A Golden Chain of Grace

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Donald S. Fortner

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)

Here is a golden chain of grace with five unbreakable links by which our souls are anchored with Christ in Glory.

“My Sheep”

My sheep” — That is our election. The Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees standing before him, “Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” With these two words, “my sheep,” our Lord Jesus Christ declares the gospel doctrine of sovereign election and describes all his people. It is not very flattering to be compared to sheep. Sheep are truly “dumb animals.” They are weak, helpless, defenseless creatures. But there is beauty in these words, “my sheep.” The Lord Jesus Christ identifies himself with and owns all of his people. He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” Then he points to us and says, “These people are ‘my sheep.’”

Christ’s sheep are those people who were chosen Continue reading

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ISAIAH

Isaiah 53

“OUR CONFESSION OF FAITH”

Isaiah 53

 The Works of Henry Mahan, Volume 1 containing The Gospel According To Isaiah, Chapter 20

Someone asked an old minister of the gospel, “Is your creed in print?” He replied, “Yes, you will find it all in Isaiah, Chapter 53.” Here is the gospel of God’s grace in one chapter.

(Vs. 1) “Our report” is our message of the love, mercy, and grace of God in Christ Jesus. It is the testimony of Cod concerning Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1-4). There has never lived a prophet who did not mourn the fact that men would not believe the good news of grace.

“The arm of the Lord” is Christ Jesus, the wisdom and POWER of God; for the gospel of Christ is the power of Cod unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Natural men do not see, hear, nor understand how God can be just and justifier, righteous and merciful to sinners through the obedience and death of Christ, the substitute (I Cor. 2:8-14). He must be revealed to the heart by the Holy Spirit.

(Vs. 2) “A tender plant”signifies His lowly entrance into the world. He came not full grown in the pomp and glory of men but as a tiny, frail, helpless infant, born of a woman (Gal. 4:4-5).

“A root out of a dry ground” reveals the condition of David’s house and the nation of Israel at this time. There was nothing left of the glory of David’s kingdom, only dry ground, its king an unlikely son of a carpenter (John 6:42).

“No form … no comeliness … no beauty.” In sending our Redeemer into the world, the Lord God rejected and refused all fleshly, human attraction. Anything that would attract the eye of the flesh or support of the natural mind was refused. “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 1:10-11). Continue reading

If I Love Christ There Are Some People I Cannot Love

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Don Fortner 

True Christian love is not universal. It does not extend to all men. The fact is, if I love the Lord Jesus Christ there are some people I cannot love. There is such a thing as a righteous hatred.

Listen to God’s servant David, the man after God’s own heart. He wrote these words under the infallible influence of God the Holy Spirit – “Do not I hate them, O Lord,- that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred. I count them mine enemies” (Ps. 139:21-22). A reasonable inference from those two verses is that those who are the Lord’s enemies, those who hold our God in contempt, are to be counted as our enemies and held in contempt by us. Continue reading

Suffer Persecution

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The holy scriptures

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(2 Timothy 3:12-17 KJV)

2Ti_3:12. In the preceding verse Paul speaks of the suffering, afflictions, and persecutions he had endured for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ; and he adds, ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ There are no exceptions.

Satan, the world, and especially unsaved religionists hate the gospel of free grace and justification by faith alone. Going about to establish a righteousness of their own, they are opposed to the imputed righteousness of Christ and count as their enemies all who preach and believe it. Those who wish to be exempt from persecution must necessarily denounce Christ (Joh_15:18-21). All believers shall not be martyrs; but it is absolutely unavoidable that as soon as a true knowledge of grace and a zeal for the person and work of Christ is manifested by a believer, it kindles the rage of Satan and ungodly men. By persecution, slander, murmuring, or some other method, trial will come! Continue reading

Charismaticism: fraud, lies, arrogance and deception

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Grant Swart

Since the initial publishing of the accompanying article, significant developments have taken place within the charismatic movement, and none for the better. The deception and lies of this enormous cult have taken on far greater proportions and the claws of the heretical movement have been sunk into a much broader section of, what is seen to be, the Christian faith, with damning, tragic and devastatingly sad consequences.

Even significant parts of the Reformed church, much of which was regarded as the guardian of relatively ‘safe’, conservative and sound doctrinal Christianity, has been infected by this cancerous and Satanic movement. New Calvinism, or Reformed Charismaticism, is fast becoming the latest fad in many church circles, who seem to have become bored with upholding the truth in the Word. Increasing the support for this demonic charismania, we have international conferences, the enormous influence of multi media and “heavyweight” proponents such as John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Kevin De Young, Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, Joshua Harris and Ligon Duncan driving the deception deep into the flesh of the church.

The fact that so few church leaders are speaking out CLEARLY and without ambiguity against this deception is cause for great concern to believers. It is even worse when our spiritual leaders are prepared to support and embrace the lies, fraud, arrogance and deception of these ravenous wolves in the charismatic sphere of the church.

The subtle horror of this deception is leaving great gaping wounds on the hearts of our people. The lifeblood of the church continues to bleed away, yet the faithful know that at the core of the church, Jesus Continue reading

Internet investigators, Conference fashionistas and Tattle-tale heroes

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Grant Swart

   

(1 Ti 4:16) “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;    continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

   

                     (2Ti 2:14-17) Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.

       (Eph 4:29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

       (Eph 4:12-14) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

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 PREACH WHAT GOD HAS TAUGHT YOU:

Make it your business to know the doctrine of the Holy Bible. Make it your business to proclaim the amazing grace of God, glorify God by speaking the Gospel of His Son, not by spending the majority of your time mentioning names of false and deceived men who are spreading their falsely charismatic messages based on demonic and secular motivation. Teach only simple, clear and considered Biblical Truth to those whom you wish to guide. You cannot expect the immature and the misguided to recognize falsehoods, which you think you have so cleverly have uncovered by your following the tabloids and the adverts stuck on the walls of foyers of worldly churches, unless they FIRST fully understand the Truth. The Truth is not based in our opinions, or in the opinion of the speakers we tend to idolize, but in Scripture.

In this regard, let your discussion, correspondence and intentions be centered around only the inspired doctrine of God. Don’t add to that the opinions of men. Let those who by the providence and Grace of God have excess time on their hands, expend their priceless excess energy and time on edifying and supporting other believers with absolute facts about our sin, God’s grace and Christ’s atonement. Be like the sheep who hear the voice of the Shepherd, the voice which speaks with perfect clarity from the Scriptures, don’t act like those who partake in riotous demonstrations Continue reading

Santa Claus, Antichrist and Angus Buchan: more interesting than the Book of Proverbs?

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Grant Swart

It never ceases to amaze, how controversial personalities and questionable professing Christians succeed in occupying the thoughts, imagination and time of those who regard the internet news feed as a worthy place to spend a lot of their valuable time. It is evident that the debate about characters and events such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, The Elephant Room, Rob Bell and Passion 2013, takes on a greater importance for many, than does for example, the studying and discussion surrounding the wonderful wisdom and humour held within the Book of Proverbs.

The statistics on this blog represent no exception. As administrator, I was able to gain access to those. The following list should be indicative of what I have just said. These are the names of the controversial personalities attached to the most widely read articles on this blog over the past year or two. The list tells its own story:

Santa Claus (father Christmas)

Antichrist

Angus Buchan

TB Joshua

Rick Joyner

Rick Warren

John Piper

Joseph Prince

Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

Bill Johnson

Beth Moore

Ann Voskamp

Kay Arthur

I do concede that, on the greater scale of things, this blog cannot be representative of global tendencies, but these stats are nevertheless disturbing, particularly as there are so many more expository articles on this blog, than there are articles of tabloid interest.

While I realize that it is not any sort of requirement or justification, I wonder how many of the people who have read and commented with much fervour on the blog postings regarding the above personalities, are able to fill in (more or less) the missing words from these well-known Bible verses?

OK, so let us try, beloved readers:

1) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the….., from whence cometh my …… My ….  cometh from the …., which made …… and earth…”

2) LORD, how are they increased that……. me! many are they that …… up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no….. for him in God

One more try, this time, from the most beautiful benediction from the Book of Jude. Simply fill in the blanks in your mind’s eye:

Now to him who is able to keep you from…….. and to present you blameless before the presence of his…… with great……, to the only God, our ……, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, …….. and ………., before all time ..… and  forever. Amen

It seems unacceptable that, when placed on a balance, the time set aside by Christians to partake in conferences, debates, forums and discussions surrounding controversial personalities and subjects, it far outweighs that which is spent in contemplating God’s Grace and applying the simplicity of His Sovereign will to our lives.

I wish there to be great blessings of peace in your lives, and less strife and confusion over subjects and people who cannot as much as influence the passage of a single day in Creation.

Irrespective of how many seats on international jet-liners, people such as CJ Mahaney, John Piper or Benny Hinn fill, or how many hotel rooms they rent as they criss-cross the globe, or how many deceived souls they draw into their conference halls, the form of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain unaffected (Matthew 16:18).  Maybe Rick Warren or Louis Giglio will have a street, a building or a new model of some four cylinder Korean car named after themselves,  but in terms of that which they successfully merchandise to the unbelieving world, they are worthy only of our disregard.

Blessings to all.

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