Tuesday, January 27, 2015



The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians
Chapter 2:7-8

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he which now withholdeth, shall let till he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that wicked man be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall abolish with the brightness of his coming,

Study Notes

The Holy Spirit, the third person which proceeds from him, as in ( Psalms 33:6 ) , and so the Ethiopic version, "whom the Spirit of our Lord Jesus shall cast out"; Christ will by his Spirit blow a blast upon antichrist and his kingdom, which he shall never recover again, but ever after consume and waste away: or else by his spirit is meant his Gospel; the Scriptures in general are the breath of God, being divinely inspired by him, and are the sword of the Spirit, the two-edged sword of law and Gospel, which proceeds out of Christ's mouth; the Gospel contains the words of Christ, which are spirit and life; these come out of his mouth, and are sharper than any two-edged sword; and as hereby sinners are cut to the heart, hewn and slain, convicted and converted, so by this likewise antichrist will be consumed, and is consuming; for this phrase denotes the beginning of his destruction, which took place at the time of the reformation by the preaching of the Gospel by Luther and others; by which this man of sin received his deadly wound, and has been in a consumption ever since, and is sensibly wasting in his power and glory every day, and will ere long come to utter destruction.

Then he shall come in his spiritual kingdom and glory, by the light of his Gospel and the illuminations of his Spirit; when at eventide it shall be light; when he the sun of righteousness shall arise; when latter day light and glory shall appear, and latter day darkness, the gross darkness of all forms of idolatry and false beliefs which cover the people, shall, be removed, and antichrist in every form shall disappear, he shall come to judge the quick and dead, which will be in flaming fire and great glory; and then will antichrist and his followers, the beast and those that have worshipped him, be cast with the devil and the false prophet into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; and this will be the last and utter end of him. In this passage there is a manifest reference to ( Isaiah 11:4 ) , "with the breath of his mouth shall he slay the wicked"


Monday, January 26, 2015



First the Falling Away

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our assembling unto him, That ye be not suddenly moved from your mind, nor troubled neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as it were from us, as though the day of Christ were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition. Which is an adversary, and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he doth sit as God in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


We as of yet do not know who that person might be, but what is certain, is that this must happen before the Second Coming of Christ.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015




Sunday Sermon (Part two) 
On Psalm 110:4

How Christ may be said to be of the order of Melchizedek

There is a likeness or similitude between them in their names and titles Melchizedek's name by interpretation, is, King of righteousness and well agrees with Christ, who loves righteousness and hates iniquity : who is a king that reigns in righteousness, who sits upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment, and with justice. The scepter of his kingdom is a scepter of righteousness, and bis throne is established thereby: be is king of saints, and all bis ways are just and true; all his regal administrations are according to justice and truth ; for righteousness is the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. As also he may well be called King of righteousness, because he is the author of one, he has wrought out and brought in an everlasting one, which is commensurate to the requirements of the law ; and therefore sufficient for all those, for whom he effected it; this is called the righteousness of God; not that it is the essential righteousness of God, but it is a righteousness, which Christ, who is God as well as man, has wrought out for all his people : for be who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of Cod in him ; to this righteousness of his should we submit, on this should we depend, and in it desire to be found living and dying, and then we shall not be found naked. Likewise Melchizedek's title is King of Salem, which by interpretation is, King of peace; which may well be applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose title in Isaiah is The prince of peace; his kingdom is a kingdom of peace, his government and his peace are of equal duration ; as there will be no end of the one, so neither will there be of the other : in his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth : which was fulfilled in Solomon, who herein was an eminent type of Christ, and to whom those words are principally to be referred, as the Jews themselves acknowledge. Also he may be so called, because that he is both the author and giver of peace ; he has made peace between God and sinners, a lasting and an inviolable one : he has been at great pain and charges to obtain it, it has cost him his precious blood ; he hath made peace by the blood of his cross ; the tidings of which are brought unto us in the gospel and therefore that is called the gospel of peace; he is also the giver of all the inward, spiritual, conscience-peace, which saints enjoy: as He himself said (See John 14:27) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you”; thus is Christ not only king of righteousness, but king of peace; as he is the author of the one, so he is of the other from him alone must we expect them both.

Additionally, there is a likeness or similitude between Christ and Mekhizedek, in the account that is given of him in Hebrews 7:3 without father, without mother, without descent; having neither beginning of days, nor end of life', not but that Melchizedek had both a father and mother, and likewise descent and beginning of days, and end of life, yet the scripture gives us no account who were his father and mother, nor of what stock he descended ; neither when he was born, nor when he died : and these things are on purpose concealed from us, that he might be a proper type of Christ. The Syriac renders it thus, " neither whose «' father nor mother are written in the genealogies ; neither the beginning of his " days, nor the end of his life8;" and another learned f interpreter thus, " of an unknown father, and of an unknown mother, the original of whose " stock cannot be declared;" now this may be referred both to the person and priesthood of Christ.


He is said to be without father; this is true of Christ, as man; for as God he has a Father; God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: and frequent intimations did he give of this to the Jews for which, more than once, they took up stones to stone him : as such he made his application to God in his agonies in the garden, and as such he commended his Spirit to him, when ready to expire on the cross; and also ascended to him as his God and our God, as his Father and our Father: but as man he had no father; for Joseph was only his supposed, and not his real father ; and herein lies the wonderful and astonishing mystery of the incarnation, which was so long prophesied of by Isaiah, Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and pall call his name Immanuel1: and therefore when the tidings hereof were brought to the virgin, it is no wonder that she made the reply she did, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man ? But the answer which the angel returned unto her, was entirely satisfactory, The holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. In Christ's incarnation, as there was a surprising display of God's grace, so there was was an astonishing instance of his power; it was not after the ordinary way of generation ; he was without father. He is said to be without mother; this is true of Christ as God; as man, he had a mother, but no father, as God, he has a father, but no mother: he was from all eternity begotten by the father, in a way ineffable and unspeakable to us ; the modus of his generation who can tell ? We are not to entertain any carnal conceptions of Christ's generation, nor compare it with that of ours, nor any other creature's; for he is without mother; it is true, the virgin Mary is sometimes called by the ancients the mother of God"; but this is said by reason of the hypostatical union of the two natures in one person, upon the account of which sometimes what is proper to one nature is ascribed to the other.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Evening Reflection 
ENCOURAGEMENTS TO MEEKNESS—SCRIPTURE PRECEPTS
By Matthew Henry

We must study to be quiet, that is, study not to disturb others, nor to be ourselves (Psalm 46:10) disturbed by others: be ambitious of this, as the greatest honor, so the word signifies. The most of men are ambitious of the honor of great business and power and preferment: they covet it, they court it, they compass sea and land to obtain it; but the ambition of a Christian should be carried out towards quietness: we should reckon that the happiest post, and desire it accordingly, which lies most out of the road of provocation.

"Let him that will, ascend the tottering seat
Of courtly grandeur, and become as great
As are his mounting wishes: as for me,
Let sweet repose and rest my portion be.
———Let my age
Slide gently by, not overthwart the stage
Of public action, unheard, unseen,
And unconcerned, as if I ne'er had been."
Sir Matthew Hale

This is studying to be quiet. Subdue and keep under all those disorderly passions which tend to the disturbing and clouding of the soul. Compose yourselves to this holy rest; put yourselves in a posture to invite this blessed sleep which God gives to his beloved. Take pains, as students in arts and sciences do, to understand the mystery of this grace. I call it a mystery, because St. Paul, who was so well versed in the deep things of God, speaks of this as a mystery. "I am instructed," as in a mystery, "both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need:" (Philippians 4:11-13) that is, in one word, to be quiet. To study the art of quietness is to take pains with ourselves, to have in our own hearts the principles, rules, and laws of meekness; and to furnish ourselves with such considerations as tend to the quieting of the spirit in the midst of the greatest provocations. Others are studying to disquiet us; the more need we have to study how to quiet ourselves, by a careful watching against all that which is ruffling and discomposing. Christians should, above all studies, study to be quiet, and labor to be actuated by an even spirit under all the unevenness of Providence, and remember that one good word which Sir William Temple tells us the prince of Orange said he learnt from the master of his ship, who, in a storm, was calling to the steersman, "Steady, steady." Let but the hand be steady and the heart quiet, and though our passage be rough, we may weather the point, and get safe to the harbor.

The Perfect Pattern of Meekness;

Our LORD JESUS was the great pattern of meekness and quietness of spirit; all the rest had their spots, but here is a copy without a blot. We must follow the rest no further than they were conformable to this great original: "Be ye followers of me," (Philippians 3:17) says Paul, "as I am of Christ." He fulfilled all righteousness, and was a complete exemplar of all that is holy, just, and good but I think in most, if not all those places of Scripture where he is particularly and expressly propounded to us for an example, it is to recommend to us some or other of the duties of Christianity; those, I mean, which tend to the sweetening of our converse one with another. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, that he might teach us how to dwell together in unity. We must walk in love, as Christ loved us; forgive, as Christ forgave us; please one another, for Christ pleased not himself; be charitable to the poor, for we know the grace of our Lord Jesus; wash one another's feet, that is, stoop to the meanest offices of love, for Christ did so; doing all with lowliness of mind, for it is the same mind that was in Christ Jesus; but above all, our Lord Jesus was an example of meekness. Moses had this grace as a servant, but Christ as a son: he was anointed with it above measure. He is called the "Lamb of God," for his meekness and patience and inoffensiveness, and even in his exaltation he retains the same character. One of the elders told John that "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" would open the sealed book; "and I beheld," says John, "and lo, a Lamb." He that was a lion for strength and courage, was a lamb for mildness and gentleness; and if a lion, yet "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," which the dying patriarch describes to be a lion gone up from the prey, and that is stooped down and couched, and not to be roused up, Genesis 49:9, indicating the quietness and repose even of this lion. If Christ be a lion, he is a lion resting: the devil is a lion roaring. But the adorations given to Christ by the heavenly hosts speak of him as a Lamb. "Blessing and glory to him that sits upon the throne;" they do not say, and to the Lion of the tribe of Judah, but the "the Lamb." Though he has a name given him above every name, yet he will be known by that name which denotes his meekness, as if this were to be his name for ever, and this his memorial to all generations. As he that rides upon the heavens by his name Jah, is the Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of the widows; so Christ rides "prosperously, because of meekness."

Now it is the character of all the saints that they follow the Lamb: as a lamb they follow him in his meekness, and are therefore so often called the sheep of Christ. This is that part of his copy which he expressly calls us to write after: "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart." If the master be mild, it ill becomes the servant to be froward. The apostle is speaking of Christ's meekness under his sufferings, when he says that he "left us an example, that we should follow his steps." Let us observe particularly the meekness of our Lord Jesus towards his Father, and towards his friends, and towards his foes, in each of which he is an example to us.

1. He was very meek toward God his Father, cheerfully submitting to his whole will, and standing complete in it. In his commanding will, "Lo, I come," says he, "I delight to do thy will:" though it enjoined him a very hard service, yet it was "his meat and drink;" and he always did those things that pleased his Father. So likewise in his disposing will he acquiesced from first to last. When he was entering on that sharp encounter, though sense startled at it, and said, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;" (Matthew 26:39) yet he soon submitted with a great deal of meekness: "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." Though it was a very bitter cup, yet his Father put it into his hand, and therefore he drank it: "The cup that my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"

2. He was very meek towards his friends that loved and followed him. With what remarkable instances of mildness, gentleness, and tenderness did he train up his disciples, though from first to last he was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Where nature is corrupt, such are apt to be peevish and froward with those about them; yet how meekly and calmly did he bear with their weaknesses and infirmities. After they had been long under the inspection and influence of such a teacher, and had all the advantages that men could have for acquaintance with the things of God, yet how weak and defective were they in knowledge and gifts and graces! How ignorant and forgetful were they; how slow of heart to understand and believe! And what blunders did they make! Dull scholars it should seem they were, and bad proficients. But their hearts being upright with him, he did not cast them off, nor turn them out of his school, but rectified their mistakes, instructed them in their duty and the doctrine they were to preach, by precept upon precept, and line upon line; and taught them, as they were able to bear it, as one that considered their frame, and could "have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way." As long as he was with them, so long he suffered them. Mark 9:19. This, as it is a great encouragement to Christian learners, so it is a great example to Christian teachers.

Also Christ was meek in his forgiving and passing by their unkindness and disrespect to himself. He was not extreme to mark what they did amiss of this kind. When they murmured at the cost that was bestowed upon him, and called it waste, and had indignation at it, he did not resent it as he might have done, nor seem to observe how much what they said reflected upon him; nor did he condemn them any other way than by commending the woman. When Peter and James and John, the first three of his disciples, were with him in the garden, and very unseasonably slept while he was in his agony praying, so little concerned did they seem to be for him, yet observe how meekly he spoke to them: "Could ye not watch with me one hour?" And when they had not a word to say for themselves, so inexcusable was their fault, he had something to say for them, and instead of accusing them, he apologizes for them: "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." When Peter had denied him, and had cursed and sworn he did not know him, than which—besides the falsehood and perfidiousness of it—nothing could be more unkind, with what meekness did he bear it! It is not said the Lord turned and frowned upon Peter, though he deserved to be frowned into hell, but "the Lord turned and looked upon Peter," and that look recovered him into the way to heaven: it was a kind look, and not an angry one. Some days after, when Christ and Peter met in Galilee, and had dined together as a token of reconciliation, and some discourse passed between them, not a word was said of this matter; Christ not upbraid him with his fault, nor chide him for it, nor did there appear any other fruit of the falling out of these lovers, but only the renewing of their love with greater endearments; which teaches us to forgive and forget the unkindness of those that are for the main our true friends, and if any occasion of difference happens, to turn it into an occasion of confirming our love to them.

3. He was very meek towards his enemies, that hated and persecuted him. The whole story of his life is filled with instances of invincible meekness. While he "endured the contradiction of sinners against himself," he had a perpetual serenity and harmony within, and was never in the least discomposed by it. When his preaching and miracles were cavilled at and reproached, and he himself represented under the blackest characters, not only as the drunkard's companion, but as the devil's confederate, with what a wonderful calmness did he bear it! How mildly did he answer with reason and tenderness, when he could have replied in thunder and lightning! How well satisfied, under all such invidious reflections, with this, that "wisdom is justified of all her children " When some of his disciples would have had fire from heaven upon those rude people that refused him entertainment in their town, he was so far from complying with the motion, that he rebuked it: "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." "This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you." The design of Christ and of his holy religion is to shape men into a mild and merciful temper, and to make them sensibly tender of the lives and comfort even of their worst enemies. Christianity was intended to revive humanity, and to make those men, who had made themselves beasts. (Jude 10, Psalm 49:12) But our Lord Jesus did in a more especial manner evidence his meekness when he was in his last sufferings—that awful scene. Though he was the most innocent and the most excellent person that ever was, who, by the doctrine he had preached and the miracles he had wrought, had richly deserved. all the honors and respect that the world could pay him, and infinitely more; and though the injuries he received were ingeniously and industriously contrived to the highest degree of affront and provocation; yet he bore all with an undisturbed meekness, and with that shield quenched all the fiery darts which his malicious enemies shot at him.

His meekness towards his enemies appeared in what he said to them: not one angry word, in
the midst of all the indignities they offered him. "When he was reviled, he reviled not again. When he was buffeted and spit upon and abused, he took it all patiently; one would wonder at the gracious words which even then proceeded out of his mouth: witness that mild reply to him that smote him: "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?" Also his meekness towards his enemies appeared in what he said to God for them: "Father, forgive them;" so giving an example to his own rule: "Pray for them which despitefully use you." Though he was then deeply engaged in the most solemn transaction that ever passed between heaven and earth, though he had so much to do with God for himself and his friends, yet he did not forget to offer this prayer for his enemies. The mercy he begged of God for them was the greatest mercy that which he was then dying to purchase and procure—the pardon of their sins: not only, Father, spare them, or reprieve them, but, Father, forgive them; the excuse he pleaded for them was the best their crime was capable of: "They know not what they do."

Now in all these things our Master has left us an example. What is the practice of religion, but the imitation of God endeavored by us? And what the principle of it, but the image of God renewed in us? We are bid to be followers of God, as dear children. But this sets the copy we are to write after at a mighty distance, for God is in heaven, and we are upon earth; and therefore in the Lord Jesus Christ, God incarnate, God in our nature, the copy is brought among us, and the transcribing of it in some measure appears more practicable. "He that hath seen me," says Christ, "hath seen the Father;" and so he that imitates Christ, imitates the Father. The religion which our Lord Jesus came into the world to establish, being every way so well calculated for the peace and order of the world, and being designed to recover the lapsed souls of men from their degenerate state, and to sweeten their spirits and temper, and so to befriend human society, and to make it some way conformable to the blessed society above; he not only gave such precepts as were wonderfully fitted to this great end, but recommended them to the world by the loveliness and amiableness of his own example. Are we not called Christians from Christ, whom we call Master and Lord, and shall we not endeavor to accommodate ourselves to him? We profess to rejoice in him as our forerunner, and shall we not run after him? To what purpose were we listed under his banner, but that we might follow him as our leader? We have all of us reason to say that Jesus Christ is very meek, or else we that have provoked him so much and so often had been in hell long ago; we owe it to his meekness, to whom all judgment is committed, that we have not ere this been carried away with a swift destruction, and dealt with according to the desert of our sins, which, if duly considered, one would think should tend greatly to soften us. The apostle draws an argument from that kindness and love to us which we ourselves have experienced, who were foolish and disobedient, to persuade us to be "gentle, showing all meekness;" and he beseeches the Corinthians "by the meekness and gentleness of Christ," as a thing very winning, and of dear and precious account. Let "the same mind" therefore be in us, not only which was, but which, as we find to our comfort, still is in Christ Jesus. That we may not forfeit our interest in his meekness, let us tread in the steps of it; and as ever we hope to be like him in glory hereafter, let us study to be like him in grace, in this grace now. It is a certain rule, by which we must all be tried shortly, that "if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ," that is, if his spirit be not in some measure like Christ's, "he is none of his." Romans 8:9; 1 John 4:20  And if we be not owned as his, we are undone for ever.




The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians
Chapter 1:11

11 Wherefore, we also pray (James 5:16; Colossians 1:12) always for you, that our God may make you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.

Study Notes

Not only observe the above things to your comfort, to support you under sufferings, but we add our prayers, and not only now, but always, that you may be among them in whom Christ will be glorified and admired; in order to which we most sincerely pray.

The Syriac version reads, "your calling", as in ( 1 Corinthians 1:26 ) . The Vulgate Latin reads, "his own calling", meaning their effectual calling. This is indeed of God, and not of man; and is owing, not to any previous worthiness in man, as appears from the instances of Matthew the publican, Zacchaeus, the Apostle Paul, the Corinthians, and others, but entirely to the free grace of God, who counts them worthy, not for any worthiness there is in them; but "vouchsafes", as the word may be rendered, this blessing of grace, their effectual calling, of his own good will and pleasure: but this cannot be meant here, because these persons were partakers of that grace, God had called them to his kingdom and glory; unless the sense of the petition is, that God would cause them to walk worthy of the calling with which they were called, which becoming walk is owing to the grace of God: or else the meaning may be, that God would grant unto them perseverance in the grace, by and to which they were called, that so they might enjoy eternal glory; which though certain, should be prayed for by saints, both for themselves and others: the words may be rendered, "that our God would count you worthy of the call"; of the call of Christ when he shall be revealed from heaven, and come a second time; for then will he first call the saints out of their graves, as he did Lazarus, and they shall hear his all powerful voice, and come forth to the resurrection of life, the first and better resurrection, which those that have part in will be secure from the second death; this the apostle was desirous of attaining to himself, and prays that God would vouchsafe it to others; of this Job speaks in ( Job 14:15 ) . And next Christ will call the righteous, when raised and set at his right hand, to inherit the kingdom and glory prepared by his Father for them; and happy are those who by the grace of God will be counted worthy of this call or rather by calling here is meant, the ultimate glory itself, which the saints are called unto; this God gives a right unto in the justifying righteousness of his Son, and makes meet for by his own grace; and the thing itself is a free grace gift of his through Jesus Christ. In this sense calling seems to be used in ( Ephesians 4:4 ) and to this agrees the Ethiopic version here, "that God may impart unto you that to which he hath called you"; and that is eternal glory, which though certainly and inseparably connected with the effectual calling, may, and should be prayed for, That should fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness. Not providential, but special goodness; not the good pleasure of his strict justice in the condemning of the wicked, denying his grace to them, and hiding from them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, which is a part of his good pleasure, even of the good pleasure of his righteousness; but this is the good pleasure of his grace and kindness in Christ Jesus, and intends the whole of his gracious designs towards his people: and to express the free, rich, sovereign grace of God in them, the apostle uses a variety of words, calling them "his pleasure", "his good pleasure"; and, as if this was not enough, "the good pleasure of his goodness"; and desires that all of it might be fulfilled; it consisting of many things, some of which were fulfilled, and others remained to be fulfilled. It consists of the choice of persons in Christ, and the predestination of them to the adoption of children, which is according to the good pleasure of the will of God; the redemption of them by Christ, in which are displayed the exceeding riches of his grace; the free justification of them by the righteousness of Christ; the full pardon of all their sins, and their adoption into the household of God, and their regeneration, of rich grace, and abundant mercy; all these instances of the good pleasure of divine goodness were fulfilled in these persons; what remained were the carrying on and finishing the work of grace upon their souls, and their enjoyment of the heavenly glory: and for the former, in order to the latter, the apostle prays in the next clause; that the work of faith with power; faith is not only an operative grace, and is attended with good works; but it is a work itself, not of man's, for he cannot produce it in himself, nor exercise it of himself; but it is the work of God, of his operation which he works in his people; it has not only God for its object, and therefore the Arabic version reads, "the work of faith on him"; but it has God for its author: and this now, though it had grown exceedingly in these believers, was not as yet fulfilled or perfect; something was still lacking in it; wherefore the apostle prays that he who was the author would be the finisher of it: (Hebrews 12:2) and this will be done "with power"; not of man's, for this work is neither begun, nor carried on, nor will it be finished by the might and power of men; but the same hands which laid the foundation of it, raise it up, carry it on, and give the finishing stroke to it; it is done by the power of God, and so the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "by his own power": which is greatly displayed in the production of faith at first; for a poor sensible sinner, in a view of all his sins, and the just deserts of them, to venture his soul on Christ alone for salvation; for a man to go out of himself and renounce his own righteousness, and trust to the righteousness of Christ for his justification before God, and acceptance with him, is owing to the exceeding greatness of God's power to them that believe; and the same power is seen in enabling faith to do the things it does; see ( Hebrews 11:1 ) and in encouraging, supporting, and maintaining it under the most difficult circumstances, as in the case of Abraham; and to make it stand fast under the severest persecutions, and at the hour of death, and in the view of an awful eternity, when it receives its full completion.


Monday, January 19, 2015



The Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians Chapter 1:6, 8-9

6 For it is a righteous thing with God, to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you
8 In flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them, that do not know God, and which obey not unto the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 9 Which shall be punished with everlasting perdition from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power,

Study Notes

That which is righteous in itself, is righteous in the sight of God, but it is not always so with men; men may think it a righteous thing that they should be rewarded for persecuting the followers of Christ, supposing they hereby do God good service; but on the contrary, with God, and in his sight and account, it is a righteous thing, or a point of justice, to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you: persecution is an affliction, or a trouble to the saints; persecutors trouble them in their minds and bodies, in their persons and property; they trouble their minds by casting reflections and reproaches upon them, by severe revilings, and cruel mockings, which all are not alike able to bear; and they trouble and afflict their bodies by imprisonment and bonds, by scourging and beating, and various cruel and torturing deaths; and they disturb them in the possession of their estates, by spoiling their goods, and confiscating them to their own use; and it is but according to "lex talionis", the law of retaliation, to render tribulation to such troublers of God's Israel; and to them it is recompensed, either in this world, or in the world to come: sometimes in this world persecutors are manifest instances of God's judgments and wrath upon them, as Herod, who stretched out his hands to vex certain of the church, killed James the brother of John, and imprisoned Peter, and was smitten by the angel of the Lord, and was eaten of worms; and the Jews, who were now the only and the implacable persecutors of the saints, in a short time had the wrath of God come upon them to the uttermost, even upon their nation, city, and temple, upon their persons and property. And if not in this life, it is a certain thing that hereafter such shall have indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish; they shall be cast into outward darkness, into the lake of fire; and the hottest place in hell will be their portion, even devouring flames, and everlasting burnings; and are what is designed by tribulations here.

In flaming fire Which may either refer to Christ, who will be revealed from heaven in such a manner; and whose coming will be as the lightning, not only sudden, but glorious, illustrious, and visible; he will be seen and easily discerned; there will be such a light and flaming fire about him, which, as it will serve to make him visible, will greatly add to the majesty of his appearance, and strike terror to his enemies, and burn them up round about; see ( Daniel 7:7-10 ) ( Psalms 97:3-4 ) or else it may refer to the angels, who shall descend in fiery forms, which is agreeably to their nature, ( Psalms 104:4 ) and so they appeared in the forms of horses of fire, and chariots of fire, when Elijah was carried up to heaven. And it is a tradition of the Jews, that the angel Gabriel descended, "in a flame of fire", to burn Moses, as he was in the inn, when upon his journey from Midian to Egypt: or this clause may be read in construction with the following, as it is in the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, "in flaming fire taking vengeance"; and so expresses the manner in which vengeance will be taken on the wicked by Christ, the Judge of all, to whom it belongs: and the punishment of ungodly men is often signified by fire, and flames of fire, by the fire of hell, and a lake which burns with fire and brimstone, by a furnace of fire, everlasting fire, and fire that cannot be quenched, to set forth the endless torture and inconceivable misery of the damned; and it may be, some regard is had to the general conflagration, which will be at the coming of Christ, when the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and all that is in it, shall be burnt up, when the bodies of the wicked, then living, will be consumed in flames of fire, and their souls feel the wrath of the Almighty. The persons who will then be punished, and on whom vengeance will be taken, are described as follows on them that know not God; which is a periphrasis, or common character of the Gentiles, ( 1 Thessalonians 4:5 ) who know not the one, true, and living God; or know him not so as to glorify him as God, and be thankful to him for the mercies they receive from him, and still less know him in Christ Jesus; which ignorance of theirs is not without sin, nor will it excuse from punishment; for though vengeance will not be taken on them, because they have not a spiritual saving knowledge of God, in the Mediator Jesus Christ, who never was revealed to them; yet forasmuch as they had the light and law of nature, by which the being of God, and the invisible perfections of his nature might be seen and understood, and much of his will, with respect to moral good and evil, be known, against both which they have rebelled, and having sinned, will perish without law: though it may also include all such persons, who having been favoured with an external revelation, have professed to know God, and yet in works have denied him. And that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; of which Christ is the author, was the preacher, and is the sum and substance; which is good news and glad tidings of the grace of, God, of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation by Christ; which may be said to be obeyed, when it is received and embraced by faith, with and from the heart, and confession is made of it with the mouth, and the ordinances of it are submitted to; and which is called the obedience of faith, because faith without obedience is not right, and obedience without faith is of no avail: but all that hear the Gospel do not obey it; there are some that disbelieve and reject the doctrines and ordinances of it, and others that, do profess it, and do not yield a cordial and cheerful obedience to it; both may be reckoned among the disobeyers of it: and though the unbelieving Jews may be chiefly designed here, yet deists of every age and place, where the Gospel revelation has come, and carnal professors, and profane despisers everywhere, may be included; whose condemnation will be aggravated by the external light which has shone around them, and they have hated; the severest punishment will be inflicted on them; it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, than for such persons; see ( 1 Peter 4:17 ) .

With destruction both of soul and body, though not with the annihilation of either; their gnawing worm of conscience will never die, and the fire of divine wrath will never be quenched; the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever. Sin being committed against an infinite and eternal Being, will be infinite in its duration; nor will it cease to be in the persons punished, who will not be in the least reformed or purged from sin by punishment; which will make the continuance of it just and necessary. And these will be driven from the presence of the Lord; as the former clause may express the punishment of sense the wicked will feel in their own breasts, this may intend the punishment of loss; or what they will be deprived of, the presence of the Lord, in which the happiness of angels, and of glorified saints lies; and may also signify how sudden and terrible their destruction will be. As soon as the Lord appears, they will perish at his presence like wax before the fire; and so awful will be his appearance, they will flee from it with the utmost terror, and call to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of the Lord,( Revelations 6:16, Hosea 10:8 ) and to screen them from his wrath and from the glory of his power; or his glorious power, in which he shall come, and which will be exerted, and shown in raising the dead, and gathering all nations before him, in passing sentence on them, and in executing it. For he has the power, as to save, so to does he have the power to destroy, as to glorify the bodies and souls of his saints, so to destroy the wicked, both body and soul, in hell; and the glory of his power will be seen in the one, as well as in the other. And now it will be, that tribulation will be rendered to the troublers of the Lord's people.


Sunday, January 18, 2015




Sunday Sermon 
On Psalm 110:4 (Part 1)
By John Gill (Edited by RPW Sr.)

4 The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek 
(see also Hebrews 7:26)


I have in a late discourse shown you that Levi's Urim and Thummim are to be found with Christ, and I shall now endeavour to make it appear, that notwithstanding that, he is not a priest of Levi's order, but of the order of Melcbizedek; there was a weakness and an imperfection in Levi's priesthood, therefore it was necessary that another priest should arise, not after his order, but after the order of another, who is here mentioned in these words. This Psalm was not wrote by Melcbizedek, as a some of the Jewish Rabbies have imagined •, for he was a greater person than Abraham, he blessed him, and received tithes from him, and therefore could not call him Lord : nor by Eleazar, as others b of them have thought: for though it is true he might call him his Lord, but then he could not assign unto him session at the right hand of God ; nor say of him, that he had an everlasting priesthood after the order of Melcbizedek : nor is it a composure c of David's concerning Abraham, and that victory which he obtained over the kings, for the fame reasons as before : nor was it wrote by David, or by any of the d singers in his time concerning himself, for David had nothing to do with the priesthood. It is true David was the penman of it, as is manifest from the inscription, A psalm of David; but then he did not write it concerning himself, but concerning one that was greater than he, even one whom he acknowledges to be his Lord for.if God never said to an angel, Sit thou at my right hand, and certainly he would never say so to a meer man.

The person who is the subject of this psalm is the Messiah, as is acknowledged by many of the ancient Jewish Rabbies; for the first verse is evidently referred to the Messiah by Christ himself, in Matthew 22:42 -43. where he puts this question to the scribes and Pharisees, What think ye of Christ ? whose son is he ? They fay unto him, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord? saying-, The Lord said unto my Lord, and now as they were not able to answer this question, so neither do they charge him with a misapplication of the text; which, no doubt, they would have done, had they not been convicted in their own consciences that it was right.

It is also applied unto him by the apostle Peter, in Acts 2:39. and there the words of my text, in all those places where they are cited in the epistle to the Hebrews, are manifestly referred unto Christ. The three first verses of this Psalm speak of the glory of Christ's kingdom, in his being placed at the Father's right hand, in the subjection of his enemies to him, and in the mighty conquests of his grace over his own people; and in this fourth verse there is an easy transition from his kingly to his priestly office; both which offices were eminently conjoined in him, of whose order he is here said to be.

Three things are here said of Christ's priesthood;
1 - That it is after the order of Melchizedek.
2 - That it is an everlasting one
3 - That its stability and firmness is in the immutable and unrepeatable oath of God. Each of these shall be considered in their order

Number One
Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedek: And in speaking to this, it will be necessary, 1st, To give you some account, who and what Melchizedek was; How Christ may be said to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek: In treating of the former, I suppose that I shall gratify the curiosity of some; and in considering the latter, I hope to bring out something, for the edification of others.


Let us consider who and what Melchizedek was. The first mention that is made of him, is in Genesis 14:18. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine : and he was the priest of the most high God. His name, by interpretation, is, King of righteousness; and it is very probable that he was called so; because that he was a king who reigned in righteousness, and executed justice in his realm; as he does, of whom he was a glorious type. In, we find that there was a king in Jerusalem, which is supposed to be the same with Salem, whose name was Adonizedek ; which is, by interpretation, Lord of righteousness a name of much the fame signification with this, and perhaps it was a common name of the kings of this place. Even as Abimelech was a common common name of the kings of Gerar, and Pbaraob of the kings of Egypt. Now this inquiry of ours consists of two parts, firstly Who he was and what he was.

Let us consider then, who he was; there has been a variety of opinions concerning him, which may be reduced to these two heads. First such who have thought him to be more than a man and second, such who have thought him to be but a mere man.

Now, of those who have thought him to be more than a man, some have imagined that he was an angel, which appeared in a human form to Abraham: this was the opinion of Origen ; which, though not approved of by a learned author, yet is preferred by him to that which Jerome, and many others, both of the ancient and modern writers, have embraced; of which hereafter. That angels have appeared in a human form, is undeniable; those who appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre, Genesis 27. and are there called men, are in Genesis 19 called angels. However we never read of angels being priests, or of this office being ascribed to them ; for every priest is taken from among men, and not from among angels.

Some have thought him to be of the posterity of Canaan, the son of Ham: that he was a king in Salem, in the land of Canaan: that he was a man of great piety and knowledge,, whom the Lord had remarkably raised up in that corrupt generation, and endued with the knowledge of him and his true worship: his name seems to make it manifest that he was a Canaanite, it being usual with those people to interpose God in compounded names, as in Adonizedek, Abimelek, &c. as also the place of his kingdom, Salem, which was a city in the land of » Canaan: and likewise he is said to have a descent different from the Levites and their ancestors: and this seems well to agree with the design of the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, to cut off all boasting from the Jewish nation concerning the law of Moses, and priesthood of Levi; as also to magnify the grace of Christ among the Gentiles. Many, both ancient and later divines, have been of this opinion.

And still Others who think him to be a meer man, of whose genealogy the scripture is silent, on purpose that he might be as fit a type of Christ as the state of a meer man would allow of, not only think it in vain, but sinful to inquire who he was; and I must confess, we ought not to be too nice in our disquisitions, nor too positive in our determinations in this affair; but I cannot feel that the last opinion which I have mentioned breaks in upon this; which, at present, I am most inclined to embrace.

Which now brings us to another question upon which we may ponder and speculate, that is to say, What he was? First we are told in Genesis 14:18. that he was king of Salem; which, according to some, is the same place which afterwards was called Jerusalem : so all the three Targums upon the place carry it: and we find that Jerusalem is called by this name in David's time. Second in Salem also is his tabernacle; though others think that it was Shalem, a city of the Shechemites, in the Land of Canaan, mentioned in Genesis 33:18. which by another name was called Shechem, and afterwards Salim; near to which John was baptizing, John 3:23. and here Jerome says, in his time, was shown the palace of Melchizedek ; the magnificence of which was manifest by its ruins: but this could not be true, for this city was beat down and sowed with fah by Abimelek, Judges 9:45. and I am most inclined to think that it was Jerusalem of which Melchizedek was king; who herein was a glorious type of Christ, who was constituted king over Zion, and in this very city, as our great high priest, offered up himself a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour to God.

He is also said to be a priest of the most high God, (Genesis 14:19-20) one that was called by God to that office, was employed in the service of God ; and by this tide distinguished from the priests of idols What his sacrifices were, we are not told j but no doubt they were such, which other priests offered who were so by divine appointment: and certain it is, that the bread and wine which he brought out to Abraham ; were not his sacrifice for he did not do that as a priest, but as a king, out of his royal and princely bounty, to refresh Abraham and his weary soldiers ; as will be hereafter shown. So that Melchizedek was both a King and a Priest; instances of which indeed we have among the heathens and perhaps they borrowed or rather stole the practice from this instance: yet we find this was not allowed among the Jews; the priesthood belonged to one tribe, and the kingdom to another : neither David, nor any of his posterity, were allowed the exercise of both offices, till the Messiah came, who was prefigured herein by Melchizedek.

So we may now answer the questions who and what, that is to say he was endued by God with piety and knowledge, and was both king of Salem, that is, Jerusalem, and priest of the most high God, and herein a glorious type of Christ Jesus.