demon spirits will capitalize on the attempt.). You will see all of them making an effort to fit the unspeakable mysteries of God into the natural human mind, and rejecting all that their mind cannot contain. This is the basic problem.
2.       All of the founders of these sects were people exposed to the gospel, but who rejected the established churches of their day. They were anti-church people, who found a new revelation. They taught that the churches were going in the direction of apostasy and could not guide their flock into truth.
3.      The founders were largely ignorant people with no good theological background or training.
4.      You will find that none of them accept or teach salvation that comes purely by the grace of God. They are all “works” oriented.
5.      All of them point to and are highly dependent upon extra-biblical literature and teaching, without which no one can be properly enlightened in their particular views of Christianity, and they emphasize experiences, such as visions and dreams, through which they received light concerning their callings and claims.
6.      Physical and outward things, such as food, days, baptism, and many like things play an important part in their presentation of “salvation”. Authoritarianism plays a huge role in their government and no kind of individualism is accepted. No move is made without the express approval of leadership. A personal relationship with God and the personal leading of God is not tolerated.
7.      They all experienced rapid growth and today number in the millions on a world-wide basis.

A Romanian Hero

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Nicolae Moldoveanu (1922-2007)
Romania is rich in heroic Christians. Usually we look for outstanding men and women of God in the distant past, centuries ago, in times so different from our own that it is difficult to identify with them.

However, in Romania some of their heroes are still alive and others have not left this world so long ago. We know of them from the testimony that they have obtained in the middle of the Twentieth Century. Who has not heard of Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian Lutheran pastor of Jewish descent? He was tortured for his faith for 13 years in a communist prison, while his wife worked like a man in the construction of a state canal.

Songs composed without paper or pencil

I listened today to an interview with Nicolae Moldoveanu. Observing the man in the video, he probably would not have liked the title of this article. I would explain that I did not write it for him, but for the legacy that he left behind, demonstrating the fact that God is still doing His work of grace in the lives of individuals and the glory goes entirely to Him. Outside of Romania, he is not as well-known as Wurmbrand, but just the same, he is a hero of the faith. He was born near Sered River in Moldova. In the year 1938 at the age of 16, he was converted to Christ. In 1940, he wrote his first Christian poem and began to arrange songs, as well. Still a teenager, his compositions were used in Christian songbooks.

A Birthday Affirmation

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I solemnly reaffirm on my seventy-first birthday: Not to conform to the tendencies of the times, which insist on only positive "truth", but to declare TRUTH... PERIOD... regardless of its unpopularity. Society has gone mad in its hatred for God and is now coming after His people. There is only one hope and that is a restoration of the fear of God... Join with me in the prayer that our Lord taught us to pray: "Hallowed be Thy name", even in this godless society, even in a chuch plunging head-long into apostasy, and in my life, above all, sanctify Your name!

From the Daily Meditations in the Psalms which I compiled from my notes on the Psalms many years ago.  


July 14

Psalms 64:7-10

8. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.
9. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
10. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
10. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

Trust the Lord for Everything

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It’s the Lord’s Day believer; spend some time meditating on the things of God...

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”           Hebrews 13:7

The writer of Hebrews refers to the ones who evangelized the Hebrew Christians. They spoke the word of God to them, the gospel which brought them salvation by grace through faith. Now he speaks of the conduct of these Christian leaders, beyond their evangelism. It depicted a life of faith; a life of trusting the Lord. Not only is faith the means that brings us salvation, but it defines the whole of the Christian life. On old hymn says, “Those who trust Him fully, find Him fully true.” Therefore true Christianity is called The Faith, and its leaders must be an example to the believers of a life of faith. He who does not lead in faith, is not qualified as a leader.

C. H. Spurgeon
We will go to that great Christian leader, who has taught the church, not only in his lifetime, but continues to do so through his written works. Not only did he lead his church in London, but he continues to lead believers of all evangelical denominations around the world, who are edified by his anointed teaching.

Charles Spurgeon was a God-made preacher. Is there another kind? Without formal Bible training, he disciplined himself and enrolled in the school of the Spirit. He began to preach as a teenager and caught the attention of a Christian leader in London, who invited him to preach there. He became a London pastor at the age of 19, clothed with godly wisdom far beyond his years. He was short and stout and not very handsome. His attraction was the Word of God. The time came, when there was not a building in London big enough to hold the crowds that came to drink in the Word, as it was poured out through the lips of Charles Spurgeon. His secretary claimed to see angels over the hills of the resort town in France, when Spurgeon died there, trusting the Lord.