The following providence of God our Spiritual Father was encountered while
waiting for direction as to the why and when of the main body of text that
is to follow.
The teaching was written by one of the most highly esteemed servants of
God of the last century and deals with Peter's sermon at Pentecost as described
in Acts Chapter two (Acts 2:22-36).
It has to do with predestination concerning you and me; God's plan of redemption
for us whom He created for His good pleasure.
For example, Jesus of Nazareth could not die before His time had come:
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled
with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto
the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast
him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth
his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd,
whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep,
and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling
fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the
good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father
knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one
shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life,
that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down
of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
This commandment have I received of my Father.
Jesus died on the day of the year remembered as that time all the firstborn
of unbelievers died in Egypt when the Israelites were saved. (Numbers 8:14-18).
Jesus was lovingly obedient to His Heavenly Father:
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with
you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath
seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest
thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that
I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in
me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and
the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily,
verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall
he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I
go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I
do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
He opened the door of Spiritual life for us when He was raised from the
God loved us before we loved Him.
How do we react to this Very Good News?
I suppose the sermon preached by the apostle Peter in Jerusalem on the
day of Pentecost is the most widely used sermon ever preached. We know
from Scripture that the results were three thousand souls turned to the
What was the character of this sermon and what was there in it that
so appealed to the people? Of course in trying to answer this we need to
remember that the circumstances were most remarkable. The Lord Jesus Christ
had fulfilled three and a half years of His wonderful ministry in the land
of Israel. By His many miracles He had manifested His messianic power,
and His character showed that He was the son of God. A number believed
on Him and a great many rejected Him, and those who had rejected Him crucified
Him. Three days later He rose from the tomb, appeared to certain selected
persons repeatedly for a period of forty days, and then ascended into Heaven
[note the H. (De 10:14; 1Ki 8:27)]. After this the Spirit Himself
came on the day of Pentecost as predicted in the fulfilment of Old Testament
prophecy. There were gathered in Jerusalem a vast throng of people from
all the different countries to which the Jews had been dispersed during
the centuries. They had come to keep the feasts at Jerusalem, first the
Passover and then Pentecost; and as they listened to Peter's message it
came home to their consciences with peculiar power. . . . . .
The labouring people were hardly more than slaves when Jesus came, and
now there is little actual slavery in civilised nations. Some are enslaved
by cruel and ruthless laws, but the arrival of the gospel message changes
completely the attitude toward those who toil and labour. Jesus of Nazareth
laboured. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth who "went about doing good, and
healing all who were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38).
Peter in the beginning does not rise any higher than that. He does not
dwell on the deity of Christ at first. He tells them "[Here was] a man
approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs." In other
words Peter is telling them that this man is the Messiah. God had put His
seal upon Him. This was the One whom the prophets had proclaimed and of
whom the psalmists had sung, and what have they done with Him? Let me ask
you the question, What have you done with Him? You know why He came, why
He died. What have you done with Him? Have you opened your heart to receive
Him? Have you trusted Him as Saviour? If not you are as guilty and in some
respects even more guilty than they in those days. What did they do? "Him,
being delivered by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God, ye
have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."
Notice how two things come together here that often trouble thinkers
among men: God's predetermined purpose and wicked man's free will. God
had predetermined that His blessed Son was to come into the world and give
His life a ransom for sinners. Jesus came "not to be ministered unto, but
to minister, and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). But
God had not predetermined that men should curse Him, spit on Him, and heap
every kind of indignity upon Him. These things were of men's godlessness
led on by Satan. Peter said in effect, "God sent Him; God knew all that
would take place; but you are responsible for your sins in that you laid
hold of Him and with your wicked hands crucified and slew Him."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What's in Your Heart ?
And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark
of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore
and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many
of the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Bethshemesh said,
Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go
up from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim,
saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye
down, and fetch it up to you. And the men of Kirjathjearim came,
and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab
in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.
And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time
was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented
after the LORD. And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying,
If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away
the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts
unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand
of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and
Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel
to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. And they gathered together
to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and
fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And
Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. And when the Philistines
heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the
lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children
of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the
children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God
for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel
took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly
unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD
heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines
drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great
thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they
were smitten before Israel.
(1 Samuel 6:19-7:10)
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his
name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son
of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: And he had two wives; the name
of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah
had children, but Hannah had no children. And this man went up out of his
city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh.
And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD,
were there. And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave
to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the
LORD had shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for
to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. And as
he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she
provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her
husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and
why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk.
Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and
wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt
indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not
forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then
I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall
no razor come upon his head. And it came to pass, as she continued praying
before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her
heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli
thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou
be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said,
No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither
wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count
not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of
my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said,
Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that
thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in
thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance
was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped
before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah
knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to
pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she
bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked
him of the LORD. And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer
unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up;
for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child
be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before
the LORD, and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said unto her,
Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD
establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she
weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with
three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought
him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh
my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that
stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and
the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also
I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the
LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
(1 Samuel 1:1-28)
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn
is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because
I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for
there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like
our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come
out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him
actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and
they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full
have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased:
so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is
waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the
grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth
low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and
lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes,
and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth
are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep
the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for
by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be
broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall
judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed. And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house.
And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest. Now the
sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
(1 Samuel 2:1-12)
Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of
all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
(1 Samuel 12:7)
If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel
against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king
that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
(1 Samuel 12:14)
Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider
how great things he hath done for you.
(1 Samuel 12:24)
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants
ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but
ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered
you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a
man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not,
then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit
also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as
we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what
is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the
saints according to the will of God.
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for
the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your
prayers to God for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe
in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be
accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of
God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with
you all. Amen.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto
them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which
Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean
spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with
them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called
Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the
people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom
they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is
the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long
time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip
preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus
Christ, they were baptised, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed
also: and when he was baptised, he continued with Philip, and wondered,
beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles
which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God,
they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed
for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen
upon none of them: only they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy
Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power,
that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter
said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that
the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor
lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent
therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought
of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the
gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon,
and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye
have spoken come upon me.
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came
with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain
their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the
king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel,
sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave
a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And
immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the
glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed,
saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them
to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for
to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter
rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that
a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth
should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth
the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he
did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their
hearts by faith.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash
not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them,
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God
by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother:
and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say,
Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is
a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his
father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment
of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did
Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their
mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far
from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines
the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them,
Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man;
but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then
came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees
were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said,
Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted,
shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.
And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And
Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth
into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which
proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the
man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,
thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile
a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes,
which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat
bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands
oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come
from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things
there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups,
and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes
asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the
elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them,
Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as
it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their
heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of
God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups:
and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full
well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father
or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his
father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever
thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer
him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of
God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and
many such like things do ye. And when he had
called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto
me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without
a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come
out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to
hear, let him hear. And when he was entered into the house from
the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith
unto them, Are ye so without understanding also?
Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the
man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart,
but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that
defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil
thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness,
deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All
these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when
the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some
of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the
devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided
against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how
shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through
Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons
cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with
the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come
upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in
peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him,
he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his
spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not
with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh
through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return
unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it
swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other
spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and
the last state of that man is worse than the first. And it
came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company
lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that
bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea
rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the
month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now
to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the
son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and
how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it
as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong,
O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people
of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith
the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with
you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye
not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little
while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the
dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations
shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD
From another's heart:
Holiness cannot be given to another, but uncleanness can.
Hearts that are unclean:
If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt
do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy?
And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one that
is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean?
And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai,
and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before
me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that
which they offer there is unclean.
How would you have felt if you were there in the following true example?
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered
Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion
of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched,
meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian
of Thessalonica, being with us. And the next day we touched at Sidon.
And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go
unto his friends to refresh himself. And when we had launched from thence,
we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had
sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city
of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into
Italy; and he put us therein. And when we had sailed slowly many days,
and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we
sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; And, hardly passing it, came
unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city
of Lasea. Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now
dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,
And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt
and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives.
Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship,
more than those things which were spoken by Paul. And because the haven
was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence
also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to
winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west
and north west. And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they
had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close
by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind,
called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up
into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island
which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when
they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing
lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven.
And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they
lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands
the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared,
and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved
was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the
midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not
have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now
I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any
man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night
the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul;
thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them
that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God,
that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a
certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven
up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew
near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms:
and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found
it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon
rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And
as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down
the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors
out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except
these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut
off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the day was
coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day
is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having
taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this
is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any
of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to
God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began
to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some
meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen
souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast
out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land:
but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were
minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken
up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed
the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward
shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground;
and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part
was broken with the violence of the waves. And
the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should
swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them
from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim
should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:
And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship.
And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.
Picture it for yourself as if you were in that ship.
Would you have doubted?
Do you have doubts of your circumstances in this present world?
Do you believe the word and will of God?
You see, God continually tests our hearts (the soul, the everlasting you)
and guides us along the narrow path of holiness while we - our souls and
bodies - experience life's tribulations, and we decide whether to stay
on the path, or not. For His future glory and ours.
Do you believe unto loving obedience?
Do you bear vine fruit?
Would you like to?
To help you, especially if you quickly breezed through the preceding passages
of Scripture; read through the following aloud as this will help the words
coming from God to sink into your consciousness. Not only will you see
the words of God with your eyes but you shall hear them with your ears.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch
that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in
me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it
abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same
bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh
the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we
waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and
to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments
are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness:
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the
majesty of the LORD.
When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the
king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the
new gate of the LORD'S house. Then spake the priests and the prophets
unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy
to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with
your ears. Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people,
saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this
city all the words that ye have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and
your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will
repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. As for me,
behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto
you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely
bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the
inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak
all these words in your ears.
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow
ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he
it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led
by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another,
and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end
he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our
Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and
are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly
in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded,
support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render
evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good,
both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without
ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance
of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also
will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-24)
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled
and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience
is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him,
being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live
soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that
blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour
Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long
a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your
hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have
spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of
God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his
own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter
into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For
the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged
sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of
the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his
sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him
with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest,
that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast
our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like
as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the
throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time
Hear this dear friend. It is the foundation on which every thought or action
should be based.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world:
therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of
God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not
us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved,
let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth
is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God
is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if
God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God
at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is
perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because
he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the
Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall
confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God
is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of
judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in
love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He
that feareth is not made perfect in love. We
love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and
hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom
he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment
have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
(1 John 4:4-21)
Someone once wrote:
Love for God is not the fruit of labour but the response of our hearts
to being loved. It is not something we manufacture, it is something we
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and
is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished
unto all good works. I charge thee therefore before God, and the
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing
and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And
they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
(2 Timothy 3:16 - 4:1-4)
Heavenly Father, please open their hearts who read this, that they may
hear and see with the ears and eyes of their spirits and be converted.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thank you Lord.