Monday, August 31, 2015

 

Word of God
 
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Book of Ezra 1:6
 
6 And all they that were about them, strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with substance and with cattle, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

Brethren:

God can, where he pleases, incline the hearts of strangers to be kind to his people, and make those to strengthen their hands that have weakened them. The earth helped the woman. Besides what was willingly offered by the Jews themselves who staid behind, from a principle of love to God and his house, much was offered, as one may say, unwillingly by the Babylonians, who were influenced to do it by a divine power on their minds of which they themselves could give no account. How this proclamation was seconded by Cyrus himself. To give proof of the sincerity of his affection to the house of God, he not only released the people of God, but restored the vessels of the temple.

Now let us observe:

1. How careful Providence was of the vessels of the temple, that they were not lost, melted down, or so mixed with other vessels that they could not be known, but that they were all now forthcoming. Such care God has of the living vessels of mercy, vessels of honour, of whom it is said (See 2 Timothy 2:19-20), that the Lord knows those that are his, and they shall none of them perish.

2. Though they had been put into an idol’s temple, and probably used in the service of idols, yet they were given back, to be used for God. God will recover his own; and the spoil of the strong man armed shall be converted to the use of the conqueror.

3. Judah had a prince, even in captivity. Sheshbazzar, supposed to be the same with Zerubbabel, is here called prince of Judah; the Chaldeans called him Sheshbazzar, which signifies joy in tribulation; but among his own people he went by the name of Zerubbabel—a stranger in Babylon; so he looked upon himself, and considered Jerusalem his home, though, as Josephus says, he was captain of the life-guard to the king of Babylon. He took care of the affairs of the Jews, and had some authority over them, probably from the death of Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, who made him his heir, he being of the house of David.

4. To him the sacred vessels were numbered out, and he took care for their safe conveyance to Jerusalem, v. 11. It would encourage them to build the temple that they had so much rich furniture ready to put into it when it was built. Though God’s ordinances, like the vessels of the sanctuary, may be corrupted and profaned they shall, in due time, be restored to their primitive use and intention; for not one jot or tittle of divine institution shall fall to the ground. (See Matthew 5:18)

5) Make note herein as well, that the keyword is “willingly”, that is to say given with a joyful heart, and without malice, nor begrudgingly or forcibly coerced into handing over by any powerful authority. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

 

Word of God
 
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Book of Daniel 12:4

4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal (See Isaiah 8:16; Revelation 22:10) the book till the end of the time: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Brethren:

As such, so we read that Daniel must now shut up the words and seal the book because the time would be long ere these things would be accomplished: and it was some comfort that the Jewish nation, though, in the infancy of their return from Babylon, while they were few and weak, they met with obstructions in their work, were not persecuted for their religion till a long time after, when they had grown to some strength and maturity. He must seal the book because it would not be understood, and therefore would not be regarded, till the things contained in it were accomplished; but he must keep it safely, as a treasure of great value, laid up for the ages to come, to whom it would be of great service; for many shall then run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then this hidden treasure shall be opened, and many shall search into it, and dig for the knowledge of it, as for silver. They shall run to and fro, to enquire out copies of it, shall collate them, and see that they be true and authentic. They shall read it over and over, shall meditate upon it, and run it over in their minds; discurrent—they shall discourse of it, and talk it over among themselves, and compare notes about it, if by any means they may sift out the meaning of it; and thus knowledge shall be increased. By consulting this prophecy on this occasion they shall be led to search other scriptures, which shall contribute much to their advancement in useful knowledge; for then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord, (See Hosea. 6:3)

Those that would have their knowledge increased must take pains, must not sit still in slothfulness and bare wishes but run to and fro, must make use of all the means of knowledge and improve all opportunities of getting their mistakes rectified, their doubts resolved, and their acquaintance with the things of God improved, to know more and to know better what they do know. And let us here see reason to hope that: First those things of God which are now dark and obscure will hereafter be made clear, and easy to be understood. Truth is the daughter of time. Scripture prophecies will be expounded by the accomplishment of them; therefore they are given, and for that explication they are reserved. Therefore they are told us before, that, when they do come to pass, we may believe. Secondly, those things of God which are despised and neglected, and thrown by as useless, shall be brought into reputation, shall be found to be of great service, and be brought into request; for divine revelation, however slighted for a time, shall be magnified and made honorable, and, above all, in the judgment of the great day, when the books shall be opened, and that book among the rest.

Therefore, towards the end of the time appointed, many persons will be stirred up to inquire into these things delivered in this book, and will spare no pains or cost to get knowledge of them; will read and study the Scriptures, and meditate on them; compare one passage with another; spiritual things with spiritual, in order to obtain the mind of Christ; will peruse carefully the writings of such who have gone before them, who have attempted anything of this kind; and will go far and near to converse with persons that have any understanding of such things: and by such means, with the blessing of God upon them, the knowledge of this book of prophecy will be increased; and things will appear plainer the nearer the accomplishment of them is; and especially when accomplished, when prophecy and facts can be compared together: and not only this kind of knowledge, but knowledge of all spiritual things, of all evangelic truths and doctrines, will be abundantly enlarged at this time; and the earth will be filled and covered with it, as the sea with its waters; (See Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14)


Monday, August 24, 2015

 

Word of God
 
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Book of Daniel 12:2

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life (See Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15), and some to shame and perpetual contempt. (See Isaiah 66:24; Romans 9:21)

Brethren:

Many of those who sleep in the dust, both Jews and Gentiles, shall be awakened by it to take upon them a profession of religion, and shall rise out of their heathenism or Judaism; but, since there will be always a mixture of hypocrites with true saints, it is but some of those who are raised to life to whom the gospel is a savour of life unto life, but others will be raised by it to shame and contempt, to whom the gospel of Christ will be a savour of death unto death, and Christ himself set for their fall. The net of the gospel encloses both good and bad. But, 3. It must be meant of the general resurrection at the last day: The multitude of those that sleep in the dust shall awake, that is, all, which shall be a great many. Or, Of those that sleep in the dust many shall arise to life and many to shame. The Jews themselves understand this of the resurrection of the dead at the end of time; and Christ seems to have an eye to it when he speaks of the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation (See John 5:29); and upon this the Jews are said by St. Paul to expect a resurrection of the dead both of the just and of the unjust.

And nothing could come in more seasonably here, for, under persecution, some basely betrayed their religion, others bravely adhered to it. Now it would be a trouble to them that, when the storm was over, they could neither reward the one nor punish the other; this therefore would be a satisfaction to them, that they would both be recompensed according to their works in the resurrection. And the apostle, speaking of those that suffered martyrdom, tells us that though they were tortured yet they accepted not deliverance, because they hoped to obtain this better resurrection, (See Hebrews 11:35)

There shall be a glorious reward conferred on those who, in the day of trouble and distress, being themselves wise, did instruct many. Such were taken particular notice of in the prophecy of the persecution, that they should do eminent service, and yet should fall by the sword and by flame; now, if there were not another life after this, they would be of all men most miserable, and therefore we are here assured that they shall be recompensed in the resurrection of the just.

As death is oftentimes compared to "sleep", in which the senses are bound up, and the body is in a state of inactivity; (See John 11:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:14 ), so the resurrection from the dead is expressed by awaking out of sleep, when the body shall rise fresh and vigorous, in full health and strength, as a man out of a comfortable sleep; see ( See Psalms 17:15; Isaiah 26:19 ) . The word "many" is used, either because, as all will not sleep, so all will not be awaked; there will be some that will be alive and awake at Christ's coming, ( See 1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:17 ) , or, as it signifies, a multitude, and so here the innumerable multitude of the dead, who are afterwards distributively considered; and indeed the word is sometimes used for "all"; see (See Romans 5:15, 19 )

Some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt:

This is to say that the enjoyment of everlasting life and happiness with Christ in the world to come; a phrase often used in the New Testament, though never before in the Old; expressive of that felicity and bliss which the saints enjoy in heaven after this life is over, first in the separate state of the soul, and then, at the resurrection, in soul and body, and of the everlasting continuance of it; they that shall enjoy this are those that are written in the Lamb's book of life, or are ordained unto eternal life; who are redeemed by the blood of Christ, regenerated by his Spirit and grace, justified by his righteousness, adopted into the family of God, are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; these are the dead in Christ, which rise first. Then [shall arise] the wicked, who lived in a course of sin in this world, without any remorse or shame; but, when they shall rise from the dead, they will rise with all their sins upon them, and with a full conviction of them in their consciences; and will be ashamed of them, and to appear before God the Judge of all; and will be had in contempt by the Lord, by elect angels, and all good men; and this reproach shall never be wiped off. Our Lord seems manifestly to have respect to this passage, when he speaks of men coming out of their graves at the last day, "some unto the resurrection of life, and others unto the resurrection of damnation" and upon these words it may well be thought the Apostle Paul grounded his faith of the resurrection of the dead, both just and unjust, and though the resurrection of both is spoken of here and elsewhere together, yet it will be at distinct periods of time; the resurrection of the just at the beginning of the thousand years, and that of the wicked at the end of them, (See Revelation 20:5-6) , between which will be the intermediate state of the saints dwelling with Christ on earth; where they will be favoured with his presence, and the rewards of his grace, to which the following verse has respect.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Book of Daniel 12:1


1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there began to be a nation unto that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book.

Brethren:

It is usual with the prophets, when they foretell the grievances of the church, to furnish it at the same time with proper antidotes, a remedy for every malady. And no relief is so sovereign, of such general application, so easily accommodated to every case, and of such powerful efficacy, as those that are fetched from Christ and the future state; thence the comforts here are fetched. Jesus Christ shall appear his church’s patron and protector: At that time, when the persecution is at the hottest, Michael shall stand up, The angel had told Daniel what a firm friend Michael was to the church. He all along showed this friendship in the upper world; the angels knew it; but now Michael shall stand up in his providence, and work deliverance for the Jews, when he sees that their power is gone, ( See Deuteronomy. 32:3 ). Christ is that great prince, for he is the prince of the kings of the earth, ( See Revelation1:5 ). And, if he stand up for his church, who can be against it? But this is not all: At that time (that is, soon after) Michael shall stand up for the working out of our eternal salvation; the Son of God shall be incarnate, shall be manifested to destroy the works of the devil. Christ stood for the children of our people when he was made sin and a curse for them, stood in their stead as a sacrifice, bore the cure for them, to bear it from them. He stands for them in the intercession he ever lives to make within the veil, stands up for them, and stands their friend. And after the destruction of antichrist, Christ shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, shall appear for the complete redemption of all his

These shall be delivered not only from the then present outward troubles, not only from their present captivity and afflictions, but from their spiritual evils; from the bondage of sin, and the captivity of Satan; their disbelief of the Messiah; their confidence in their own righteousness, and attachment to the traditions of their fathers; they shall be turned from their transgressions, and return to the Lord their God, and David their King, and shall be truly converted, and spiritually and eternally saved, ( See Romans 11:25 Romans 26 ) . Every one that shall be found written in the book; in the book of life, as Jacchiades; in the book of God's eternal purposes and decrees, concerning the salvation of his people by Christ; for it is according to these that God saves and calls men, whether Jews or Gentiles, ( See 2 Timothy 1:9 ) ( See Philippians 4:3 ) ( See Hebrews 12:23 ) ( See Revelation 20:12 Revelation 20:15 ) ( 21:27 ) .

Friday, August 21, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

The Book of Daniel 9:18

18 O my God, incline thine ear and hear: open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city whereupon thy Name is called: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our own righteousness, but for thy great tender mercies.

Brethren:

We do not present our supplications before thee with hope to speed for our righteousness, as if we were worthy to receive thy favour for any good in us, or done by us, or could demand any thing as a debt; we cannot insist upon our own justification, no, though we were more righteous than we are; nay, though we knew nothing amiss of ourselves, yet are we not thereby justified, nor would we answer, but we would make supplication to our Judge. Moses had told Israel long before that, whatever God did for them, it was not for their righteousness. Likewise Ezekiel had of late told them that their return out of Babylon would be not for their sakes. Whenever we come to God for mercy we must lay aside all conceit of, and confidence in, our own righteousness. They take their encouragement in prayer from God only, as knowing that his reasons of mercy are fetched from within himself, and therefore from him we must borrow all our pleas for mercy, and so give honour to him when we are suing for grace and mercy from him.

Not pleading their good works and righteous actions, and the merits of them, which had none in them, and were no other than as filthy rags, and could not recommend them to God, or be used as a plea and argument to obtain any good thing from him; but throwing themselves upon the abundant grace and mercy of God in Christ, mercy they pleaded, and not merit; and made mention of the righteousness of Christ, and not their own; as all good men, who are truly sensible of themselves, and of the grace of God, will do.

Thursday, August 20, 2015



Word of God

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God
Matthew 4:4

 The Book of Daniel 9:13

13 All this plague is come upon us, as it is written in the Law of Moses (See  Deuteronomy 28): yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand thy truth.

Brethren:

Following upon yesterday’s post of meditation we have before us today’s scripture reinforcing it. First, let us understand that God’s word is truth, and wisdom, therefore departure from it leads to all divers of troubles, misfortunes and if continued to a point wherein God looks not with providence and blessings upon us, but instead withdraws His hand and allows us to wallow in our own doings and iniquities.

Penitents should again and again accuse and reproach themselves till they find their hearts thoroughly broken. All Israel have transgressed thy law. It is Israel, God’s professing people, who have known better, and from whom better is expected—Israel, God’s peculiar people, whom he has surrounded with his favours; not here and there one, but it is all Israel, the generality of them, the body of the people, that have transgressed by departing and getting out of the way, that they might not hear, and so might not obey, thy voice. This disobedience is that which all true penitents do most sensibly charge upon themselves: We obeyed not his voice, and we have sinned, we have done wickedly. Those that would find mercy must thus confess their sins (See 1 John 1:9).  Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God in all the judgments that were brought upon them; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God, that he may be clear when he judges, and the sinner may bear all the blame.

As such we read of Daniel in this chapter praying and admitting:

1. That he acknowledges that it was sin that plunged them in all these troubles. Israel is dispersed through all the countries about, and so weakened, impoverished, and exposed. God’s hand has driven them hither and thither, some near, where they are known and therefore the more ashamed, others afar off, where they are not known and therefore the more abandoned, and it is because of their trespass that they have trespassed; they mingled themselves with the nations that they might be debauched by them, and now God mingles them with the nations that they might be stripped by them.

 2. He owns the righteousness of God in it, that he had done them no wrong in all he had brought upon them, but had dealt with them as they deserved: "O Lord! righteousness belongs to thee; we have no fault to find with thy providence, no exceptions to make against thy judgments, for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he does, even in the sore calamities we are now under, for we obeyed not the words of his mouth, and therefore justly feel the weight of his hand.” (See Lamentations 1:18). He takes notice of the fulfilling of the scripture in what was brought upon them. In very faithfulness he afflicted them; for it was according to the word which he had spoken. The curse is poured upon us and the oath, that is, the curse that was ratified by an oath in the law of Moses.

3. Likewise this further justifies God in their troubles, that he did but inflict the penalty of the law, which he had given them fair notice of. It was necessary for the preserving of the honour of God’s veracity, and saving his government from contempt, that the threatenings of his word should be accomplished, otherwise they look but as bugbears, nay, they seem not at all frightful. Therefore he has confirmed his words which spoke against us because we broke his laws, and against our judges that judged us because they did not according to the duty of their place punish the breach of God’s laws. He told them many a time that if they did not execute justice, as terrors to evil-workers, he must and would take the work into his own hands; and now he has confirmed what he said by bringing upon us a great evil, in which the princes and judges themselves deeply shared. Note, It contributes very much to our profiting by the judgments of God’s hand to observe how exactly they agree with the judgments of his mouth.

4. He aggravates the calamities they were in, lest they should seem, having been long used to them, to make light of them, and so to lose the benefit of the chastening of the Lord by despising it. "It is not some of the common troubles of life that we are complaining of, but that which has in it some special marks of divine displeasure; for under the whole heaven has not been done as has been done upon Jerusalem,’’ It is in Jeremiah’s lamentation in the name of the church, Was ever sorrow like unto my sorrow? which must suppose another similar question, that is to say was ever sin like unto my sin?

5. Finally in the end he puts shame upon the whole nation, from the highest to the lowest; and if they will say Amen to his prayer, as it was fit they should if they would come in for a share in the benefit of it, they must all put their hand upon their mouth, and their mouth in the dust: "To us belongs confusion of faces as at this day  we lie under the shame of the punishment of our iniquity, for shame is our due.’’ If Israel had retained their character, and had continued a holy people, they would have been high above all nations in praise, and mane, and honour (See Deuteronomy 26:19 ); but now that they have sinned and done wickedly confusion and disgrace belong to them, to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the inhabitants both of the country and of the city, for they have been all alike guilty before God; it belongs to all Israel, both to the two tribes, that are near, by the rivers of Babylon, and to the ten tribes, that are afar off, in the land of Assyria. "Confusion belongs not only to the common people of our land, but to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, who should have set a better example, and have used their authority and influence for the checking of the threatening torrent of vice profaneness

Yet here is the good news; the errand upon which afflictions are sent is to bring men to turn from their iniquities and to understand God’s truth; so Elihu had explained them,(See Job. 36:10) . God by them opens men’s ears to discipline and commands that they return from iniquity. And if men were brought rightly to understand God’s truth, and to submit to the power and authority of it, they would turn from the error of their ways. Now the first step towards this is to make our prayer before the Lord our God, that the affliction may be sanctified before it is removed, and that the grace of God may go along with the providence of God, to make it answer the end. Those who in their affliction make not their prayer to God, who cry not when he binds them, are not likely to turn from iniquity or to understand his truth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Meditation One




When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you. Even though you make many prayers I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.” - Isaiah 1:15



Then they will call on me but I will not answer, The will seek me diligently but they will not find me” - Proverbs 1:28



Brethren:



A few days ago while in meditation, prayer and conversation with our Lord, it was impressed upon me the above scriptures. During this alone time, my thoughts were on how we as a nation had turned from being obedient to our Creator, and have fallen so far away from our first and foremost duty to Him, that is to worship Him.

In The Book of Proverbs Chapter one, scripture goes on to say the reasoning behind God's turning away from us. It is we that have not sought Him. We have abandoned all knowledge and wisdom as given to us by Him. Likewise, when He has sought to correct us we have not heeded His correction but instead have rebelled against it. As a result He has allowed to now wallow in the misery of our own making.

The blood on our hands comes from many areas. We have not preached the Gospel, and have not warned others of the coming judgment (See Daniel 7:9-10, 26). We have failed as watchmen, and therefore those that we should have, could have reached is on our heads (See Ezekiel 3:17, 33:7-9). We take the lives of others without mercy or cause, and then justify our actions with excuses. The life of the unborn has been sacrificed to god of self convenience.

Yet there is hope (See Proverbs 1:33; Job 4:4) And that hope lies not in this world but in that which is yet to come. For what gain ( See Matthew 16:26) we in this world if we hope to save what is considered sinful by our Creator? So, if as the Apostle Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death, then it must be considered, that the wages of righteousness is life. Now we know that our own best efforts at righteousness cannot save us, for if it were so, then there would have been need for Christ to redeem us for if we lived fully by the law, then the law would have brought righteousness. But we are incapable of living as such, so the need for Savior became needed. And what a Savior He is indeed! For not only does He redeem us from all sins, and unrighteousness, but His sacrifice also imputes (See Romans 4:24) His righteousness to us, thereby meeting the righteous requirements of God the Father.