The Chocolate Soldier ~ by C. T. Studd

tcs_studd The Chocolate Soldier

By C. T. Studd

Christian Literature Crusade
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

 

“THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER”

or

“Heroism – The Lost Chord of Christianity”

_______________

HEROISM is the lost chord; the missing note of present-day Christianity!

Every true soldier is a hero! A SOLDIER WITHOUT HEROISM IS A CHOCOLATE SOLDIER! Who has not been stirred to scorn and mirth at the very thought of a Chocolate Soldier! In peace true soldiers are captive lions, fretting in their cages. War gives them their liberty and sends them, like boys bounding out of school, to obtain their heart’s desire or perish in the attempt. Battle is the soldier’s vital breath! Peace turns him into a stooping asthmatic. War makes him a whole man again, and gives him the heart, strength, and vigour of a hero.

EVERY TRUE CHRISTIAN IS A SOLDIER – of Christ – a hero “par excellence”! Braver than the bravest–scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger, and death, whom he counts among his bosom friends.

THE OTHERWISE CHRISTIAN IS A CHOCOLATE CHRISTIAN! Dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. “Sweeties” they are! Bonbons, lollipops! Living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in his soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution.

Here are some PORTRAITS OF CHOCOLATE SOLDIERS taken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

“He said, ‘I go, sir,’ and went not”; he said he would go to the heathen, but stuck fast to Christendom instead.

“They say and do not” – they tell others to go, and yet do not go themselves. “Never,” said General Gordon to a corporal, as he himself jumped upon the parapet of a trench before Sebastopol to fix a gabion which the corporal had ordered a private to fix, and wouldn’t fix himself, “Never tell another man to do what you are afraid to do yourself.”

To the Chocolate Christian the very thought of war brings a violent attack of ague, while the call to battle always finds him with the palsy. “I really cannot move,” he says. “I only wish I could, but I can sing, and here are some of my favourite lines:

“I must be carried to the skies
On a flowery bed of ease,
Let others fight to win the prize,
Or sail thro’ bloody seas.

Mark time, Christian heroes,
Never go to war;
Stop and mind the babies
Playing on the floor.

Wash and dress and feed them
Forty times a week.
Till they’re roly poly –
Puddings so to speak.

Chorus:

Round and round the nursery
Let us ambulate
Sugar and spice and all that’s nice
Must be on our slate.”

“Thank the good Lord,” said a very fragile, white-haired lady, “God never meant me to be a jelly-fish!” She wasn’t!

GOD NEVER WAS A CHOCOLATE MANUFACTURER, AND NEVER WILL BE. God’s men are always heroes. In Scripture you can trace their giant foot-tracks down the sands of time.

NOAH walked with God, he didn’t only preach righteousness, he acted it. He went through water and didn’t melt. He breasted the current of the popular opinion of his day, scorning alike the hatred and ridicule of the scoffers who mocked at the thought of there being but one way of salvation. He warned the unbelieving and, entering the ark himself, didn’t open the door an inch when once God had shut it. A real hero untainted by the fear of man.

Learn to scorn the praise of men.
Learn to lose with God;
Jesus won the world thro’ shame!
And beckons us His road.

ABRAHAM, a simple farmer, at a word from the Invisible God, marched, with family and stock, through the terrible desert to a distant land to live among a people whose language he could neither speak nor understand! Not bad that! But later he did even better, marching hot foot against the combined armies of five kings, flushed with recent victory, to rescue one man! His army? Just 318 odd fellows, armed like a circus crowd. And he won too. “He always wins who sides with God.” What pluck! Only a farmer! No war training! Yet what hero has eclipsed his feat? His open secret? He was THE FRIEND OF GOD.

MOSES – the man of God – was a species of human chameleon – scholar, general, law-giver, leader, etc. Brought up as the Emperor’s grandson with more than a good chance of coming to the throne, one thing only between him and it – Truth – what a choice! What a temptation! A throne for a lie! Ignominy, banishment, or likely enough death for the truth! He played the man! “Refusing to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin and success for a season, accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.”

Again I see him. Now an old man and alone, marching stolidly back to Egypt, after forty years of exile, to beard the lion in his den, to liberate Pharaoh’s slaves right under his very nose, and to lead them across that great and terrible wilderness. A WILD-CAT AFFAIR, if ever there was one! When were God’s schemes otherwise? Look at Jordan, Jericho, Gideon, Goliath, and scores of others. Tame tabby-cat schemes are stamped with another hall mark – that of the Chocolate Brigade! How dearly they love their tabbies yet think themselves wise men! REAL CHRISTIANS REVEL IN DESPERATE VENTURES FOR CHRIST, expecting from God great things and attempting the same with exhilaration. History cannot match these feats of Moses. How was it done? He consulted not with flesh and blood, he obeyed not men but God.

Once again I see the old grey-beard, this time descending the Mount with giant strides and rushing into the camp, his eyes blazing like burning coals. One man against three million dancing dervishes drunk with debauchery. Bravo! Well done, old man! First class! His cheek pales not, but his mouth moves, and I think I catch his words, “If God be for me who can be against me? I will not be afraid of 10,000 of the people that have set themselves against me. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” And he didn’t. He wins again. Whence this desperate courage? Listen! “Now the man Moses was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend.” “My servant, Moses,” said his Master, “is faithful in all Mine house, with him will I speak mouth to mouth.” Such is the explanation of Moses the chameleon, the man and friend of God and consequently a first-class hero.

DAVID – the man after God’s own heart – was a man of war and a mighty man of valour. When all Israel were on the run, David faced Goliath – alone . . . with God – and he but a stripling, and well scolded too by his brother for having come to see the battle. What a splendid fool Eliab must have been! as though David would go to see a battle and not stay to fight. THEY ARE CHOCOLATE SOLDIERS WHO MERELY GO TO SEE BATTLES, AND COOLLY URGE OTHERS TO FIGHT THEM. They had better save their journey money and use it to send out real fighters instead. Soldiers don’t need dry nurses, and if they did the Holy Ghost is always on the spot and ready to undertake any case on simple application. No! David went to the battle and stayed to fight, and won! Wise beyond his years, he had no use for Saul’s armour. It cramped his freedom of action. He tried it on and took it off, quick sharp. And, besides, it made such a ghastly rattle, even when he walked, that he could not hear the still small voice of God, and would never have heard Him saying afterwards, “This is the way to the brook, David! and there are the five smooth stones! Trust only in Me and them. Your own home-made sling will do first class, and there! that’s the shortest cut to Goliath.” THE CHOCOLATES RAN AWAY – they were all Chocolates – but David ran upon Goliath. One smooth stone was enough.

David’s secret was that he had but one Director, and He, the Infallible One. He directed the stone, as He directed the youth. Too many directors spoil the sport, and two are too many by just one. Thus Christ said to His soldiers: “HE shall teach you all things, HE shall guide you into all the truth.”

THIS is My Beloved Son: HEAR HIM.

ONE MEDIATOR ONLY, between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

ONE DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN MEN – GOD THE HOLY GHOST. Whose directions require indeed instant obedience, but not the endorsement of any man.

THE DEVIL NEEDS RED-HOT SHOT, FRESH FROM THE FOUNDRY OF THE HOLY GHOST. He laughs at cold shot or tepid, and as for that made of half-iron and half-clay, half-divine and half-human, why you might just as well pelt him with snowballs.

Whence did this raw youth derive his pluck and skill? Not from military camps, nor theological schools, nor religious retreats. “To know The Only True God and Jesus Christ,” is enough. Paul determined to know only Jesus Christ, and look at the grand result! Whilst others were learning pretty theories, David, like John, had been alone with God in the wilds, practising on bears and lions. The result? HE KNEW GOD AND DID EXPLOITS. He knew God only. He trusted God only. He obeyed God only. That’s the secret. God alone gives strength. God adulterated with men entails the weakness of iron and clay – Chocolate – brittleness!

Yet hero as he was, even David alas! once played the role of Chocolate Soldier. HE STAYED AT HOME WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO WAR. His army, far off, in danger, fighting the enemy, won. David, at home, secure, within sight of God’s house and often going there, suffered the one great defeat of his life, entailing such a bitter, life-long reaping as might well deter others from the folly of sowing wild oats. David’s sin is a terrific sermon (like Lot’s preaching in Sodom must have been), its theme – “DON’T BE A CHOCOLATE SOLDIER!”

In his simple, quick, and full confession, David proved himself a man again. It takes a real man to make a true confession – a Chocolate Soldier will excuse or cloak his sin. He tumbles in the mud, flounders on, wipes his mouth to try to get the bad taste of his acted lie out of it, and then goes on his way saying, “I have done no wickedness.” A self-murdering fool! Killing his conscience to save his face, like Balaam beating the ass who sought to save his master’s life. Being a Chocolate Soldier nearly did for David. Beware!

NATHAN was another real Christian Soldier. He went to his king and rebuked him to his face, like Peter’s dealing with Ananias (only David embraced his opportunity and confessed), and unlike the Chocolate Soldiers of today who go whispering about and refusing either to judge, rebuke, or put away evil because of the entailed scandal forsooth. Veritable Soapy Sams. They say “It is nothing! nothing at all! A mere misunderstanding!” As though God’s cause would suffer more through a bold declaration and defence of the truth and the use of the knife, than by the hiding up of sin, and the certain development of mortification in the member, involving death to the whole body. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous,” and “he that doeth sin is of the devil,” and ought to be told so. He that is a second time led captive by the devil needs neither plaster nor treacle, but the brace rebuke and summons to repentance of a righteous man to effect his salvation. WE ARE BADLY IN NEED OF NATHANS TODAY, who fear God and nought else, no, not even a scandal.

DANIEL was another hero. Of course he was! Was he not the man greatly beloved of God who sent an angel to tell him so?

I love to watch him as he walks, with firm step and radiant face, to the lions’ den, stopping but once – like his Master en route to Calvary – to comfort his weeping and agonized emperor. God shut the mouths of the lions against Daniel, but opened them wide against those who had opened their mouths against His servant.

A man is known by his works, and the works of Daniel were his three friends, who, rather than bow down to men or gold, braved the fiery furnace.

Again we see him going to the banquet hall, and hear his conductor whisper in his ear, “Draw it mild, Daniel, be statesmanlike. Place and power again for you if you are tactful and wise – especially tactful!” And Daniel’s simple reply, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” There he stands before the king, braving torture or instant death – but it’s the king who quails, not Daniel – who tells him to his face the whole hot truth of God, diminishing not a jot.

JOHN THE BAPTIST – a man taught and made and sent of God – good old John! Who doesn’t love and admire him? Why, even Herod did. A genuine deficiency of oil and treacle in his composition. He always told the bang flat truth, with emphasis. As he loved, so he warned. He knew not how to fawn. HE WOOED WITH THE SWORD, AND “MEN” LOVED HIM THE BETTER FOR IT. They always do.

The leaders of religion sent to John to ask him the dearly loved question of every Pharisee, “By what authority doest thou these (good) things?” They asked that of Christ Himself, and crucified Him for the doing of them. John’s answer was plain and pungent, “I will tell you what you ask, and more. (John was always liberal!) I? I am nobody, but ye and your masters are a generation of vipers.” A good hot curry, that! John never served his curries with butter sauce, but he was always very liberal with chutney – a man of God – NO SUGAR PLUM NOR CHOCOLATE SOLDIER HE!

Thus also he faced Herod after six months in an underground dungeon, and he a man of “God’s Open-air Mission”. Brought straight in before the king; surrounded with all the might and majesty of camp and court; blinking at the unaccustomed sight of light, but by no means putting blinkers on the truth, he blurted out his hot and thunderous rebuke, “Thou shalt not have that woman to be thy wife.” A whole sermon in one sentence, as easy to remember as impossible to forget. John had preached like that before; like Hugh Latimer, he was not above repeating a good sermon to a king, word for word, when the king had not given sufficient heed to it.

John received the unique distinction of a first-class character from both God and the agent of the devil. Hark to the Saviour indulging in an outburst of exquisite sarcasm, “What think ye of John? A reed shaken by the wind? A man clothed in soft raiment?” A Chocolate Christian? (How delicious! The Chocolates were right in front of Jesus at the time – Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, scribes, lawyers, and other hypocrites. How the crowd must have enjoyed it!) “A prophet? Nay, much more than a prophet! Of men born of women there is none greater than John.” And what did the devil’s agent say when, after John’s death, he heard of Jesus? “This,” I tell you, “is John risen from the dead.” What a character! Fancy Jesus being mistaken for anyone! He could have been mistaken only for John. Nobody envies him the well-deserved honour, great though it was, for John was a man – pure granite right through, with not a grain of chocolate in him.

Had John but heard Jesus say, “Ye shall be My witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth,” I very much doubt if Herod’s dungeon, or his soldiers, could have detained him. He surely would have found some means of escape, and run off to preach Christ’s Gospel, if not in the very heart of Africa, then in some more difficult and dangerous place. Yet Christ said, referring to His subsequent gift of the Holy Ghost to every believer, “He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he,” intimating that even greater powers than those of John are at the disposal of every Christian, and that what John was, each one of us can be – good, straight, bold, unconquerable, heroic.

But here are other foot-tracks – outrageous ones: they can belong only to one man – THAT GRANDEST OF CHRISTIAN PARADOXES – THE LITTLE GIANT PAUL – whose head was as big as his body, and his heart greater than both. Once he thought and treated every Christian as a combination of knave and fool. Then he became one himself. He was called “fool” because his acts were so far beyond the dictates of human reason, and “mad” because of his irresponsible fiery zeal for Christ and men. A first-class scholar, but one who knew how to use scholarship properly; for he put it on the shelf, declaring the wisdom of men to be but folly, and determined to know nothing else save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The result – he made the world turn somersault. His life was a perpetual gamble for God. Daily he faced death for Christ. Again and again he stood fearless before crowds thirsting for his blood. He stood before kings and governors and “turned not a hair”. He didn’t so much as flinch before Nero, that vice-president of hell. His sufferings were appalling; read them. He trod in his Master’s footsteps, and so received – God is always just in His favours – the same splendid compliment that Jesus did. “All forsook him.” So there were some Chocolate Christians in those days too. Anyone who forsook Paul must have been made of Chocolate. Doubtless the “CHOCOLATES” excused themselves as they do today. “Who could abide such a fanatical, fiery fool? such an uncompromising character? Nobody could work with him, or he with them!” (What a lie! Jesus did, and they got on well together.) A tactless enthusiast, who considered it his business to tell every man the unvarnished truth regardless of consequences. He won his degree hands down, and without a touch of the spur. A first-class one, too – that of the headman’s axe – next best to that of the cross.

And so the tale goes on. Go where you will through the Scriptures or history, you find that men who really knew God, and didn’t merely say they did, were invariably Paragons of Pluck; Dare-Devil Desperadoes for Jesus; Gamblers for God. “Fools and Madmen,” shout the world and the Chocolates. “Yes, for Christ’s sake,” add the Angels!

Nobly they fought to win the prize,
Climbing the steep ascents of heaven,
Thro’ peril, toil, and pain.
O God, to us let grace be given,
To follow in their train.

The Chocolate Christians of today can at least boast of having ancient pedigrees. There are CHOCOLATES A LA REUBEN, who have great searchings of heart, and make great resolves of heart too. But somehow they still sit among the sheepfolds, listening to the pipings of their much-loved organs and church choirs. It’s good to have a great heartsearching. It’s better to make a great heart-resolve. But, if instead of obeying, we squat among the sheep, leaving our few hard-pressed brethren to tackle the wolves by themselves, verily we are but Chocolate Christians. You made a great resolve to go to Africa for Christ a year or two ago. Where are you now? In England? Yes! Yes! Lollipop! (Judges 5: 16.)

There are CHOCOLATES MEROZ, who earned the curse of the angel of the Lord. War was declared; the battle about to begin; the odds were outrageous, and Meroz remained in England attending conventions until the battle was over, then he went, in comfort and security, as a Cook’s tourist! Doubtless they said, “They couldn’t fight till they had been properly ordained, and, besides, there was so very much to be done in fat, overfed Meroz, and surely to feed a flock of fat sheep in a safe place has always been considered the ideal training of war”; as though the best training for the soldier was to become a nurse-maid!!! (Judges 5: 23.)

CHOCOLATES DU BALAAM begin first-class, and earn the name of prophets. Then they develop a squint, melt, and finally run out of the frying-pan into the fire, thus Balaam.

One day he couldn’t get his left eye to look at God. It would look at earth and mammon and that chit of a girl, Miss Popularity. He ought to have done as God told him, and plucked it out. But he said that was too much to ask of any man, and besides he wanted the best of both worlds. He had a hearty desire to die the death of the righteous, but he wasn’t willing to pay the price of a righteous life. He hadn’t the pluck to curse God’s people, so he made plans for others to make them sin. But one day, while his dupes were putting his chestnuts into the fire, they fell in themselves, and Balaam with them (Numbers 22-24).

“I counsel thee to buy of me eyesalve, that thou mayest once again have a single eye, and be enabled to see the folly of flirting with the world.”

CHOCOLATE DEMAS, who left old fiery hard-hitting Paul for an easier path. He said he thought Paul should wink at, or slobber over sin, instead of rebuking it. “He was so very fond of the knife, you know; and he never would use sticking-plaster, because he said it never healed the sore but made it burrow underneath and become bigger, worse, and dangerous” (2 Tim. 4: 10).

MARK joined the Chocolate Brigade once. He left Paul and Barnabas in the lurch, and went back to Jerusalem for a rest cure – a religious retreat. Thank God he got sick of it ere long, resigned his commission, and re-enlisting in God’s army became a useful soldier (Acts 13: 13).

MANY FINE YOUNGSTERS ARE TURNED INTO CHOCOLATES BY OLD PROPHETS. Old prophets who have lost their fire, or fire off words instead of deeds, usually become Great Chocolate Manufacturers. That poor young prophet. He did so well when he obeyed God only, but it was all over with him when he listened to another voice, even though that of an old prophet. Didn’t the old prophet say he was a prophet? and say he’d got the message straight from God? What a damnable lie! The floor of Christendom and elsewhere is littered with wrecks made by old prophets. God won’t stand nonsense from any man. Every man has to choose between Christ and Barabbas, and every Christian between God and some old prophet. Better be a silly donkey in the estimation of an old prophet than listen to his soft talk and flattery, and afterwards become a wreck. “This is My beloved Son, hear HIM.” No! not even Moses, nor Elijah, nor both. “HEAR HIM.” “You have an anointing from God, and you have no need that any man teach you.” You say you believe the Bible! do your deeds give the lie to your words? (1 Kings 13).

THE TEN SPIES WERE CHOCOLATES. They melted and ran over the whole congregation of Israel, turning them into CHOCOLATE CREAMS – “softies”, afraid to face the fire and water before them. God put them all into the saucepan again and boiled them for forty years in the desert, and left them there. He has no use for Chocolates. It’s not small things He despises, but “Chocolates”; for He said, “Your little ones shall inherit the promised land which you have forfeited through listening to men and despising Me” (Numbers 13).

JONAH became a Chocolate Soldier once. Told to go to Africa, he went to Liverpool and took ship for America. Luckily he met a storm and a whale which, after three days’ instruction, taught him how to pray and obey, and set him once again on the right track (Jonah 1).

There’s nothing that shows up CHOCOLATES so much as a bit of a breeze among God’s people. Paul and Barnabas had one once. Judging from experience, I guess there were some Chocolates about then who got into a fog right away! Before that, they had vowed they would go to the heathen; but this breeze between P. and B. put them off. If they hadn’t been MADE OF CHOCOLATE they would have said, “This affair between Paul and Barnabas only makes it more necessary for me to keep close to God, and do what He told me to do more exactly and punctually; so I shall go a bit sooner to Africa – that’s all!”

Difficulties, dangers, disease, death, or divisions don’t deter any but Chocolates from executing God’s Will. When someone says there’s a lion in the way, the real Christian promptly replies, “That’s hardly enough inducement for me; I want a bear or two besides to make it worth my while to go.”

CHOCOLATES are very fond of talking loud and long against some whom they call fanatics, as though there were any danger of Christians being fanatics nowadays! Why, fanatics among Christians are as rare as the “dodo”. Now, if they declaimed against “tepidity”, they would talk sense. God’s real people have always been called fanatics. Jesus was called mad; so was Paul; so was Whitfield, Wesley, Moody, Spurgeon. No one has graduated far in God’s School who has not been paid the compliment of being called a fanatic. We Christians of today are indeed a tepid crew. Had we but half the fire and enthusiasm of the Suffragettes in the past, we would have the world evangelized and Christ back among us in no time. Had we the pluck and heroism of the Flyers, or the men who volunteered for the North or South Polar Expeditions, or for the Great War, or for any ordinary dare-devil enterprise, we could have every soul on earth knowing the name and salvation of Jesus Christ in less than ten years.

Alas! What stirs ordinary men’s blood and turns them into heroes, makes most Christians run like a flock of frightened sheep. The Militants daily risked their lives in furtherance of their cause, and subscribed of their means in a way that cried “Shame” on us Christians, who generally brand the braving of risks and fighting against odds as a “tempting of God”.

CHOCOLATE CARAMELS – “stick-jaw”, boys call them – jawing, “I go, sir,” and sticking fast in Christendom. No conquest is made in assured safety, and conquest for Christ certainly cannot so be made.

We Christians too often SUBSTITUTE PRAYER FOR PLAYING THE GAME. Prayer is good: but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is naught but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism. We need as many meetings for action as for prayer – perhaps more. Every orthodox prayer-meeting is opened by God saying to His people, “Go work today; pray that labourers be sent into My vineyard.” It is continued by the Christian’s response, “I go, Lord, whithersoever Thou sendest me, that Thy Name may be hallowed everywhere, that Thy Kingdom may come speedily, that Thy Will may be done on earth as in heaven.” But if it ends in nobody going anywhere, it had better never have been held at all. Like faith, prayer without works is dead. That is why many PRAYER-MEETINGS might well be styled “much cry, yet little wool”. Zerubbabel didn’t only hold prayer-meetings; he went and cut down trees, and started to build. Hence God said, “From this day will I bless thee.”

Report says that someone has re-discovered the secret of the old masters. Cannot we Christians re-discover, and put into practice, that of our Great Master and His former pupils, Heroism? He and they saved not themselves; they loved not their lives to the death, and so kept on saving them by losing them for Christ’s sake.

WE ARE FRITTERING AWAY TIME AND MONEY IN A MULTIPLICITY OF CONVENTIONS, conferences, and retreats, when the real need is to go straight and full steam into battle, with the signal for “close action” flying.

The "Vox Humana" plays too important a part in our Christian organs and organizations today. The music, whoever plays, is bound to be thin when the tops of “Instant Obedience” and “Fiery Valour” are missing or unused, and without them to play the “Lost Chord” of Heroism is an impossibility.

“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it,” said the Blessed Virgin. Do what? Not put treacle and spice into the soft holy vessels inside the house, but pour the Water of Life into those empty stone ones outside. Cana’s marriage feast would have ended in shame had the wine run short. Christ’s marriage feast begins only when the wine is sufficient – a blend from every tongue and kindred and tribe and nation. The supply is assured, as soon as the water is poured out as Christ directed, into “the uttermost parts of the earth”. The mischief today is the reluctance of the servants to do the outside work. They all want to serve indoors, wear smart clothes, listen to the conversation, and make a terrible lot of themselves in the butler’s pantry.

DO LET US MAKE A REAL START NOW – AT ONCE. For years, like Mr. Winkle, we’ve declared we were just about to begin, and then never began at all.

We must divorce Chocolate and Disobedience, and marry Faith and Heroism.

“Who shall begin the battle?” asked the king. “Thou,” replied the prophet, and when the king and the young princes led the way, though the odds against them were terrific, they won with ridiculous ease. So, too, THE APOSTLES LED IN THE WAR OF GOD to the uttermost parts of the earth. Likewise in the Crusades, the kings and princes of State and Church led; then why not today in THE CRUSADE OF CHRIST TO EVANGELIZE THE WORLD?

GOD’S SUMMONS TODAY IS TO THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OF GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA AND CHRISTENDOM, WHO CALL THEMSELVES BY THE NAME OF CHRIST. “New wine,” said Christ, “must be placed in New bottles.” Those superfluously labelled and patched-up old-fashioned ones are as hopeless as the New Theology. They can’t be moved lest they burst with pride and spill the wine in the wrong place.

Listen: “And it shall be in the last days, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions (of faith), your old men shall dream dreams (of valorous obedience); yea, and on My bondmen and on my bondmaidens in those days will I pour forth of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy; and I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; and it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how can they call on Him of whom they have not even heard? Must you stay, young man? Can’t you go, young woman, and tell them? Verily we are in the last – the Laodicean stage – that of the Lukewarm Church.

Wilt thou be to Christ the partner of His throne or an emetic (Rev. 3: 21); a Militant or a Chocolate Christian? Wilt thou fear or wilt thou fight? Shall your brethren go to war and shall ye sit here? When He comes, shall He find faith on the earth?

A thousand times you have admitted Christ’s

Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands your life, your soul, your all.

Wilt thou be a miser and withhold what honour demands of thee? Wilt thou give like Ananias and Sapphira, who, pretending to give all, gave only part?

Possessing and enjoying the vineyard, wilt thou, like the husbandman, refuse the agreed rent? Wilt thou fear death, or devil, or men? AND WILT THOU NOT FEAR SHAME?

Some shall rise to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Shall we refuse to emulate the heroes of old, or shall we accomplish the double fulfilment of those glorious words? –

All these being men of war came with a perfect heart to make Jesus King over all the world. They were all mighty men of valour for the war! He that was least was equal to a hundred, and the greatest to a thousand! They were not of double heart! Their faces were like the faces of lions! They were as swift as the roes upon the mountains (to do their Lord’s commands)! Ye sought in time past, for Jesus to be King over you. NOW, THEN, DO IT. (Compare 1 Chron. 12: 8, 33 and 38, and 2 Sam. 3: 17 and 18.)

Shall we not reply: Thine are we, Jesus, and on Thy side. God do so to me, and more also, if as God has sworn unto Him, I do not even so to Jesus – to translate the kingdom from the house of Satan, and set up the throne of Jesus Christ over all the world. (Compare 1 Chron. 12: 18 and 2 Sam. 3: 10.)

Come, then, let us restore the “Lost Chord” of Christianity – HEROISM – to the world, and the crown of the world to Christ. Christ Himself asks thee, “Wilt thou be a Malingerer or a Militant?”

To your knees, man! and to your Bible! Decide at once! Don’t hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses.

Enlist! Here are your papers and oath of allegiance. Scratch out one side and sign the other in the presence of God and the recording angel. Mark God’s endorsements underneath:

HENCEFORTH:

For me

   To live is Christ.
   To die is gain.
   I’ll be a militant.
   A man of God.
   A gambler for Christ.
   A hero.

   Sign here

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

or

For me

   Chocolate my name.
   Tepidity my temperature.
   A malingerer I.
   A child of men.
   A self-excuser.
   A humbug.

   Sign here

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

God’s promises are sure in either case:

“Lo, I am with you alway.” “I will spew thee out of My mouth.”

Good Lord!

Baptize us with the Holy Ghost, and with fire;

Cure us of all this dread plague of Sleeping Sickness, this crazy talking in our sleep, that even as we unceasingly pray,

Thy Name may be hallowed everywhere;

Thy Kingdom come speedily;

Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen and Amen!

_______________________________________________

C.T. StuddMore Information on C. T. Studd

 

Original website document can be viewed HERE.

Pdf doc at archive.org can be downloaded HERE.

Ballito Rage Festival 2014

This year was the tenth anniversary (2004-2014) of the Rage Festival in Ballito. From word on the street it appeared that the numbers were down from previous years (an answer to prayer) of matriculants (Grade 12ers) and other Raging party-seekers coming to party, booze and drug their way, expressing what they would think is “freedom” from school, teachers, parents and authority. Well, they had a rude awakening, for the Word of God says:

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:36

Saturday November 29

On our first day at the Rage Festival, Jarryd Cairns, Reece Cairns and Candice Simpson all from Hillcrest Baptist Church and writer from Living Hope in Pietermaritzburg, went down to the main beach where we saw many youngsters publically consuming alcohol, smoking a “hubbly-bubbly” and being reckless in partying and skateboarding in the streets. Pockets of street parties were also taking place on the main road through Ballito. We engaged some youngsters in conversation and also proceeded to open-air preach the Gospel of God to those on the beach. Many rejected the preaching, but there were many that by the leading of God that also stopped to listen on the beach and up on the boardwalk. Many Gospel tracts were also distributed to all willing to receive literature. We were also confronted by a young girl named Jessica who professed to be a Christian who was clad in a bikini. She was barely sixteen years of age and said that preaching as we did was only “scaring” the revellers off the beach. We shared with this young girl the Biblical way in which to share the Gospel, the way our Lord Jesus Christ did, the Apostle Paul did, Peter the Apostle did, and many other reformed puritans of the 16th and 17th centuries did, as well as us in the 21st century do. We also through much concern brought to her attention that if she being a Christian was encouraging other boys/men to look upon her body due to her immodest dress then she would be encouraging the lust of the eyes in adultery and therefore she would be seen as an adulteress. The proof text was:

27  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ~ Matthew 5:27,28

Well, this did not go down too well, as she had told her dad Paul who tracked us down later in the evening with her mother and sister to address why writer had called his innocent daughter an “adulteress”. Obviously the entire story was not revealed to him, but we were also castigated by them for not befriending the sinners first and earning the right to speak to them about the Gospel, like they and the Red-frogs do! We heard first hand from a member of the Red-frogs – a ministry that offers free pancakes and who pick-up drunk teenagers – that they never force the Gospel unless asked to share it. Why wait until someone is blind-drunk or drugged-up to want to be a good-samaritan when it is then too late? What one must understand, on a short mission that is dealing with rebellious persons/teenagers – and I lay the blame squarely with their parents for allowing them to come to Ballito and be reprobate in their actions – is that you can’t go and engage in friendship evangelism as the time period is short. We come to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in obedience to our Lord’s command of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8) to as large an audience as possible, and yes we engaged individuals too in one-on-one conversations showing them from the Holy Scriptures what is required of each person before a Holy, Just and Righteous God who is also merciful and gracious to sinners who will bow their knees and call upon Him in repentance for His salvation.

We had many conversations with youth, drunks, drug-addicts, the homeless, a Muslim, professing Christians and a devil-loving African man that said Satan is his father! Many people from all walks of life were confronted with the Son of Righteousness. We give all glory to God for using simple men to proclaim Truth. However, it is really sad when professing believers object as loud as the unbelieving dark and wicked world do to the preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

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Brother Jarryd raising the name of our Great God the Lord Jesus Christ! Brother Reece is speaking to a "heckler" (red shirt) who said his father is Satan!

002

A small gathering listening to the Gospel of God (Romans 1:1) being proclaimed by Jarryd.

 003

Please pray for this Muslim woman named Cathy who heard the preaching outside and came out from a deli she works in. Cathy was very receptive, asking questions and listening intently. We pray our Father was dealing with her heart. Much what was shared by us to her was a confirmation of what her husband had shared with her on other occasions. She also took much Gospel literature before going back to work. Soli Deo Gloria!

004

Sister Candice witnessing and discussing issues with a lady named Anna.

The homeless and destitute need the Gospel of God and much prayer. Please remember Gideon and Riaan in your prayers.

Saturday December 6

Jarryd and I went to Ballito to preach at the Rage Festival again on this day. Enroute we visited Stan and Tilly Webster for fellowship and stopped off at the Durban Beachfront and preached Jesus Christ open-air outside Joe Kool’s Restaurant. During this time in Durban we witnessed 1-on-1 with many souls. Please keep Jamisse (Mozambican), Sandile, Malcom (a homeless believer who joined us with tract distribution), Mamsi who came to Jarryd speaking to Malcom as she wanted to hear what was going down. Mamsi was open and teary eyed receiving the Word of Truth. She also enquired of a place where she could go and worship. We trust our Father will lead her in this regard and if she should contact us we are sure Stan, an elder at HBC, would be willing to direct her as he is resident in Durban.

005 006 007 008 009

We also started discussing and praising God on the water-edge with Nathi from Pietermaritzburg whilst the Gospel was being preached to the ears that would listen. Soli Deo Gloria!

Parable of the Great Supper

21 … Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled….
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. ~ Luke 14:21b-24

010

011

Proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at the water edge on North Beach, Durban. An audience listened to the Word of God.

012

Outside a Spar convenient store in Ballito. There were a few alcohol consuming men who came to listen atop the roof of the Spar. Praise God.

013

Even when there is load-shedding (blackout) the Light still shines in a dark and wicked world!

Whilst there was load-shedding the Gospel of Christ was shared with some youngsters in the dark, who were from upcountry. Their names are: Ailene, Calvin, Nathan, Elias and Zayne. Please keep them in prayer.

We also ministered to some homeless men in the Spar parking-lot named Mark, (an Indian-man who was drunk) and John (who spoke about doing battle against the angels). Mark was really open and listened intently. Please keep these men in prayer.

There were many more persons that had one-on-one ministry that our Lord knows by name. To God be all the glory for answering our prayers of bringing those He wished to have us speak with across our paths. We are truly thankful to our Father in heaven that we did not stay home and allow people to go about without being warned and prayed for. As an encouragement to all Christ’s disciples reading this, stop hedging, and be obedient to Luke 9:23; our Lord Jesus Christ speaking ~

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas” Film

It is with unhappiness and much sadness that I write this article as it relates to two men I came to respect and love in the ministry and had the privilege of meeting, labouring with and being instructed in the ways of open-air preaching and sharing the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By the providence of our Great God and Saviour I was able to leave the shores of Africa and visit the United States of America in June 2008 and briefly attend the Ambassadors’ Academy 3, a ministry of Living Waters, under the leadership of the two brothers in the faith, namely Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron of The Way of the Master ministry.

Saving Xmas

Just recently I viewed Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page where he had been promoting his “Saving Christmas” film as depicted here-above. I had been made aware of this film through an article that appeared at Christian News Network where it is surprisingly quoted:

Was Santa Claus a Christian? A ‘defender of the faith’? Is this reason to sit on the lap of the bearded man at the mall who “knows if you’ve been naughty or nice”? That is what Kirk Cameron is claiming as proof why Christians should celebrate Christmas in a new documentary that opens this Friday [November 14, 2014] in theatres across the country—an assertion that is raising concerns over Cameron’s confusion of Roman Catholicism with Christianity.

Cameron, best known for his role as Mike Seaver on the 80’s TV sitcom “Growing Pains” and films such as “Fireproof” and “Left Behind,” has been promoting his new film “Saving Christmas,” in which the actor seeks to “keep Christ in Christmas,” stating that some holiday traditions aren’t so bad or pagan after all.

Saint Nicholas, as painted on the Kizhi monastery in Russia. After recently asserting that Christians should celebrate Halloween, in a video clip released last week entitled “Do You Love Santa Claus,” Cameron stated that “maybe someone like Santa Claus is actually on our team.” He then released a second video providing the history of the figure of Santa Claus, who was actually the Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas of Myra, Turkey under Pope Sylvester I.

“He was a devout Christian,” Cameron states, but not noting Nicholas’ Roman Catholic faith. Read more Here (Full Report)

Another Christian News Network article that should be read appears at this link: ‘Maybe the Grinch Had a Point’: Kirk Cameron’s ‘Saving Christmas’ Won’t Be Saved From Critics.

Whilst I have personally not viewed the film, and will not be viewing the same in its entirety, I have watched the trailer and read some reviews on it, and have also seen the comments on Kirk Cameron’s Facebook page – for the film vs. against the film; pro-Christmas vs. anti-Christmas; man’s pagan traditions vs. Biblical Historical Truth. It all makes for interesting reading, but there can be only one Truth. Just as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said:

31  . . . If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. ~ John 8:31,32 & 36

Birth of Christ This is the saddest part of this blog posting. I had placed a comment on Kirk’s Facebook wall, including the birth chart to the left (click on it to enlarge in another tab), and my comment was deleted. You read right – D E L E T E D. It appears that when one confronts error with the literal Biblical Historical Truth you are summarily deleted and not allowed to “play in the play-group.” I am saddened and really disappointed by how professing Christians can censure Christians if they do not agree with their world view! It goes much deeper than that as it is a matter of Truth vs. error and those in error do not want to listen! Well argue with the Word of God then. When one reads the Holy Scriptures, are you able to find “Christmas Day” mentioned in YHVH’s Holy Feast Days in Leviticus 23? Or maybe it was instituted in the New Testament and I have just missed the Chapter and Verse! No, you can’t find it, because it doesn’t exist.

Surprisingly an initial comment with the chart also appears to have mysteriously disappeared on Ray Comfort’s Facebook wall, and this before I reposted three more comments randomly! It is also very surprisingly that Kirk Cameron who is attempting to evangelise the masses has also changed his comment settings and you have to “possibly like” his page before you can comment thereon; or is the comment feature only not available to me? Well, getting back to the initial comment on Kirk’s page which went something along these lines, not verbatim as the original one was deleted:

Christian, please read your Holy Bible and you will find out that Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ, was born on 15 Tishri (September/October) at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and He was born in a Sukkot (Booth) and not a stable/cave. If you know what to look for start reading: Luke 1 and 2; 1 Chronicles 24:10; Leviticus 23:33-44; Deuteronomy 16:16; and many other Scriptures.

To help with the Scriptures quoted here-above please view the afore-stated Birth of Christ Chart together with the following powerpoint presentation: The Nativity of Yeshua HaMeshiach.

Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron receive literally thousands upon thousands of “hits/likes/shares/comments” on their Facebook accounts and it is mostly by idolising Christian folk. If a message is being proclaimed please make sure it is without error. In the past I too fell into the trap of “idolising” men such as Comfort and MacArthur, and I had to REPENT before God for being so caught up in men’s ministries in idolatry instead of listening to the leading Holy Spirit and walking with God. Don’t say it will never happen to you. For many of you it has already happened and you can’t see the woods for the trees!

The only conclusion I can arrive at is that the literal Biblical Historical Truth that I presented showed up the errors in Kirk Cameron’s “Saving Christmas.” My plea to ALL reading this is: Stop trying to put the Lord Jesus Christ into something He was never in to start off with! Do you think the “Christmas” practices that are undertaken every year were at His birth? Was there a Xmas tree and all the tinsel and trappings in the sukkot Yeshua, our Lord Jesus Christ was born in? Or do you think there is a Xmas tree in heaven before the throne of God Almighty every year to celebrate His Son’s birth? Obviously the first century believers never celebrated this way so why should you/we do so now? YES – certainly preach the Gospel at every opportunity including on December 25, but don’t be pagan like the rest of the heathen world. You can do so separated from the worldly system (see James 4:4). You are to be in the world, but not of the world, as it is written:

15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
~ John 17:15-17

We are commanded to have unity in the Christian faith. Unfortunately we don’t see unity, but rather divisions. As it is written:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6

14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians 4:14,15

Christ Jesus made it abundantly clear how we are to remember Him. It is recorded what we are to do in remembrance of Him until He returns for His spotless, unified Bride:

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; read with Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20. [my emphasis]

Maybe Chris Williams, movie reviewer for the Advisor and Source in Michigan has it right. At the second Christian News Network report above, quote: “Williams said that in the end, “Kirk Cameron hasn’t made a movie for Christians. He’s made a movie for Kirk Cameron.””  I would have thought Kirk would contend for the faith and would have told the literal Biblical Historical Truth and stood as a light in this dark wicked world, and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We read further in Romans 13:12  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). The “Saving Christmas” film is not reproving the unfruitful works of darkness, but encouraging them. If this is so, then brother Kirk Cameron in sincere love I call you to repentance.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

_______________

P.S. This blog posting will be placed on my Facebook wall and Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron will be tagged accordingly.

Two Bangladesh Pastors Charged

Please pray!

18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
~ Matthew 10:18-22

Bangladesh-300x300

Read the news article Bangladesh Pastors Charged With ‘Hurting Religious Sentiments’ for Preaching Christ to Muslims at

Christian-News

Last Call

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Healings or Preaching for Salvation

On Wednesday April 10, 2013 I was contacted by Brother Ed White to come share about the Repent and Believe South Africa ministry with their Bible-study group meeting at his home with his family – wife Petra and their younger daughter Catherine (Rebecca was at work) – which also included his pastor David (jnr.), his wife Kate and David’s dad David (snr.). Brother Aziz was also present having arrived with me.

I ask that this teaching be received in love, as it is intended, and that this matter be heard first before answering the matter as we read:

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

This account that follows is hopefully as I understood it correctly. During the discussions, we were advised by David (snr.) that he is involved in the ministry of healing and he gave testimonies of healings that took place. He spoke of a time when 76 (?) people were healed at once in a shed on a farm in Namibia. [Healed from what? This question needs to be answered. Were all the people at that one “meeting” sick? Crippled? Maimed? Blind? Deaf? We know not]. During the evening at one point David (snr.) also mentioned that Jesus’ healings were to save souls as he elaborated on the death of our Saviour upon the Cross being bruised and taking the punishment – which was a graphic description of the Roman torture of the “cat-with-nine-tails with nine barbs”, etc. – also for our healings! He indicated that we, as believers, should move in the anointing of the healing ministry and people will be saved when they see signs and wonders and miracles, because this will reveal that “Jesus is in the house.” However, I advised at the time that not every person is healed, but the greatest miracle of all is when dead-men walking are converted into new creations and being born-again of the Spirit of God! (see John 3:3, 5 and 6)

Being asked to come and share our street preaching ministry and sharing at the home group meeting from the Scriptures, being Ephesians 4:11-16 as read with 1 Corinthians 1:9-13 dealing expressively with the teaching aspect of the ministry and that believers are to be in unity, hearing what our brethren taught concerning their healing ministry it caused me to go away and ask questions of our Father and it was in the waking hours the next morning that certain revelation was unfolding by what was given to me in thoughts that caused me to start searching the Scriptures as a Berean (see Acts 17:11).

What follows is what I believe our Father has revealed to me and He wishes to share with the aforementioned Bible-study group again, which is what is done here.

Healings are not a draw card for Salvation or to Salvation. In Romans 1:16,17 we read what was revealed to the Apostle Paul which reads, as follows:

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

The power of God unto salvation is the Gospel of Christ to those that believeth. The preaching of God’s Word is what saves people, not signs and wonders and miracles. What saves people from God’s wrath is Salvation which is of God and “… not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (see Romans 2:4). We also read, for it is written:

1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The preaching of the cross is the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is to be preached as the Apostle Paul said “… woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (see 1 Corinthians 9:16) We also know that God uses the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe:

1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

John the Baptist, the Apostles and Jesus the Christ all said that people must repent or they would perish. We read in many accounts of their preaching “Repentance” in Matthew 3:2, 4:17; Mark 1:15, 6:12; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 8:22, 17:30, 20:21, 26:20, Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22, and 3:3. We are also told in Scripture that we have the ministry of reconciliation as given to us in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 ~

2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2 Cor 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

What we also see in Scripture is that the Law of God has to be a schoolmaster (teacher) to lead people to Christ as we read in Galatians:

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

We are also told that we are saved by grace through faith in Ephesians as it is written:

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We also know that healings is a gift of the Holy Spirit and so is faith (see 1 Corinthians 12:9), but the gifts are given to believers for the Kingdom of God. When we read about the gifts and that it is for the one body and every member has need of the other in the one body – referring to and in context to the believers in Christ – we also see that these gifts all work for each other and there is to be no division “schism”. We read that we believers are to use our gifts for the care of one another, as we read:

1 Cor 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

1 Cor 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

1 Cor 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

1 Cor 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

1 Cor 12:29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

1 Cor 12:30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

1 Cor 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

These gifts are to be exercised in the Kingdom of God which is within you! (see Luke 17:21). The healings are for us believers first and foremost. If a sinner comes to repentance and faith and needs a healing, then those who have the gift of healing will heal that brother or sister. These are Kingdom principles, as we are exhorted by our Lord Jesus Christ: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (see Matthew 7:6). Initially, the healings done by our Lord Jesus Christ through His ministry on earth were attesting signs to confirm His deity as the Son of God and as God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16) as well as the Gospel – the Good News! And the first Apostles did this too as we read in Act 2:43 and that there were “fear came upon every soul” “And all that believed were together, and had all things common;” (Acts 2:44). The reason we can know this is that when our Lord Jesus Christ healed ten lepers we read of the account that only one stranger – a Samaritan – came and gave God glory. Many people want the healing, but few accept the healer our Lord Jesus Christ, as Lord of their lives. We read:

Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Luke 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

Luke 17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

Luke 17:14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

Luke 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

Luke 17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

Luke 17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Luke 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The Gospel is about changed hearts! This is also confirmed when we see that many disciples stopped following our Lord Jesus Christ when we read John 6:66! These were the very disciples that witnessed the healings, miracles and feedings. That is why we need to understand the parable of the sower (see Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8) which deals with the soils (hearts). There are many that fall away from the faith because they never came repentant having the good seed planted in the good soil that brings forth a good harvest and they are a result of a man-centred gospel that lacks repentance and has no power, and men have changed the ways of God to suit their own doctrines, traditions and customs. The ways of men cause false converts which leads many to be inoculated to the True Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We also read on another occasion of the account when our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples returning from a mission, as it is written:

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Our rejoicing, in humility, should be because our names are written in heaven. We also can read from the work J.C. Ryle Expository Thoughts on the Gospel, the following in relation to the aforementioned Scripture portion:

Luke 10:17-20 WE learn, from this passage, how ready Christians are to be puffed up with success. It is written, that the seventy returned from their first mission with joy, “saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” There was much false fire in that joy. There was evidently self-satisfaction in that report of achievements. The whole tenor of the passage leads us to this conclusion. The remarkable expression which our Lord uses about Satan’s fall from heaven, was most probably meant to be a caution. He read the hearts of the young and inexperienced soldiers before Him. He saw how much they were lifted up by their first victory. He wisely checks them in their undue exultation. He warns them against pride.

The lesson is one which all who work for Christ should mark and remember. Success is what all faithful laborers in the Gospel field desire. The minister at home and the missionary abroad, the district visitor and the city missionary, the tract distributor and the Sunday-school teacher, all alike long for success. All long to see Satan’s kingdom pulled down, and souls converted to God. We cannot wonder. The desire is right and good.

Let it, however, never be forgotten, that the time of success is a time of danger to the Christian’s soul. The very hearts that are depressed when all things seem against them are often unduly exalted in the day of prosperity. Few men are like Samson, and can kill a lion without telling others of it. (Jdg 14:6.) No wonder that Paul says of a bishop, that he ought not to be “a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1Ti 3:6.) Most of Christ’s laborers probably have as much success as their souls can bear.

Let us pray much for humility, and especially for humility in our days of peace and success. When everything around us seems to prosper, and all our plans work well,—when family trials and sicknesses are kept from us, and the course of our worldly affairs runs smooth,—when our daily crosses are light, and all within and without like a morning without clouds,—then, then is the time when our souls are in danger! Then is the time when we have need to be doubly watchful over our own hearts. Then is the time when seeds of evil are sown within us by the devil, which may one day astound us by their growth and strength.

There are few Christians who can carry a full cup with a steady hand. There are few whose souls prosper in their days of uninterrupted success. We are all inclined to sacrifice to our net, and burn incense to our own drag. (Hab 1:16.) We are ready to think that our own might and our own wisdom have procured us the victory. The caution of the passage before us ought never to be forgotten. In the midst of our triumphs, let us cry earnestly, “Lord, clothe us with humility.”

We learn, for another thing, from these verses, that gifts, and power of working miracles, are very inferior to grace. It is written that our Lord said to the seventy disciples, “In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” It was doubtless an honor and a privilege to be allowed to cast out devils. The disciples were right to be thankful. But it was a far higher privilege to be converted and pardoned men, and to have their names written in the register of saved souls.

The distinction here drawn between grace and gifts is one of deep importance, and often and sadly overlooked in the present day. Gifts, such as mental vigor, vast memory, striking eloquence, ability in argument, power in reasoning, are often unduly valued by those who possess them, and unduly admired by those who possess them not. These things ought not so to be. Men forget that gifts without grace save no one’s soul, and are the characteristic of Satan himself.

Grace, on the contrary, is an everlasting inheritance, and, lowly and despised as its possessor may be, will land him safe in glory. He that has gifts without grace is dead in sins, however splendid his gifts may be. But he that has grace without gifts is alive to God, however unlearned and ignorant he may appear to man. And “a living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Ecc 9:4.)

Let the religion which we aim to possess be a religion in which grace is the main thing. Let it not content us to be able to speak eloquently, or preach powerfully, or reason ably, or argue cleverly, or profess loudly, or talk fluently. Let it not satisfy us to know the whole system of Christian doctrines, and to have texts and words at our command. These things are all well in their way. They are not to be undervalued. They have their use. But these things are not the grace of God, and they will not deliver us from hell. Let us never rest until we have the witness of the Spirit within us that we are “washed, and sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.” (1Co 6:11.) Let us seek to know that “our names are written in heaven,” and that we are really one with Christ and Christ in us. Let us strive to be “epistles of Christ known and read of all men,” and to show by our meekness, and charity, and faith, and spiritual-mindedness, that we are the children of God. This is true religion. These are the real marks of saving Christianity. Without such marks, a man may have abundance of gifts and turn out nothing better than a follower of Judas Iscariot, the false apostle, and go at last to hell. With such marks, a man may be like Lazarus, poor and despised upon earth, and have no gifts at all. But his name is written in heaven, and Christ shall own him as one of His people at the last day.” (End quote)

When we look at the many healings and miracles done by our Lord Jesus Christ, we see a recurring mention of faith and belief by those receiving the healing. As mentioned earlier faith is a gift from God by the Holy Spirit as we can read in 1 Corinthians 12:9 and also in Galatians 5:22 where faith is listed as a Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we can know from the Scriptures that these healings and miracles had to be attesting signs as no person can have that type of faith unless God has drawn the person and imparted the gift. We know that none seeks after God (see Romans 3:11) and No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: … (see John 6:44), so God had to have given the persons the faith, their belief and the ability for them to worship our Lord Jesus Christ. We are also here speaking about Jews from the House of Israel who must have received a revelation from God to know Jesus as Messiah. Why else would Jews call Yeshua Lord? Here are a few examples:

Blind Bartimaeus called Him Lord – Rabboni from Rabbi, Master = Great Teacher – and had faith.

Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Mark 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mark 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mark 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

Mark 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

Mark 10:51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

Mark 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

In Mark 7:24-30 the Syrophenician woman called Him Lord – she must have also heard of our Lord Jesus Christ and believed for in Matthew’s account in 15:21-28 her faith heals her daughter (v.28).

In Mark 5:35-43 Jarius’ daughter is healed – he is told to be not afraid only believe.

In Mark 5:1-20 the demons are cast out of the demoniac. In verse 6 the man came and worshipped Jesus. Cf verse 19 the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Then there is the woman with the issue of blood twelve years:

Mark 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

Mark 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

Mark 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

Mark 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

Mark 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

Mark 5:31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

Mark 5:32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

Mark 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

We also read the account of the paralytic being healed which is our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrating that He has power to forgive sins and the act of the miracle healing was the confirmation that the man’s sins were forgiven first:

Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

Mark 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

Mark 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Mark 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mark 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

Mark 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

Mark 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

Mark 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

Mark 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

Mark 2:12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Healings and miracles was not what our Lord Jesus Christ came to do as a means to draw men to Himself to save them. Our Lord Jesus Christ was specific:

Mark 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Mark 1:39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

We also know that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man dealing with heaven and hell in Luke 16:19-31 that the five brothers of the rich man – who are the people also of this generation – that they have Moses and the prophets (the Bible), and if they do not hear them, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. We are also told that unless a preacher – not a healer – is sent:

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

In two portions of Scripture our Lord Jesus Christ reiterated the following:

Matt 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

Matt 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matt 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Matt 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Matt 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Today, this generation is still evil, wicked and adulterous and it is still seeking after a sign as a result of many false prophets, false teachers (2 Peter 2:1) and false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13) masquerading as “preachers” of Truth, but they are charlatans! The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is repentance and faith which are both a gift from Almighty God for Salvation.

We truly hope that this treatise settles the discrepancies that do exist in how brethren interpret Scripture. We are once again reminded that there should be no divisions between the brethren which are saints, the ekklesia of God. Let the living Word of God truly speak from the law and the prophets and the fulfilment of our Lord Jesus Christ as contained in the Holy Bible.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

The Son of the Freewoman vs. the son of the bondwoman

Christian_islamHere is a comparison from the Holy Scriptures that deals with the age old problem why the Jihadists  engage in persecution, war and atrocities against Christian believers. This all started in the days of Genesis when Hagar the Egyptian, a handmaid (a servant girl) of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was given to her husband to bear a child to her mistress. This child to be born, named Ishmael, was not the child God had ordained for Abraham and Sarah to have by His promise, which child was to be Isaac. No, Ishmael was the result of a birth through the flesh, not by God’s promise, as most people in the world rely on the flesh to meet their own personal needs and not going to God Almighty in the Spirit and receiving from Him according to His good will and divine purpose.

We often hear that the reasons for these Islamic jihadist conflicts, that persist today in the 21st Century, came about as a result of the “Crusaders’ massacres of Muslims” – who are incorrectly branded “Christian warlords” – but this is not the truth. A starting point could be that a real search through history should be undertaken to find out the truth behind the crusades and to help here is an in-depth article that can go a long way towards dispelling the myths created by uninformed people believing lies – Setting the Record Straight About the Crusades by Dr. Peter Hammond (Frontline Fellowship).

The real place one should go is to God’s Holy Word as He has passed it down through the ages and we should read the accounts of Scripture for therein you will find the Truth. We can go back to the Torah – the writings of Moses as God met with him face-to-face and spoke to him, revealing all that had to be recorded for His Creation’s benefit. So, let us take up the Historical and True account from God Almighty, in the beginning … in Genesis.

We read in Genesis 15:1 to 6 that ~

… the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Now we see from the preceding Scriptures that God Almighty had told Abraham (Abram) that an heir would come forth out of his own bowels – in other words, be born from his loins, his seed. Abraham would father his own heir by the promise from God. Although God gave the promise, we then read that Sarah (Sarai) wanted a child, and as she bare no children to her husband, she got ahead of God’s ordained plan of promise as we read in Genesis 16:1-16 ~

Gen 16:1  Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
Gen 16:2  And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Gen 16:3  And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
Gen 16:4  And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. Gen 16:5  And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. Gen 16:6  But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. Gen 16:7  And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. Gen 16:8  And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
Gen 16:9  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. Gen 16:10  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. Gen 16:11  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. Gen 16:12  And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. Gen 16:13  And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Gen 16:14  Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
Gen 16:15  And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. Gen 16:16  And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

We read that the child that was born to Abraham, at age 86, was through the doing of his wife Sarah and not through the promise of God. Therefore, the birth of Ishmael was not by promise, but by the will of the flesh – man’s fleshly desire. When Hagar the Egyptian conceived by Abraham, there already came about resentment as the bondwoman (handmaid, servant) despised the freewoman her mistress Sarah as we read in Genesis 16:4 and 5. We see that the freewoman (Judeo-Christianity) would be despised from that point by the bondwoman (Islam).

Hagar was in Sarah’s hand to do with her as she pleased. Sarah was the mistress, Hagar the handmaid, and so when Sarah dealt hardly with her servant, the handmaid fled from her. Later we read that the angel of the LORD finds Hagar and tells her that she must return to her mistress and submit herself under her (Sarah’s) hands. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, reads on this account: “Whither wilt thou go? Thou art running into sin; if Hagar return to Egypt, she will return to idol gods, and into danger in the wilderness through which she must travel. Recollecting who we are, would often teach us our duty. Inquiring whence we came, would show us our sin and folly. Considering whither we shall go, discovers our danger and misery. And those who leave their space and duty, must hasten their return, how mortifying soever it be. The declaration of the Angel, “I will,” shows this Angel was the eternal Word and Son of God. Hagar could not but admire the Lord’s mercy, and feel, Have I, who am so unworthy, been favoured with a gracious visit from the Lord? She was brought to a better temper, returned, and by her behaviour softened Sarai, and received more gentle treatment.” It is a case of flesh (world) versus spirit (heaven). We also learn the personality account of the child born of the flesh to Hagar the Egyptian where we read ~

Gen 16:11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. Gen 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. [writer’s emphasis]

Today, this is truly a fulfilment of this prophesy. Ishmael (Islam) is a wild man as we see around the world how Islamists continue with much violence in Islamic countries, especially in the 10-40 window states. War, tyranny, persecution and martyrdom against Christians, terrorism and jihadist activities, including the enforcement of Sharia Law take place worldwide, and Islam’s hand is against every man and every man’s hand against him in self defence to uphold law and order. The last portion of Genesis 16:12 is also fulfilled as Mohammedans do live in the presence of all his brethren – children born both to Sarah (free) and to Hagar (bond) from Abraham. The Arab nations in and around Israel proves this point.

From the following Scriptures we see God Almighty enters into a covenant with Abraham and as the Scriptures unfold you will see that the covenant comes through the seed of the freewoman and not the bondwoman. Let us read the Scriptures where God Almighty sets up an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his seed after him, in Genesis 17:1-7 ~

Gen 17:1  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Gen 17:2  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. Gen 17:3  And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, Gen 17:4  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Gen 17:5  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. Gen 17:6  And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. Gen 17:7  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

Sarah, who was previously named Sarai, who never had any child and was barren, would now be called Sarah and God would “bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.” This is a definite promise from God Almighty, unlike the act of the flesh that preceded when Sarai herself gave her handmaid Hagar the Egyptian to her husband Abram to father her a child. Abraham and Sarah, both being “past the age” of child-bearing was now receiving the promise from God. Not only would Isaac be born to them, but an everlasting covenant with him would be established and that everlasting covenant would be with Isaac and not Ishmael. We read the account in God’s Holy Word in Genesis 17:15-22 ~

Gen 17:15  And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. Gen 17:16  And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Gen 17:17  Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? Gen 17:18  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! Gen 17:19  And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. Gen 17:20  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. Gen 17:21  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. Gen 17:22  And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.

In the succeeding Scripture portions we read of the promised child Isaac being born to his parents who were “both beyond years of childbearing” – so they thought at 100 and 90 years of age – but is was exactly as God Almighty promised! And an everlasting covenant by God was established with Isaac and his seed. We also read:

Gen 18:13  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Gen 18:14  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Gen 18:15  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. Gen 18:16  And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. Gen 18:17  And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Gen 18:18  Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? Gen 18:19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

We again pick up how the bondwoman’s child Ishmael mocks at the child of promise being Isaac. In today’s society we still see the scorn and mocking of the Seed of promise, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Islamists. Even in their Quran (Surah 10:68-70) they question “God has begotten a son!” and they mock saying that “No son did God beget, …” (Surah 23:91), a contradiction of what was revealed in God’s Holy Word more than 570 years before Mohammed was “supposed to have received a further revelation.”

The promised Seed (that would bruise Satan’s head – Genesis 3:15) came through this genealogy; as we read in Matthew 1 (shortened by writer) ~

Mat 1:1  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Mat 1:2  Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; …
Mat 1:6  And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; … Mat 1:15  And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; Mat 1:16  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Let us reiterate – Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; … And Jesse begat David the king; … And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Children of God Almighty are born-again through the promise – the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the Seed of Jesus Christ! Not only did Ishmael mock the child of promise Isaac, the son of the bondwoman would not be heir with the son of promise, even Isaac, but the bondwoman Hagar the mother of Ishmael also took for him a wife out of Egypt – they still remained in bondage. Egypt is a type of the world, the fleshly system, one that remains bound and in bondage. The following account reads as follows in Genesis 21:1 through 21 ~

Gen 21:1  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. Gen 21:2  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. Gen 21:3  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. Gen 21:4  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
Gen 21:5  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. Gen 21:6  And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. Gen 21:7  And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. Gen 21:8  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. Gen 21:9  And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Gen 21:10  Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. Gen 21:11  And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. Gen 21:12  And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Gen 21:13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. Gen 21:14  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. Gen 21:15  And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. Gen 21:16  And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. Gen 21:17  And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Gen 21:18  Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. Gen 21:19  And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. Gen 21:20  And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. Gen 21:21  And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

We now can see that the children of God are called through the promise of God. However, God can be merciful to whom He will be merciful, as God is not a respecter of persons (see Act 10:34). This portion of Scripture from the New Testament to the ekklesia at Galatia where the apostle Paul sums it all up perfectly what was passed down through the generations, confirms all that preceded in Genesis, as it is written ~

Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. Gal 4:29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

You see, one’s only hope of being free, and to be free indeed, is as our Lord Jesus Christ said: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36). You need to be an heir of the Seed of the freewoman and that is to be born-again of the Spirit of God, to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan the Devil hates our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ and the children of God, the called and elected. In conclusion – you need to be a Christian – a Christ follower. That is your only hope! Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and in Christ alone! We do pray for God to soften and open Muslim hearts that they too will come out of bondage, being the offspring of the bondmaid, and be found free as reconciled children of God through the seed of the freewoman. For salvation is of God alone to all that believeth.

SOLI DEO GLORIA

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