Monday, April 28, 2008

Spurgeon on Sanctification

Thou art my hope in the day of evil (Jeremiah 17:17)

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;" and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters", but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen." Oh! Say not so, thou who are walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotton bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Devil's Apostle

"The Pope is the very Antichrist who has exalted himself above and opposed himself against Christ because he will not permit Christians to be saved. It is nothing else than the devil himself because above and against God he urges and disseminates his Papal falsehoods concerning Masses, Purgatory, the monastic life, one's own works, fictitious divine worship which is the very Papacy and condemns, murders and tortures all Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations of the Pope above all things, therefore just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure his apostle the Pope. For to lie and to kill and destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his Papal government really consists." - Martin Luther

Excerpt from The Pope and The Papacy by John MacArthur.

Salvation is of The Lord

"Salvation is of the Lord." That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it. If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, "He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord." I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, "God is my rock and my salvation." What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor. —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon titled "A Defense of Calvinism" by C. H. Spurgeon

HAT TIP: The Bororean

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Compromise of Ravi Zacharias and the "NDP Committee"

Below is an e-mail exchange that was prompted by Ingrid Schlueter's coverage of the upcoming "National Day of Prayer", and specifically upon the "National Day of Prayer Committee" which is headed by Shirley Dobson, wife of James Dobson. This group is supposedly "Christian", and supposedly "evangelical", but in practice it is evidently neither.

From Slice of Laodicea:

Dr. Zacharias’ official prayer on the organization’s website, both in print and in audio form, carefully does not mention the name of Jesus Christ. Instead, the phrase, “In God’s Holy Name, Amen” is substituted. I learned that this was not an accidental slip, an oversight or a mistake. I called the organization in Colorado Springs yesterday and was told that the omission was deliberate so as not to offend Jewish participants at some of the events around the country.

Here is the e-mail exchange between myself and John Bornschein:

From: Coram Deo (
Sent: Thu 4/24/08 12:37 PM


I would just like to state that I am shocked and appalled that the name of the Risen Savior Jesus Christ does not appear in the prayer by Dr. Ravi Zacharias that's posted on the official NDP website. This is ecumenical madness and in my mind represents at best an ill advised capitulation to the Christ rejecting spirit of this fallen world and at worst an all out attack on the eternal Gospel.

I'm sickened by this shameless, gutless display and believe an apology and an explanation are due for this grossest of omissions. How does the Bible say we are to pray? We are to pray to the Father in the name of His only begotten and eternal Son. What is the only begotten and eternal Son's name? Evidently we ought not seek the answer to this question from Ravi Zacharias or the NDP team.

I'm praying for your organization to find its way in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Subject: Prayer for our Nation by Ravi Zacharias
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 16:33:00 -0600

It’s been brought to our attention that Ingrid Schlueter, host of the national Crosstalk radio program and chief architect of the Web site, has been spreading malicious reports about the National Day of Prayer, NDP Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, and Dr. Ravi Zacharias, our NDP 2008 Honorary Chairman. According to Ms. Schlueter, Dr. Zacharias is “refusing to pray in the name of Jesus Christ in his prayer posted on the official NDP Web site,” and is thus liable to the charge of being “ashamed” of Jesus and “capitulating to unscriptural, interfaith ecumenism.” Much as we regret the necessity of countenancing such comments with a response, Ms. Schlueter has left us without a choice. Her scurrilous accusations demand a reply.

There are three things that need to be said in answer to this unfortunate campaign of defamation. In the first place, no one who knows anything about Ravi Zacharias and his fearless defense of the Christian faith could possibly come to the conclusion that he is “ashamed of Jesus Christ.” Dr. Zacharias is one of the most respected, most effective, and most uncompromising Christian apologists in the world today. His love for the Lord is beyond question. His ministry speaks for itself. We can’t possibly add anything to the eloquent testimony of his dedicated service to the Savior.

Second, for those who are aware of the history of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, there can be no doubt about our evangelical perspective. Our Mission Statement and our Vision and Values Statement, as posted on the official NDP Web site (, state that the Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible. Calling ourselves a Judeo-Christian ministry does not mean that we see the Jewish and Christian faiths on equal footing. The Task Force was established to represent the Christian expression of the National Day of Prayer – standing firmly for Jesus and His salvation message. We believe in the values, traditions, and moral law of God's Old Testament Bible – but we, unlike those of the Jewish faith – trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Messiah.

Third and last, it is worth adding that, from a scriptural perspective, there is a great deal more to the idea of “praying in Jesus’ name” than Ms. Schlueter seems to recognize. In the culture of the Bible, a person’s “name” was regarded as shorthand for everything the person embodied and represented. To make a request or issue a command “in the name of” a particular individual was to speak with the full backing of that individual’s power, authority, virtue, and integrity. “Praying in Jesus’ name,” then, is not a question of tacking on a few particular words at the end of a prayer, as if they constituted some kind of “magic formula.” It’s a matter of heart orientation. To “pray in Jesus’ name” is to profess that we are authorized to come boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) not on the basis of our own merits, but solely because of His righteousness, His goodness, and the efficacy of His sacrifice on the cross. You can be absolutely sure that when Dr. Zacharias prays, he prays on the basis of this confidence alone.

In closing, we’d like to say that we deeply regret that this unfounded attack by fellow believers might in any way detract from the importance of Christians praying for their nation on May 1st.


From: Coram Deo (
Sent: Thu 4/24/08 8:57 PM
To: Bornschein, John (

Mr. Bornschein,

I almost wish you hadn't responded to my e-mail since in that case there would have remained some lingering doubt in my mind about the scurrilous and scandalous absence of the name of Jesus Christ from this supposedly "evangelical" event. Your reply has removed all doubt about the NDP's position on naming names when it comes to Jesus Christ - it's out of bounds. It's unwelcome. It's shameful. It's "divisive".

Yet as I recall Peter and the other believing ethnically Jewish, born again Christian apostles who comprised the early church were beaten, threatened, harassed, and martyred with the lone exception of the beloved apostle John. Their blood was shed for preaching the name of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Your canned response is excruciatingly unbiblical and the NDP's ecumenical madness remains without excuse. I personally believe the NDP organization is in desperate need of prayer and careful introspection in the light of inspired scripture as it drifts aimlessly toward rank apostasy and spiritual irrelevance.

In Christ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


By their own admissions many reject God's account of creation as recorded in the book of Genesis, therefore I can only conclude that someone who rejects God's Word is in unbelief of God's Word. With this in mind I don't know what else to call someone in unbelief except for an unbeliever. Perhaps some would feel more comfortable if I called them agnostics, yet by definition an agnostic is still an unbeliever so we're back to square one.

In fact I think many are confused about what a Christian actually is. Consider that the demons in hell believe in the Creator and tremble. Are we to be satisfied with a demonic faith?

It doesn't take anything akin to saving faith to say, "Gee, you know the world is really complex and amazing and I think there must be a creator behind all of this". This is called natural revelation and is seen by all men everywhere. In fact in conjunction with his own conscience placed by God inside of him the natural revelation is constantly pointing an accusing finger at the unrepentant sinner and screaming GUILTY! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!!

Atheists stand over against natural revelation and attempt to suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness, yet the atheist and the unregenerate (i.e. not born-again) creationist stand on equal ground with respect to their unbelief and eternal condemnation lest they bend the knee to the Christian God as He has revealed Himself in the Holy Bible.

I utterly reject statements to the effect that "Measurable, observable physical evidence is the best attempt at countering the truth claims of evolutionary theory”. At the heart of this matter is depraved, sinful man's wholesale rejection of God; not anything like a lack of "evidence" for or against God. The evidence for God is overwhelming and indisputable, yet wicked men simply reject the evidence because they hate God and love their sin. In place of God they set up secular-humanistic, natural-materialistic idol gods in a vain effort to salve their seared consciences.

Since the fall in the garden men have, by nature, stopped their ears and ran screaming away from God as fast as they can because of their depraved, wicked, unregenerate and invariably sinful natures.

Nothing like evidence for the existence of God is a cure for unbelief. Instead the Eternal Gospel is the singular solution to culture and unbelief, even the type of unbelief that's masked as intellectualism and science.

Therefore the worldlings can have their worldly wisdom so-called. They can confer diplomas and bestow titles upon one another and call each other "Doctor", and "Professor" until they turn blue in the face and turn back into the dust from whence they came; but God Almighty has seen fit to make the wisdom of this world foolishness by the preaching of the cross.

God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty - 1 Corinthians 1:27

Each and every time professing Christians seek after the world's approval and esteem it results in apostasy, heresy, rank idolatry and finally unbelief...every time! Compromise with the world has always been the evil key that unlocks the door to the sad and predictable demise of God's people in every age.

Am I anti-evolution? Am I anti-intellectualism? Am I anti-consensus? Am I being divisive? Some would say so, and I would accept that I am guilty as charged, but I would of course choose a more positive frame of reference for my position -- I'm pro-Gospel.

Monday, April 21, 2008

There Are Only Two Religions

There are only two religions; one is the true religion which proclaims the salvation of the One True and Living God made available by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone - the eternal Son - as uniquely revealed within the Holy Bible. This pure religion is commonly known as orthodox, historical, Biblical Christianity.

The other religion is the man centered works righteousness false religion of Satan the enemy which in fact encompasses every other false religion by any name, doctrine, or creed that professes or proclaims anything other than the the orthodox, historical Biblical Christian faith.

HAT TIP: fourpointer at DefCon courtesy of Symphony of Scripture

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Rank Idolatry of the RCC

I wanted to share the following comment I placed in the meta of another blog in response to a drunkenly indoctrinated adherent of the works-righteousness false religion known as Roman Catholicism. I posted this response after a papist named "Karl" dismissed any hint of a problem with a repulsively idolatrous hymn written about and sung for the Pontiff of Rome.

Karl and I had been discussing the ground rules for an engagement to juxtapose the true universal (catholic) church of Christ and the imposter Roman Catholic Church, however after Karl's demonstration of willful blindness about the utter inappropriateness of worshipping, praising, magnifying, and glorifying a sinful man I'm not sure there's much hope for progress in any other area.

At any rate below is my response to Karl's dismissive rejection of any criticism of worshipping the Pope:

Coram Deo Says:
April 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Of these lyrics:
Long Live The Pope: A Hymn for the Pope

Long live the Pope!
His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time:
His throne the heart of men:
All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing
And heav’n the strain prolong…

Karl said: the lyrics are about as problematic as the lyrics: God save the Queen, Long live the Queen.” or the lyrics of the anthem: O Uganda may God uphold Thee, we lay our future in Thy Hands. However, i find it strange that mere lyrics concern you so much. How will the appropriateness, or not, of these lyrics determine your eternal destiny? Talk of vain pursuits!

No Karl, this is no light thing, no vain pursuit; and the lyrics above are much, much more problematic than the examples you provided.

As you will note the lyrics represent a HYMN (in this case a song of praise and worship sung by the Roman Catholic Church) FOR THE POPE! The examples you provided are worldly songs of praise and adulation to be certain, but by pointing to worldly idolatry and thereby insinuating that idolatry within the church isn’t problematic because, “Hey, they do it too!”, is totally unacceptable.

Any true Christ worshipper should be shocked and offended that the praise, worship, and adulation of the church which is reserved strictly for the One True and Living God should be perverted and enshrined in a hymn that’s sung to and about a wretched, sinful, wicked man.

This hymn is an abomination and speaks to the rank idolatry that lies at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church’s man made system of works righteousness.

Let’s closely examine the Christ imagery that veritably drips from this effusive praise of a fallen, evil human being:

His praises sound
Again and yet again

Worshipful praise from the church is due to God alone!

His rule is over space and time:

What?!? The Pope’s rule is over space and time?!? This is excruciatingly blasphemous! God alone is sovereign over space and time because He created space and time; He is the Creator! The only creature craven enough to desire and savor this type of worship which is due to God alone is Satan himself!

His throne the heart of men:

Blasphemy! Usurper! Again we see the stunning display of the utter depravity of this “hymn” which brazenly proclaims that the Pope sits in the seat of Christ! Christ alone is to reign and sit upon the throne of the hearts of men!

All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing
And heav’n the strain prolong

But like a bad joke the hymn only gets worse. Now the wicked pontiff is compared to “The Shepherd” which of course is Christ’s own messianic title, and ill content with the praise of earthly men the song now shifts into full blown satanic hubris by marshalling the worship of all the earth and heaven to sing of the glory of…THE POPE!!!

Karl I’m afraid if you can’t see the problem with this most basic of issues - to Whom the praise of mankind is due - then our discussion of anything further may be utterly futile.

In Christ,

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Long live the Pope!
His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time:
His throne the heart of men:
All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing
And heav’n the strain prolong

Question: How many commandments does Popery break?
Answer: How many commandments are there?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

An Indictment of Western Christianity

How many Christians do you know who could say, "The lifestyle I have chosen as a Christian would be utterly foolish and pitiable if there is no resurrection"? How many Christians are there who could say, "The suffering I have freely chosen to embrace for Christ would be a pitiable life if there is no resurrection"? As I see it these are shocking questions. - John Piper

If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:19)

Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ...I share his sufferings...that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:7-8, 10-11)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Images of the Savior (1 -- The Creation of the World)

by Nathan Pitchford of Reformation Theology

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth....And God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. – (Genesis 1:1,3)

When Jesus offered up for all believers his high-priestly prayer in their behalf, he summed up the essence of his request thus: “Father, I desire that those whom you have given me might be with me, where I am, in order that they might behold my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). From which circumstance we may learn that the very essence of what Jesus died to provide us with is nothing less than a rapturous gazing upon his glorious person, as we dwell in his presence forevermore. Heaven is nowhere but where Jesus dwells in his glory, and eternal life is nothing besides the sight of this glory. This is why Jesus had earlier defined eternal life as this: “that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). True life is that which fulfills the purpose for which man was created, namely, to know and enjoy fellowship with God; and Jesus Christ is the only One who is able to reveal the nature of God to mankind, as we may learn from John chapter one, verses 14 and 18: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as from the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth....No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has revealed him.” If we would be eternally satisfied, we must learn to behold the glory of Christ. And if we would be among those who for all eternity will indeed be in the joy of God's presence, we must learn to seek Christ's glory even now, as we live upon the earth.

This reduces the entire purpose of our lives on earth, and our eternal lives which follow, to this one thing: seeking to see Jesus the Savior. And there is only one place where we may see the Savior; and that is, the Word of God, which was inspired by the Spirit (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21) who delights to testify of Christ (John 15:26). This Word of God includes both the Old and New Testaments, and we may be sure that the Spirit spoke of Jesus in both Testaments, even as Jesus himself testifies to the Pharisees, calling the Old Testament scriptures “they which testify of me” (John 5:39); and likewise to the disciples, when, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

It is, therefore, a most grievous circumstance that many believers do not habitually see or even look for Jesus the Savior, when they are reading the Old Testament scriptures. Too often they are satisfied with a mere surface understanding of the Jewish history testified therein, or else they look for such a moral as may be found in Aesop's fables. But if the Old Testament scriptures will at all satisfy us or prepare us for eternal life, they will do so by virtue of their ability to uncover the Savior before our eyes. And one of the notable ways in which they do this is through the means of types. God purposed to reveal himself to the world, through his Son, by slow degrees; and therefore, long before he sent him into the world, he spoke of him in many dark and symbolic ways, through the circumstances, histories, and persons which he recorded for us in his Word. The true believers of the Old Testament were instructed of Christ as they looked beyond the types to the Savior which they signified (see, for example, John 8:56); and we may be assured that we will not be profited by those same scriptures unless we do the same thing, looking to Christ under the figures by means of which he is represented to us in the Scriptures.

And it is manifestly clear from the first pages of the Old Testament that God had at that time determined to reveal his will under figures, symbols, and types. For when he intended to promise to Noah that he would not again destroy the world by water, he did so under the type of the rainbow, under which figure he drew back against himself the bow of vengeance, as if to curse himself if ever he should break his word (Genesis 9:11-17). And then we may see how he revealed his plans to send a seven year famine by the type of seven lean cows in a dream to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:17-36); how he signified the future struggle between Edom and Israel by the struggling of the twins in the womb of Rebekah (Genesis 25:21-23); and how he revealed the future pre-eminence of Judah's son Perez to his twin brother Zerah by the typological circumstance of his unexpected breaking forth first from the womb (Genesis 38:27-30). And throughout the rest of the Old Testament, we have so many clear examples of revelation by typological significance, that we would soon weary of trying to record them all.

Now, it is likewise evident from the beginning that the greatest act of God in all of history would be his sending of the Messiah to redeem his people; for this is the first promise of God ever given to fallen man, and that under the type of the bruising of the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15); it is the event to which the greatest typical deliverance in Israel's history, the redemption from Egypt, looked forward (e.g. Micah 7:25, Isaiah 11:10-16, etc.); and it is the event which the prophets most delighted to speak of, in their Spirit-empowered ministry (e.g. Isaiah 52:13-53:12, and many others). If God's chosen means of revelation, in the days of the Old Testament, was typology; and if the most important event which he desired to reveal was the redemptive work of Christ; then it certainly stands to reason that in many ways he should have revealed the person and work of Christ under the shadows and types of the Old Testament; with which assessment the New Testament authors also agree, seeing in passages clear as well as obscure things pertaining to the Messiah and his work (e.g. Acts 2:25-26; 4:10-11; 15:13-20; and many others beside). From their example, we may surely learn that the Old Testament is to be used for the purpose of uncovering the things of Jesus, which were before revealed under types and shadows, and have now been made more manifest by the Spirit which he has sent. It is only as we read them in this manner that they will profit us with the eternal measure of joy contingent upon seeing the glory of Christ, who is our life.

Let us, then, from the first pages of the Old Testament, read all the Holy Scriptures with a mind to seeing Christ Jesus our Savior, and the things which he would do for our eternal salvation. The first account of the scriptures is that of the creation of the world, by the Almighty God; let us think of how we may see Christ from this event:

First, this event typified the greater act of redemption that Christ would one day accomplish. It was through Christ Jesus, the Word of God, that the worlds were created (John 1:1-3); but just as the light of creation sprang into being through Christ, at God's word, “Let there be light”; so also, the light of redemption and the knowledge of God sprang into being through Christ, in whom was the light which was the life of men” (John 1:4-5); when God desired the creation of the worlds, they sprang into being through Christ; and when he desired grace and mercy for his people, they too sprang into being through the Son of God, who took upon himself human flesh, to suffer the wrath of God in their place and so win for them eternal grace and mercy (John 1:17). The great work of creation, then, which through Christ displayed the glory of God's character, was itself only a shadow and type of the greater work of redemption, which through Christ would display the nature of God in his love and justice, to a superlative degree (see Hebrews 1:1-3).

But not only did God's creation through the Son typify his greater work of redemption in a general sense; it more specifically typified the process by which every redeemed child of God would come to a knowledge of him; “because the God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness!' has shined in our hearts with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6). The creation of the worlds through Christ, which comes to its ultimate expression of orderly power in the creation of light, is only a shadow of the creation of a new heart in fallen man, which is the highest display of God's power and grace, and the true application of the sole accomplishment for which all of history was designed.

And finally, we must notice that this great work of creation was typical of the vastly greater work of the new creation, by which God would take the marred and cursed world of mankind and restore it to its original splendor and beyond. For just as the work of creation culminated in the formation of man, who dwelt in a beautiful garden and found great joy in the fellowship of God himself, bringing him glory through the just and holy subjugation of the earth beneath him (Genesis 1:26-31); so the culminative work of history, the new creation, will issue forth in a beautiful garden, in which man will have dominion over a perfect earth, fully restored from all the manifold deleterious effects of the fall, for the glory of God his Creator and Redeemer (Isaiah 25:1-12). From the very beginning account of the Scriptures, then, we encounter a type of the greater work of redemption, that would be done by Christ the Savior, to reveal the full nature of God, for the everlasting joy of his people.

As we turn to these Old Testament Scriptures and all which follow, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us labor to see Christ as the Spirit has pleased to typify him everywhere and in ever way! He only is our joy and salvation, and the sight of him alone is our heaven and eternal reward. If we read these scriptures to no increase of our understanding of him, we might as well not have read them at all: for they are precious only as they reveal to us God, whom to know is to live forever and to rejoice with true and ceaseless joy; and they reveal to us God only as they reveal to us Christ, who has declared to us the One whom no man has seen at any time. Jesus is our life and joy! Let us seek him in all the scriptures, as the Holy Spirit opens up our eyes.

Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone

This bread, you see, is the Word of God. Now, the Word is given to us first here in the Bible, as it is written; it is given to us, secondly, from the lips of God’s own chosen and appointed ambassadors. He that despises either of these two, will soon find himself growing lean in spirit. The book, the Word, is like the flour, but the sermon is the bread, for it is through the sermon that the Word is, as it were, prepared for human palates, and brought so that human souls may be able to receive it. The moment the Church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless his Churches, and you will notice, that these revivals in which it was boasted that there were no ministers engaged, have come to nought ere long; for those that stand, are those in which God gets to himself glory and honor, by using instrumentality.

It is a wrong idea altogether, that God is glorified by putting instrumentality aside. That is not his glory. His glory is, that in our infirmity he still triumpheth, and that with his own right hand he is able to lay hold upon some jaw-bone of an ass, and yet slay therewith heaps upon heaps of Philistines. It is the weakness of the instrumentality used that has a tendency to glorify God, and hence he very seldom is pleased to work without some means or other. Most Christians who have grown rich in grace, have been great frequenters of the house of prayer. - C.H. Spurgeon

HAT TIP: The Daily Spurgeon

Monday, April 14, 2008

Introducing DefCon!

I'm pleased to announced the birth of a brand new Christian blog that's located at I am both humbled and honored to have been extended an opportunity to contribute in some small way to this upstart evangelistic / apologetic / discernment effort.

I hope you'll join me in praying that this web based ministry might be used of the Lord to be spiritual food for the suffering church, and that it may be a light in the darkness to those who are desperate need of the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by Whose hand of providence may many be led to know Him.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Paul Washer on Serving Christ

HAT TIP: The Reformed Gadfly

Onward Christian Soldier

Like the Spartans, every Christian is born a warrior. It is his destiny to be assaulted; it is his duty to attack. Part of his life will be occupied with defensive warfare. He will have to defend earnestly the faith once delivered to the saints, he will have to resist the devil, he will have to stand against all his wiles; and having done all, still to stand. He will, however, be but a sorry Christian if he acteth only on the defensive. He must be one who goes against his foes, as well as stands still to receive their advance. He must be able to say with David, “I come against thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defied.” He must wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. He must have weapons for his warfare — not carnal — but “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” He must not, I say, be content to live in the stronghold, though he be then well guarded, and munitions of stupendous strength his dwelling place may be; but he must go forth to attack the castles of the enemy, and to put them down, to drive the Canaanite out of the land. - C.H. Spurgeon

HAT TIP: The Daily Spurgeon

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Crown or King?

The Holy Bible plainly identifies the Risen Savior Jesus Christ as the "King of Kings and Lord of Lords". This is an exemplary and awe inspiring description of His majestic, royal Person. This is who He is, right now, today, at this very moment as He triumphantly reigns over His church.

Christ came as a suffering servant, a man of sorrows, to be the sin bearer for helpless, hopeless humanity and as such Jesus Christ is also the perfect sinless Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the world. This is also who He is, right now, today, at this very moment. Jesus Christ is the unchanging, eternal, Almighty God in whom there is no shadow of turning therefore He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is admittedly impossible for finite mortals such as ourselves with our limited understanding to grasp the perfect, ineffable, One True and Living God while we are on this side of glory, yet we have received a very special promise to which we would do well to hold fast; that one day we will know Him even as we are known! Christians ought to ever rejoice in this holy truth! Our hearts should leap and our spirits should soar when we meditate on this beautiful and exceedingly glorious hope which is contained in the sure and trustworthy Word of God!

We ought to also rejoice in the knowledge that someday King Jesus will return to the world that rejected, despised, reviled, and finally murdered Him during His first advent. But this time around things will be different because during His second advent He will not come as the suffering servant, but instead He will come as the victorious conquering King who will put down all His enemies with the Word of His mouth and the brightness of His coming. King Jesus will also establish His heavenly rule on earth, fulfilling His eternal covenant kingdom promises.

But those who profess Christ, those who call themselves Christians, ought to ask themselves a very important question: Is Jesus Christ my crown or is He my King?, because herein is a difference of soul damning proportions. Many - if not most - evangelical Christians have little concept of a reigning monarch. In the various forms of Western representative democracies and constitutional republics such as the United States we tend to think of monarchies as an outmoded, outdated form of rule practiced by the uncivilized feudal brutes of yesteryear, or perhaps we imagine petty dictators in the mold of the various modern day Middle Eastern royal regimes. However in Bible times earthly kings were feared for their unimpeded, unopposed, and all encompassing power and authority.

If the king wanted your land, he took your land.

If the king wanted your wife or daughter (or both) he took your wife or daughter (or both).

If the king wanted your life, he took your life.

Such concepts were quite simple and self evident to anyone who understood what a true earthly king was like, and when Jesus Christ is described as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the scriptures there is little mistaking the overarching, complete, total authority that such a title conveys upon its bearer. This is a universal title of absolute sovereignty that is applied to the eternal and perfect Absolute Sovereign Himself, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe.

On the other hand a crown is a mere token of authority. A crown (or many crowns) may grace the head of a ruler, but the crown has no inherent authority in and of itself. It's merely a symbol. Or let's consider another definition for "crown". In modern day England the royal family in general and Queen Elizabeth in particular are often referred to in the British media as The British Crown; "The Crown did such and such today"; or else "The Crown says this or that"; or perhaps, "The British Crown colony of somewhere-or-another held a reception..." Do you see the difference between a true sovereign, an actual king and the crown? The British monarchy holds no power over England. It's a figurehead, a group of pampered elites who are lauded, adored, praised, honored, and admired, but when a decision of state is to be made the British people look to their duly elected government for direction. The British government, not the monarchy is the true power behind the state and this fact is easily demonstrated.

No one asks Queen Elizabeth about matters of state, war, finance, or anything else related to the actual government of Britain.

No one sends emissaries to Prince Charles for permission to conduct the business of the country.

The sad truth is that it's very likely that no one in England actually cares what the British Crown thinks about such matters, and the royals wouldn't be able to legally take any action even if they desired to do so.

Isn't this too often the case with Jesus Christ within the vast majority of the modern professing church? Isn't He lauded as a wonderful, admirable, honorable King just so long as He remains a lame duck who is secondary to the high court and government of man's own autonomous reasoning and sinful will of self-determination - the true power behind man's natural, unregenerate state of being?

Isn't Jesus Christ paraded around triumphantly when it's convenient, or when there's a special planned recognition event such as Easter, Christmas, or Sunday morning while He's relegated to the sidelines when it comes to the "real" issues of daily life and struggle in the flesh?

The truth is that this perverse and wholly unbiblical subjection of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to man's sinful, autonomous, rebellious self-determination is the very height of satanic wickedness and hubris!

It's an abomination!

It's pure evil!

It's setting autonomous sinful man up as his own idol god in his heart!

Oh Lord forgive us because we have treated Your infinite glory, Your immeasurable worth, and Your absolute holiness as light things! We have made the King into a trifle and have reduced His complete sovereignty to an idol of our own making! We have ignored the King and worshipped the crown! We have traded our spiritual birthright for a worthless bowl of worldly pottage!

May we who are called by His Holy Name repent of our failure to worship and honor the King instead of the crown!

A prayer: Change us, shape us, mold us, oh Lord so that our view of You may be high and lifted up! May our adoration of You be pure and undefiled, and may we serve You with reverence, humility, and awe as faithful and obedient servants of the Most High God! Amen.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Evil on the Left; Evil on the Right

Jeremiah Wright is just another run of the mill, in-it-for-the-money hack. In my mind there's nothing new or shocking about him or his rantings whatsoever. He's certainly not worth the press he's being given, and if I'm surprised by anything whatsoever about this whole non-event it's the fact that people are surprised by him - especially Christian evangelicals. This is why I've not wasted any time writing about him...until now.

Truth be told Jeremiah Wright is simply an antitype of John Hagee and his "Christian Right" ilk.

Look at the parallels:

Wright preaches a socio-communist "you're being held back" black poverty gospel and Hagee preaches a "name it and claim it" WASP capitalist prosperity gospel.

Both preach a government solution theology; the soteriology of Gnostic governance. Instead of Jesus Christ and His eternal gospel of grace, human government and/or politics is the solution to all their perceived woes and injustices - political action is the means to their ends. I've previously written about this obscene form of spiritual harlotry in a post entitled It Stands Alone.

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)

Both adhere to a corrupt "seeker sensitive" ecclesiology. Wright's brand of error appeals to the downtrodden and disenfranchised and Hagee's appeals to those who reap the benefits of the present system.

Both Wright and Hagee are intensely focused on a message of instant gratification. They aim for results right here and right now in this life, and anything less is unacceptable; "the afterlife can wait, I want my heaven on earth today; I want my BEST LIFE NOW!"

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (Matthew 6:20)

And let's be honest here, it isn't just Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee who are preaching this nonsense. Pulpits across the land are preaching the exact same (though opposite) messages week after week. The error is rampant, the deception is massive, and hell awaits all the blind adherents of these other gospels.

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. (Galatians 1:6-7)

Do we love those people enough to tell them the truth? Are we bold enough to share the simple truth of Jesus Christ crucified, dead, buried and resurrected on the third day for remission of sins?

I'd like to see the sincere, godly love of the TRUE body of Christ, the church invisible pour forth to our professing brothers and sisters who are immersed in these soul damning errors.

Though there's consumer Christianity on the right hand, and liberal Christianity on the left hand - yet there's still hope.

They've replaced the eternal Gospel with the vain imaginings of men - yet there's still hope.

They've replaced the cross of Christ with a plasticized, man-centered message to tickle the itching ears of their fickle adherents, hangers-on, yes men, and sycophants - yet there's still hope.

There's hope - real hope - in the hands that were pierced for our transgressions.

There's hope - real hope - in the heart that poured forth blood and water for remission of sins.

There's hope - real hope - in the nail scarred feet that walked up Golgotha and carried the cross of sinful, fallen humanity upon His torn and bleeding back.

May those who are called by His Holy Name - the Name above all names, the name to which every knee in heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth will one day bow, the name of the The Lord Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the perfect and sinless Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, the Ancient of Days, the Almighty God - take up our crosses daily and follow after Him - after all, it's a light burden to bear, and for us it isn't optional; it's a command.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. (Luke 10:16)

A prayer: Oh Lord God Almighty You and You alone are holy and worthy of all praise and glory and power and honor and strength and wisdom and riches forever and evermore! Forgive us oh Lord for our wayward hearts and our unfaithfulness! Forgive us oh Lord for we are a stiff necked and rebellious people! Renew our hearts oh God and restore a right spirit within us! Help us, empower us, embolden us to be the people you've called us to be! Circumcise our hearts oh God that we might serve you with singleness of eye, not as men-pleasers but as humble servants of the Most High God! Write your holy law and righteous precepts upon the tables of our hearts of God! Make us a people of prayer oh Lord! Change us, mold us, shape us oh Lord into the earthen vessels that you would have us to be my King for you are the Potter and we are but clay! May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! Amen.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Divine Immutability

By John MacArthur in his foreword to Foundations of Grace: A Long Line of Godly Men by Steve Lawson.

The Bible repeatedly and unapologetically underscores the fact that God does not change. In fact, He cannot change because He cannot improve on absolute perfection or decline in His eternally fixed nature. His person does not change: "For I the LORD do not change" (Mal. 3:6). His plans do not change: "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations" (Ps. 33:11). His purpose does not change: "So when God desired to show more convincingly...the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath" (Heb. 6:17). God does not change His mind: "The Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man that he should have regret" (1 Sam. 15:29); or His words: "The Holy One of Israel...does not call back his words" (Isa. 31:1-2); or His calling: "The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom. 11:29; cf. Heb. 13:8; James 1:17). There are absolutely no changes in God, no variations, and no surprises (cf. Ps. 102:27).

God does not increase or decrease. He does not improve or decline. He does not change due to some altered circumstances - there are no unforeseen emergencies to the One who is eterally all-knowing. His eternal purposes stand forever because He stands forever (Ps. 33:11). He does not reacts, He only acts - and He does so however He pleases (Ps. 115:3).

From a human perspective, of course, God sometimes appears to change His plans or His actions based on what people do. But this is not so from God's viewpoint. Because He knows and always has known the future perfectly, having planned it according to His unalterable decree. He always acts in the way that He planned to act from eternity past. While men do not know how God will act, and are sometimes astonished as they see His sovereign plans unfold, God is never surprised. He continues to work as He always has, according to His eternal purpose and good pleasure (cf. Ps. 33:10-12; Isa. 48:14; Dan. 4:35, Col 1:19-20)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Seek the Lord

"It is time to seek the Lord" (Hosea 10:12)

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? Then, I entreat you, give your vigor to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish ere you reach your prime, it is time to seek the Lord. Ye who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord. Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is day of grace for you now - be thankful for that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink [and by internet], and from my inmost soul, as God's servant, I lay before you this warning, "It is time to seek the Lord". Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.

This devotion was taken from "Morning and Evening" by C.H. Spurgeon.

This Little Light of Mine...

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against those false prophets who have spoken vain things in the name of the Lord of Hosts.

Can there be any doubt that the great falling away is before our very eyes? Oh that the blind followers of the blind would flee the destruction to come and hide themselves in the cleft of the Rock! Oh that they would fall on their faces before the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe and beg for mercy!

One thing is for certain; when one takes a bold, uncompromising stand on the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God the enemies of Christ will be drawn like moths to the flame in their incessant efforts to extinguish the source of the light. Little do they seem to realize that those who are called by His Holy Name are mere lamps through which the True Light shines, we have no light apart from His light.

Lord Jesus, may your Light burn brightly in those who are called by your name and commissioned to speak the singular truth of Christ crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected on the third day; the hinge upon which all of history turns!