Thou, Thee, Thy and Thine

Friends, I must share this – I am reading the King James Bible with a greater understanding after finally understanding why the Authorised Version has “King James” English. It makes perfect sense, and I cannot believe the reasons given by many believers as “they are archaic words” or “they never spoke like that.” Give it a read and you will start understanding who is speaking and to whom and ye shalt start getting the full picture with the help of the Holy Spirit.

This source is from the King James Bible Society: Audio Visual Bible website.

6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. ~ Psalm 12:6, 7

Thou, Thee, Thy and Thine


The English words “thou, thee, thy and thine” are translated from an emphatic Greek and Hebrew personal pronoun, stressing the identity of the one being addressed to the exclusion of all others. A “pronoun” is a word that “stands in for” another noun or noun-phrase. A “personal pronoun” is one which stands for a person. The personal pronouns are classified as first person, second person and third person by their relationship to the one speaking.

1st Person – The speaker himself, and any others he may include as part of his group.
2nd Person – Those to whom the speaker is speaking.
3rd Person – Those about whom the speaker is speaking.

Thus, we have the following table which we can construct in English, once we differentiate between the purpose of the various pronouns:

Person Person Nominative Objective Possessive
1st Person singular: I Me My (or Mine)
plural: We Us Our (or Ours)
2nd Person singular: Thou Thee Thy (or Thine)
plural: Ye You Your (or yours)
3rd Person singular: He/She/It Him/Her/It His/Hers/Its
plural: They Them Their (or Theirs)


Verses expressing the Importance of “thou, thee, thy and thine.”  

  • Exodus 4:15, THOU shalt speak … I will be with THY mouth…and will teach YOU what YE shall do.” Thou/Thy” refer to Moses himself, but “You/Ye” refer to the entire nation of Israel.  
  • Exodus 29:42, “… I will meet YOU, to speak there unto THEE.” The “You,” referring to the children of Israel, is explained in the following verse, but “Thee” refers to Moses, who had the holy privilege of hearing the words of God directly (Leviticus 1:1).  
  • 2 Samuel 7:23, “And what one nation in the earth is like THY people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for YOU great things and terrible, for THY land, before THY people, which THOU redeemedst to THEE from Egypt.” Here David prayed to God in the second person singular, but referred to the people of Israel as “You.” What confusion could result if this important distinction were done away? It could be incorrectly thought that David was praying in part to the nation, or that the land belonged to the people and not to God.  
  • Matthew 26:64, “Jesus saith unto him, THOU has said: nevertheless I say unto YOU, hereafter shall YE see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Thou” refers to the High Priest, but “You/Ye” include all those who were standing there in addition to the high priest.  
  • Luke 5:24, “But that YE may know … say unto THEE take up THY couch, and go into THINE house.” Ye” refers to the crowd, but “Thee/Thy/Thine” refer only to the man with palsy.  
  • John 3:7, 11, “Marvel not that I said unto THEE, YE must be born again.” The message was spoken to the individual Nicodemus (“Thee“), but obviously has wider application to all those who desire to follow Christ (“Ye“).  
  • John 14:9, “Have I been so long time with YOU, and yet hast THOU not known me?” The “You” refers to the crowd, but “Thou” is addressed specifically to only one man, Philip.  
  • 1 Corinthians 8:9-12, “… this liberty of YOURS….If any man see THEE which hast knowledge… through THY knowledge…but when YE sin.” The plural forms “Yours/Ye” refer to the liberty and sin of all believers in Christ as a whole, but the singular forms “thee/thy” refer only to those individual believers that find themselves in this particular circumstance.

Surely, you will notice that replacing “thou/thee/thy/thine” with the ambiguous “you/your” does NOT clarify, but tends to muddy, the Scriptures. Just about all modern bibles replace “thou/thee/thy/thine” with the ambiguous “you/your” which converts a clear meaning passage with a vague interpretation. So, please be aware of this important distinction in the bibles you read.

Idolaters Must Repent

Recently I received another comment to a blog post I posted about the false religion of the Shembe Church under the title Doctrines of Demons. Here is the latest comment which I received: 

i wont say much but a religion can only explain itself the way it wants to so its not up to chritians to decide or coment on a religion thay dont understand. as a nazareth baptist church member i wont make any conclusions about the way the chritians worship Jehovah under their leader Jesus since im not part of their worship but all we need to now is what he teaches in the name of Jehovah since we also believe in him through Shembe ~ Nkosi Thusi

I will deal with this specific comment under this blog post.

This is not only a reply to the Shembe followers, but also to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, New Agers, Scientologists, Humanists, Confucius followers, Hari Krishna followers, and all the other false religions and cults of this world that fall under ecumenicalism, the nations that you find yourself in are just like Judah – you are idolaters who worship false gods, and prophets, in idolatry. 

Listen to the clear warnings from God Almighty – your Creator:

11Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; 12And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: ~ Jeremiah 16:11, 12

and

19O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? ~ Jeremiah 16:19, 20

Now read the aforementioned Scripture portions in context below when God spoke to His prophet Jeremiah to give a warning about Judah’s idolatry. This idolatry applies to you, too, for God’s Words will never pass away:

10And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? 11Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; 12And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: 13Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. 14Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. 16Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. 17For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. 18And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things. 19O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? 21Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD. ~ Jeremiah 16:10-21

This One True God has said through His prophet Isaiah:

22For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. ~ Isaiah 33:22

and

21Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. ~ Isaiah 45:21-24

God, who truly is merciful, revealed His Saviour in Himself when He entered this world to save sinners:

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~ John 3:16-18

And Jesus the Christ, God Almighty – He that saves, the anointed One who is sent – gave you the ONLY WAY to be saved on Judgment Day: 

6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ~ John 14:6

I plead with you to repent of your idolatry and be saved (see John 3:3) through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is your only hope.

36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36

Ramadan Fast is a Farce

Dear friends, I write this to show what the Lord revealed to me whilst out preaching with my dear brother in Christ, Lungisa Zondi, as we stood upon Church Street in Pietermaritzburg.

Whilst we proclaimed the Truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ to all mankind who heard us this day, it was sad to see a Muslim boy, possibly in his mid-teens, take a Gospel booklet titled “Blunt Truth” and after opening it and reading the words “The Bible Is God’s Word” he mumbled these words that I overheard and then cast the booklet to the ground. We hear continually that Islam is a tolerant religion, when the Qur’an says that Muslim’s can speak to Christians and hate them in their hearts. What a contradiction and hypocrisy this shows and it confirms that the false teachings of the Qur’an are lies and nothing else. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Son of God and God manifest in flesh – the TRUE Jesus who is a Jew so the readers can understand who we are speaking about, and not Isa – a false jesus of the Qur’an who has no connection to the Christ of the Bible; said:

5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. ~ John 15:5-15 

The Jesus of the Bible says we are to keep His commandments. One of His commandments that will be dealt with here specifically is the Fast – or Fasting. It comes from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem, Israel, when Jesus had just finished preaching about prayer and how to pray (see Matthew 6:5-15) and he ends that portion of His sermon with verse 15: “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” It would therefore show that a Muslim will never have his sins forgiven if he does not forgive other men their trespasses, so the Isa they are referring to who according to their understanding is coming back to “convert Christians and Jews to Islam” is an outright lie, because Jesus came to set people free not hold them in bondage as the Qur’an advocates forcing people to convert. The teachings of the Qur’an contradict the Holy Scriptures of the Bible, and therefore we must discard the Islam text as it goes totally against what God revealed in His Old and New Testaments prior to the writings of the Qur’an. 

In the portion of Scripture that we will deal with specifically reads as follows: 

16Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. ~ Matthew 6:16-18 

The Jesus of the Bible, who cannot be the Isa of Islam, would not contradict Himself. Jesus Christ specifically said that you shouldn’t be broadcasting the fasting you are undertaking as the hypocrites do, but do your fasting in secret and your Father (God) will reward you openly. Before that can happen you need to have a personal relationship with your Creator, God as a Father, which is not the case with Islam who portrays Allah – the god of Islam – as an impersonal god who you have to appease with good works and you are even then still not guaranteed of ever entering into paradise. Contrary, the opposite is True of Christianity – God wants to have a personal relationship with His creation and the only way this can take place is through the person and finished work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Immanuel – see Isaiah 7:14 – God with us); crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended into Heaven. Our Lord Jesus Christ also said: 

27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. ~ Matthew 11:27 

It has been well documented that Ramadan is a time of fasting in the Islamic faith’s calendar, and during the month fasting is observed it is a time of reflection and a time where sins are forgiven. However, Jesus Christ said fasting should be done in secret, when Islam broadcasts it to the world that Islam is now fasting. What many do not know is that when Ramadan is taking place, more food is consumed by an average Islamic family than during any other ordinary month. It is due to the fact that the fast and abstinence from certain observances like sex and naturally eating, is only observed during the daylight hours and from sundown until sunrise many festivities and consuming of food is partaken of during the night hours. With the increase of food intake during the month of Ramadan, this is hypocritical of the fast as the objective would be to abstain from food to seek Allah’s forgiveness of sins. There is a sacrifice that is taking place in the views of Islam. But the opposite is true. There appears to be more revelry (celebration) and gluttony – over indulgence of food intake – during a month set aside to have one’s sins forgiven. There are also incidences when Muslim families have ordered food before sundown and sat clock watching while piping hot meals sat untouched before them so as not to violate the fast conditions. The hypocrisy is that many who do this have already “started eating in their hearts” by just ordering the food in advance. You have already decided what you are going to feast on at sundown. Where is the setting aside food for your sins to be forgiven? God says in the Bible that OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice. Who are you trying to fool? God Almighty? The god of Islam wouldn’t mind because he overlooks hypocrisy, but not the True God of the Bible. 

During Ramadan, keeping an Islamic fast is not being obedient to God. You can clock-watch and get stuck into gluttony to make up for the lost meal (singular) of the day. At sundown many people would normally have their usual meal of supper so there is nothing out of the ordinary there. It is not out of the ordinary for the average person to go out for dinner after sundown anyway. It is also noted that many Islamic “fasters” rise before sunrise to partake of a meal so the fast won’t be violated. That is called breakfast, if this is you then you are just having a normal regular meal a little earlier than most would on any other day. In fact, here in South Africa during the latter part of winter, to start the day you would anyway be having your breakfast before sunup so there is not much out of the ordinary. Here is the crux of the matter that shows Ramadan to be a farce and that many are held in bondage by a religious undertaking that is no different to any other day. The only meal during the month of Ramadan that a faster will miss is lunch. And many ordinary folk can miss that meal and still get through the day. 

When out preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ I would sometimes start the day with a light breakfast and often I would find that the thought of food is furthest from my mind and later the day a supper will be enjoyed upon arriving home. You see man does not live by bread alone, but every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (see Deuteronomy 8:4; Matthew 4:4) and Jesus summed it up best when He and His disciples came to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, and He said to the Samaritan woman: 

24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

And later when His disciples returned from buying food in the city (see John 4:8), this is what Scripture reveals:

31In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. ~ John 4:31-34 

My Islamic friends come out of your hypocrisy and turn to the One True God, Jesus Christ, and be set free from the bondage that Satan has you trapped in. It is called religion and it will damn you to Hell. Repent of your evil and wicked ways before a merciful, Holy and Righteous God and believe on His Son Jesus Christ, the Saviour, to save you from God’s wrath to come:

36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36

Meditate on Christ, No Matter the Cost – Tim Conway (6 min excerpt)

Download MP3: http://illbehonest.com/Meditate-on-Christ-No-Matter-the-Cost-Tim-Conway

Pollution at Its Worst

By Marshall Allison

1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. ~ Romans 10:1, 2

The charges against Israel in the above Scripture may be rightly made against the religious world today. Substituting man’s righteousness for God’s righteousness is doomed to produce failure.

A polluted heart wants polluted things. The show, the circus, cigarette and tobacco habits, liquor drinking, dope using, adultery, fornication, profanity, immodest dress (mini-skirts), longhaired men, shorthaired women, effeminate sissies, homosexuals, lesbians, thieves, covetous revilers, cheaters, TV addicts, Sabbath desecrators, gossipers, ungodly lodge members, blood rejecters, etc., etc. are associated with a polluted heart.

The iceberg churches that foster a “sinning religion” can easily get members. They may invite outsiders to repent and join their church and the minister in the same sermon confesses that he and his members sin everyday in thought, word and deed. He may go farther and denounce the holiness folk for teaching a religion that cleanses from all sin. Let us beware of all counterfeit religions that oppose a holy life.

A “sinning Christian,” an “honest thief” or a “truthful liar” are all stupid misnomers. All who commit sins are under the same condemnation, be he an infidel or a church member, and is headed toward the same hell. The Church (called out) is a separate people. Anyone who is not separated from the world is not a part of the Church that will go up in the rapture. Satan is the god of this world. Satan and the world are opposite to our God and holiness. Reader, with which crowd do you click? “Birds of a feather flock together.” Why? Because they all eat the same thing! We are likely to rebuke sin or compromise with it. Jesus died to save us from our sins. Let us be careful of our conduct and remember that anything the vine won’t do – the branches won’t do either.

The Gospel is not defined as your creed nor necessarily what the 6000+ denominations teach. The real Gospel is the dynamite (power) of God unto salvation. It is not in education. An illiterate, old saint full of the Holy Ghost has more Gospel in his soul than all the D.D.’s without the power (dynamite) of the Holy Ghost. Have you tarried in Jerusalem until you were endued with the dynamite (power) of the Holy Ghost?

May the Lord have mercy upon the poor, polluted, religious souls who are church members with no victory in their hearts. If you observe closely the lack of power and victory in many churches, it would remind you of poor helpless Samson with his eyes out and glory gone. The Philistines and Satan were gleeful and laughing at the loss of power he once possessed. This also reminds one of the present-day, shorthaired, mini-skirted britches-wearing, Jezebels who are trying to serve God with no fire nor glory.

Of all known kinds of pollution – air pollution, water pollution, etc. – the pollution of the human heart is the worst pollution of all. Jesus has the answer. He died to save us from all sin. He will take a corrupt heart and cleanse it from sin’s pollution. He wants to do this now in your heart.

“If we confess our sins, He [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

_______________________

Pilgrim Tract Society

“To every creature”

Here are two extensive quotes from a book titled Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor to encourage and edify the Saints of Christ.

— ooo —

Mr. Taylor came to America once again after leading the first North American group to China in 1888. His chief object in coming over being the settlement of the work upon a permanent basis, he gave much time to meetings with the new council. The number of the latter was increased, and Mr. Frost was invited to assume the sole responsibility as treasurer and secretary, making his home in Toronto. It was with concern that Mr. Frost saw the days and weeks slip by of Mr. Taylor’s visit, which was too short. Much helpful fellowship they had together as they travelled from place to place, Mr. Taylor addressing over forty meetings in eighteen different centres during the five weeks he was in America. Four days at Northfield completed the program and brought the mission again before many friends of the previous summer. Mr. Moody’s interest was so much deepened that he offered the beautiful and spacious “Northfield Hotel” during the winter, as a training home for the candidates of the mission, undertaking himself to give a course of one month’s Bible lessons.

Cheered and strengthened by many tokens for good, Mr. Taylor left America in August to carry out a full program of meetings, which included a visit to Sweden before the close of the year. So pressing and constant were his engagements that he found it difficult to obtain the time needed for remembering all his fellow workers daily before God. Well he knew that to relax prayer was to open the way for the Enemy to come in like a flood, and as he travelled from place to place, he literally had to buy up every opportunity for this unseen but important work.

The burden on Mr. Taylor’s heart all through this Swedish visit, if burden it could be called, was the deeper apprehension that had come to him of the meaning of the divine command, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). For more than forty years that command had controlled his life, and he had responded to it with unquestioning obedience. What had he not done and suffered; how had he not helped and inspired others in seeking to carry it out! Surely if there were a man anywhere who might feel that he had discharged his responsibility in this matter, it was Hudson Taylor.

And yet, on a quiet Sunday by the sea, how new the conception that had dawned upon him of the Master’s meaning in those long-familiar words! It was Mrs. Taylor’s birthday (October 6, 1889), and they were spending it at her father’s home at Hastings. Did it recall that other memorable Sunday, on the sands at Brighton, when he had met the crisis of his life and had yielded himself to God for the evangelization of inland China?

What he saw now, in the light of the Holy Spirit’s teaching, was a meaning so great, so comprehensive, in those few simple words – among the last that fell from the ascending Saviour’s lips – that it seemed as if he heard them for the first time. He wrote a few months later:

I confess with shame that until that moment the question, What did our Lord really mean by His command, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”? had never been raised by me. I had laboured for many years, as have many others, to carry the Gospel further afield, had laid plans for reaching every unreached province and many smaller districts in China, without realizing the plain meaning of our Saviour’s words.

“To every creature”? And the total number of Protestant communicants in that great land was only forty thousand. Double the number, triple it, to include adherents, and suppose each one to be a messenger to eight of his fellow countrymen – even so, only one million would be reached. “To every creature”: the words burned into his very soul. But how far was the church, how far had he been himself from taking them literally, as intended to be acted upon! He saw it now, however, and with Hudson Taylor there was but one course – to obey. He wrote that very day:

How are we going to treat the Lord Jesus Christ with reference to this command? Shall we definitely drop the title Lord as applied to Him, and take the ground that we are quite willing to recognize Him as our Saviour, so far as the penalty of sin is concerned, but are not prepared to own ourselves “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20), or Him as having any claim to our unquestioning obedience? Shall we say that we are our own masters, willing to yield something as His due, who bought us with His blood, provided He does not ask too much? Our lives, our loved ones, our possessions are our own, not His; we will give Him what we think fit and obey any of His requirements that do not demand too great a sacrifice? To be taken to heaven by Jesus Christ we are more than willing, but we will not have this Man to reign over us?

The heart of every Christian will undoubtedly reject the proposition, so formulated, but have not countless lives in each generation been lived as though it were proper ground to take? How few of the Lord’s people have practically recognized the truth that Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all! If we can judge God’s Word instead of being judged by that Word, if we can give to God as much or as little as we like, then we are lords and He is the indebted one, to be grateful for our dole and obliged by our compliance with His wishes. If, on the other hand, He is Lord, let us treat Him as such. “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

So, all unexpectedly, he came to the widest outlook of his life, the purpose that was to dominate the closing decade of its active service. With hair fast turning grey and fifty-seven years of experience behind him, he met the new sense of responsibility with the old faith and confidence. Oh, the fresh appeal of the old incentives; the uprising of soul before the old ideals; the faithfulness to early vision, to the first calling; the undimmed power of the one, the ever-supreme Love! It is all there – all the purpose of youth without abatement, without compromise, despite the stern realities of twenty-four years of the grinding mill as leader of the Inland Mission. It was fine, fine flour now, but none of it was lost. “None other name” (Acts 4:12), none other sufficiency! Christ and Him crucified, the one, the only remedy for the sin and need of the world; God, changeless, inexhaustible, behind His commands and promises; divine, constraining love, the motive-power – it is all there, first as last and last as first. (End quote of pages 373-377)

Prayers Yet to Be Answered

Prayers yet to be answered – how rich the inheritance Hudson Taylor left to the land he loved, to the church of God in China for which his life was given! In one sense, the prayers of that lifetime had indeed been answered.

But in another sense, do not those prayers lie beyond us yet, marking out wide possessions upon which the foot of faith has trodden, possessions still to be possessed?

Nothing could have been more definite than Mr. Taylor’s own conviction as to the thoughts that had come to him in 1889. Once he had seen it, he could never doubt again the Master’s will and purpose that “every creature” in China should hear the glad tidings of salvation. Through all the years that followed, though hindered again and again, and postponed for a time by the Boxer [Rebellion] crisis, his original purpose never wavered. He said at the C.I.M. conference in 1890:

This work will not be done without crucifixion, without consecration that is prepared at any cost to carry out the Master’s command. But, given that, I believe in my inmost soul that it will be done. If ever in my life I was conscious of being led of God, it was in the writing and publishing of those papers, the first of which came out in November of last year.

“The sun has never risen upon China without finding me in prayer,” Mr. Taylor could say of long years of his labours in that land, and perhaps no part of those labours had more to do with the results we see today. But he not only prayed. The foregoing pages have revealed a little of what lay behind those prayers. “I do want to give up myself and you too, darling, for the life of the Chinese and of our fellow workers,” he wrote to Mrs. Taylor in one of their many separations, and, “Notice, in 1 Corinthians 1:18, the connection of the Cross with power. Do not many lives lack power because they do not love the Cross? May your life be full of the power of God, and mine.”

The need that moved him, the command that revealed the yearning of the heart of Christ who we, too, call Master and Lord – remain the same years after Hudson Taylor’s death. Great changes have come and are coming to China. New methods are need in missionary work to meet the new conditions, and they are being prayerfully developed and applied. But the great underlying facts remain the same. Idolatry has not lost its hold. Writing from the far northwest (June 1918), a member of the mission tells of guilds in one city numbering thousands of men and women sworn to regular worship at stated times. In one of these some fifteen hundred women are pledged to go to a certain temple on the second and sixth of every month, “where they kneel upright on the verandas and in the courtyard, each holding a stick of incense between the two hands raised to the level of the forehead. This position has to be maintained and prayers recited until the stick of incense has burned away – quite a long process.” And offerings of money must be made on every one of the stated worship days, which go to building and beautifying of temples and making fresh idols. And this is only one city out of hundreds that have as yet no resident missionary. Do the people need light in their darkness? Do they not care about the unknown future and what becomes of the soul? Is it for them too that the precious blood was shed which alone can cleanse from sin and bring us nigh to God? And what will be said of the responsibility that rests upon us if, knowing these things, we are not doing our utmost – whether by prayer or gifts or personal service – to bring to them, too, the knowledge which is life eternal?

Much is being done, but much more is needed if the present opportunity – perhaps the most glorious that has ever come to Christian men and women – is to be dealt with faithfully. “When China is moved,” Napoleon used to say, “it will change the face of the globe.” China is moved, is moving: will it not be home to the heart of God?

If the one whose steps we have followed through a life of toil and sacrifice, yet of radiant joy in fellowship with Christ, could speak to us today from the “exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17), would he not say again as he said in the midst of the fight:

There is a needs-be for us to give ourselves for the life of the world – as He gave His flesh for the feeding of the lifeless and of living souls whose life can only be nourished by the same life-giving Bread. An easygoing, non-self-denying life will never be one of power.

Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone” (John 12:24). We know how the Lord Jesus became fruitful – not by bearing His Cross merely, but by dying on it. Do we know much fellowship with Him in this? There are not two Christs – an easygoing one for easygoing Christians, and a suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in Him, and thus to bear much fruit?

Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; heaven so real that we must have men there; Christ so real that our supreme motive and aim shall be to make the Man of Sorrows the Man of Joy by the conversion to Him of many concerning whom He prayed, “Father, I [long] that [those]… whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory” (John 17:24). (End quote of pages 393-396)

The Vice of Sexual Immorality

By Harold S. Martin – A Bible Helps Tract No. 35

We are living in the midst of a tremendous moral revolution. New systems of belief are springing up everywhere. Most of our society is pleasure oriented. The mood is permissive and daring. There is an attitude of irreverence toward God and toward sacred things. There has been a very definite change from the standards accepted just a few decades ago. Our age is reeking with sexual immorality.

The Bible speaks clearly about the sins of sexual impurity and emphatically condemns them (1 Corinthians 6:9), while at the same time it holds forth the hope that those who have been guilty of practicing immorality can be saved (1 Corinthians 6:11). The 7th Commandment says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). These are God’s negative words of prohibition. The Lord states the positive side in Proverbs 5:18-19 when He says that we should rejoice with the wife of our youth and that her affection should fill us at all times with delight. The key Bible passage on the subject of sexual purity says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Why is the sexual relationship only proper within marriage? One answer is that God knew that a physical relationship between a man and a woman might lead to the birth of a child, and God knew that the child would need the loving tender care of a father and mother – and therefore He has given His blessing to the sex relationship only within the family situation of marriage where the children will most likely get that loving care. And thus any sexual activity outside the honourable bond of marriage is immoral and impure. It is a wicked and shameful sin.

1. THE KINDS OF ADULTERY

The word “adultery” means “to corrupt, to make impure” – and thus adultery is a broad term that refers to a variety of perversions and illicit activities. Adultery (in its broadest sense) includes any violation of the sanctity of sex. It includes incest and rape and seduction and fornication and lewdness and lasciviousness and unfaithfulness and promiscuity and homosexuality and harlotry and whoredom and a whole realm of related impurities.

a) Physical adultery – is the act of having sexual intercourse with someone other than one’s own married partner. Leviticus 18:20 spells it out plainly: “Thou shall not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife.” That is physical adultery.

David, in the Old Testament, committed adultery, and while he was forgiven, he carried his sorrow down to the grave. Some of you may have committed the sin of immorality. You husbands may actually have gone to bed with another woman, and have been unfaithful to your wife. Or perhaps some of you wives may have had illicit relations with another man and have been unfaithful to your husbands. Unless you have confessed your sin and righted things with God and man, someday you will find yourself a sinner in the hands of an angry God. God will judge all forms of impurity – fornication, adultery, lesbianism, sodomy, etc. No one can get away with it, no matter how hidden the bedroom is!

b) Legalized adultery – is possible because the laws of many countries permit divorce and remarriage. Divorce is legal for most causes in the U.S.A. [South Africa and most countries around the world]. But Jesus plainly states, “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, commits adultery against her” (Mark 10:11). The same words are spoken about the woman who divorces her husband.

It was legal to divorce and remarry in Paul’s day (and in John the Baptist’s day) under Roman law. But John the Baptist plainly told Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother Philip’s wife” (Mark 6:18). In God’s law, the marriage vows unite a man and a woman for life, and only death can separate the union. The remarriage of a divorced person constitutes a state of adultery, and while it is often legal according to the laws of the country, it is sinful in the eyes of God.

c) Mental adultery – is the kind of adultery resulting from the lustful look. It is possible not to touch a woman, and yet at the same time, dwell on books and pictures and magazines and TV shows in such a way that the imagination runs wild. Many dream of sin, and imagine sin, and if granted the opportunity would indulge in sin; all they lack is the occasion of sin.

We must never allow sinful imaginations to accumulate in our minds, any more than we would permit garbage to pile up in the living rooms of our houses. Jesus not only forbids outward acts of filthiness, but He also condemns un-chastity of heart. He says that anyone who looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:28). The word “looks” speaks of continuous action. Jesus is not talking about the momentary involuntary glance which might arouse a wrong desire, but He is condemning the act of habitually preoccupied with illicit sex. Most physical adultery is an act that begins with a lustful look.

d) Provoked adultery – is the adultery that results when someone makes it easy for another to commit adultery. In Matthew 5:32, Jesus speaks about divorce and says that one who puts away his wife “causeth her to commit adultery.” Or, some delight in stirring up the passions of others by telling dirty stories, showing filthy pictures, and dwelling upon the unclean. Still others dress immodestly, parading themselves in shorts, transparent, form-fitting clothes – seemingly purposely to accentuate parts of the body to attract the opposite sex.

If a person is a partner in a crime, or helps plan a crime, or if he provokes the crime – he stands as guilty as the one who committed the crime – even though he himself did not actually commit the wrong act. Just so, the one who by actions or dress, incites wrong passions in others – is just as guilty of immorality as is the person who is wrongly attracted. For example, the jeans and slacks that the girls wear are often so tight-fitting in the right places, that they are clearly immodest and thus provoke adultery in the minds of men. The man who is wrongly attracted, as well as the girl who dresses in a sinfully attractive way – both are equally guilty before God.

These have been various kinds of adultery.

2. THE RESULTS OF ADULTERY

Adultery is wrong for a number of reasons. It violates God’s law. It hurts people. It affects future generations. Adultery is a serious sin.

a) Adultery destroys society. Immorality and licentiousness have swept nation after nation out of existence. The sins of impurity brought fire and brimstone upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The sin of adultery strikes at the heart of the social order. It strikes at the home, and when the home is weakened, society crumbles. The Roman Empire and other great nations of the past toppled because sexual immorality ran wild.

b) Adultery brings guilt to the individual. Illicit sex brings feelings of guilt and shame. It robs a person of peace. It makes the conscience hurt. In Psalm 51 we find the Psalmist David seeking God’s forgiveness because of the sting of guilt which his adultery with Bathsheba had brought upon him. David reaped what he sowed, because after his escapade with Bathsheba, things were never quiet the same. He would gladly have traded the tragic later years of his life, for the innocence he had once known when he was still a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep.

c) Adultery harms other persons. A man who commits certain kinds of sins can say, “This is my own private business.” But sexual sins are different; they harm other people. Many say that sex is a function of the body just like eating and sleeping and drinking, and thus it is a bodily demand that must be satisfied. They reason that if one does not satisfy the demand it will cause all kinds of emotional problems. But we must remember that eating and sleeping and drinking are individual actions – whereas sex by its very nature is an inter-personal relationship. More than one person is involved. Therefore, when it is misused, it has far-reaching effects. It harms not only one individual, but also the partner in the act.

3. THE REMEDY FOR ADULTERY

Today every one of us is living in a world full of suggestions to commit sexual immorality. And so each of us needs a defence system that is strong in order to withstand the temptations to become lascivious.

a) Dare to be different from the world about you. Fix it clearly in your mind that Christians should be different. The world around us – unsaved people (perhaps our neighbours, our associates at work, our classmates in school) – we love them; there is much to admire in them; we want them to come out on the Lord’s side; we need to pray for them and be kind to them – but those who are unconverted live in a different world and are headed for a different destination. They are slaves to a different master. The way we live, the kinds of company we keep, our manner of speech, the way we dress – must be different from the sinful practices of the world.

b) Avoid circumstances that may lead to problems. God tells those who seek purity to “flee.” We are to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and to “depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). We must steadfastly avoid any person or activity or occasion which might cause us to fall. Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1). Stop your ears from all filthy conversation. Limit television viewing. Read nothing that defiles the imagination. Stay out of places and away from people who lean toward immoral activities. If you don’t want to do business with the devil, then stay out of his shop!

c) Turn to Christ for the gift of moral strength. One who receives Christ as Master and Director of his life, has One who helps him face temptation, and gives him power to say “yes” to purity and to say “no” to the frightening pull of sin. One who receives Christ, receives also the gift of the Holy Spirit – a Custodian who helps us keep the body pure and clean. We must cultivate a sense of the presence of God, realizing that the eyes of the Lord “are in every place beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). We need to pray often the words of the hymn, “Pure in heart, O God, help me to be.”

To those who have trifled with fornication and adultery and homosexuality there is good news. Mary Magdalene had been immoral, but Jesus changed her life. Jesus told the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.” Jesus never once condoned sins of immorality. He always condemned sexual impurity, but for those who acknowledge their sin, and make the appropriate confession, and break up wrong relationships, and resolve to live a clean life – there is complete forgiveness and total cleansing. You may very well carry scars of your sin down to the grave, but Jesus Christ can save you if you are willing to meet the conditions. Why not turn your life over to Him?

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Additional copies of this tract sent free on request. Ask for our sample packet of Bible Helps.

BIBLE HELPS

PO Box 391

Hanover, PA 17331

U.S.A.

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