Fear Not … ( a year’s end meditation)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. ( I John 4:18-19)

Do Not Fear for I am with you, Be not anxious for I am your God. I will uphold you, surely I will help you, surely I’ll deliver you with my righteous right hand …” (Isaiah 41:10)

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3-4)

I have been pondering the events of the previous year, (actually the previous three or four years), and praying for a Word from the LORD that I can pass on to you my readers, my precious brothers and sisters in Jesus.

The Word came, clear and simple and it was this, “Fear Not …”.

I believe that the prophetic program is intensifying, and that the birth pangs are coming closer together. This means that there will be potentially fearful things occurring all around us, just as we saw clearly in 2020.

The upheaval that the plague has wrought, and the fact that it possibly could be the result of biological warfare, could be quite fearful. Equally so is the way that our Governors and other politicians have seized upon this situation to exert Soviet level control over whole populations, is really unnerving.

But we are not to fear. The way to glorify God is to not succumb to terror or panic.

I think that the impeachment of a popularly elected president, and then the open theft of a national election in plain sight of everyone, could be an unnerving prospect. I have never seen such malice and such corruption in this country. To have to face it in it’s raw ugliness is really disturbing, to any thinking person. I have grandchildren to raise …

Believe me when I tell you there will be more. The year 2020 was not an anomaly, nor was it like a bad patch of road that we have all thankfully gone past. We are on a prophetic trajectory, there is more to come, for Jesus told us,

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. ( Luke 21:28-29)

But we are not, under any circumstances to give way to fear.

I do not advocate a kind of, “Don’t worry, be calm” stoicism, like those signs posted by the British Royalty during World War 2.

How can we obey the command to “Fear Not …” in the face of what is coming?

* Love delivers us from fear- “Perfect Love casts out Fear”…. We must cling to God, and the Love He has revealed to us in the gospel, this is the basis for not fearing. Do you know that God loves you? Do you realize that it was love that sent Jesus to the cross, to die for you even while you were a sinner?

The knowledge of God’s love, and the consequent command to love others, even our deepest enemies, will bring us through these times, without having to be paralyzed by fear. Fix your soul on the gospel… preach it to yourself again… remember that the incarnation and the cross are the ultimate signs of God’s love to us.

“To him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5)

  • We must remain in the Love of God towards others- We are to Love whoever God has put into our lives. Some of those people are really easy to love, and some are difficult, and obnoxious. It is because God has loved us so freely, we are to love others, even those who are our enemies.

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Epistle of Jude 21)

  • Believe it or not, the issue of Loving others has much to do with the issue of fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Hatred, resentment and unforgiveness open the doors to fear, because all of these are expressions of Self love. Those who give way to hatred and strife are those who will also be filled with many fears. No doubt there will be many opportunities to hate, but we must resist them and “Keep ourselves in the Love of God”.
  • We must cultivate a healthy fear of God- It sounds counterintuitive but it is true, that the way to overcome the fear that leads to death, is to Fear God. There is an amazing passage in Exodus where Moses tells the people to fear not, and yet to fear God at the same time. The two go together;
  • And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. (Exodus 20:20)
  • The one who truly fears God need not fear man. The fear of the LORD is clean, (unlike normal fear) it endures forever, it will not corrupt your soul, instead it will en-noble it to face many trials and hardships. The Saints through the ages have demonstrated this in their patient enduring of suffering and hardship, rejection and even false accusation, as they awaited the vindication that comes from God.
  • Keep short accounts with God and man- My advice for this year, if you sin, confess it to God immediately and if you wrong anyone or have wronged anyone, go to them and admit you were wrong. Only those with a clear conscience will be able to endure. God forgives sin readily. Jesus died for our sins. There is grace for every relationship.

So keep short accounts, don’t let things build up, and whatever you do, stay in fellowship. We need each other, more now than ever! The church, with all of it’s faults and limitations, is God’s program. He has no “Plan B”, this is it! We work out our faith in community, and not as isolated, self contained units. Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father…” not “my Father”.

Being right with God, in both an immediate, day to day sense, as well as in an overall salvific sense, is called being “established in Righteousness”. It imparts a deep confidence in God, a knowledge that is not presumption but reality, that there is nothing that has come between our loving heavenly Father and us.

This is brought out powerfully in Psalm 112, which speaks of the man who truly trusts in the LORD,

… Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. (Psalm 112:6-8)

Remember that we have a God, who is good and whose nature it is to save and redeem. No matter what happens, even if we should die… We win. Jesus has overcome sin and death for us on the cross, death is not final, we overcome.

If I didn’t have Jesus, and didn’t know that I had peace with God, having been justified by the death and resurrection of Jesus … I really would fear. I would have much reason to fear. The whole world is collapsing. All of the comforts, joys, freedoms and privileges of our lives in the West are eroding. We have thieves and swindlers for national leaders, and they the so called “Kings of the earth” are following an Agenda that ends with the AntiChrist. Any thinking man should fear, if he isn’t saved.

Finally, to you who may have come upon this message who are thinking, “I do not know if I am right with God”, listen …. It is in the simplicity of realizing that you are truly a sinner, and that Jesus died for your sins, and in believing that God raised Jesus from the dead, that is how a person is saved .

If you confess with your mouth, the LORD Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved … for whosoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved”, (Romns 10:8-13)

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Should We Take the Vaccine Shots? …an opinion

Someone asked me for my opinion on whether or not it would be right to take the Vaccine for Covid. Here is my reply…I welcome any input or discussion...”Questions / Comments: Bill, what are your thoughts on Christians taking the new covid vaccines? You hear conspiracy views talking it will change your dna and make people unredeemable to God. Thanks, share your thoughts

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. ( Luke 12:4-8)

Dear —- thanks for asking my opinion on this Covid vaccine matter. First I will tell you what I do not think, then I will mention my own caveats about what these shots could possibly be…

1) I do not believe that these shots could render anyone unredeemable. They may well be dangerous because they have to do with alterations on the level of RNA or Dna, and that ought to concern everybody, but I do not fear that they could have that kind of effect.

2) Nor do I believe that these shots constitute the Mark of the Beast , as in Revelation 13.

3) Look at the “fear mongering” which has descended upon us so suddenly and effectively! Were our forefathers such fearful and timid people, when they went out to tame this continent and build this beautiful free World we have been living in?  

As for my Caveats, they are many…

1) I have all kinds of problems with the way Governments seem to be seizing on this Covid crisis to attain previously unimaginable control over free people in a free society. One of our politicians of the Left said “Never let a crisis go to waste…”.  I do not trust these people , nor their “cure” of a disease that they have manipulated, propagandized about and generally terrified millions of people into relinquishing their own freedoms, livelihoods, and even religious observances in order to conform to the new Government edicts.Something about this stinks.

2) Another aspect of these ready made “cures” is that we do not really know what they used to test and produce them. There is a good chance that they contain aborted fetal tissue. That would make those who use them into cannibals, willing to sacrifice babies to live a bit longer. I am not a scientist of any kind and cannot profess expertise on the subject, but as I said, I do not trust our ruling class, they are amoral and even AntiChrist. These “Kings of the Earth ‘  would love to provide some kind of justification for the mass slaughter that is abortion, and they would also love to induce all of the population to participate in the sin, if not directly, then indirectly.Very simnilar to the so called “Medical advances” provided by Dr Mengele in the Nazi era. 

3) Trump is a pragmatist, a businessman who actually knows how to get things done on a swift and effective way. So “Operation Warp Speed” is his fast-tracking of these vaccines, waiving what would usually be five years of trials and tests, in order to get this “miracle vaccine ” on the shelves.

The ‘virus’ was used politically by his enemies to club him down, and the Vaccine being fast tracked is a political move of his own as well.

At this point, I do not trust it…seriously I do not want to accept it into my body.  Particularly if it is coerced. Everybody must seek the LORD and make their own decisions, prayerfully. I have a God, and He is not the US or World Government.

4) Definitely there is  Covid Virus. I have friends who have struggled with it, and some have died of it . Personally I believe it was an errant biological warfare project that got out of hand. Perhaps it was an outright attack by Communist China, I wouldn’t doubt it. 

But the suppression of knowledge about it, by Big Tech, and the suppression of provable alternative treatments for it, by the Government and Big Tech, tells me that there is a definite Dark spiritual component to it. 

This is why we have to pray, pray, pray for guidance. God does speak to His people, He knows what this is and what to do about it. We have a God, who is good, and whose nature is to hear prayer, Save, and to Heal as it pleases Him. 

There will be some real moral dilemma’s coming for some. For example, if a place of Work demanded their employees take a certain vaccine, (Which you researched and knew to contain aborted Fetal tissue), people are going to have to make some tough choices. 

Pressure is going to come to bear also on those who choose not to, when the inevitable second  or third wave of Covid arrives, and blame is put on those who abstained. Fear creates much pressure to conform.

I do not believe, as I said, that this is the “Mark of the Beast” but I do believe that this whole episode is a trial run for it. Governors demanding people give up Holidays? Making people cover their face? Forbidding eating together in restauraunts? Dictating who can come into your house ? Telling churches how they are to worship? All of the above seem to be compliances demanded in order to dehumanize us. I believe there will be long term psychological effects of people being forced to hide their faces behind masks, etc.

Some of these leftist fanatics are addicted to petty power and just simply won’t want to give it up.  The compliance of many to this is staggering also. I believe we are experiencing a sophisticated Psychological conditioning operation, which is degrading and soul deadening. 

We need to be individually persuaded in our hearts, internally guided after seeking God for direction and confirmation. There will be some who end up taking it without this. It would be harmful to condemn them. It is possible to sin in ignorance (supposing they took one of the vaccines which uses aborted fetal tissue, or something). God is an understanding and forgiving God.

There are also those in the fight of their lives in hospitals, they have Covid and are perhaps subject to other co-morbidities. If that is the case, they have a responsibility to live if at all possible. We must pray for them and encourage their families.

Only true Faith in God can elevate us above it all, and show us how to live (or die) in a way honoring to God and man. I hope this helps… Pastor Bill

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The Pilgrims; (Down the memory Hole…)

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ( Hebrews 11:8-12)

Our Western society loves to commemorate historic anniversaries. When I was a child we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It was constant and pervasive, and as a child I loved it. Picture books, lectures, studies of generals such as Grant and Lee, everywhere we turned.

The November 22, 1963 anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy is dutifully remembered every single year. More recently we had a four year remembrance of the hundredth anniversary of World War 1, (which I have found fascinating also).

I was in the UK a few years ago and they were commemorating the four hundredth anniversary of the King James version of the Bible. It was amazing. The UK I know is a very secular, post Christian society, (with a very strong but tiny remnant church), but even the godless BBC heavily commemorated the King James version, and it’s contribution to the English language.

But there is an equally profound four hundred year anniversary, which for the most part is relatively ignored by our society. I speak of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers on the MayFlower. I am amazed at the relative lack of popular, mainstream interest in the event, and have been pondering why, before God.

It’s not that we just can’t remember that far back anymore, after all, last year America was awash with the “1619 project” a Marxist and deeply flawed version of America’s founding. It was 1619 that the first African slaves were brought to the New World.

Every where we turn there is an unprecedented educational push ,to establish the lie that America’s real founding is based upon racism and exploitation. There are millions of tax dollars flowing in order to insert this propaganda in public schools.

What does it mean that 1619 is so emphasized , while 1620 is basically ignored?

It is just another example of the spiritual battle being waged for the soul of our nation, between those who were formed by the Judeo Christian outlook and those who are the fruit of the ongoing atheistic revolution. The idea is to spiritually demoralize America , to disintegrate our body politic and disinherit us from our forefathers, their faith and accomplishments.

Admittedly, America has always had two souls; Jamestown, was a colony established by freeloading “Gentlemen” out for treasure and wealth, and who refused to work to feed themselves, instead living off of the good will of the Indian tribes, and eventually cheating and stealing from them.

The other soul of America is that of the Puritans and Separatists who risked all to come here to establish a “City on a Hill”, a place to worship God and evangelize the Indians.

I believe 1620 is ignored now, because this a Christian story, complete with earnest God-fearing people, miracles and a 60 year peace with the Indians. These people wanted to serve God, to live honest lives, to make settlements, raise children and build a just society for future generations.

That doesn’t fit the atheistic narrative. The Pilgrims were not oppressors, they were peace loving settlers. They were builders as well as worshippers.

Originating from the village of Scrooby, in England, the original Pilgrim Fathers were non-conformists, a religious designation, they were Christians but didn’t want to worship in the Anglican,(State) Church. They wanted to form their own assemblies, preach the gospel, and evangelism. But for that many were arrested, harassed, and their churches shut down by Government agents.

( Ironically, I just saw English police invade a church service recently in the name of protecting people from Covid.They barged right in during worship, scaring women and children and proclaiming that the worshippers were an unlawful assembly. The more things change the more they remain the same).

The little persecuted group of believers, scraped together their meager funds and moved to Holland where there was more religious freedom. But after a few years, the Pilgrims found Holland to be too worldly and were concerned about losing their children to the world. So out of their extreme poverty they pooled enough funds to charter two boats and half of the congregation set out for the New World in search of religious freedom. They soon had to turn back because one of the ships leaked so badly it was deemed unseaworthy, so they crammed into one ship, the Mayflower.

These weren’t professional soldiers or adventurers, they were simple, English evangelical Christians who risked all on that boat in search of religious freedom. Many had sold themselves into indentured servitude in order to afford the journey.

There were miracles of God’s providence

  • The sailors abused the Pilgrims badly, calling them “Psalm singing pukestockings” and threatened to throw them overboard. They even tried to prevent them from bringing a prized Printing Press (The Pilgrims wanted to print the Bible in America). Had they succeeded the ship would have been in deep trouble. A storm broke the undergirding of the main mast, and the only way they could repair it was by using the screw of the printing press which fit perfectly under the mast replacing the broken piece and enabling the crew to elevate the mast into place.
  • A storm blew the Pilgrims off course, had they landed where they intended, they would have joined another colony in Virginia which had 120 or so people reduced to starvation, eating boiled shoes and belt leather.
  • The Mayflower instead landed in Massachusetts, at just the place where a fierce tribe of Indians had recently been devastated by a plague, nearly wiping them out. Had they survived or not been plagued, they would surely have instead killed every one of the Pilgrims.
  • A few months into the New World, the Pilgrims were startled by the visit of an Indian, who walked into the Palisade, and asked in perfect English,“Have you got any Beer?“. He had been taken to England a few years earlier, learned English and some said, was converted to Christianity, but then wanted to return, only to find out his tribe had been wiped out by plague. He would be an invaluable aid to the Pilgrim company, teaching them how to live off of the land, when and where to fish, plant etc.

These stories were once well known and cherished in America. Now they are being ignored and forgotten, in our politically correct, atheistic cultural revolution. We must not let this happen.

What is a Pilgrim? A pilgrim is a religious traveler, who seeks a “better city” and who knows that there is something higher and purer available (from God) to any who will heed God’s call and follow. The Marxist atheists hate the Pilgrims because they were unashamed Christians. Thus they denigrate them, misrepresent them, and charicature them on every opportunity.

The lack of commemoration of them, and what they would suffer and die to build, is a shame. Scripture tells us “The Memory of the Just is blessed…but the name of the wicked shall rot”.

Those seeking to destroy this country, and who are willing to lie and denigrate the Pilgrims and others in order to do it, could never build a just and free society as the Pilgrims would do, (It takes Christianity, applied to do so.) They couldn’t hold a candle to these people. It is much easier to destroy than to build in this fallen world.

Every Thanksgiving I gather my family around and tell them the story of these remarkable saints, as we all Thank God for his indescribable blessings. May God help us to keep the feast in faith and Love.

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Are Your Garments White? ( He is coming … )

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they“? And I said unto him, “Sir, thou knowest”. And he said to me, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them“. ( Revelation 7 :13-15)

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. ( Revelation 22:14 NASV)

The LORD has been dealing with me about garments lately, spiritual garments.

Our Salvation is likened unto a Spiritual garment, “The Robe of Righteousness”. It is a gift of God, which we are to wear, and to regularly apply the Spiritual cleansing of the blood of Jesus.

“If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:5)

The old Gospel Song, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” has a line which says, “Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you W a s h e d in the blood of the Lamb?”. *

This issue of clothing and Nakedness is a theme in the books of Genesis and Revelation as well.

Man was created and clothed in nothing less than the glory of God. He was not self conscious, nor did He carry the burden of guilt or condemnation. He was free, and completely open, as was his wife. The scripture puts it this way,

“…they were naked and unashamed…”.

The very first symptom of the judgment of death, which came upon them in the great transgression, was the realization of nakedness and the shame which accompanied it. They were afraid to encounter God, who had given them nothing but good, and walked with them in the garden, previously, so the first couple hid themselves, and fashioned “clothing” from fig leaves.

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. ( Genesis 3:7-8)

The end corresponds to the beginning, so we see shadows of the second coming in Genesis 3, and learn that when the LORD comes to judge the inhabitants of this earth, there will be no hiding, or evasion possible. All will be revealed at the coming of the LORD.

It is interesting to me too, what God asked Adam, our first father, “Who told you that you were naked?”. This sense of nakedness and hiding from God has been the major spiritual pursuit of the Sons and daughters of Adam ever since. We have a deep sense of true moral guilt, which we try to hide, or salve or counter in some way or other.

We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and somehow we all know it.

Furthermore, We don’t want to be found to be naked at his coming, we don’t want to have to turn away from Him in in shame, what we need is to be clothed.

The very first act of Redemption in the Bible, was when the merciful and loving God, condescended to the first couple, and fashioned them proper clothes, after physically slaughtering an innocent animal, and removing the skin of it, to clothe them with.

We see in Genesis three, a shadow of Calvary there, for an innocent, God appointed animal had to die, to cover the shame of the human race, the fig leave outfits had to be discarded and the bloody skins would be the covering.

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

( Genesis 3:21)

Again in Genesis, shortly after the flood, Noah became drunk and disgraced himself, passing out naked in his tent. One of his sons discovered Him in that state, and drew the other’s attention to it, mocking him. Apparently it wasn’t just Ham, but Canaan also, a grandson mocked and exposed their Father’s nakedness.

Noah’s other two sons, Shem and Japheth, wanted to preserve their father’s dignity and walked backwards towards him, in order to. restore a covering to Him. The Apostle Peter quoted a Proverb in his Epistle, that says,

“… Love covers a multitude of sins …”

Salvation itself is a covering. God has provided a “garment of Righteousness”, to anyone willing to shed their own “fig leaves” (self Righteousness) and “put on Christ”.

We used to sing a Chorus which illustrated this fact,

I am covered over with the Robe of Righteousness,

which He gives to me...

I am covered over with the precious blood of Jesus

and He lives in me...

What a joy it is to know,

My Heavenly Father loves me so

and lives in me…

when He looks at me, he sees not what I

used to be, but He sees Jesus…

I Am Covered Over

The Chorus is entirely Biblical, we are said to be, “clothed in Righteousness” and have been given,”The Garment of praise for the Spirit of Heaviness” according to Isaiah 61 and other scriptures. Salvation is a gift of grace, it is the gift of Righteousness (Right Standing with God).

The coming of Jesus is likened unto a wedding, which we are all preparing for. The Garments are to be washed regularly, we don’t want to come in spotted, stained and torn garments.

The revelation shows a vast multitude, in glory, standing as victors before the LORD’s throne, wearing white stola (festive robes) . John is asked, “Who are these arrayed in white robes?” What an answer to Genesis 3!
“These are those who came out of great Tribulation, and who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb …”

Again, the revelation confers one of it’s seven blessings on those who, “Wash their robes …”, obviously in the blood of the Lamb.

As Elisha Hoffman asks us in his song, “Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? “

Jesus told one of the churches in Revelation,(Sardis)

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:4-6

I believe these scriptures call us to the regular application of promises such as First John 1:9, and to the constant application of the forgiveness purchased by Jesus in His death, to our lives, conscience and walk. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

The simple discipline of prayerful self examination and of confession of sin is something no one “grows out of”.

*”Are You Washed In The Blood?” Elisha Hoffman, pub.1878

  1. Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    • Refrain:
      Are you washed in the blood,
      In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
      Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
      Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  2. Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  3. When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
    Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
    And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?
  4. Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
    And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
    There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
    Oh, be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

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Fathers; Knowing Him Who Is From The Beginning… I John 2:12-14 pt 5

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. ( I John 2:12-14)

The third category of Christian growth and experience, after “little Children” and “Young Men” are those who are called “Fathers” by the Apostle.

Who are these “Fathers”? This would include those designated and recognized as official Elders, and Church leaders, but not limited to them.

Anyone (men or women) in the church, who has passed through the previous stages, remaining faithful to Christ, having “warred a good warfare” and gone on into a mature Christian attainment, would play the role described as “Fathers”.

Perhaps we can define what John meant by “Fathers’ by listening to Paul the Apostle. In the Epistle to the Corinthians He pled with his ‘sons’ in the gospel to imitate him as a Father.

I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.( I Corinthians 4:13-15)

Fathers and Mothers in the Faith, are those who have ‘begotten’ others, they have taken in hand to disciple and nurture others, and communicated eternal life to them.

What is the unique grace John twice attributed to these Fathers by the Holy Spirit?

The Fathers in Christ “…know Him who is from the beginning…”. They have come to know Christ as the eternal Word of God, the Word of the Father.

The knowledge that a child has of his Father, is of a different quality than the knowledge that a young son would have, or even an adult man would have of his own Father.

The Children are assured that they “know the Father”.This is the privilege of all children of God, as well as the promise of full forgiveness of Sins. The reality of the Father’s Love, discipline, protection and provision, with all of it’s ethical implications is everything to the young Christian.

The season of testing that Christians eventually are called into, and the necessity of applying the revealed truths and principles in the arena of conflict, serves to deepen the reality of fellowship with God as Father, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The “Young Men” , resort to a strength they hadn’t experienced, and find that the Faith and promises of the Father are sufficient in the battle.

The testing of faith actually re-inforces the reality of Eternal Life, and prevailing in spiritual strife, is a means of the assurance of salvation.

What is it that these Fathers attain after years of maintaining faith, enduring conflict, nourishing and nurturing other believers unto maturity?

“You have known Him that is from the beginning”.

Robert Law, in his valuable commentary on I John, “The Tests of Life” puts it well,

Hence, it is the Fathers who know Him who is from the beginning. We look to mature experience for a largeness of view , a calm untroubled depth of conviction, a clear eyed judgment upon life which youth cannot have…. in the coarse of a moderately long life a man may have witnessed a great many changes and commotions in society, violent oscillations of opinion, temporary eclipses of truth and triumphs of wrong; but he may have learned that at the same time, how through all of these, the undeviating purpose of God pursues it’s way, How the great principles of Truth and right assert themselves, amid all changes, as things God has settled and that cannot be shaken”( Robert Law, “The Tests of Life” Baker publishing)

The Fathers are rooted in the knowledge of the unchanging one. They cannot be shaken, they have walked with Him who never changes. The Fathers have gone through the various shakings, they have maintained the church through the persecutions, denials of Truth, defection by the powerful, and intellectual and moral challenges. They know that love and truth will prevail and that God’s purpose cannot be altered.

A Prayer based on I John 2:12-14

May God’s church always teem with the newly born again. Babes hungry and thirsty for Righteousness, and constantly ‘knowing and believing the Love God has to them”, and resorting to the “throne of Grace for the Forgiveness of Sins.

May God house also sport a dedicated cadre of “young men” who know how to speak and apply the Word of God, and who will not shirk from the cosmic warfare. Let them discover that in the armor of light and with the weapons of righteousness, “they are strong, and the Word of God remains in them, and they have overcome the wicked One”.

Finally, may there be “Fathers” in the church, men and women who have weathered the cultural and spiritual storms, holding faith and a good conscience. May we always be blessed in the congregation with those who have come to the knowledge of “Him who is from the beginning”, unshaken, rooted in Him, even in the face of persecution, defection or death.

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You Overcome By The Word Of God… 1 John 2:12-14 pt 4

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.( I John 2:12-14)

The Apostles commends the young men. They have warred a good warfare consistently, and have overcome the wicked One. I think of Daniel and His friends, or of Joseph , they were severely put to the test, and came through the crucible many times, overcoming in their own days.

I cannot help but think of our Saviour in the days of his flesh also, as the prototype of these “young men”, He was also put through a battery of tests and he overcame the Devil himself.

We are given a glimpse of at least one of those battles, in the wilderness.

In the wilderness, everything fades away, the sense of God himself, friends and helpers, encouragement, comfort, the feeling of strength. All of that evaporates, and One is left with nothing, but the Temptation, the tempter, and the Word of God.

The tempter presented a series of propositions, (temptations) all of which called into question spiritual and religious principles; the goodness and sufficiency of God, ‘Would the ends justify the means?’ and even the misuse of scripture as a temptation.

To all of these, Jesus answered “It is written…”. By doing so He was asserting his own submission to Scripture, and appealing to God’s authority over his own thoughts and feelings.

This is what the “Young men” and this is why they are strong and overcome the wicked one, in the face of Temptation.

The scripture Jesus cited, was applicable to his very situation, for He had hidden it in his heart. Humanly speaking, Jesus had trained himself to think that way, to see life that way. He was Jahweh’s disciple and by the Word He overcame the wicked One.

Was he not in the wilderness as the children of Israel had been in the Exodus?

Why would God put his Son in that desperate situation? (That would be the temptation, “If you are the Son of God…?”)

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

What is the Word of God? Is it not the eternal principles of Right and Truth, the revelation of the Living God? The Word is the only sure weapon by which all temptation can be met and mastered, and which is irresistible to the adversary. The Young men learn this and depend upon it, using it in the conflict , over and over again.

young men … ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one

The task given to the young men, is to enter into the conflict, and to apply the weaponry of the Spirit of God, the Word of God itself, in the heart, in the mouth, and communicated to those in need of it.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.( Psalm 119:9-12)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. ( Psalm 19:14)

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The Young Men In The Church … 1John 2:12-14 pt. 3

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father, I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
( I John 2:12-14)

The Apostle John addressed three phases of Christian growth in his first Epistle; Little Children, Young Men and Fathers. Each is given a Word appropriate to their own situation. These phases apply to both sexes, the Children are those newly born-again, male and female, the Young Men also includes young women as well, and of course Fathers is all about maturity, for the church has it’s mothers as well, but John didn’t live in an age of hyper gender sensitivity, people knew what he meant.

Who are the ‘young men’? They are those who have been born again and who have grown spiritually, past the stage where the primary needs are simple; assurance of forgiveness of sins, and the knowledge of God as Father. Eventually, every Christian comes to a point of testing in every way.

God allows all of us to be exposed to various temptations and tests to show us what is in us, (or what should be in us but isn’t). Temptation doesn’t give anyone faith, nor can it ever take it away. What Temptation serves to do is to reveal the faith we have within us, and to purify it through testing.

“Young Men” are those in the church being proved, and hopefully approved.

The “wicked One”, the Devil, is allowed to test us in order to, “sift us like wheat”. The tests vary, for he appeals to pride in this one, to lust in another one, each according to the personality type. It is normal for all Christians to undergo testing and trials,

… now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: ( I Peter 1:6-7)

God wants his children to be overcomers; of the World, the Flesh and the Devil.

We who are born again have been given faith, but within our hearts is also much dross. The fire is turned up, and as the Christian remains faithful and true in the fire of temptation and testing, He matures and overcomes the Tempter. His faith is purified and shines as gold.

Conflict is the eventual arena which all Christians must pass through this stage. We are “warring a good warfare”as we “Fight the good fight of faith”.

Always at stake in the conflict are the spiritual principles which are being called into question by the various temptations we all face; “Is God’s way really the best way?”, “Is the Word of God sufficient?”, ” Shouldn’t you turn those stones into bread?
Why wait for God, do something out of yourself?”
“Do I really want to confess Jesus before men?”

The Young men take up the fight, they apply the Word of God to the questions which are raised, and are deepened and strengthened in the process. The call to evangelize and share faith is part also of the conflict, as the ‘young men’ engage in the spiritual warfare of the church, some involving themselves in the questions of apologetics, others in evangelism of the lost or equipping their fellow saints to be faithful.

Of course there is also the serious conflict which arises from overcoming indwelling sin.

This is a normal and healthy phase of Christian progress.

I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.

They learn in the strife that Temptation doesn’t last forever, and that the real satisfaction in life is in believing and obeying God.

Righteousness only deepens every time they yield to God rather than to their passions and lusts, and they also learn the Christian art of ‘mortification of sin in their members’, and thus strangle sin in their lives. Every time they say “Yes” to God and “No” to self, they incline themselves more to do the same the next time. It is true, “Sin does not have Dominion over us…” as Paul tells us in Romans 6.

As in physical life, and in a healthy family, the older children are an inspiration and example to the younger ones. They emulate them and want to be like them. I remember certain ones around me, when I was first born again into the church, who I admired for their zeal, boldness, and hunger for Righteousness.

They wanted to know something about the Christian answer to Evolution and other manifestations of atheism, so they took it on themselves to study. They wanted to enter the debate where they were, ( It was a university town). The issues vary, ( there are many issues like evolution, by which the wicked One is deceiving and denying the Faith) but, the impulse is the same and real in the hearts of Christ’s ‘young men’, they want to overcome the wicked one, it is born into them by God.

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Little Children, You Know The Father…I John 2:12-14 pt 2

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father , I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.( I John 2:12-14)

The Apostle John, addresses the three segments of the Christian congregation, according to Spiritual age and experience; Fathers, Young Men and Children.

To the children, the newly born again, are given two absolute possessions; The Forgiveness of Sins, and the knowledge of God as Father. This is the common advantage shared by all Christians, from the least to the most advanced, that they Know God the Father, as revealed in Jesus Christ.

“This is Life eternal, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…” ( John 17:3)

What does it mean for a babe to know his Father? In normal circumstances, for a newborn babe, the first recognizable voice is that of the Father. My children knew me, having heard my voice even before they were born, by virtue of me being around them, talking to their mother and others whilst they were in the womb.

Obviously little children do not know their own Fathers in a comprehensive and complete way, but they do know ( in a healthy situation), that in their Father resides Love, Wisdom, protection and even power. (“My Dad can do everything!”).

Spiritually, the primal cry of the newly born-again Christian is “Abba, Father”. Unto the Father, we seek everything; sustenance, assurance, confidence, teaching, strength, etc. . We are taught to open our (group) prayers with “Our Father, which art in heaven…”.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.( Galatians 4:4-6)

The Spirit of God in our hearts launches a constant cry in us, to God the Father! We know instantly and inwardly upon New Birth, that all blessedness and strength to help lie in our throwing ourselves upon the Father trustingly.

Thus the most basic teaching of our LORD to his disciples on prayer, is centered on the assumption of a loving relationship between Father and Children,

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?( Luke 11:11-13)

I would never withhold anything from any of my own children. If I have it, or if it is in my power to give it to them, they know it is theirs for the asking. yet, I am “evil”, (natural) in the sense of Luke 11. It is natural for a loving Father to do whatever he must to try and meet the needs and even desires of his children.

Jesus asks, “How much more shall your heavenly Father…?”

We now have a heavenly Father! We are in a loving relationship with him who is the fount of all wisdom, goodness, blessedness, strength and protection and honor.

The Love of God towards we his children, is Fatherly Love. He disciplines us for our good, He teaches and guides us. A healthy Christian seeks to emulate the Father, they want to be like him. We want his approval as well, and our happiness is bound up in his blessing. We have become part of the Family enterprise, and thus seek to glorify the Father.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.( Matthew 5: 16)

Since we now know the Father, we need not seek personal honor nor recognition of men. Our new center is to please “…the Father who see’s in secret…” . We seek the honor that comes from Him, as Jesus did. The reward we now crave is his approval,

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.( Matthew 6:6)

To the “little Children” the Apostle proclaims, are given the twofold blessing, The Forgiveness of all sins, and the Knowledge of God as Father. The two are inseparable, they cannot be earned they are bequeathed to us by the Grace and Love of God, and “for His name’s sake…” , ie Because of Jesus, who paid for this with his own blood, to give to us.

more to come…

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To Christ’s Little Children “Your sins are forgiven..”…I John 2 pt 1

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. I I John2:12-14)

The Apostle John wrote his Epistle and specifically addressed three stages of Christians, each in a different phase of Christian growth. There are within the true church, Fathers, Children and Young men.

What does the Apostle have to say to those who are new in Christ?

He tells us that the newly born again, have been given two precious gifts; the forgiveness of sins, and the knowledge of the Father.

Little children, cheer up, for your sins have been forgiven! To be a child of God, born again of the Spirit, is to be forgiven of all of your sins.

This is the deepest and most fundamental need a person has, and is the necessary condition for fellowship with God. There can be no spiritual life, without forgiveness.

Jesus died for our sins. He died as a propitiation, (as a satisfaction) that we might be made acceptable to God.

When I was new in Christ, forgiveness and the assurance of it was what I craved and it was my first great interest. Am I really right with God? Have my sin been forgiven?

God taught me early to resort always to the cross, and to ponder the meaning of the cross, applying it to my fears, and to my powerful guilt and sense of condemnation. I was given verses such as Romans 5:1

“Therefore being justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..”

And I Peter 3:18, which I committed to memory,

Christ died for sin, once and for all, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. He was put to death in the flesh, and made alive in the Spirit…”

Another one I found extremely helpful was I John 1:9,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…”

Whenever the storms of condemnation, and guilt would threaten to wash over me as a newly born again child of God, I was taught to cling to those verses, to recite and even preach them to myself and to my friends who were also new Christians. We loved Jesus but still struggled with sinful habits and attitudes, but these verses became like beacons of light to us.

Let these promises of God strengthen and establish you, even if you are struggling and falling down, get back up in Jesus name and learn that in the simplicity of confessing your sin to God, and hating it, taking God’s side against it, forgiveness of sins and cleansing are yours in Jesus name.

Jesus loved you when you were still a sinner, how much more does He love you, now that you are a child of God?

Yes, you struggle and fall and stumble and fail … but Jesus died for you. I am inspired to write to you and tell you a message from heaven, Little Children, Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake… ( in other words, based on what Jesus did, who He is and what He wants for you).

I John 1:9 tells us, that it is not a matter of how you might feel about it, it is a matter of His faithfulness. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. That is such good news.

It is the privilege of all children of God, to be forgiven of sins, but in this Epistle he specifically marks out the “Little Children”, as the beneficiaries of this privilege, and another equally blessed gift, which we will discuss in our next article, that “You know the Father”.

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Remember That We Are Pilgrims…election 2020

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. ( I Peter 2:11)

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.( Hebrews 11:8-10)

No matter what happens in the Political realm, I offer this short piece in order to remind my precious brothers and sisters in Messiah, that we are all called to be Pilgrims. We are only passing through, and will find no lasting home in this world, for we are being fitted and prepared for the next one.

All of us have heard Jesus’ voice which has called us up to somewhere and something so much higher and purer than anything this World has to offer. The Apostle encourages us,

“The sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared to the Glory which shall be revealed…” (Romans 8:17)

We don’t know what will happen in the next few days. Obviously I have personal preferences, I don’t want to be ruled by the Left, with it’s anti Life platform, but it might please God to allow this to happen, and should it happen, we should rejoice, knowing our pilgrimage is daring to a close.

It could also be that the so called “right” could prevail, and that it could become just as despotic as the so called left would like to be. Who knows? A Pilgrim cannot rely on anything in this fallen world, except the inevitability of human ndepravity and hostility to God, and his people.

Only God knows. We just have to set our sights on the LORD and his heaven.

I was told this morning that the “Lockdown” imposed upon the UK is so severe, church meetings are now forbidden. I know a good many precious and faithfilled believers there who will not bow down to such an unjust edict. I assure you all we are praying for you.It just might Please God to call upon us to offer various degrees of sacrifice, for the cause of Truth.

Remember, We are Pilgrims, sojourners, and exiles. Our true home is in heaven.

We come from a long line of others who heard the heavenly call, and who left all to follow the one who had no place in this earth to lay his head.

We have no desire for things to get worse, nor to suffer, for we are not “super christians”, (there is no such creature) we are merely redeemed men and women, who love Jesus. I don’t want to suffer, but there is something I dread more… I don’t want to deny my LORD when it is our turn to stand up and be counted with Him and with our brother Pilgrims throughout the World and over the centuries.

I am often comforted by a story Corrie Ten Boom told us, in her book “The Hiding Place”. She was raised in a devoutly Christian family, and her father, Kaspar, was a rock of faith.Kaspar had read the Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs to Corrie and her sisters , as little girls, and the thought of martyrdom disturbed her.

She confided in her father that she was afraid of death and was quite sure she did not have the strength to be a martyr. Corrie’s father reminded her of the train ride to Amsterdam. “”When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” her father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength . . . He will supply all you need just in time.”

Our God is good. He knows what is going on and He cares. A bird cannot fall out of a tree without his loving notice, and you and I are worth more than many birds. I hope this song will minister to you as it does me;

To Be A Pilgrim

Happy Day of Rest! Jesus loves you…

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