Sunday, March 12, 2017


God Glorified In Man's Dependence
Part 1
by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Edited by Dr. Riktor Von Zhades

29 That no flesh should rejoice in his presence.30 But ye are of him in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.31 That, according as it is written, He that rejoiceth, let him rejoice in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:29-31

Those Christians to whom the apostle directed this epistle dwelt in a part of the world where human wisdom was in great repute; as the apostle observes in the 22d verse of this chapter, "The Greeks seek after wisdom." Corinth was not far from Athens, that had been for many ages the most famous seat of philosophy and learning in the world.

The apostle therefore observes to them, how that God, by the gospel, destroyed and brought to nought their human wisdom. The learned Grecians, and their great philosophers, by all their wisdom did not know God: they were not able to find out the truth in divine things. But after they had done their utmost to no effect, it pleased God at length to reveal himself by the gospel, which they accounted foolishness. He "chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world, and things that are despised, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are." [Read 1 Corinthians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 2:14] And the apostle informs them why he thus did, in the verse of the text; That no flesh should glory in his presence.

In which words may be observed,

1. What God aims at in the disposition of things in the affair of redemption, viz., that man should not glory in himself, but alone in God; That no flesh should glory in his presence,-that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

2. How this end is attained in the work of redemption, viz., by that absolute and immediate dependence which men have upon God in that work for all their good.

First. All the good that they have is in and throught Christ; He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. All the good of the fallen and redeemed creature is concerned in these four things, and cannot be better distributed than into them; but Christ is each of them to us, and we have none of them any otherwise than in him.[Read Isaiah 64:6] He is made of God unto us wisdom: in him are all the proper good and true excellency of the understanding. Wisdom was a thing that the Greeks admired; but Christ is the true light of the world, it is through him alone that true wisdom is imparted to the mind. It is in and by Christ that we have righteousness-. it is by being in him that we are justified, have our sins pardoned, and are received as righteous into God's favor. It is by Christ that we have sanctification: we have in him true excellency of heart as well as of understanding; and he is made unto us inherent, as well as imputed righteousness. It is by Christ that we have redemption, or actual deliverance from all misery, and the bestowment of all happiness and glory. Thus we have all our good by Christ, who is God. Another instance wherein our dependence on God for all our good appears, is this, That it is God that has given us Christ, that we might have these benefits through him; he of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, &c. It is of him that we are in Christ Jesus, and come to have an interest in him, and so do receive those blessings which he is made unto us. It is God that gives us faith whereby we close with Christ.

There is an absolute and universal dependence of the redeemed on God. The nature and contrivance of our redemption is such, that the the redeemed are in every thing directly immediately, and entirely dependent on God: they are dependent on him for all, and are dependent on him every way.

The several ways wherein the dependence of one being may be upon another for its good, and wherein the redeemed of Jesus Christ depend on God for all their good, are these, viz., that they have all their good of him, and that they have all through him, and that they have all in him: that he is the cause and original whence all their good comes, therein it is of him; and that he is the medium by which it is obtained and conveyed, therein they have it through him; and that he is that good itself that is given and conveyed, therein it is in him.

Now those that are redeemed by Jesus Christ do, in all these repects, very directly and entirely depend on God for their all. The redeemed have all their good of God; God is the great author of it; he is the first cause of it, and not only so, but he is the only proper cause. It is of God that we have our Redeemer: it is God that has provided a Saviour for us. Jesus Christ is not only of God in his person, as he is the only begotten Son of God, but he is from God, as we are concerned in him, and in his office of Mediator; he is the gift of God to us: God chose and anointed him, appointed him his work, and sent him into the world. And as it is God that gives, so it is God that accepts the Saviour. As it is God that provides and gives the Redeemer to buy salvation for us, so it is of God that salvation is bought: he gives the purchaser, and he affords the thing purchased.

It is of God that Christ becomes ours, that we are brought to him, and are united to him: it is of God that we receive faith to close with him, that we may have an interest in him. "For by grace ye are saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" [Read Ephesians 2:8]. It is of God that we actually do receive all the benefits that Christ has purchased. It is God that pardons and justifies, and delivers from going down to hell, and it is his favor that the redeemed are received into, and are made the objects of, when they are justified. So it is God that delivers from the dominion of sin, and cleanses us from our filthiness, and changes us from our deformity. [Read 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15] It is of God that the redeemed do receive all their true excellency, wisdom, and holiness; and that two ways, viz., as the Holy Ghost, by whom these things are immediately wrought, is from God, proceeds from him, and is sent by him; and also as the Holy Ghost himself is God, by whose operation and indwelling [Read John 14:17], the knowledge of divine things, and a holy disposition, and all grace, are conferred and upheld.

And though means are made use of in conferring grace on men's souls, yet it is of God that we have these means of grace, and it is God that makes them effectual. It is of God that we have the holy Scriptures; they are the word of God. It is of God that we have ordinances, and their efficacy depends on the immediate influence of the Spirit of God. The ministers of the gospel are sent of God, and all their sufficiency is of him. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" [Read 2 Corinthians 4:7]. Their success depends entirely and absolutely on the immediate blessing and influence of God. The redeemed have all.

Of the grace of God. It was of mere grace that God gave us his only begotten Son. The grace is great in proportion to the dignity and excellency of what is given: the gift was infinitely precious, because it was a person infinitely worthy, a person of infinite glory; and also because it was a person infinitely near and dear to God. The grace is great in proportion to the benefit we have given us in him: the benefit is doubly infinite, in that in him we have deliverance from an infinite, because an eternal misery; and do also receive eternal joy and glory. The grace in bestowing this gift is great in proportion to our unworthiness to whom it is given; instead of deserving such a gift, we merited infinitely ill of God's hands. The grace is great according to the manner of giving, or in proportion to the humiliation and expense of the method and means by which way is made for our having the gift. He gave him to us dwelling amongst us; he gave him to us incarnate, or in our nature; he gave him to us in our nature, in the like infirmities, in which we have it in our fallen state, and which in us do accompany, and are occasioned by the sinful corruption of our nature. He gave him to us in a low and afflicted state; and not only so, but he gave him to us slain, that he might be a feast for our souls.

The grace of God in bestowing this gift is most free. It was what God was under no obligation to bestow: he might have rejected fallen man, as he did the fallen angels. It was what we never did any thing to merit; it was given while we were yet enemies, and before we had so much as repented. It was from the love of God that saw no excellency in us to attract it; and it was without expectation of ever being requited for it. And it is from mere grace that the benefits of Christ are applied to such and such particular persons. Those that are called and sanctified are to attribute it alone to the good pleasure of God's goodness, by which they are distinguished. He is sovereign, and hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardens.

Man hath now a greater dependence on the grace of God than he had before the fall. He depends on the free goodness of God for much more than he did then: then he depended on God's goodness for conferring the reward of perfect obedience: for God was not obliged to promise and bestow that reward: but now we are dependent on the grace of God for much more: we stand in need of grace, not only to bestow glory upon us, but to deliver us from hell and eternal wrath. Under the first covenant we depended on God's goodness to give us the reward of righteousness; and so we do now. And not only so, but we stand in need of God's free and sovereign grace to give us that righteousness; and yet not only so, but we stand in need of his grace to pardon our sin, and release us from the guilt and infinite demerit of it.

And as we are dependent on the goodness of God for more now than under the first covenant, so we are dependent on a much greater, more free and wonderful goodness. We are now more dependent on God's arbitrary and sovereign good pleasure. We were in our first estate dependent on God for holiness: we had our original righteousness from him; but then holiness was not bestowed in such a way of sovereign good pleasure as it is now. Man was created holy, and it became God to create holy all the reasonable creatures he created: it would have been a disparagement to the holiness of God's nature, if he had made an intelligent creature unholy. But now when a man is made holy, it is from mere and arbitrary grace; God may forever deny holiness to the fallen creature if he pleases, without any disparagement to any of his perfections.

And we are not only indeed more dependent on the grace of God, but our dependence is much more conspicuous, because our own insufficiency and helplessness in ourselves is much more apparent in our fallen and undone state, than it was before we were either sinful or miserable. We are more apparently dependent on God for holiness, because we are first sinful, and utterly polluted, and afterwards holy: so the production of the effect is sensible, and its derivation from God more obvious. If man was ever holy and always was so, it would not be so apparent, that he had not holiness necessarily, as an inseparable qualification of human nature. So we are more apparently dependent on free grace for the favor of God, for we are first justly the objects of his displeasure and afterwards are received into favor. We are more apparently dependent on God for happiness, being first miserable, and afterwards happy. It is more apparently free and without merit in us, because we are actually without any kind of excellency to merit, if there could be any such thing as merit in creature excellency. And we are not only without any true excellency, but are full of, and wholly defiled with, that which is infinitely odious. All our good is more apparently from God, because we are first naked and wholly without any good, and afterwards enriched with all good.


Sunday, February 26, 2017



Be Ye Also Ready
By Matthew Henry
Edited by Dr. Rikor Von Zhades

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


40 Be ye also prepared therefore: for the Son of man will come at an hour when ye think not.
The Gospel According to Luke 12:40

Brethren:

This may be understood either of a readiness to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments, and of a preparation for death, and the last judgment, which lies in the righteousness of Christ imputed, and his grace imparted: and to have a comfortable view of the one, and a gracious experience of the other, as they will engage to the performance of good works, to which such are ready; so they make meet for the coming of Christ, be it in what way, and whensoever it will: and the rather, a concern should be had for such a preparation. Which as it is said to be like a thief in the night, expresses the suddenness of it, may excite to watchfulness and readiness; which readiness is to be understood, not of a readiness to do the will and work of God, though this is absolutely necessary; as to watch and pray, to hear the word preached, to confess Christ, and give a reason of the hope that is in us, to communicate to the support of the cause and interest of Christ, and to suffer for his sake; but of a preparedness to meet the Lord in the way of his judgments, when desolating judgments are coming on the earth, such as these in Jerusalem; by faith and trust in the power, providence, and care of God; by humiliation before him, and resignation to his will: and if this can be applied to a readiness for a future state after death; for the second coming of Christ, and last judgment, This lies not in a dependence on the absolute mercy of God; nor in an external humiliation for sin; nor in an abstinence from grosser sins, or in mere negative holiness; nor in any outward, legal, civil, and moral righteousness; nor in a submission to Gospel ordinances; nor in a mere profession of religion; but in being in Christ, having on his righteousness, and being washed in his blood; and also in regeneration and sanctification, in having true knowledge of Christ, and faith in him; for all which it becomes men to be concerned, as also all believers to be actually, as well as habitually ready; being in the lively exercise of grace, and cheerful discharge of duty, though without trusting to either. And such a readiness in either branch of it, is not of themselves, but lies in the grace of God, which gives a meetness for glory; and in the righteousness of Christ, the fine linen, clean and white, which being granted by him, his people are made ready for him: and as for their faith, and the exercise of it, and their constant performance of duty, these are not from the strength of nature and the power of freewill, but from the Spirit of God and his grace; who makes ready a people prepared for the Lord, and all according to the ancient settlements of grace, in which provision is made for the vessels of mercy, afore prepared for glory: though there should be a studious concern in men for such readiness, for nothing is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than when it will be; and after death, no readiness can be had, but he that is then righteous, shall be righteous still, and he that is filthy, shall be filthy still(a), and a deathbed is by no means to be trusted to; and though a person may not be snatched away suddenly, but may have space given him to repent, yet if grace is not given him, to repent and believe in Christ, he never will; the grave is ready for men, and in a little time all will be brought to this house, appointed for all living, where there is no wisdom, knowledge, and device; and
therefore whatever we are directed to do, should be now done, with all that might, and strength, and grace, that is given us; to which may be added, that after death comes judgment; the day is fixed, the judge is appointed, and all must stand before his judgment seat; and nothing is more sure than that Christ will come a second time, to judge both quick and dead; and happy will those be that are ready; they will be received by Christ into everlasting habitations, and be for ever with him: and miserable will those be, who will not be ready, who will not have the oil of grace in their hearts with their lamps, nor the wedding garment on them; they will be shut out, and bid to depart into everlasting burnings: how fit and proper is such an advice and exhortation as this, "be ye also ready"

(a) 1 See Hosea 14:10; 1 John 9-10

Sunday, February 12, 2017



The Sunday Sermon
Having the Form,  But Denying the Power 
(Part 1)
by B.H. Carroll  
Edited by Dr. Riktor Von Zhades

-Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. - 
2 Timothy 3:5

Everything in this world takes on a form, and the form serves an excellent purpose; it  is by no means to be despised, but the form by itself is nothing. You may understand  the two thoughts by selecting from a tree a ripe hickory nut, fully ripe. Now, there is  a form around it; that form is for its protection; first, the form of the hull, and then of  the shell, but sometimes you find one that has an external seeming, yet it feels very  light and there is nothing in it; now, there is a mere form -- an empty shell.

The apostle here declares that in the last days there shall be a class of Christians who  have the form of Godliness, but who deny its power, or, as he expresses it they profess that they know God, but in works they deny it, and that here may be no misunderstanding about this class, he describes their characteristics. (Titus 1:16;)

They are selfish people; they love themselves; they love silver; covetous -- that is what the word in the original means, lovers of silver-they are proud, heady,  unthankful people; they receive favors and are not grateful for them. They have no  respect for the relations of life; as children, they are disobedient to their parents; as  wives, they are disobedient to their husbands; as those who have entered into a  covenant, they break the agreements that they have made with other people’; nothing  binding; no sort of an agreement that is made with them will hold. (James 5:12;) They consider not that they are bound by obligations into which they enter with other men; they are  treacherous; they are blasphemers; they love pleasure more than they love God. ( 2 Timothy 3:4;)  Now, those are some of the characteristics of these people.

He says that when that class prevail it makes perilous times, hazardous, dangerous  times; when those who claim to be Christians are only shells, empty shells; when they  have the form of Godliness and deny its power; when they profess to be Christians  and in their lives go directly contrary to the teachings of Christianity. (Matthew 23:27;) If he is an old  man and a Christian, he will be sober, grave, temperate, sound in the faith; if she is  an old woman, she, too, will be sober and grave, and a thoughtful teacher of younger  women, and if she be a young woman and a Christian, she will be chaste and  discreet, and love her husband, and love her children, and will regard it as a religious  obligation to take due care of her home; if it is a servant and a Christian, that servant  will be impelled by his Christianity to do faithful, honest service for the wages that are  paid; not answering back to his employer, not stealing little things, purloining; not one  who serves as under the eye of another, an eye servant, but one who, whether the  master is present and looking on or not, for conscience’s sake renders a faithful  amount of work for the compensation which is paid. (Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 6:6;)

Now, it does seem to me that there is an opportunity at this time in the world for the  highest and holiest demonstration of Christianity ever known in the case of  employees. There is a vast deal of unhealthy sentimentalism prevalent, that kind of  sentimentalism which encourages a man to think that an employer is necessarily a  tyrant; that an employer is necessarily an oppressor of the poor. Oh! What a  revolution it would work, if throughout the length and breadth of this land today all  employees who claim to be Christians would for Christ’s sake do genuine honest  work when they are paid to do the work; that they would give fair service, and that  they would not rely upon this unhealthy sentimentalism that leads men to think that a  contract does not mean anything; that a man’s obligation amounts to nothing; that a  question of honor is nothing ( Leviticus 19:15;)

I do not hesitate to say today that if I were not a preacher, and I knew how to  perform such service, I would like to be for a short time a cook, just to show what  honest, faithful service ought to be in that department, in order to adorn the principles  of the Christian religion. There is a state of demagogism prevalent which arises from the dominion of politics that is absolutely sapping the vitals of a sturdy, rigorous manhood.

Christianity does teach a man to be honest; it does teach that he shall give fair service  for a fair compensation; it does teach that men as they get older should become riper  for salvation; it does teach that in the home its graces should be illustrated; it does  teach that in matters of obligation and word we should be faithful; and this is true,  sound doctrine, the doctrine preached by the apostle, and who, while himself poor  and a laborer, took that high moral ground that if a man would not labor he should  not eat; that he was not entitled to it, and I do believe that if we would, for Christ’s  sake, frown down upon beggary as coming from strong men, that kind of sponging  on others when there is strength in the right arm, when there is ability to render good  service; I believe if we would, for Christ’s sake, frown down upon it, that we would  have a more vigorous, sturdy manhood among our people.

Now, do not misunderstand me. While I have not, as a Christian, one atom of  respect for the demagogy that is debauching the morals of the masses of the people  --not an atom--  neither have I for that power of wealth, for that power of  monopoly that would, under the guise of contract, grind a man to powder and crush  his very soul out of him. ( 2 Peter 2:19;) What I mean to say is, that it is a practical teaching of  Christianity and one that is too much ignored, that for Christ’s sake we ought to be  faithful men and women in every department of life. It is contrary to the life of Jesus  Christ and His precepts to make religion a cloak for idleness in any direction, or for a trifling character. ( Galatians 5:13; James 1:25; James 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16;)

I thought it right --I thought the times called for the pressing of this primal thought of  the text, that a man who professes to be a Christian and has a form of Godliness is  under obligation to recognize the power of that Christianity in the little things of life,  and in the business of life, and in our homes, and in all of our social interchanges. ( 1 Corinthians 10:31;)

Unquestionably that is the teaching of Jesus Christ and all His apostles and we can  be faithful to Jesus by attending to the smallest details of household affairs. We can  recognize the light of the authority of Jesus Christ by being careful concerning the  most insignificant duty of this life, and it is by the massing together of these little things  that a great character is ever formed. A great character is never formed by an  exceptional act; it is never brought about by some sensational surrounding; it is the  development, it is the outgrowth of habit, and by attention to everything that is right in  the sight of God, making His teachings the rule of our life in the most infinitesimal affairs. (a)

(a) Editor’s notation - In order to fully appreciate this last sentence, it is suggested the reading of Psalm 119 in its entirety. Focus on such words/expressions  as, precepts, instruction, your ways, your words. In it the Psalmist David gives glory to God by living his life according to His Word. 
Dr. RVZ – Servant of the King Jesus Christ



Sunday, January 8, 2017




Christ Revealing the Father
by F.B. Meyer (1847-1929)

Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father - John 14:8-9

The longing of the universal heart of man was voiced by Philip, when he broke in, rather abruptly, on our Lord's discourse with the challenge that He should answer all questions, dissipate all doubt, by showing them the Father. Is there a God? how can I be sure that He is? what does He feel toward us?--these are questions which men persistently ask, and wait for the reply. And the Master gave the only satisfactory answer that has ever been uttered in the hearing of mankind, when He said in effect, "The knowledge of God must be conveyed, not in words or books, in symbols or types, but in a life. To know Me, to believe in Me, to come into contact with Me, is to know the deepest heart of God. 'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?'"

PHILIP'S INQUIRY
It bore witness to the possible growth of the human soul. Only three short years before, as we are told in the first chapter of this Gospel, Christ had found him. At that time he was probably much as the young men of his age and standing. Not specially remarkable save for an interest in, and an earnestness about, the advent of the Messiah; his views, however, of his person and work were limited and narrow: he looked for his advent as the time for the reestablishment of the kingdom of David, and deliverance from the Roman yoke. But three years of fellowship with Jesus had made a wonderful difference in this young disciple. The deepest mysteries of life and death and heaven seemed within his reach. He is not now content with beholding the Messiah, he is eager to know the Father, and to stand within the inner circle of His presence-chamber.

The highest watermark ever touched by the great soul of Moses was when he said, amid the sublimities of Sinai, "I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory." But in this aspiration Philip stands beside him. There is a close kinship between the mighty lawgiver and the fishermen of Bethsaida. How little there is to choose between, "Show me Thy glory," and "Show us the Father." Great and marvelous is the capacity of the soul for growth!

It truly interpreted the need of man.--"It sufficeth us." From nature, with all her voices that speak of God's power and Godhead; from the page of history, indented with the print of God's footprints; from type and ceremony and temple, though instituted by God Himself; even from the unrivalled beauty of our Saviour's earthly life--these men turned unsatisfied, unfilled, and said, "We are not yet content, but if Thou wouldest show us the Father, we should be."
And would it not suffice us?--Would it not be sufficient to give new zest and reality to prayer, if we could realize that it might be as familiar as the talk of home, or like the petitioning of a little child? Would it not suffice to make the most irksome work pleasant, if we could look up and discern the Father's good pleasure and smile of approval? Would it not suffice to rob pain of its sting, if we could detect the Father's hands adjusting the heat of the furnace? Would it not suffice to shed a light across the dark mystery of death, if we felt that the Father was waiting to lead us through the shadows to Himself? How often the cry rises from sad and almost despairing hearts, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us."
But surely this request was based on a mistake: Philip wanted a visible theophany, like that which Moses beheld, when the majestic procession swept down the mountain pass; or as the elders saw, when they beheld the paved sapphire work; or after the fashion of the visions vouchsafed to Elijah, Isaiah, or Ezekiel. He wanted to see the Father. But how can you make wisdom, or love, or purity visible, save in a human life?

Yet this is the mistake we are all liable to make. We feel that there must be an experience, a vision, a burst of light, a sensible manifestation, before we can know the Father. We strain after some unique and extraordinary presentation of the Deity, especially in the aspect of Fatherhood, before we can be completely satisfied, and thus we miss the lesson of the present hour. Philip was so absorbed in his quest for the transcendent and sublime, that he missed the revelations of the Father which for three years had been passing under his eyes. God had been manifesting His tenderest and most characteristic attributes by the beauty of the Master's life, but Philip had failed to discern them; till now the Master bids him go back on the photographs of those years, as fixed in his memory, to see in a thousand tiny illustrations how truly the Father dwelt in Him, and lived through His every word and work.

Are you straining after the vision of God, startled by every footstep, intently listening till the very atmosphere shall become audible, expecting an overwhelming spectacle? In all likelihood you will miss all. The kingdom comes not with outward show. When men expected Christ to come by the front door, He stole in at the back. Whilst Philip was waiting for the Father to be shown in thunder and lightning, in startling splendor, in the stately majesty that might become the Highest, he missed the daily unfolding of the Divine Nature that was being afforded in the Life with which he dwelt in daily contact.

Philip's request emphasized the urgent need of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.--"If ye had known Me". . . the Saviour said. "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me?" They failed to know the Father, because they failed to know Christ, and they failed in this because they knew Him only after the flesh. They were so familiar with Him as their Friend, His love was so natural, tender, and human, He had become so closely identified with all their daily existence, that they did not recognize the fire that shone behind the porcelain, the Deity that tabernacled beneath the frail curtains.

Often those who dwell amid the loveliest or grandest scenery miss the beauty which is unveiled to strangers from a distance. Certain lives have to be withdrawn from us before we understand how fair they were, and how much to us. And Jesus had to leave His disciples before they could properly appreciate Him. The Holy Spirit must needs take of the things of Christ, and reveal them, before they could realize their true significance, symmetry, and beauty.
Two things are needful, then: first, we must know Christ through the teaching of the Holy Ghost; and next, we must receive Him into our hearts, that we may know Him, as we know the workings of our own hearts. Each knows himself, and could recognize the mint-mark of his own individuality; so when Christ has become resident within us, and has taken the place of our self-life, we know Him as we know ourselves. "What man knoweth the things of man save the spirit of man which is in him?--but we have the mind of Christ?"

THE LORD'S REPLY
He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father."

He did not rebuke the request, as unfit to proffer, or impossible to satisfy. He took it for granted that such a desire would exist in the heart, and that His disciples would always want to be led by Him into the Father's presence. In this His ministry resembled that of the great forerunner, who led His disciples into the presence of the Bridegroom, content to decrease if only He might increase. The Master's answer was, however, widely different from John's. The forerunner pointed to Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold the Lamb of God"; Jesus pointed to Himself, and said, "I and My Father are One; to have seen Me is to have seen the Father; to have Me is to possess the Father."

It troubled the Lord greatly that He had been so long time with them, and yet they had not known Him; that they had not realized the source of His words and works; that they had concentrated their thought on Him, instead of passing, as He meant them to do, from the stream to the source, from the die to the seal, from the beam of the Divine Glory to its Sun. He bade them, therefore, from that moment realize that they knew and had seen the Father in knowing and seeing Himself. Not more surely had the Shechinah dwelt in the tabernacle of old, than did it indwell His nature, though too thickly shrouded to be seen by ordinary and casual eyes.

A GLIMPSE INTO THE LORD'S INNER LIFE
Let us get help from this. Many complain that they know Christ, pray to Christ, are conscious of Christ, but that the Father is far away and impalpable. They are therefore straining after some new vision or experience of God, and undervaluing the religious life to which they have already attained. It is a profound mistake. To have Jesus is to have God; to know Jesus is to know God; to pray to Jesus is to pray to God. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. Look up to Him even now from this printed page, and say, "My Lord and my God."

Jesus is not simply an incarnation of God in the sense in which, after the fashion of the Greek mythology, gods might come down in the likeness of men, adopting a disguise which they would afterward cast aside; Jesus is God. All the gentle attributes of His nature are God's; and all the strong and awful attributes of power, justice, purity, which we are wont to associate with God, are His also.

Happy is the moment when we awake to realize that in Jesus we have God manifest and present; to know this is the revelation of the Father by the Son, of which our Saviour spoke in Matthew 11:27.

This Gospel is the most lucid and profound treatise in existence on His inner life. It is the revelation of the principles on which our Saviour lived. So absolutely had He emptied Himself that He never spake His own words: "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself." He never did His own works: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. . . . The Father abiding in Me doeth His works." This was the result of that marvellous self-emptying of which the Apostle speaks. Our Lord speaks as though, in His human nature, He had a choice and will of His own. "Not My will, but Thine be done," was His prayer. Perhaps it was to this holy and divine personality that Satan made appeal in the first temptation, bidding Him use His powers for the satisfaction of His hunger, and in independence of His Father's appointment. But however much of this independence was within our Lord's reach, He deliberately laid it aside. Before He spoke, His spirit opened itself to the Father, that He might speak by His lips; before He acted. He stilled the promptings of His own wisdom, and lifted Himself into the presence of the Father, to ascertain what He was doing, and to receive the inflow of His energy (Read John 5:19; John 12:44, John 12:49).

These are great mysteries, which will engage our further consideration. In the meanwhile, let us reason that if our Lord was so careful to subordinate Himself to the Father that He might be all in all, it well becomes us to restrain ourselves, to abstain from speaking our own words or doing our own works, that Jesus may pour His energies through our being, and that those searching words may be fulfilled in us also, "Striving according to His working, which worketh in Me mightily."

Friday, January 6, 2017




Word of God
But he answering, said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The Gospel According to Matthew 4:4

The Acts of the Apostles 2:39

Commentary prefaced & edited by Dr. Riktor Von Zhades

39 For the promise is made unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Brethren:
This promise is of the Holy Spirit, that is given unto all believers upon their rebirth as children of the King. It gives authority to all those that posses it to speak freely and truthfully about Christ the Redeemer and Messiah. To make His gospel known to all men, and to do so without fear. Remember Jesus has said to us via the Apostle Paul, to be of good courage, (Read Acts 23:11), and likewise to remain steadfast in our belief and doing the work of the Lord. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:58, Hebrews 4:14)

Every one of you. Even those of you that have been the greatest sinners, if they repent and believe, are welcome to be baptized; and those who think they have been the greatest saints have yet need to repent, and believe, and be baptized. There is grace enough in Christ for every one of you, be you ever so many, and grace suited to the case of every one. Israel of old were baptized unto Moses in the camp, the whole body of the Israelites together, when they passed through the cloud and the sea for the covenant of peculiarity was national; but now every one of you distinctly must be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and transact for himself in this great affair.’’ (Read Colossians 1:28). He gives them encouragement to take this course: It shall be for the remission of sins. Repent of your sin, and it shall not be your ruin; be baptized into the faith of Christ, and in truth you shall be justified, which you could never be by the law of Moses. Aim at this, and depend upon Christ for it, and this you shall have. As the cup in the Lord’s supper is the New Testament in the blood of Christ for the remission of sins, so baptism is in the name of Christ for the remission of sins. Be washed, and you shall be washed. You shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost as well as we; for it is designed for a general blessing: some of you shall receive these external gifts, and each of you, if you be sincere in your faith and repentance, shall receive his internal graces and comforts, shall be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Note, All that receive the remission of sins receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. All that are justified are sanctified. Your children shall still have, as they have had, an interest in the covenant, and a title to the external seal of it. Come over to Christ, to receive those inestimable benefits; for the promise of the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, is to you and to your children. It was very express (Read Isaiah 44:3 ): I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed. And (Read Isaiah 59:21 ), My Spirit and my word shall not depart from thy seed, and thy seed’s seed. When God took Abraham into covenant, he said, I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed (Read Genesis 17:7 ); and, accordingly, every Israelite had his son circumcised at eight days old. Now it is proper for an Israelite, when he is by baptism to come into a new dispensation of this covenant, to ask, "What must be done with my children? Must they be thrown out, or taken in with me? Taken in’’ (says Peter) "by all means; for the promise, that great promise of God’s being to you a God, is as much to you and to your children now as ever it was. Though the promise is still extended to your children as it has been, yet it is not, as it has been, confined to you and them, but the benefit of it is designed for all that are afar off; we may add, and their children, for the blessing of Abraham comes upon the Gentiles, through Jesus Christ, (Read Galatians 3:14 . The promise had long pertained to the Israelites (Read Romans 9:4 ); but now it is sent to those that are afar off, the remotest nations of the Gentiles, and every one of them too, all that are afar off. To this general the following limitation must refer, even as many of them, as many particular persons in each nation, as the Lord our God shall call effectually into the fellowship of Jesus Christ. Note, God can make his call to reach those that are ever so far off, and none come but those whom he calls.
Matthew Henry - 17th Century Theologian ,

Thursday, January 5, 2017



Word of God
But he answering, said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The Gospel According to Matthew 4:4

The Acts of the Apostles 1:8

Commentary prefaced & edited by Dr. Riktor Von Zhades

8 But ye shall receive power of the holy Ghost, when he shall come on you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Brethren:

Continuing with yesterday’s study, we read above how that spirit will give us courage and power to witness to the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are commissioned (Read John 20;21)1 by Him to do so, and to present Him in the light that He would wish us to, in order that we by our words, and more importantly our actions will guide others to Him.

There is a tool, a study site, that this editor uses in my studies; it is an interlinear bible. Within it’s pages, (actually a PDF), there are both Hebrew (for the Old Testament), and Greek (for the New Testament) written in the grammatic formats of those languages. It helps in the understanding of what has been written. Please find below, the translation, as written in the Greek formant of the
above verse.

But Ye shall be getting (obtaining) ability (power) of on coming of the Holy Spirit on You. And Ye shall be to me witness in besides (both) Jerusalem and in every (entire) the Judea and Samaria and till of last (as far as limits) of the land (earth)
Admittedly it can be difficult to read, (even more so typing it), but it is thought by this editor, to be of a good use.

Additionally, it is also useful to use commentary from others; theologians, past and present to see their thoughts on the verse or verses that is used. Herein below we read:
You shall receive power. Our Savior Christ doth here call them back as well unto the promise of God as also unto his commandment, which was the readiest way to bridle their curiosity. Curiosity doth rise almost always either of idleness or else of distrust; distrust is cured by meditating upon the promises of God. And his commandments do tell us how we ought to occupy ourselves and employ our studies. Therefore, he commandeth his disciples to wait for the promise of God, and to be diligent in executing their office whereunto God had called them. And in the mean season he noteth their great hastiness, in that they did preposterously catch at those gifts which were proper unto the Holy Spirit, when as they were not as yet endued with the same. Neither did they take the right way herein, in that being called to go on warfare, they desire (omitting their labor) to lake their ease in their inn. Therefore, when he saith, you shall receive power, he admonisheth them of their imbecility, lest they follow before the time those things whereunto they cannot attain. It may be read very well either way, You shall receive the power of the Spirit; or, The Spirit coming upon you; yet the latter way seemeth to be the better, because it doth more fully declare their defect trod want, until such time as the Spirit should come upon them.

You shall be my witnesses He correcteth two errors of theirs in this one sentence. For, first, he showeth that they must fight before they can triumph; and, secondly, that the nature of Christ’s kingdom was of another sort than they judged it to have been. Therefore, saith he, You shall be my witnesses; that is, the husbandman must first work before he can reap his fruits. Hence, nay we learn that we must first study how we may come unto the kingdom of God, before we begin to dispute...Let every man, therefore, apply himself in his work which he hath in hand; let us fight stoutly under Christ’s banner; let us go forward manfully and courageously in our vocation, and God will give fruit in due time (and tide.)

In all Judea Here he showeth, first, that they must not work for the space of one day only, while that he assigneth the whole world unto them, in which they must publish the doctrine of the gospel. Furthermore, he refuteth the opinion which they had conceived of Israel. They supposed those to be Israelites only which were of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh. Christ testifieth that they must gather thereunto all Samaria; which, although they were nigh in situation, yet were they far distant in mind and heart. He showeth that all other regions far distant, and also profane, must be united unto the holy people, that they may be all partakers of one and the same.” - John Calvin
1 - “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you”.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Word of God
But he answering, said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The Gospel According to Matthew 4:4

The Acts of the Apostles 1:4-5

Commentary by Dr. Riktor Von Zhades

4 And when he had gathered them together, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which said he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the holy Ghost within these few days.

Brethren:

Our Redeemer has stated that He would not leave us orphans (Read John 14:18), but would send us a helper, that being the Holy Spirit, (Read John 14:26, 16:7). It is this spirit that burns within us and guides us in many ways. It give us authority to speak in His name. Remember also that when questioned by the religious leaders of that time how our Savior said that the spoke only what the Father had given Him to speak, that the authority given unto Him was from the Father. (Read John 12:49-50) Likewise recall how in the Gospel of Luke1, Jesus says to not meditate on what to say for He will fill your mouth along with wisdom with which to speak. He said to use it as a testimony for His name.

This can only be accomplished by the Holy Spirit that as mentioned above burns within us, consuming all that comes into its path, so that the Gospel of Christ could be brought forward. Therefore friends let us be bold in our words when speaking the truth, and shining the light of the Good News upon the lost.





1 See Luke 21:11-15